Tuesday 28 October 2014

Dublin Marathon 2014, most difficult challenge to date

Delighted have completed the 2014 Dublin Marathon. I done it to raise money to help a little girl Merryn Lacy who is battling cancer. It was my first marathon and i have to admit it was tough going. I managed to finish it in 3:59:20 which i was delighted with.

Friday 24 October 2014

Brady critical of deal with developer to take financial contribution instead of 20% social housing

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has expressed deep disappointment that the largest residential development in North Wicklow for number of years was given the go ahead by the council without any provision for social housing. The council took a decision to take a financial contribution in the development in Bray instead of a 20% provision of social housing.

Speaking about the decision taken by Bray Town Council before it's abolishment councillor Brady said "I'm shocked and extremely disappointed that in the midst of a housing crisis the council in Bray would decided to take a financial contribution as opposed to taking the badly needed 20% social housing which it's entitled to under Part V of the Housing Act. The deal appears to have been struck in 2012, however Councillors were only informed at a recent council meeting following questions from myself."

Brady continued "The development on the Herbert Road in Bray will see 24 houses and 24 apartments constructed. It is the largest residential development to take place in North Wicklow for the last 5 years, and could have seen up to 9 social housing units if the council took the 20% social housing allocation in the development. Unfortunately the council decided to use a mechanism in the planning legislation to allow the developer pay a levy instead of providing the social houses."

"We are in the middle of a housing crisis due to the flawed housing policies of Fine Gael and Labour who are refusing to build any new social housing. The result of that is here in Wicklow we have up to 3,000 families on housing lists, nearly 1,000 in the Bray area alone. The provision of 9 housing units in this development would have given some hope to a few families that are badly in need of housing, some of which whom are currently homeless. It would have also shown that the council is treating the crisis as a reality and one it's doing everything in its power to address."

Brady concluded "Unfortunately the council in Bray decided to strike a deal with a developer a take a financial contribution that will go into a black hole in the council coffers. The only thing this decision does is allows the developer make more money selling the housing units due to the fact they are an exclusive development which is social housing free. I'm deeply disappointed at this bad decision taken by the council and it begs the question is the council serious about tackling the housing crisis. Thankfully the Minister is currently looking at changing to legislation and possibly removing the ability of developers to buy their way out of providing social housing." Ends

Thursday 23 October 2014

Brady calls on communities to mobilise for Right2water rallies across Wicklow on 1 November

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has called for the largest turnout possible at the ‘Right2Water’ mobilisations planned for across Wicklow on Saturday November 1st.

Councillor Brady said "Following on from the massive show of opposition in Dublin last month to the unjust water charges, the next stage of the Right2water campaign will see local protests being held in towns and villages right across the state and that includes here in Wicklow. There are a number of protests organised for Saturday 1 November in Wicklow and I urge as many as possible to turnout to their local protests that will be held in Bray, Greystones, Wicklow Town, Arklow and Blessington."

"Right2Water.ie is a public campaign by activists, citizens, community groups, political parties/individuals and trade unionists who are calling for the Government to recognise and legislate for access to water as a human right. We are demanding the Government abolish the planned introduction of water charges."

Brady continued “Sinn Féin’s message is clear – we are completely opposed to domestic water charges. We will oppose tooth and nail any attempt to privatise water services. Irish Water has become synonymous with everything that is wrong with the Fine Gael Labour Government – cronyism, political manipulation of State boards, threats to citizens and ever mounting taxes on struggling families."

“Water charges can be defeated at the ballot box but it is vitally important that citizens throughout the State continue to mobilise and campaign for their abolition and that people remain united to fight the charges."

“Pressure needs to be exerted in communities, on the streets in council chambers and in the Dáil. With unity of purpose and determined action, water charges can be defeated. People across Wicklow needed to mobilise on the 1 November to continue the pressure on the Government and the four Government TD's here in Wicklow." Ends

Friday 17 October 2014

Tánaiste must apologise to Wicklow RAS tenants and lift eviction threat

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor has hit out at the Tánaiste Joan Burton and called on her to apologise for her misleading and untrue remarks she made in the Dáil in relation to the threatening letters sent to Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) tenants, by Wicklow County Council, which stated that non-payment of water charges could result in eviction. He has also asked for her to guarantee that no RAS tenants will be evicted for non payment of the unjust water charges.

