9 May 2020
The Sinn Féin Weekly Digest
Mary Lou welcomes extension of Covid-19 Pandemic payment
Speaking in the Dáil this week Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the government’s changed position on the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment and that it will continue beyond mid-June and called on the Taoiseach to now needs to tell workers and families that it will be paid at the current rate and to outline how long it will continue to be paid.
She said it is amazing how words like "unaffordable" and "unsustainable" are always used to describe financial measures that help workers and ordinary families, but never for measures that preserve the privilege of those at the top?
You can watch Mary Lou here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/252675409120600/
Communities’ adherence to restrictions is saving lives – Michelle O’Neill
As the Covid-19 restrictions in the North are extended for a further three weeks Joint Head of Government Michelle O'Neill MLA has said that the communities adherence to the restrictions is saving lives.
You can watch Michelle here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/542789569998442/
Leaving Cert decision welcome, but a more just and fair Plan B needed – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Education to cancel this year's Leaving Cert exams, saying that the uncertainty and anxiety that students have faced has been unbearable.
He has said, however, that the government's Plan B is not at this point adequate to ensure fairness and that the needs of students are catered for.
You can read Donnchadh’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56749
Communities Minister proud to have provided 18,000 food parcels to those who need them
Speaking on BBC Radio this week Sinn Féin Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said she is proud to have responded to the Covid-19 crisis by providing 18,000 food parcels to those who are isolating and others who need them.
She said, "Leo Varadkar referred to those people as ‘poor’ – I refer to them as my friends, neighbours and community. I make no apology for that.”
You can listen to Deirdre here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/301719494151341/
Bobby Sands’ anniversary
The 5th May marks the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands on Hunger Strike. He was the first of ten republican prisoners to die that terrible summer of 1981.
The determination of the men in the H Blocks and the women prisoners in Armagh ultimately defeated the British government's criminalisation strategy. The enduring legacy of the hunger strikers is to be found all around us.
For everyone interested in freedom and justice and peace in Ireland it is a time to reflect on the lessons of the past and to commit to continuing the struggle to achieve a just, fair and equal united Ireland.
Fellow hunger striker Pat Sheehan MLA who spent 55 days on the hunger strike remembers his friend and comrade on the 39th anniversary of his death.
You can watch Pat here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/1369470070107527/
Remembering Bobby Sands
Gerry Adams’ also released a new podcast on Bobby’s anniversary entitled ‘Remembering Bobby Sands’ and you can listen to it here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/991288/3634591?fbclid=IwAR1mJkQaQZ20bGaonaG3PabsPtZM3enh5tg-tEeehB2Hhxn_NRRQd1o-edA
Mary Lou has a Bank Holiday chat with her mammy
On Bank Holiday Monday Mary Lou McDonald held an online public chat with her mammy Joan.
You can watch it back here: https://www.facebook.com/MaryLouMcDonaldTD/videos/2493006150799403/
Anyone who thinks Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will deliver change needs to come up for air – Imelda Munster TD
Speaking on the Week in Politics last week Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster said her party wants to sincerely bring about the real change that people voted for, and that is why they are trying to exclude us.
She said, “Anyone that believes that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will represent the real change the people voted for in the election need to come up for air.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are not for workers and families, they are for banks and vulture funds, developers and landlords.”
You can watch Imelda here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/770303416709866/
Government must provide indemnity for workers providing childcare to frontline health workers - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on the government to provide indemnity to workers providing childcare to frontline healthcare staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes as Allianz, an insurance provider in the childcare sector, has said it will not provide cover for Covid-19 related claims for workers who take part in the State-sponsored scheme to provide childcare for frontline healthcare workers.
You can read Pearse’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56736
Childcare workers and health workers left in limbo once again as insurance flaws emerge - Kathleen Funchion TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Kathleen Funchion has raised concerns about flaws in arrangements for childcare workers to look after health workers’ children.
Some childcare providers have been advised that their existing insurance policies will not cover the new scheme, nor will the government pick up any shortfall by providing a state indemnity.
You can read Kathleen’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56737
Joint First Minister Michelle O’Neill pays visit to new PPE factory in Magherafelt
Joint First Minister Michelle O'Neill paid a visit to a new PPE factory at Meadowbank Sports Centre in Magherafelt this week.
The arena has been repurposed by two local companies (Bloc Blinds and Huhtamaki) to make face shields and visors for our health workers.
This is amazing work and absolutely vital to protect them and the public in the battle against Covid19.
You can watch Michelle here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/255031459202219/
Mary Lou and Ministers discuss getting through COVID-19
In the latest instalment of Sinn Féin’s live online public meetings this week Mary Lou McDonald TD was joined by Sinn Féin Ministers from the Six County Executive, Joint First Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA, Minister for Finance Conor Murhpy MLA and Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA for a conversation about getting through COVID-19.
You can watch it back here: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/videos/641865059696515/
John O’Dowd calls for creation of a Student Hardship Fund
Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has called on Economy Minister Diane Dodds to create a student hardship fund to help students struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said several weeks into the COVID-19 crisis students are still waiting for financial support from the Department of the Economy.
You can read John’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56742
Laid-off Pieta House staff must be re-employed as a matter of urgency – Mark Ward TD
Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward welcomed the dedication of this week’s Late Late Show to fundraising for Pieta House and mental health services.
Pieta House, whose original centre is located in the Dublin Mid-West area of Lucan, announced 28 redundancies for clinical support workers this week and Deputy Ward has called for any funds raised to be directed towards re-employing these workers as a matter of urgency.
You can read Mark’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56741
Fuel allowance supplement must be extended – John Brady TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Employment Affairs and Social Protection John Brady TD has called on Minister Regina Doherty must move to extend the fuel allowance supplement in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
You can read John’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56743
Debenhams liquidators must make workers their number one priority - Thomas Gould TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould has called on Debenhams liquidators to make workers their number one priority.
A delegation of Sinn Féin TDs met with liquidators KPMG this week and relayed concerns raised by Debenhams workers, who have been fighting for their rights since the company entered the liquidation process on April 9.
You can read Tommy’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56740
Beef Taskforce must be reconvened immediately – Brian Stanley TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to urgently reconvene the Beef Taskforce, which has not met since January.
You can read Brian’s statement here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/56738