Full Public inquiry into death of Shane O’Farrell is required “Shameful that family must fight every step” – Matt Carthy MEP

Full Public inquiry into death of Shane O’Farrell is required “Shameful that family must fight every step” – Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy has described as ‘shameful’ the fact that the family of Shane O’Farrell have been forced to stand outside the Dáil in protest once again in their quest for truth and justice.

The O’Farrell family attended Leinster House today to highlight the undermining by government of the terms of reference for the scoping inquiry to be conducted by former judge Gerard Haughton.

Carthy said that this recent development has reinforced the necessity for a full public inquiry into the death of Shane O’Farrell, the actions of all relevant state bodies in response to his death 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 from Leinster House today where he joined the O’Farrell family, Matt Carthy said:

“The scoping inquiry announced by the government was in itself a delaying mechanism. It has now transpired, nine months after it was announced, that the terms of reference for the scoping inquiry have been diluted and fail to include issues central to the concerns of the O’Farrell family. This is just another shameful chapter in this saga.

“The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan should now accede to the demand for an independent inquiry for several years. The Dáil, by majority resolution, called for such an inquiry in June 2018.

“It is extremely disappointing that rather than initiating this public inquiry the Justice Minister and his predecessors have sought to frustrate and delay this pursuit at every juncture.

“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 Síochána, 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.

“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 slams 2021 CAP cut proposal

Matt Carthy MEP slams 2021 CAP cut proposal

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has hit out at European Commission proposals to slash the CAP budget in 2021.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, has called on the Irish Government to reject this move and to clarify that it will not support any EU long term budget proposal that includes a reduced provision for the Common Agriculture Policy.

He said:

“The European Commission is proposing that the current CAP roll over until 2022 but with a reduced budget in line with their stated long-term proposals.

“This is unacceptable.  The Commission is attempting to use the transition period to clear the ground for long term cuts to direct payments and rural development schemes.  Essentially, they suggest a continuation of the current CAP programme for an extra year but with the budgetary reductions they are proposing for the next CAP programming period of 2021-2027.

“This will see Irish Farmers lose €97 million in payments and will impact severely on the rural communities that depend on them.  Every farm family will be affected and every rural community will pay the price.

“This proposal must be rejected by the Irish government.  This is currently only a draft proposal but it will become a reality very quickly if the Irish Government fail to apply sufficient pressure in the European Council.

“This is labelled as a transition budget but it actually means that farmers will be punished one year earlier than expected.

“Leo Varadkar previously committed to the EU that Ireland would increase payments to the next European budget; he did this without securing any guarantee on the programmes that are essential for Ireland such as the CAP.  The Commission in return proposed an increased overall EU budget for the period 2021-2027 but with a 15% cut to CAP in order to allow for massive increases in military expenditure.

“The Irish government must reject this transition budget proposed and clarify that it will reject any long term budget proposal from the EU that fails to include an increase in the CAP budget.

“Anything less will be a devastating sell-out of our rural communities and will be resisted by Sinn Féin”.

ENDS

Carthy calls for BEAM scheme reopening to cater for farmers trading cross-border

Carthy calls for BEAM scheme reopening to cater for farmers trading cross-border

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called for the BEAM scheme to be extended and reopened to allow farmers who sold animals in the North to receive compensation.

 

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, said that the exclusion of farms who sent animals north for slaughter was nonsensical considering the scheme was secured as a mechanism to support those impacted by the Brexit process.  He further stated that he believed the criteria could breech the principles of the EU Single Market.

 

He said:

 

“I have written to the relevant European Commissioners and Minister Creed to request that the BEAM scheme be reopened for those farmers that have been excluded because they operate on a cross border basis.  It is ludicrous to suggest that the farmers most likely to be impacted by any Brexit shocks, namely those in the border region, are the ones who are denied access to the scheme designed to protect against those same shocks.

 

“The rationale behind the restriction is, according to the Department of Agriculture, purely technical.  The exclusion of farmers who trade cross border is because the proof of slaughter is not available on the AIMs system.

 

“However, it would be perfectly feasible for a manual application process to be utilised to allow these farmers to provide proof of slaughter dockets from establishments north of the border. The Department must therefore establish a new timeframe to allow these farmers time to apply for aid.

