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Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has encouraged more people to become blood donors.
The Sinn Féin health spokesperson said;
"In the summer months the demand for blood products traditionally rises.
"Now the Blood Transfusion has said it needs 8,000 new donors to meet the demand.
"It has now launched a campaign to get one new donor to sign up every hour in the North.
"Giving blood is easy, quick and, most importantly, can literally save lives.
"I would encourage as many people as possible to sign up to become blood donors and donate blood often to help save even more lives each year."
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said today that Republican dissidents have upped their campaign against the community.
And he said that Sinn Féin has consistently called on these groups to stop their actions and enter into dialogue.
Gerry Adams said:
“Over the past week Féile an Phobail has showcased the very best of the community of West Belfast. There have been concerts, sports events and exhibitions. There has been considerable debate on our past, our present and our future. I commend the Féile and congratulate them on their success.
“West Belfast also hosted the National Hunger Strike Commemoration, which brought thousands of Republicans from across Ireland and abroad to remember and celebrate the sacrifice and vision of the hunger strikers.
“Over the same period people associated with dissident Republican groups have sought to intimidate community workers and mural artists, have picketed the Féile office and defaced Hunger Strike Commemoration posters.
“Some of those involved in these groups are heavily involved in criminality. And while the majority of their attacks and threats have been against members of the nationalist community they have also killed and injured police and prison officers.
“Recently they have sought to promote confrontation at interfaces and on the issue of marching.
“It now appears they are also seeking to heighten confrontation with the community.
“These groups are entitled to oppose Sinn Féin, however their campaign against the community must end.
“I would appeal to those involved to end their futile violent campaign, which is going nowhere. It causes hardship and loss for families, including prisoners’ families.
“Sinn Féin believes in the centrality and importance of dialogue. We are willing to meet with these groups and lay out our strategy and vision for the future. If these groups had any integrity they would enter into dialogue with us.”
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned the disturbances and security alert, which arose from a bonfire in the Bogside area of Derry last night.
The Foyle MLA said;
"The damage, disturbances and disruption, which arose from last night\'s bonfire in the Bogside must be condemned.
"Several families, including elderly people, had to be evacuated from their homes due to a security alert on Charlotte Street.
"This situation was dictated by a tiny group of young people who are being exploited by more sinister elements who are clearly determined to act against the wishes of the local community.
"The scenes around the bonfire were in stark contrast with the excellent finale to this year\'s Féile which showed the positive community spirit of the people in this area who want nothing to do with the bonfire.
"There was an opportunity to avoid all of these problems through dialogue. Unfortunately that failed because people absented themselves from that process or effectively scuppered it by acting as cheerleaders for anti-community behaviour.
"That process was an opportunity lost and we need to see renewed efforts to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future so the local residents can live in peace.”
- Marie Curie and Southern Trust partnership reaches key milestone
- Money raised will enable Marie Curie to continue to delivery its nursing service across NI
Northern Ireland’s leading terminal illness care provider, Marie Curie and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust have celebrated the success of the organisations’ charity partnership raising more than £50,000.
Established in September 2015, the partnership aims to raise funds for the charity, to create more awareness of Marie Curie as an end of life charity and the services it provides in helping support and care for people, and their families living with a terminal illness.
Staff from the Southern Trust have embraced the partnership and have taken part in a range of fundraising activities.
These have included coffee mornings during Marie Curie’s ‘Blooming Great Tea Party’ campaign, giving up their time and volunteering as collectors for the charity’s ‘Great Daffodil Appeal’ and even participating in a number of Marie Curie’s challenge events, including the ‘Niagara to New York cycle’.
Commenting on the Southern Trust partnership, Anne Hannan, Partnerships Manager at Marie Curie said, “This has been one of the charity’s most successful partnerships to date. The Trust’s staff have been very engaged and have gotten behind the partnership in a big way.
“From a Marie Curie point of view the partnership has allowed the charity to engage with some 14,000 Trust employees which in turn has helped to generate more awareness of Marie Curie, its services and how it can help people, and their families living with a terminal illness.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and its entire staff for everything that has been achieved to date. Reaching the fundraising milestone of raising £50,000 (which is the equivalent to 25,000 nursing hours) is a tremendous moment for the partnership. But, I know the Trust wants to go further with its fundraising which is something that Marie Curie will support in any way it can.”
