Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Water Charges have nothing to do with water conservation – Barron

New Ross Sinn Féin representative Ger Barron has argued strongly against government claims that the proposed water charge is about water conservation. Mr Barron said that such claims cannot be tolerated when up to 58% of treated water is being lost through leaking pipes before it ever reaches a household.

Speaking at the latest New Ross Sinn Féin meeting, Mr Barron said;
“Recently local Sinn Féin members have been supporting the anti water charges petition campaign being run by ‘No Water Charges Wexford’ in the New Ross area. We’ve been shocked to discover that a lot of people falsely believe that water charges are being introduced in an attempt to conserve water. The proposed water charge has nothing to do with water conservation. Up to 58% of treated water is being lost through leaks in our antiquated water supply system. A flat rate tax, or the introduction of water meters, will not fix these leaking pipes.”

“The government points to other countries where the introduction of a water charge has reduced water use by up to 14%. What they aren’t saying is that we may currently be losing two thirds of the treated water that is being produced every day because successive governments’ failed to deal with our eroding Victorian Water pipe network. The average Irish adult uses 150 litres of water per day (or 100 litres if you choose to accept the Fine Gael figures). However 450 litres of water is being produced per person per day in this nation. How can a tax greatly reduce what is being lost before it ever reaches a household?”

Mr Barron is urging the people of New Ross to get involved with the “No Water Charges Wexford” campaign. “We need volunteers to go door to door with our petition. We intend to visit every house in the county over the coming months. We also want people to come forward and organise action committees in their local parishes and villages. We can supply them with everything they need, from petitions to leaflets to t-shirts. The campaign is picking up momentum. Now is the time to oppose these charges, not when they are already in and your neighbour’s water supply is being cut off.”

Mr Barron said people can get more information about the campaign on the “No water charges Wexford” facebook group. A website has also been established at www.nowaterchargeswexford.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 26, 2011

No Water Charges campaign launched in North Wexford

Wexford Town Sinn Féin councillor, Anthony Kelly was guest speaker for the launch of the North Wexford Anti Water Charges Campaignwhich was took place in the Church of Ireland Old School, Gorey on Thursday night. He outlined how the campaign was slowly gaining strength across the county stating:
"The introduction of the Household Tax to fund the water meters, which will cost up to a staggering one billion euro, and the announcement of a timeline for the initiation of water charges shows we cannot bury our head in the sand and avoid these charges."

"However, the reality of this latest tax doesn't seem to have hit home with most people yet. It is simply a lie for the government to claim this is about water conservation. It is not. Up to 58% of treated water across the country is wasted through broken pipes before it even reaches people's homes. The No Water Charges Campaign believe the government should focus on fixing our crumbling water infrastructure rather than penalising ordinary households with yet another levy.We have a class of "new poor" in this country who are stretched to breaking point with huge mortgages and who are being fleeced with this latest revenue generating tax.They simply can take no more.You just can't get blood out of a stone" he said.

He went on to encourage "local areas, estates, communities, rural and urban to form local committees.The No Water Charges Campaign will provide you with materials and assist you in any way"

Chair on the night, Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin, stated that "Water charges will hit everyone.Even those in country areas with private wells will also be hit by the charge. As the government will not have water meters installed at the time of the introduction of the charges, a flat rate charge will be applied on all households." He also slammed the Labour Party for their u-turn on the issue since the recent election. "The ink is hardly dry on their pre-election manifesto which stated that they would oppose such an unjust charge. Now just months later they are implementing it. Not even one of Co.Wexford's five T.D.s voted to oppose this when it was put before Leinster House this summer."

Liz Kenny (Gorey) pointed out that "there are many other fairer ways to generate revenue. A third tax band of 48% on those earning in excess of E100,000 per annum could be introduced, as could a 1% wealth tax on those with assets worth more than E1 million, excluding working farmland."

