Mary Lou McDonald at Sinn Féin commemoration of the Soloheadbeg Ambush

Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald addresses the Sinn Féin commemoration of the Soloheadbeg Ambush 100 years prior; this is generally considered the first act of the Irish War of Independence in which Irish people retaliated for centuries of British oppression.

The ambush was organised and carried out by members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and Irish Republican Army, and some who were members of both. The objective of the ambush was the capture of explosives used in mining, which explosives were used some months later.

Job losses at HP Inc. ‘devastating blow to Leixlip and County Kildare’ – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Jobs, Maurice Quinlivan, has said the loss of 500 jobs at the HP Inc. facility in Leixlip will be a major blow not just to the town, but to the whole area.

Deputy Quinlivan said the area needs prioritisation from the IDA and that education and training courses should be made available for the workforce to help them to find alternative employment.

The Limerick City TD stated:

“HP has been a major employer in Leixlip since 1995.  The loss of this site and these jobs will be a major blow to the area.

“The scale of the jobs losses in today’s announcement by HP Inc. is shocking! Whilst HP Inc. had announced in October last year that it would be cutting 3,000 to 4,000 jobs globally over the next three years, nobody expected 500 people to lose their jobs in Leixlip.

“Questions must be asked about what has happened in the intervening period.

“As the company have indicated that jobs will be transferred abroad, we must ensure, if possible, that the EU globalisation fund should be accessed early and that particular opportunity of funding not wasted as has been the case in previous large scale jobs losses.

“Those people who have lost their jobs must be given access to proper education and training courses to help them to find alternative employment. It is a very stressful time for them and their families as many will struggle to repay mortgages and pay their daily bills.

“I will be raising this issue in the Dáil chamber at the earliest opportunity.”

Jobs Plan shows that Government is sleepwalking into Brexit Chasm – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Allocation of a paltry additional €3 million is not good enough

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Maurice Quinlivan TD, has expressed his deep concern that looming threats from Brexit are not treated with the urgency demanded within the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs launched this morning.

He said that the paltry additional €3 million allocated by the Government highlighted the reality that the government is sleepwalking through the challenge posed by Brexit.

Deputy Quinlivan said:

“Britain is racing towards a hard exit from the European Union, which has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to jobs in Ireland. It is beggars belief that, in their Action Plan for Jobs, the Government has included only an additional €3 million in funding to tackle challenges arising from Brexit.

“I attended a stakeholders meeting In Carrick-On-Shannon on Monday and it was crystal clear from contributions from business organisations, Unions, farmers and other stakeholders that the Government was simply not doing enough to address what could be the biggest challenge to this state in generations in terms of job losses and damage to the economy.

“A recently published report from the EU Committee of the House of Lords on the impact of Brexit noted that Dublin’s limited infrastructure and shortage of housing could deter financial firms from relocating there. I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Minister.

“It is very clear the question of infrastructure is of critical importance not just in relation to Dublin but to the rest of the country.

“For example, data from the Department of Finance’s own assessment found that the food and beverage and the manufacturing sectors are most at risk to the fallout from Brexit with potentially thousands of jobs lost in the Agri-food sector alone.

“Importantly, these sectors are primarily made up of Irish owned SME’s, who are significant regional employers with comparatively low profit margins.

“It is of critical importance that the Minister and her Department grasp the nettle when it comes to capital funding for infrastructure.

“Kevin O’Rourke, Professor of Economics at Oxford University, recently suggested that the Government should allocate €25 million to fund a market diversification and product innovation strategy to support Irish food and drink companies to try and replace UK exports to the EU to compensate for the hit caused by Brexit.

“That analysis provides an insight into how the paltry €3 million extra spend is nowhere near the level of funding needed to meet the challenge of Brexit.

“The Minister needs to accept that the issue of infrastructure is central to efforts to minimize the impact of Brexit, and unfortunately today’s announcement will do little to address that.”

Maurice Quinlivan TD welcomes home 1916 flag from Imperial War Museum

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has expressed his joy that his work for the return of a flag captured from Volunteers in Limerick in 1916 has been met with success. The flag has been returned to the City and is now on public display.

The flag, which was on display in the Imperial War Museum, was captured by British Forces of the 4th Battalion of the Leinster Regiment in Limerick on the 5th of May 1916 following the Easter Rising in Dublin. It has been in the Imperial War Museum on a loan from the Royal Collection since 1936.

1916 Limerick flag.
1916 Limerick flag.

Deputy Quinlivan commented: “A Limerick City Museum staff member first made me aware of the flag’s existence in the summer of 2014. I have been seeking its return to Limerick ever since through regular contact with the Imperial war museum. It was always my hope that it would be back in Limerick for the 100th anniversary of the rising. I am delighted that it has arrived back in Limerick today.

“I must acknowledge that the museum in London were very helpful. While a number of technical delays prevented the flag coming back for the whole of 2016, it is still great that it is here now. Following confirmation that the flag would be returned, the Imperial War Museum had to then get permission from the Royal Collection, which is owned by the English Queen. So, she is the one who has basically given us back our flag.

“They agreed to give the flag back to us on a long-term loan, which effectively means that the flag is home in Limerick where it belongs and I would hope that people come and see it, where it is on show as part of the Council’s 1916 display and for the foreseeable future.

“Sinn Féin was determined to ensure that the 1916 Centenary is marked in the most appropriate way possible, as a fitting popular acknowledgement of the past but also, and just as importantly, as a pointer to a better future. Many events have taken place and many continue to take place across Ireland and the world to commemorate this hugely important event which gave birth to the free Irish nation.

“I am delighted that finally this flag has been returned to Limerick where it rightfully belongs. It will serve as a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and liberty for our freedom.”