Potential of the River Suir at Golden for tourism yet to be fully realised – Ní Riada



Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has welcomed Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to County Tipperary to talk with representatives of the Angling community. Following her visit, MEP Ní Riada has said that the potential of the River Suir to support the development of angling tourism has yet to be fully realised. She made the comments following a visit to Golden this week.

Liadh Ní Riada said: “Golden is a beautiful village in an area of outstanding scenery. Its location close to Cashel and its proximity to the main Dublin – Cork motorway mean that it is accessible for domestic and foreign tourists alike.”

As a member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries I have taken a keen interest in the potential for the further development of angling as both a sport and a lure for tourism.”

Rural Ireland is crying out for investment and for job opportunities. The development of sustainable tourism, based on our greatest natural assets, would be a fantastic boon for rural communities, not least here in Co. Tipperary.”

I will continue to work alongside Cllr. Martin Browne and with all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable, clean and vibrant tourism offering for anglers that benefits the community and rural economy.”

Cllr Martin Browne adds: “In one of the most historic and one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, we have a significant opportunity in terms of a unique angling experience. The potential of tourism has never been doubted, and I compliment the members of Cashel/Golden Anglers Association on their work. We received a short tour from Owen Jackman who is Secretary of the Association and were impressed with the commitment of the Association to maintaining the environment.”

The potential for employment in any environmentally friendly tourism industry should not be overlooked.”


2017-07-20: Owen Jackman, Secretary of Cashel/Golden Tipperary Anglers Association explains the potential of angling tourism to Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Browne, MEP Liadh Ní Riada, and to Ciara McCormack of Mid-Tipperary Sinn Féin.
2017-07-20: Owen Jackman, Secretary of Cashel/Golden Tipperary Anglers Association and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada. Mr Jackman gave Ms Ní Riada a fly-fishing lure as a keepsake.

National Reserve measures do not go far enough – Martin Kenny TD

Speaking in Leinster House today, Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Kenny TD, has said that the measures introduced by Minister Michael Creed on the National Reserve were welcome, but do not go far enough.

Deputy Kenny said:

“While I am glad that, at last, the Minister has done something to help young farmers and new entrants to farming for 2017, after leaving them in the lurch last year, these measures do not go far enough to resolve the situation.

“However, €5 million is not enough to deal with the backlog of young farmers who have completed or who are now trying to complete green cert training and who will be seeking entitlements soon.”

Peadar Tóibín TD welcomes the introduction of the Famine Commemoration Bill

Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, Peadar Tóibín TD, has welcomed the introduction of a Bill seeking a fixed Commemoration Day for the famine. However, An Teachta Tóibín has expressed disappointment that Fine Gael cynically introduced it’s bill in a reluctant response to the similar Sinn Féin Bill introduced a few weeks ago.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“I welcome that this Bill will be introduced. It is shocking that, in response to a recent PQ that I submitted, we have learned that the Government still have not selected the day for this year, 2017, in which we will commemorate the Famine.

“Each year, citizens and community groups around the world seek to organise commemorative events to pay tribute and remember the most significant time of our nation’s history. They are frustrated by the Government’s inability to select the date in a neither fixed nor timely fashion.

“Currently, the commemoration date swings from between May to September each year meaning that planning and preparation, especially for those overseas is particularly difficult. This Bill will place the Famine Memorial Day on the second Sunday of May, the same date as was proposed by the Sinn Féin Bill.

“It is undoubtedly a positive development that the famine receives appropriate commemoration. It is, by far, the single most difficult and influential period of our history. I do believe it is enormously cynical that the government could not work with an opposition Bill but sought to replicate a Sinn Féin Bill for the purpose of having their own finger prints on the initiative.

“Regardless of this political shimmying, Sinn Féin is very supportive of the introduction of the Famine Commemoration Day Bill and the end to the annual certainty over the date of commemoration.”

Minister must urgently resolve late payments crisis for farmers- Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Department officials to be brought before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee

Sinn Féin’s Agriculture Spokesperson in the Seanad, Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has again called on the Minister for Agriculture to intervene and resolve the serious delays in payments under the GLAS agri-environmental scheme to over 9,000 farmers across the State.

Senator Mac Lochlainn, who serves on the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee has again raised the crisis in the Seanad and he confirmed that senior officials in the Department of Agriculture will be brought before the committee next week to answer for the delays.

He said:

“These farmers have been waiting since last October for the payments that they are entitled to. They have honoured their side of the deal in terms of complying with the environmental management criteria of the scheme and it is long past time for the Department of Agriculture to honour their side.

