Friday, 31 January 2014

Angry Tenants to Protest over Exorbitant Rent Increases

Tenants of Bray Town Council are to stage a protest outside the February monthly meeting of the Council to voice their anger and opposition to recent rent increases imposed on them by the Council. Council tenant’s rents have increased on average between 20-30% following the adoption of the Town Council Budget in January.

Speaking after tenants received notification of their rent increases Councillor John Brady said "Letters from the Town Council started to land on the door steps of council tenants on Friday morning informing them of the huge rent increases which had been approved by the majority of councillors at the annual budget meeting in January. On average rents are going up by between 20-30%. Tenants are so angered by these exorbitant increases they plan on staging a protest outside the next Town Council meeting which takes place on Tuesday 4th February".

Sinn Féin representative Oliver O'Brien went on to say "We in Sinn Féin will be supporting the protest which will take place outside the Town Hall on Tuesday next at 7pm. Sinn Féin Councillors Rossa Murray and John Brady are the only councillors that voted against the councils budget because of these huge increases that are being imposed on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Unfortunately the increases were supported by the Labour Party, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael".

Cllr Brady concluded "Housing is a huge problem right across the board. This government is hammering people on Rent Allowance, Social Leasing schemes and they have also made it more difficult for people in the private rented sector where rents are continuing to spiral and there is no assistance available to them. I am asking all people affected by housing issues to join in the protest on Tuesday as I believe it’s not just about council tenants, it’s about the right to have a roof over your head".

Elevated Radiation Levels in Sellafield Highlight the Need for it's immediate closure-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has said that the British Government must close Sellafield permanently rather than the proposed closure of part of the plant by 2018. He made his calls following news on Friday that non-essential staff at site in Cumbria were asked to stay at home due to elevated radiation levels.

The Sinn Fein councillor said “For years the Sellafield plant has been poisoning the waters around the coastline of Ireland and Britain with radioactive discharges.  This radioactivity is also a source of the rising number of cases of cancer in this region. The news on Friday that staff were asked to stay at home due to elevated radiation levels is alarming and again raises the need for the British Government to close this plant in its entirety and put measures in place which will clean the area up”.

Brady continued “The Thorpe Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield is to close in 2018, but it is little comfort for the people of Wicklow and on the East coast of Ireland who are living beside one of the most radioactive seas in the world. The British government while closing the reprocessing plant have also plans to build a nuclear power plant on the site which will mean continued radio activity for the foreseeable future”.

Councillor Brady went onto say “Sellafield doesn’t have a great safety record and I like the majority of Irish people have no faith in it. In 1957, the worst nuclear disaster in Britain also occurred at the site, when one of the nuclear reactors caught fire releasing radioactive material that spread across the UK and Europe. A 2012 report by the National Audit Office in Britain said some facilities at the 68-year-old site had "deteriorated so much that their contents pose significant risks to people and the environment".

“Sellafield is the largest and most hazardous nuclear site in the UK, and stores enough high and intermediate level radioactive waste to fill 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools and it is estimated the cost of cleaning up the waste at Sellafield could be up to €82billion. I believe Sellafieldis a ticking time bomb that needs to close immediately and the events on Friday just serve to highlight again how precarious nuclear energy is. I am calling on the Irish Government to immediately raise this issue and demand the closure and cleaning up of the entire site”. Concluded Councillor Brady. Ends

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Government decision to establish investigation into undergrounding of high voltage powerlines is a con Job

Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has labelled the government’s announcement that it intends to set up an independent investigation into the undergrounding of high voltage powerlines as a con job, aimed at trying to fool the electorate ahead of the May Local and European elections.

Cllr Brady said “The proposed construction of these powerlines using overhead pylons has caused considerable controversy and concern here in Wicklow. Groups have been set up in South West Wicklow in the Carnew and Baltinglass areas to oppose the overhead pylons. It is the hard work and perseverance of the campaigning communities involved and the huge level of submissions received in the consultation process that has finally brought the government to this point”.

