Friday, March 30, 2012

Citizen will never be too small to matter - McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald TD told a meeting of County Wexford Sinn Féin in Ferns last Thursday night that Sinn Féin was now the main opposition party in the country. The Sinn Féin Vice-President told the packed meeting in the Courtyard that both this government and the previous Fianna Fail led coalition had taken a political decision to put the needs of failed banking institutions before the needs of ordinary citizens.
“A political decision was taken,” Deputy McDonald said, “Successive governments decided that banks were too big to fail and citizens were too small to matter. Of course this is clearly wrong and that is why we have so venomously opposed the government’s unfair austerity measures. The reason the so called main opposition party, Fianna Fail, haven’t been attacking these measures is because the Fine Gael and Labour government are only carrying out Fianna Fail instructions. They are implementing the failed Fianna Fail economic program which they campaigned against in the last election.”

“During the 2011 general election campaign Sinn Féin told people that we would be their voice in the Dail. We kept that promise. We are not opposition for the sake of opposition. We are not negative. We are positively asserting the rights of the people. Sinn Féin is a working class outfit and we have no apologies for that.”
Deputy McDonald acknowledged that the real crisis in Ireland for the average citizen is the lack of work. “Sinn Féin has opposed the unfair measures being drafted by this government but we have also put forward alternatives. We have pushed for the investment of funding in the state and the people rather than in toxic banks and unsecured bondholders. We have pushed for the implementation of a realistic job creation program.”

Deputy McDonald said that Sinn Féin was a growing force in County Wexford once again. She urged people who felt disenfranchised to join the party, stating that there will always be more room in the party for genuine people who want to make their communities better.
“Wexford is a county with a long proud tradition,” Deputy McDonald said, “I see no reason why with the right people working for their communities that Sinn Féin can’t be the catalyse of real and lasting change in County Wexford. Change for the better for this county and its people. I’m urging people to make a stand and to join the fastest growing party in Ireland. Sinn Féin believes in a republican Ireland, an Ireland of equality and fairness. An Ireland where banks can sometimes fail but the citizen will never be too small to matter.”

Fight to abolish the household tax will go on - Kelly

On the day of the deadline for registration to the household charge, Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that this is not the end of the campaign to reverse the unfair tax. Cllr Kelly insisted that the fight to abolish the controversial tax was not ending and cited Sinn Fein’s household charge repeal bill in June as another opportunity to have this inequitable tax quashed. The Wexford Sinn Féin rep made the comments as he urged as many people as possible to attend today’s national protest against the tax in Dublin.

“Today might be the government’s deadline for registration, but the fight to have the household tax abolished is by no means over,” Cllr Kelly said. “Up to a million people have not yet registered. Minister Hogan can leave the local authority buildings opened all day and night but a large percentage of the 1.6 million households eligible for this tax will not pay no matter how much spin or threats are thrown at them. Fine Gael should acknowledge at their Ard Fheis today that they have lost the battle to intimidate the people of Ireland into paying this unfair tax.”
“In June, Sinn Féin will be bringing its Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012 before the Dail. The aim of this bill is to repeal the household charge and allow the Department to reimburse those households that have already paid it. Sinn Féin has argued from the start that the only way to beat this charge is to have it abolished. If this level of pressure remains on the government they will have to relent and allow this inequitable tax to be quashed.”

“Sinn Féin has supported the protests organised by the people of Wexford against the household tax across our county. Today we will be supporting the national protest outside the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin. I’m calling on the people of County Wexford to support today’s protest. The fight to abolish the household charge will go on and together we can beat this unfair tax.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two faced Ministers have lost the respect of the people – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has condemned the government for initiating a huge ‘scare and spin’ campaign aimed at trying to break the will of household tax protestors while they squander tax payers’ money. The Sinn Féin rep said that the governments undemocratic move to buy Irish Life for €1.3 billion under emergency banking legislation yesterday while insisting that homeowners refusing to pay the controversial household tax were in danger of bankrupting local government was the height of hypocrisy.

Cllr Kelly said;

“On the day that our government paid €1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money for Irish Life, Enda Kenny demanded that the 1.1 million householders who had not paid their household tax should ‘measure up and obey the law.’ Does Mr Kenny and his cabinet not realise that Irish people can do a simple bit of arithmetic and work out that the money paid out for Irish Life yesterday is eight times the amount to be raised from the household tax?”
“Despite previous spin, it now appears certain that the government will pay out another €3.1 billion this Saturday to honour the promissory note. €4.4 billion paid out to honour the sins of failed banking institutions in a matter of days. That amounts to 27.5 times the maximum amount that could be generated from the household tax.”

