Sunday, July 31, 2011

82% of people in favour of Wealth Tax

Everyone knows this country is in a mess.

You won’t find any arguments here that dire actions aren’t needed now to get this nation back on its feet.

What you will get is condemnation of Fine Gael and Labours ideas of who should be targeted by these grave actions. The Fine Gael/Labour government propaganda machine has been running on full steam in the last few weeks as Margaret Thatcher wannabe, Joan Burton, was rolled out on radio stations across the country to denounce people on social welfare, question why so many young people won’t get jobs and to portray social benefits as being only in existence for old people who can no longer work.

This may sound a lot different from Burton’s talk of equality and snapping retorts towards former Finance Minister Lenihan only a year ago. Maybe Joan has been re-educated at a Fine Gael Gulag in South Dublin, or maybe she was just lying the whole time. Lying to get into power. Just like the rest of her party.

Joan and her government colleagues have released details of some of their planned budgetary measures. They include cuts to social welfare and increased tax on ordinary workers. The dreaded household charge will also be introduced. Once again, the working poor and the most vulnerable in society will be made pay what they simply cannot.

What our champagne socialist friends in the Labour party have failed to recommend in their budgetary proposals is a wealth tax.
Research commissioned by the Community Platform in November 2010 found that 82% of Irish people favoured the introduction of a wealth tax. The idea of a tax was broadly welcomed by people from all age, racial and class groups. According to the Community Platform, such a wealth tax would raise between €500 million and €1 billion when fully operational. This is supported by Goodbody stockbrokers who estimate total net wealth in Ireland to be in excess of €470 billion.

Sinn Féin have proposed a wealth tax of 1% on people with assets in excess of €1 million, not including working farmland. Such a tax could generate revenue to fund the state in a far more equitable way than cutting the already limited wealth of the majority of families in this land.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kelly gives Kehoe his answer

Following comments by Paul Kehoe on Thursdays edition of the morning mix on south east radio, where the Fine Gael deputy implied that there were no alternatives to harsh austerity taxes like the household charge, Cllr Anthony Kelly sent the following statement of reply into the show.

I wish to clarify Sinn Féins absolute opposition to the new household charge. We see this new charge as an extension of what Sinn Féin dubs the “family tax”; the universal social charge, proposed water charges and other regressive taxes on public services coming down the line.
This new charge represents the first steps in the creation of an Irish poll tax. Paul Kehoe asked your listeners to give him an alternative to this new tax. Wexford Sinn Féin suggests that Deputy Kehoe look to our proposals of introducing a third band of income tax at 48% on those earning in excess of €100,000 per annum, and placing a 1% wealth tax on those with assets worth more than €1 million, excluding working farmland.
I would also ask that County Wexfords government TDs provide estimated figures for how much revenue is being lost to the state through the misuse of tax breaks, which are being exploited by very wealthy people to increase their fortunes.

Cllr Anthony Kelly
Wexford Sinn Féin

No Water Charges Bridgetown

A public meeting opposing the introduction of water charges chaired by local man Mick Roche and addressed by Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly attracted good local support in Bridgetown last Thursday night. Speaking on the night Cllr Kelly said that his party would fight the planned introduction of water charges but it was up to each area to organise their own local campaign group.
“The introduction of the household tax and the announcement of a timeline for the initiation of water charges shows that we cannot bury our head in the sand and avoid these charges,” Cllr Kelly said. “Water Charges will be introduced just as the household tax has been unless we present mass opposition to it now. Water Charges are not about water conservation. If this tax was to be about water conservation, then money cited for water meters would be spent upgrading our antiquated water supply network instead. This charge is nothing but another regressive tax.”
Cllr Johnny Mythen condemned the government’s announcement of a new household charge and described it as a “Family tax”. “Its a completely unfair and misleading charge,” Cllr Mythen said, “They want you to think it’s only €2 a week but what will you be paying out in three or four years time if we don’t oppose these new taxes now? I’m calling on the people of Bridgetown and communities across County Wexford to form ‘No Water Charge’ groups and to actively oppose the introduction of water charges and other unfair taxes. We will help you in every way that we can.”
“These charges must be fought out of every parish in County Wexford,” Cllr Kelly said. “Sinn Féin intends on going into every area and holding these meetings but we want local people to run their own groups. This is a political issue but more importantly it is a family issue. The people must unite to fight the family tax. Sinn Féin will help them in every way we can by providing posters, leaflets and constant support.”
Mick Roche urged people in the Bridgetown area who oppose the introduction of water charges to come forward and join the local campaign group. “We need everyone behind this and organised now before it’s too late,” he said. Further meetings are planned across the county in the coming weeks and months. A facebook page called ‘No Water Charges Wexford’ has been established to provide details of the campaign and upcoming meetings.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to School early payments questioned by Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has questioned the reasoning behind changes made this year to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and in particular the payment arrangements. The Wexford Sinn Féin councillor has urged parents who have not yet received their payments to check their status as they may need to reapply immediately.

