Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin)
candidate EU elections
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year born
professional qualification
English Literature, European Integration Studies and Human Resource Management
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(...) The Lisbon Treaty, like many of the treaties that went before it, does not deliver reform, efficiency or democracy. (...) This is why Sinn Fein campaigned for a "No" vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

The Lisbon Treaty will involve the most substantial transfer of powers from member states to the European Council and Commission to date. (...) The Lisbon Treaty is a charter for the policies of failure. (...)
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Issue Civil rights, data protection and political participation

Could you be clear as to your involvement/work in the European Parliament? I am somewhat puzzled as to the extent of your contribution and commitment, given your 56% attendance.
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As a Sinn Féin MEP I want Ireland to play a central role in shaping the future direction of the European Union.

Since my election in 2004 I have been a positive and constructive voice in the European Parliament and have actively supported proposals and measures that are in the interests of Ireland and the EU as a whole and campaigned to change those that are not.

In the European Parliament I have supported measures that:

  • protect workers rights and public services
  • promote environmental protection and sustainability and balanced regional development
  • provide greater democracy and accountability in the EU instutions
  • protect Irish neutrality and oppose increased militarisation of the EU
  • promote greater human rights protection for all
  • promote fair trade and greater equality for the developing world

Since my election to the European Parliament in 2004 Bairbre de Brún and I have:

  • Brought the case for a United Ireland to MEPs and other decision-makers from all over Europe, and promoted practical measures to strengthen all-Ireland working to -Worked with our Ministers in the Executive to help secure the €333 million PEACE programme including €225 million from Europe.

  • Worked with Irish language groups ÊÊ to secure the status of official and working language of the European Union for Irish.
  • Raised issues of conflict resolution, and the possible lessons of the Irish peace process for resolving conflicts in other countries inside and outside the EU.
  • Facilitated the engagement of trade unionists, community groups, collusion victims and others with the EU institutions.
  • Brought the workings of the EU to local people through direct engagement with
local businesses, trade unions, community organisations, environmental groups, NGOs and rural communities.
  • Initiated and secured overwhelming support for a Declaration calling for action by the EU and member states to end street homelessness by 2015.
  • Worked to maximise the potential of the EU Economic Recovery Plan to tackle the economic crisis and supported measures to help our small businesses.
  • Secured a visit to the North West of the influential Regional Development Committee to promote fair regional development.
  • Secured recognition of the issue of corporate manslaughter in a report on Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Secured overwhelming support for the McDonald Report and subsequent resolution on the ILO Maritime Labour Convention to create an international framework to limit workers’ rights abuses in the maritime sector.
  • Successfully campaigned against the proposed Port Services Directive which would have cost jobs and driven down pay and conditions in ports across the EU.
  • Campaigned for workers’ rights and against proposals to increase working time and to end opt-outs and abuses of the Working Time Directive.
  • Campaigned against the liberalisation of public services, particularly through the Services Directive, the proposed Directive on cross-border health care and the Directive on Postal Services.
  • Resisted imports of Brazilian beef over traceability concerns.
  • Secured further support for farmers in meeting the requirements of the Nitrates Directive, and pushed for reduced bureaucracy.
  • Briefed farmers and rural communities on EU developments and facilitated their engagement with Europe.
  • Promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency as a way of boosting the local
economy and tackling climate change and fuel poverty.
  • Campaigned for a Directive on equal treatment, irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, to complement existing Directives against discrimination on the grounds of gender or race.

With regard to my attendance in the European Parliament, it is important to note that when I had my second child in 2006 I was excused from 45 of the parliament’s plenary sessions for maternity leave by the President bringing my attendance record to 73%.

Is mise le meas,
Mary Lou Mc Donald MEP.
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Issue Social policy

What are your personal views towards abortion? I am aware that Sinn Féin supports abortion in the instances of rape and incest...would you rather abortion as a means of contraception be a fundamental right throughout the E.U.?

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Issue Europe's role in the world

Thanks for your response. Even considering the percentage allowed due to maternity leave, 73% is still unacceptable, as far as citizen representation is concerned. If a college student is required, e.g., 85% attendance to class in order to sit for the Final Exam, then, a representative ought to aim even higher, setting the example. You have failed to do so, in my opinion.

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Issue Jobs

Disappointed that you haven´t answered my question (14/5/09). Posed the same question to the other candidates. No reply from Gay Mitchell or Eoin Ryan, no surprise there. But I did expect an answer from yourself. You have answered other questions, so I dont see why you cant reply to my question.

Looking forward to your reponse
answer sent by Mary Lou McDonald
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a chara,

Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately there may have been some mix up as I have not received any question from you on 14/05/09. If you could possibly re-send it I would be happy to answer your query.

Is mise le meas,

Mary Lou McDonald MEP
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Issue Europe's role in the world

My question relates to Europe’s Overseas Aid policy.

Would you campaign to ensure that the European Parliament and the European Commission put pressure on Member States to meet their individual aid targets of 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2015?

Given the current economic problems there is a risk that Member States will cut back their overseas aid budget. Failure to meet aid commitments puts the most vulnerable people in the world at risk.

Would you also campaign to ensure that EU overseas aid is transparent and the Accra Agenda for Action is implemented to ensure that aid reaches those people that need it most?

Thank you
answer sent by Mary Lou McDonald
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a chara,

Thank you for your query. Despite the genuine commitment of the Irish people to help Make Poverty History, the UN Millennium Development Goals on global poverty reduction by 2015 have not been a central objective of the current Irish Government.

Instead, they reneged on promises to allocate 0.7% GNP in Overseas Development Assistance by 2007. This is the third wealthiest state in the world - their decision to reduce our commitment to just 0.5% by 2007 was unjustifiable, and constitutes a betrayal of the world´s poorest.

Sinn Fein is committed to working towards greater global political and economic equality. We will campaign to ensure that the European institutions call upon member states to live up to their responsibilities towards the world´s most vulnerable people.

Is mise,

Mary Lou McDonald MEP
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