“The constant mutterings coming from government ministers over the past week can only be described as a huge scare and spin campaign aimed at intimidating the Irish people into paying the household tax. How can families who have been hammered with austerity over the past four years put their faith in a government who speaks and acts with two very different faces?”

“Attempts to convince household tax protestors that they are responsible for bankrupting local government while state money is squandered on banking assets and debts are the height of hypocrisy. The government’s move to buy Irish Life without any debate on the issue is completely undemocratic and shows the dangerous mentality at the heart of this regime. I truly believe they have lost the respect of the people.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Minister Howlin has forgotten it was the people who elected him – Kelly

As Sinn Féin announces its intention to publish a household charge repeal bill today, Cllr Anthony Kelly has attacked Minister Brendan Howlin over comments he made regarding the controversial tax yesterday. Cllr Kelly said Minister Howlin's description of the household tax as being “a fair and a just imposition on people” showed that he was out of touch with public opinion and had forgotten that it was people opposing this charge who had elected him to government.

“Minister Brendan Howlin's comments regarding the household charge yesterday were ill-timed and out of touch with public opinion,” Cllr Kelly said. “As of yesterday only 360,000 homeowners had paid the controversial tax. Over 1.2 million citizens had chosen not to register with only three days to go to the deadline. To say that this tax is a fair and just imposition on people is a prime example of how far Minister Howlin is prepared to go to implement Fine Gael’s right wing policies.”

“Later today Sinn Féin spokesperson on local government Brian Stanley TD will be joined by party colleagues to announce details of the party's Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012. This will be another attempt by the party to have the tax abolished. Sinn Féin has put forward its alternatives to the household tax. We have consistently argued that those who can afford to pay more should do so.”

“Minister Howlin said yesterday that revenue raised from the tax was vital to fund local government but the truth is that funding that was available to local government up until now has been filtered into the bailout fund. If there is no money to fund local services it will be because our government decided to use it to pay off unsecured bondholders rather than because overstretched families were unable to pay a grossly unfair tax.”

“Yesterdays comments from Minister Howlin were just one in a line of carefully managed diktats coming out from government reps to try to bully and scare the people of Ireland into a tax they have overwhelmingly rejected. This country is still a democracy. It is unacceptable for any government to so blatantly oppose the will of the masses. Minister Howlin’s statement shows that he has forgotten that many of the people opposing the household charge voted him into government a little over a year ago on the promise of reform, growth and fairness.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Palestinian 'Stall with the Wall' street theatre in Wexford’s Bullring

People walking into Wexford town’s iconic bullring today found themselves face to face with sirens, a scale model of the West Bank wall and armed Israeli soldiers manning a menacing checkpoint. Luckily it was only part of a street theatre event organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) to highlight awareness of the day to day horrors being endured by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. Well known Wexford human rights campaigner and Sinn Féin rep. Ger Barron said the event was also organised to highlight “the shameful role of Irish cement multinational CRH plc in Israel’s occupation.”
“The IPSC are staging the ‘Israeli Checkpoint Bethlehem’ street theatre event across the country to highlight the routine difficulties and restrictions on freedom of movement faced by people in the occupied Palestinian territories as they attempt to go about their daily lives,” Mr Barron said. “One and half million Palestinians are currently ‘locked in’ in Gaza, imprisoned in their own country. 65% of them live in poverty while 52% are at risk of hunger.”
“Their day to day lives are even further complicated by the grid of checkpoints that they must pass through each day. At these checkpoints, Palestinians are routinely humiliated, beaten and even killed. This is the day to day horror that they must endure and that we have tried to bring to life in Wexford with this street theatre.”
“It is also necessary to highlight the role that an Irish multinational company is playing in the suffering of the Palestinian people. Irish cement multinational CRH plc is profiteering in Palestine through the sale of cement used for the construction of the Separation Wall and the illegal settlements in the West Bank. At a recent tribunal, leading human rights barrister Michael Mansfield concluded that the conduct of CRH in occupied Palestine was ‘morally reprehensible and exposes the company to legal liability for these violations.’ CRH are currently under investigation by the OECD for alleged complicity with Israel’s violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Household Tax Bully tactics won’t work – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly renewed his call on the government to abolish the household tax ahead of today’s rally against the controversial charge in Wexford town. The Wexford Sinn Féin councillor said that the governments bully tactics and scaremongering were failing to break the resolve of the Irish people after it had emerged that less than 20% of those eligible to pay the household tax had registered with only a week to go before the deadline.
Cllr Kelly said;