Over 9,000 farmers across the State have not received their payments owed. The average amount owed is €4,000. This is a serious amount of money for small farmers already struggling to stay on the land.

Over recent years, a Charter of Rights has been agreed between farmers and the Department of Agriculture. These delays in payments have broken the spirit and intent of that charter”.

“I am again calling on Minister Creed to intervene and sort this mess out. And when this is finally sorted out, the lessons have to be learned and assurances given to farmers that this will not happen again”.

Cannabis for Medicinal use Bill addresses health matters of utmost importance – Jonathan O’Brien

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice and Drugs Jonathan O’Brien TD has tonight outlined the party’s support for passage of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 to Committee Stage, where it will table appropriate amendments.

Jonathan O'Brien TD. (Picture: Eddie O'Hare, Cork)
Jonathan O’Brien TD. (Picture: Eddie O’Hare, Cork)

The Cork North Central TD strongly emphasised that the issues addressed by the Bill where matters of health and that he welcomed the Bill as “important initiative in the development of healthcare in Ireland.”

Speaking in the Dáil this evening this evening, Deputy O’Brien said: “We need to be clear that this is a health matter.

“Research has indicated that introducing medicinal cannabis legally does not have any crime exacerbating effect. The research findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalisation of cannabis products for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.

“It is Sinn Fein’s view that every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“In the past, myself and other Sinn Fein TDs called for Sativex spray and CBD oil to made available to persons suffering with conditions such as MS and Dravet’s Syndrome.

“We need to move towards an evidence-based model of depenalisation of drugs founded on international best practice, so that vulnerable drug users can access the supports they need, but also that persons who have specific medical conditions can access cannabis based medicines when they need them.

“It is bad enough to witness the pain of a loved one with a chronic debilitating illness where there is no prospect of recovery, but simply the vista of watching their condition slowly deteriorate until death – but to have to try and ease their pain under the threat of prosecution for providing them with a product that might ease their suffering is another thing altogether.

“Some parents are placed in a terrible position when their children have severe illnesses and conditions and they know that cannabis based products would ease their suffering, and yet they cannot access them, or if they access them, they are breaking the law to do so. That is not right.

“While we disagree with the mechanism that the People Before Profit Deputies envisage for the regulation of these medicines, we will support this Bill to proceed to Committee Stage where we will table appropriate amendments. It is our view that these products should be regulated by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (which has taken over from the Irish Medicines Board) like any other medicine that exists.

“However, the important thing is that whatever structure in place, there must be meaningful access to it. It must not be introduced and then effectively banned through a series of insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles.

“It is an important initiative in the development of healthcare in Ireland and I welcome the opportunity to vote in favour of the Bill.”


Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada in Tipperary


Sinn MEP Liadh Ní Riada was in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on Friday to meet the River Shannon Protection Alliance group along with Cllr Séamie Morris. Liadh heard first hand from people who have been affected by the lowering water levels on Lough Derg among many other issues. Liadh agrees that Lough Derg is vital for the tourism prospects in the region for the future and as an economic asset for the Mid West region.

Irish Water’s preferred proposition at present is to use water from Lough Derg via a major pipe construction to supply Dublin and surrounding areas.

Irish Water have begun a public consultation process that will last until Feb 14th 2017. Councillor Morris is calling on people who feel strongly about this issue to contact him, get involved in local campaign groups, or lodge their own submission.

We already have problems arising in the Irish mushroom sector, because of the significant weakening of Sterling against the Euro over recent weeks, with plants closing down, as a result of Brexit concerns.”

Brexit is an all-island issue. So, I expect MEPs from all over Ireland to support the setting up of a Brexit working group for agriculture.

In my opinion farming and food in Tipperary are the industries that have most to lose from Brexit.”

Liadh is also concerned about rural Tipperary, A European Commission report into the Cumulative Effects of Trade Agreements which was published today proved again that deals like CETA & TTIP will have devastating consequences for agriculture.

Now Irish MEPs (Fine Gael, in particular) have a choice to make in advance of the European Parliament vote on CETA, due to take place in December.

They can either support Irish farmers or they can support regressive trade deals such as CETA & TTIP, but they can’t support both.


2015-06-19: Cllr Séamie Morris (Sinn Féin), MEP Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin) and Declan Collisson (Shannon Protection Alliance) outside The Lake Café.

CETA deal ‘a bad deal for Ireland’ – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Fein TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal Martin Kenny has described yesterday’s signing of the CETA agreement as a bad day for the Irish Agri-Sector.