“Worried constituents have been contacting me day and night with their concerns regarding the roll out of the back to school clothing and footwear allowance this year and the fact that it was paid out so early during the summer break,” Cllr Kelly said. “The administrative arrangements for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in 2011 are different from the arrangements that applied in previous years. This year most of the process has been automated. This means that you may not need to fill out an application form for the payment. If you qualify you should have received a letter from the Department of Social Protection in June telling you how and when the payment will be made. The scheme is open from 1 June to 30 September. If you have automatically qualified, you should have got a letter from the Department of Social Protection telling you how and when your payment will be made. If you have not received a letter by the end of June you need to apply. Unfortunately, due to the early payment date, many families have not yet realised that they need to reapply.”

“Another disadvantage of the early payment is that many struggling families have reluctantly used their payments to get them out of a financial hole and unfortunately will find themselves in a difficult situation come August when preparations are being made for school. I must accuse the department of Social Protection of engaging in reckless behaviour by giving out payments which are meant to pay for school uniforms and footwear three months before the schools reopen. Sinn Féin is asking the Minister to review the dates on which payments of this allowance are made in future. Sinn Féin has also called upon the Minister for Education to tackle the issue of the cost of both school books and uniforms as this will provide real assistance to the parents of all school going children.”

"People can apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance before 30 September 2011 by getting an application form from your Social Welfare Local Office, from your local health centre or by texting 'form BTSCFA' followed by your name and address to 51909 and returning it to Department of Social Protection, PO Box 131. Letterkenny, Co.Donegal.”

New concerns over future of Wexford A&E

Cllr Anthony Kelly has called on the Minister for Health to guarantee the future of the A&E unit at Wexford General Hospital. The Wexford Sinn Féin Councillor, who openly welcomed the announcement that funding was to be provided for the new A&E project at the hospital, has questioned the validity of the project following rumours of major cutbacks. Cllr Kelly has stressed his concerns that any laid off staff members will be irreplaceable due to the current HSE recruitment embargo.

“I have great concerns over the future of services at Wexford General Hospital,” Cllr Kelly said. “I have spoken to staff and patients, and have listened angrily as our three county TDs stated on South East Radio that local cuts must be accepted in the national interest. Downgrading any hospital, no matter where it is, can never be said to be done in the national interest. A government turning its back on the sick people of its nation is not a government that is working in the national interest. There are other avenues for the state to raise revenue. Sinn Féin has constantly argued that those who can afford to pay more should do so.”

“I am very worried that the new A&E project which County Wexford welcomed so fervently only a few weeks ago may now be jeopardised by this new wave of cut backs. We seem to be facing the real threat of downgrading once again and I can’t see how one part of the hospital will be allowed to flourish while the rest is cut down. Will there be staff available to operate this new A&E on a fulltime basis?”

“Sinn Féin believes that the people of County Wexford deserve answers and assurances on the situation at our hospital. I believe that our three TDs failed to deliver that by dodging key questions and filling the airwaves with Dads Army style talk of working for the good of the country. The good of the country has to be the good of the people, and no good will come from axing hospital services. Wexford Sinn Féin is calling on the Minister for Health to clarify the talk of downgrading and the future of vital services such as the new A&E unit at Wexford General Hospital immediately.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Big Spender

So, let me get right to the point,
I don't pop my cork for ev'ry guy I see.
Hey, big spender, spend...
A little time!
Do you wanna have fun?

The lyrics of the Shirley Bassey song sung by strippers to taunt their customers comes to mind when this blog read about Brendan Howlins spending binge in todays Wexford Echo.

Just what processed the Minister for public reform to spend a small fortune on stationary and office comforts while people across this island struggle to survive.

Today we learned that the government is to introduce a new household charge of €100. The already under siege people of Ireland are facing water charges and a property tax too. The grime spectre of public service cuts hangs in the air. From recent comments by Joan Burton, its clear that all benefits will be targeted in the next budget.

Meanwhile tax breaks are costing the country about fifty times the revenue which the new household charge will generate. Exact figures on the revenue lost to tax breaks cannot be presented as successive governments have failed to identify the figures. Some of these tax breaks serve a social cause but many are being misused to allow a wealthy elite to avoid paying fair taxes.

What is the Minister with responsibility for reforming the system worrying about?

A sign for the door of his private toilet of course.

Thats right folks, Minister Howlin decided it was a good idea to spend nearly fifty euro on a sign for his private toilet.

