Carthy praises nurses’ fight for fairness in European Parliament

Carthy praises nurses’ fight for fairness in European Parliament

 

Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West Matt Carthy has praised the struggle of Irish nurses and midwives in the European Parliament, outlining their fight for fair conditions and a better health service to an international audience.

 

Addressing MEPs from across Europe in the plenary session of the Parliament in in Strasbourg, Carthy said: “I want to congratulate the Irish nurses and midwives for their resolute action against a government that has refused to engage with their legitimate demands.

 

“After a massive demonstration of solidarity in Dublin last weekend, the Labour Court has now intervened to provide an offer that the nurses are considering.

 

“That the dispute reached this point is a true indictment of Fine Gael and its useless appendage, Fianna Fáil.

 

“Nurses have been forced to take their strike action against the backdrop of a deteriorating health service. They are fighting for a better health service for all of us. People across Ireland know this, which is why they have such broad public support.

 

“It’s no wonder we have a recruitment and retention crisis in nursing when their pay is lower today than it was in 2008.

 

“We need economic growth to be based on real wage growth, not an expansion of credit that drives people ever deeper into debt.  Irish workers need a pay rise.

 

“The Irish government and EU leaders need to realise that their agenda of austerity, low pay and growing inequalities will see increasing levels of opposition among those people, including our nurses and midwives, who are at the coalface.

 

“They will have the full support and solidarity of Sinn Féin in their ongoing fight for fairness.” ENDS

Carthy: EU’s silence on Catalan show trial ‘shameful and inexcusable’

Carthy: EU’s silence on Catalan show trial ‘shameful and inexcusable’

Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West Matt Carthy has slammed EU leaders for their silence in the face of the political trial of 12 Catalan social and political leaders in Spain’s Supreme Court. The defendants face up to 25 years in jail for alleged offences of disobedience, rebellion, sedition, criminal conspiracy and misuse of public funds – for organising a democratic vote on Catalonia’s independence from Spain in October 2017.

This is the first of three political trials, and nine of these 12 defendants – government ministers (including two former MEPs), Catalan parliamentarians and social movement leaders – have been in preventive detention for more than a year. Carthy visited several of the prisoners in jail in November last year.

Former head of the Catalan police force José Lluís Trapero will face a future trial in the National High Court, while the Catalan MPs who facilitated the parliamentary discussion and vote on the declaration of independence will face trial in the Catalan High Court. The 12 face three prosecution teams – the prosecutor-general, the solicitor-general and the far-right neo-Francoist party, Vox.

Speaking from Strasbourg as the trial began, Carthy said: “Every month the European Parliament votes on resolutions condemning governments for alleged human rights violations in far-flung places on the other side of the world. But when it comes to the serious breaches of the fundamental rights of people in Catalonia, the EU leaders and institutions are deathly silent. This hypocrisy is just sickening.

“If what is happening in Spain today was instead occurring in a South American country the condemnation of EU leaders would be deafening.  Their silence as political and social leaders in Europe face up to 25 years in jail for organising a democratic vote is shameful and inexcusable.

“Every time he is questioned on Catalonia, Commission President Juncker says this is an internal matter for Spain. He even goes beyond that and threatens Catalonia that a new independent state would find itself outside of the EU.

“In response to the vicious attacks on defenceless people in a member state of the EU on the day of the referendum, Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans appeared before the Parliament to label the vote illegal, and to justify the brutal violence by saying – and I quote – ‘It is a duty for any government to uphold the law, and this sometimes does require the proportionate use of force’.

“When the Catalan government declared independence in accordance with the results of the referendum, and the mandate on which it was elected, the Spanish state responded by jailing the members of the government, dissolving the elected parliament and pursuing the elected President of Catalonia, who had sought refuge in Belgium.

“These are the not the actions of a democratic, legitimate government in an EU that is supposed to be based on the values of democracy, human rights and freedom of expression; these are the actions of an authoritarian regime.

“The steamrolling of the elected Catalan government was met by the EU’s defence of the Spanish government, and deference to the Spanish position.

“Now as the show trials begin, we have yet more silence from Europe. The fact that the majority of MEPs are silent when it comes to the political jailing of two former members of the European Parliament is shocking.

