Thursday, 12 July 2018

Occupied Territories vote a 'momentous step' - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has welcomed the decision by members of the Seanad to support the Occupied Territories Bill.

The Bill, which seeks to ban goods and services from illegal Israeli settlements, will now advance to committee stage.

Speaking following the vote, Teachta Brady said:

“Yesterday’s vote in the Seanad to support the Occupied Territories Bill was the right thing to ensure that Ireland is on the map as standing against violations of International Law.

“This is also a momentous step towards officially banning the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources which come from settlements that exist on illegally occupied land in Palestine.

“These goods and services are only available due to war crimes carried out by the Israeli state by completely disregarding the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“Palestinian’s are forced from their homes, schools are destroyed and people are displaced on a daily basis to make way for the construction of these settlements.

“We can’t stand idly by and ignore this abuse of human rights. The Irish people have a proud history of standing against apartheid and occupation. This vote is a crucial step towards enshrining this in law.

“Sinn Féin will continue to argue for justice, rights and peace in Palestine and make our voice heard against the abuse of International Law which damages the two-state solution.”

Friday, 6 July 2018

BusConnects proposals from the National Transport Authority are a mixed bag for Wicklow

Wicklow Sinn Féin public representatives have said that the new BusConnects proposals from the National Transport Authority are a mixed bag containing some positives, some missed opportunities and some retrograde proposals.

Speaking about the BusConnects proposals Teachta John Brady said “The long awaited BusConnects proposals are a real mixed bag for users of public transport from Wicklow. There are some proposals that Sinn Féin representatives have been pushing for included in the plan, such as linking Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole and extended a route from Wicklow to link in with the LUAS in Cherrywood. There are also proposals for a local loop service for Greystones.”

Bray Sinn Féin councillor elect Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien said “When we look at BusConnect and its proposals we see two key elements worth our consideration. 1. Our local infrastructure. 2. Our journeys into and out of Bray.”

“It should be fair to assume that the aim of the BusConnect plans are to improve things for all passengers, so that should be our criteria when we look at the proposals that impact on Bray. Unfortunately the plan at this stage looks like both a missed opportunity and bad news for Bray. My colleague John Brady TD has long sought the establishment of a Bray loop service. Whilst not included in the initial proposals I believe there still is an opportunity to consider a local loop service for Bray, this would link key areas like the Seafront, Southerncross and Little Bray to Bray Town centre. The loop service could also include running a service back into the Fassaroe area, reinstating a route that was cut a number of years ago.

In the current plan put forward by the National Transport Authority we would also see a bus service to Palermo being cut, this is currently provided by the 185. A new loop service could incorporate the Palermo area but the idea of leaving Palermo or Fassaroe without any service does not represent an improvement for passengers whatsoever. All aspects of our community benefit from the easy movement of people within our town whether it is for school, work, shopping, leisure or to access services. It is my intention to hold a public meeting on this BusConnect proposal in the coming weeks and I hope people will come along and share their own views, ideas, insights on how Bray can get the best out of the future plans for Bus provision. The ambition of the plan must match the needs of people who use the services. "

Wicklow East Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton said “Recently I submitted a petition to Dublin Bus calling for a service to be extended to link Newtownmountkennedy to Kilcoole. I’m delighted that my proposals have been included in the BusConnects proposal. Newtown is the fastest growing town in the State and it’s essential that there are adequate public transport links.”

Greystones Sinn Féin councillor Nicola Lawless stated “The proposed local loop of Greystones service is to be welcomed, I do think there is scope however to have the route expanded to cover Delgany and the Blacklion Manor Road where many local students attend schools. We should also be looking at the use of single decker buses; these would be more suitable for this type of service.”

Teachta Brady concluded “A process of public consultation on the BusConnects report will formally commence on Monday 16th July and continue until Friday 14th September. I encourage members of the public to inspect the proposals on Sinn Fein will be holding a public meeting on our proposals in the coming weeks and to ensure that all the concerns of the public are taken on-board during the consultation process.”

Thursday, 5 July 2018

John Brady TD launches 'Unlocking Arklow's Potential' discussion document

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady was joined on Wednesday evening in the Arklow Bay Hotel by the Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty to launch a document entitled ‘Unlocking Arklow’s Potential’. The discussion document which was launched before a packed room came about following extensive consultation with the public and key stakeholders. The meeting was chaired by Arklow Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald.