“There’s only one week to go to the deadline for registration to pay the household charge yet fewer than 20% of those eligible have signed up. At this time a little over 300,000 households have paid the charge. That leaves 1.3 million households who have not paid. If that’s not a clear rejection of the household tax by the Irish electorate then I don’t know what is. The people have rejected this tax, and today as a local democratically elected representative I am calling on the government to listen to the wishes of the people and abolish this controversial charge.”
“We are now witnessing government reps appearing hourly on national and local media desperately trying to scaremonger the remaining 1.3 million households into paying this tax. I don’t believe the majority of these people will be fooled by their frantic rhetoric. I don’t believe that the household tax is collectable. Which leaves the question; what will the government do next week after the deadline? Will they begin the process of criminalising hundreds of thousands of Irish people who have never been in any trouble with the law before?”
“Sinn Féin supported the protest rally against the household tax on Wexford Quays this afternoon. I called on all Wexford Sinn Féin members, supporters and voters to come out and help us make a stand against this unfair tax and call for its immediate abolishment. The government has completely misjudged the applicability of this tax and must back down now to avoid a long summer of conflict with their own electorate.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wexford Sinn Féin reschedule Rally against Austerity to support the People of Wexford's protest against the household tax this Saturday

Wexford Sinn Féin has rescheduled its Rally against Austerity which was due to be held in Wexford town on Saturday in order to support the peoples protest against the household tax being held on the same day on Crescent Quay.

The Rally against Austerity had been planned to highlight Sinn Féins complete opposition to unfair austerity measures like the household charge, septic tank tax and severe cuts to education and health services while our government prepares to hand over €3.1 billion of taxpayers’ money to cover the debts of a toxic bank next week. The decision to reschedule the event has been taken in order to support the people of Wexford's public protest against the household tax on Saturday.

Wexford Sinn Féin is renewing its call on the government to immediately abolish this controversial tax and prevent a situation where it risks criminalising hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens. We are calling on all Sinn Féin members and supporters to attend Saturdays protest rally on Wexford Quays at 2pm.

Odious Debts must be written off - Mythen

A message from Cllr Johnny Mythen

They say truth is the first casualty of war. Truth is also the casualty of a propaganda financial war. We have in this Country, an unprecedented jobless growth, unprecedented Emigration growth and unprecedented unaccountable power growth.

When a Government will not provide money for hospitals, schools, nurses, teachers, Gardaí, or the creation of much needed jobs across all sections of society, but can find billions to pay broken down financial institutions like Anglo Irish Bank along with unguaranteed bondholders and developers whom are the very people who caused the financial crash in the first place, while at the same time refusing to negotiate or even consider a change in the conditions or terms of this rotten deal, then they are not being true to their Country or their people.

These are odious debts and must be written off. In International law, odious debt is a legal theory which holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interest of a nation should not be enforceable. Such debts are considered to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not DEBT OF THE STATE.

Its time to start running our Country as a Country, and not as a satellite state under the cosh of total European dominance.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"It’s time to shout stop!” – hears rural meeting

"It’s time to shout stop!” – hears rural meeting
“Enough is enough – it’s time to shout stop!” This was the message that came loud and clear from a well attended meeting public meeting under the heading “septic tanks and the attack on rural Ireland ”which was held in Coolgreany on Wednesday night, and which was organised by North Wexford Sinn Féin.

Chairman, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, claimed these attacks included “post office and garda station closures, planned septic tank upgrading costs, water and household taxes, increases in school transport costs, among others. Banks in villages are closing. Government policy is exiling people to the far side of the world, once again, which is also affecting GAA clubs. Closing the local school-the heart of the local community, would be the final nail in the coffin"
Wicklow County Councillor, John Brady, who was almost elected a T.D. in last years general election, and who has addressed several similar gatherings in recent times, was guest speaker on the night. He gave a wide-ranging address covering every facet of rural Ireland “the very fabric of which is being torn apart”, he claimed.

On the contentious issue of septic tanks, he said that “the report in the media earlier this week that an initial 1,984 homes in Co. Wexford and as many as 165,000 throughout the state would be targeted for random inspection has frightened people. The same report estimated upgrading costs of between five and twelve thousand euro. However, the government hasn’t given any guarantee of grant funding.”