“This is a failure of leadership by the EU Commission and the European Parliament on an unprecedented scale, and it undermines the legitimacy and credibility of the entire European Union.

“People from across Ireland and Europe need to stand in solidarity with the people of Catalonia in this struggle. In the face of such indefensible silence from the EU, we will make our voices heard throughout these sham show trials and demand that those in power in Brussels and Madrid take note.” ENDS

Note to editors

 

More information of who is facing trial and what charges have been laid is available here: https://www.ccma.cat/324/keys-catalan-independence-trial/who-is-who/

International finance has inflated housing bubble – Matt Carthy MEP

International finance has inflated housing bubble – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has highlighted the role of international finance in inflating the Irish property bubble. Carthy was speaking following a hearing of the European Parliament’s TAX3 special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, held this week to examine the impact of money laundering in the real estate sector in EU cities.

 

Carthy said: “We have an unprecedented housing crisis in the Irish state, driven in large part by a new property bubble in both housing and commercial real estate. The over-valued house prices have contributed to the housing and homelessness crisis, and priced an entire generation out of buying a house. The bubble also sucks the life out of the local economy as people have less disposable income to spend.

 

“In several interactions with me over the past two years, ECB President Mario Draghi has identified the search for yield by international investors as the main cause of this overheating in the Irish market. Large investors, mainly US hedge funds, are now responsible for more than one-fifth of new purchases in Dublin.

 

“The latest figures show that an astonishing €17.9 billion in overseas money was invested into Irish property in 2017, with 80 per cent of it targeting the residential sector and the remainder flowing into commercial property. The €14.4 billion that entered the residential property market represents a 24 per cent increase on the previous year’s figures.

 

“On the one hand, you have international investors hunting for returns through safe investments that have a high yield. While government debt traditionally attracted this type of investment, the Eurozone financial crisis has resulted in international investors turning towards real estate in European cities as their investment of choice.

 

“On the other hand, the Irish government has deliberately fostered a climate aimed at encouraging international investment in property, particularly through its creation of so-called ‘tax-neutral’ investment vehicles. The umbrella Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicle is the most popular corporate structure as it allows for sub-funds to be treated as separate entities and is not required to spread risk the way other investment companies are.

 

“Although the government introduced changes in the Finance Act 2016 in response to public pressure over Section 110 companies, loopholes remain that allow many Irish Real Estate Funds to avoid paying any tax at all, or in some cases, only incurring tax upon their exit from the state.

 

“Countries like New Zealand have started to take action to control house prices – last year banning foreign ownership of domestic property in an attempt to dampen speculative investment in housing. Our government is doing the opposite, inviting the speculators in despite the harm they are causing to the people and families who live here.

 

“We need to take a serious look at the impact of international finance in contributing to our housing and homelessness crisis, and implement controls to cool the heat in the market in an orderly way immediately.” ENDS

 

The European Union must be radically reformed – Carthy

The European Union must be radically reformed – Carthy

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that people across Europe were looking for a fundamental change of direction by the EU. He said Sinn Féin wanted a radically reformed EU which would be a cooperative union of nation states committed to working together for progressive social and economic change.

Speaking at the Sligo Citizens Dialogue on the Future of Europe, Matt Carthy said that constructive criticism was needed to make the EU work better, and that this should not be seen, as a question of being in or out of the EU or out of the EU:

“What Sinn Féin wants is a European Union that works for the people of Europe, not for EU insiders, corporate interests or established political parties from the larger states.”

Saying that the euro crisis was a severe blow to the idea of solidarity between member states, he said:

“People across Europe are rejecting the EU model that has created winners and losers, precarious employment, wealth inequality, debt dependent growth and privatised public services. A failure to recognise this will pose a threat to the future of the European Union itself.”

Calling for a complete change of direction, Carthy said:

“Powers will have to be returned to states. Brussels will have to be cleaned up and democratised. We cannot have winners and losers. The failed economic model must change. The privatisation agenda must end.

“The federalists will have to be reined back in and made to listen to what the people of the member states actually want.

“The European Union must be radically reformed to become a cooperative union of nation states committed to working together for progressive social and economic change.

