Thursday, January 30, 2014

Roche pushes for new street lighting for ‘dark estate’ in Bridgetown

A local election candidate is campaigning for the introduction of street lighting into what he describes as a ‘dark estate’ in Bridgetown.  Mick Roche said that residents in Lakelands had been left in the dark for the entire duration of the current council despite having pleaded with election candidates to fix the issue prior to the last elections.

“Parts of Lakelands have no street lighting at all,” Mr Roche said, “Besides from the obvious safety issues involved in being left in the dark, some residents are afraid to even walk down to the shops after dark for fear of what or who might be lurking in the shadows.”

“The worse thing about this is it was brought to the attention of the sitting members of Wexford County Council when they canvassed this area prior to the last local elections, and to potential TDs prior to the 2011 General Election.  Residents pleaded for action to be taken but nothing was done.”

“My colleague, Cllr Anthony Kelly, has moved on this issue and is helping us to petition the council to get new street lighting installed in Lakelands as soon as possible.  This type of situation would not be tolerated in Wexford town.  It is unacceptable that villages like Bridgetown are ignored by the council because they have no local representation.  It’s time to put the lights back on in these rural villages.”

Dr Ruan O’ Donnell to speak at Living History lectures

A leading Irish historian will be speaking in the Arts Centre next Saturday.  Dr Ruan O’ Donnell, a senior lecturer from the University of Limerick will be speaking at the Living History lectures, part of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis Fringe Fest.
Dr O’ Donnell, who is not aligned to any political party, will be among the speakers at the event in the Art Centre Theatre from 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon, which will also include the Ballymurphy campaign for truth and justice.
Several other events are also being organised earlier in the week including an exhibition of historical artefacts associated with the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes, a craft fair centred around the theme of revolution and a open mic night of song, poetry and performance.
Fringe Fest organiser, Oisin O’ Connell, said he hoped the events would show the public that Irish republican culture is not to be feared or loathed.
“Its our hope to cater to all tastes and offer a true view of the culture, history and mythos that lays behind Irish republicanism in the 21st century,” he said, “These events are free and open to everyone.”

A full list of events can be found on

Roche welcomes new text alert scheme for Kilmore parish

Speaking following an information meeting in Bridgetown last week, local election candidate Mick Roche has welcomed the setting up of a new community text alert scheme for the parish of Kilmore. 
"This scheme is much needed," the Sinn Féin candidate said, "In fact, despite the size of the parish of Kilmore, and the inclusion of large villages like Kilmore, Kilmore Quay, Bridgetown and Tomhaggard, we are one of the last areas to establish this service.  It has been a complete success in other areas, including the nearby parish of Carrig."
"Crime, particularly house break ins, has become an unfortunate element of everyday life in South Wexford.  The closure of rural Garda stations like Baldwinstown hasn’t helped the situation."
"Once the scheme is up and running, anyone who spots suspicious behaviour can text a designated number.  The text will be forwarded to the Gardaí and to everyone who is signed up to the alert.  This will give people a vital heads up and hopefully prevent the serial house break ins that have been taking place."

Mr Roche said that local organisers needed to be praised and encouraged as many people as possible to subscribe to the alerts once set up.  He also commended local Gardaí for the support they have offered.

Government’s commitment to job sustainability is only skin deep – O’ Connell

Speaking following the closure of Irish Driver-Harris in New Ross, Oisin O’ Connell has accused the government of having no plan to preserve existing employment and create new sustainable jobs.  The Sinn Féin local election candidate has called for an emergency intervention to be made in an attempt to save the 47 threatened jobs.

Mr O’ Connell said;

“Part of the failure for the collapse of Irish Driver-Harris must lay with a government that is overly keen to express its job creation potential but cannot deal with the core reasons for the continuing closures of established businesses across Ireland.   IDH has been part of New Ross for eighty years.  It deserves more than a snap closure.  The employees deserve more.”

“Schemes like JobPath and Jobs Bridge might offer enthusiastic statistics but creating low paid jobs that in many cases are completely unsustainable is no match for saving and developing long standing successful businesses.  IDH failed because it had no access to credit, was straddled with business rates and had absolutely no support from either national or local government.”

“We are calling upon the government to make an emergency intervention here to try and salvage these 47 jobs and to use this incident as a wakeup call.  It’s time to tackle the many issues that are strangling businesses out of existence like upward only rent reviews, outrageous commercial rates, lack of credit from banking institutions and lack of government investment.”