Speaking after the launch Teachta Brady said “I was delighted to launch the ‘Unlocking Arklow’s Potential’ document with the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Finance Pearse Doherty on Wednesday evening. It was good to see over 100 attend the launch, particularly given the time of year and the weather.”

“The document has come about following extensive consultation with the public and the key stakeholders. The comprehensive document looks at a number of different areas and makes recommendations that if only a fraction were to be implemented would go a long way to unlocking the massive potential that Arklow has.”

“The report is broken into 4 main areas, Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Public Realm Plan, Employment/Retail and Tourism. The report looks comprehensively at each of these areas and makes a number of key recommendations.”

“The lack of a sewage treatment has had a negative impact on both the economic and residential development of Arklow, it is anticipated that a planning submission will be made to An Bord Pleanala will be made over the next few months. This in itself will act as a catalyst, helping unlock development that has been stifled by the lack of a water treatment plant. Other key infrastructural projects include the construction of a Deep Sea Port at Arklow Rock, a port access road and slip roads on and off the M11 to the Avoca Road.”

“The report also makes a number of recommdations to help employment in the Arklow area, which still has very high unemployment rates and is a youth unemployment black sport. Some of the key proposals include a new Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Incentive Scheme, also an extension needed to the Arklow Business Enterprise Centre.”

“The plan offers some ideas and ways in which I feel that Arklow can grow. I hope this document will serve as a conversation starter for the people of Arklow and all those who wish to see it develop and thrive in the months and years to come.

We need to ensure party politics is left to one side and that the development of Arklow is priority for all. A number of the proposals that I have brought forward are immediately deliverable by the local authority, others would need substantial investment at a national level. I would hope that all public representatives at both local and national levels could unite around some of the proposals and lobby Government for funding.”

“Arklow is a great town with great people; it has so much potential that unfortunately has been held back. If working together we could deliver sections of this plan, it would move Arklow forward positively and help create sustainable employment. The report has received a very positive response and I look forward to continued engagement with the key stakeholders with a view to trying to adding to the plan and implementing some, if not all of it.”

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Brady welcomes issuing of warning letter to Arklow landowner for blocking public right of ways to North beach

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the decision by Wicklow County Council to issue a warning letter to a landowner in Arklow who is trying to restrict members of the public accessing a local beach.

Speaking after the warning letter was issued Teachta Brady said “I have been working with local residents over the last number of months on this disgraceful attempt by a local landowner in his attempt to stop access of the public to the North beach. This is a fantastic local amenity that has been used by generations of Arklow people.”

“I welcome the decision by the council to issue the warning letter to the landowner this week. The warning letter as per Section 152 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 gives the landowner four weeks to respond to the alleged unauthorised development which has seen a fence being erected and locking of a gate to restrict public access to the local North beach.”

“In the letter the planning authority states that they are satisfied that the fence that has been erected along the southern boundary is not exempted development, as it is it is enclosing land that has been used by the public for recreational purposes or a means to access the seashore during the 10 years preceding.”

Teachta Brady continued “The protection of our public right of ways are very important and any attempts to restrict or curtail those rights has to be opposed. The right of ways to the North Beach and Porters Rock/Seabank areas in Arklow date as far back as 1896, these are fantastic beaches and any attempt to essentially turn them into private beaches will not be tolerated. Last month I called on Wicklow County Council to initiate enforcement proceedings, so I welcome their actions.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald said “I have worked closely with local residents on this issue now for several months and have raised it consistently at meetings of the Municipal District where unfortunately it seemed to fall on deaf ears. I welcome the warning letter that has now been issued by the council and I will continue to work on this issue until the public have unrestricted access along the well established right of ways to our beautiful beaches.”

Monday, 25 June 2018

Brady cautiously welcomes the news that work on Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray is to restart

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has given a cautious welcome to the news on Monday, that arrangements have been put in place for the appointment of a replacement contractor, to facilitate the completion of Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray.

Speaking after the announcement from the Dutch Infrastructural Fund (DIF) was made Teachta Brady said “I cautiously welcome the news that a new contractor has been appointed to complete the work on Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray. It is anticipated that the contractor will be mobilised in the coming days and will be on site in the coming weeks. Work on the schools is expected to be completed by the end of August.”

