12 February 2004 Edition

Girls Aloud top Paddy's Day bill in Belfast

12 February 2004

As the campaign to force the killjoys in Belfast City Council to fund a St Patrick's Day concert outside the City Hall gathers momentum, chart-topping girl band Girls Aloud have been confirmed as this year's main act. Making the announcement in the Mayor's Parlour in City Hall, with the support of Mayor Martin Morgan, Irene Sherry, chair of the St Patrick's Day Carnival Committee, emphasised their determination that the National Holiday will be celebrated in Belfast as it is in many major cities throughout Ireland and throughout the world. Free article

Sinn Féin loses funding appeal on poll grants

12 February 2004

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Belfast, ruled last week that Sinn Féin is not entitled to British Government funding set aside for the political development of political parties throughout Britain and the Six Counties. At the Court of Appeal, sitting on Wednesday 4 February, three judges dismissed Sinn Féin's contention that the decision to withhold Policy Development Grants was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. Free article

Dramatic under-representation of women in Irish political life

12 February 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on EU affairs and candidate in the Six Counties in the forthcoming election Bairbre de Brún, spoke on Friday at an event organised by the EU Commission in Dublin exploring the need for more women candidates in EU elections. "The European Women's Lobby has pointed out that today women count for 31% of the total number of MEPs in Europe. Women's representation in the national parliaments of the member states is 25%. It is particularly important that more women are elected as MEPs because EU provisions have been among the main drivers for increased gender equality here. Free article

Infrastructural problems plague border counties

12 February 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on All-Ireland and Cross-Border Integration, Barry McElduff MLA, says that accelerated all-Ireland integration is essential if the legacy of social and economic neglect in the border counties is to be tackled. He was speaking after he and Martina Anderson, the party's All-Ireland Strategy Co-ordinator, met recently with Eamonn Molloy of the North West Region Cross-Border Group (NWRCBG). Free article

Sinn Féin poll surge in Dublin

12 February 2004

BY DES THORP - Commenting on recent poll findings showing that Sinn Féin support has reached unprecedented levels among the electorate, particularly in Dublin, the party's Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, said the findings reflected the consistent work being carried out on the ground throughout Dublin and many other parts of the state. Free article

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Ó Caoláin calls for rights-based Disability Bill

12 February 2004

The Taoiseach was challenged last week in the Dáil by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin on the continuing delay in the long-promised Disability Bill, which is to ensure the rights and entitlements of people with disabilities. The Sinn Féin TD said the Bill "must be rights-based" and warned the Taoiseach against once again disappointing people with disabilities and their families. Free article

Garda Poll shows reform urgently needed

12 February 2004

Responding to last week's poll indicating that almost 40% of the population have no confidence in the Garda Síochána, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, said it was a "shocking indictment of current Garda management" and called for "comprehensive reform" to Garda accountability structures than can restore public confidence, such as those proposed by Sinn Féin. Free article

Places available for Trade Union Solidarity Committee Cuba visit

12 February 2004

The Irish Trade Union Solidarity Committee has organised a trip to Havana, Cuba on 1 May this year. Due to a couple of late cancellations, a limited number of places are available. The cost for the visit, which will last for about ten days, is £1,100. Free article

Safer Streets

12 February 2004

A Safer Streets for All vigil was held at Penny Lane, off the Andersonstown Road, in Belfast last Thursday 5 February. Sinn Féin Assembly member Bairbre de Brún was the main speaker at the event. Free article

Connaught/Uladh AGM

12 February 2004

Bairbre de Brún, Pierse Doherty, Tina Tully and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláín are pictured at last Sunday's Sinn Féin Cúige AGM for Connaught/Uladh. Bairbre, the guest speaker, gave an update on the peace process and also a rallying call for the EU elections, which she and Pierse are contesting. Caoimhghín addressed the meeting with a Dáil leader's report. Tina Tully was elected the Cathaoirleach of the Cuige. Free article

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