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Statement from New Ross Sinn Féin regarding the closure of Irish Driver-Harris

Statement from New Ross Sinn Féin regarding the closure of Irish Driver-Harris

"The closure of Irish Driver-Harris is a huge loss to New Ross and further proof, that while this government is committed to pushing low income employment plans like the job bridge scheme, they are unwilling to take the necessary measures to protect established companies and their employees who have served their locality for decades."

"High business rates, lack of credit from banks who were in many cases saved by the taxpayer and a lack of interest in providing investment for struggling established businesses will be the true epitaph of this governments action plan for jobs."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Do they expect us to pay to drink dirty water?

Water being supplied to thousands of home across the entire southeast of Wexford is unfit to drink according to a local election candidate.  Mick Roche said that water being supplied to homes from Whiterock hill in Wexford town to Kilmore Quay was often coloured and foul smelling and was responsible for the destruction of household appliances due to the build up of lime.

“Time and again, the drinking water being supplied to homes across South East Wexford from the Fardystown Water Scheme has been tested and declared perfectly safe for human consumption,” Mr Roche said, “But try telling yourself that when you’re handing your child a glass of foul smelling brown water or buying a new electric kettle because the other one has been rotted by the build up of lime.”

“The Government expect people living in the affected area from just outside Wexford town to Kilmore Quay, and from Forth Mountain to Rosslare to pay a water tax next year.  It’s not bad enough that they are not willing to fix this problem because technically the water complies with all the standards, now they actually want to tax us for the dirty water that comes through our taps and destroys our kitchen and bathroom appliances.”

“Families who have enquired about a solution to their water supply problems have been advised to buy a home filtering system or domestic water softeners, which could cost more than €1000.  Is it Minister Hogans intent to offer a rebate for homes that have purchased such devices or consider exempting those being supplied from the Fardystown supply from the water tax altogether?”

The Sinn Féin candidate said that this had been a live issue for ten years and had consistently been pushed under the carpet whenever anyone went to the media with a glass of dirty water or proof of how many times they had to replace a shower system or dishwasher in the space of a few years due to the hard water.  “Fine Gael and Labour have tried hard to make water an important issue so they can get another tax in but they won’t take action when thousands of families are being fed a grossly inadequate supply.  Asking people to pay for this running slime without any attempt at rectifying the situation would be inflammatory.”


€500 prize for Irish language debating competition in Wexford Opera House

An Irish language debating competition open to anyone under 30 will be held as part of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford Opera House on the 8th of February.  First prize for the event will be €500. 

The annual competition, which aims to promote the use of our national language among young people, was the brainchild of EU candidate Liath Ní Riada, a former director at TG4. 

Participants are invited to prepare a speech up to five minutes long on a topic of their choice.  Their performance will then be judged by a celebrity panel.

Anyone interested in taking part is asked to email Donnchadh O’ Laoghaire at  The competition will be held at 4pm on Saturday the 8th in the Creane room at the Opera House.

Kelly - Build new social housing instead of massaging the figures

Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that the government's policy towards social housing must change from trying to hide the problem to decisively tackling it.  The Sinn Féin rep has called for a new plan to be put in place to construct hundreds of new social housing units in Wexford over the next two years.

"Lack of social housing is a major issue still despite what the government figures suggest," Cllr Kelly said.  "The state would have us believe that there are now less people in need of state accommodation but this is because the Rental Accommodation Scheme has been used to camouflage the true extent of the problem."

"While the RAS scheme was a positive step taken to protect families in need from unaffordable rent conditions, it has also been used to massage the figures.  Often people availing from the RAS scheme are taken off the social housing waiting list without being informed.  Many are under the impression that they are still on the list."

"The government cannot hide this problem with short term measures.  The RAS scheme and rent supplement were emergency measures, not a permanent solution.  It costs half a billion euro per year to subsidies landlords who offer accommodation for these schemes."

"Rental subsidising measures are necessary but action must be taken to tackle the core issue.  More social housing is required.  Recently unfinished houses were demolished on an estate in Cleariestown.  Obviously the government does not believe in using these empty buildings for social housing, so a new construction project which would provide employment as well as vitally needed affordable housing must be initiated immediately."

