Wednesday, 21 December 2016

New County Council out of hours call service is welcome-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the new out of hours call service that has been put in place by Wicklow County Council.

Teachta Brady said “I welcome the decision of Wicklow County Council to put in place an out of hours call service to deal with calls which are considered to be of an emergency nature and require immediate assistance outside of the normal office hours i.e. 9 am to 5.00 p.m. I have long called for this service to be rolled out across the County. A similar service has been effective in Bray for a number of years and is long overdue at a County level.”

“The out of hours service will operate between the hours of 5.00 p.m. and 9.00 a.m., Monday to Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays and the number is 01 2916117. The service is been piloted for a three month period and it will be then reviewed. This is an important service and it’s important that the new number is circulated as widely as possible. One of the biggest complaints I get from constituents is the inability to get hold of anyone within the council to deal with emergency situations outside business hours, so this initiative is a welcome one from the council.”

Teachta Brady concluded “There is a separate number for any issues relating to public water or sewage matters; the public are advised to call Irish Water directly on 1890 278278. For all other Council Services they will be directed to ring the Wicklow County Council out of hours emergency service at 01 2916117.”

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Concern for 27,000 domestic electricity users due to faulty meters

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment to address serious concerns following the issuing of 27,000 letters to domestic ESB customers State wide relating to the installation of faulty meters.

Teachta Brady said:

“It is believed that a batch of 27,000 meters were installed from 2007 onwards predominately, in apartment blocks right across the State. At this stage it is unknown how many of these meters are actually faulty but it is estimated that it could be over 10%.

“These meters are giving a faulty reading due to creeping where the reading is above the actual electricity consumption used. This is therefore, charging customers incorrectly, at a higher amount than they should be paying.

“The problem has only been identified in recent weeks and letters have been issued to households where the 27,000 meters have been installed.

“I have been in contact with ESB Networks who have confirmed that a hotline has been set up for concerned domestic users.

“With that, ESB Networks have confirmed that they will begin replacing the batch of 27,000 meters in January and it expected to take one year to complete this replacement project.

“There has been no agreement reached in relation to any adjustments, credits or repayments for customers who may have been over charged as a result of having a faulty meter.

“The Energy Regulator is aware of this and I would call on the Minister to ensure that a procedure for repayments is put in place as swiftly as possible.

“I would also urge the Minister to engage with the Energy Regulator to ensure that this process is dealt with and anyone who is out of pocket as a result of this incident are reimbursed as soon as possible.”

Monday, 19 December 2016

Brady welcomes Extension of Wicklow Mountains National Park

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has welcomed the State’s purchase of the almost 5,000 hectares of land in the Wicklow Mountains.
Teachta Brady said:

“Back in June of this year I called on the Government particularly, the Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring to purchase this valuable site and therefore, expand Wicklow National Park.

“Wicklow National Park will now comprise of 22,000 hectares providing for additional development for amenities as well as conserving the site itself.

“It was also essential that this additional land would be held by the State and therefore, protected from being sold to a private entity for possible development.

“Wicklow National Park is not only the largest in the State but now, with this purchase, it has become one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

“With the extension of the National Park, investment must follow to ensure that we see the greatest benefit of these additional lands to further public amenities and to ensure that the tourism potential is realised.

“I commend the Minister for moving quickly to secure these lands without delay.”

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Cynical political games fail renters in Wicklow - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of ‘using struggling renters in a cynical political game’.

Teachta Brady said:

“Struggling renters desperately need relief from Government. The best way to achieve this is to link rent reviews to an index such as the CPI. This is not just Sinn Féin’s view. It was the view of the cross party Dáil Housing and Homeless Committee including its Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil members. It is also a position widely supported by tenancy advocacy organisations, homeless charities and housing policy experts.

“Instead of supporting hard pressed tenants Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are engaging is a cynical political game.

“Despite knowing the detail of Minister Coveney’s plan in advance of its launch Fianna Fáil are now desperately trying to distance themselves from it. They are not doing this out of any concern for struggling renters. They just want to get one over on Fine Gael.

“In the third quarter of this year we have seen a 10.6% increase in rents in County Wicklow with average rent in the County now standing at €1,108 and in some parts of the County it is as high as €1,600.

