An equal society means recognising that many diverse groups and sections of Irish society – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today performed the official launch of a report entitled ‘An analysis of the introduction of socio-economic status as a discrimination ground’ in the Mansion House at the invitation of the Equality and Rights Alliance.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD (Cava-Monaghan) at the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 rising. Pictured also from L-R are Kathleen Funchion TD, Enya Kennedy, Cllr Seán Tyrell, all of Sinn Féin Kilkenny.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD (Cava-Monaghan) at the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 rising. Pictured also from L-R are Kathleen Funchion TD, Enya Kennedy, Cllr Seán Tyrell, all of Sinn Féin Kilkenny.

The report makes the case for the inclusion of socio-economic status under the Equal Status legislation.

Speaking during the course of his address, Deputy Ó Caoláin said: “As an Irish Republican, the issue of equality is at the core of all I believe in. I believe that all citizens are equal, regardless of the colour of their skin, their religious beliefs or none, their sexual orientation, their abilities or disabilities, their age, where they live or what they do.

“I believe that we all as children of our nation should be cherished equally. Unfortunately, 100 years since that very aspiration was proclaimed, this has not been achieved.

“We have witnessed and continue to see increases in inequality and poverty. Growing evidence highlights the disproportionate impact economic policies are having on disadvantaged groups. There is a glaring divide in Irish society between the haves and the have nots.  Those most impacted by the catastrophic impact of austerity policies remain the least well off.

“Low paid jobs, low hours employment, precarity and unemployment are all factors contributing to this stark inequality. Irish society remains an unequal place for women. Gender inequality contributes and results from economic inequalities. In Budget 2017, we saw the blatant discrimination against our younger jobseekers, those under 26 who only saw their allowance increase by €2.70 in comparison to those over 26 who saw it increase by €5. A blatantly discriminatory political choice.

“Creating the conditions for establishing an equal society means recognising that many diverse groups and sections of Irish society need enhanced protection from the State.

“The inclusion of the ground of socio-economic status in our equality legislation is absolutely essential. We need to ensure that both government and public bodies, in exercising their functions do so in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.

“The time has come for Ireland to take a stand and provide a more just and equitable society for all.”


Women Of The Nation

19:00, Friday 28th October, Park Hotel, Clonmel:

This will be a gathering of strong Republican women who have lived in the shadows for too long and who have endured unimaginable pain, intimidation and suffering for a common cause which is freedom, equality and justice for all in Ireland. The speakers on the night will share their stories and let us have a glimpse into how it was and how it can still be.

The guest speakers on the night will be: Martina Anderson M.E.P., Joan McDermott who will speak on the Mother and Baby Scandal, Jennifer McCann ex POW, Mary Doyle North Belfast Councillor and survivor of the 1980 Hungestrike.

The Mná na hÉireann Exhibtion will be on display.

The night will be hosted by the Clonmel Sinn Féin Cumann – the George Plant Cumann – and will be presented by Deputy Mayor Sinn Féin Councillor Catherine Carey.

So please join us at the Clonmel Park Hotel on October 28th 2016.

OCTOBER 28th 2016
19.00: Ladies enter the room
19.05 Guests and speakers welcomed to the event
19.10: Proclamation of the Irish Republic Read by Helen
19.15 Chairperson Niamh Introduces Martina Anderson M.E.P.
19.30 Mise Eire sung by Lilian Fitzpatrick.
19.35 Joan McDermott, Survivor of Mother and Baby Scandal
19.50: Mary Doyle, ex POW
20.05: Sniper’s Promise played by Gundy Humphries on the flute
20.10: Jennifer McCann MLA, ex POW
20.25: Questions and Answers chaired by Cllr Catherine Carey
21.00: Close with National Anthem sung by Lilian Fitzpatrick.
OCTOBER 29th 2016
Midday: Wreath laying at Manchester Martyrs Monument
14.00 Refreshments at Fozzy’s


The system is broken, and it won’t fix itself. Join Sinn Féin.

At the request of Uachtarán Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams TD, many elected Sinn Féin representatives recorded short invitations to join Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann were pleased top do so, as we acknowledge that the system in Ireland is broken. As it isn’t going to fix itself, we urge you to join us in fixing it, by joining Sinn Féin.

These videos were recorded at the 96th annual Seán Treacy commemoration in Kilfeakle, Co. Tipperary.

This first video features Cllr Martin Brown of Cashel/Golden local electoral area.

This video features Cllr David Dunne of the Carrick-on-Suir/Fethard local electoral area.

This video features Cllr David Doran of the Templemore-Thurles local electoral area.


Rising costs and ‘voluntary contributions’ are serious obstacles for parents of school children – Kathleen Funchion


Speaking in the Dáil this evening on funding for education, Sinn Féin’s TD for Carlow/Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion said rising costs and increasing ‘voluntary contributions’ are serious obstacles for parents trying to send their children to school.

Teachta Funchion said: “Voluntary contributions are often a minimum spend of 150 euros per child – a significant amount of money that many families do not have.

“Multi-annual increases to school capitation rates would potentially stop the need for voluntary contributions from parents.