“We should be working together on common issues such as taking ambitious action on climate change, advancing social and employment rights across Europe, building a system of fair trade and using our common strengths to improve the lives of citizens.

“It’s my view that such a Europe is possible – it’s my ambition that Irish political representatives will work together to achieve it.”

ENDS

——————————————————————————-

Sligo Citizens Dialogue on the Future of Europe

 

 

It is important that the people of Ireland are involved in a discussion about the future of Europe.  This needs to be an honest discussion about the successes and failures of the European Union over recent years.

 

The discussion on the future of Europe has been overshadowed by Brexit. For Ireland the dangers posed by Brexit are real and immediate.

 

Under any circumstances Brexit would be problematic for Ireland – Britain is our largest trading partner and it stands between us and the rest of Europe.  But, all of the challenges that Brexit presents are multiplied by the fact that our island is divided and we face the prospect of having one part of the country in the EU while the other is dragged out against the democratic wishes of the people who live there.

 

There can be no hardening of the border in Ireland.  Irish citizens in the north cannot be abandoned. Border communities, which suffered so much due to partition, simply will not put up with their communities being divided by a hard border.   With my party colleagues I have seen it as my role to stand up for Irish citizens in the North and to ensure  that MEPs from across Europe understand exactly what is at stake and why they need to ensure that the people of Ireland are not collateral damage for Britain’s Brexit mess.

 

Constructive criticism is needed to make the EU work better.  This is not, and should not be seen, as a question of being in the EU or out of the EU.

 

Ireland’s place is clearly in the EU.  But that doesn’t mean that we cannot and should not work to make it a better, fairer, more democratic EU.

 

What Sinn Féin wants is a European Union that works for the people of Europe, not for the EU insiders, corporate interests or established political parties from the larger states.

 

As an MEP I see my role very much as standing up for my constituents and for Ireland, and being a watchdog for the Irish people in Brussels ensuring that the EU is acting in their best interests.

 

That means:

 

  • Working for a fairer distribution of structural funds and CAP payments.
  • Getting support for important infrastructure projects such as the Western Rail corridor, rural broadband or regional airports.
  • Opposing proposals such as the Vulture Funds Directive that would reinforce the free rein of the banks and vulutres and tilt the balance even further from Irish mortgage holders.
  • Opposing to the EUs aggressive, so-called new generation free trade deals, such as CETA and TTIP, which threaten to undermine environmental ambition, public services, workers pay and conditions, financial stability and our agricultural sector.
  • Challenging the policies of the ECB, Europe’s unelected government, when they refuse to adapt the needs of vulnerable states and regions.
  • Opposing increased military spending and the creation of an EU army for which there is no support in Ireland and which would violate our constitutional commitment to neutrality.

 

Sinn Féin’s criticisms of the European Union are consistent and constructive. But we are clear that we want fundamental change.  The status quo is not good enough.  It is not working for the people of Europe.

 

We want a European Union that supports progressive social and economic change.  That plays a positive role in the wider world, particularly on issues such as climate change.  We want a European Union that listens to the concerns of the people of Europe who are increasingly alienated from a project that is not delivering for them.

 

In 1973 Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), what was ostensibly a free trade organisation.   Today we are part of a political union where many of those in key positions of power aspire to create a federal state with not only a common currency but also tax raising powers and an EU army.    The EU has become characterised by arrogance and bureaucracy.  Lobbying and the influence of corporate interests are huge problems.

 

As the permissive consensus on European integration has eroded, the people of Europe have been trying to say something to those pursing the goal of ever closer union. This was clear in the rejection of the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands, in the initial Irish No votes on Lisbon and Nice, even in the high support amongst working class communities in Britain for Brexit and in the growing support for far right parties across Europe.  My fear is that those at the helm in the EU are not listening.

 

We also need to recognise that the euro crisis has hurt the EU.  It was a severe blow to the idea of solidarity between member states and between the peoples of Europe.  Weaker, smaller, peripheral member states paid the heaviest price.   That includes the Irish people and the people of Greece.   Let’s be clear: EU-imposed austerity had devastating consequences – for example patients were dying in Greece as the public health system disintegrated under the unbearable burden of EU-imposed austerity.

