Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Wicklow Sinn Féin Commemorates the centenary of the 1916 Rising and the proclamation of the Republic

The Wicklow Sinn Féin Easter 1916 Centenary commemoration took place on Easter Monday. A huge crowd of 400 assembled at Bray Town Hall. The commemoration was led off by the Wicklow Sinn Féin colour party and followed by the Rising Phoenix Republican Flute Band.

A wreath was laid at the 1798 monument on Castle Street by local republican Jack O’Neill, Cllr Michael O’Connor and Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady. The commemoration then proceeded to St.Peters Cemetery.

Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor Michael O’Connor who was recently co-opted onto the council to fill the seat vacated by John Brady chaired the proceedings in St.Peters and welcomed the huge crowd. Wicklow republican Robin Keogh read the proclamation and the names and a history of 16 Wicklow republicans who fought during Easter week was read out by Meghan Brady, Cllr John Snell, Melanie McAuley and Cllr Oliver O’Brien.

Cllr O’Connor then welcomed the main speaker at the commemoration John Brady TD stating “The people of Wicklow have made history by electing the first Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow in 94 years. Not since the election of Robert Barton and Sean Etchingham in the 2nd Dáil elections of 1921 has Wicklow been represented by a Republican in Leinster House.”

The Sinn Féin TD then delivered a rousing speech and stated “We are standing here on the sacred ground of St.Peters Cemetery surrounded by the graves of volunteers such as Steenie Mulvey, Willie Ownes, James Hoey and Seamus Costello who all fought bravely for Irish Freedom and in defence of the Irish Republic as was declared in 1916. They followed in the brave tradition of Fiach McHugh, the O'Byrnes, Michael Dwyer, Joseph Holt, Billy Byrne, Sam McAllister and Anne Devlin and many, many others from Wicklow that fought the occupation of our country.”

He went on to say that “The Republic that was declared in 1916 still has to be achieved and there is now more support for Sinn Féin and Irish republicanism than at any other time in our history. The promise of the republic is in our hands. We must now use that position to build the demand for real change. For unity and for a republic that honours the men and women of 1916 and all our patriots.”

Wreaths were laid on the grave of Bray man Stephen (Steenie) Mulvey by John Brady TD and family members of Steenie. Mulvey fought in the GPO during Easter week. One was also laid at the 1916 monument in the cemetery for all that died in the struggle for Irish Independence.
The commemoration finished with the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Homeless crisis is direct and shockin result of government policy - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said today that the homelessness crisis was a direct result of government policy. Speaking as part of a debate on Housing and Homelessness in the Dáil, he said that 68 families faced eviction in Wicklow Circuit Court yesterday and that protecting people from eviction must be a priority for any new government.

Deputy Brady said;

"Today homelessness affects thousands of children and their parents, many of whom are in full-time employment but have been forced on to the streets due to spiralling uncontrolled rents and a catalogue of pitiful policy failures.

100 years on from the Easter Rising of 1916, there are nearly 6,000 people in emergency accommodation, 1,830 of them children.

In my own constituency of Wicklow/East Carlow, 146 families including 240 children presented as homeless in 2015. This is certainly not the republic envisaged by the women and men of 1916.

In the circuit court in Wicklow yesterday 68 families stood facing eviction from their homes by financial institutions that we bailed out to the tune of 64 billion euro and in some cases we actually own.

They feel helpless in the hands of a system that treats them as no more than a statistic. A system which sees them as an inconvenience and an embarrassing reminder of the incompetence of government who put banks, financiers, developers and corporations ahead of the people, the people they are sworn to represent.

The situation these families and thousands more like them across the country find themselves in, is a DIRECT and SHOCKING consequence of government ignorance, government failures and government indifference.

All this has been described as a national emergency and a national crisis and this is true. But let nobody be under any illusion,
It is a shame, a damned shame on this house and on all those who occupied the government benches over the last ten years.

The implementation of the Land and Conveyancing Act 2013 is now facilitating the repossession of the family home, forcing more and more families onto the streets.

The priority of this caretaker government and whatever new one is put in place should be to protect the family home and stop more becoming statistic also."