“Wicklow needs to be examined as a rent pressure zone given its proximity to Dublin being within the commuter belt. Any attempt to increase rents in Wicklow by 4% annually will be detrimental to people already struggling to pay their rent.

“Fine Gael’s ill-conceived rent plan will heap greater pressure on renters. It will also contribute to further levels of homelessness. They are motivated by a desire to get one over Fianna Fáil, not by a desire to address the causes of the rent crisis.

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael need to stop playing games.

“By supporting Sinn Féin’s amendments to link rent reviews to the Consumer Price Index and give tenants real security of tenure Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil had the opportunity to do the right thing by renters.”

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Widespread use of unsecured email accounts used for official business by Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Ministers ‘unacceptable’ – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow and party spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has expressed shock at the widespread use of private unsecured email addresses for official business by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and other Ministers.

Last week, Deputy Brady submitted a Parliamentary Question to all Ministers including, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, asking if they had used any private unsecured email accounts for official business, Deputy Brady received replies to these questions last night.

Teachta Brady said:

“Last month, there was widespread criticism of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan for using a non-Garda email address to send and receive emails with sensitive information.

“However, what is just as concerning and serious is the fact that Minister for Justice & Equality and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has in fact, done the same in her own role.

“In reply to my question, the Tánaiste said that she had used a personal email address in her own role.

“This admission is shocking and extremely concerning given Frances Fitzgerald’s role as both Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality.

“The Taoiseach replied that he too, has used his private email account for official purposes and he put this down to so-called ‘operational reasons’.

“A number of other Ministers admitted to using private emails for official business of a ‘non-sensitive’ manner. Given that ‘non-sensitive’ is quite a loose term, this reply from Ministers Creed, Mitchell O’Connor, Humphreys, Bruton, and Harris is hardly convincing. What is seen as sensitive to one Minister could be seen very differently by another Minister.

“Many of the Ministers, in their replies, sought to include what could only be seen as an excuse when it comes to use of unsecured email addresses in that ‘there is currently no policy preventing members of Government using personal accounts’. This is simply unacceptable.

“No Minister should be using any private unsecured email accounts for any official business whatsoever. The fact that the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach feel they can do this is extremely concerning and I would call on them to make a public statement on this matter urgently.”

Rising Costs are wiping out Government’s Affordable Child Care initiative.

Speaking after the release of a Pobal report which showed Wicklow Child Care costs are the second highest in the country, Sinn Fein spokesperson for Social Protection and TD for Wicklow East Carlow said the report shows that government efforts are falling far short of what is required:

Teachta Brady said:

“This report shows that government policy is failing struggling families all over the country with average child care costs running at around 167 Euro per week. The highest is in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area however County Wicklow comes in second place at a massive 201 Euro. This, on top of massive hikes in car insurance which hit Wicklow commuters particularly hard, alongside the family home tax and spiralling rent increases indicates that while the government sings merry on a so-called recovery; families all over Wicklow are actually paying proportionately more now than they were during the height of Austerity just to get by.”

Teachta Brady went on to say that the government child care cost strategy has simply failed to take into account the rising costs of family life:

“In our pre-budget statement and in our manifesto we outlined clearly a suite of affordable measures which could be applied to help families cope with the cost of childcare. Any benefit that might have been gained for families through the government’s affordable childcare scheme is now essentially wiped out by rising costs everywhere else. Effectively families are worse off, with Wicklow families paying amongst the highest fees in the country. The government and Minister Catherine Zappone need to go back to the drawing board and come up with an affordable child care scheme that does what is says on the tin, we need to replace the current system which essentially benefits nobody.”

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Setback distance for wind turbines from residential areas in Wicklow must be protected – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that the actions of Minister Naughten to dismiss concerns surrounding wind turbines will have grave repercussions for the people of Wicklow.

Teachta Brady said:

“The newly adopted Wicklow County Development Plan 2016-2022 includes very clear and specific conditions to be adhered to when it comes to the erection of wind turbines in the County.

“One of these conditions set out by the Council is that wind turbines are not to be developed within 1km of residential areas. This condition was put in place as a response to the well-known concerns of locals throughout the county and therefore, as a means of protection for people’s homes.

“This protection was extremely valid and I welcomed this condition as being absolutely necessary.

“On Friday last, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten issued a Ministerial directive removing this condition from the County Development Plan.