Brady continued “The government’s proposal to set up an independent investigation, chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness, to examine the prospect of undergrounding of high voltage powerlines is con job that is just an election stunt to save the skins of Labour and Fine Gael councillors and MEPs in May”.

“It appears that potential health implications of over-ground pylons appeared to be excluded from the review and that there was no health expert on the panel. It is essential that all implications are analysed in the review and the preparation of these reports must be transparent, comprehensive and most importantly they should listen to all the expert evidence as well as the voices of the communities opposed to the construction of the pylon network” continued Brady

Brady concluded “The technology now exists to efficiently underground high voltage electrical cables. Many counties such as Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom routinely bury cables and Ireland needs to follow suit. What we need is political will and not political election stunts”.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Hell and back to help Merryn

On Sunday February 2nd I am doing Hell & Back to help raise funds for a little princess that needs our help.

Merryn is like most other 4 year old girls. She plays with her dolls, likes dressing up as a princess, dancing to music and will most likely be wearing something pink... and she always seems to be creating - painting, colouring, drawing or making stuff. She gets excited about school and learning. She just adores life! And has the most infectious giggle. But unlike most other 4 year olds, Merryn has one almighty battle to face.
Merryn has Neuroblastoma – an aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system.  It is stage 4, which translates to High Risk Neuroblastoma.

Any donations will be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sinn Féin candidate for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada visits the Garden County

On Tuesday last Liadh Ní Riada who is the Sinn Féin candidate in the European Elections for the constituency of Ireland South paid a visit to the Garden County. She met with Sinn Féin local election candidates and local groups in Bray, Wicklow Town and Arklow and pledged to work on behalf of the people of Wicklow should she be elected to the European Parliament.

Speaking after the visit Liadh said “On Tuesday I spent the day in Wicklow meeting party members, local election candidates, members of the public and different groups. Whilst Tuesday was my first official days canvass as a candidate in the European elections, I am certainly no stranger to the County. In the past I have spent many happy days working in the County in the film Industry.”

“My visit to the Garden County was the first of many which I plan on making during the course of the European Election campaign. I meet with party members and activists along with Oliver O’Brien and Cllr John Brady who are the local election candidates in Bray before travelling to Wicklow Town.”

Liadh continued “In Wicklow Town I met with Councillors Garrett O’Reilly and John Snell before visiting the Hillview Estate to witness the terrible conditions residents have to live in. I must admit I was truly appalled at the severe dampness and housing standards the tenants must live in. I pledged to follow this up at a national level to ensure action is taken to rectify the problems in the houses.”

“We finished up in Arklow where I met with local fisher men and members of the RNLI lifeboat crew. I was briefed about the poor conditions in the harbour in Arklow and the challenges facing fishermen with unrealistic quotas. Overall I was heartened by the warm response I received from the people of Wicklow. It’s a huge challenge for me to try canvassing 10 Counties, but listening to the issues from the people of Wicklow and trying to address them is what drives me. Many issues such as Eirgrid and the plan to erect pylons across the countryside are issues that most Counties share and I plan on being a voice for people right across the huge constituency.” Liadh concluded

Wicklow County Councillor John Brady stated “We were delighted to welcome Liadh into the County. The European Elections are going to play a huge role in our campaigning over the next few months. I am delighted we have such a good candidate in place as Liadh Ní Riada and I believe she will make a great MEP for the new constituency of Ireland south.”

Pic Includes: Cllr John Brady, Cllr Garrett O'Reilly, Liadh Ní Riada, Cllr John Snell, Aidan Kinsella-Candidate in the Baltinglass LEA

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bray Town Councillors vote for Water Charges and Rent Increases in Budget

Bray Sinn Féin Councillors John Brady and Rossa Murray have cristised their fellow Councillors for eagerly supporting the town council budget for 2014. The Budget sees €1.48 Million of locally collected Property Tax money been diverted away from providing local services and handed to Irish Water to install water meters to start charging for water. The budget also increased to minimum rent for council tenants by 25% and introduced a gas boiler levy. 

