Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Féin)
candidate EU elections

year born
professional qualification
Behavioural Science/Sociology
Trade Union Organiser
Dear Frank
Thank you for the question, Sinn Fein is fully committed to the protection of public services, one of the key reasons we oppossed the lisbon treaty was it would have opened up our public services to increased privatization. We want to see a social progress clause included in EU treaties going forward to protect our public services. (...)
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Issue Lisbon Treaty

I am interest to know that since the rejection of the Irish "No" has clearly shown the EU as a dictatorship what you think you can do if anything to change this situation?
answer sent by Kathleen Funchion
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Dear Séan,

Thank you very much for the question, as you will know from the Lisbon Treaty Campaign Sinn Féin was the only political party to campaign for a no vote, to a large extent I think the establishment parties were very surprised at the rejection of the treaty, cleary they were not in touch with people and it showed the government had not considered or planned for an alternative. Although there is a plan to re run the Lisbon Treaty, I don´t believe that all is lost and people need to stay very strong on the issue, if we want to protect our public services, our neutrality and protect workers rights in this country then the Lisbon treaty in its current form has to be rejected, what we need in Europe is strong leadership and MEP´s who are not afraid to criticise the E.U. and the direction it is taking, I think Mary Lou McDonald was an excellent voice for both Irish and European citizens who wanted a no vote. It is through the election of people who want to see a more accountable and democratic Europe that we will see change take place. France and the Netherlands rejected the E.U. Constitution, which was basically Lisbon in another format and they were not treated with the same disregard as Ireland was, I would like to see a more accountable, democratic and equal Europe, which is why I am running and if elected will be a voice for change. I hope I have answered your question but you can contact me again if you would like more information
Kathleen Funchion
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Issue Jobs

I note that you seek support from the electorate in this region, in the forthcoming Election and presumably, you are supportive of local jobs? It is interesting to note that your Election Posters were printed in Lisburn), while another member of your Party had his printed in Dublin.This is a pity as it does not reflect support of local business on your part! I look forward to your comments?

Good luck in the Election.

Kind regards,

Colm Browne
answer sent by Kathleen Funchion
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Dear Colm,

Thank you for the question and sorry for the delay in getting back to you,in response to the concerns raised by you through your email can I firstly reassure you that as someone who has spent a large part of my life living in Callan and now Knocktopher with my husband David and young son Emmet, I and my family are committed to doing in whatever practical way possible what we can to support local businesses, the local economy and thus local employment. That is reflected by the fact that we spend the most of our time in the area using the local services, local shopping, local business and local recreational facilities. Rest assured we are proud to be from here and to continue to living here as a family.

You expressed a specific concern in relation to printing. Sinn Féin after being approached by a number of people working in the printing industry who expressed a fear that the big establishment parties were planning to have their posters and literature printed by cheap labour print shops abroad, very publicly through my colleague and friend EU Munster candidate Toireasa Ferris challenged all candidates to preserve jobs in the printing industry by ensuring that all election posters and literature is produced here in Ireland. My parties honouring of that commitment is reflected by the fact that we engaged printing operators both in Dublin here in the 26 counties, and in Lisburn in the six counties. If you examine my wide range of posters and election literature you will find that it was printed not only in Lisburn but also Dublin which also reflects our continuing commitment to the achieving of a united Ireland.

Sinn as you I am sure are aware is the only party organised throughout the 32 counties, and with elected representation at all levels of democracy in Ireland, is working to make Irish unity a reality in our lifetime. I am proud to be involved with Sinn Féin the only Party with a strategy and policies for achieving Irish unity and independence. We are the only party that people can vote for whether they live in Kilkenny, Derry, Kerry, Wexford, Antrim or Carlow. We are the only party bringing a distinctly republican and socialist analysFeinis into the heart of Irish politics. We have placed the development of all-Ireland structures and the demand for reunification at the top of our political agenda. and we have consistently urged an island-wide approach in key policy areas. On a broader front, your concerns highlight peoples fears about the economy and the protection and creation of jobs. Sinn Féin recently launched the document entitled "Getting Ireland Back to Work"™ which contains more than 80 proposals, which Sinn Fein believes are urgently required to retain existing jobs and create new ones, progress all-Ireland economic development, stimulate consumer spending, and maximise the benefits of education and training. Unemployment is spiralling out of control. It is clear that the working people of Ireland East need the government to implement a time-framed job creation and retention strategy without further delay. This must focus on stopping job losses, creating new jobs, keeping people in education and stimulating consumer spending. The recent emergency budget will have done nothing to stimulate the economy nor protect and create jobs. Little is being done to up-skill and retrain those who have lost their jobs. The number one priority has to be retaining and creating jobs. We need government action to get Ireland back to work. One of the key mistakes that the government made over the last decade was to over inflate the boom by not regulating the banks and the building industry. The same government that over inflated the boom now wants to exacerbate the downturn by taking too much money out of the economy. The government got it wrong in the boom and is now getting it wrong in the downturn. Ireland I believe needs a three-year plan to hold on to or create the 1,000 jobs a day that are being lost. Such a plan needs to have a specific focus on creating jobs here locally and throughout the entire East constituency which even during the boom years continued to have levels of unemployment far in excess of the state average and did not see the same investment in infrastructure as other parts of the state. Such a plan needs to identify viable companies that need immediate help, it means identifying where jobs are going to be created over the next 3-5 years and bringing together FÁS, VECs, colleges and universities to up-skill the workforce. It means fostering a real innovation culture. And most critically quarterly regional targets need to be set and delivered. This document sets out a range of proposals that should form the core of such a plan. I can assure you Colm ,Sinn Féin is being constructive - we are putting forward clear proposals to address the current economic crisis and the escalating levels of unemployment. Our key message is - if action is taken the economy can be turned around.
Below are some of the key proposals.