He outlined how Sinn Féin politicians were fighting these attacks at every level.
Wexford Sinn Fein Councillor, Anthony Kelly also spoke on the night saying that austerity wasn’t working but added that “people were staring to fight back - just 15% of people have registered for the household tax. It will be simply unworkable.”

Enniscorthy councillor, Johnny Mythen graphically highlighted how emigration was affecting rural areas pointing out that “seven members of Camolin football team and five members of the Bunclody team that won the county final two years ago are now in Australia”


The issue of the threat to small rural schools also came up with the warning that “as many as eleven small schools in North Wexford could either face losing a teacher or closure in the long term, if local people power doesn’t force government politicians to back down.” said Ó Suilleabháin
“Ministers like Ruairi Quinn make these anti-rural decisions while sipping coffee at mahogany tables in Dublin 4. They then dream up with grandiose terms like “rationalisation” to describe cuts that rip the heart out of rural Ireland.”

“Coolgreany’s Scoil Íosagáin have been actively campaigning for the retention of their four mainstream teachers and hope to be successful. They have a very strong, clear cut case. If they are not successful, then no other school in the state will.” He added optimistically, “that the campaign around the DEIS urban disadvantaged schools recently, saw what parent power can achieve. People can force the hand of politicians if they are determined enough”, claimed Ó Suilleabháin.

Howlin merely “paying lip service” over Boucher’s Super Wage

Wexford Sinn Fein has condemned both the Bank of Ireland and the Government after revelations of the outrageous salary received by Bank Chief Ritchie Boucher. Cllr Anthony Kelly described local government TD’s condemnation remarks on the hugely controversial issue as merely “paying lip service” to the Irish tax payer. The Wexford Borough Councillor was particularly critical of Minister for Public Reform Brendan Howlin's refusal to accept any responsibility for the issue.

Cllr Kelly said;

“Minister Howlin should have intervened earlier and insisted that Bank of Ireland and Richie Boucher comply with the Government cap on bank official’s salaries. The Governments acceptance of this unacceptable salary and remunerations is a direct slap in the face to the public. It is entirely unacceptable to allow tax payers money to be abused at a time when the majority of Irish citizens are expected to live under austerity measures imposed by this Government.”

“Brendan Howlin is the Minister in charge of imposing wage caps on senior civil servants and top level bankers. The Ministers government made a huge fanfare of setting a €500,000 price cap on senior bankers. Mr Boucher’s basic salary exceeds this amount by €123,000. With benefits his package is worth €831,000. This is at a time when the people of this country are being threatened with fines if they refuse to register for the household tax. Once again it is remarkably straightforward to see the two tiered Ireland of haves and not-haves in existence.”

“The Government will attempt to camouflage the turning of a blind eye to Mr Boucher’s payment by blaming this on the last Government. People will remember that it was the Fine Gael and Labour parties that gave a solemn promise to the Irish electorate that these golden handshakes to high ranking bank officials at the expense of the tax payer would never again be tolerated under their watch. For a government TD to say that Mr Boucher’s wages upsets them is merely paying lip service to long forgotten election promises.”

Councillor has grave concerns over degradation of patients at local hospital

Cllr Anthony Kelly has expressed grave concerns over the possible degradation of patients at Wexford General Hospital following last week’s edition of the Echo breaking the story of how a young Wexford woman endured a humiliating ordeal while being treated on a trolley there. The Sinn Féin councillor has renewed his call on hospital manager Lily Byrne and local HSE representative Mr Richard Dooley to meet with Wexford Borough Council immediately to address the concerns of local reps and their constituents.

“Last week’s breaking story of a local woman’s humiliating episode while being treated on a trolley at Wexford General Hospital flawlessly highlights the crisis that has been brewing there for over a year now,” Cllr Kelly said. “These episodes are becoming more commonplace. How many families haven’t been in some way touched by the trolley crisis at our local hospital? I have been inundated with calls from anxious constituents who have told me horror stories about time spent on the trolleys at Wexford General.”

“It's important to point out that these incidents are occurring despite the immense effort being put in by the hard working staff at Wexford General Hospital. The staff have been fantastic and how they continue to work under such circumstances is beyond me. They deserve to be commended. They, like the patients left on trolleys, are suffering an appalling ordeal.”

“Following these new revelations of the trauma being suffered by patients, I am renewing my call on Hospital Manager Lily Byrne and local HSE representative Mr Richard Dooley to meet with Wexford Borough Council immediately and address the mounting worries of the people of this county. My colleagues and I have been told that the HSE and Ms Byrne are under no obligation to meet with us. I strongly disagree. The people of this town elected the Borough Council to represent them and it is to us they are coming with their concerns.”

