Sunday, 30 August 2015

Brady welcomes upgrade of fire hydrants in Kilmacanogue

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has welcomed the news from Wicklow Fire Service that upgrade work will be carried on the fire hydrants in the Carraigoona Close and Rockfield Park housing estates in Kilmacanogue.

Speaking after receiving the news the Sinn Féin Councillor said “Having been contacted by a number of residents from the Carraigoona Close and Rockfield Park housing estates who had concerns about the fire hydrants in the area. I contacted the fire service who checked all the hydrants in the area and identified a number that needed to be upgraded. Thankfully this work will be carried out in the next week or so”.

Speaking about the importance of the hydrants Brady said “There have been a number of emergency incidents in the past when tackling a blaze the fire crews have had difficulties trying to locate them and in some cases the hydrants weren’t operational. In 2006 following a blaze in Bray where a hydrant was found not to operational I forced Bray Town council to carry out an extensive survey of all hydrants in the town council area. They mapped over 700 fire hydrants, 70 need upgrading and 30 need replacing”.

“Fire hydrants are a connection point by which firefighters can tap into a water supply, which means they don’t need back up water tankers. It’s essential that when needed they are easily found and functional. All hydrants within Wicklow need to be checked on an annual basis to ensure they are functional and that the water pressure high enough. I’m calling on the council to ensure this is done and that all hydrants are mapped and all covers are painted yellow so they are clearly identifiable”.

Brady concluded “I welcome the news that the hydrants in Kilmacanogue are going to be upgraded in the next week or so, this will also be met with relief by the residents in Carraigoona Close and Rockfield Park”. Ends

Monday, 24 August 2015

Wicklow Sinn Fein launch a series of Public Information Meetings “A Fair Recovery is Possible”

In response to the continuing imbalance in the so-called national economic recovery. Sinn Fein candidate in the upcoming General Election Councillor John Brady, sets out why he has decided to host a series of public meetings over the coming weeks

“We are constantly been assured by Fine Gael and labour that the country is on a path to economic recovery, but the hard facts on the ground clearly demonstrate that whatever kind of recovery exists; the vast majority of citizens are not seeing any of benefits”.

Councillor Brady describes how government policies are simply not delivering for hard pressed families and those on lower and middle incomes.
“Unemployment is still stubbornly high at around 10% which does not take into account the half a million (mainly young people) who have emigrated because of a lack of opportunity. The unemployment rate amongst the young is twice the national level at just above 20%. The housing crisis has spiralled out of control while the on-going chaos in the health service has seen a continued increase in the numbers of people on trolleys and waiting lists. In education, class sizes in our schools are the largest we have seen in decades while students with special needs are often deprived of access to crucial services”

Speaking in relation to tax and revenue, Councillor Brady is critical of the government’s regressive budgets;
“Simply put, the only way to invest adequately in job creation and to provide essential public services such as Health, Housing and Education is through the tax system. As it stands the Irish government takes 31% of Gross Domestic Product in taxation. Compare that to countries like Britain, France, Germany and Belgium who take between 39 and 46 percent of their GDP in tax revenue. The coalition have failed to generate the necessary revenues because they have employed a failed economic model and introduced a number of regressive budgets. The coalition have focused on cuts to spending that have adversely affected lower and middle income families while at the same time they have adopted a tax policy that disproportionately favours individuals and multinationals that enjoy higher incomes and profitability”.

Councillor Brady expresses concern that the government is ignoring warning signs in the same way Fianna Fail did just before the recent economic crash;
“The government have adopted a ‘Trickle Down’ economic model. This approach is supposed to result in delivering improvements at the top end which eventually trickle down to the benefit of all. The reality is quite different and the policy has been widely discredited. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is the world’s leading economic think tank. It has declared that trickle down economic policies have had a major negative impact on economic growth; the organisation claims that only an increase in taxation on wealthier sections of society alongside more favourable tax policies directed toward the lower 40% can halt the growth in income inequality. This assessment has been backed up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who released a report in June of this year stating that trickle down economic policies are one of the main causal factors leading to the damaging cyclical ‘boom and bust’ periods that have become a hallmark of contemporary economic society. However, the Irish Government have demonstrably ignored these warnings in the same way the previous Fianna Fail government ignored economic warnings leading to the worst economic recession in the history of the state”.