 

We need to recognise that people across Europe are rejecting the EU model that has created winners and losers, precarious employment, wealth inequality (including inequality between core and peripheral states), debt dependent growth and privatised public services. A failure to recognise this will pose a threat to the future of the European Union itself.

 

We need to recognise that while the EU is keen to hold itself up as a project of peace and defender of human rights, there are serious questions to answer regarding the treatment of refugees fleeing war through European legislation, the situation of political prisoners on our territories, and the EU’s complicity in the perpetration of abuses elsewhere through its economic and political ties.

We also recognise that people and communities want the decisions that affect them to be made as close to them as possible so that they can have a real influence on policies that affect their lives.  This will require the transfer of some powers back from the European Union to member states, including the power to make decisions about public spending and priorities ourselves.  The type of changes we are talking about – enshrining social and employment rights in law; returning fiscal powers to member states; ensuring that states can maintain their own foreign policy – will require the EU’s treaties to be changed.

 

There are two visions for the future of Europe.

 

One is for an increasingly integrated and federal European Union empowering corporations and disempowering citizens, characterised by bureaucracy and red tape, increased military spending and a growing alienation from the people of Europe.

 

The other vision is for a social Europe that puts people first.   But this requires a complete change of direction.
Powers will have to be returned to states.
Brussels will have to be cleaned up and democratised.

We cannot have winners and losers.  The failed economic model must change.  The privatisation agenda must end.

The federalists will have to be reined back in and made to listen to what the people of the member states actually want.
The European Union must be radically reformed to become a cooperative union of nation states committed to working together for progressive social and economic change. We should be working together on common issues such as taking ambitious action on climate change, advancing social and employment rights across Europe, building a system of fair trade and using our common strengths to improve the lives of citizens.
It’s my view that such a Europe is possible – it’s my ambition that Irish political representatives will work together to achieve it.

 

 

 

EU report highlights failure of Irish Forestry policy – Matt Carthy MEP

EU report highlights failure of Irish Forestry policy – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has welcomed an EU level report which has highlighted the plight of communities in County Leitrim faced with the Irish government forestry policy that has led to a proliferation of invasive forest species and corporate land grabbing.

 

Speaking following the publication this week of the Report “EU Forests in Danger”, which highlights management, biodiversity and community rights issues across 11 EU Member States, Carthy said:

 

“The Irish Government’s failures to plan for carbon reduction targets set decades ago should not force a sacrifice of a fair transition for communities.  A fair transition is one that includes communities in decisions taken to achieve policy objectives.  It is something the Irish Government is exhibiting no interest in when it comes to forestry in the West of Ireland.  That much is clear by this report.

 

“This report highlights that, in the guise of climate action, 100% exchequer funded subsidies are being used to cover the purchase of land and planting of invasive forest species in counties such as Leitrim.

 

“These forests are ecological dead zones.  And, as more and more farmers are forced off their land, and peatland and animal nesting grounds are transformed into fast-growing Sitka plantations, communities are being side-lined.

 

“It is now clear that the government is willing to go to great lengths to give an appearance of action to offset carbon emissions from other parts of the economy.  And it equally clear that, rather than actually tackling emissions, the Government is instead spinning a failed forest strategy as some sort of economic accomplishment for the region.

 

“The fact of the matter is that what passes for a forestry policy in Ireland is benefiting neither the environment nor the local economy.

 

“I am glad that EU-level organisations are taking notice of what is happening in the West of Ireland and I hope that the report published this week will highlight the failures at a domestic and international level.

 

“The authors of the report, Fern, an EU-level organisation dedicated to protecting forests as well as the rights of communities living in their wake, are a serious body that cannot be ignored.  One of Fern’s Forest and Climate experts, Julia Christian, visited Leitrim last year on my invitation to meet local communities and address a conference I organised on these issues.  It was clear from her contribution that it is possible to have a holistic forestry policy that benefits communities economically and socially and also works to help our environment.  It is clear that the strategy pursued by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments over the past decade does not meet those objectives.

 

“Unless and until government policy changes then we will see greater scrutiny on Ireland’s so-called forestry strategy as an example of worst practice” he concluded.