“I have grave concerns about the situation at Wexford General. Nothing has been done to rectify the situation there and every week I am hearing new stories of degradation of patients and staff. It’s unacceptable for the HSE and Hospital Management to bury their heads in the sand. No solutions will be found to the trolley crisis at Wexford General Hospital until the management there are prepared to face up to the full extent of this problem.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rally against Austerity in Wexford Town on the 24th

Wexford Sinn Féin is calling on all those people in the county who oppose the austerity measures implemented by this and the previous government to take to the streets of Wexford town on Saturday the 24th of March next. Cllr Anthony Kelly said that the rally against austerity was being organised to highlight the glaring unfairness in our government unleashing terrible austerity like the household tax on the Irish people while they prepare to pay off a €3.1 billion promissory note to honour the debts of unsecured bondholders at the end of this month.
“The single factor that is causing the Irish economy to stay stagnant is the government policy of austerity,” Cllr Kelly said, “It is directly responsible for the lack of jobs, growing emigration and civil unease. The austerity measures implemented by this government and the previous Fianna Fail led coalition have failed the Irish people. Instead of the creation of jobs and the recovery of the economy they promised us, we have had vital services in education, health and transport cut, the introduction of new taxes and continued long term mass unemployment. Austerity has failed and will go on failing as long as we allow governments to implement these measures.”

“On the 31st of this month our government will pay out €3.1 billion to honour an annual promissory note to the ECB. This money is being used to pay for the sins of greedy bankers and ruthless international gamblers who like to call themselves bondholders. The 31st of March is also the deadline for householders to register to pay the household tax. Only 15% of those households that are eligible to pay the charge have registered. This is a clear signal to the government that the people have broadly rejected the policies of austerity. It’s unfortunate that Fine Gael and Labour still haven’t got the message.”
“This week we have learned that the government may use utility bills to find those people who are not registering to pay the controversial charge. This is yet another threat from our government to the Irish people. There can be no justification for harassing citizens who have been bled dry by years of austerity to pay a charge they cannot afford while our state thinks it appropriate to hand over €3.1 billion to honour the debts of unsecured bondholders.”

“Sometime later this year, we will be asked to vote in what the government refers to as the EU Fiscal Compact Treaty. I prefer to call it the austerity treaty. Sinn Féin opposes this treaty because its introduction will institutionalise permanent austerity in our economy. The new EU treaty, the paying of promissory notes and harsh government measures like the household tax and cuts to services are all unavoidably linked.”
“I’m calling on the people of County Wexford, regardless of their political leanings, to attend the Rally against Austerity on the 24th. In our country today, 440,000 people are unemployed, 50,000 people are emigrating every year and 130,000 children are living in poverty. The definition of insanity is continuing to make the same mistakes again and again while expecting a different result. That sums up our governments belief in austerity. It’s time we sent them a cohesive message that enough is enough.”

Sinn Féin call on Labour grassroots to make voice heard and oppose controversial household tax

County Wexford Sinn Féin councillors Anthony Kelly and Johnny Mythen are urging local Labour Party grassroots members to make their voices heard and call on their leadership to scrap the unjust household charge following reports that the government intend to use household utility bills to pursue those who have not registered to pay the controversial tax.

Cllr Kelly said;

“This is a prime example of how far this government is prepared to go to impose this unjust tax on the Irish people. Only 15% of the population have registered yet, which is a very clear indication that the people have broadly rejected this tax which they know only too well will be used to fund the bail out of toxic banks and the unsecured bondholders. The intimidation of the hard pressed families to pay this tax that they simply can’t afford is completely at odds with the Labour Party election manifesto.”

“So far the government has netted about €20 million from the household tax, far less than the €160 million they were expecting to raise. To put that in perspective, at the end of this month we will pay out €3.1 billion on an annual promissory note. That money is being used to recapitalise toxic banks and pay off the debts of unguaranteed bondholders of Anglo Irish Bank. Under pressure Irish families are being coerced with all kinds of threats by a government that would put the needs of these international gamblers above those of its own citizens.”
Cllr Johnny Mythen said;

“A little over a year ago the Labour party ran an election on a manifesto that prioritised fairness, job creation and reform. Where is the fairness in harassing hard pressed Irish homeowners into paying a tax that they cannot afford and which has venomously rejected by the Irish public? How will jobs be created if our government continues to suck money out of the local economy? They will not be. More small and medium enterprises will go under leading to more unemployment. Where is the reform when Labour in government is happy to implement the devastating Fianna Fail economics that got us in this mess in the first place? The same policies that they roundly opposed when sitting on the other side of the house.”