Speaking after the issue was raised in the Dáil by Mary Lou McDonald Councillor Brady said "The issue of the 500 letters that were sent to RAS tenants in Wicklow was raised in the Dáil on Thursday last by Mary Lou McDonald. Unbelievably in response the Tánaiste Joan Burton made some misleading and blatantly untrue remarks about Sinn Féin and in a condescending attitude tried to brush the concerns of the effected tenants to one side."

"The Tánaiste stated that Sinn Féin in Wicklow were in control of the council with Fianna Fáil and Independents and that we could some how of stopped the threatening letters going out. The facts are the Old Boys club of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and some Independents control the council, not Sinn Féin. As Joan Burton doesn't have any Councillors in Wicklow because the electorate rejected them, it's not surprising that she got that wrong. I as a sitting councillor had no prior knowledge of these letters going out nor did my party colleague John Snell who is the chairperson of the Housing Special Policy Committee in Wicklow County Council."

Brady continued "As Tánaiste and the Minister for Social Protection Joan Brutons finger prints are all over the letters that were sent out in Wicklow. RAS is a National scheme and contracts issued to the councils are drafted centrally. Unfortunately Wicklow County Council made a foolish choice to do the dirty work for both the minister and Irish Water in issuing the letters threatening to evict people if they can't pay their water charges."

"I think it is deplorable that such bully-boy tactics are being used to intimidate hard-pressed families, many of whom simply do not have the money to pay. People have already been threatened by Enda Kenny that they will have their water pressure reduced if they don't pay the charges. These bully boy tactics are something one would read about under right wing dictatorships such as in Chile under Augusto Pinochet."

Cllr Brady concluded "The Tánaiste Joan Burton must now give assurances to RAS tenants, who cannot pay water charges, that they will not be faced with eviction. She must also now assume responsibility and take action to ensure that such an approach is brought to end and issue an apology to the families that received the threatening letters from the County Council. The bottom line is people can't afford to pay these unjust charges. I have stated that I won't be paying the charges, I know from speaking to many people faced with a choice of feeding their families or paying the unjust charge that they have no choice but not to pay also. Joan must listen to the people instead of being so condescending and abolish the water tax immediately." Ends

Friday 10 October 2014

Brady calls on the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly to investigate Wicklow County Council

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has called on the Minister of the Environment Alan Kelly to carry out an investigation of Wicklow County Council and to look at the serious allegations around planning and how the council is and has been managed. 

Cllr Brady said "There has been a lot of talk surrounding Wicklow County Council, how it's being managed and serious allegations have been made on planning matters, some of which equate to corruption. There has been a lot of talk in the media and on the ground relating to planning involving the council in Wicklow and I believe public confidence in the council is at an all time low.  In the latest report carried last week in a national newspaper it's claimed a file connected to a complaint relating to malpractice in the council which was lodged by a number of Wicklow Councillors with the Minister has gone missing from his desk".

"The Standards in Public Office are also investigating complaints made against council officials and a named councillor. I have spoken to a number of people who have made serious accusations about the council, I have also seen many files which paint a worrying picture of how the council has been managed and they also raise concerns on how planning has been dealt with in the County".

The Sinn Féin councillor continued "Irrespective as to when these files relate to, whether it be one year or sixteen years ago, they need to be investigated. In the Dáil my party leader has raised concerns about Wicklow and I reiterate them again. The ex Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan abdicated his responsibilities in ensuring the council in Wicklow and others met the highest of standards. There are very serious allegations and the minister has a duty to investigate them regardless of the outcome".

Brady concluded "The new minister Alan Kelly must restore public confidence in all aspects of Local Authority. The only way now to restore any confidence in Wicklow County Council is for him  to hold an independent investigation into the management of the County Council, all allegations regarding planning that have been made against the council need to be included. Fine Gael junior minister Simon Harris and former Minister of the Environment Dick Roche have previously called for an investigation and I'm repeating that demand now". Ends