“This Government has not committed to tackling the high costs associated with sending children to school. Many families struggle to meet the basic costs.  The ‘free education system’ is a myth.

Kathleen Funchion TD, Kilkenny/Carlow.

“Cuts to capitation grants in recent years mean parents are increasingly expected to bridge the gap in school funding – these contributions are often used for the basic running costs of a school such as electricity and heat – this is unacceptable.

“This heaped on top of costs of school books, uniforms, supplies, transport and lunches is pushing many families over the edge.

“All levels of education are important in a child’s life, but primary education we know is crucial for a child’s development. If their stability is already being challenged at such an early stage, through a difficulty in attending as a result of parents not being able to cover costs, this will inevitably have a knock on effect for their later educational prospects.

“Our party’s costed alternative budget proposed measures to increase school capitation rates by 2%, over and above demographics. This measure would have gone a long way in helping primary schools which rely so heavily on voluntary contributions.”


Budget 2017 a wasted opportunity



Sinn Féin Tipperary say that the recent budget was a wasted opportunity to end some of the austerity measures which have been piled upon the Irish public. This and previous governments have inflicted their financial philosophies on the people, and are in no rush to alleviate this.

Sinn Féin Tipperary said: “This was a chance for the coalition FG/Independents and their coalition partners on the opposition benches – Fianna Fáil – to give meaningful relief to Irish families. Instead we got a weak attempt to be seen to be helping everyone, but really it’s just widening the wealth divide.”

“Tipperary Sinn Féin point to the introduction of the €20,000 grant for first time buyers as a failed attempt to solve the housing problem, a crisis which the Government still fails to fully acknowledge. This will only worsen the crisis and looks after those who are purchasing €600,000 starter homes. Expert opinion before the budget warned the minister that this would drive up prices, but he ignored the advice.”

Cllrs Martin Browne, Seamie Morris, Catherine Carey, Davy Dunne, David Doran.

“Sinn Féin welcomes the childcare intervention, but feel it is inadequate considering the investment required in this sector. There’s only €35.5 million provided here which will make little difference as those struggling at present will continue to do so. In Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposals we had promised to invest €187 million in the sector and to make a real difference to struggling families.”

“The social welfare increase shows how little FF-FG and their partners care about the neediest in our society. After loss of their ESB/phone allowances over the past years, pensioners have gotten a five euro increase. This is an insult to those who have worked all their lives, paid taxes, and rebuilt this country every time FF/FG with their boom and bust policies destroyed it. We also know that the increase of €2.70 and €3.50 for the young and unemployed won’t stop thousands of them from emigrating.”

“While there are tweaks in the USC charges those make very little difference to the ordinary worker who in most cases will come out with little over €2 a week more,  barely the price of a cup of coffee.”

“All of this was done in what was described as spreading the recovery, but Sinn Féin feel the only rewards were for the high earners, and for ministers and TDs who were to receive a massive increase in their own wages. To add further insult to the electorate they had planned to bring this in on the first of January, while everyone else must wait until some time in March for their increase. New politics goes out the door when it involves their own wages. Sinn Féin were the only party to include a reduction in TDs salaries in their budget submissions. “

“This government and their FF partners have again failed to recognise or relate to the real problems which the majority are facing. We think it’s laughable that FF who last week were congratulating themselves for formulating this budget, are trying to distance themselves from the shambles they created. Public criticism and media backlash caused this change. What is clear with this budget is that there is no difference between FF or FG. It’s power – not fairness or equality – which drives them.”

Photographs from Seán Treacy Commemoration 2016

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We need to deal with the issue of Catholic School Patronage – Senator Paul Gavan

Yesterday evening, Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan addressed the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, and questioned the Government’s commitment to dealing with the concerning matter of Catholic School Patronage.

Senator Paul Gavan of Sinn Féin.

Gavan highlighted the issues of inequality which surrounded the matter and called out the government’s lack of impetus to urgently rectify blatant injustices in the system.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Gavan said: “The issue of patronage within Irish schools is an area of grave inequality, and I’d like to have the Minister address this matter.

“At the moment 89% of schools in Ireland are under the direct patronage of the Catholic Church and that’s not good enough for a state that aspires to be a republic.

“Where is the political will to address this situation? We must urgently deal with the matter.

“Sinn Fein wants to see a departmental roadmap to achieve the goal of 400 multi-denominational schools by 2030.

“This includes the department of Education introducing issue guidelines for all schools to follow so that children can opt-out of faith formation if that is their wish.

“We would also like to see an end to the baptism barrier in school admissions – something which is a concerning matter throughout this state.

“We’ve read the government National Education Action Plan, and I do not see the government’s political will to reform our education system.

“Where is the will to bring our education system in line with the principles of a republic – where the state treats all children equally?”


Seán Treacy Commemoration 2016

Seán Treacy Commemoration 2016

October 16th 2016

Annual Seán Treacy Commemoration, Kilfeacle, Co. Tipperary.

Cathaoirleach: Kevin Brunnick.

Guest speaker is Eóin Ó Broin.

Assemble 14:30 for 15:00.

Music provided by Carrick-on-Suir RFB.

You can read about Seán Treacy on Wikipedia here.