“The Labour leadership may have abandoned its core principals and ideals but I refuse to believe that the decent hardworking labour grassroots has done the same. It’s time for those grassroots members to come out and tell their leadership that they are not happy and will not accept this wholesale betrayal of labour ideology anymore.”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kelly joins Protection of Workers picket at Great Island Power Station

Cllr Anthony Kelly met with unemployed skilled workers who are mounting a right to work protest outside Great Island Power Station this morning. The Wexford Sinn Féin councillor had been invited down to meet the protestors and ascertain the possible exploitation of migrant workers who have been ferried in recently to carry out the ground work for a proposed new power station

Cllr Kelly said;

“There has been an ongoing problem at Great Island for some time now and no one is making any moves to rectify it. I was happy to meet with the protestors this morning and I wish to use my influence as an elected public rep to highlight their cause which many have tried to ignore. This problem won’t go away. I have grave concerns that the rights of workers are not being protected in accordance with European laws at Great Island.”

“Following the meeting this morning, I contacted the local SIPTO representative for construction, Mr David Lane, and explained to him my concerns about the ongoing situation at Great Island. Mr Lane has assured me that he will visit the site this week and meet with protestors.”

“I would like to commend the local community for the support they are showing this picket and in particular, applaud the many young people who are helping out. County Wexford Sinn Féin will be monitoring the situation carefully. We have always stood up for the rights of all workers and we have no intention of abandoning that core republican principal.”

Mythen attends Rural Schools Meeting

Sinn Féin Cllr Johnny Mythen attended the public meeting against cuts to rural and DEIS schools in Bree last Thursday night. The Enniscorthy Councillor, who has previously campaigned against the loss of SNA services, said that Sinn Féin fully opposes these cuts to rural schools which are vital to the survival of rural Ireland. He added that Wexford Sinn Féin would be holding a public meeting highlighting the attacks on rural Ireland this Wednesday night in Coolgreany.

“These small schools are vital to the survival of Rural Ireland,” Cllr Mythen said. “They are vital to keeping communities and rural families together. They contribute invaluable support to the social and economic surroundings in which they serve. We have finally reached the place where Oscar Wilde Once said, ‘They know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.’ The principle of pure economic gain cannot and should never be applied to Education or Health, and any Government who adopts this policy will do so at their own peril.”

“Wexford Sinn Féin will be holding a public meeting in the Coolgreany Inn, Coolgreany, just outside of Gorey this Wednesday night at 8pm to highlight the attacks on Rural Ireland. In particular we will be discussing cuts to rural schools and the septic tank tax. I’m inviting anyone concerned on these issues to come along and make their voices heard.”

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Attacks on Rural Ireland" Public Meeting in Coolgreany

A public meeting has been called for those from the North Wexford area who are concerned about a number of "Government attacks on Rural Ireland" including the contentious issue of septic tanks.

North Wexford Sinn Féin have organised the meeting for the Coolgreany Inn (The Top Shop) this Wednesday at 8pm.
Local Sinn Féin spokesperson, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin said:
"that rural householders should not have to foot the potentially massive bill for the upgrading of septic tanks. This is grossly unfair. In urban areas it is funded through general taxation" adding that

"It is just one of a whole a series of assaults on rural Ireland which has included post office and garda station closures, water and household taxes, increases in school transport costs, among others. Banks in villages are closing. Government policy is exiling people to the far side of the world, once again, which is also affecting GAA clubs. Closing the local school-the heart of the local community, would be the final nail in the coffin"

“Just like in similar meetings across the county people will have a forum to air their views and discuss ways that they can campaign locally against such measures, which are affecting the lives of people in rural Ireland"

Further information:
Fionntán O Suilleabháin,
087 6013877

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wexford TDs Paddy’s Day ‘Club Med’ Junkets are deeply inappropriate – Kelly

Wexford Sinn Féin has questioned the reasons given by the Taoiseach for sending seventeen members of the government, including County Wexford Deputies Paul Kehoe and Brendan Howlin, abroad for St Patricks Day at the expense of the state. Cllr Anthony Kelly said that these junkets are deeply inappropriate in the current economic climate and entirely unexplainable to those people who are suffering the deadly effects of the recession, particularly those who have been forced to emigrate. Cllr Kelly also described the trips as the Irish politician’s version of a club med break.

