Sunday, 11 February 2018

Home Help Hours Crash in Wicklow-Brady

Figures recently made available from the department of health show that home help hours in many parts of the country have collapsed at a time when we are supposed to be experiencing an economic recovery, and Wicklow has been one of the hardest counties hit.

Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow East Carlow John Brady said he is stunned by the local figures

Teachta Brady said:

“In 2014 the total home help hours provided in Wicklow was 217,000 but last year that number had fallen to 176,000 which represents a drop of twenty percent. The figures were provided by the health minister Simon Harris following a parliamentary question from my colleague Teachta Louise O’Reilly who is the Sinn Fein spokesperson for health.”

Teachta Brady said that the government’s assertion that it has a reasonable and coherent public care policy is in tatters where Wicklow is concerned:

“We have a rapidly growing ageing population here in Wicklow, yet the number of home help hours provided by the department of health is crashing. Home help is not just about aiding people who require help in their own homes, it is a fundamental part of helping to relieve pressure on our hospitals and to allow people - especially older people - to remain safe and secure in their own homes and communities.”

“Only this week the Irish Medical Times highlighted the recent ‘Health Service Capacity Review’ which is a report commissioned by the department of health itself. The report found that within fifteen years the demand for home care would increase by seventy percent. As it stands today our home help hours are hopelessly inadequate and the prospects for the future of home care look frighteningly bleak.”

Teachta Brady concluded by saying that last year Sinn Fein had offered the government sound proposals in its alternative budget submission:

“Sinn Féin costed a plan that would increase home help hours by 20% resulting in 2.1 million additional home help hours nationally. We also proposed an increase in home care packages of 15% which would mean 2,485 extra home care packages. These measures, costing €72.65 million could have been rolled out immediately. Not only are these measures the fair and decent thing to do, but they make since financially as the knock on effect is that they would alleviate pressure on acute hospital services as beds would be freed up thus reducing the trolley and waiting list crisis. A missed opportunity but I would call on Minister Harris and Fianna Fail to do the right thing and make the corrections now before it is too late.” Ends


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wicklow Sinn Féin launch campaign to reverse cuts to N81 upgrade project

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that the public meeting organised by Sinn Féin in Blessington on the funding for the N81 upgrade was a huge success. At the meeting a petition and campaign was launched to ensure that the funding be reinstated so the work on the long awaited N81 upgrade from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross can commence as soon as possible.

Teachta Brady said:

“Sinn Féin in West Wicklow organised a public meeting that took place on Tuesday evening in Blessington, this was in response to the recent news that the N81 from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme is suspended and that the project is not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan which provides the financial and strategic framework for Transport Infrastructure Irelands activities until 2021. Therefore, the N81 is now not included in the national roads programme.

“There was a large turnout of local people who expressed concern and disappointment that West Wicklow is again not seen as a priority for the Government. Numerous people spoke of the dangerous condition of the road and gave their personal experiences.

“The plans which have been worked on now for 10 years would have seen an upgrade of 31km of the N81, with a focus on improving the road safety and journey times for motorists using the road. After extensive public consultation a preferred route has been selected and a 300 metre wide corridor along the route has been frozen from any other development.

“I have been lobbying Minister Shane Ross on the urgent need for works to take place on the N81. Locals and those familiar with the N81 will know it is one of the deadliest roads in the County. According to a briefing report which was released by the Kildare National Roads Office, the current N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes. The decision not to prioritise the N81 was a political one, as was the decision to close both Donard and Hollywood Garda Stations.

West Wicklow Sinn Féin rep Aidan Kinsella concluded:

“Unfortunately again, West Wicklow is being forgotten about by this Government. Our campaign on the N81 is part of a broader campaign to put the political spotlight on West Wicklow and ensure that the neglect ends. At our meeting on Tuesday we launched a petition which will be in all local shops, we also intend going door to door with it. We also have an online version of the petition which can be signed here, https://www.change.org/p/minister-for-transport-fund-upgrade-works-on-the-n81-between-hollywood-cross-and-tallaght. This will then be presented to the Minister for Transport.”

