Friday, March 16, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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