Cllr Kelly said;

“On St Patricks Day, Wexford town based Minister Brendan Howlin will be in Singapore, while Enniscorthy Minister of State Paul Kehoe will be in Germany, both at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. Meanwhile 440,000 citizens are unemployed, 50,000 Irish people are becoming victims of forced emigration every year and our government tells us the only solution is to vote yes to a draconian European treaty which will cede what little financial sovereignty we have left to a Germanic led EU. Yet there is funding available to send government TDs abroad on these junkets which have always been the Irish politician’s version of a club med break.”

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny claims that these trips are being arranged so that the Irish government may tell the world that "Now is the time to invest in Ireland’s recovery". Is that not already the sworn duty of our Government? Can they not fulfill that task from Ireland? Will leading the Singapore St Patrick’s Day parade, donning a green lapel and having your photograph taken with a six foot green pint of Guinness help tell the world that Ireland is opened for investment?”
“Maybe our TDs will run into some of the 50,000 Irish people who were forced to emigrate from our shores last year while on their weekend breaks. Maybe they’ll be able to explain to them how it is acceptable for a Government TD to go abroad on a tax payer funded St Patrick’s Day junket while Irish citizens are being exiled at a rate of 137 per day. I don’t think any explanation will justify this deeply inappropriate move.”

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sinn Féin highlight one year of Fine Gael/Labour Mismanagement

Wexford Sinn Féin held a demonstration outside the constituency clinic of Minister Brendan Howlin this morning to highlight one year of broken promises and failed policies. Cllr Anthony Kelly has described the last year as being one of ‘failures, broken promises and misery’. The Wexford Councillor said that Brendan Howlin was playing his role as Minister for Hardship with gusto and owed an explanation to those thousands of voters who had selected him last year on promises that have not been delivered.
“One year ago Fine Gael and Labour came to power on the promise of a new type of politics,” Cllr Kelly said, “Today we have 440,000 unemployed, 50,000 people emigrating every year and 130,000 children living in poverty. The unfortunate truth is that the coalition government has failed entirely to deal with the economic crisis and, instead of introducing the vital steps needed to jump start our economy and secure our nation’s future, has instead carried on the failed austerity plan of Fianna Fail.”
“Despite pre election promises of the contrary, the working poor are still being crucified by the Universal Social Charge. On top of this they now face new stealth taxes. People with huge mortgages hanging over their heads are told that they must pay an annual tariff for the privilege of living in their own home while rural families who installed their own septic tanks at great cost are now to face inspections and an annual charge.”
“In the last year we have witnessed devastating cutbacks to our education and health services. The SNA catastrophe has left many special needs children without the possibility of an education. The trolley crisis continues at our local hospital. All this goes on while our new government insist on paying out taxpayers’ money to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders. So much for labours way over Frankfurt’s.”
“Eamon Gilmore promised that together there is no problem that we cannot confront just two days before the election last year. Like much of what the coalition pledged it is now revealed as a hollow promise designed by people who wanted to win an election, not save a country. Instead of a year of confronting our problems, the Irish people have had a year of failures, broken promises and misery. Sinn Féin members are not the only ones to think this. Last week we saw Labour grassroots campaigning outside the Dail against their party’s decision to support the austerity treaty. All across this country Labour members and supporters are turning their backs on a party that has lost its ideals and betrayed its support base.”
“Minister Brendan Howlin is playing his role as Minister for Hardship with gusto. Thousands of voters in this county elected the Minister on promises of rapid job creation, an end to unfair cuts and a complete reform of our corrupted political system. These promises have not been delivered and it’s clear that, one year on, Minister Howlin owes those voters a real explanation. This new government, like its predecessor, is completely unfit to handle the challenge put before it.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

A different opinion about Wexford General Hospital in opposition

The Morning Mix show presented by Alan Corcoran on South East Radio every weekday morning can often throw up some interesting stories. Such as this morning when veteran Fianna Fail TD John Browne paid the station a visit.

To preach about the need to protect services at Wexford General Hospital.
This is the same John Browne TD who a little over a year ago was sitting in government with Mary “Hatchet Job” Harney, totally oblivious to the fate of sick patients who were left lying on trolleys in the corridors of our local hospital.

This is the same John Browne TD who argued in favour of the Hanley report and its severe recommendations.

This is the same John Browne TD who sat idly by while wards were closed and beds lost forever at Wexford General Hospital.
Now he’s calling for the protection of services at the same hospital???

