Francie Molloy

Campaign News

An £8.7million investment has ensured 170 new jobs created in Coalisland with the construction of a Supermarket. Francie Molloy MLA, Dungannon and South Tyrone Mayor Phelim Gildernew. Michelle Gildernew MP and Joint First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA officiated at the official opening of the new Newell Stores Supermarket this morning.

Welcoming the opening of the Newell Stores Supermarket and the 170 new jobs boost in Coalisland, Francie Molloy MLA said,

"This is excellent news for the people of Coalisland, with a much needed injection of 170 new jobs and £8.7million investment into the area. Newell stores have to be congratulated, they are a local business investing in a rural area and its people and they have transformed a derelict site, which was an eyesore into a modern Supermarket. This will help provide a stimulus to the local economy providing much needed jobs, particularly for young people who have been hit hard during the economic downturn.

"The opening of Newell Stores in Coalisland today follows the recent announcement of 80 jobs by DMAC engineering bringing a total of 250 new jobs to Coalisland in the space of a month. Sinn Féin will continue to work with local indigenous businesses to help them expand, creating long term and sustainable employment across Mid Ulster."

At a well-attended Public Meeting held in Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera on Thursday 28th February, Sinn Féin elected representatives highlighted the draconian nature of many of the measures contained in the Tory led British Government’s Welfare Reform Bill and outlined how the party is pro-actively working to secure fundamental changes to the Bill both within the Assembly and through directly lobbying the British government.

Francie Molloy MLA chaired the meeting and was joined on the panel by by Newry/Armagh MLA and DSD Committee Vice-Chair Mickey Brady and Cllr Liam Mackle both of whom have many years’ experience working within the welfare rights sector.

Speaking on the meeting, Francie Molloy MLA said,

“During an extensive Q&A session many of those present were taken aback at the extent of the draconian measures in this Bill and expressed concern at how they would affect both individuals and families. While the levels of benefits for the north are set in London, we once again re-iterated our party position that unless meaningful flexibilities and mitigating measures are secured to alleviate the harsher aspects of this Bill we will not be supporting it.

“Mickey Brady MLA outlined how we are directly lobbying the British government on an on-going basis in an effort to secure flexibilities in how the Bills administered in the North given that it has already accepted that the situation here is graver than elsewhere.

“Sinn Féin will be continuing with our strategy to secure fundamental changes to this Bill and also through our constituency office services we will be continuing to advise and assist the ever growing number of people contacting us seeking our help on the full range of benefit related issues ranging from: helping people to maximize their benefit entitlements, help with filling in benefit forms, engaging with decision makers, as well as representation at benefit Tribunals.”

Francie Molloy MLA has said that it is a miracle that no one was seriously injured in a school bus fire in Moneymore this morning and asked for Translink to step up their health and safety measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A fire broke out on the bus at 8.30am this morning in the centre of the town; the bus was intended to pick up school children.

Francie Molloy MLA said,

“My office has been in contact with Translink who confirmed that an investigation was being conducted into the fire. My colleague was driving past the bus and learnt that only 3 people had been on the bus at the time of the fire, two of which were drivers who had to be taken to hospital as a precautionary measure due to smoke inhalation and they are currently conducting a full investigation to find out why the fire started. I’m glad that no injuries have occurred, if the school children had of been on board at the time, we may have been talking about something more serious. I will be stay in contact with Translink to ascertain the findings of the investigation and ensure that they are prioritising their health and safety measures following this serious incident.”

Sinn Féin Candidate for the Mid Ulster By Election, Francie Molloy, has today launched his election manifesto describing it as a positive manifesto for everybody in Mid Ulster.

Accompanied by Party President Gerry Adams TD at the launch Mr. Molloy said,

“I am presenting my manifesto to every single voter in the Mid Ulster area and asking them to vote for me on the record of my party and our aspirations in delivering a better way of life for each and every one of them.

“This election needs to be seen in the context of building on the hard work that has been done over the years in moving our society away from conflict and into a place where the focus can be put on social issues such as economic regeneration, education, housing and equality.

“If elected I will work for every person in Mid Ulster area regardless of creed, colour or sexual orientation.

“I am delighted that more and more people from the Unionist community are having the confidence to come into our constituency offices to have their problems dealt with, and I hope that this will continue to grow in the years ahead.

“This is a very positive manifesto that reflects the confidence within the local party to deliver on the ground that will bring about prosperity to all of our citizens.”

Click here to download the Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster By-Election Manifesto. (PDF, 1 MB)

Election Manifesto (PDF, 1 MB)

Francie Molloy MLA accompanied Education Minister John O’Dowd to Saint Joseph’s Primary School in Galbally today for the announcement of an additional 8 new year 1 positions being approved for the 2013/14 school year.

Welcoming the decision, Francie Molloy MLA said,

“This is absolutely fantastic news for the local community and for the families and children in question. Sinn Féin stand up for rural communities and this rural proofing to ensure that local children were able to attend their local school is a good news story for Saint Joseph’s Primary in Galbally. We are delighted that in line with the open enrolment policy the additional 8 year 1 places have been approved and the families and children can now start preparing for starting school in September.”