Mr Francis Rice, Southern Trust Interim Chief Executive said, “We are delighted with the amount of money raised to date for this very deserving charity, Marie Curie.
“The amount raised also demonstrates the fantastic charitable generosity from our employees and we look forward to supporting even more activities through fundraising and volunteering over the next ten months.”
Marie Curie’s partnership with the Southern Trust will continue until June 2017. Forthcoming fundraising activity includes a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ event in October that will feature employees from Marie Curie and the Trust.
Police can confirm that a man, who has been named as 60 year old Patrick Gerald Lively, has died following a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Hilltown last night, Monday, 15 August.
Constable Stephen Dickson, Collision Investigation Unit said: “This incident occurred at approximately 6.00pm last night on the Bryansford Road at the junction with the Kinnahalla Road in Hilltown.
“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at this time and who may have information which would assist our enquiries to contact the Collision Investigation Unit at Sprucefield on the non-emergency number 101.
“The Bryansford Road/Kinnahalla Road is currently closed and will remain so for some time. Local diversions are in place.”
Sinn Féin MLA John O\'Dowd has said the potential loss of a major EU funding programme could have a hugely detrimental impact on the North\'s universities and students.
Mr O\'Dowd said;
"There is no doubt about the hugely negative impact a potential Brexit would have on our universities and higher education sector.
"The Horizon 2020 funding scheme in particular offers huge potential and the possibility of losing elements of it would have a huge impact on our universities.
"While the British government has now said it will pay for Horizon research projects granted before any Brexit, that will be cold comfort to groups currently applying or preparing to apply.
"The potential loss of this important funding stream would hit our universities hard in terms of research, courses and opportunities for students.
"And the uncertainty created by the current situation is further adding to the problem.
"What is certain is that the people of the North voted to remain in the EU and the British government needs to acknowledge and respect that."
Anderson welcomes football tournament to combat homophobia
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a unique football tournament to combat homophobia organised as part of the Foyle Pride Festival.
Ms Anderson said;
"As part of this year\'s excellent Foyle Pride Festival, the Rainbow Project in partnership with the Old Library Trust, will hold a unique football tournament to combat homophobia.
"The Football vs Homophobia tournament will be held in the Bishop\'s Field, Creggan on Friday, August 26 and promises to be a great event.
"There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our society and events like this are a great way to raise awareness and send out an important message.
"Derry City FC and Institute have already got behind the scheme, as have local musicians SOAK and Wake America, and I have no doubt the people will support it too.
"It is open to players aged 14 and over and I would encourage anyone looking to take part to contact the Rainbow Project on 02871283030 and get involved."
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Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has described a meeting held with PSNI officials regarding policing in South Armagh as "frank and forthright".
Mr Brady was joined by MLA Conor Murphy and PCSP member Declan Murphy for the meeting with Area Commander Paul Reed and Community Policing Inspector Lynn Corbett.
"We are deeply disappointed with what at times seems to be a conflict approach to policing in South Armagh from certain elements within the PSNI," he said.
"There is a palpable sense of frustration in the community at the PSNI\\\'s perceived inability or unwillingness to tackle existing crime and criminal gangs yet at the same time descending on others in a heavy handed, almost military fashion.
"There have been numerous incidents over the past several years that have led to this perception and it has only been exacerbated by a recent arrest in which a car was run off the road without warning.
"In other parts of the north similar investigations are pursued with a phone call and a request for the individual to attend their local police station. But there seems to be an attitude that in South Armagh you adopt a reckless, amped-up gung-ho approach.
"Attitudes like this achieve nothing.
"When people see huge numbers of officers raiding homes but they can’t get a police officer out to a robbery it damages confidence.
"Sinn Féin has been working hard for the past ten years to deliver an effective, accountable policing service. While much great work has been done to move towards inclusive community policing, incidents such as these could set those relationships back.
"We were very direct about the need for the PSNI to police with the community, not police the community. Communities in South Armagh want and deserve a police service they can count on; they have moved on from the past, it\\\'s long past time elements within the PSNI did the same."