What Scrooge McHowlin spent YOUR money on...
New Furniture charges supply and delivery of filing cabinets EUR4,781.44
New Tea Station charge from OPW EUR7,638 incl. VAT
Plus EUR4,368 for Plumbing and Electrical Works incl. VAT
Shredder for Constituency office in Wexford. EUR592.9 euros incl.VAT
Fax machine for Constituency office in Wexford. EUR317.02 euros incl.VAT
Dictation Transcriber for Constituency office in Wexford. EUR675.18 euros incl.VAT
Photo Copier for Constituency Office in Wexford EUR3,015 plus VAT = EUR3,648.15
Key cut for Minister’s toilet EUR47.67 Euros incl. VAT.
T.V. in room 1.20 appox EUR289.95 (Invoice not in as yet).
Power points/TV brackets in room 1.20 EUR84 euros plus VAT = EUR95.34
Room 1.23 install two TV Units EUR42 euros plus VAT = EUR47.67
Room 1.19 Hang notice board EUR21 euros plus VAT = EUR23.84
Room 1.19 install digi lock on door EUR204.55 plus VAT = EUR232.16
Room 1.23 Install digi lock on door EUR204.55 plus VAT = EUR232.16
IPhone for Minister Howlin EUR359.37
Sign for Minister’s toilet incl. VAT EUR47.67 Euros.
Hang three notice boards for staff member EUR42 euros plus VAT = EUR47.67.
Elevate desk in room 1.24 EUR84 euros plus VAT = EUR95.34.

This is a response to Wexford Domino campaign from Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Isla a chara,

Thank you for your e.mail. This is to confirm my support for the retention of the Domino midwife service at Wexford General Hospital. I am aware of the good work of Domino services at various sites and I am a strong supporter of an enhanced role for midwifery. My Parliamentary Assistant Mícheál Mac Donncha recently accompanied a delegation from the Community Midwives Association to meet senior Department of Health & Children officials regarding the Nurses & Midwives Bill, addressing the pressing need to amend the Bill to ensure that midwives are not discriminated against and that their services are available to all women who wish to avail of them. The Department officials actually commended Domino services at the meeting. I am writing to the Minister for Health James Reilly TD on this matter and I will copy his response to you when I receive it.

Is mise

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health & Children.

Wexford Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly has already pledged his support to the retention of this vital service.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mr Forgetful crosses the house and forgets about local hospital

It seems that Minister Brendan Howlin has morphed into Mr Forgetful from the Mr Men children’s books. His recent comments on South East Radio regarding putting the needs of the country before the needs of local hospitals and schools seems to strangely echo the words of the very Fianna Fail deputies who Howlin crucified while he was in opposition over their alleged non commitment to Wexford General Hospital. In fact Minister Howlin has gone a step further than those fianna fail deputies by guaranteeing that he will NOT go against the government on any future issue of downgrading at Wexford Hospital by stating that nothing will interfere with his work in the national interest.
Is allowing vital hospitals to be downgraded in the national interest?

Is turning your back on a hospital that you had always stood by, and which had generated several issues that had contributed to your political career, in the national interest?

Let’s take this opportunity to remind Mr Forgetful about his past life as a campaigner AGAINST downgrading at Wexford General Hospital.

Around the time of the last local elections, Minister Howlin responded to rumours of possible cut backs at Wexford Hospital by saying; “This is completely unacceptable to the people of Wexford. The ending of 24 hour A&E is the start of downgrading Wexford General from a fully functioning general hospital to a sub hospital of Waterford Regional.”

On the 27th of August 2009, Mr Forgetful called a public meeting against downgrading at Wexford General. He stated that “these are the people’s services. We pay for them, we depend on them...”

Shortly before this meeting, Mr Forgetful told the Wexford Echo that “We need to mobilise now and fight this...”

Last summer, while on stage in front of 4000 protestors at the Save the hospital march, Minister Howlin told an organiser that he would oppose any downgrading at Wexford General Hospital like the legendary Wexford Labour TD Brendan Corish before him. ““I hope there will be a general election. I will stand that line the same way Brendan Corish did before me.”

Around the same time, Minister Howlin used every opportunity to round up mass hysteria against County Wexford’s two Fianna Fail government TDs who he claimed were letting down the voters by not opposing downgrading at Wexford General. Local Wexford Labour councillors took the same line. Former mayor George Lawlor said at a town council meeting last October; 'It's time for Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members to play hardball with their own Government. I call on them to vote against the Government if there is any attempt to downgrade Wexford hospital,'

Oh Mr Forgetful, how could you forget all these promises? Was it just the bravado of opposition or did crossing the house to the government seats turn your head?
Fortunately for us all, the people of County Wexford haven’t forgotten your promises Minister. Do you really want to tempt their wrath by going against their wishes and supporting cut backs at their hospital? Or are you going to see the light and remember that they elected you to work for them, not the other way around.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

This leaflet contains important information

Back to School clothing & footwear allowance

Dear parent,

If you have children attending school you may be entitled to but unaware of the following allowance. The back to school clothing and footwear allowance (SW-75) is one of the most under claimed of all welfare payments. Many people who are entitled to this allowance are struggling without it yet fail to claim it.