 

NOTE:

The paper published by Fern can be accessed here: https://fern.org/sites/default/files/news-pdf/EU%20forests%20in%20danger%20Jan%202019.pdf

“I want to keep fighting for Ireland” – Matt Carthy accepts SF EU nomination

“I want to keep fighting for Ireland” – Matt Carthy accepts SF EU nomination

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has said that he wants to, alongside his party colleagues, keep fighting for Ireland in the European Parliament.  He was speaking as he accepted the Sinn Féin nomination to contest the upcoming EU elections in May.

 

Carthy was proposed at the convention, held on Sunday in the Hotel Kilmore, Cavan, by Cavan Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and seconded by Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty.

 

Outlining the challenges facing MEPs in the next European Parliament, Carthy cited the proposals for the new EU budget:

 

“The EU is currently negotiating a new multi-annual budget.  Their proposal is for an increased budget, in which the Irish people contribute more, but which sees reductions for the Common Agriculture Policy and Cohesion funding while pumping billions into the creation of an EU military framework that has almost no support from the people of this country.

 

“Every vote cast for Sinn Féin on May 24th will be a vote against that type of EU budget”.

 

He said that Brexit will continue to dominate EU politics and there was a need to ensure that an all-Ireland party continued to insert Irish concerns into Brexit negotiations:

 

“Our efforts have had an undeniable impact on Brexit negotiations. Sinn Féin was the first party to argue for Special Status for the North. Other parties accused us, at that stage, of being naive – now that is essentially the policy of the Irish government and the EU.

 

“It was the work of Sinn Féin MEPs that ensured that Irish issues, and in particular the issues arising from the partition of our country, were understood by our European counterparts and, in turn, became central to the Brexit negotiations.

 

“With the potential loss of northern representation in the European Parliament it is essential that we return MEPs from an all-Ireland party that has this proven track record of inserting the all-Ireland agenda into Brexit talks.

 

“How ironic that those parties who have lectured Sinn Féin on Stormount & Westminster balked at the chance to provide representation for Irish citizens from the north in the place they actually want to be represented – the European Parliament.

 

“This failure to allocate Irish EU seats to the north is evidence enough as to why we need Sinn Féin MEPs.  As we move closer to a United Ireland, and in recognition that the EU can play an important role in that process, we need unapologetic, unequivocal and committed United Irelanders in the chambers of Brussels and Strasbourg.  Only Sinn Féin MEPs are up for that job”.

 

 

Full text of Matt Carthy acceptance speech at Midlands North West EU selection convention:

Thank you all for being here today. Thank you to those Cumainn and Comhairí Ceanntair who nominated me and thanks again to Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Pearse Doherty for formally proposing and seconding that nomination.

I am honoured to accept the nomination just as I was five years ago. And, I am even more determined than then to live up to the responsibility that places on me to represent you, our party and this constituency in this election and beyond.

When I was selected to run 5 years ago – the so-called political experts claimed Sinn Féin had made a mistake. They said that EU elections could only be won by high-profile celebrity-type candidates or former TDs who were being sent out to graze in Brussels.

We proved them wrong.

We did it because our politics were right and because the Sinn Féin membership went out and made it happen. When you knocked the doors for your local election candidates you also informed people why we needed a Sinn Fein MEP to fight for Ireland in Europe. That was the decisive advantage we had in 2014. We need the same unity and resolve in 2019.

So, thank you for all the support and encouragement you gave me over the past five years.

It is a massive honour to be an Irish representative in the European Parliament.  Thank you for giving me that privilege.

I want to remember all those republicans who helped build our party over several decades, who were pivotal in the last EU election campaign and who have passed away in the years since.

I want to thank my all my family for their support that allows me to do my job.
I especially want to say how grateful I am to my wife Lynn to our children, Seán, Mairéad, Aoife, Niamh and Eimear for putting up with my absences.

A chairde, Politics is about making choices – it’s about picking sides.

Too many of parties and politicians attempt to sit on the sidelines, to avoid picking a side. They describe themselves as centrists – what they mean is they’re defenders of the status quo.

 

There will be strong competition for seats in this constituency.

We cannot take anything for granted, we cannot allow these counties to be represented by MEPs who won’t pick a side.

We must work harder and smarter than ever before.

