15 July 2004 Edition

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Bass brewery to stop manufacturing - Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams says he is angry and disappointed at the decision by Bass Ireland's parent company, Interbrew, to offload its manufacturing facility at the Glen Road brewery in West Belfast.

Eighty jobs are in line to be lost after the Glen Road brewery failed to secure the renewal of its lucrative Lucozade bottling contract, despite a massive £2.3 million injection into the Glen Road site by Invest NI in recent years. Workers are also concerned that the longterm future of the entire plant could be in jeopardy.

A series of meetings have taken place between Sinn Féin, trade unionists and executives from Interbrew over the issue.

The West Belfast MP said the decision is a devastating blow to workers, their families and the community of West Belfast and an example of a globalisation strategy that is all about profit. He pledged that Sinn Féin will support any protest action by the workers to get this decision reversed.

Diplock decision - political and flawed

North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has described the decision of the juryless Diplock Court to convict John O'Hagan in relation to charges of 'gathering information for use by terrorists' as "deeply flawed". O'Hagan was arrested following the break-in at Special Branch offices at Castlereagh in 2002. He was convicted last Friday.

Explanation demanded over Rathgael position

Secretary of State Paul Murphy has been called on to give an explanation after he refused to allow the North's Human Rights Commission access to the juvenile detention centre at Rathgael. Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has highlighted the flaws that a Human Rights Commission report found in the juvenile justice system and has asked if the NIO is attempting to hide something.

58 Adria jobs lost

West Tyrone company Adria has announced the loss of a further 58 jobs. The move was described as another devastating blow to the area by Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty. He called for Invest NI to inject funding into the company to protect jobs and for the company to do everything in its power to maintain its local operation, instead of outsourcing jobs.

EU should support trade suspension with Israel

Newly elected Sinn Féin MEPs, Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald, have called on the EU to support the suspension of preferential trade with Israel. They commented after the International Court of Justice ruled last week that Israel's West Bank barrier is illegal and should be removed. The EU-Israel Association Agreement grants Israel favourable trading terms with the EU, but includes a clause that it is based on respect for human rights and democratic principles.

Government fails victims of sexual assault

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has slammed the government's failure to address the inadequate services for sexual assault victims in the 26 Counties. Ferris put questions to the Minister for Health, Mícheál Martin, last week concerning the lack of forensic medical examiners dealing with sexual assault victims and training for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. The Minister replied that he had no plans for any of the measures suggested by the Kerry North TD.

Garda powers may violate constitutional rights

In an initial response to the publication last Thursday of the Criminal Justice Bill, Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin accused the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, of repeatedly expanding the invasive powers of the Gardaí and questioned whether his proposals violated constitutional rights and European and International law. Ó Caoláin said that more Garda powers weren't needed, just Garda reform and effective deployment of Garda resources.

Exclusionist politics in Mayo

The proposal of Sinn Féin Councillor Noel Campbell to rotate the position of Mayor on Castlebar Town Council was voted down last week after Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour made a deal excluding the town's first Sinn Féin councillor. Campbell attacked the parties for failing to recognise his mandate as an elected representative for the people of Castlebar.

Donegal SF robbed of council positions

The four Sinn Féin councillors on Donegal County Council, Pearse Doherty, Thomas Pringle, Tony McDaid, and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, have criticised the two committee appointments offered to them after their collective walkout on Friday last. 61 appointments had been filled before the walkout, without the four councillors, who between them received 10,000 voters, being offered one position. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent Fianna Fáil have been accused of conspiring to exclude the Sinn Féin councillors.

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