This payment helps towards the cost of sending children back to school and is paid from June 1st to September 30th each year. The allowance is €200 per child aged 2 - 11 and €305 per child aged 13 – 22.

You MAY qualify if you are:
Getting social welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement) or a Health Service Executive (HSE) payment or taking part in one of the approved employment schemes or training courses and
• Getting a Qualified Child increase with your social welfare payment.
• Your household income is within the limits in the table below.

Household income included:
Your main social welfare or HSE payment,
Income of qualified children on Youthreach,
Any other income including earnings before tax, but excluding PRSI and reasonable travel expenses.

Couple with: Income Limit: Lone Parent: Income Limit:
1 Child €563.60 1 Child €410.00
2 Children €593.40 2 Children €439.90
3 Children €623.20 3 Children €469.70
4 Children €653.00 4 Children €499.50

• Limit is increased by 29.80 for each additional child.

To find out if you qualify for this allowance call the HSE on 053 9147718. If you are in regular receipt of this allowance and have not yet received it, then you need to reapply immediately. Text 'form BTSCFA' followed by your name and address to 51909 and then return the completed form that they send you to Department of Social Protection, PO Box 131. Letterkenny, Co.Donegal. If you have any further queries on this or any other issue please feel free to contact me on 087 1361785.

Is mise,

Cllr. Anthony Kelly

Will Siptu regret telling their members to vote Labour?

This was a letter sent out by Siptu President Jack O' Connor prior to the last election, instructing Siptu members in the private sector to vote for Labour.

I wonder does Jack O' Connor and the duped Siptu voters lay awake at nights wondering if they made the right decision?

Save Domino Midwife Services at Wexford General Hospital

Representatives of Wexford Sinn Féin were among the gathering at a recent meeting called to reverse the cuts to the Domino Midwife services at Wexford General Hospital. Cllr Anthony Kelly pledged his and Sinn Féins full support to this issue and the attempts to get these secretive cuts overturned.

The Domino scheme offers midwifery care from the beginning of pregnancy, during labour, and until your baby is 5-10 days old. Currently between ninety to one hundred women are being cared for by this service in County Wexford. As well as this, the service also reliefs pressure on the already under siege maternity ward at Wexford General Hospital.

The cuts to the domino service (which haven’t been officially announced to the public, but have been revealed to the midwives and some mothers to be) are being introduced by hospital management. This is not a directive from the HSE, though the hospital will claim they are saving money to meet the HSE’s budgetary demands. The shocking thing is that if implemented these cuts will not only fail to save money, they will end up costing more.

According to AIMS Ireland, there is a saving of €300 for every woman who uses the domino service. Homebirth is 68% cheaper than standard maternity ward deliveries. Even the HSE itself recognises that the domino service was a success. One of the few successes they’ve had. In a 2007 report, they claimed that 10% savings could be made by using the domino service.

The rumour mill suggests that a consultant at Wexford General has proposed these cuts. Who would benefit from the loss of the domino service? Consultants. Mother and unborn child will certainly not benefit. Wexford General Hospitals maternity ward is already running at double capacity. The chances of unnecessary procedures being carried out on a woman in labour is greatly increased if she’s giving birth in a busy maternity ward.

If the domino service is removed, pregnant women in county Wexford will be put at risk, regardless if they had planned to use the domino service or not. The new influx into WGH’s maternity ward will place the brilliant staff there under inhumane pressure, and endanger the births of Wexford children. Is this an attempt to set up a situation of meltdown, allowing James O’ Reilly to come along later and close services at Wexford Hospital as it’s is endangering patients?

Some will claim that the domino service (and any other targeted unit) will only be closed for a limited time. Last year St Aidans ward was closed for a limited period and never returned in a full capacity. Ten years ago the domino service was discontinued for a limited time in Galway. It never returned. If the people of Wexford fail to stand up for this vital service, then it will disappear and never return.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kelly asks Minister Howlin to "step up to the mark" on South East Radio.

Responding to a under siege Minister Brendan Howlins statement this morning stating that he would do whatever was necessary to safeguard the future of the country, Cllr Anthony Kelly went on air and asked the Minister to step up to the mark and safeguard Wexford General Hospital.