Sinn Féin are hosting a Welfare Reform Bill public information event in Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera on Thursday 28th February at 7.30pm. The event is being hosted to provide information on the Welfare Reform Bill to the public and allow them to ask questions to the panellists who work on these issues day and daily.

Speakers include; DSD Committee Vice-Chair Mickey Brady MLA and Cllr Liam Mackle. The event will be chaired by Francie Molloy MLA.

Encouraging people to attend Francie Molloy MLA said,
“The panel will highlight the main changes proposed in the Welfare Reform Bill and outline our major concerns about how many of the proposed measures, if implemented as currently designed, would represent an unacceptable attack on the living standards and well-being of our lowest income families and the most vulnerable sections of society here.

These include outlining our concerns around proposed measures in benefit areas such as: Housing benefit-under-occupancy penalties, reduced eligibility criteria and problematic payment methods; Universal Credit -replacing Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related ESA, Housing Benefit, Child and Working Tax Credit with a single ‘Universal Credit’ with changing criteria governing eligibility for benefit, new work related activity requirements and an increased sanctions regime even for lone parents with no access to childcare; and a marked step up in targeting the disabled and sick by extending the flawed medical assessments which currently govern those applying for or who are in receipt of ESA , to the disabled as they apply for or are migrated to the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which is scheduled to replace DLA as an from April next year.

With the Tory’s aiming to make 20% savings in terms of expenditure and caseload under ‘PIPs’ this will undoubtedly result in many genuinely disabled people losing or having their benefit cut in the same way many people who are genuinely sick are losing their entitlement to ESA.

“While the levels of benefits for the north are set in London, we re-iterate our party position that unless meaningful flexibilities and mitigating measures are secured to alleviate the harsher aspects of this Bill we will not be supporting it.”

On Friday 22nd February Francie Molloy MLA and Martina Anderson MEP visited a number of local engineering businesses in the South Derry and East Tyrone area to hear at first hand the issues concerning those companies. Later that day they hosted a workshop in the Tilly Lamp, Ardboe focusing on `Training Needs` of the manufacturing and engineering sector within Mid-Ulster.

 Attending the event with Francie Molloy and Martina Anderson were a large number of local engineering business directors, representatives of local Training Colleges, Sector Skills Council representatives and local District Council representatives who met to discuss further opportunities for the promotion of training needs for these indigenous mid-Ulster businesses. Francie Molloy has for some time now been calling for a `joined up` approach to be taken in the quest for better training provision for the engineering sector within East Tyrone and South Derry.

Speaking following the event Mr Molloy said,

“I am delighted at the turnout and the interest in today`s event. The need of this growing manufacturing and specialist engineering sector is ever changing. In order to be truly responsive and deliver for both the companies themselves and those apprentices being trained within the specialist engineering sectors, an even stronger joined up approach needs now to be taken. We need to focus on the creation of stronger partnerships between the schools, local training colleges, local councils and the companies themselves. I believe there is in partnership with DEL and the colleges that there is an increased role in which the local councils could also play in this regard. This is something which I believe that the new mid-Ulster council could put an additional focus on. I believe a strong argument could be made for a new specialist training unit located in the mid-ulster area to meet the needs of the specialist engineering and manufacturing sector.”

 “My colleague Martina Anderson MEP is the author of two reports currently making their way through the European Parliament focusing on the need for quality apprenticeships and training opportunities as part of a ‘Youth Jobs Guarantee’ and `Growing a Sustainable Economy`. Sinn Féín has also listened attentively to the frustrations of local companies in the overly bureaucratic system facing them in applying to take on new apprenticeships both locally and at EU level. This needs to be changed and replaced with more simplified systems of applications for assistances but at local and also EU level. Sinn Féin will be renewing our efforts to have these changes brought about in order to assist this important local manufacturing sector.”

Sinn Féin MLA Francie Molloy has welcomed the news that all farm maps are now correct and that an extra fortnight has been allocated to those farmers who received incorrect maps.

Mr. Molloy said,

“I welcome the news that the Minister Michelle O’Neill has moved to rectify a mistake in the final batch of maps recently issued and has given those affected farmers and extra two weeks to examine and return their single farm application.

Given the number of maps that had to be produced and sent out the Department should be congratulated in getting them out without undue delay.

“These new maps are an opportunity to reduce the lead time between application and of the Single Farm Payment so this intervention by the Minister will ensure swift payment if properly examined by the farmer.

“It is important that all farmers scrutinise their map and inform the department of any changes so that their single payment application can go through as fast as possible.”

Sinn Féin MLA Francie Molloy has said that the decision to relax the six-day standstill rule is a sensible decision that will be welcomed by farmers.

Mr. Molloy said,

“The six day standstill rule within livestock was introduced at a time when spreadable diseases need to be tackled and was a practical precaution.

“After consultation within the industry the decision to relax the six-day standstill rule is a welcomed one and allow farmers to manage their farms in a more efficient manner.

“The Minister has shown throughout her tenure that she adopts a very serious view to farm and animal safety through her fortress Ireland policy and has retained the right to reintroduce the policy if a serious disease is detected.

“This is a sensible decision that not only continues to protect livestock from disease but gives farmers better option in moving their herds around.”