Anyone who would like to organise a group in their local area are asked to contact the campaign. A facebook group has also been established called "No Water Charges Wexford". A blog is also running called "ww.nowaterchargeswexford.blogspot.com" and a national website called "www.nowatercharges.ie". ENDS.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If the wealthy can pay in France, then why not here?

The French government is planning on imposing a 3% tax on annual revenues above 500,000 euros, as well as modifying a tax on real estate capital gains. The move to make the super wealthy pay more comes after sixteen of the richest citizens in France signed a petition asking the government to raise their taxes.

“We are conscious of having benefited from a French system and a European environment that we are attached to and which we hope to help maintain,” the petition said.

Mmm...I wonder if any of the many Irish multi millionaires who made their money from the incredible conditions that existed during the Fianna Fail/Celtic Tiger/Golden circle epoch will sign a similar petition acknowledging the benefits they had from living in the Ireland of that era and agreeing to pay their fair share back now to avoid further damage to our economy through reckless government austerity measures against ordinary citizens?

In Ireland today, 1% of the population own 34% of the wealth. These powerful individuals take full advantage of tax breaks to stay very wealthy. At no time during this economic crisis have they been singled out for austerity, unlike the ordinary people of Ireland. 51% of the population earn less than €34,000 per annum. These are the people who have been targeted with the Universal Social Charge, wage cuts, cuts to benefits, loss of public services and the promise of further austerity in the shape of ill advised property and water taxes.

According to our government and media, any attempts to make the wealthy accountable for this recession will lead to a mass flight of capital out of the country.

In France today there already exists a wealth tax. It is globally based and accepted as a necessity. It has not led to a flight of capital. In France the wealthy pay between 0.5% and 1.8% on assets above $1.1 million. Now they will face further increases in taxes.

It is plain to see that our government are hoodwinking the people of Ireland into thinking that a wealth tax is an impossibility when clearly it is not only possible but necessary.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bruton kills two birds with quango conundrum

Cllr Anthony Kelly has accused Minister Richard Bruton of trying to kill two birds with one stone by claiming to be reforming the corrupt system of quangos while really moving to weaken hard won protections for the rights of workers. Cllr Kelly said that Wexford Sinn Féin supported getting rid of the many totally unnecessary quangos which exist to provide jobs for the boys, but would have grave concerns that Fine Gael would use public opinion against quangos to eradicate warranted semi state bodies.

Cllr Kelly said;
“Wexford Sinn Féin warmly welcomes commitment from Minister Richard Bruton to deal with the out of control quango culture that has engulfed this nation. There are over a thousand quasi-autonomous national government organisations in this state today. Thousands of people sit on these quangos without any qualifications. Many are there through political patronage, holding a position that was rewarded to them for service to a particular politician or party. Tax payers foot the bill for this whole sorry system.”

“There is obvious need to axe many of these undemocratic bodies. Some do serve a purpose to society however and must be protected. Minister Bruton has proposed amalgamating a number of workers’ rights and equality agencies. If we are serious about protecting workers and about equality, we should ensure that the structures and agencies put in place to protect them are appropriate, robust and properly resourced.”

“I believe that the Minister knows quite well that there are quangos far more deserving of scrutiny than those which protect workers rights. Is it a case that the government have created their own quango conundrum to confuse the general public with and are prepared to use this as a means of weakening workers rights? Why have they not gone after many of the infamous wasteful groups such as the Dublin Docklands Development Authority or used this as an opportunity to amalgamate the many prison visiting committees into one panel? Positions on these visiting committees have been used as political currency for many years.”

“Fine Gael promised to axe one hundred and fifty wasteful quangos before they entered government. It’s now clear that they are going to tip toe around this issue, protecting the many positions of political patronage used for so long to reward supporters while using the issue of reform to wash away the few semi states that actually work for the benefit of citizens.”

