Tag Archives: Sinn Fein

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 Free Dessie Ellis, Sinn Féin TD, spoke this morning  on the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2014.

Yesterday, I stood with party colleagues and other members of the Oireachtas at the Dáil gates for a minute’s silence in memory of the men and women and children who have died at the hands of their partner or ex-partner since 1996. This was a very poignant event coming on the International Day Opposing Violence Against Women. A shocking 78 women and 10 children have been murdered in these 18 years. The event was organised by Women’s Aid who had laid out shoes along a blank sheet to mark a timeline of these needless and tragic deaths. Shoes, flat heels and sandals standing in silent memoriam of the lives stolen. These lives as the vigil so movingly stated are stolen lives. They are stolen from their families, their friends, their communities. Snuffed out by an abuser who should’ve been stopped.

One in five women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. This ranges from physical, emotional, sexual to financial abuse. From abuse, threats to kill and abuse behaviour, to stalking and harassment. By their very nature these are mostly crimes which go on behind closed doors when the curtains are drawn when the world around stops looking. But it also happens right out in the open.

We must strive to improve public awareness of the risk factors of domestic violence and to encourage everyone to make their homes, their community, their circle of friends, a place where this kind of abuse will never be accepted. Because unfortunately we have a culture today where subtly every day teaches young men to do many of the things that can lead to domestic violence. This trend in our society is called the ‘rape culture’. Its name is shocking and some dismiss this as over over the top but the symptoms are undeniable and its effects illustrated by those 78 empty womens’ shoes are too horrific to ignore. Rape culture is the tendency in modern culture to dehumanise, devalue and commodify women. It has always been there but has become much more obvious in the modern era with the partial successes of the early feminist movement and the 24-hour consumer capitalist culture which has sprung up alongside the internet.

Technology is not to blame but it is often the medium through which this culture finds its most vile expression. This tendency creates a culture which normalises the idea that women’s bodies are not wholly their own. It encourages blaming rape victims instead of rapists. It jokes about men who beat their partners and it belittles, demonises and threatens all those who challenge it. This is the culture our young men are growing up in.

It seems like every week there is a new case of a woman who has been a victim of sexual assault who has watched her abuser go free because a judge felt sympathetic to the criminal. These judges have handed down fines for which must be the vile and reprehensible crimes a person can commit. This is a slap in the face to those who sought to have their attacker prosecuted but it also says to women and girls who are victims of sexual violence: Don’t bother, the state will not punish your attacker but you will be put through the mill anyway.

As with many of our worst social issues, there are why many whose voices are not heard. This is why we have brought the bill. It’s to try to make it easier for people to flee this kind of abuse. It is crucial that we promote opposition to this kind of behaviour.

But it is also essential, that people who seek to leave, to get out can do so, can be supported, validated and protected. That is what we seek to do.

*cough*

Full text of speech via Oireachtas.ie here.

Earlier: Staying In Tomorrow Night?

Previously: Falls Memory Syndrome

Féin Concern

Briege Of Trust

Kick In The Shinns

“Unfounded And Untrue”

Police, Judge And Executioner

“Would 50 Murders Be An Exaggeration?”

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Last night on BBC One, Spotlight’s Mandy McAuley investigated the use of public money to pay the rent of constituency offices of MLAs including Arlene Foster (DUP), Ross Hussey (UUP) and Sinn Féin members Martin McGuinness, Francie Molloy, Mitchel McLaughlin and Daithí McKay.

If ye can’t beat them, rob them.

The second part of the two-part exposé continues next Tuesday.

Part one is repeated tonight on BBC Two NI at 11:20pm.

Spotlight: Sir Alistair Graham calls for probe into Northern Ireland MLAs’ rent money (BBC News NI)

Previously: Kerching Féin

alandcapnblackharass alananonymous

Yesterday, Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger made reference to high-profile members of Sinn Féin bullying Maíria Cahill on social media.

One particular twitter account (@capnblack) belongs to Alan Donnelly (aka Alan Ó Donnaille), brother of Sinn Féin councillor Paul Donnelly, who ran in the Dublin West by-election earlier this year.

Meanwhile…

On last night’s ‘Tonight with Vincent Browne’, Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín denied Sinn Féin members were involved in online bullying of Maíria Cahill.

Watch in full here.

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Maíria Cahill spent the day in Leinster House answering questions and talking about the wider issue of abuse.

