Tag Archives: Sinn Fein

From left: Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Michelle O’Neill at IRA veteran Bobby Storey’s funeral

“No family’s grief is more important than another’s.

I am particularly concerned that grieving families who have lost a loved one during the pandemic had their heartache compounded by the necessary restrictions which were in place at that time.

Not being able to have their family and friends’ support to help them through was hugely difficult.

I am also concerned that those grieving families are experiencing more hurt over recent days. I am sorry for that.”

Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland Deputy Minister Michelle O’Neill.

O’Neill ‘sorry’ for hurt caused over Storey funeral gathering (RTÉ)

Pic: BBC


Sinn Fein TD Matt Carthy; Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward on The Tonight Show on Wednesday

This morning.

On Today with Sarah McInerney‘s The Gathering slot, the guests were discussing Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill’s attendance at the funeral of IRA veteran Bobby Storey in Belfast

Ms O’Neill had earlier issued a statement to say sorry for any hurt caused by her attendance.

During The Gathering, Ms McInerney and Dun Laoghaire Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill had this exchange:

Sarah McInerney: “…there have been large funerals. I saw [Sinn Féin TD] Matt Carthy, for example, on the Tonight show talking about Garda Horkan’s funeral.”

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill: “The funeral of a serving guard killed in the line of duty?”

McInerney: “He was raising that as an issue, as a comparison, yes.”

Carroll MacNeill: “Yes, and the Minister for Justice attended that and that was, and but the Taoiseach didn’t attend it and the President didn’t attend it. And that’s a massive state funeral and one of the most tragic and serious things that can happen in this state. And you saw the outpouring from people all across the country, marking it in their own private ways, socially distanced Garda stations all around the country, a moment’s silence. Not even the Taoiseach, not even the president at those very unique moments where there’s a state funeral of that kind attended because it wasn’t appropriate to do so.

“There’s no way, that the nature of that funeral, the murder of a serving Garda, in the line of duty can be compared to the murder of what Mary Lou McDonald described as her friend. Totally different. Totally different.”

McInerney: “I want to bring the others in on this. But I don’t know, do you want to respond to that Martin?”

Martin Kenny: “Look, I mean, I understand there are people who are grieving and people who have been hurt through the pandemic and I understand how they are, you know, somewhat annoyed in regard to that. But there’s also a very political element to this. Our political opponents are jumping on this and indeed, you know, Dublin unionists and Fine Gael are all over this and have been for the past week and we’re used to that and we will deal with it.”

McInerney: “Ok, briefly, Jennifer.”

Carroll MacNeill: “The reason that this is a political holding to account of Sinn Fein, Sinn Fein don’t like that. Sinn Fein aren’t used to that. But if you want to be in Dail Eireann and participate as the leader of the Opposition, as you say, you should probably get used to being held to account as a normal political party. We in Fine Gael have said that we don’t believe you are a normal political party.

Kenny: “We’re quite used to it.”

Carroll MacNeill: “But if you want to engage in that way then you are…”

Talk over each other

Kenny: “More people in this country voted for us than voted for your party and they believe it.”

Meanwhile, on Virgin Media One’s Tonight show on Wednesday night, Mr Carthy appeared with newly appointed Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward when Ms O’Neill’s attendance at Mr Storey’s funeral was spoken about.

At the outset, Mr Carthy criticised Fine Gael and the DUP for attempting to score “political points”.

Matt Carthy: “There have been lots of gatherings at funerals, some of which social distancing wouldn’t have been as robust as you would have liked. And I’ve seen some people using those in response to attacks by Fine Gael and others in relation to Bobby Storey’s funeral. I would ask them to stop because I think it’s really unfair on the families concerned. I think it’s actually really, really lousy…as people, you know, politics, fair game. We’re, as a party, are used to getting attacked for all sorts of reasons but to actually use someone’s funeral…”


Ward: “Leo Varadkar didn’t even attend the funeral of Detective Horkan in Castlerea…”

Carthy: “But two government ministers…”

Ward: “Yeah, the Minister for Justice appropriately did. But normally, at a State funeral, the Taoiseach would go and he stepped back…rather than taking the media opportunity that Mary Lou and those did….”

Listen back to Today with Sarah McInerney here

Watch back the Tonight show in full here

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald leads out her party’s new front bench. To wit:

Party Leader Mary Lou McDonald
Deputy Party Leader and Spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty
Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mairéad Farrell
Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly
Health David Cullinane
Housing, Local Government and Heritage Eoin Ó Broin
Agriculture and the Marine Matt Carthy
Justice Martin Kenny
Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands Claire Kerrane
Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke
Media, Tourism, Art, Culture and Sports Imelda Munster
Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Kathleen Funchion
Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire
Higher Education, Innovation and Science Rose Conway-Walsh
Foreign Affairs & Defence John Brady

Chief Whip Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Úrlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíne agus Cultúir Aengus Ó Snodaigh


Earlier: Worth A Troy

First time Sinn Féin TDs feature on front bench (RTÉ)

Meanwhile…O’Neill rejects calls to step aside during social distance inquiry



This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2.

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin (above) calling for rent write downs as the results of a Renters Survey carried out by the party during lockdown are revealed.

Worried renters facing massive debt burden once lockdown ends (Dublin Live)


Sinn Féin TDs Chris Andrews and Eoin Ó Broin arrive at Leinster House this morning


Kildare Street, Dublin 2.


Speaking on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show, Ms [Mary Lou] McDonald said that the proposed new government would leave Sinn Féin in a very strong political position.

“They may succeed in slowing down the very necessary change that we need in our society but they won’t stop it,” she said.

…Sinn Féin would provide “a very coherent, a very progressive, a very enlightened opposition” throughout the lifetime of the next government. “We will deliver on the mandate for change that we were given,” she said.