New Ross Sinn Féin call for Marshmeadow plan to be re-examined

New Ross Sinn Féin are calling on the National Roads Authority to assess the viability of a second bridge for New Ross at an alternative site following the announcement that the planned bypass for the town has been shelved indefinitely. Local Sinn Féin activist Ger Barron has said that the Marshmeadow site suggested by his party as a cheaper and more realistic location for a second bridge should now be re-examined by the NRA.

Mr Barron said;
“The problem of traffic congestion has been a consistent predicament for the town of New Ross. Several initiatives have been tried with varied degrees of success, but the solution remains as it was ten years ago; a new bridge is needed. The failure of the NRA’s over ambitious plan for the bypass of New Ross is something that local Sinn Féin have predicted for some years. We proposed a much cheaper and more convenient route at marshmeadows.”

“New Ross Sinn Féin have long frowned upon the idea of taking traffic five miles outside the town at huge expense when a new bridge could be constructed at a cheaper cost at Marshmeadows, less than a quarter of a mile from New Ross. Sinn Féin presented this argument in our ‘Blueprint for New Ross’ which was released in 2002, and at subsequent public meetings down through the years. Our viewpoint was ignored by arrogant local politicians who thought that they knew best. Now their idiotic single mindedness has left New Ross without a much needed public amenity which should have been provided during the boom years.”

“The postponement of the New Ross bypass may be a blessing in disguise. The route should now be scrutinised and the Marshmeadow plan re-evaluated. Whereas private funding cannot be found for a route that was excessively expensive and provided few perks for the town of New Ross; perhaps it can be found for a sensible bridge at Marshmeadows.”

Our Leaving Cert students deserve better – Mythen

Cllr Johnny Mythen has congratulated County Wexford students who received their leaving cert results last week and has condemned the government for failing to honour pre election promises to provide a realistic job creation programme. The Sinn Féin councillor has said that the Government must invest in a jobs creation package to stimulate the economy and to give our young people a future in their own country.

Cllr Mythen said;
“Thousands of leaving cert students have received their results but due to the economic situation many cannot afford or do not wish to go onto college and are left with the stark reality of emigration. Despite what some conservative commentators have claimed, jobs for the majority of these students do not exist. It amounts to a failure of successive governments to invest in a proper economic stimulus and job creation package.”

“Fine Gael promised an investment of €7 billion to create 100,000 jobs. Labour promised a jobs fund of €500 million and a Strategic Investment Bank with funds of €2 billion. Instead we got a miserable jobs initiative with only €29 million of expenditure on capital projects and €11 million on additional training places. Unfortunately the numbers of Irish people out of work continues to rise.”

“Sinn Fein believes that the government must invest €2 billion from the National Pension Reserve Fund to fast track labour intensive infrastructure projects and to assist small and medium sized businesses to save and create jobs. The quango system must be massively reformed with many of the ‘jobs for the boys’ being axed immediately. Unjustified tax breaks for the wealthy elite must be terminated. 82% of Irish people are in favour of a wealth tax according to research conducted by the community platform in 2010. “

“There are many ways to raise revenue for a real job creation programme that will not include inflicting further suffering on ordinary people through unfair austerity measures. The government should stop using taxpayers’ money to bailout unguaranteed bondholders. Rather they should be using this money to stimulate Ireland’s domestic economy.”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mickey Devine remembered in Gorey