 

“The failure of Minister Creed to facilitate the provision of aid to these farmers can only be regarded as callous disregard towards those who operate on an all-island basis.  It was the reality of life for these farmers, and the communities from which they come, that allowed Irish concerns to become central to the Brexit process and secure support for this Beef Aid scheme at EU level.  That those same farmers have been excluded from the process is inexcusable and must now be resolved”.

ENDS

FF & FG contempt for Monaghan families on show as Property tax increases hit home – Matt Carthy MEP

FF & FG contempt for Monaghan families on show as Property tax increases hit home – Matt Carthy MEP

At a time when Monaghan families & workers need a break, instead they this week are receiving increased local property tax bills through their letter boxes, says local Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy.

Carthy hit out at Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who forced through a 15% increase in the tax (Sinn Féin had proposed a 7.5% decrease) at Monaghan County Council.

Speaking this week Matt Carthy said:

“Monaghan families and workers need a break.  Many are already struggling with huge increases in the cost of living including insurance, childcare, rent & mortgage rates. The last thing they need is additional expense.

“But, additional expense is exactly what Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have heaped on them.  At local level they are burdened with this increase in property tax while the same parties in the Dáil are increasing carbon taxes which will mean higher transport and heating costs.

“This is not good enough.  Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors clearly voted to increase property taxes because the local elections are over and they hope voters will forget.  They claim that the increases can be spent on local services but these same parties are the ones that have cut government funding to local councils.

“Sinn Féin is committed to providing workers and families a break and ending the rip-off they face each day.  Therefore, we will continue to campaign for the abolition of the local property tax and for a fair taxation system. We are also determined to tackle the high costs that Monaghan families face such as exorbitant insurance and childcare expenses.

“We intend to challenge the Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael rip-off of Monaghan families and workers and ensure that voters do not forget their actions.” ENDS

“Barnier confirms that EU will not accept Unionist veto” – Matt Carthy MEP

“Barnier confirms that EU will not accept Unionist veto” – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has welcomed confirmation from European Commission Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, that the EU will not accept any further dilution to the agreement reached with the British government last week.

 

Mr. Barnier was responding to direct questions from Matt Carthy and his colleague Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson, during a dialogue with the Left political grouping in the European Parliament on Tuesday evening.

 

In response to issues raised by the Sinn Féin representatives Michel Barnier was unequivical, stating “There will be no veto – we will stay tough on that”.

 

This was just a short period before the House of Commons voted in favour of the withdrawal agreement but against the time-frame laid proposed by Boris Johnson.  It appears that the EU is now set to grant an extension of a further three months to the Brexit process.

 

Midlands North West MEP, Matt Carthy, said that this is the right move from an Irish point of view, saying “Prolonged uncertainty is always better than certain disaster.  And a no deal scenario would be certain disaster for Ireland and particularly the border region.

 

Speaking earlier on Tuesday in a European Parliament plenary debate in Strasbourg Matt Carthy told fellow MEPs that the border in Ireland is already too hard.

 

He said:

 

“The border has frustrated economic, social and political development in our country and it resulted in a conflict for which too many paid too high a price.

 

“The Good Friday Agreement and our shared membership of the EU have, together, been the instruments that have allowed us to undo some of the damages of partition over the past two decades.

 

“That is why Brexit has been such a dangerous development.  It has risked our peace process and our all-Ireland economy.

 

“Even the deal negotiated last week will create new problems relating to the border in Ireland.  We support it because it is better than the alternative.

 

“This deal cannot be further diluted.  There can be no veto, no opportunity for any one party to hold every business, every farm, every worker, every community across the island of Ireland to ransom.  To suggest that such a veto would represent ‘consent’ is absurd and is a ludicrous misreading of the Good Friday Agreement.

 

“Of course, the best way to protect our country from the dangers of Brexit is through Irish Unity.  The EU can play a role in supporting the peaceful, democratic pathway to that objective.

 

“I hope this house is ready and willing to be part of the big constitutional conversation coming our way” he concluded.

ENDS

Press Notice: Carthy to host “Brexit: What next?” public meeting on Sunday

Press Notice: Carthy to host “Brexit: What next?” public meeting on Sunday

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, will host an important public meeting regarding the latest developments on Brexit their implications for communities in the border region and across the island. The event takes place, tomorrow, Sunday October 20th at 8.30pm in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan.