Speaking from his Constituency office in Leitrim, Deputy Kenny said: “The CETA deal is a bad deal for the Ireland and it is disgrace that the Taoiseach will not allow a Dáil debate on the issue.  By allowing deal go ahead the government is undermining Irish sovereignty. martin-kenny

“The ‘deal’ brokered between the Walloon Parliament and the European Commission in relation to CETA doesn’t change anything.  The wording has not changed and the Chapter on Investment Protection has not been removed.

“It remains a very bad deal for Irish workers, consumers, and farmers. It is bad for democracy and would undermine the Irish judicial system and the Irish Government should strongly oppose it.

“The impact on the Irish Agri-Sector will be catastrophic; it will allow vast quantities of Canadian beef to be imported into Europe.  Canadian beef producers are not subject to the same high quality assurances and regulations that Irish producers are required to meet.

“As a result, I believe that Canadian beef products are inferior to our high quality Irish produce and will drive down prices at the farm gate.

“We already seen the Seanad vote to reject the CETA deal, the Taoiseach must urgently facilitate a Dáil debate on this disastrous deal for Ireland.  He cannot disregard the democracy of the Dáil and allow a deal that will have such an enormous impact on the country to proceed without allowing those of us elected by the people to have our say.”


Morris highly critical of Tom Hayes vandalism and damage to trees


Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has hit2016-02-20-DSC_5112-edited-smaller out at the manner in which posters from Tom Hayes have been nailed to trees around Clonmel. He says such disregard for natural life from supporters of the outgoing Minister is particularly disappointing as the Minister has had special responsibility for Forestry, and because some of the trees are ash.

Cllr Morris said: “Nailing election posters to trees is a regressive development in a modern election. Most of us have moved beyond thinking of trees as unimportant and near-inanimate objects. We have moved to understanding that trees provide more than just visual amenity. They clean the air, provide the oxygen we breathe, and are a key component in maintaining a healthy environment.”

2016-02-19-IMG_2602-Clonmel-CahirRoadWe have come to accept and care for the natural environment and show regard for trees in particular. It was therefore a major surprise – and disappointment – to learn that so many trees have been vandalised in this way. Hammering nails into trees stopped being acceptable decades ago.”

Some of the trees are ash, an essential species for a hurling county, and a species that is already under threat from the Ash Dieback which has spread across Europe and is already in Ireland. That’s a fungus that spreads and kills the trees over time. It does this by damaging the layer of bark that transports nutrients to the rest of the tree. That’s also the layer that is most compromised by the hammering in of nails, such as Mr Hayes has done. There are 3 nails in many of the trees, and therefore 3 sites for infection.”2016-02-19-IMG_2601-Clonmel-CahirRoad

I expect of Tom Hayes that he will now publicly take responsibility the removal of these posters, and for the cost of an inspection, health-check, and treatment of the dozens of trees involved by a qualified arborist. He must take responsibility for these acts of vandalism, and for putting this right. There is also at least one tree near Kilsheelan bearing a nailed-on poster of Jackie Cahill, and I expect him to take the same responsibility.”

It may sound a little like a ‘hippy’ philosophy to have concern for trees as living creatures, but they are – no matter how it sounds – and we depend on them. The Irish people have for millennia had special respect for trees. Now there’s about a dozen trees on the Cahir road out of Clonmel that have been abused this way and have been harmed.”

As we as a people have come to a better understanding of the complexities of our environment, and the importance of all the species in it, this is a sad regression. It could be that Mr Hayes membership of a party that has shown itself immune to consideration of the well-being of their fellow man has made him immune to such considerations for all other living things.”2016-02-19-IMG_2598-Clonmel-Kilskeelan

Photographs 1-3 show posters of Tom Hayes nailed to ash trees on Cahir Road, Clonmel.

Photograph #4 shows poster of Jackie Cahill nailed to tree near Kilsheelan, Clonmel.

Sinn Féin’s budget choices are fairer


Councillor Séamie Morris of Sinn Féin has today applauded the publication of Sinn Féin’s Budget 2016 document, entitled ‘Delivering a Fair Recovery’. He says it offers a greatly improved investment in public services of €1.7bn, and €400m in capital expenditure.

Cllr Morris said: “My team have been delivering the ‘Fair Recovery’ leaflet produced by Sinn Féin all over county Tipperary. With the publication of today’s document, the public can now see exactly what that means for them.”

Our priorities include better services for ordinary members of the public, fairer taxation, abolition of the family-home tax, and the stopping of the cruel water-tax regime of the present Government.”