€320,000 ‘insurance policy’ for leaving Councillors not justified

A local council candidate has condemned the acceptance of what he terms ‘a €320,000 insurance policy’ written into the 2014 County Council budget.  Gorey teacher Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that the retirement gratuities for retiring Councillors and for those who lose their seats is unjustly high at a time when the council is struggling and ordinary people are living under extreme austerity.

“The County Councils report on their budget for this year clearly states that there have been operational constraints mainly due to continuous reductions in central funding since 2008,” Mr O’ Súilleabháin said.  “Obviously local government and the services they provide are struggling after five years of bitter recession.”

“It therefore beggars belief that the council readily passed the ring-fencing of €320,000 for the retirement gratuities.  While I accept that some sitting councillors intend to retire, the majority are planning to run again.  This fund is nothing less than a glorified insurance policy for reps who might lose their seats.”

“Squeezing something like this into a budget which is strained to say the least cannot be justified.  I would have voted against this measure and it clearly shows the importance of change come the local elections in late May.”

New social housing project needed for New Ross

The state must invest in a major new social housing project for New Ross according to one local election candidate.  Oisin O' Connell said that there was already a severe affordable housing shortage around New Ross, and with rising rental prices now becoming a problem in other areas, it was only a matter of time before we would face a housing crisis in this district.

"Over €1 billion euro has been cut from the housing budget since 2008 while the need for social housing has doubled during the same period,"  Mr O' Connell said.  "In New Ross there has been a 30% increase in the social housing waiting list between 2011 and 2013."

"Sinn Féin has consistently called for NAMA properties and unfinished estates to be nationalised and used for social housing.  However, the government have instead began to demolish many of these properties.  Instead of being used to house families, they are being turned in construction filling."

"Before 2008, the state was regularly building 4000-5000 new social housing units every year.  Now they claim that funding is not available.  This is untrue.  In a recent jobs plan, costed by the Department of Finance, Sinn Féin proved that money could be found to construct 9000 new units over a two year period."

"In addition to providing much needed accommodation for struggling families, the construction of these new homes would also create employment for the stricken building industry."

O’ Súilleabháin: No pylons until we see scale of EUs renewable energy backtrack

Following on from his interview regarding pylons on national television this week, a local Sinn Féin election candidate has called for an immediate freeze on all pylon and wind turbine projects until the scale of the European Union’s fallback on mandatory renewable energy targets can be determined.  Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said he favoured renewable energy, but only where it posed no realistic threats, either health or economic.

Mr O’ Súilleabháín said;

“It looks very much like the EU Commission plans to scale back its mandatory renewable energy targets post 2020.  This completely changes what our states long term commitments should be, and while Sinn Féin favours the development of safe renewable energy, we believe that the memorandum of understanding signed between the Irish and British government concerning the supply of renewable power should be suspended immediately until further clarification is sought from the EU.”

“Wind and water power must be developed safely and in a manner that is sustainable as we move along.  It should not be rushed in order to meet EU targets which may no longer be applicable.  In particular, the deeply divisive EirGrid project should be stalled and re-examined in responds to these new revelations.”

“This is the perfect opportunity to develop a sustainable All-Ireland Renewable Energy programme which can safely and concisely harness the great natural advantages that we as an island have.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fringe Fest will bring republican culture to Wexford - O' Connell

The Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin has promised that a number of events taking place in conjunction with his party's Ard Fheis in Wexford town in two weeks will bring an unashamed, uncensored view of Irish republican culture to this county.  Oisin O' Connell said that he hoped people would take in some of the fringe feis events and realise that republicans are not the boogeymen that they are often portrayed as in the media.

"Fringe Fest will be an offshoot of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis which is being held in Wexford town on the 7th and 8th of February,"  Mr O' Connell said,  "Its our hope to cater to all tastes and offer a true view of the culture, history and mythos that lays behind Irish republicanism in the 21st century.  These events are mostly free and open to everyone."

"In the week leading up to the Ard Fheis we will be holding an eyewitness to history exhibition, a revolution craft expo and an open mic night.  There will be walking tours of the ancient town of Wexford on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th and many other events taking place in the evenings."

"A full list of the upcoming events, complete with times and prices, will be made available on our facebook page, sinnfeinardfheis-wexford, and by following the twitter hashtag #SFAF14."