 

“We’re at a critical juncture in the Brexit process.” Carthy said: “Brexit will have huge socio-economic and political implications for our country and the border region in particular. Following developments this week those that stand to be affected by Brexit have several queries and concerns. This meeting is organised so as to answer those questions. We will also discuss what recent developments will mean for the big constitutional conversation towards Irish Unity.”

 

The event hosted by the Midlands Northwest MEP Matt Carthy will include a keynote address by Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Fein President) and will also see contributions from Damian McGenity (Border Communities Against Brexit), commentator Andreé Murphy and Businessman Johnny Kelly.

 

Ahead of the public meeting, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said: “It is important to note that there is no such thing as a good Brexit. Ireland did not consent to Brexit. It is being foisted on the north of Ireland against the democratic wishes of the people.”

 

“As a party, Sinn Féin has worked to defend Irish interests from the worst impacts of Brexit. It was Sinn Féin who first made the case for a designated special status for the north within the EU and it was Sinn Féin who insisted on the protection of the Good Friday Agreement and no hard border on the island of Ireland as bottom lines.”

 

“Any deal can only mitigate the worst effects of Brexit; a least worst option. “The ultimate solution to the problems Brexit poses for the island is Irish unity. We want that conversation to start now.”

 

“Brexit: What next?” takes place this Sunday October 20th at 8.30pm in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan. ENDS

Irish government must allow Adoptees access to birth information – Matt Carthy MEP

Irish government must allow Adoptees access to birth information – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North-West, Matt Carthy MEP, has expressed concern that Ireland remains the only EU country to deny adoptees accessing their identity and birth information.

 

Speaking on the difficulties this has caused for adoptees, Carthy said:

 

“As reported by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Ireland is the only EU country that does not grant adoptees the right to access adoption files and information relating to their biological family, such as access to their birth certificate or to their health history.

 

“This is just one of many instances of Ireland lagging behind other EU countries when it comes to providing fundamental rights and equality.  While other EU countries granted adoptees access to information decades ago, the Irish government is dragging their heels on this issue, making access to a birth certificate an ordeal.  This results in generations of adoptees in Ireland being prevented accessing their own health, heritage and history information because our government allows only the minimal information to adoptees via a register of voluntary participation.

 

“In a recent survey carried out by Aitheantas, (Adoptee Identity Rights), 84% of adoptees who completed the survey stated that their lack of access to medical information has affected them.

 

“The government has obligations to uphold its commitments to international human rights laws that it cannot ignore.  The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates the child’s ‘right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.’  Furthermore, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in respect of Inter-Country Adoption states that authorities shall preserve information on ‘the child’s origin, in particular information concerning the identity of his or her parents, as well as the medical history.’  This should not be any different for adoptions that occurred within Ireland.

 

“I note that adoptees in the north of Ireland can access their birth information – there is need for the Dublin government to ensure all-Ireland cohesion on this issue.

 

“The Irish government has had no legislation on this area since 1952, meaning there is need to create an updated legislative framework as a matter of urgency.  It is therefore regretful to see this issue repeatedly shelved by successive ministers.  The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill must be fast-tracked and must address the concerns of those that it effects most rather than entertaining outdated concepts of adoption.

 

“I have contacted Minister Zappone urging her to meet with representatives of Aitheantas, which represents adoptees, at the earliest possible opportunity.  It is essential that the concerns of adoptees are listened to in the drafting of a new Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill.”

ENDS

Carthy supports Border Brexit demos

Carthy supports Border Brexit demos

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has expressed his support for border demonstrations today, Wednesday 16th October, in advance of a critical EU Council summit – the last such meeting before the British Government says it will leave the European Union, dragging the North of Ireland with it.

 

Individuals and groups living along the border assembled at border crossings, on Wednesday, lighting beacons and torches to show opposition to Brexit and their determination to resist the imposition of any border infrastructure.

 

Matt Carthy said:

 

“Sinn Féin fully supports today’s demonstration by BCAB opposing to Brexit and to any return of a hard border in Ireland.

 

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with local communities who are making clear that they will not accept the imposition of any customs posts or border infrastructure.

 

“Any proposed Brexit deal must have legal guarantees for Ireland. The livelihoods of border communities, our economy and our peace process must be protected. There can be no DUP veto on any protections for Ireland.