Monday, 21 March 2016

Wicklow Sinn Fein Announce 1916 Commemorative Event

Wicklow Sinn Fein has announced details of its foremost 1916 commemorative event. The main speaker at the event will be recently elected Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady. The assembly point will be outside Bray Town Hall at 12.15pm on Monday 28th March. The procession will continue to St Peter’s Cemetery, Little Bray where guest speaker John Brady will address attendees. Teachta Brady has said that he is honoured to be part of the commemoration which offers an opportunity for Wicklow citizens to remember the vital role played by Wicklow Volunteers in the events of Easter 1916:

“Wicklow has a proud tradition in the annals of Irish Republicanism. After the 1798 Rebellion the county remained full of Republicans who refused to surrender; so much so that the British were forced to build the Military Road in order to reach those areas inhabited by rebels who had been a thorn in the side of the British administration for decades. By the time of the 1916 rising, Wicklow had established itself as a centre of Republican activity; providing brave Irishmen and Women committed to the fight for Irish freedom. The Kilcoole gunrunning of 1914 provided crucial arms for the 1916 Rising and galvanised support across the County. Refusing to accept the countermand from Eoin MacNeill many Wicklow volunteers made the journey to Dublin and fought gallantly during Easter week.”

Teachta Brady went on to say that the event is one of many Sinn Fein events occurring all over the county to mark the 1916 centenary and is open to all who wish to attend:

“In this the centenary of the 1916 rising, Wicklow Sinn Fein commemorate the sacrifice of thousands of Men and Women from Wicklow and beyond who fought to free their Country. Our commemoration this Easter Monday will be one of remembrance and reflection, open to all who wish to honour the memory of those Wicklow Volunteers who selflessly gave of themselves for a Republic that we have yet to fully realise; and one that Sinn Fein as a party is dedicated to achieving.”

Friday, 11 March 2016

First day in the Dáil, everything has changed but nothing's different-Brady

Speaking after the 32nd Dail failed to elect a Taoiseach, Wicklow/ East Carlow Sinn Fein TD John Brady has said that despite the failure to appoint a government, an opportunity was lost to maintain focus on critical issues facing people across the country:

“The new Dail failed to ratify the appointment of a Taoiseach and a new government so the house has been adjourned until the 22ndMarch; under pressure they moved it back from 6th April which was their original intention. Enda Kenny has resigned as Taoiseach but will carry on in a caretaker role until such time as a new government is formed. Sinn Fein proposed that the Dail would sit for three days to discuss the many issues facing the country such as the crisis in health, housing and the ongoing debacle of Irish Water. However, Fianna Fail after declaring its commitment to reform of how the Dail operates, refused to support our motion. This means that on the 22nd March the Dail will meet again and do nothing more than re-adjourn with none of the ministers in charge of the various departments held to account.”

On the Issue of Dail reform Teachta Brady said that the Irish people have more to be worried about:
“Sinn Fein have been fighting for Dail reform since we first stepped foot in the house. While we welcome Fianna Fail’s late conversion to the Idea we need to be realistic. The Irish people are concerned about homelessness, the housing crisis, child poverty and the endless hospital waiting lists. Patients on trolleys are to be left languish until Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are in the right mood to tackle them. Ministers in charge of the various departments will continue to be paid but will not be at their desks while struggling families simply have to wait.”

Teachta Brady pointed out that not only will the various ministers not be held to account over the next few weeks, there are no committees to oversee the various departments:

“Sinn Fein called for committees to be immediately established to help deal with crisis areas in the absence of a government being formed. This call was ignored meaning not only are ministers left off the hook, there are no committees to keep an eye on the functioning of the relevant departments.”

In conclusion Teachta Brady pointed out that the issue of Irish Water could have been dealt with if the political will was present:

“Over one hundred TDs were elected on the basis that they would abolish Irish Water. This includes Fianna Fail whose late conversion to the idea was welcome by those of us who have opposed the measure from the get go. Fianna Fáil, in the first meaningful vote on the management of Dáil business on the first day of the 32nd Dáil, voted with the government to block the Sinn Féin proposal. It is simply unacceptable that Fianna Fáil would vote with of Fine Gael and Labour to block a Sinn Féin motion on scrapping Irish Water and water charges, which that party claimed was a red line issue for it. However, this too has been left to fester as the caretaker government backed by Fianna Fail takes what is effectively an extended holiday. But there is no holiday for those struggling to pay the charges, no holiday for those on housing waiting lists or those occupying hospital trolleys, no holiday for medical professionals struggling with overcrowding, no holiday for the tens of thousands of children and parents suffocating under the weight of poverty and no holiday for those families crushed by negative equity. No matter what challenges face the Dail in putting together a government, there is simply no logical reason why TDs and ministers cannot be at their desks doing the jobs they are paid to do. “