Sinn Féin Ard Fheis Wexford Fringe Feis

Full list of events

Wed 5th - Sat 8th
"Eyewitness to history" multimedia exhibit
The Westgate Centre
9:30 - 5:30
featuring Relatives for justice, hungerstrike exhibition, book stall

Thurs 6th - Sat 8th
 Revolution craft expo
Arts Centre Annexe

Thurs 6th
Fringe Feis Open Mic Night
Fusion Café
7pm - late
Wanted: Singers, Poets, Writers, Comics, Performers.

Fri 7th & Sat 8th
Ballad session with Fenian Folk

Fri 7th
Table Quiz
Bugler Doyles

Sat 8th
The Living History Lectures 
Arts Centre Theatre
from 1:30pm
Featuring DVD and speakers from the Ballymurphy Campaign for Truth and Justice.
Also special guest: Prof Ruan O' Donnell

Sat 8th-Sun 9th
Wexford Walking Tours - Take in the history and culture of our ancient town
11 - 3pm (Cost: €4 each)

Sat 8th
Lé Ceile
Whites Hotel

Sat 8th
Fringe Feis Cabaret
Arts Centre Theatre

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ard Fheis will offer something for everyone – Kelly

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford will offer something for everyone in the family according to a local Councillor.  Cllr Anthony Kelly said that while political debate and policy making was the main objectives of the annual national meeting of Sinn Féin members, several cultural, historical and entertainment events have also been organised to cater to everyone’s taste.

“This Ard Fheis will welcome up to 2000 Sinn Féin members into Wexford town,” Cllr Kelly said, “But we also aim to run fringe events for people who are not attending the conference to give them a taste of republican socialism in the twenty first century.  Several exhibitions and cultural events will be held around the venue in Whites Hotel and in the Arts Centre.  Among these events will be re-enactments and lectures on Irish republican history."

“Several international dignitaries will be visiting the town including the Cuban and Palestinian ambassadors and a high ranking official from the ANC.  Several leading figures of the national unions will also be in attendance.”

“Music sessions, table quiz’s and cabarets will be ran in venues throughout the town over the Ard Fheis weekend on the 7th and 8th of February also.  Everyone is invited to come along and see musicians from up and down Ireland perform.  The event will certainly bring a much needed economic boost to the town at a traditionally lean time of year.”

“Wexford Sinn Féin acknowledges the great work that has been put into promoting the event by the Wexford tourism board, the Chamber of Commerce and other groups, and the positive role played by the Borough Council in offering a civic reception before the event.”

Wexford App – The perfect Ard Fheis companion

As thousands of republicans prepare to descend on Wexford town for what promises to be an historic Ard Fheis, Wexford Sinn Féin are advising those attending to download the new Wexford App onto their smart phones.

The app will give users all the essential information needed when visiting Wexford from where to eat to where the closest doctor is.  It even includes a bargain section ensuring that you get more than your money’s worth in the model county.

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis will be held in Wexford Towns Opera House on the 7th and 8th of February but visitors are expected to begin arriving earlier in the week to take advantage of a string of cultural and entertainment fringe events. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kilmore Quay Fishing Community is getting screwed – Roche

Unreasonable fishing quotas and the government’s policy of criminalising trawler crews is in danger of destroying coastal communities like Kilmore Quay according to local election candidate Mick Roche.  Mr Roche said that despite some tutting and quite reassurances by government spokespeople, the Irish establishment had all but abandoned the likes of Kilmore Quay.

The Sinn Féin candidate said;

“Everything is Kilmore Quay relies on the fishing industry.  During the bad weather over the past few weeks, the trawlers haven’t got out which means there’s less work for those employed in the fish factories which in turn means they have less to spend on service industries like the local shops, pubs and transport companies.  This influence that the trade has spreads right out into neighbouring areas villages like Bridgetown, Duncormick and Tomhaggard.”

“Knowing the vital importance of the fishing industry to the whole of South Wexford it’s very hard to accept why the community of Kilmore Quay has been abandoned and allowed to face the effects of unreasonable fishing quotas and a deadly policy of criminalising fishing crews who are just doing their jobs alone.”

“Why is it deemed ok for Ireland to have roughly a 7% quota while we have 20% of the EUs fishing waters?  Spain has a 34% quota.  Kilmore Quay fishing vessels are being threatened by our own navy vessels for fishing in our own waters while Spanish fleets fish with hardly any restrictions.”