 

Mar a deir an sean-focail “An té nach bhfuil láidir ní folair dó a bheith glic”.

The sides that require picking are more stark that ever before.

 

The next number of years will be crucial for Ireland.

 

We need representatives in the European Parliament who will fight for Ireland.

We need people who won’t be beholden to the European establishment or to the Irish Government; representatives whose only interest will be in getting the best outcomes for the Irish people. That’s what you get with Sinn Féin MEPs. We stand up for the people of Ireland. We defend Irish interests. We fight for Ireland.

We are faced with big challenges in terms of the direction of the European Union.

The much renowned ‘democratic deficit’ within the EU is at risk of widening.

 

Many EU leaders are intent on further by-passing national democratic structures in a manner they never would have previously publicly admitted.

They now make little secret of their ambition for a United States of Europe.

Sinn Féin is critical of much of the direction of the European Union and we are the Irish people’s watchdog against further centralisation that strips sovereignty from member states and further away from communities.

 

With my Sinn Féin colleagues I went to the European parliament in 2014 to take on the austerity agenda championed in Brussels and happily implemented by Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael Governments here.  We have challenged the ECB, Europe’s unelected government, for its disgraceful treatment of Ireland – for crippling the Irish people with so some much of Europe’s banking debt.

 

We have led opposition to the permanent inclusion of austerity rules in EU law.

 

We have been to the fore in opposing an EU army and in defending Irish neutrality.

 

Right now the EU wants to strengthen the hand of vulture funds that are taking homes and farms from families – we need MEPs who will not let this happen.

 

 

Across all areas of policies and over the past five years the Sinn Féin team of MEPs have made our mark in the European Parliament.

Our efforts have had an undeniable impact on Brexit negotiations. Sinn Féin was the first party to argue for Special Status for the North. Other parties accused us, at that stage, of being naive – now that is essentially the policy of the Irish government and the EU.

 

It was the work of Sinn Féin MEPs, and I want to commend Martina Anderson for leading the charge, that ensured that Irish issues and in particular the issues arising from the partition of our country, were understood by our European counterparts and, in turn, became central to the Brexit negotiations.

 

With the potential loss of northern representation in the European Parliament it is essential that we return MEPs from an all-Ireland party that has this proven track record of inserting the all-Ireland agenda into Brexit talks.

 

How ironic that those parties who have lectured Sinn Féin on Stormount & Westminster balked at the chance to provide representation for Irish citizens from the north in the place they actually want to be represented – the European Parliament.

 

This failure to allocate Irish EU seats to the north is evidence enough as to why we need Sinn Féin MEPs.  As we move closer to a United Ireland, and in recognition that the EU can play an important role in that process, we need unapologetic, unequivocal and committed United Irelanders in the chambers of Brussels and Strasbourg.  Only Sinn Féin MEPs are up for that job.

 

Ireland’s place is in the EU.

 

But that Ireland should be a better, fairer, United Ireland and that EU must be a radically reformed one, that respects national democracy and that acts in the interests of citizens not corporations.

 

The EU is currently negotiating a new multi-annual budget.  Their proposal is for an increased budget, in which the Irish people contribute more but which sees reductions for the Common Agriculture Policy and Cohesion funding while pumping billions into the creation of an EU military framework that has almost no support from the people of this country.

 

Every vote cast for Sinn Féin on May 24th will be a vote against that type of EU budget.

 

Votes for us will be about picking sides.

 

They’ll be votes on the sides of workers, including our nurses and midwifes.

 

They’ll be votes on the sides of rural communities, of our small farmers, of investment across the regions, of those who want our young people to be able to live, work and prosper in the community they were raised.

 

They’ll be votes for Irish neutrality.

 

They’ll be votes on the side of Irish families struggling to make ends meet and they’ll be votes against the vultures and the free rein of the banks.

 

They’ll be votes against a Tory Brexit, against any border in Ireland.

 

 

It’s time to go out and ask people to pick a side.

 

It’s time to prove the so-called political experts wrong again.

 

If we get the politics right, and our politics are right; and if we bring the message of this EU campaign to every door across the thirteen counties of this constituency, then we will return with our seat in the European Parliament.