Wexford Republicans braved the weather this evening to honour the memory of Mickey Devine in Gorey town. The last hunger striker to die was remembered on the 30th anniversary of his death. Veteran Wexford Republican Mick O’ Leary spoke of the life and times of the man who was known simply as “Red Mickey.”
Mick O’ Leary said;
“Michael James Devine was born on the 26th of May 1954 in the Springtown camp (a former WW2 American army base) just outside of Derry city. At the first civil rights march in Derry, when the RUC batoned several hundred protestors, Mickey was only 14 years old. Mickey would continue to witness sectarian oppression and hatred from the attack on civil rights marchers in Burntollet in January to the 12th of August riots resulting in the battle of the bogside.”
“In 1971 Mickey became involved with the Labour party and the Young Socialists. At this time he also joined the Derry Brigade of the OIRA. After Bloody Sunday, Mickey became a fulltime political and military activist. In late 1974, Mickey joined the newly formed IRSP, and became a founding member of the PLA. He later helped form the INLA.”
“Mickey was arrested in 1976, and sentenced in June 1977 to 12 years. He immediately embarked on the blanket protest. In 1981 he became the seventh man to join the hunger strike. Mickey was due to be released from jail that coming September but instead he rejected the criminalisation and chose to fight and face death.”
“Mickey Devine died at 7:50am on Thursday the 20th of August 1981.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peter Daly - Monageers Great Republican Socialist

Irish republicans and socialists of various points of view will gather in Monageer on Saturday the 3rd of September to honour the memory of Peter Daly.

Peter Daly was born in Liverpool on 27 September, 1903. His father was Lar Daly, an active member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The Daly family returned to Ireland when Peter was just a child. He attended school in the old schoolhouse at Tinnacross and later Monageer. He became an active member of the local unit of Na Fianna Eireann, carrying messages, gathering and hiding arms and organising anti-British protests.
Peter fought for the anti treaty side in the civil war, fiercely opposing the implementation of the treaty and the foundation of the new freestate. He was wounded in battle and spent seventeen months in a freestate gaol. He was only released after going on hunger strike.

Peter found life extremely difficult in post war Ireland. Having fought on the losing side in the civil war, he could not find anyone who would employ him. Like thousands of his comrades, he was forced to emigrate to survive. He went to London where he eventually enlisted in the British army for four years. His service only came to an end when his superiors discovered that he was supplying their arms to the IRA. He promptly returned home where he took up a position as a training officer with the Wexford IRA.

In 1934, Peter joined the Republican Congress, an organisation formed by a group of radical Republicans and intellectuals, including Peadar O’Donnell, George Gilmore, Frank Ryan and Nora Connolly-O’Brien. Peter embraced the non sectarian republican views expressed by the congress. Economic hardship forced him to leave his work with the congress and to return to London where he worked as a labourer on a building site.

In 1936, a military cable led by General Franco attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Spain. They were supported by Fascist elements from across Europe. The other nations of Europe and the USA decided to stay out of the conflict as was their international policies at the time. This prompted free loving people from across the globe to enlist in the International Brigades, and to go to Spain to defend democracy. Peter Daly was one of the first recruits.

Peter played a leading role at the battle of Jarama on the 12th of February. He was wounded but was back on the front at Pozo Blanco-Chomora. It was the job of international brigade volunteers there to defend the mercury mines of Almaden which was much coveted by Franco’s allies, Nazi Germany.
During this period one of Peters comrades said the following about him;
“He was the type of leader for whom men would have gone through hell, and his qualities were such that he merited this high regard of his comrades.”

In April 1937, Peter’s unit was transferred to the Basque region to relieve under pressure troops there. Despite being recently wounded again, Peter returned to his unit and was made commander of the British and Irish battalion. Peter’s unit took the fortified town of Quinto after three days of fierce fighting but still had a fortress above the town raining fire down upon them. Peter led an assault on this building and was badly wounded in the stomach. He died in Benicasim Hospital outside Valencia on the 5th of September 1937.

The Monageer Sinn Féin cumann is named in honour of Peter Daly. They have been holding annual commemorations in his honour since 2007, and are part of the organising committee for this year’s non political commemoration.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wexford TDs claim €54,016 in expenses in first four months

County Wexford's five TDs have claimed an incredible €54,016 in the first four months of the 31st Dail. Fine Gael TD Liam Twomey claimed the largest expenses at €19,683. His Fine Gael colleague and Minister for State Paul Kehoe claimed €6,666. Fianna Fail TD John Browne claimed €14,666, while Labour TD and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin claimed €4000. Independent TD Mick Wallace claimed €9000 in expenses.