“The value of our fisheries for the last thirty years is estimated to have been worth over €210 billion, yet our share was only €17 billion.  Clearly we are being screwed.  How can Minister Coveney go to Brussels and claim to have led successful negotiations when this is our historical record?”

“The fact is that Kimore Quay will die unless the powers that be, our government, our MEPs, our Senators and our local Councillors stop turning their backs on this issue, stop participating in the criminalisation of our hard working fishing crews and stop accepting that we do not have a right to fish a fair share of our own waters in order to sustain Irish fishing.”

Water Charges high on agenda at Sinn Féin Ard Fheis

Next month’s Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford town will condemn the already failed Irish Water company and offer alternatives to water charges according to local election candidate Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin.  The Gorey based teacher said that the recent wasting of €85 million by a company which continues to issue veiled threats that it will cut off the water supply to people who cannot afford to pay the new tariff was proof that Irish Water was already a failed entity.

Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;

“Up to two thousands delegates will attend the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford towns Opera House on the 7th and 8th of February.  One of the things which will top the agenda is water charges and the disgraceful behaviour of Irish Water since its conception.”

“The wasteful spending of €85 million of taxpayer’s money on consultancy fees by Irish Water is an unforgivable act.  To make matters worse, the company has issued increasingly threatening veiled messages indicating that while it is illegal to cut off a home’s water supply, restrictors may be put in place to reduce the water coming into households who cannot pay this tax.”

“Irish water claims that homes will have to pay an annual bill of €250 to €300 for their water supply as the current cost of providing water to a house is €500.  This figure is misleading however as it does not take into account the 58% of treated water which is currently being lost through leaks in our antiquated mains supply network.”

“Sinn Féin believes it makes more sense to spend the €200 million taken out of our budget and the other €600 million from motor tax revenue earmarked for Irish Water to fix these leaks.  Anyone who truly believes in water conservation will surely be of the same view.”

New Ross Port needs to stay in state control – O’ Connell

Responding to comments made by Minister Brendan Howlin indicating that state assets may be sold to finance a new redundancy scheme in the HSE, local Sinn Féin representative Oisin O’ Connell has reiterated his view that New Ross Port should stay under state control.  The Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin said that he would speak on the importance of keeping the valuable inland port in state hands at the upcoming party Ard Fheis which will be held in Wexford’s Opera House on the 7th and 8th of February.


Mr O’ Connell said;


“New Ross Port is still under state control despite being a limited company since 1997.  It seems that its strategic importance is often unfairly overlooked in favour of Rosslare Harbour.  Many people seem unaware that we have a International Ship and Port Facility Security code compliant port in New Ross and I have no doubt that certain veiled interests have played off this to set New Ross Port up for a quick sale.”


“There are huge benefits to keeping a port with what many would describe as having an untapped potential in public ownership.  New Ross is an ideal location for importing and exporting materials because of its location and access to major transport routes.  This will only become more evident when the construction of the new bypass begins.”


“Sinn Féin opposes the selling off of vital state assets in Brendan’s bargain basement sale.  Up to 2000 delegates will descend on Wexford town for our Ard Fheis and I have no doubt that they will join me in opposing the sale of New Ross Port and calling on our party leadership to fight any attempted sale.”

Friday, January 10, 2014

€50 million scandal shows Irish Water is already contaminated – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has described the spending of €50 million by Irish Water on consultants as an utter disgrace and proof that the utility company is already contaminated.  The Sinn Féin rep called on all elected reps in Wexford to immediately condemn the action and jointly request that John Tierney of Irish Water appear before the Public Accounts Committee to explain this gross misuse of public finances.

“Mr Tierney, who has had the cheek to suggest that homeowners who do not pay their water charges in full will have their supply severely restricted, has wasted €50 million of taxpayers’ money on consultants,” Cllr Kelly said, “He needs to appear before the Public Accounts Committee immediately to explain his actions and Minister Phil Hogan needs to make his position known, as does every single elected representative across this island.  Local politicians need to unite and call for a full enquiry into how this was allowed to happen.”

“€200 million has gone out of our budget into Irish Water while another €600 million has been raised through motor tax.  €500 million will also be taken from the National Pension Reserve Fund to install meters.  Irish Water is devouring public money and what are we getting in return?  It has been proven that 58% of our treated water is wasted through leaks in the inadequate public water supply network.  None of this money has been used to repair these leaks.  Instead, the great ‘water conservationist’ Phil Hogan, has allowed Irish Water to squander €50 million.”