This all comes following the circulation of intense rumours within Wexford General Hospital of imminent cuts. According to Morning Mix presenter Alan Corcoran, up to 18 nurses, several clerical staff and 2.5 security guards are to be laid off, with many units being shut down on a temporary basis including an operating theatre.
Rumours have also emerged this morning that the domino midwife service is to be axed at the hospital, which will put increased pressure on the already busy maternity unit.

Wexford Sinn Féin have been vocal in calling for Wexford’s three government TDs, Paul Kehoe, Liam Twomey and Brendan Howlin to come forward and guarantee our hospitals future. Minister Howlin has claimed that political opponents are simply attacking him. However, it was the Minister who venomously attacked Fianna Fail TDs on the same issue last year when he was in opposition.

Cllr Anthony Kelly told the Morning Mix programme that Wexford Sinn Féin were carefully monitoring the situation at the hospital and that plans were already in place to go back on the streets protesting if circumstances should demand it.

Mythen attends SNA protest outside Leinster House

Cllr Johnny Mythen attended a protest opposing cuts to special needs assistants in our schools outside Leinster House last Wednesday. The Enniscorthy Sinn Féin councillor joined Cllr Anthony Kelly from Wexford town and other members of Wexford Sinn Féin to raise countrywide awareness of the damage and harm these cuts are causing little innocent children.

Cllr Mythen said;
“The most important voices on the day was that of little Mikey O’ Leary who has lost his SNA, and his mother Elaine. Both cast out a heart rendering plea to the Government to honour their pledges to the people of Ireland to look after and cherish all the children of the nation equally.”

“However within hours the Government voted with a majority in favour of reducing substantially the number of SNA’s across the country.”
“But be aware, for like the trumpets that knocked down the great walls of Jericho, Mikeys voice will echo through the corridors of power and pierce the hearts of the very people who have turned their back on him and hundreds like him.”

“So it is about time in this 21st century that we as a sovereign nation demand that our elected members should be of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Cllr Anthony Kelly concerned over future of Wexford General Hospital

Wexford Sinn Féin have called on the countys three government TDs; Paul Kehoe, Liam Twomey and Brendan Howlin, to give their personal pledge of honour that no further downgrading of any kind will take place at Wexford General Hospital. The call comes following hospital confirmation that they are running over budget and must initiate monetary restrictions. Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that budget restrictions cannot be ignored but must be met in a way that doesn’t impact on the quality of service for patients or on the ability of hospital staff to do their job.

“I’m very anxious over rumours concerning Wexford General Hospital and possible cut backs there,” Cllr Kelly said. “Wexford Sinn Féin have received many worried phone calls and we are taking the situation very seriously. We understand that the hospital is in danger of running far over budget, but this will not give anyone a license to cull vital services or staff. Budget restrictions could have a detrimental effect on staff and patients and such a scenario must be avoided. Wexford Sinn Féin have requested an urgent meeting with hospital management to discuss the situation there. I understand that the management of Wexford General Hospital will do their utmost to insure that any budget corrections will be made without damaging the quality of service there. Our three government TDs must step in and guarantee that this is made possible.”

“Wexford Sinn Féin have long campaigned for a better health service for this county. We were at the forefront of last years hospital march and led a campaign to find the missing funding for the A&E extension project recently. We are ready and willing to return to a protest campaign if frontline services are threatened at Wexford General. I don’t like hearing people say that emergency measures might have to be implemented for a short period. Emergency measures were implemented for a short period last year when St Aidans ward was closed. Unfortunantly it never returned in a full capacity and has resulted in a loss of beds at our hospital. That is downgrading by stealth and the people of this county wont stand for it. Paul Kehoe, Liam Twomey and Brendan Howlin must reassure the people of County Wexford that no further downgrading of any kind will be initiated ,regardless of the circumstances, by each giving their own personal pledge of honour that they will not allow such a tragedy to occur.

Cllr Johnny Mythen concerned over future of Wexford General Hospital

Wexford Sinn Féin have called on the county’s three government TDs; Paul Kehoe, Liam Twomey and Brendan Howlin, to give their personal pledge of honour that no further downgrading of any kind will take place at Wexford General Hospital. The call comes following hospital confirmation that they are running over budget and must initiate monetary restrictions. Cllr Johnny Mythen said that Sinn Féin recognised the budgetary difficulties which hospital management now face, but insisted that it was the duty of Wexfords three government TDs to insure that there was no loss to critical services or vital staff which would impact on patient care.

“Wexford Sinn Fein have grave concerns over the future of Wexford General Hospital following the recent statement by Dr. Quigley on the serious budget deficit there,” Cllr Mythen said. “Reliable sources within the hospital itself have told Sinn Fein of pending closures of existing vital services and of the imminent layoff of key staff. Sinn Fein immediately requested a meeting with the Hospital management to clarify the exact situation.”