Finally many thanks for your wishes of good luck and I hope that you consider voting for myself and Sinn Fein in the forthcoming EU and local elections.

Is Mise

Key proposals:

Establish a €300 million jobs retention fund to subsidise workers in SMEs struggling to keep on their employees. The fund should be time limited; and should be implemented in conjunction with increased Revenue and Labour Inspectorate.
Set up a body to actively pre-empt job losses by going to companies where jobs are in jeopardy to trouble shoot and offer advice, similar to the functions carried out by the Irish Credit Corporation in the 1980s.

The National Development Plan´s immediate priority should be providing essential, labour intensive infrastructure. We are calling for the fast-tracking of the school building programme, expansion of the national insulation programme to cover 100,000 homes by 2010 and 150,000 in subsequent years and broadband rollout.
Fast track business start ups - there are two issues - businesses need access to credit and expertise. The banks need to start doing their job and we are calling for a re-deployment of staff within current job creation agencies to set up one stop enterprise business points. These would bring together funding, expertise and advice for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses.

A new Sales Ireland strategy to help Irish firms access export markets and to help Irish firms looking to set up manufacturing businesses with the potential to compete with our largest imports. Currently 90% of exports from the south come from foreign owned multinationals. And foreign owned firms import over 86% of the maternials they use, bypassing Irish firms.

Establishment within a calendar year of Eolas Glas Eireann, led by Sustainable Energy Ireland, with the core aim of developing Ireland as a world leader in green and alternative energy technologies.
FÁS, the VECs and third level institutions have a combined budget of almost €4billion. They need to have a joined up approach to ensure that we are training people for sectors that will provide jobs in the coming decade.

A rapid reaction price force to be established by the Minister for Enterprise to ensure price reductions are passed onto consumers, particularly in the areas of fuel and retail groceries.
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Issue Jobs

• I would like to know if you support the liberalisation of the postal services.
• An Post plays a vital role in this local community in terms of the jobs and services it provides which must be protected. What steps will you take to ensure that this is the case?
• Can we depend on you to be a guardian of the public interest and vital public services?
• Do you think taxpayers should be forced to fund An Post in the future when it is run without state aid now?
• If not how do you propose to fund the Universal Service Obligation which guarantees that every citizen enjoys a proper postal service with collection and delivery five times a week with a single price to all destinations
answer sent by Kathleen Funchion
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Thank you for the question, Sinn Fein is fully committed to the protection of public services, one of the key reasons we oppossed the lisbon treaty was it would have opened up our public services to increased privatization. We want to see a social progress clause included in EU treaties going forward to protect our public services. Proper investment in these services creates jobs and provides valuable services to communities, the post office is a good example of this and it is important that the goverment meets its social obligations. Eircom is a good example of how bad things can go when we privatize our public services, we have one of the worst records in Europe for our roll out of broadband, especially in rural areas and believe it or not it is difficult to get a phone line in your house in some areas! (I have personal experience on this one) In relation to funding our public services we need to see a fair and progessive taxation system, we also need to end wasting tax payers money e.g. evoting machines. I hope this answers your question Kind Regards Kathleen Funchion
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Issue Lisbon Treaty

Do you support the Lisbon Treaty as it now stands?
What continental foreign language do you speak fluently?
answer sent by Kathleen Funchion
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Dear ,

Thank you for the question, the lisbon treaty is still the same treaty that
we voted on in June 08 there has been talk from the government about legally
binding guarantees on some aspects of the treaty, however we have not
actually seen these guarantees. We need to see these firsty as we cannot go
on trust from this government with their track record to date. Secondly
there has been no mention on the issue of protecting our public services or
the workers rights issue. We are calling for a social progress clause to be
included in all treaties going foward to protect our public services and we
want a guarantee from government on the trade union recognition and
collective barganing issue.

I studied french and spanish to secondary school level and continued spanish
to college, however I think I am out of practice and would need to brush up
significantly to call myself fluent

Kind Regards
Kathleen Funchion
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Issue The role of regional and local government

What are your thoughts on how the latest proposed amendments to the Irish Firearms Acts - as contained in the Criminal Justice (Misc.Provisions) Bill 2009 - contravene the EU directive on Firearms (91/477/EEC) by requiring all Irish firearms owners to only purchase ammunition or firearms from Irish registered firearms dealers instead of the current (and in force since 1964) laws that allow them to purchase from any registered firearms dealer in the EU so long as the appropriate paperwork is in place?

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