According to Councillor Brady, the situation in Wicklow reflects the situation nationally;
“Sinn Fein are not manufacturing these reports, they are conducted independently and reflect what Sinn Fein have been saying for years. Today, we are witnessing a so-called recovery benefitting a small section at the top of our society with no sign of much improvement for the vast majority on the lower and middle rungs of the economic ladder. The situation in Wicklow can be seen as a microcosm of what is happening nationwide. This year alone there has been an 18% increase in the numbers of people presenting as homeless. All over Wicklow hundreds of adults and children have nowhere to call home while hundreds more are facing the prospect of eviction. Almost 11,000 people in the county are currently out of work with little hope of employment opportunities on the horizon, while Health service facilities for Wicklow residents are virtually non-existent. Sinn Fein believes that a fair recovery is possible, one based on equality, sensible public service spending, rational revenue raising initiatives and logical redistributive policies”.

Councillor Brady finishes by inviting people to attend the various meetings taking place across the county in the coming weeks;
“These public meeting present an opportunity for us to reach out to the wider Wicklow public and allow me to explain directly what we mean by a fair recovery and how we believe it is possible to deliver. Moreover, these meeting will give me a chance to listen to the concerns of groups and individuals who are struggling in the present and worried about the future. The meetings also lend an opportunity for citizens and businesses to share their experiences in a way that can be of benefit to all. With a focus on devising initiatives that can be specifically formatted to cater for the needs of the broader Wicklow community, my hope is that these open meetings will provide a platform from which we can launch a determined effort to lobby local TD’s and the government to change their failed economic approach before it is too late”.

Dates and Venues. All meetings commence at 8pm.

Aughrim, Lawless's Hotel, Wednesday 2nd September
Baltinglass, Germaine's, Thursday 3rd September
Wicklow Town, The Grand Hotel, Friday 4th September
Bray, The Wilton Hotel, Tuesday 8th September
Roundwood, The Old School House, Wednesday 9th September
Arklow, The Arklow Bay Hotel, Thursday 10th September
Rathvilly, The Phoenix Centre, Tuesday 15th September
Blessington, St. Kevin’s Hall, Wednesday 16th September
Kilcoole, The Community Centre, Thursday 17th September
Tinahely, Murphy's Hotel, Wednesday 23rd September

Friday, 21 August 2015

Government drenched in Water Fiasco - Brady

Recent speculation that the government is considering changing the terms under which people can avail of the conservation grant by excluding all those who have not paid their water bills has brought the Irish Water debacle into the spotlight once again.

Commenting on this most recent turn of events, Sinn Fein Councillor John Brady and Wicklow candidate in the upcoming general election suggested the government has lost complete credibility on the issue.

“How many U-Turns can you make before you eventually forget what direction you actually want to travel in? On the one hand the government are insisting there are no plans to change anything while on the other hand a number of TD’s are insisting that non-compliant citizens should be denied the so called ‘conservation’ grant from next year, while the minister in charge Alan Kelly seems to change his mind on various issues on a weekly basis. At this point in time the government cannot seriously expect the public to have faith in any statements, suggestions or proposals on the future of Irish Water”.

Councillor Brady went on to point out just how disastrous the Irish Water project has been;
“Can anybody seriously remember a government initiative that has been such a spectacular waste of time and money? Similar to Fianna Fail’s electronic voting machine catastrophe, Irish Water has now become an expensive joke with almost a billion Euro spent and not as much as a cracked water pipe fixed. The government have failed to have Irish Water assessed ‘off balance sheet’ and failed to get even half the population to pay their bills. More worryingly the government have failed in their duty to listen to their citizens and abolish Irish Water once and for all”.