The depths of the cuts to public services arising from the Austerity program are hard to fathom. €30bn was taken out of the Irish economy as a result of the slash-and-burn tactics of Fine Gael, and the heartless cuts supported by the pretend-Left party of Labour.”

These are choices they have made. In Government Sinn Féin will also make choices, but they will be fairer. Fairness and Equality are at the heart of Republicanism, and our budget proposals show that.”

We choose to invest in public services. We choose to invest in healthcare. We choose to invest in education. We choose to be fair to the majority, without pandering to the super-rich and the very well off.”

We choose to care for the homeless, and can only wonder why the present Government does not make the same choices. The strength of any society can be judged by how it supports it’s weakest and most vulnerable, and this budget proposal shows that Sinn Féin will make the right choices.”

Cllr Séamie Morris believes in fairness for all. He is pictured here with Mayor of South Dublin Fintan Warfield while campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote in May.

“The five percent who earn the most should contribute most, so that necessary front-line services can be maintained for all.”

Those front-line services will be provided by more Gardaí, teachers, nurses, midwives, and doctors. We plan €300million for social housing alone in 2016.”

It is possible to do this while supporting small and medium businesses, and providing a tax-credit for the self-employed and for farmers of €500. A fair budget is all about fair choices, and Sinn Féin has now demonstrated to Minister Noonan that fair choices are possible.”

I compliment my colleague Pearse Doherty for his excellent work in preparing this document, and heartily recommend it to all who would like to be part of a fairer economic recovery. Now it’s up to Minister Noonan to follow where Pearse has led, and to choose a fair recovery for all.”

The Sinn Féin budget proposals are available here: Pre-Budget_October2015 (2)

Morris attacks TTIP as destructive to Tipperary farming



Cllr Séamie Morris of Sinn Féin has attacked as destructive to Irish farming and Irish food standards the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). He argues that the agricultural sector needs the right conditions to maintain development, but TTIP threatens to undermine the good work done by Irish farming communities.

Cllr Morris said: “As one of the biggest events in the farming calendar takes place this week, the National Ploughing Championships, this is the time to consider the horrendous treatment of the sector by the current government, and the threats posed by TTIP.”

I was reared on a subsistence farm in Ballywilliam in my formative years. I know only too well how the small farmer is continually being squeezed out of existence. The TTIP trade treaty could finish the notion of small farming for good.”

The current form of these negotiations is unacceptable to Sinn Féin and to Tipperary farmers. As the recent milk crisis has taught us, promises of increased prosperity from changes to market structures not only turn out to be empty but detrimental.”

The new GLAS payment scheme is a poor replacement for the REPS and AEOS payments. The payment is hard to obtain and provides a poor financial return for the costly and stringent conditions needed to receive it.”

Between the saga around the ending of milk quotas, beef market price manipulation, and the exclusion of many tillage farmers from the Young Farmers scheme, a large proportion of Tipperary small and medium sized farmers are in a dire situation.”

Farming has huge potential to contribute to indigenous job creation through value-added processing. There’s enormous potential in both the domestic and export markets.”

But the agriculture sector needs the right conditions to develop. Sinn Féin supports a radical reform of the farm payments system with upper limits on individual payments and a fair distribution of payments to protect small and medium producers. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are on record as fully supporting the secret negotiations. Sinn Féin’s Freedom of Information requests to have the make-up of the negotiations made public are continually denied.”

The TTIP treaty negotiation is ongoing between the USA and the EU, and is the single largest threat to Irish agriculture and standards in decades. TTIP will downgrade Irish and European food standards to allow genetically modified food, chlorinated chicken, and hormone treated pig meat into the Irish market. It also paves the way for fracking, lowering of animal welfare standards and the introduction of food products from cloned animals.”

The negotiations within the EU are in top secret conditions and will be the first major EU treaty in which there will not be a referendum, because of the Lisbon Treaty’s changes to our laws.”

TTIP will cause further price disturbance in all Irish agriculture markets by opening up our markets to US producers, where lower working conditions and lax regulation allows US farmers to produce cheaper products. This will force Irish producers to further reduce prices in order to compete. Introducing American corn fed beef to Irish markets is only one example.”

Irish farmers must be part of these negotiations, the only way for that to happen is for the contents of the negotiations to be public. TTIP’s very inception in secret conditions epitomises its undemocratic and underhanded nature.”

For too long in Tipperary farming supports have been reduced while our young must emigrate. Our ability to make a decent living is being eroded. Irish farmers must be stake-holders in these negotiations, not victims of their destructive and secretive profiteering.”