A Dáil debate is scheduled today from 2:30 pm regarding allegations of sexual abuse by members of the republican movement arising from the Maíria Cahill case.

Watch it live here.

Gerry Adams to meet woman ‘raped by top republican’ (Eilis O’Hanlon, Sunday Independent December 2013)

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

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Sinn Féin Deputy Peadar Tóibín threatened to hold up the Workplace Relations Bill 2014 in respect of the dispute at Kishogue, Lucan. The Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee are meeting this afternoon to make amendments to the existing legislation.

Bricklayers in Kishogue were reportedly being paid less than €5 per hour.

There are numerous amendments proposed in the Bill and if the deputy so wishes he can call a vote on each amendment which will take up to eight minutes per vote.

Hero or zero?

YOU decide.

Previously: Crane Of Defiance

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Polling estimates given to Sinn Féin by different polling companies since 2011 

Can nothing stop it?

Tom Louwerse, an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin, has taken issue with last weekend’s widely reported Millward Brown poll and how the media have interpreted it.

The hair-splitting boffin believes Sinn Féin’s popularity at 26% and that of Fine Gael at 22% – does not in fact definitively prove that Sinn Féin is the biggest party in the country.

Mr Louwerse, on The Irish Politics Forum, writes:

“First, the difference between Sinn Féin and Fine Gael falls within the margin of error of the poll. While the reported margin of error is 3.1%, this is the margin for any single party. If we calculate the margin of error for the difference between two parties, we find that it is 4.3%. That is just slightly bigger than the 4% gap. This means that even if there was no difference between the two parties among all likely voters, there is more than a 5% probability that a poll of 991 people* finds a difference between SF and FG of 4% or more. Just because of the people that randomly end up being surveyed. This is generally considered inadequate to base firm conclusions on.”

“Second, this calculation assumes the poll is a random sample from the population. In reality, it is very difficult to get a random sample, because (among other reasons) it is difficult to draw up a list of voters and to get them to participate in the polls. Therefore, the error margin might in fact be larger than the reported 3.1%. This is sometimes called ‘Pollster Induced Error’. The Irish Polling Indicator gives an (arguably rough) estimate of the Pollster Induced Error for Irish parties, which it estimates to be between 1.3 and 2.7 for Sinn Féin. That means that the error margin is likely to be at least 1.3 times the calculated margin. So, probably even the 4.3% margin of error is an optimistic estimate.”

“Third, polling estimates are prone to systematic error. This is visible in the fact that some polling companies have structurally higher estimates for Sinn Féin than others. In the graph below, we can see clearly that Millward Brown (green dots) generally has a higher estimate for Sinn Féin than other pollsters do. This effect can be calculated to be just under 1%. It is helpful to take these ‘house effects’ into account when interpreting polling results.”

“Therefore, one should be cautious to base sweeping statements on a single poll. The Irish Polling Indicator summarises information available from all Irish pollsters. This provides a more nuanced overview of the state of the parties. The Polling Indicator suggests that Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Independents are on similar levels of support; based on the available data we cannot draw conclusions about who is the biggest of the three.

He adds:

“And bear in mind that 24% of those 991 gave a ‘Don’t know’ answer, so the effective sample size is in fact 753, which would yield an error margin of 4.9% for the difference between SF and FG. Mind the difference with the title of this blog post [below]: the title reflects the fact that we cannot say that SF is bigger based on the Millward Brown poll, but that does not mean that SF is certainly not bigger. It might be. We don’t know.

What?? Right.

Anyone?

Is Sinn Féin the biggest party according to new poll? No, no, no (Tom Louwerse, The Irish Politics Forum)

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Blimey.

Also: Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Labour’s Joan Burton are tied as the most popular political party leaders in the country.

* Almost 1,000 adults were questioned for the poll, which was carried out between October 21 and October 31.

Sinn Fein the most popular party in Ireland – new poll reveals (Irish Independent)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

A02P601-13 The Irish News January 18 2010

Martin Óg Meehan, son of the late Martin Meehan wrote last year about his belief of a cover-up of sexual abuse within Sinn Féin.

Briege McLaughlin was elected as a Sinn Féin councillor in Newtownabbey in 2001 and was formerly married to Martin Meehan senior. She admitted child cruelty and assault in Belfast Crown Court last year and received a suspended sentence. After her guilty plea, the seven sexual abuse charges she faced were “left on the books” and not proceeded with.