Speaking after Tuesdays council meeting Councillor Brady said "The people of Bray did not give me or any other councillor a mandate to introduce water charges. The council budget that was introduced at Tuesdays council meeting does the dirty work for Phil Hogan and ensures that the process of forcing people to pay another stealth tax will begin after the local elections."

Brady continued "Myself and my party colleague Rossa Murray voted against the budget because we were asked to complete the lie that all property tax money would go to provide local services. The simple fact is the Bray budget has seen a reduction of €1.48million in the funding from the government out of the property tax money collected, this money was diverted away from providing the promised services to Irish Water so they can install water meters. The adopted budget doesn't provide for any new badly needed social housing units to address the housing crisis that exists."

Cllr Murray went onto say "Another reason why we voted against the budget was the decision to increase the minimum rent for council tenants by 25% and to introduce a levy on tenants to have their boilers serviced. This is the responsibility of the council and not all tenants will be levied weekly to have their boilers serviced annually, up onto now the council had carried this service out as the landlord. The decision by the councillors to increase council rents is a retrograde step that will hit some of the most vulnerable in our society the hardest and force more families into debt and arrears."

"Even though i did vote against the overall budget there was a positive element to it that i supported. That was the introduction of a grant to help sporting organisations in the town out. I had initially proposed the establishment of this fund at a previous meeting, it is designed to help the many excellent clubs out around the town, many of which are struggling to raise funding for insurance, registration and equipment. The fund of €80,000 will be open to all clubs to apply to draw money from to help give them a leg up and a lifeline. I welcome the fact that my proposal has been acted upon and supported." continued Brady

He concluded by saying "Unfortunately the negatives greatly outweigh the positives in the budget, that is why we voted against it. It was was carried 9 votes to 2, Sinn Féin being to only party to oppose it. The budget was the last ever of Bray Town Council as the council is to be abolished in May. The councillors had an ideal opportunity to send Phil Hogan and the government a message that his austerity budget is not welcome nor supported by the people. The budget vote was a vote for the transfer of a priceless asset which is water which belongs to the people of this country to Irish Water, and in turn it plans to put meters outside peoples homes using property tax money and charge them for the privilege of using this infrastructure. Sinn Féin could not and would not be part of any process that further screws the people of Bray." 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Bray Coastal Protection Scheme Neglect leads to Flooding- Brady

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady has said serious questions need to be answered after the Bray Seafront area flooded on Monday, the first time since the Bray coastal protection scheme was completed in 2001. The Bray project was of the most controversial coastal protection schemes to have been carried out in Wicklow in recent years.

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady said "Unfortunately on Monday the Seafront area in Bray was flooded again, the first time since the Bray Coastal Protection Scheme. Many homes and businesses have been affected including the facilities for the Queen of Peace Youth Club and Bray Rowing Club. The area from Sealife to the Bray Head Hotel was worst affected.”

Cllr Bray went onto say “In June 2012 I raised serious concerns about the condition of the coastal protection scheme, nothing however was done to address any of the concerns I had about the scheme and the entire area was left vulnerable. Work on the coastal protection scheme began in 1998, and was completed in 2001 at a cost of £2.5 million. However since then thousands of tonnes of stone have been washed away and I believe this is the reason why unfortunately the area has been flooded again.”

Cllr Brady continued "The project was supposed to have been monitored and replenished over the last 12 years but this simply has not happened. This has left the projects overall viability in question leaving the seafront at risk of flooding again and also putting the promenade at risk. We need answers as to why nothing was done when I raised concerns with the council about the scheme in 2012. The erosion has also left the foreshore unstable and a public safety issue. I am calling on the council and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to carry out a survey on the overall project and have the necessary works carried out immediately.”

Friday, 3 January 2014

I have signed up to go to Hell & Back

I have signed up to do Hell & Back which takes on the side of Little Sugarloaf in Killruddery. I am doing it to raise funds for little 4 year old girl, Merryn Lacy who has stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer. Hell & Back takes place on Sunday 2nd February, its 10km and is supposed to be sheer torture. I am asking people to sponsor me for any small amount that you may have, so please dig deep as its for a great cause and in the process I get to go to hell and back!!