Ms McDonald referred to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and said that they were determined that “come what may” Sinn Féin would be kept out of government.

McDonald: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil ‘clubbed together’ to keep Sinn Féin out of government (Irish Examiner)


Unhappy and happy emojis; Stephen Collins, Irish Times’ former political editor and columnist

This morning.

Put a happy face on….

If Sinn Féin has the energy and the resources to dominate social media and disseminate its message there is nothing wrong with that.

Where it begins to get sinister is the way in which the party’s keyboard warriors seek to intimidate people propounding different views.

For instance the [Dublin City University] study found a marked difference between the emoji icons used to react to posts by the parties.

“Haha”, or “Angry” constituted 94 per cent of emoji reactions for posts by Fine Gael, and 90 per cent for Fianna Fáil, while they only accounted for 7 per cent of these reactions to posts by Sinn Féin.

….The study found that 91 per cent of the emoji reactions to Sinn Féin posts were “Love”.

What it suggests is that the Sinn Féin keyboard army was not just actively pushing its own message but attacking the messages being put out by its political opponents.

…. Whether it is down to poor organisation or fear of intimidation by the “Shinnerbots”, the two parties now negotiating a programme for government appear oblivious to the daily assault they suffer on social media, which is merely a harbinger of what awaits them when the next election comes around.


Also: 😂

Stephen Collins: Big two must take fight to SF on social media (Irish Times)

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward questioned the funding to Pieta House


The Dáil, Leinster House.

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward asked the Minister for Health Simon to explain how the funding of €346,000 per quarter to suicide charity Pieta House – to cover 300 hours of therapy per quarter for high-risk clients – is being spent.

Mark Ward: “I will ask a brief question and the Minister’s response will allow me to ask any further questions I may need to. Last week we had a brief discussion about Pieta House and the additional services that will be provided during and post Covid-19. Will the Minister clarify whether the 300 hours that he stated will be provided for therapy for high-risk clients are per month or per quarter?”

Simon Harris: “According to my note, it is 300 hours per quarter. The funding is being provided to fund an additional 300 hours for high-risk clients and the quarterly review will ensure that any client who commences a programme of support can have reasonable assurance of its completion. The cashflow supports are also contingent on a continuation between the HSE and Pieta House. I will confirm that in writing to the Deputy but that is my understanding.”

Ward: “Last week the Minister stated there was additional funding of more than €343,000 to provide 300 hours of therapy per quarter for high-risk clients. I also have a written response from the Minister that reiterates that.

This works out at €1,146 per hour for therapy sessions. The average cost of a psychotherapy session is in the region of €70 to €120 per hour. If, for example, 300 sessions were charged at the higher end of the average – €120 per hour – that would cost the State €36,000. The State is paying Pieta House more than €343,000 to provide the same service. That is a difference of €307,000 per quarter.

I have also received information from some self-employed therapists who have contacted me and other members of my party and who counsel clients for Pieta House. They charge them only €24 per hour, yet the State is funding Pieta House to the tune of €1,146 per hour.

The Government, as the Minister said, has already invested heavily in Pieta House, to the tune of €2.03 million per year, and Pieta House has also availed of the wage subsidy scheme. Despite this, several staff were let go and others have been offered redundancy.

Will the Minister inform the House exactly where this funding is being directed? Is any of the additional funding being used to pay for the redundancies?

Does the Minister think we are getting value for money at €1,146 per therapy session when it would cost the State €120 per hour, or €24 per hour if a self-employed therapist at Pieta House was hired? The State should provide such services and not rely on a charity to do so. Pieta House provides an essential service but it is essential only due to the lack of investment in mental health by this and previous Governments.

Harris: “I thank the Deputy and note his sincere and strong interest in the issue of mental health. I could outline, although I do not have the time now, what we are doing to beef up the public mental health services but I agree with the Deputy that Pieta House does a really good job. It is very well regarded by people throughout our country, as was seen in recent weeks in terms of how people responded to the fundraising call from Pieta House.

My understanding is that the HSE and Pieta House have formally agreed to that additional funding, as the Deputy rightly noted, of €114,608 per month, or €343,824 per quarter, and that will be provided once the current Government staffing cost schemes, which Pieta House has availed of, have ceased. It is to help keep staff.

The HSE has also committed to providing cashflow support on a monthly basis, with the position to be reviewed after each quarter. The funding is being provided to fund an additional 300 hours of high-risk clients and a quarterly review will ensure anybody who commences a programme can complete it.

As I said when we spoke last week, the cashflow support is contingent on the continuation of that engagement between the HSE and Pieta House on a more sustainable funding model for the organisation.

Work has been ongoing between the HSE and Pieta for some time on how to ensure that the funding will be sustainable into the future. That ongoing engagement is required in return for the cashflow support.”



Previously: I Pieta The Fool

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Of course you are.

Tonight at 7pm.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald (above), Sinn Féin’s vice president and First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill and Sinn Féin TDs Louise O’Reilly, Pearse Doherty and Matt Carthy will hold a live online meeting.

The meeting can be watched live here, here or here.

Fianna Fáil party leader Micheál Martin (left), Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin party leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, before the final live television leaders’ debate of Election 2020


This afternoon.

Further to Fine Gael agreeing “seven tests” (above) that any future coalition must pass to form a Government and Fine Gael highlighting ten policy priorities…


Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin tweetz:

“Am I seeing things? Is this a joke?

“Not a single mention of housing or homelessness in Fine Gael’s seven policy tests and ten specific policies they want a new government to achieve.”

Related: Government formation: Fine Gael agrees ‘seven tests’ before joining coalition (Jennifer Bray, The Irish Times)