TDs currently earn over €90,000 a year but are entitled to claim expenses for rent of public offices, improvements to these offices, accommodation, purchase of stationary, telephone calls, advertising and travel expenses. They may also claim travel expenses for attending conferences relating to their duties. In order to qualify for these perks, they must attend the Dail for 120 days annually.
Deputy Twomeys lavish expenses means that he earned over fifty thousand in the first four months of his term. That roughly works out as the same amount earned by twelve people on the minimum wage. In a time when the government are proposing placing a €200 flat household tax on old age pensioners, TDs are earning the weekly wages equivalent to what fifteen OAPs get. In a time when the fuel allowance is to be cut, wealthy TDs are freely allowed to claim expenses for their telephone calls and stationary.

Isn’t it time that Fine Gael and Labour honoured their pre election promises to end political cronyism by slashing these expenses and reducing the wages of TDs?

Mythen calls for the extension of Presidential voting rights

Cllr Johnny Mythen has called for presidential voting rights to be extended to northern citizens and to the Irish diaspora. The Sinn Féin Councillor said that his party were campaigning for a constitutional amendment to allow for this extension.

Cllr Mythen said;
“Extending presidential voting rights to Irish citizens living in the Six Counties is a natural outworking of the Good Friday Agreement which enshrines the rights of people in the north to Irish citizenship. The President of Ireland is supposed to represent all Irish citizens, so all Irish citizens should have the right to decide who holds that office. The growing Irish diaspora should also have the right to decide.”

“Sinn Féin are currently campaigning for this extension of voting rights and if it requires a constitutional amendment, then this should be put before the people at the earliest opportunity. I would urge Wexford county council to ask any potential candidate who comes looking for their support of their views on extending voting rights to cover all Irish citizens. I would also appeal to the people of County Wexford to make this an issue. Write letters to the papers, text in to your local radio shows and ask the candidates through their websites and facebook pages.”

“Over half a million people hold legitimate Irish pass ports declaring their Irish Citizenship. They can play on the Irish soccer teams, Rugby teams, take part in the All Ireland hurling and football competitions, but cannot vote for an Irish President. Surely we as a democratic Nation should recognise the full rights of all citizens on this Island and amend our constitution to allow a Presidential vote to all thirty two counties.”

Sinn Fein calls for an end of the school uniform monopoly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that the growing costs of school uniforms and the very real stress that this is causing among Irish families must be addressed now. The Wexford Councillor said that the Sinn Fein party as called upon the Minister for Education to do everything in his power to bring down the costs of these uniforms.

Cllr Kelly said;
“The cost of sending children to school is putting huge financial burden on thousands of families who are already suffering the effects of the recession. I have been contacted by several worried constituents in the past few weeks. They have all asked me where is the sense in allowing a small number of retailers to hold a monopoly on school jumpers which have the crests emblazoned on them. They ask how anyone can justify this practice which keeps prices so high. The truth is I can’t answer them because I can’t see any sense in it either.”

“This significant cost factor could be transformed overnight if each school provided students with crests for a small cost to be sown onto standard school jumpers. Sinn Féin has been calling for this for some time now, as have the children’s group Barnardos. New figures from Barnardos state that is now costs €350 to equip a child entering primary school rising to €805 for a child entering secondary. Our children’s education and future cannot be sacrificed to keep a cosy monopoly in place.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thousands remember hunger strikers in Camlough