Roche: Young people are being hung out to dry by the Government

A candidate in the upcoming local elections has said that he fears that young people within his locality will struggle with poverty in the coming year.  Mick Roche said that cuts to unemployment benefit for those under 26 which has kicked in this month, cuts to youth services and rising student contribution levees have left young people trapped in a nightmare limbo of inequality.

“It’s not right to claim that young people need to be targeted in Budget cuts,” the Sinn Féin candidate said.  “A wealth tax imposed on those at the upper tier of our society would make more sense than destroying our best natural asset – our youth.  It is wrong to cut benefits to young people and then make it impossibly expensive to get back into full time education.  It’s almost as if the government want them to emigrate.”

“We have the fourth highest rate of young people not in education, employment or training in the EU.  I know young people in Bridgetown and Kilmore who are barely surviving.  They have no money to get their own transport, so even if they could afford to go back to school, they have no way of getting there.”

“I fully welcome recent job creation announcements, but the truth is we have a long way to go still.  Job opportunities aren’t widely available as the government would like us to believe.  We have already lost over 170,000 of our young people to emigration.  We can’t afford to lose anymore.”

“Its vital that sustainable employment is fostered, and that worker’s rights, particularly those of vulnerable young people, are protected.  In addition, realistic and accessible education places need to be made available for all of those young people who have been cut this month.”

Disadvantaged areas scheme must be protected - O' Connell

The Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin has called on the government to confirm that they will co-finance the rural development fund over the next seven years at a ratio of at least 50:50.  Oisin O' Connell, who will be contesting this year's local government elections, said that payments like the disadvantaged area scheme were not just important to farmers, but essential for struggling rural communities.

Mr O' Connell said;

"Disadvantaged area payments are made to over 60,000 farming families who are placed under pressure by natural factors like being located in wet or mountainous land or being situated where preservation is required for tourism or environmental reasons.  These payments not only benefit the farming community but are also the keystone that the rural economy is built on."

"Last year's record food and drink exports bill of almost €10 billion shows the important role that agriculture plays in our economy.  Payments like the disadvantage scheme have been shown to be reinvested in the recipients local community whether it is through the local shop or used to hire or pay local trades people and service providers."

"Annual EU funding of €313 million has been secured by Ireland so the government must at least commit to match this over the next seven years as part of an investment in rural Ireland, which will secure jobs, prevent youth emigration and protect struggling communities."

Jobs lie wont silence Pylon protestors - O' Súilleabháin

A North Wexford local election candidate has slammed the government’s attempt to hoodwink the public into believing that the EirGrid debate is about job creation.  Speaking on TG4’s current affairs programme 7Lá, Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that the very real concerns about the impact of these pylons on Wexford's environment, public health, tourism and agriculture were being undermined by the government’s double think-esque strategy of linking the project to job creation.

Speaking outside Ballyroebuck National School, which stands beside the proposed route for the new grid, Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;

“People who oppose the EirGrid project do so because they have very real concerns.  Last year Wexford tourism recorded a bumper year.  With internationally recognised events like the JFK festival in New Ross and the Wexford Opera festival, we are a prime destination.  Is it wrong to worry that the construction of a network of 250km high voltage overhead power lines might disrupt this?  Is it wrong to worry that it will impact on our traditionally strong agricultural sector?  Is it wrong to worry about the health implications of building this grid through communities, running it along a route that borders homes and schools like the one here in Ballyroebuck?”

"Enda Kenny is pulling out every trick in the book to discredit and ignore the very real concerns being raised by the anti pylon movement," The Sinn Féin candidate said, "He has now linked the completion of the Grid Link project with job creation and halting emigration.  He has also called for a 'rational, common-sense' debate on this issue but has continuously ignored those who oppose this plan such as the people who braved the weather for a recent protest on Vinegar Hill.”

"Health damage that could be caused by this project has been ignored by Kenny and his spin doctors.  A recent study by an Oxford Professor stated that a child's chance of getting cancer increased by 69% when they lived within 200 metres of a pylon.  It is accepted by most people, including our Minister for Health, that low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia."

“The Wexford Eirgrid Action Group and other anti pylon movements should be commended for making such a strong stand on this issue.  Wexford County Council has also made its opposition known.  It seems that whenever the government wants to silence protestors, it will dangle the carrot and stick of job creation.  Pylon protestors are not against job creation.  What they oppose is the very real health, economic and environmental risks involved with this project."