 

So, I’m asking you to do it.  For all those who went before us.  For all those who depend on us to deliver for them now.  For the generations to come.

 

We cannot let them down.

 

We must keep fighting for Ireland.

 

Beirigi Bua.

 

Full Public Enquiry into death of Shane O’Farrell is required “Scoping exercise simply delaying the inevitable” – Matt Carthy MEP

Full Public Enquiry into death of Shane O’Farrell is required

“Scoping exercise simply delaying the inevitable” – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has described the announcement by government of a scoping inquiry into the death of Shane O’Farrell as “simply delaying the inevitable”.  He reiterated his view that a full public inquiry is required into the death of Shane O’Farrell, the actions of all relevant state bodies in response to this tragedy and their respective roles in advance of and following his killing.

 

Shane O’Farrell, a young 23 year old Carrickmacross man, was killed in a hit and run on 2nd August 2011, by Zigimantas Gridziuska a known criminal who had breached his bail conditions at the time and had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions.

 

Speaking this evening Matt Carthy, who is from Carrickmacross said:

 

“Shane O’Farrell’s family have been calling for an independent inquiry for several years.  The Dáil, by majority resolution, called for such an inquiry in a vote last June.

 

“While any movement towards this end is welcome, it is extremely disappointing that the Justice Minister will not accede to this request.  The announcement by government of a scoping by Judge Gerard Haughton is, I believe, simply delaying the inevitable.

 

“Anyone who has acquired a knowledge of this case will readily accept that the litany of failures on the part of the state in this case can only be adequately addressed through a full independent inquiry.

 

“The O’Farrell family have raised several serious concerns regarding the handling of this case by an Garda Siochána, by the prosecuting solicitor and barrister, by the DPP and by the courts services.

 

“These questions are so numerous and raise matters of such significance and concern that, in my view, there must now be a public inquiry that examines each of these concerns and addresses the matters raised so that measures can be put in place so that no other family is failed to the extent that the O’Farrell’s have been.

 

“Whatever Judge Haughton’s scoping exercise findings, the fact is that only a full independent inquiry can have any hope of delivering the answers to the questions to which the O’Farrell family deserve.  There should be no further delays.”

ENDS

 

Matt Carthy MEP: Show some respect for our nurses

Matt Carthy MEP: Show some respect for our nurses

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the government to respect nurses and midwives and engage with their legitimate demands for better pay.

 

Carthy, MEP for Midlands North West, said: “Today, Tuesday, nurses and midwives have gone on strike for a second time in their fight for fair pay and conditions. I want to commend these nurses and their union for their resolute action in the face of a government that is simply refusing to engage with their legitimate demands.

 

“The government’s statement yesterday calling for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission was totally disingenuous. Why would nurses accept such talks if the government had already precluded discussing the issue of pay? The government must come to the table immediately and without pre-conditions.

 

“Nurses are simply asking for fairness. It is little wonder we are experiencing a recruitment and retention crisis in nursing when their pay level is lower today than it was in 2008. On top of this, nurses are working longer hours today than they were 10 years ago.

 

“But they are not just striking for pay. Nurses are fighting for a better health service for all of us. People across Ireland know this, which is why their strike action has such broad support in every community.

 

“The Fine Gael government, supported by Fianna Fáil, has pushed the health service to breaking point, and this strike action is an indication of the stress the system is under. Nurses and midwives have been forced to take this action against the backdrop of a deteriorating health service and the worsening recruitment and retention crisis.

 

“The government’s cynical attempt to spin this situation to blame the nurses for the never-ending crisis in our health system won’t fly. This is the same government that casually dismisses the outrageous overspend at the National Children’s Hospital. Are we supposed to accept that the government can find a spare billion euros to cover this overspend but can’t pay our frontline health staff a fair wage?

 

“The nurses and midwives, and their union, have my full support as they fight for respect, for better healthcare provision, for fair pay, and to end the exodus overseas.” ENDS

Clarity needed on Brexit emergency funding – Matt Carthy MEP

Clarity needed on Brexit emergency funding – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has hit out at the government’s confused approach to securing an EU emergency package to support vulnerable sectors, including Irish agriculture, post Brexit.  Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, argued that such a package will likely be required in any Brexit scenario but it will be essential in the event of a no-deal.  He said that the mixed messages coming from government and EU sources were causing consternation among farmers and businesses on the front-line of a Brexit fallout.

