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

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Slow progress made on Coastal protection schemes in Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has cautiously welcomed the slow progress on coastal protection works at the Murrough in Wicklow town and North Beach in Arklow.

Teachta Brady said:

“I have received a comprehensive update from the Minister with responsibility for flood relief Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran this week. This came after much back and forth with the Minister since his visit at my request to both sites in Wicklow last January.

“On Friday, officials from the Minister’s office will meet with officials from Wicklow County Council to progress plans. The Minister has informed me that he will fund coastal protection studies at both the Murrough and North Beach and that they will be completed within weeks. He estimates that this will cost between €55,000 and €76,000.

“Minister Moran has also confirmed to me that he will look favourably on the application for funding which will be approved by him in conjunction with the options put forward by the studies.

“I reiterated to the Minister the urgency for the work to be carried out. Considerable damage has and continuous to happen at both sites, both are of huge amenity value, the continued erosion is also undermining existing coastal protection.

“Progress has been extremely slow, its important that the Minister expedites the process. Critically however, what we don't want is another report on what needs to happen to protect both areas. There have been enough reports carried out that alone could be used as coastal protection. We need solid assurances that at the end of this process funding will be made available. I will continue to work on this issue to ensure that the crucial works needed at both the Murrough and North Beach is carried out.”

Sinn Féin Fair Hours amendment passed – Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has welcomed the passing of his party’s amendment to the Government’s Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill at Committee stage which was taken this afternoon.

The Sinn Féin amendment for fair hours was passed following the defeat of the Government’s own amendment to the Bill.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“This Bill is crucially important to protect the rights of all workers but in particular workers in precarious and low-paid employment.

“This Bill needed to achieve security for workers when it comes to their working hours and in turn, their incomes. We also needed to ensure that the actual hours worked by an employee are reflected in their employment contract.

“While this Bill consists of a number of important provisions, it was essential that the bands of weekly working hours were made sharp and precise and legislated for in this Bill.

“The Government had brought forward an amendment to the weekly bands which they had initially proposed, but this amendment was defeated in favour of the bands we put forward.

“This was an amendment brought forward by myself and my colleague Deputy David Cullinane who has worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of workers’ rights when it comes to fair hours.

“I also want to pay tribute to the Dunnes Stores workers who highlighted their own case back in 2015 and persisted with this to the benefit of all workers.”

Friday, 11 May 2018

Meeting with Minister for Transport on N81 secured

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has secured a meeting with Transport Minister, Shane Ross to discuss the decision not to include the N81 Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“After numerous requests since January for a meeting with Minister Ross to discuss the decision not to include the N81 Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan, I am delighted to have secured a meeting on June 13th.

“It is essential that Minister Ross and his officials hear first-hand the major safety issues that people face daily, when using the N81. It is incomprehensible how any decision making person, particularly the Minister could ignore the horrific safety statistics of the N81. The figures show that the 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.

Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella said “The Minister also needs to hear how the decision not to fund this critical project will impact on the economic and social development of West Wicklow. A delegation from West Wicklow will also be there to put this message across. This issue shouldn’t be party political, so it’s important that all five Wicklow TDs are present to put a strong argument forward along with local public representatives.

“We will be calling on Minister Ross to include the N81 in the Governments Capital Investment Plan and ensure priority is given to fund the upgrade project.

Teachta Brady concluded “I have also requested that a representative from Transport Infrastructure Ireland attend the meeting and I hope that Minister Ross will facilitate the request. This will ensure that all necessary bodies are at the table.

“This is an issue I have worked on for over 10 years and I will continue to work on until the upgrade works are carried out and the neglect of West Wicklow from successive Governments ends.”

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Greater sense of urgency needed by Government to get Wicklow courthouse reopened – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that much greater urgency by Government is required if Wicklow courthouse is to reopen.

Speaking having sought an update from the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Teachta Brady commented:

“I have been saying for a very long time that the reopening of Wicklow courthouse is of huge importance to the continued success of the town. Despite this, works are moving at an incredibly slow pace.

“In seeking an update from Minister Flanagan, I was disappointed to learn that no detailed planning or design work has commenced. The objective is to extend and refurbish the courthouse in Wicklow town to provide a significantly larger 4 courtroom venue together with a range of facilities for staff, the judiciary, jurors, legal profession, other state agencies and members of the public.

“The Courts Service has purchased a number of adjacent properties to the Courthouse, some of which will be demolished in order to create a larger site capable of accommodating a courthouse building on the scale envisaged. The demolition works are due to be carried out this year.

“We need to see the reopening of the courthouse as much more of a priority for Government. Its continued closure is impacting on the town and is having serious knock-on effects for the rest of the town. I am calling on Minister Flanagan to set out a clear timeframe for the works and an estimated time as to when it is envisaged for the courthouse to open.”

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Minister Doherty’s no-show to debate on Community Employment says it all - Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has criticised Minister Doherty for failing to turn up to the Dáil debate on the over-due provision of pensions for Community Employment Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors.

Speaking during the Dáil debate in support of pension provision for these workers, Teachta Brady said:

“Minister Doherty’s absence here tonight shows total disregard for the thousands of people engaged in Community Employment schemes right across the State.

“CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors are looking for the pension they are entitled to. This entitlement was backed up by the Labour Court in their recommendation in July 2008, nearly ten years ago.

“While Fine Gael Deputies were quick to praise the work of Community Employment schemes, this appreciation is utterly meaningless when the same Government are denying these workers something as basic as a pension.

“In typical fashion Fine Gael has brought forward a do-nothing amendment which I am calling on them to withdraw. The fact that Minister Doherty could not be bothered to be here to speak to her amendment says it all.

“The Government have sent a clear message to CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors here tonight – we acknowledge your work but we won’t give you a pension for it. Shame on them.”