Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Brady urges householders to be vigilant following 20% increase in Burglaries

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has warned householders across Wicklow to be extra vigilant following a 20% increase in house burglaries in the Bray area. The figures were given to Councillor Brady at a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting with the Gardaí. The figures show that in 2014 there was 369 burglaries, whilst 443 took place in 2015, in the Bray District alone.

Speaking about the increase in burglaries Councillor Brady said “I’m asking householders to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period and ensure their homes are properly secured. At a recent meeting with the Garda Chief Superintendent it was revealed that there has been a massive increase of 20% in burglaries in the Bray area. In 2014 there were 369 burglaries; whilst in 2015 there have been 443 to date.”

“We are in the peak of the burglary season. The longer darker evenings protect opportunist burglars with the cover of darkness, enabling them to sneak around properties virtually undetected. Unfortunately unless extra vigilance is taken this number is set to increase over the Christmas season. It’s also very important that any suspicious activity is reported to the Gardaí.”

Cllr Brady concluded “No property is immune from the threat of burglary, but, as many of those who experience a burglary realise in retrospect, there is usually scope for making it more difficult for a would-be burglar to get the chance to spoil what should be nothing less than a joyful time.”

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Latest waiting list figures show that St Vincent's Hospital is firmly in the grip of government's health crisis - Cllr John Brady

Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr John Brady has said that the latest hospital waiting list figures show that the health crisis, presided over by Fine Gael Minister Leo Varadkar, is still having a disastrous impact at St Vincent's Hospital.

Cllr Brady accused Minister Leo Varadkar, and government TDs, of treating the crisis in our hospitals as an election problem that must be brushed under the carpet before voters go to the polls.

He stated that the latest hospital waiting list figures are further evidence of this government's mismanagement of the health service.

He said;

"There are 15,306 people on the outpatient waiting at St Vincent's Hospital while nearly 900 patients have been waiting for treatment for over a year now.

It is clear that the Minister is failing to alleviate the strain on the delivery of frontline services at the hospital.

"Minister Varadkar had stated that it was his goal to ensure that, by the end of the year, no patient would be waiting longer than 15 months for treatment. It is now clear that he will fail to deliver on that aim.

"The staggering size of the hospital waiting lists in St Vincent's Hospital provides further evidence of this government's terrible mismanagement of our health service.

"When you consider these figures in conjunction with the scandal of patients lying on hospital trolleys and nurses voting for strike action, it is clear that we have a Minister, and a government, all at sea when it comes to resolving the crisis in our hospitals.

"Instead of investing in the delivery of frontline services, the Minister's has chosen to fine struggling hospitals to the tune of €5.8 million for failing to reduce hospital waiting lists.

"It is clear the the Minister is now cycnically treating the hospital crisis as an electoral problem for the government. He is telling hospitals to make his problem disappear, to brush it under the carpet, on else face financial penalties.

"Sinn Féin has argued that the only genuine way of solving the crisis is to stop undermining the public health system and to start investing in, and properly resourcing, our hospitals.

"In our alternative budget for 2016, we outlined how an investment of €383 million would begin to make serious inroads into tackling the crisis. This investment would provide 500 additional nurses, 250 midwives, and 250 consultants to help alleviate the strain on the delivery of frontline services.

"However, Fine Gael and the Labour Party have continued to make political choices that are exacerbating and prolonging the crisis. Their Minister and their TDs prefer to pay lip service the crisis rather than implementing measures that would allow patients, regardless of income, access to vital treatment."

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Brady expresses serious concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Speaking in relation to the ongoing negotiations between Europe and The United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); Sinn Fein candidate in the upcoming general election Councillor John Brady says there are serious concerns around effects on sovereign democracy and the rights of workers and citizens.

“These talks are almost totally secret. No information is forthcoming unless it is leaked or direct requests are made under freedom of information laws. We do know however that the talks are bent on easing up trade restrictions between the United States and Europe. On the face of it this might sound like a positive development to many, however when we take a look at the kind of issues under discussion such as Health, Water and Education, it is obvious that privatisation of essential public services are firmly on the agenda.”
Councillor Brady went on to describe how efforts to coordinate standards between the United States and Europe by adjusting trade barriers in favour of large multi-national corporations will have a huge impact on European standards and could have a direct impact on jobs in Ireland:

“Legal standards that protect workers and services in Europe are far more lenient in the United States, particularly in the area of food safety regulations and workers’ rights. On the flip side of the coin US financial regulations are much stronger than ours in the wake of the financial crises. European financiers are keen to see the US strip away these regulations in order to give them access to the lucrative American financial sector, while any dilution of worker’s rights in Europe at the request of American interests could see a flight of jobs out of Ireland to cheaper European locations. Essentially these negotiations are lob-sided and focused on serving the needs of large Multi-National Corporation to the detriment of citizens.”