Thousands of Republicans from across Ireland gathered in the small village of Camlough nested in the hills of south Armagh yesterday to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the ten martyrs of 1981. Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Ray McCreesh, Patsy O’ Hara, Joe McDonnell, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Mickey Devine were on the minds of thousands as they followed the procession of banners through the village of Camlough to a beautiful site in the shade of the ring of Gullion.
Along the route they were reminded of terrible events of the past as brilliant choreographed re-enactments showed people scenes of 1981. Whether it was the sight of a diplock court, or protestors clashing with riot police, or a blanket man in silent solitude, the message was clear. These were extraordinary times when normality was anything but normal. Out of these extraordinary times came extraordinary men and women, who stood up against the might of an empire. Among them were ten young men who would die in the ultimate act of self sacrifice.
Could the British government have ever truly believed that thirty years after the deaths of the hunger strikers, thousands would travel from across Ireland to pay tribute to the memory of these martyrs? Or that commemorations for these men would be held in every county, in countless villages across the length and breathe of Ireland? Or that their images would be more recognisable to young Irish people than any other Irish figures of history?
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams told the thousands present that it was the sacrifice of these men and the conditions that they provided for the success of the Sinn Féin strategy that has led to Irish “republicanism being stronger today than at any time since partition.”
“Of course we have a huge job of work to do to persuade unionists of the merits of the republican and democratic position. But we are also in a very good place to do this. Achieving our republican goals will not be easy. While unionist leaders now see the benefits of working on an all-Ireland basis, they remain opposed to a united Ireland. So there is work to be done peacefully and democratically with them. Sinn Féin is up for that work.”
Mr Adams said the British government, “despite its protestations to the contrary, and its systems, has yet to face up to its responsibilities to the people of this island. It can best do this by leaving us to manage our own affairs.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thomas McElwee Vigil in Enniscorthy

A vigil was held for Derry Hunger Striker Thomas McElwee in Enniscorthy last Monday evening. The 30th anniversary of his death was marked with a silent vigil in the towns market square.
Thomas was only twenty three years old when he died on hunger strike in 1981. He was a cousin of fellow hunger strike martyr Francis Hughes.

Policies of Austerity are failing – Mythen

Cllr Johnny Mythen has said that it is evident now that the policies of austerity implemented by successive governments are failing. Cllr Mythen and Sinn Féin have called upon the government to abandon the failed policies of Fianna Fail and to instead concentrate on a real job creation strategy and much needed reform of the tax system.

“Sinn Féin has long warned that aggressive austerity measures will do more harm than good to our crippled economy,” Cllr Mythen said. “New Central Bank projections released last week show that the government is set to miss almost all of its economic targets, published only a few weeks ago. The Central Bank projections predict that consumer spending will remain below zero in 2012. Is it any wonder when Fine Gael and Labours plans for economic recovery involved removing more money from citizen’s pockets through new taxes, fewer local services and lower wages? The retail industry is already on its knees. How could a monstrosity like the new household charge improve that sectors plight?”

“New figures from the CSO show that unemployment has now reached 14.3%. 447,900 people are now out of work. Of course this figure does not include those who are not entitled to social welfare due to having been self employed or owning land that is probably unsellable. It also fails to include those who have been forced to emigrate. Sinn Féin warned both the previous government and the current one that extreme austerity measures would lead to increased unemployment and emigration. Unfortunately, we were right.”

“It’s time for this government to abandon the failed economic policies of Fianna Fail which they once fervently condemned, and to embrace a progressive, realistic job creation strategy. The government’s jobs initiative failed in comparison to pre election promises from Fine Gael of 100,000 new jobs, and Labours promised €500 million job fund. They must recommit themselves to solving the unemployment crisis. They must also look at progressive taxation and implementing a policy of ‘those who can afford to pay more should do so’. Tax reform must also be addressed as the misuse of taxbreaks by wealthy individuals continues to cost the state revenue in a time when a weekly tax is being placed on old aged pensioners.”