“We believe that Minister Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe TD, and Liam Twomey TD are well aware of this serious situation also. Therefore we are calling on all three to step up to the mark and give their personal pledge of honour that there will be no downgrading of Wexford General Hospital, now or in the present term of this Government.”

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wexford Sinn Féin call for government pledge on future of Wexford General Hospital

The following statement has been issued jointly by Wexford Sinn Féin public reps, Cllr Anthony Kelly and Cllr Johnny Mythen. It has been sent to local radio and press.

Following news of budgetary cuts to be implemented in all sections of Wexford General Hospital, Wexford Sinn Fein are calling on Minister Howlin and his fellow Wexford government TDs, Paul Kehoe and Liam Twomey to urgently intervene and prevent these cut’s. It is our perception that Wexford General Hospital is to be downgraded through the closure of critical services and the loss of vital staff. This perception has been fostered among staff and patients due to news of severe budget restrictions and a deafening silence from Wexford’s government TDs. Sinn Féin have requested an urgent meeting with hospital management to clarify the exact situation there.

We believe it is now necessary for County Wexford’s three government TDs; to step up to the mark and renew their commitment to our county hospital. They must reassure the people of County Wexford that no downgrading will occur now, or during the term of this government, by each giving their own personal pledge of honour that they will not allow such a tragedy to transpire.

Signed on behalf of County Wexford Sinn Féin;
Cllr Anthony Kelly
Cllr Johnny Mythen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Wexford Sinn Féin cumann get to work on local issues

Dangerous road is top concern to the people of the Ballagh

A community survey carried out by a local Sinn Féin cumann has revealed that the top local concern to residents of the Ballagh is the dangerous Ballyboy road. Local people have expressed their outrage at the lack of such basic amenities as a footpath and street lighting along this road, as well as the absence of a much needed special speed limit.

They have also voiced their concern over the dangerous Forge Bend which local Sinn Féin chairman Colum Donagher has described as “an accident waiting to happen.”

Ballagh Sinn Féin have already approached the county council with some of these issues and intend to work to ensure that local people’s concerns are acted upon.

“The purpose of the survey was to improve conditions locally for everyone,” Mr Donagher said. “We’re all locals and we’re in Sinn Féin to make our country and our community a better place to live in.”

To join local Sinn Féin, text join to 51500.

Cllr Johnny Mythens letter to President regarding SNA cuts, October 2010.

Enniscorthy Sinn Féin Cllr Johnny Mythen has been a long time campaigner for the retention of special needs assistants in our schools. Last year he put together a report on snas in Wexford after visiting a number of local schools. He also wrote a letter to the President asking her to intervene should snas cuts be brought in as they were contradictory to our constitution which states that "require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social”.
Here is Cllr Mythens letter to the President.

Cllr. Johnny Mythen,
Co. Wexford.

6th October 2010

Dear President,

It is with the best intentions that I write this letter to you on behalf of the Parents of Special Educational Needs Children.

Both of our primary schools in Enniscorthy, St. Sennan’s and St. Aidan's, have lost half of their SNA’s. As responsible citizens of this country we all realise the financial difficulties we are in. In this present climate we expect some pain will have to be endured. This cross should not be borne by the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. Special Needs Children are in a minority. The costs that the Government are saving are pittance compared to the National Debt. Therefore we would like you to refocus the Governments thinking on these cuts. President you are the holder of the highest office in our Country, the Guardian of our Constitution. Article 42 paragraph 3 of this sacred document states “as Guardians of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social”.

Under this article and under the Education of Persons with special Educational Needs Act 2004, we ask you to uphold the Constitution and convince the Government that these decisions are contrary to the common good.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr. Johnny Mythen,
Sinn Fein.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The future of agriculture in Ireland is bright, provided the right choices are made by government and the EU – Colreavy

Speaking after spending time at the Bannow-Rathangan Agricultural Show, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Colreavy TD congratulated the organisers on a wonderful event.
Speaking at the event Deputy Colreavy said:
“It is heartening to see so many exhibits and so many people attend this event. It is also a clear sign that the future of Agriculture in Ireland is bright, provided the right choices are made by government and the EU. I was delighted to be able to meet and speak with so many people and was particularly pleased to see a strong Sinn Féin membership in attendance. Sinn Féin will continue to actively promote the development of rural communities and seek to ensure that this most valuable of industries will continue to thrive and prosper.”
Cllr Anthony Kelly also attended the event and took time out to man the Wexford Sinn Féin tent in the morning. “I was delighted by the response we got,” Cllr Kelly said. “The Sinn Féin tent was crowded all day and people were eager to engage with us. I think rural Ireland is looking for a new political alternative and Sinn Féin represents that. Partition has long damaged Ireland’s rural economy. As the only real all Ireland party, Sinn Féin believes that farmers across this island need to work together to ensure a fair price for their produce and to regulate the power of the supermarkets.”