Councillor Brady is concerned that legal protections provided within the European Union could be turned on their head in a way that directly challenges the sovereignty of countries:
“Put simply, the talks are looking at ways in which private companies can sue sovereign states if those governments adopt laws that negatively affect profit potential. A report published recently in the London Independent describes how a Swedish Company is currently suing the German government after they decided to phase out Nuclear power plants as a consequence of the Fukushima catastrophe in Japan. Apparently this is just the tip of the iceberg as the report suggests there are currently 500 similar cases world-wide where sovereign governments who have taken appropriate decisions to protect public well-being are now being sued by wealthy private interests.”
Councillor Brady concluded by calling on all parties to make clear their position on TTIP.

“In the wake of Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly’s remarks about TTIP on the Marian Finucane radio show; where it appears his party are sitting on the fence regarding the project, Sinn Fein calls on all parties to provide clarity in relation to their position on the talks. It is not enough to simply sit back and allow secret negotiations to take place to the benefit of wealthy multi-nationals and the detriment of ordinary citizens. It is clear from international commentary that these negotiations and any deal that falls from them has the potential to seriously undermine democratic sovereignty, it could also challenge hard won health and safety regulatory standards, attack protections for workers and directly affect the rights of all citizens. The Fine Gael and Labour coalition should as a matter of urgency release any information they have in relation to the negotiations and inform the Irish people as to what part if any they have played in the process to date.”

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Anne Ferris TD votes in favour of the homelessness and housing crisis by her absence - Cllr John Brady

Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr John Brady has issued a scathing criticism of Labour Party TD Anne Ferris for her failure to vote on a Sinn Féin Bill aimed at introducing real rent certainty and providing additional resources for the prevention of homelessness.

The Bill seeks to link rent variations to the rate of inflation and to provide for local authority to consider and take action to assist those at risk of homelessness in a preventative way.

Cllr Brady said; "In my view, Anne Ferris TD failing to vote on such an important piece of legislation effectively equates to her voting in favour of maintaining the homelessness and housing crisis.

"Those who voted for Labour Party in 2011 are enraged because they expected them to go into the Dáil fight for ordinary people. Anne Ferris' absence was a vote in favour of the status quo - of zero social housing build, exorbitant rents and increasing homelessness.

"It is absolutely infuriating that, at a time when Wicklow has over 3,000 households on the social housing waiting list and we have 130 families presenting as homeless, Deputy Ferris didn't think the issue important enough to cast a vote. I think that says all you need to know about why ordinary people feel betrayed by the Labour Party in government.

"If Anne Ferris believes that there are technical difficulties or indeed amendments that should be considered, then Sinn Féin had made it clear that we would be happy to consider such suggestions at committee stage.

"Deputy Ferris is clearly running from a housing crisis that has been created by her government's policy. In Wicklow, she is nowhere to be seen on the issue. She has avoided in engaging with the local council and the housing SPC nearly every time that meetings with Wicklow's TDs have been arranged. Now, it seems that she has extended that approach into her work in the Dáil. I have already described her as Wicklow's "Scarlet Pimpernel" - sought everywhere but nowhere to found.

"This behaviour is typical of the Labour Party in government. They implement policies that result in disaster for ordinary people and then go missing when real solutions and progressive measures are being proposed.

"Anne Ferris should have shown-up, and voted in favour of this Bill, if she was serious about addressing the housing crisis.

"Unfortunately, the Labour Party and Anne Ferris TD has turned away from the public provision of social and affordable housing in favour of Fine Gael's preference feeding the profiteering that is currently evident in the private sector.

“I was also disappointed to note that Deputies Andrew Doyle, Billy Timmins and Stephen Donnelly were also absent for the vote. The only Wicklow TD to vote, Simon Harris, unsurprisingly towed the Fine Gael line.

“The lack of representation demonstrated, in this case, is a disservice to the people of Wicklow.