 

“The people of the North voted to remain within the EU. The ultimate solution to the disruption and hardship which Brexit threatens to bring to Ireland is to hold a referendum on Irish unity which would allow the people have their say on the future, and to give them the option of removing the British border in Ireland once and for all. The time has clearly arrived to hold such a referendum.” ENDS

Matt Carthy urges AIB to stop the sell-off of family mortgages to Vultures

Matt Carthy urges AIB to stop the sell-off of family mortgages to Vultures

 

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has urged AIB to find sustainable solutions in the interests of families, rather than sell their mortgages to vulture funds.

 

The Monaghan based MEP was speaking after it was confirmed that the majority State-owned AIB was preparing to sell off thousands of family home mortgages under so-called Project Birch.

 

Carthy has reiterated his support for Pearse Doherty’s ‘No Consent, No Sale Bill’ calling for the bill to be progressed immediately, as it would ensure banks could not sell mortgage loans without the consent of the borrower.

 

Matt carthy said:

 

“I want to join with those who are demanding that AIB to do the right thing and ensure that sustainable solutions are found for families rather than committing them to an uncertain future.

 

“AIB is a State-owned bank.  It is therefore incumbent on its management to remember its past faults and ensure that it acts in the interests of consumers and those families that will be feeling unsure and worried with the prospect of their loans being sold to vulture funds.

 

“It is imperative that AIB seek sustainable solutions for these families, including the option of working with not-for-profit organisations who will act find sustainable outcomes for families rather than short-term profits for themselves.

 

“Vultures are never the solution.  That is why it is so important that Pearse Doherty’s ‘No Consent, No Sale’ Bill, becomes law without delay as it will offer families protection in the face of uncertainty.

 

“Mortgage holders are not safe under the current rules. The Sinn Féin ‘No Consent, No Sale’ legislation must be progressed to protect consumers and families in the face of further sell-offs and a future of uncertainty.  This legislation would ensure that banks cannot sell on loans without the consent of the borrower.

 

“Despite having previously received majority support in the Dáil, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have attempted to obstruct the passage of this Bill, thus enabling banks to continue large-scale sell-offs of properties.

 

“At this stage people should contact their local Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs urging them to support Sinn Féin’s bill without excuses so that we can protect families and end the sell-off to the vultures”.

ENDS

 

“Injunctions on farmers must be dropped immediately” – Matt Carthy MEP

“Injunctions on farmers must be dropped immediately” – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Meat industry Ireland (MII) to fulfil its commitments by ensuring that all outstanding injunctions against farmers are lifted immediately.  This includes injunctions relating to the protests at the C&D plant at Edgeworthstown.

 

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agricultural & Rural Development Committee, was responding to Monday’s suspension of the Beef taskforce meeting due to protest.

 

Carthy commented:

 

“Farmers lifted their protests despite the fact that all issues had not been fully resolved.  This was a gesture of goodwill that has yet to receive an adequate response from factories in the form of improved prices.  It is hoped that the Beef taskforce will allow this fundamental issue to be addressed.

 

“But, immediately, one of the commitments that must be fulfilled is that to drop all remaining injunctions against farmers involved in protests.  This was a key element of the deal struck between Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the farming organisations.  It is disingenuous to suggest that the C&D injunctions stand apart from the rest.  That protest was clearly part of the wider mobilisations against the actions of the factories and the ownership of C&D rests with a major player in MII.

 

“Unless and until all remaining injunctions are lifted it will be impossible to develop good faith in order to resolve the more substantive issues.

 

“The Beef Task Force has been established to deal with transparency and low prices in the sector.  We all want to see the Task Force get to work on these issues that affect the sector but it is unreasonable to ask farmers to begin negations while these injunctions remain in place.

 

“We are also still waiting for the introduction of the Beef Price Index, a measure that had a deadline for implementation of the 16th of September.

 

“Minister Creed needs to play a more active role in this process.  He was always been extremely quick in condemning actions of farmers but has consistently failed to stand up to the factories.  He must issue a statement demanding that all legal threats are lifted without delay.

 

“For our part, we in Sinn Féin will continue to stand alongside the family farmers of Ireland in demanding that all outstanding issues in the beef sector, including the base price, are addressed in order to secure the future of rural communities.”

ENDS

 

 

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