In relation to public disquiet on the issue Councillor Brady took an opportunity to remind people of the upcoming anti-water charge protest;
“The only way we can convince a stubborn and clearly obtuse government that Irish Water and water charges need to be abolished immediately is by speaking with our feet. Citizens have mobilised peacefully and respectfully on a number of occasions in an effort to communicate their objection to what is now widely regarded as a farcical and failed government policy. People will have an opportunity to have their voices heard again this month on Saturday 29th August at the next public demonstration. There are two meeting points; Heuston Station and Connolly Station Dublin at 2pm, with the March then proceeding to O’Connell Street’

Councillor Brady went on to reiterate Sinn Fein’s commitment to the abolition of Irish Water
“Sinn Fein are committed to the abolition of Irish Water and water charges. For us it is a non-negotiable position in any future government formation arrangement. We will stand full -square behind the many groups and individuals who will march together in an effort to force the government to finally bring an end to this unjust, unfair and wasteful experiment”.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour; Fantasy Coalition Scenarios, It's the elections, stupid

If the current government runs full term as Enda Kenny has declared it will, we are potentially eight months away from the next the general election, but listening to the commentary emanating from some members of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour; the public would be forgiven for thinking the election is imminent.

Commenting on some of the remarks being made, Sinn Fein candidate for Wicklow in the upcoming election Councillor John Brady said;
“The traditional parties of government have tied themselves into knots devising imaginary coalitions with chaotic commentary and contradictory positions. The missing element in all of the gossip and conjecture of course is the electorate. After decades of swapping power between themselves, they seem to have forgotten an inconvenient fact; the people are the final arbiters, they will decide who will form the next government, not self -obsessed politicians”.

Councillor Brady also referred to the level of confusion and poor communication clearly affecting the other major parties; ”Labour TD Alex White suggested that an electoral pact between Fine Gael and Labour could offer the best chance the coalition would have of returning to government. However, Mr White failed to share his views in advance with his party colleagues who quickly distanced themselves from the idea, suggesting a transfer arrangement or a statement of aims prior to the election might do the trick”.

Councillor Brady continued; “On the other side of the house Fianna Fail are in a shambles. Front benchers such as Eamonn O Cuiv and others have stated they might be prepared to do a deal that saw Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein share power, yet their party leader has ruled out such a scenario. In fact Michael Martin has already ruled out coalition with both Fine Gael and Sinn Fein, but now he suggests his party could support a minority Fine Gael led government on a case by case basis – so much for stable government. However, Fianna Fail TD Michael McGrath has recently stated that he envisages Fianna Fail could form a coalition as a junior partner but he does not come out and say exactly who with. TD Niall Collins on the other hand says Fianna Fail could not share power with Sinn Fein as we would ‘destroy the economy’. It is odd that he fails to see the Irony in this statement given his party were almost wiped out in the last election for doing just that – destroying the economy”.

Councillor Brady also responded directly to comments made by Fine Gael Wicklow TD Simon Harris; “According to Simon Harris, Sinn Fein in power would be a disaster for the country and has somehow managed to conjure up the notion that a vote for Fianna Fail is actually a vote for Sinn Fein. In this TD’s fantasy coalition arrangement apparently Sinn Fein will waste the benefits of the so-called hard won economic recovery. Many people might ask if Fine Gael’s policy of throwing away hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money on the discredited Irish Water aberration constitutes waste, or is this failed entity a model of frugal responsibility”.

In respect to Simon Harris’ most recent comments on Gerry Adams, Councillor Brady points out what some might see as arch hypocrisy; “Simon Harris has been recently reported as saying the country is not ready for ‘terrorist Gerry Adams in cabinet’, this sort of comment is typical of Fine Gael desperate tactics as they try to cope with the fallout from an electorate anxious to punish them at the polls. What is most striking is how Harris fails to see the hypocrisy of his claims when set against the backdrop of his own ‘enjoyment’ in the commemoration of O’Donovan Rossa recently at the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham. Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was the architect of the first ever bombing campaign on English cities launched by Irish Republicans”.

Councillor Brady continued; “Central to Simon Harris’ argument is that Sinn Fein should not be let next or near the levers of power. This in itself is peculiar given statements by former Green party leaders Trevor Sargent and John Gormley who disclosed that Fine Gael had approached them to ‘sound out’ if Sinn Fein would support a Fine Gael led coalition after the 2007 General Election”.