This morning Deputy Browne got his answer as the station was inundated with angry messages. One went something like this;

“Where was John Browne when the Hanley Report was being promoted? Where was John Browne when Mary Harney was decimating our local hospital? Did it not take a local Sinn Féin Councillor to stand against the downgrading of our local hospital?”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Referendum is not about jobs – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has criticised Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail for urging people to support the European Austerity Treaty. The Sinn Féin rep said that people wouldn’t be fooled by the government telling them that a yes vote would lead to job creation and that they would remember only too well the same lies that were told by the Fianna Fail government prior to the Lisbon Treaty.

Cllr Kelly said;

“Prior to the rerun of the Lisbon Treaty a few years ago, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour all urged people to vote yes, saying that another no vote would result in mass unemployment and economic ruin. The people voted yes and what did we get? Mass unemployment and economic ruin. It’s no coincidence that the same parties are now pushing for a yes vote to this treaty and are prepared to peddle the same falsehoods to get their desired outcome.”
“This treaty will not help the economy grow or result in the creation of any jobs. It’s an austerity treaty and, if passed, will remove whatever limited fiscal control that Fianna Fail didn’t manage to squander away while they were in power and put it into the hands of faceless eurocrats in Brussels. It will condemn the Irish people to live under a decade of harsh austerity. It will in fact enshrine that austerity in law, making it a lot easier for our government to introduce the cruellest cuts and most unjust taxes.”

“The debate that will play out before referendum day must be informative and not dominated by government bullying or spin doctoring. The people must be one hundred percent certain of what this treaty represents and where it will lead us if passed. No amount of protests afterwards will be able to rectify the situation if this treaty is successful. It’s not right for Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail TDs to once again dangle nonexistent jobs in front of the electorate in an attempt to buy their consent. That simply will not work anymore.”

“Sinn Féin is opposed to this treaty. We’re opposed to austerity. We’re opposed to a treaty that would legitimise forcing the hard worked people of Ireland to pay for the mistakes and greed of the golden circle, rotten banks and hungry developers. We will be making a firm stand against this treaty right across County Wexford.”

Household Tax, Septic Tank Charge, Mass unemployment, Forced Emigration: Ill live with that, says Wexford Labour Councillor!!!

A Wexford Town Labour Party Councillor has managed to inadvertently insult a large majority of his voters during a misjudged tirade on a social networking site. Cllr Joe Ryan said that mass unemployment, the trolley crisis at Wexford General Hospital and forced emigration were a “fact under the last government” and said that the septic tank charge was only €5, which he could “live with.”
Cllr Ryan also implied that all socialists should be in favour of the unjust household tax and that the law would not allow for any prosecutions of those who did not pay the draconian charge. When a constituent asked Cllr Ryan to stake his council seat and reputation that neighbours of his who cannot afford to pay the charge will be free of prosecution, the Labour man failed to reply.

Cllr Joe Ryan has made good use of the internet over the years with an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and a well managed blog. Up until his party went into government, Cllr Ryan had used this online presence to attack unfair government cuts and taxes. Now he uses them to defend his own party’s endorsement of the very same cuts and taxes. He has also spent the last year blaming any criticism that comes his way on the previous government. In five years time, when the Fine Gael and Labour government have completely failed in its duty to lead this country out of crisis, will Cllr Ryan still blame Fianna Fail for everything?
Cllr Ryan, who once condemned Fianna Fail for introducing cuts to local rural transport and campaigned against the early austerity budgets, is now condoning charges that many people simply cannot afford to pay. It’s no surprise that Cllr Ryan voted in favour of the implementation of the Household Tax at a recent meeting of Wexford Borough Council, where he famously stated that people had no problem paying for SKY TV but weren’t prepared to pay their taxes. Surely it’s not acceptable for a representative of the people to imply that they are tax shy and affluent when it’s clear to all that they are suffering under this most severe of recessions?

How quickly a campaigning socialist can turn into the biggest critic of the working class, particularly when the local elections are still two years off. Don’t worry Joe; we won’t let your constituents forget your thoughts about them when they needed you most. Who knows, maybe you’ll be needing them and their votes in 2014.
To say that the Septic Tank Charge is only €5, 90% subsidised and something that he can “live with” is not only entirely out of touch with the concerns of County Wexford people, especially those living in rural areas, but is also simply untrue. The registration fee for the septic tank charge is temporarily set at €5. There have been no details of grants or government help available for those who will need to upgrade their tank yet so exactly what Cllr Ryan is referring to as being 90% subsidised is unclear. To say that it is something that he can “live with” is the greatest insult of all.

Maybe you can Councillor, but a great many of your constituents can not.