Eighteen months after the tragic death of our mother, the Meehan family threshold was crossed by our Dad’s new girlfriend, Mrs. Briege McLaughlin. She was already expecting Dad’s baby at the time. The arrival of this woman, left my siblings and I quite bemused and confused. However, my brother, sister and I agreed to make her welcome because our father deserved happiness after the untimely demise of our mother.

To the best of my knowledge, Briege couldn’t have been nicer between February and July, 1979 in our terraced Ardoyne home. We were at school most of the time and hardly had much contact with Briege, as kids we also went to bed at nights pretty early.

Almost immediately after our Dad’s arrest and incarceration in Crumlin Road Gaol, Briege began a depraved campaign of abuse against my sister Mary. The details of which are too harrowing for me to write about, as they cause me and my family so much pain. Although, they have been widely reported in the Irish media in recent days, after Briege finally admitted her guilt to a Belfast Court on Wednesday June 4, 2013.

Thirty-three years after they occurred in Northwick Drive, Mary sought medical, Social Services and school reports from the years, 1979 and 1980 concerning her after our Dad died suddenly in November, 2007. She never wanted to hurt him regarding Briege’s crimes against her and she respectfully waited until he left this world, before initiating her struggle to get justice from Briege. As everyone now knows, he was in a British Gaol at the time and Briege’s twisted crimes have absolutely no bearing nor reflection upon his memory. Kevin, Mary and I do not blame our Dad, one iota for what happened back then. He could not have possibly known his then girlfriend was a child abuser.

Briege McLaughlin (née Hogg) not only ‘fooled’ our father, she also duped her two children, the majority of Provisional Sinn Féin activists and the wider community that she was a ‘normal’ person, mother, wife and Republican. We knew the truth but didn’t inform anyone of the true nature behind her unprovoked assaults, mental torture and drunken outbursts upon our sister in our home. We know for a fact that senior members of Sinn Féin and the IRA within North Belfast covered up Briege’s campaign of terror. Over a hundred brave Ardoyne women protested outside our home about what she had subjected Mary to after she was taken and placed in a safe environment away from Briege. Sinn Féin knew many of the facts behind the protest and yet not only permitted her to join the fledgling party but gave her senior roles in it’s Comhairle Ceanntar (District Executive) in the early Eighties. They also selected her to stand in successive elections as a party candidate in Newtownabbey in 2001 and 2005. She was not suspended until I (myself) notified them that Mary had a mountain of evidence against one of its councillors. She eventually resigned from Sinn Féin in 2010.

The RUC and Social Services were also culpable in allowing Briege to viciously brutalise Mary. As we have written reports of meetings held to discuss my sister’s abuse between both agencies. However, both organisations failed her and it took a full eight months after the initial reports were made by neighbours from Northwick Drive. We, the Court, Public Prosecution Service (PPS), PSNI and a number of Belfast journalists have the names and positions of the ‘Professionals’ who utterly failed ten year-old, Mary as with Sinn Fein’s knowledge about my sister’s horrific beatings at the hands of Briege McLaughlin. Likewise, we also have in our position the names of current and former Sinn Féin members, who instead of making Briege accountable for her criminal mistreatment and cruelty of our sister, fooled the party leadership into believing that Mary’s allegations, were the claims of a disturbed woman. They also fully backed Briege’s rise within Sinn Féin that culminated in her being elected as a party representative on Newtownabbey Council in 2001. Even though, she was never an Irish Republican in the first place.

The Meehan family demand a full and public apology to Mary from Social Services, PSNI and Sinn Féin. Even though, I personally notified the party in 2008 about Mary’s willingness to have Briege charged due to the mountain of evidence in our Mary’s possession.

Without public apologies from the above organisations, my sister will not be able to fully receive justice, nor rebuild her life and that of her four children who also suffered horrible side-effects of Briege’s reign of terror on their loving mother. Mary is not only a victim of a cruel abuser, she is also the daughter of the late Martin Meehan, a Republican who’s selfless sacrifice in pursuit of an Ireland free from foreign occupation.

Briege ‘Meehan’: Guilty without Remorse nor Apology (Ardoyne Republican)

Mary’s agony as her stepmother Briege Meehan avoids jail (Michael Donnelly, Belfast Telegraph July 2013)

Earlier: Meanwhile, At Stormont

Police, Judge And Executioner