 

Matt Carthy said:

 

“Sinn Féin have been advocating for a Brexit emergency package to be provided for since the Summer 2016 referendum result became clear.  Throughout that time we have been in correspondence with the Irish Minister Micheal Creed, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urging that provision be made for such a fund.

 

“Rather than setting out the framework in which a relief fund would be set up for the benefit of farmers and other small businesses affected by Brexit, they have adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.  Now, at this belated stage, the government and commission are leaking contradictory messages on the matter, causing consternation among farmers and businesses on the front-line of any Brexit fallout.

 

“It is unacceptable that Minister Creed has not agreed concrete terms with the Commission for funds to be allocated, especially as we face the prospect of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

 

“Regardless of whether Britain manages to leave with some kind of an exit deal, there will still be the potential for severe shocks for many sectors and the lack of foresight or planning is astounding.

 

“Indeed some sectors have already experienced volatility and we have had numerous economic reports that point to potentially devastating outcomes for many others, especially in agriculture, in the event of a no-deal.

 

“Sinn Féin have been advocating since 2016 for an automatic mechanism that can easily be triggered in the event of tariffs being instated, significant currency fluctuations or other Brexit related shocks.  We also proposed a relief fund similar to the existing European Globalisation Fund, which is triggered when mass redundancies or job losses are brought about by global production shifts. Additionally, we have suggested a potential fund under Article 219 of the Common Market Organisation Regulation, which provides for exceptional measures against market disturbances.

 

“This article was used in 2017 when the Commission came forward with numerous solutions for Central and Eastern European Countries affected by the Russian Sanctions.

 

“Farmers and small businesses must be provided with clarity on this matter.  It is now past time to be outlining solutions.  The ‘wait-and-see’ approach is no longer acceptable”.

ENDS

Matt Carthy to seek SF Nomination to contest European elections

Matt Carthy to seek SF Nomination to contest European elections

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has said that he will be accepting the nominations he has received to go before his party’s convention to select a candidate to contest the European Parliament elections in May for the Midlands North West constituency.  The convention will take place this Sunday, 3rd February, in Cavan.

 

Carthy said that we need representatives in the European Parliament who will fight for Ireland’s interests at all turns.  He said:

 

“Over the past five years, as part of an all-Ireland team of Sinn Féin MEPs, I have been proud to represent the Midlands North West constituency.   I believe I have been successful in addressing the concerns of Ireland in all relevant developments at European level, I have used the platforms provided to me to be a voice for the people of Ireland and I have engaged at a constituency level more than any MEP previously, having held public meetings regularly across all the counties I represent.

 

“The May elections could be the most important EU contests ever for our country.  Brexit will continue to dominate.  With the potential loss of northern representation in parliament it is vital that we send representatives from an all-Ireland party, a party that has a proven track record of inserting Irish concerns into the heart of the Brexit process, we need representatives that won’t be beholden to either the Brussels establishment or the Irish government.

 

“In essence we need MEPs who will fight for Ireland.  That has been my role and I wish to continue that work in the new term.

 

“The new European Parliament will be elected at a time when the EU will face many challenges.  As well as the ongoing Brexit developments, we will see big debates around the new Common Agriculture Policy and indeed on the Future of Europe itself.

 

“Sinn Féin has been a voice for Ireland’s place in the EU.  But we have also been a voice for a different Europe, a better Europe.  We have been the voice for a social EU that respects national democracy, that works in the interests of citizens rather than corporations and that advocates peace rather than pursuing a dangerous militarisation agenda.  That voice is needed, now more than ever.

 

“If selected on Sunday I look forward to standing in the upcoming elections on my record and on Sinn Féin’s policy platform.  Every Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil MEP returned will be a vote for more of the same, more federalisation, less democracy, less accountability.  On the other hand, the election of Sinn Féin MEPs will send a clear message that the Irish people want a better, fairer, United Ireland in a radically reformed EU.

 

“I want to be the representative that brings that message back to Brussels.  I want to continue to fight for Ireland.”

ENDS

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook