Wednesday, December 7, 2011

year of missed opportunities, failed “slash and burn” policies and spineless politics

Sinn Féin in North Wexford has slammed government parties for what it calls a "year of missed opportunities, failed “slash and burn” policies and spineless politics."

"Fine Gael and Labour lied their way into government with promises of a totally new direction. They have broken nearly all of these promises in education and many other areas," according to North Wexford Sinn Féin Spokesperson, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin.

"Schools in the Gorey area have already lost teachers. Increasing the pupil-teacher ratio will mean further job losses in a number of local schools (unions fear as many as 2,000 teaching jobs across the state) and even worse over-crowding in classrooms, which are already the second largest in Europe. Parents groups throughout Co. Wexford who have been lobbying politicians during the teacher unions Education Week are to be commended. These efforts need to intensify.

The waste of public money has been incredible - 700 million euro handed over to unguaranteed bondholders and speculators in Anglo Irish Bank last month and plans to give away a further 1.2 billion of public money to a failed bank next month. You just couldn't make it up! At the same time Labours Minister Howlin makes a half-hearted effort to tackle the pension’s scandal, which will take just €1 a day off Ray Burke and leave Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen to live off €147,000 a year, which is nothing more than a pathetic tokenistic gesture.

Meanwhile Fine Gael Senator Michael D’Arcy criticises the Croke Park Agreement last week claiming that those of us who work in the public service are “protected in a cocoon"; that there was a "national emergency" and "we have to be brave and we have to do what is right". Indeed we do! As Sinn Fein proposed in their 40-page fully costed alternative budget proposals: start by cutting politicians salaries; introduce a 48% third rate of tax on salaries in excess of 100 thousand euro; cap the wages at the top of the public service at this amount; end wasteful spending; introduce a wealth tax on assets worth more than 1 million. Stop handing over billions of public money to private speculators and unguaranteed bondholders. Take this approach and then there would be no need for cuts to education or any other public services. In fact we could then invest in education, which is fundamental to our future economic prosperity. A point that has been emphasised again and again by parents, teachers, economists and business leaders. It is obvious to ordinary people what group in Irish society live in a cocoon!

However, this government’s policy is to continue protecting the high rollers while at the same time lining up cuts to child benefit, increases in student registration fees and the failed policies of austerity which are depressing the local economy resulting in forced emigration. Two local examples starkly and shockingly illustrate their failure - 12 players off the Camolin football panel are now in Australia and almost half the Bunclody team that won the county championship just two years ago have also emigrated. According to the ESRI, emigration will increase in 2012.

So contrary to the hand-wringing from Fine Gael and Labour, little has in fact changed. It has been a year of missed opportunities, failed “slash and burn” policies and spineless politics. "

Budget of Broken Promises will make the innocent pay again – Kelly

Wexford Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Kelly has accused the government of targeting the vulnerable and low and middle income families with the same failed austerity budgetary measures as pursued by Fianna Fáil. Cllr Kelly said that Enda Kenny’s State of the Nation address had simply rubbed salt into the wounds by admitting that the people of Ireland were not responsible for the economic crisis on one hand, while supporting a budget which unfairly penalises them on the other.

“Once again the innocent are being made pay for the mistakes of government and the elite,” Cllr Kelly said. “The decision to cut fuel allowance by €120 will have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable and it is a decision that will literally cost lives. Cuts to disability rates for younger people and raised student fees show that this government is intent on bleeding our youth out of the country. Today many young people were given a choice; emigration or poverty.”

“By cutting child benefit for 3rd and 4th children, Back-to-School Allowance, payments for lone parents on CE and some job seekers’ payments the Minister is sucking €475 million out of local economies. This will obviously result in further economic collapse and more job losses. The end result is less people paying tax and more people on the live register.”

“The savage cut of €543 million from the health services will finish off many hospitals around the country and further escalate the dangerous ‘trolley crisis’. There are over 2,000 public hospital beds currently closed due to cutbacks. 3,100 nursing and midwifery posts have already been lost due to the recruitment embargo. Thousands more front-line posts will be lost over the next three years. It is scandalous that €50 million is to be cut from disability, mental health and children’s services. Services from hospitals to home helps, from primary care to mental health, from nursing home care to child services will be reduced.”

“Sinn Féin has continuingly argued that those who can afford to pay more should do so. This year alone the gap between the wealthiest 20% of the population and the poorest 20% has increased by 25%! It’s a staggering statistic that has clearly gone over the head of Fine Gael and the Labour party. Despite admitting that the Irish people are not responsible for the mistakes of the Irish elite, these parties have chosen to implement Fianna Fail like austerity measures rather than impose new taxes on the wealthy. This carnival will go down in history as the budget of broken promises.”

Monday, December 5, 2011

Government TDs living in a bubble that we need to burst – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has described the Fine Gael and Labour TDs who support the upcoming austerity budget as being deluded, and has said that they are living in their own little bubble which the Irish people need to burst. Cllr Kelly made the remarks during a peaceful picket of Fine Gael TD Liam Twomey’s office in Wexford town last Saturday.

“It seems to me that any TD who supports this budget of cuts is completely deluded,” Cllr Kelly said. “We have had Fine Gael and Labour party TDs actually defend their broken election promises and failed job creation programme. These TDs have had the audacity to claim that things are getting better. It is truly terrifying that they are so out of touch with the ordinary Irish person, who is enduring the worst recession that this state has ever known. One Fine Gael TD even stated that nobody will be any worse off after this budget. Try telling that to people who have been cut beyond hope.”

“Deputy Liam Twomey recently gave the government’s budget plan the thumbs up and declared that we are well on our way to regaining our economic sovereignty. Does Deputy Twomey know something the rest of us don’t? Or is he so protected in his flush job in Leinster House that he is completely unaware of the suffering of families in his constituency while his government pay out bondholders at the behest of those in the higher echelons of the European Union who they seek to regain our sovereignty from? The truth is that any TD who supports a budget which will lead to more hardship for under pressure citizens, more economic collapse and more job losses is not only failing the constituents who voted him in, but is also revealing himself to be an absolute economic illiterate.”

“Sinn Féin has laid out a comprehensive, costed alternative to the government’s budget which would protect low paid workers, the unemployed and the most vulnerable in our society, and would make those who can afford to, pay more. Our pre budget plan explains why austerity has failed and will continue to fail, and sets out job creation as the only road to recovery. I wish Deputy Twomey and his fellow TDs had bothered to take the time to read the document instead of dismissing it. Instead he is happy to support a budget plan that is very similar to the one delivered by Fianna Fail last year. The one which Deputy Twomey and his party criticised and campaigned against.”

“Sinn Féin will continue to protest against this government’s failed economic policy in County Wexford. I fear that our government TDs are living in their own little bubble, entirely unaware of the destruction that their actions are causing to families across this nation. It’s time the people of Ireland popped their bubble and reminded them who the boss is.”

41 patients on trolleys as Wexford hospital crisis continues.

Cllr Anthony Kelly has demanded that decisive action be taken to end the bed shortage crisis at Wexford General Hospital after it emerged that forty one patients had spent a night on trolleys there last week. Cllr Kelly has submitted a motion inviting hospital manager Lily Byrne to the December meeting of Wexford Borough Council to see if a plan can be devised to end the trolley crisis.

“Forty one patients lay on trolleys in Wexford General Hospital last Monday night (28th),” Cllr Kelly said. “It's unacceptable that this level of degradation of patients and hospital staff is being tolerated by our local politicians. As a public body that represents the people of Wexford, the Borough Council agreed that it was necessary to invite Lily Byrne to our next meeting where we can relay the concerns of our constituents about the ongoing crisis and formulate a plan to solve this issue. This crisis is devastating the quality of service at Wexford General and is impacting on the community’s faith in its local hospital. It must be dealt with immediately.”

“I would be very concerned that certain politicians who used the hospital as an issue to get elected on have now abandoned it to an uncertain future. Or maybe they have even forgotten about it. Talk of wonderful new medical buildings for the future will give little comfort to the sick and elderly laying on trolleys in the corridors of Wexford General tonight.”

“Sinn Féin has long campaigned for better conditions for patients and the hard working staff of our county hospital. We will work actively with the management of Wexford General and any other genuine parties to bring an end to this trolley nightmare. I’m asking the people of the county to be vigilant of what is happening at their local hospital and to put pressure on their local TDs to take action. This is a time of hardship for every family in the county but we must show that famous fighting Wexford spirit and ensure that services are maintained to a high standard at our county hospital.”

Sinn Féin highlight unfair budget cuts at Brendan Howlin’s constituency clinic.

Wexford Sinn Féin held a public engagement outside the office of Brendan Howlin TD during his clinic last Saturday morning (26th) to highlight the unfair budget cuts planned by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government. A similar event was held outside Fine Gael TD Paul Kehoe’s office in Enniscorthy.

Speaking at the event, Cllr Anthony Kelly said;

“The government is continuing to perpetuate the myth that they have no choices in this budget. The truth is that they do have choices. Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission has shown that choices can be made that do not punish those already on social welfare, the working poor and low income families."

“Fine Gael and Labour are following in the footsteps of their predecessors Fianna Fail, who also tried, and failed, to reduce our deficit through and slash and burn policy. They are doing this despite being elected on a mandate to do the exact opposite. This budget they are planning to deliver will not only create more hardships for families across this state, but will also fail to lead us to economic recovery.”

“You cannot cut your way out if a recession. That is an evident truth. Sinn Féin believes that the only way out of this mess is through creating jobs, putting people back to work and rebuilding our shattered tax intake. Our colleagues in the Labour party used to believe this as well but alas, their time in government as caused them to forget everything that went before the last general election.”

“Our government is busy telling the people that these coming cuts are unfortunate but necessary. They are either lying or economically illiterate. There are real alternatives. For example, a 48% third rate of tax on incomes in excess of €100,000 would raise €410 million and a wealth tax of 1% on assets worth more than €1 million, excluding working farmland and business assets, would raise €800 million. If we stopped corporations trading their profits and losses to avoid paying the correct tax, the state would raise an extra €108 million annually. It’s a question of political choice."

“Sinn Féin in County Wexford will be holding constant public engagements in the weeks ahead to remind our government TDs of the promises they are breaking and the constituents they are betraying with these austere measures. I hope the people of the county will come out too and put extreme pressure on our elected reps to do the right thing.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wexford Sinn Féin protest bank interest rates on behalf of mortgage holders: "Where's our bailout?"

Cllr Anthony Kelly has demanded that mortgage holders be given the benefit of interest rate decreases immediately and has denounced those banks who have refused to pass on the reductions to their under pressure customers so far. He was speaking following a Sinn Féin protest outside Bank of Ireland on Wexford’s quay front last Friday.

Cllr Kelly said;
“There are people in real trouble with their mortgages because of an economic mess that has nothing to do with them. They have been forsaken by the very institutions that this state has placed itself in danger of ruin to protect – our banking institutions. The banks are not even going to pass on the ECB’s interest rate cut to their customers, despite everything that has been done to secure their continued existence. It’s scandalous.”

“There is widespread mortgage distress, but the government has done nothing to help people. Now, it won’t even stand up to the banks which have not passed on this interest rate cut. The Central Bank has confirmed that 100,000 households are in trouble with their mortgages and 100 people’s homes were repossessed in the last three months. How many families must lose their homes before our government takes meaningful action?”

At the protest, New Ross Sinn Féin rep. Oisín O’Connell called upon the government to keep their promises by making banks pass on all interest rate cuts.

"Let's be clear: every man, woman and child in this state is on the hook for €15,000 - to bailout the banks. Because of this, the banks get cheaper credit from the European Central Bank. They then turn around, and charge us more, for the same money they get cheaper - because we bailed them out! This is a double injustice.”

“We, the people, got AIB (which is 99% owned by our state) to finally pass on interest rate cuts, to customers last week. This was the pressure of people power. The other banks need to get the message: we won't accept a bank-owned state”

“The banks are defying the government and the people are paying the price. The government needs to answer us: just whose side are you on, anyway?” he concluded.

Wexford Hospital crisis is scandal happening under our nose – Mythen

Cllr Johnny Mythen has described the current condition at Wexford General Hospital as “a scandal happening under our very noses.” The Enniscorthy Sinn Féin councillor said he observed staff and patients struggling to cope with conditions at our underfunded county hospital during a recent visit there.

Cllr Mythen said;
“Since when is a hospital ward made up of a few flimsy curtains and a couple of sheet frames thrown together acceptable as the norm. This is the reality facing each patient that enters the doors of Wexford General Hospital. That’s if they’re lucky. If not they’re fate is the corridors. While we have people turning sods and sticking their chests out about building castles in the sky, hospital staff are being pushed to the brink of exhaustion and are rapidly reaching stress levels of dangerous proportions.”

Cllr Mythen praised the work ethic and commitment to patient care offered by staff at Wexford General, but insisted that they will be overwhelmed by the problems that they are encountering unless the government intervenes now.

“Working way beyond the call of duty, both patients and staff are in an environment where their safety and health are tested to the full each day.”

“This was my experience during the week, when I brought my daughter to the hospital. I spent two days there, observing at least twenty five patients on trolleys the first day and over forty the second day. Surely the wards that are empty can be reopened now to deal with this emergency. This is a scandal happening under our very noses. The patients, staff and people of Wexford deserve better.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bondholder Handover Act of Treason – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has condemned the Fine Gael/Labour government’s decision to hand over €700 million to an unguaranteed bondholder of Anglo Irish Bank last Wednesday. The Sinn Fein rep. described the handover of taxpayers’ money during this intense recession as an act of treason. Speaking during a Sinn Féin protest against the handover outside Minister Brendan Howlin’s constituency office in Wexford town, Cllr Kelly said that the new government was continuing the failed cronyism policies of the last one despite promising fundamental change during the general election campaign.

“Fine Gael and Labour rightfully attacked the last Fianna Fail led government for implementing extreme austerity measures against the Irish people while protecting the very golden circle of bankers, investors and speculators whose greed had caused the Celtic Crash in the first place,” Cllr Kelly said. “They promised essential change in government but instead have enacted the same failed Fianna Fail policies. Paying out unguaranteed bondholders, who are basically super-rich gamblers who backed the wrong horse, can never be justified. Paying them during the worst recession modern Ireland has ever known is an act of treason against the long suffering Irish people.”

“We live under a government which has cut the most vulnerable in society while carefully keeping an unmanageably corrupt system in place that always favours the wealthy elite at the expense of the majority. SNAs have been cut. Patients lie on hospital trolleys across the nation. Our students are being targeted with new fees and cuts to their grants. Household charges and a water tax are to be introduced and further cuts are on the way. Yet there appears to be money available to pay the debts of highflying gamblers. It seems the priorities of our coalition government are clear.”

“The government plans to take between €3.6 and €4 billion out of the budget. A €700 million saving would have meant no household charge. It could have meant no welfare cuts. Instead the government decided to give €700 million to an unguaranteed bondholder defying morality and basic reason. Even the smallest cut has the potential to inflict so much damage. The cut of 200 Special Needs Assistants this year caused untold damage for families with special children and saved the state only €6 million.”

“Sinn Féin completely opposes paying off any of these unguaranteed bondholders. We would urge the government, in particular the Labour party, to stop these handovers. In January a further 1.2 billion is due to be paid out. Labour in opposition always claimed to oppose the right of unsecured bondholders to any payout. I’m calling on Minister Brendan Howlin to use his influence at the cabinet table to stop the handover and to instead use this money for the good of the Irish people.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The second biggest party in the state – Job well done.

Who was the big winner last Friday when the votes were counted for the Presidential and Dublin West By election, as well as the amendment bills to the constitution?

Well certainly it was a good day for the Labour party, and there’s no doubt that Fianna Fail are celebrating victory despite losing their last foothold in the capital and becoming the first Fianna Fail party in history to have no representation there. Their candidate David McGuinness polled well, as did their de-facto presidential candidate Sean Gallagher. Of course ask most Gallagher supporters why they voted for him and they won’t mention Fianna Fail. In fact, they would likely reject him if he wore the tag of official Fianna Fail candidate.

History will surely judge Sinn Fein as the big winners of this campaign however. Two party percentage polls taken during the election had Sinn Fein listed as the second most popular political party in the state, ahead of Labour and Fianna Fail.

There can now be little doubt that Sinn Fein is the main party of the opposition, leading the voice against austerity and identifying itself firmly as the people’s party.

Ask anyone not interested in politics in this state who the leader of Fianna Fail is, or to name their front bench, and you will get few correct answers. Ask them the same question about Sinn Fein and the names Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty roll off their tongues.

The future now looks bright for Sinn Fein as the party goes from strength to strength. Martin McGuinness’s brave decision to run in an election where there was never any doubt that he would be mercilessly targeted by a vile media has paid off. The people of Ireland are no longer willing to shy away from a candidate when the establishment set their media hound and their conservative altered history book of Ireland upon them.

“Stop the handover” – Kelly

Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Kelly is calling on people to join him in a campaign to ‘Stop the Handover’ of billions of euro to Anglo bondholders. The first payment is happening this Wednesday and will be paid out to an unguaranteed senior Anglo bondholder to the tune of €700 million. In January €1.2 billion will be paid out. This is against the backdrop of an austerity budget that will take over €4 billion out of the economy.

Councillor Kelly said:
“This Wednesday the government will pay out €700 million to an unguaranteed senior bond in Anglo Irish bank. This bond payout comes just one month before an austerity budget which will inflict hardship on children, on carers, on the disabled and on the working poor. In January a further €1.2 billion will be paid out. Billions of euros will be handed over while the Irish people face government imposed poverty.”

“The government plans to take between €3.6 and €4 billion out of the budget. A €700 million saving could mean no household charge. It could mean no welfare cuts. Even the smallest cut has the potential to inflict so much damage. The cut of 200 Special Needs Assistants this year caused untold damage for families with special children and saved the state only €6 million.”

“I am encouraging people to make their voices heard. People power can stop this outrageous payout. I am asking everybody to sign our petition which will be rolled out across the county and is also available online linked to Sinn Fein facebook pages. I am urging the people of County Wexford to tell the government to ‘Stop the Handover’.”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Martin McGuinness Rally in Ferns this Friday.

Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness will visit county Wexford on Friday 14th as part of his campaign to become the people’s president of Ireland. Mr McGuinness will speak at an election rally in the historic town of Ferns on Friday evening.

Seamie Davitt, who is Mr McGuinnesses campaign manager in County Wexford, said that he was delighted that County Wexford had been chosen as the venue for the South East’s McGuinness for President Rally.

“Martin is obviously very busy at the moment as his campaign is an all Ireland one,” Mr Davitt said. “Martin has long campaigned to have voting rights for presidential elections extended to citizens living on the north of our island. Though this will not happen in this election, Martin is still keen to visit all 32 counties of Ireland, letting them know that as President, he will represent all the citizens of Ireland. I’m delighted that he is coming to County Wexford, and I know Martin is eager to tell this historically republican county about his vision for a better Ireland.”

“On Friday evening Martin McGuinness will hold a large public rally for the south east in Ferns. It will start at 7.30pm in The Courtyard in Ferns, Wexford. Hundreds of people from across the south east are expected to attend on the night. Entertainment will be provided by local musicians and Martin will be keen to meet as many people as possible and to outline his vision for a new republic.”

"We have been inundated by members of the public wishing the campaign well and offering to help out in whatever way they can. On Friday 14th people will have an opportunity to become part of the team to elect the Peoples President and to meet Martin himself. We have buses organised for people who wish to travel to the rally in Ferns from the main towns. If people are interested in booking a place on these buses, or want further information on the rally or how they might best help this campaign, they can contact me on 086 0357072, or visit the wexford4mcguinness page on facebook."

The Lady’s not for turning

Speech by Cllr Johnny Mythen at the County Wexford Hunger Strike 30th anniversary Rally in Enniscorthy.

The Lady’s not for turning, Out. Out. Out. There is no such thing as society. These are the words of Margaret Thatcher. This was the mind set, the political dogma. The rejectionist Position, held by the British and orange state. A state ten young Irishmen had to face. Face it they did. By remarkable courage by Strength of mind, an unequal battle with a violent aggressor, a battle for the political and legitimate right to be recognised as political prisoners. In truth, a battle for the very survival of Republicanism.

Isolated, brutally treated, they put forward five simple demands;
• The right not to wear prison uniforms
• The right not to do prison work.
• The right to organise educational and recreational pursuits,
to free association with other prisoners.
• The right to full restoration of remission lost through protest.
• The right to one letter, one visit one parcel a week
These demands were met with the all too familiar and unforgivable attitudes of both Governments.
Some say 1981 was a failure, and everything was lost. However History has proven otherwise. Bobby Sands and his nine young comrades set the loom in motion. Set the loom in motion that went on to weave the tapestry of the Good Friday Agreement which ended the orange state once and for all, and will weave the tapestry for a 32 County Republic. To Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Ray Mc Creech, Patsy O Hara, Joe Mc Donnell, Martin Hurson. Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty. Thomas Mcelwee , Michael Devine, to all the blanket men and women. We owe an immeasurable gratitude. We owe a most sacred obligation. For these men and women left us their legacy of a precious gift. The gift of the unconquered human spirit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kelly calls on government to reverse SNA cuts

Speaking after a protest against cuts to SNAs held during Enda Kenny’s visit to Wexford town last week, Cllr Anthony Kelly called on the government to immediately reverse cuts to special needs assistants. The Wexford town Sinn Fein councillor commended the determination and persistence of parents who organised the protest to appeal for a fair education for their children.

Cllr Kelly said;
“I’m taken aback by Enda Kenny’s disdain for these parents who are only making a very reasonable demand for a fair education for their children. His statement warning the parents to expect no reverse to SNA cuts shows an outrageous lack of humanity. No one could have encountered these parents and not be touched by their plight and their fortitude to fight for their children’s rights. Enda Kenny and his government have to see reason and reverse these cruel cuts immediately.”

“The government seems unable to grasp the devastating impact that these cuts are having on children who have special education and behavioural needs as well as on their families, who are struggling to cope, and on over-burdened teachers with responsibility for their learning. They also seem ignorant to the relatively small savings that are being made from these cuts. SNAs earn just a little more than the minimum wage – less than €12 an hour. You can see how miniscule their wages are when compared with the earnings of our government ministers or quango members.”

“The government insists it is unable to pay to keep our S.N.As in post; however they recently handed over €35m to the lawyers of the Catholic Church to contribute to their legal fees regarding the clerical sex abuse cases. This money went to solicitors, not abuse victims. Fine Gael and Labour seek to save €6m by capping the number of S.N.As around the Country. The net saving to the exchequer will be approximately €2m as the Social Welfare costs of 230 SNAs becoming unemployed will cost the state roughly €4m.”

“I was glad to stand by the parents who are fighting these cuts and I can assure them the full support of Sinn Fein. I admire and commend the determination and persistence of these parents who are prepared to fight for the basic rights of having access to a proper and fair education for their children. It’s up to the people of County Wexford to do the right thing now and to get behind these parents and their children. Together we can force the government to reverse these unfair cuts.”

Kelly asks Borough Council to intervene in trolley nightmare

Cllr Anthony Kelly has asked the Mayor of Wexford town to organise a meeting between a deputation from Wexford Borough Council and the Management of Wexford General Hospital to discuss the overcrowding situation at the hospital. The Sinn Féin councillor says he was forced to contact Mayor Davy Hynes and ask for the emergency meeting following growing concerns over the adverse effects of budget restraints on staff and patients at Wexford General.

Cllr Kelly said;
“Once again a lack of beds for sick patients is causing mayhem at our local hospital. Recently there has been a daily average of twenty five patients left on trolleys there. We know that these figures reached record heights in August. This is completely unacceptable and repulsive when you consider that we have two Wexford TDs who were elected on the back of campaigns to retain vital services at Wexford General Hospital. Obviously services have not been retained when patients are being treated in atrocious conditions which will clearly impede their recovery. That is why I am calling for an emergency meeting between a delegation from Wexford Borough Council and the management of Wexford General Hospital.”

“Once again I must praise the staff at Wexford General who continue to provide excellent service under the strenuous conditions. It seems the Fine Gael/ Labour government expect them to be miracle workers instead of medical workers. How else can they justify continuingly removing and downgrading services while expecting patients to still be treated with the same capability as always? Thirty nine beds are currently closed at your our local hospital. If these beds were available, then patients would not have to risk their recovery as they go through the humiliating ordeal of trolley treatment.”

“The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are laying the blame on increased numbers of patients receiving treatment on trolleys on the volume of acute bed closures, the reduction in long term care beds, and cutbacks in community based services. The HSE promised the people of County Wexford that their last cutbacks would be temporary and have no real adverse effect on treatment of patients at Wexford General. However, there has been a 250% jump in trolley patients at Wexford hospital between August 2010 and August 2011. I would say that those figures constitute an adverse affect on patient treatment.”

“Wexford Sinn Féin is calling on Mayor Hynes to schedule this meeting, and for members of Wexford Borough Council and the management of Wexford General Hospital to accept. We cannot bury our heads in the sand. This situation has to be dealt with before anymore damage is done to patients and staff at our hospital.”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ESRI ‘out of touch with reality’- Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly, responding to the latest report on debt projections from the Economic and Social Research Institute, has accused the body of being out of touch with the realities of everyday life for under pressure Irish families. The Wexford Sinn Fein councillor has criticised the ESRI’s “sterile, detached” view on spending cuts and tax increases.

“The ESRI’s call for intensified austerity is irresponsible and unethical,” Cllr Kelly said. “The mandate of this group is not just the study and guidance of economic affairs, but also the consideration of the impact of economic events upon the Irish household. The ERSI’s demand for ‘revved up’ austerity in the form of €30 billion in cuts does not reflect an organisation that is perceptive to the needs of the Irish people. In fact it seems to me that the ESRI’s sterile, detached view on spending cuts and increased taxes betrays an organisation that is completely out of touch with reality.”

“We have already suffered some of the harshest austerity cuts ever seen in a western economy. Nearly half a million people are unemployed, and the live register figures remain incredibly high despite up to 50,000 Irish people emigrating every year. The central bank has reported a 26% increase in distressed mortgages over the past year. This is where austerity has gotten us. ERSI catcalls for amplified austerity measures completely ignore these figures and the obvious crippling effects of previous cuts on Irish society.”

“The ESRI believe that pure s on paper can bring the Irish economy to recovery. They don’t factor in the blatant suffering that will be inflicted upon thousands of Irish families as their members are well insulated from austerity. The mantra of “everyone must pay” is a fiction invented by the likes of the ERSI. The truth is that one section of society is being targeted with every cut, every new tax and every lost service. That section is the bottom end; the unemployed, the low paid and the debt ridded mortgage holder.”

“The government must cast inside this report from the ESRI, who have made such appalling economic projections in the past, and accept a new economic principal of those who can afford to should pay more. Our government’s refusal to make the rich pay is out of step internationally. We must look towards the implementation of a wealth tax in the next budget. Progressive taxes must be marginally increased on those earning over €100,000 per annum. Misused tax breaks must be ended and the quango system abolished. The ESRI’s austerity bonanza offers only further disintegration of our economy”.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kelly calls on Howlin to rule out family tax

Responding to a statement from Minister Brendan Howlin in which the Minister said that he might not be able to deliver on pre election promises made to the Wexford electorate, Cllr Anthony Kelly has offered reasonable alternatives to extreme austerity. The Sinn Féin councillor has warned that the governments “Family Tax”; the Universal Social Charge, the Household Charge and proposed water charges, will have a detrimental effect on County Wexford if implemented in its entirety.

“I understand the difficult job that Minister Howlin is faced with,” Cllr Kelly said, “But that those not give him a free license to make reckless decisions that will impact on the future of this county and its people. Brendan Howlin and the Labour party made pre election promises to abolish the Universal Social Charge, and to oppose any flat rate property or water taxes. To abandon those promises now not only reveals a lack of accountability and trustworthiness, but also shows a dangerous lack of judgement by the Labour party.”

“We call these taxes the “Family Tax” because they target families. The targeting of families and the targeting of the 51% of the population who earn less than €34,000 per annum betrays a government that lacks any economic reasoning. It’s obvious that no economic recovery can happen when half the population are kept in the red.”

“Sinn Féin has always argued that there is a better way. Those who can afford to pay more must be made to do so. The French have recently proposed further taxes on their wealthiest citizens. They already pay a wealth tax there and it works very well. A similar tax would work in Ireland and should be adopted as a matter of urgency. Government salaries should be cut and a new third rate of tax of 48% should be placed on those earning income in excess of €100,000.”

“The serious reform of the quango network and the tax break system could provide revenue which could then be used to stimulate the economy and get people back to work. For example, we could begin a major programme of work on our nation’s schools. As it stands, the state pays around €29 million per annum renting prefab buildings to act as classrooms for our children. Let’s take people off the dole queues to build new schools. This would surely stand out as common sense to most people, yet it has not even been discussed in public by any member of the current government. I would ask Minister Howlin to rule out the Family Tax and to call on his government to implement more progressive measures immediately.”

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

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 "" and a national website called "". 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.