Wexford Sinn Féin Councillors attend SNA Protest outside Leinster House

Two County Wexford Sinn Féin councillors attended a protest opposing cuts to special needs assistants in our schools outside Leinster House last Wednesday. Cllr Anthony Kelly and Cllr Johnny Mythen joined Sinn Féin TDs at the protest calling on the government to reverse these cruel cuts that have impacted on children with learning and behavioural difficulties across the nation.
“There can be no justification for these cuts,” Cllr Kelly said. “The government must recognise 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. The foundations of this state are laid on the mantra that we must cherish all the children of nation equally. That has not happened in the past and will certainly not happen in the future if we tolerate these cuts aimed at the most vulnerable children of the land.”

Cllr Mythen said;
“If we tolerate these cuts aimed at the most vulnerable children in our country, then we will be feeling the negative effects of our tolerance for many decades to come. Everyone knows that our country is currently paying the price for years of economic mismanagement, and that we need to set our house in order. Does anyone outside the corridors of power really believe that cutting essential services for children who have special education and behavioural needs is the way to build a new nation? Getting rid of poorly paid sna's will certainly not solve our debt crisis. Condemning the most vulnerable children in the land to a hopeless future cannot improve our lot with the IMF. These sna cuts represent nothing but the ignorant stubbornness of an already failed government.”
“Sinn Féin hold commemorations every Easter where the words of the 1916 proclamation are read out. Perhaps Fine Gael and Labour have forgotten the words of our founding fathers. I would like to remind them that the proclamation stated that we must cherish all of the children of the nation equally. It is high time that this government got its priorities right and ensures that all of the children of this nation are cherished equally, regardless of their needs. This cannot happen if essential cuts to SNAs continue be a central tenant of government policy.”

Wexford Sinn Féin statement on situation at Wexford General Hospital

"After hearing Doctor Quigley's statement this morning and following dialogue with frontline staff at Wexford General Hospital, Wexford Sinn Féin are very concerned over the future of our local hospital. We feel that budget restrictions will have a detrimental effect on staff and patients, and must be prevented. Wexford Sinn Féin will be monitoring this situation very carefully and will relaunch our hospital protest campaign in the coming days if necessary." - Statement from Wexford Sinn Féin to South East Radio issued yesterday morning following revelations that budget restrictions are about to cause havoc at WGH.


"Water Charges will be on the way unless people speak out" - Kelly

“Water Charges will be on the way unless people speak out and mobilise now to stop them," according to Wexford Sinn Féin councillor Anthony Kelly. Cllr Kelly appealed to the people of Wexford to join Sinn Féin in their fight against water charges at the launch of the Wexford SF campaign in the FAB Community Centre in Ferndale last Monday night. Deputy Aengus O' Snodaigh also pleaded with the people of County Wexford to organise now before its too late.
Deputy O' Snodaigh, who came down to launch the Wexford Sinn Féin campaign against water charges, had this to say;
The Fine Gael/Labour government want to spend €500 million of taxpayer’s money on installing water meters in people’s homes and then charge taxpayers again for the basic necessity of water and the cost of the meter. Ordinary people are already paying for the gambling and crimes of the bankers and speculators. Piling more pressure on struggling families while the wealthy escape punishment is criminal.”
Enniscorthy Sinn Féin councillor Johnny Mythen also attended the crowded meeting, which was packed beyond capacity, leaving some attendees standing outside and viewing the meeting through the front window.
“There's no good side to water charges," Cllr Mythen said. "They are not being introduced for water conservation, nor are they being brought in to improve the quality of our water distribution network, which is entirely inadequate. They are being proposed because this government believes in only one mantra; bleed the ordinary person dry to pay for the crimes of the bankers and speculators.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vinegar Hill Mast – No Thanks!

An Enniscorthy Sinn Féin Rep has called for plans to erect a second communications mast near Vinegar Hill to be abandoned in the name of public safety. Cllr Johnny Mythen said that the 158 foot communications lattice poses a grave threat to local people’s health if built. He also said that the proposed site for the mast was dangerously close to homes and the local school.

“The local people are fully opposed to a second mast of steel which will only add to the already tower infested landscape,” Cllr Mythen said. “Not only is it going to be another eyesore which will keep people away from our historic Vinegar Hill, but it also represents a threat to the health and welfare of the local community. Many scientific studies have been carried out on communities who have been blighted with close proximity masts. People living close to communications masts frequently report symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity such as dizziness, headaches, skin conditions and allergies. There is also growing evidence for cancer clusters growing around them. Is this what we want for the children of Enniscorthy?”