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Public meeting on the need to fund N81 works to be held - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has urged people to attend an upcoming public meeting to voice concerns for the urgent need for works to be carried out on the N81.

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday next February 6th in St. Kevin’s Hall in Blessington at 7.30pm.

Teachta Brady said:

“I was recently informed that the N81 from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme is currently suspended and that the project is not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan which provides the financial and strategic framework for Transport Infrastructure Irelands activities until 2021. Therefore, the N81 is now not included in the national roads programme.

“The plans which have been worked on now for 10 years would have seen an upgrade of 31km of the N81, with a focus on improving the road safety and journey times for motorists using the road. After extensive public consultation a preferred route has been selected and a 300 metre wide corridor along the route has been frozen from any other development.

“I have been lobbying Minister Shane Ross on the urgent need for works to take place on the N81. Locals and those familiar with the N81 will know it is one of the deadliest roads in the County. According to a briefing report which was released by the Kildare National Roads Office, the current N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes.

West Wicklow Sinn Féin rep Aidan Kinsella concluded:

“Unfortunately again, West Wicklow is being forgotten about by this Government. I would urge locals to come along to our public meeting and make your voice heard.”

Lack of affordable housing compounding housing crisis in Wicklow –John Brady TD

Speaking following a Sinn Féin’s Private Members’ Motion on Housing, John Brady TD criticised the lack of action from the government over the past seven years in solving the ongoing housing emergency.

During the motion in the Dáil this week, Teachta Brady also criticised Fianna Fáil for voting against Sinn Féin’s motion, which outlined measures that would have delivered nearly 15,000 genuinely affordable homes over two years.

Teachta Brady said:

“Fine Gael has been in power for seven years, and they have thus far point blank refused to roll out a state-wide, properly funded social housing building programme.

“We have a crisis in the private rental sector. There aren’t enough properties for rent, and those that exist are prohibitively expensive for most people.

“These issues are further compounded by the fact that there is no evidence that this government has made any effort to realistically put forward an affordable housing programme that will make it possible for people on low wages to purchase their own home.

“In Wicklow house prices rose by four per cent in the final three months of 2016. The average price of a house now in the Garden County is €313,886, up 10.7% on the previous 12 months.

“Their bedfellows in government, Fianna Fáil, chose this week to vote against our motion. Fianna Fáil has claimed that it wants to see affordable housing delivered, yet when the opportunity comes to put pressure on the government to provide better, more sustainable housing solutions, they baulk.

“They voted against committing to the immediate introduction of ambitious, affordable rental and purchase housing schemes led by Local Authorities, and where appropriate, Approved Housing Bodies and Housing Co-operatives.

“They voted against amending Part V of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, to provide for 10% affordable housing in addition to the existing 10% social housing requirement.

“This is why we have a housing crisis in this country, and this is why it isn’t being solved. Lack of political will from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is the root cause of the crisis. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Productive meeting held with Minister Shane Ross on public transport accessibility for people with Disabilities – Brady

Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has today held a productive meeting with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross along with local Disability activist Padraic Moran in Leinster House.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“Earlier today, Padraic Moran and I held a positive meeting with Minister Shane Ross along with his Department officials and Senator John Dolan who also attended.

“The purpose of the meeting was to afford Padraic the opportunity to clearly outline to the Minister, the many issues he faces as someone who relies on the DART to get to and from work on a daily basis.

“While Padraic talked about his own experience as a regular commuter, the issues he raised are universal. They are the very issues that, in some cases prevent people with Disabilities from being able to access public transport and in essence, live their lives.

“Minister Ross listened carefully to Padraic and took on board all of the issues that he raised. He confirmed that he would be in a position to make a significant announcement in relation to some of the issues raised at a Committee meeting next week.

“The primary concern made clear to Minister Ross was the detrimental impact that the unmanning of DART and train stations will have on people with Disabilities.

“Before the meeting concluded, Padraic and I presented the Minister with a petition opposing the unmanning of DART and train stations across the State which was signed by over 3,100 people.

“The meeting today allowed the Minister to hear about the experience that people with Disabilities face every single day when it comes to something that many of us take for granted when we use public transport. I hope that today marks the start of an ongoing conversation between the Minister and people with Disabilities. Minister Ross has a unique opportunity to transform the lives of people with Disabilities and I hope he will grab this.”