Regardless of the comments, Councillor Brady is very clear as to what is driving such comments;
“The reality in all of this is pretty simple. Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour are so used to bouncing power around between themselves, they are willing to say anything to try and fool the electorate. Their confusing statements and abject failure to communicate within their respective internal party structures suggests an air of desperation has gripped the traditional parties of power”.

Councillor Brady finishes with a clear message to Simon Harris and Fine Gael; “The Irish people deserve better and have little time to be listening to self- interested politicians fumble around in the dark of their own incompetence. Simon Harris and his government should expend their energies on serving an electorate who are more concerned with back to school expenses, over- crowded hospitals, housing shortages, water bills, property taxes and rural decimation. If Simon Harris put as much effort into reviving the fortunes of his Wicklow constituents as he does attacking Sinn Fein (and fantasising about coalition scenarios) we would see an end to the rural decline occurring in his own back yard. We would see boarded up business premises in towns re-open, we would see a concerted effort to tackle the housing crisis, we would see improved transport links, we might even see a return of some of the half a million young people his party forced to emigrate in desperation over the last few years. Harris and his colleagues can fantasize all they like about future coalition possibilities but the suffering on the ground amongst the people who have borne the brunt of Fine Gael and Labour’s austerity catastrophe is real and debilitating. All parties will stand before the electorate next year and it is the people who will decide the formation of the next government. If they give Sinn Fein a mandate to form a government; that’s exactly what we will do; in-line with our policy objectives and election manifesto we will deliver a fair recovery to the benefit of all. There will be no U-turns and no broken promises. Simon Harris needs to wake up and take stock of the damage his government have done is his own constituency rather than engaging in self- obsessed and useless meanderings on where he might be after the next election and who he fantasises might be a good terrorist or a bad terrorist. The people will decide his fate, the sooner he realises this the better”. Ends

Friday, 14 August 2015

Safety to be improved on Dargle Flood Protection scheme after locals raise concerns

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has welcomed a commitment given by the Council that the Slang area along the river Dargle is to be cleaned up and new safety fencing erected. Work on the Dargle flood protection scheme is ongoing in the area; however local residents have voiced concerns regarding safety and the condition of the area.

Speaking after meeting with local residents Councillor Brady said “Essential flood protection works are ongoing along the Dargle and work is expected to continue until late 2016. Local residents have voiced serious concerns regarding safety and the condition of the Slang area which is a key gateway into Bray. Children have been seen playing on site and the security fencing is regularly fallen on the ground, blocking footpaths and leaving the site completely open”.

“I welcome the commitment that has been given that Irish Fencing is the remove the existing Herras fencing and replace it with a stronger fence. Remedial works will also take place and overgrown vegetation will also be removed”.

Cllr Brady concluded “Great progress is being made on the Dargle Flood Protection scheme, its important however that local residents can live in a clean, safe environment. I welcome the news that this work is to carried out. I would also appeal to children not to enter the Slang area as it is a construction site with heavy machinery in use”.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Brady welcomes granting of planning permission by Wicklow County Council for Colaiste Raithin and St. Philomena's Primary School.

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has welcomed a decision by Wicklow County Council to grant planning permission to St. Philomena’s Primary School and Colaiste Raithin in Bray for new schools on the Old Bray Golf Club lands. The application for a 450 pupil two story Post Primary School for Colaiste Raithin and a 24 classroom for
St. Philomena’s Primary School along with a PE hall, playing courts, playing pitch and car parking was granted by the council after the application was lodged in February.

Welcoming the news Councillor Brady said “This is fantastic news for the two schools that have been campaigning for new schools for many years now. Permission has been granted, subject to 25 planning conditions. The schools have been included in Bundle 5 of the Schools Public Private Partnership (PPP) for funding and it’s hoped that the schools will be completed in late 2016, early 2017”.

“This is a major hurdle to get over, there had been a slight set back when Dún Laoghaire turned down an application relating to access to the schools from the Dublin Road, its hoped that this can be resolved as quickly as possible”.

Cllr Brady concluded “These are excellent schools that deserve to have first class schools. I want to pay tribute to the teachers and management in both schools and to the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB), in particular to Kevin Lewis, Chief Operations Officer with KWETB. Hopefully the commencement of the construction works on the schools can happen as quickly as possible”.