“The most bizarre thing about this planned mast is that it is not needed. After communications with the existing mast's company, Towercon, they said they are nowhere near full capacity. Basically there is neither need nor want for this mast. Given the literature received, it is merely being proposed to benefit a bank balance. I’m calling on the people of Enniscorthy to get out and protest against this mast. I’m calling on my fellow town councillors to make their opposition heard. We will not put the lives of our children at risk to benefit private individuals and multinational companies.”

Housing is a real worry for many Wexford people

Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that he is still extremely concerned by new social housing regulations which were passed through Wexford Borough Council last week. Cllr Kelly voted against the motion calling for the introduction of the new regulations and asked that the document be sent back to the minister for review.

“The new regulations have been endorsed by Labour and Fine Gael Councillors,” Cllr Kelly said, “But I would still have very real concerns about the possible effects of these new rules. So would many of my constituents who have already approached me with their fears. I feel that these new regulations are somewhat discriminatory against a certain section of housing applicants. There are serious concerns over the curtailing of the RAS scheme. Many families on the waiting list for social housing avail of this scheme. If they are removed from the scheme, where will they go?”

“The last census stated clearly that there is an abundance of empty houses in this county. One in five Wexford houses was empty on census night. It is morally wrong to deny anyone the chance of a home when we have empty buildings entering a state of decay across County Wexford. We need to address the social problems that these new regulations could cause now and not let them fester until they are incurable. I hope that this new government isn’t going to make similar mistakes to the last one in the way it handled its people in need.”

Martin Hurson remembered in Ferns

Martin Hurson, the sixth man to die on the 1981 republican hunger strike, was commemorated on the 30th anniversary of his death last Wednesday evening in Ferns.
Republicans from around County Wexford travelled to Ferns to honour the County Tyrone man who died fighting to win political status for republican prisoners. Liam Morris, the Chairman of the local Ed O' Brien cumann, called for a minutes silence to reflect on the terrible sacrifice that Martin Hurson chose to make in the name of freedom.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Joe McDonnell remembered in Enniscorthy

Republicans from across County Wexford gathered in Enniscorthy last Friday (8th July) to remembered Joe McDonnell. A vigil was held in Market Square to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Joe’s death on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks.

Cllr Johnny Mythen called for a minute of silence to reflect on the bravery and determination of Joe McDonnell and the other nine hunger strikers who died in 1981 in an attempt to win political status for republican prisoners.

This event marked the fifth vigil to be held in County Wexford this Summer in memory of the hunger strikers. Further events will be held across the county. The next vigil will take place in Ferns on the 13th to commemorate Martin Hurson.

Wexford Sinn Féin to launch campaign against water charges

Wexford Sinn Féin are launching their campaign against the proposed implementation of water charges with a public meeting in the FAB Community Centre in Wexford town next Monday (The 11th July). Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that public meetings will be held across the county in the coming weeks to educate and organise public opposition to the introduction of any tax on water. The Wexford Borough Councillor also said that water charges amount to another unfair tax on the working poor and cannot be justified by any argument.

“The proposed water charge is another attack on the low paid, unemployed and sick people of Ireland who are the ones taking the full brunt of the governments inequitable spread of austerity measures,” Cllr Kelly said. “Quite simply it’s a family stealth tax. This is not about stopping the waste of water. Water is being wasted because we have an antiquated water supply system that successive governments have done nothing to rectify. The largest amount of water lost in our system is lost between the reservoir and the main domestic pipe line. Water charges won’t change this. This is about pacifying our friends in the IMF, who are demanding the implementation of these charges, not about water conservation.”

“The government plans to spend €500 million or more on installing meters. That money could be better spent on improving water distribution and cutting down the amount of water, over 40% of which is lost through leaking pipes. Next Monday, Deputy Aengus O’ Snodaigh will be joining Cllr Johnny Mythen and myself in launching Wexford SF’s campaign against water charges. This will be the first in a series of public meetings across the county aimed at educating and organising resistance to any water charge. I hope the people of Wexford come out to support this.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wexford Sinn Féin protest against the sabotage of the MV Saoirse

Wexford Sinn Féin have condemned the sabotage of the Irish ship to Gaza, the MV Saoirse. Ger Barron from New Ross was among those passengers on board the humanitarian mission to Gaza. Mr Barron is a former Sinn Féin election candidate and current member of the Executive body of Wexford SF.

Last Friday (1st July) Wexford SF held a white line picket on Wexford Bridge to protest against the sabotage of the MV Saoirse and her mission to break the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza. Ger arrived back just in time to take part in the protest.

Sinn Féin members from across the county joined other political groups and the IPSC in an ISTG protest in New Ross this evening (July 4rd). Once again Ger flew the Palestinian flag with pride and promised that this would not be the last attempt to break the blockade of Gaza.

“We’ll keep sending ships until they end their blockade,” he promised.