Education Minister clueless on timeframe for opening of Bray schools - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed disappointment that Minister Bruton has failed to provide any commitments in relation to the timeframe for the opening of Coláiste Raithín and St. Philomena’s National School in Bray.

A debate on the consequences of the fallout of the liquidation of Carillion on schools across the State was held on Tuesday evening in the Dáil.

Speaking after the debate, Teachta Brady said:

“On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to raise a number of concerns that had been voiced by teachers, parents and students at the public meeting held in relation to Coláiste Raithín on Monday night.

“I was delighted to welcome a huge number of people from Bray into Leinster House to listen to the debate on Tuesday evening. Coláiste Raithín also took the opportunity to present Minister Bruton’s office with a petition.

“Coláiste Raithín is a completed development and St. Philomena’s is 95% complete with some small work outstanding. In the case of Coláiste Raithín, the school simply needs certification in order for the teachers and students to be moved in. I put it to the Minister that this needs to be fast tracked. I asked the Minister to put in place a caretaker maintenance agreement to ensure that the move in can happen without any further delay.

“I asked the Minister to ensure that all suppliers are paid in full to ensure that all supplies in the school are paid for and are therefore, not at risk of being removed. The school is fully equipped and this must remain the case.

“I also put it to Minister Bruton that it was absolutely necessary for contingency arrangements to be put in place so the Government are prepared to act if the liquidation process in place is to end up in court which would further draw out the timeframe for the opening of the schools in Bray. It is essential that the Minister is prepared and willing to bring forward emergency legislation if this is to occur.

“It is bitterly disappointing that the Minister was not agreeable to any of my recommendations to ensure the immediate handover for both schools. It is regrettable that the Minister has failed to afford students, teachers and parents with anything other than talk. After an hour long debate, nobody is any the wiser. ”

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Announcement of GP Out of Hours service is a victory for the people of North Wicklow- Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has given a cautious welcome to the news that the GP Out of Hours Service to cover North Wicklow is to be in place by June.

Speaking following the announcement that funding has been secured for the service Teachta Brady said:

“Over the last year Sinn Féin have lead the campaign to have a HSE funded GP Out of Hours Service for the people of North Wicklow. In 2016 we had announcements that the funding was secured for the service and that it would be in place in early 2017, unfortunately that funding was pulled without explanation. So, I cautiously welcome the latest announcement, and will keep the pressure on until the service is operational.

“North Wicklow remains as one of the largest urban areas in the State to be without such a service and continues to cause huge problems for people needing to access a GP outside surgery hours. We have already had a number of public meetings and handed in a petition to Minister Harris containing hundreds of signatures.

“In recent weeks, we have heard of horrific cases of people being left without emergency care outside of normal GP hours and the consequences of such. This is the very reason that this service is so badly and urgently needed. The operation of the service is expected to go out for tender in February and it’s expected that it will be fully operational by June.

Cllr Michael O’Connor commented:

“Sinn Féin has been to the forefront in ensuring that the GP Out of hours service is now finally being delivered. Over the last year we have ran a very successful campaign, we have held public meetings in Bray and Greystones and last October, I, along with my fellow Sinn Féin Councillors and John handed in a petition containing hundreds of signatures to Minister Harris’ in Leinster House.

Cllr Nicola Lawless added:

“This is fantastic news for the people of North Wicklow. When operational the service is intended to cover the night time hours from Monday to Friday and 24 hour cover at weekends and Public Holidays, providing urgent General Practitioner services to patients outside of normal surgery hours. It is expected that approximately 9,000 patients per month will benefit from this GP Out of Hours Service. This will replace the unsatisfactory private arrangements that are currently in place. This service will bring an end to patients having to wait 36hours or more to see a GP, or having to go to A&E because of the inability to access a GP which is a critical part of Primary Care.

Teachta Brady concluded:

“Whilst this announcement is welcome we will keep the pressure on the Minister to ensure that the people of North Wicklow finally get the critically needed GP Service and that the funding isn’t pulled again.”