Sunday, September 29, 2013

Seanad is aimsir caite

The Chairperson of Enniscorthy Town Council has slammed the notion that abolishing the Seanad is somehow undemocratic.  Sinn Féin Cllr Johnny Mythen said that despite all the rhetoric about the Seanad somehow bringing the government to task, suggesting that they act as an independent watch group is flying a false flag.

Cllr Mythen said;

"The system of electing Senators puts the upper house in complete control of whatever party or coalition is in power.  The Taoiseach elects 11 Senators. The T.D. s and County Councillors elect 43. (Again Government having the upper hand i.e. they usually have the majority of County Councillors).  Graduates of trinity college and the N.U.I. elect another 6."

"The others can be nominated by such bodies as, I.B.E.C. Transport industry federation, Irish insurance federation, National of licence association, Irish thorough breed breeders association etc.  These big organisations, their C.E.O. s, chairpersons and their board of directors are usually former government personnel. Others are politically nominated and appointed further contributing to the undemocratic system that undermines the current argument of retaining such an institution."

"How any party could defend an institution that is elected by 1% of the population and whose ranks are filled with the old boy’s brigade for services rendered must reflect their own standards and principles in public life."  

Inaugural Michael O' Hanrahan weekend will have something for all the family - O' Connell

One of the organisers of the inaugural Michael O' Hanrahan weekend has  said that the event will offer something for every member of the family.  Oisin O' Connell said that the weekend will include a memorial lecture which will bring diverse speakers including Professor Anthony Coughlan and writer Geraldine O' Connell Cusack to New Ross.

"The Michael O' Hanrahan Memorial Lecture will bring an eclectic mix of speakers to a non political audience," Mr O' Connell said.  "As well as an historical lecture on the life and times of 1916 rebel leader Michael O' Hanrahan, there will also be contributions from Professor Anthony Coughlan, secretary of the National Platform for EU Research and Information Centre, and Irish American writer Geraldine O' Connell Cusack."

"There will be many other events held for those not interested in lectures and debates.  A family fun day complete with free music and face painting will be held in Pearse Park on the Saturday from noon until two, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at O' Hanrahan Bridge.  We'll also be holding a fun table quiz on the Friday night and a hike up Carrigbyrne hill on the Sunday morning, giving everyone something to take from this event."

"As we move towards the centenary of the 1916 rising, it's important that we reflect and acknowledge what an incredibly important turning point this event was in Irish history.  It's important that everyone has a chance to remember what happened and from where our modern state came.  No one group has a monopoly on the memory of great patriots like Michael O' Hanrahan and that's why the organisers of this event would invite everyone, young and old, regardless of political beliefs, to take part in the first annual Michael O' Hanrahan Weekend."

Full details of the Michael O' Hanrahan Weekend can be found online at

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wrong people are being jailed - Kelly

A Wexford town councillor has expressed outrage after being approached by a constituent who was briefly jailed for not paying their TV license recently.  The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, was jailed in the same week that a gang believed to be involved in a string of local burglaries were released out of garda custody on the order of the courts.

"It seems incredible that our justice system finds it unfair to hold a gang suspected of robbing houses across the south of this county while its perfectly right to jail a person who fell behind and was unable to pay their television license on time," Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly said.  "There are people across this county, particularly the elderly who live on their own, afraid to close their eyes at night because of the recent antics of roaming gangs.  Yet it seems in the eyes of our justice system, a person without a TV license is more of a threat to society."

"The Gardaí have being working hard over the last few months to smash the gangs that have been robbing homes across the county.  They have made great gains and their efforts have been felt and appreciated, especially in rural communities that have been blighted by this crime wave.  However, their hands are often tied by a tired, out of touch justice system."

"Efforts need to be made to make the justice system work for ordinary people.  It should exist to keep communities safe, not to act as yet another thing to have to worry about."

Tourism has potential to lift Wexford - Kelly

A local Councillor is calling for greater investment and the introduction of a more efficient tourism plan for County Wexford.  Cllr Anthony Kelly said that in Rosslare Europort this county holds the gateway to the south east, but unfortunately much of the incoming traffic is escaping Wexford and heading for tourist hotspots in the west.

Cllr Kelly said;

"Wexford's appeal as a tourist destination should be obvious.  As well as hosting some of the most beautiful landscape in the country, we also have a rich historical and cultural heritage and some of the finest beaches in the state."

"While our local businesses did see an increase in profits made from tourists over the past few months, you could not blame them for feeling a little let down.  Seeing buses full of paying tourists drive off the Rosslare ferry and straight out of the county shows that we have an issue selling ourselves as a prime destination."

"Why does the Wexford Tourism Board not have a kiosk on the Rosslare ferries, but the Waterford one does? Why is there no tourist information office in Rosslare Europort, one of the busiest ports in the state?  These are questions that have to be asked because at the moment we are not reaching our full potential in tourism."