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kieran Doherty remembered in Taghmon

Last Tuesday evening Wexford Republicans gathered in memorial square in Taghmon to pay respect to Kieran Doherty, the Irish Republican Martyr who had died on hunger strike thirty years ago to the day. They gathered beside a monument to three other republican martyrs, James Parle, John Creane and Pat Hogan, who had been executed by freestate forces during the height of the civil war.
Local republican and trade union activist Larry Furlong, who organised the event, was keen to stress the unbroken connection between Parle, Creane and Hogan, and Kieran Doherty. He also urged people to remember how young all four martyrs had been when they died.
Kieran Doherty was twenty five years old when he died on hunger strike in Long Kesh. He lasted 73 days on hunger strike, the longest of the 1981 hunger strikers, and only one day short of Terence MacSwiney.
While on hunger strike he was elected as an Anti H-Block TD for the Cavan–Monaghan constituency at the 1981 general election held in the Republic of Ireland on the 11 June. Doherty was shortest serving Dáil deputy having served as TD for two months. The seats gained by Anti H Block candidates denied Charles Haughey from forming a government and the 22nd Dáil saw Fine Gael and Labour form a government with Garret FitzGerald as Taoiseach.

Sinn Féin condemns government approval of Household Charge

Cllr Anthony Kelly has condemned the government’s decision to introduce a new household charge of €100 as a pre-cursor to water charges and a property tax. The Wexford Sinn Féin councillor has venomously rejected Deputy Paul Kehoe’s suggestion that there is no alternative to this new tax, and has described the new charge has being more than a little similar in delivery to Margaret Thatcher’s first steps at introducing a poll tax in Britain during the 1980’s.

“This charge is yet another form of regressive taxation and will further stifle the conditions necessary for true economic recovery,” Cllr Kelly said. “Once again those who have less have been targeted with extreme austerity measures, while those who can afford to pay more escape with a minor bruise. Last Saturday we learned that welfare cuts and raising the income tax of ordinary workers will be the budgetary strategy of the Fine Gael/Labour government. They are preparing to roll out the same backward measures that they condemned Fianna Fail for implementing last year.”

“The Household charge will see more money drained from the pockets of the majority, leading to further collapse of the local economy. The retail industry will be particularly hard hit. It is clear that the austerity plans employed by this government are failing. In the second quarter of this year GNP was down 4.3 per cent on the previous quarter. There can be no recovery as long as our government insists on slash and burn austerity.”

“Paul Kehoe claimed on South East Radio that there was no alternative to the introduction of this tax. I suggest that Deputy Kehoe look to our proposals of introducing a third band of income tax at 48% on those earning in excess of €100,000 per annum, and placing a 1% wealth tax on those with assets worth more than €1 million, excluding working farmland. I would also ask that County Wexford’s government TDs provide estimated figures for how much revenue is being lost to the state through the misuse of tax breaks, which are being exploited by very wealthy people to increase their fortunes. There is a better, fairer way to run this state.”

“I would have grave concerns that this is the first step in the creation of an Irish poll tax, similar in lay out and cruelty to the hated community tax introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1989. People need to mobilise and to get onto the streets to oppose this tax. Remember it’s not in yet and people power maybe the only thing that can convince this government to look to a more equivalent system of taxation.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kevin Lynch remembered in Wexford town

Cllr Anthony Kelly led a minutes silence at a vigil held in memory of Kevin Lynch this evening in Redmond Square, Wexford town. A large crowd of republicans had gathered to honour the hunger striker who died thirty years ago today.
Kevin Lynch was a twenty five year old republican prisoner from Park, near Dungiven in Derry when he sacrificed his life in the pursuit of basic rights for himself and his comrades. A keen sportsman, his local hurling team was renamed in his honour after his death.
A broad age group of republicans attended the vigil this evening. Some remember full well those terrible days when the hunger strikers were allowed die by two indifferent governments, while others there had not even been born at that time. Nine Sinn Féin cumainn from across the county were represented at the vigil.
Cllr Kelly reminded everyone that Wexford Sinn Féin will be holding a vigil in memory of Kieran Doherty tomorrow evening at 7pm in Taghmon.