“With so many completion dates coming and going, the Minister for Education Richard Bruton must now give solid assurances that this time frame will be met and that the State will step in immediately to ensure that this is the case.”

Teachta Brady continued “Furthermore the Minister must ensure that the many sub contractors directly affected by the collapse of Carillion and Sammon must be protected and that the money they are owed is forthcoming. I’m aware that a sizable number of local contractors are owed sizable sums of money and now find themselves in difficulties as a result of this mess.”

“There needs to be a full review of the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s), particularly for critical infrastructural projects such as schools. Capital projects such as these should be funded directly by Government; it’s a crazy situation when you have the Dutch Infrastructural Fund and the Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi controlling if and when our children get into their new schools.

Teachta Brady concluded “Finally I want to commend all the pupils, teachers and parents for keeping the pressure on to ensure that progress was made in completing the schools, I’ve no doubt that without it, it would have dragged on considerably longer. Myself and I’m sure the schools will keep that pressure on to ensure that this time-frame is adhered to and that they can finally get into their fantastic new schools in September.”

Friday, 22 June 2018

Pearse Doherty TD to help launch Unlocking Arklow’s Potential plan

‘Unlocking Arklow’s potential’ is the title given to a plan developed by Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow John Brady which will be launched next month as part of an initiative to help boost the fortunes and opportunity potential in the greater Arklow and South Wicklow Area. Speaking from Leinster house recently Teachta Brady said he hopes the plan will kick start a debate on the potential to transform Arklow’s fortunes. Teachta Brady said:

'After a lengthy consultation process I’m delighted to bring forward this plan. It is a plan of action to put Arklow back on the road to economic recovery. Traditionally, Arklow has often been overlooked by the establishment political parties. Unemployment and retail vacancy rates are higher in Arklow than anywhere else in Wicklow. Youth unemployment figures are particularly problematic as an infrastructural deficit has stifled both economic and residential development. Arklow requires strategic focused attention.’

Teachta Brady said that crucial to the success of any plan is the involvement of various stakeholders including local businesses, state agencies but most importantly the local community:

‘Extensive consultation has been carried out in compiling the report and this input was insightful and hugely beneficial in forming the basis of the report’s recommendations which are intended to tackle the challenges presented in Arklow with workable solutions. It is hoped that this report will be used as a discussion document that will put a political focus on Arklow.’

‘I am delighted that my colleague Teachta Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein spokesperson for finance will attend the launch of the plan in Arklow next month. The meeting is open to all members of the public and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to add their voice and ideas to unlocking Arklow’s potential.’

Sinn Fein TDs John Brady and Pearse Doherty will launch the plan in The Arklow Bay Hotel on Wednesday 4th July at 8pm. All welcome to attend.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Strong delegation meets Minister for Transport to push for funding for the N81 upgrade scheme

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has described as constructive the meeting with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross on funding for the N81 upgrade scheme. Strong arguments were made to the Minister, representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Road Safety Authority for the scheme to progress without delay. A petition containing thousands of signatures was also presented to the Minister.

Speaking after the meeting Teachta Brady said “I’m delighted that the long awaited meeting with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross has finally taken place. A strong delegation of representatives from West Wicklow met with the Minister, representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Road Safety Authority in the Dáil on Wednesday.”

“Bitter disappointment was expressed by all present that funding for the critical N81 upgrade scheme was pulled and the project wasn’t included in the Governments Capital Investment Plan. I put forward the safety issues and outlined that the N81 is one of the most dangerous roads in the State. I also showed how the development of West Wicklow is being stifled by the failure to progress the scheme.”

“The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District Vincent Blake, members of the action group along with representatives from Blessington and Hollywood Fourms put forward strong arguments also.”

Teachta Brady continued “The Minister listened to the arguments and has committed to getting an up to date safety report along with getting estimated current costings for the scheme. He is also going to meet with representatives in West Wicklow in July. It is intended to show him and his officials some of the many problems along the N81.

The Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella concluded “A petition containing thousands of signatures was also handed over to the Minister. Whist the meeting was constructive, we need action now from the Minister and the Fianna Fáil party. The funding for road construction has been cut by nearly €1b since 2007 Fianna Fáil must now ensure that they prioritise funding for the N81 in the upcoming budget discussions with thei colleagues in Fine Gael.” Ends