"Its is wonderful to see an increase of 6% in people coming into Ireland between January to July this year over that period in 2012.  However, we need to look at more efficient ways to capture a greater chunk of this influx.  Tourism has the potential to lift our local economy.  A good start would be the opening of a new tourism office in Rosslare Europort and the introduction of a Wexford kiosk on ferries coming into the harbour."

Friday, September 6, 2013

9% VAT rate has been great for Wexford tourism

Fionntán O' Súilleabháin has said that he will be campaigning for the retention of the 9% VAT rate for food and tourism services ahead of the next budget.  The spokesperson for local Sinn Féin said that the measure had created 9,000 new jobs since being implemented and was clearly boosting the tourism sector in the south east.

Mr O' Súilleabháin said;

"The dropping of the VAT rate for food and tourism services from 13.5% to 9% has hugely boosted the fortunes for local businesses across this district.  North Wexford tourism has been lifted and we are seeing more far more people eating out this year as prices have dropped due to the lower VAT rate."

"There has been a great knock on effect for other businesses as well and many local people have gained employment as a direct result of the new rate.  Look at the huge success of the recent Gorey Market-house festival.  This success needs to be protected and allowed to develop further."

"The very welcome annual influx of visitors to North Wexford, especially the many who come from Dublin, proves the mass economic value that tourism and related services offer the area.  We should be trying to expand this.  Theres room for another hotel in the Courtown area.  To quote Courtown writer and historian Anna Kinsella, who launched a DVD on the area during the summer , 'build it and they will come'.  Sinn Féin will be fully supporting the call for the retention of the 9% VAT rate in budget 2014 so that such plans can be made a reality in our area."

Decision to privatise port is irresponsible - O' Connell

News that New Ross port is to be privatised has been met with criticism by local Sinn Féin.  Oisin O' Connell described the planned sale of the country's only inland port has been irresponsible and part of the governments carboot sale of Irelands valuable public assets.

"Our commercial ports are vital to future economic growth," Mr O' Connell said.  "Much has rightly been made of the huge potential offered by new developments at Rosslare Europort.  New Ross port has unfortunately not received the same level of attention.  This is quite unfair as it is International Ship and Port Facility Security code compliant and has huge untapped potential as we look towards Ireland being a major exporter of new tech in the years ahead."

"New Ross is an ideal location for importing and exporting materials because of its location and access to major transport routes.  With the construction of the New Ross bypass in the next few years making access to motorways linking to Cork and Dublin even easier, the strategic importance of New Ross port cannot be downplayed."

"The New Ross Port Company has been a limited company since 1997, but it still under the control of the state.  Selling it off at cut rate price to private holders is economic madness.  It's the equivalent of selling the family home at a carboot sale so we can pay off the loan on the car."

"New Ross Port must be kept in public ownership and developed as a vital strategic asset for the day when the tide turns and our economy finally picks up."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seanad neglected its duty and deserves to go - Mythen

Seanad Eireann has consistently neglected its duty to the citizens of Ireland and, by co-operating fully in the guillotining of democratic debate and the passing of questionable bills, deserves to go.  That's the view of the acting Chairperson of Enniscorthy Town Council, Sinn Féin Cllr Johnny Mythen, who says that his party will be campaigning for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum.

"Seanad Eireann consists of 60 Senators in total.  It costs €20 Million to run each year including staff.  Its members are elected by a troika of the Taoiseach ,various universities and County Councillors.  That is 11by an Taoiseach, 6 by the universities and 43 by local councillors."  

"Even in its formal years the Seanad was considered a threat to the main governing party.  The idea of an upper house with the capability of over ruling the Oireachtas on legal , judicial or executive terms was too democratic and too dangerous for most of the main parties to face.  This new power was swiftly and callously dealt with."  

"Over the years the Seanad's noble cause of being the citizens watchdog was soon crushed under the political cronyism and political influences of every governing party since the foundation of the state.  Fianna Fail even abolished it at one stage.  The Seanad in its current form is a mere extension of government cronyism and a grave yard for former politicians."

"Reality is what reality does.  The overwhelming indulgence of the present government's use of the whip system, the guillotining of democratic debate and the passing of questionable, disputable unconstitutional bills by the Oireachtas while being rubber stamped by the Seanad brings that very institution into disrepute if not ill repute."

"The Seanad does have a handful of intellectually gifted people and for those we are grateful.  However its compliance with the Government's rushed decisions without fully checking the consequences  has left it mortally wounded, especially when the rights of citizens are at stake.  This is an unforgivable neglect of duty, and brings to mind a quote from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, 'Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek headed men and such as sleep a nights'.  This typifies the current Seanad ; middle aged men and women who are content and who would never bite the hand that feeds them or the hand that appointed them."