Mythen concerned over EirGrid project

The Chairperson of Enniscorthy Town Council has stated that he has real concerns about the EirGrid Grid Link project and believes that the government is purposely ignoring reasonable arguments put forward against the project due to the influence of vested interests.  Cllr Johnny Mythen, who attended recent public meetings on this issue, has called for the government to engage in serious dialogue with communities who oppose the plan.

Cllr Mythen said he was asking the government to come clean on the EirGrid link project.  “There are questions by the stakeholders that need honest answers.  Under the European rules major projects must come with an environmental impact statement, followed up by an economic and social impact study on the areas concerned.  No such statement has come forward to date.”

“Again we see decisions influenced by very wealthy individuals that will cause havoc to the most beautiful natural landscapes of Munster and Leinster forever.  People’s homes will be devalued and rendered unsalable.  Some have genuine fears of health implications.”

“Therefore it is not unreasonable in such a small Island to ask both the Government and EirGrid to underground their project. The only argument both parties are peddling at the moment is that it is too expensive. Seriously in the long run what value do you put on the natural beauty of our Country, or the social ,economic, environmental values these 43 metre(140ft.) pylons are going to destroy.”

“This Country belongs to all its citizens, not exclusively to the executive committee in Dail Eireann.  Vested interests must not come before the protection of our natural environment.”

Disgraceful cuts to home adaption grant will force some old people into state homes - Kelly

A Wexford Councillor has strongly criticised the new cutbacks to the home adaption grant, which exists so that elderly and disabled people can go on living at home instead of moving into residential care.  Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly said that the new changes to the scheme were callous and accused the government of attempting to sneak them in under the radar.

Cllr Kelly said;

"These new cutbacks affect three very important grants: the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability, housing aid for older people and the mobility aids grant.  These grants exist so that people can avoid going into residential care.  As well as benefiting the recipients, the grants have also benefitted the state by stopping our residential care units from being over-ran.  Spending on the grants has halved over the past three years showing this governments monumental lack of vision and concern for the well being of our most vulnerable citizens."

"On top of this, Fine Gael and Labour attempted to sneak these changes in under the radar.  These changes were not announced in the budget and local authorities were only informed to make them effective from last Monday."

"Applicants for the housing aid grant for older people will now have to be at least 66 years old rather than 60 and the maximum grant amount has been cut from €10,000 to €8000.  Income bands for the grants are also being reduced so those in the lowest band of €30,000 per annum or less will now have to contribute 5% of the costs themselves.  Of course many will not be able to afford this and will be forced into state care."

"This government has also been responsible for restricting old peoples access to Fair Deal nursing home beds so what we are faced with here is an already stressed system being unable to deal with a greatly increased amount of patients looking for beds.  This is a callous cut and I would call upon Ministers Howlin and Kehoe, and Deputy Twomey to make their voices of opposition heard within the Dail immediately.  They cannot stand over something that so blatantly disrupts the lives of the elderly and disabled of County Wexford."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mythen challenges media political attacks

The Chairperson of Enniscorthy Town Council has described the recent mainstream media attacks on Sinn Féin as being political motivated.  Cllr Johnny Mythen said that the selective exposure would undermine democracy as we approach the local elections this summer.

Cllr Mythen said;

"Main stream media in Ireland must be challenged.  The recent political attacks on Sinn Fein are relentless and purposefully designed to discredit the party.  They are working off political agendas and deliberately activating existing predispositions and attempting to make them electorally relevant."

"This selective exposure is dangerous and will undermine Democracy and cause serious polarization of the truth. A prime example of this is 'the weapons of mass destruction' lie, resulting in an invasion of Iraq, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis."

 "As we approach the local elections the media will intensify their efforts to project the Irish people away from voting for Sinn Fein.  Anything they consider as undesirable ideas will be venomously opposed."

"The barrage of personal and unprecedented verbal assaults on Gerry Adams, his family and his party are a prime example of selective exposure, selective perception and selective predisposition.  This time we must not let the usual opinion leaders away with their political propaganda schooling.  The people are wising up to the dirty tricks and the well silvered palms of the hand-picked government agents and the tools they use to usurp the building of a prosperous republic , based on equality and justice for all."