“The fact that Minister Naughten has stepped in and gone over the heads of the Council Councillors while at the same time dismisses the legitimate concerns of the people is appalling.

“I will be contacting the Minister directly to voice my concerns on the removal of this condition and I will also be making a formal submission to the Planning Authority in this regard.

“I encourage members of the public to write a submission to the Planning Authority between December 14th and January 5th 2017 requesting that the condition regarding a setback distance of 1km from people’s homes is maintained in the County Development Plan.

“Wicklow will not become a dumping ground for big corporations to come in and set up wind turbines wherever they like. The concerns of people and indeed, their homes must be respected.”

Monday, 12 December 2016

Taoiseach must veto any sale of Ardmore Studios that is not in the interest of the film industry in Bray - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called for an investigation into the State’s handling of the sale of Ardmore Studios in Bray. 
Teachta Brady said: 

“The Government’s approach to the sale of Ardmore Studios has been one of mismanagement and suspicion. On the one hand, the State is assisting the development of Troy Studios in Limerick, which will be in direct competition with Ardmore, whilst on the other hand the State is undermining the film industry in Bray.  

“The Government were slow in coming out after the announcement that Ardmore Studios was to be sold as a going concern back in October and as of yet a firm commitment on Ardmore Studios remaining as it is in Bray as an absolute necessity has not been made. 

“It appears that the Prospectus for the sale of Ardmore Studios has been leaked to RTÉ and it is now known that within the Prospectus, the potential development of the 18 acre site for residential purposes is included. I must reiterate that no residential development will be allowed to take place on this site and that any development here must only be further expansion of the television and film industry already there.  

“I have written to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys requesting the Prospectus on more than one occasion. I again requested it directly with Minister Mitchell O’Connor at a recent meeting however, all to no avail. 

“It also needs to remembered that there are hundreds of workers who have been left in limbo and are now waiting on the State to respond to this situation. 

“I am calling on the Taoiseach, on behalf of the Government, to make a public announcement as to the State’s commitment to the future of Ardmore Studios in Bray. The Taoiseach also needs to commit to veto any sale that would not be in the best interest of Ardmore Studios in its present form in Bray. 

“Now that the Prospectus and its contents are already in the public domain it needs to be made available to public representatives and I call on the Taoiseach to make this happen immediately. 

“There needs to be a full investigation into the State’s handling of this whole situation surrounding the sale of Ardmore Studios. This all needs to happen with a sense of urgency to bring clarity to what has been an absolute shambles by the Government so far.”

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sinn Féin strike first real blow to Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael arrangement - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the Government’s amendment to his Dáil motion on Pensions was seen for what it was and that has led to the Government’s defeat.

Sinn Féin have put the real issues around pensions on the political agenda and given a voice to the thousands of people affected by Government inaction on pensions. Sinn Féin have also ensured that the issue of Pensions is on the work programme for the Social Protection Committee which meets to discuss this issue next week.

Speaking after the vote, Teachta Brady said:

“The Government amendment put to Sinn Fein’s motion on Pension Equality & Fairness was completely irrelevant to the issues addressed in the motion.

“The Government’s amendment failed to address the core issues that Sinn Féin had sought to tackle in our pensions system.

“This motion was about fairness and equality. It was about fairness for those obliged to retire at 65 in accessing their State Pension as oppose to signing on for Jobseekers. It was about equality for women giving them an equal pension to men in tackling the 37% pension gender gap.

“Fine Gael TDs were like rabbits in headlights when it came to voting on our motion today.

“Fianna Fáil’s amendment which was passed was bizarre. The majority of Fianna Fáil TDs have highlighted the inconsistencies within the pension system particularly, the gender pension gap of 37% and the impact this is having on women. Yet, when it came to taking action on this matter, Fianna Fáil has failed to do so.

“A clear message has gone out today to thousands of people particularly, women that have been impacted by changes to pension bands and rates made in 2012 and the 5,075 men and women forced onto Jobseekers on retirement.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil know the issues, they shout about them and cry crocodile tears for those affected but they are not willing to do anything about it. Hopefully, now that Fianna Fáil has eventually found the courage to vote against Fine Gael, voting in line with Sinn Féin on important matters, they might start a new trend for themselves.”

Sinn Féin halts Encroachment on the Peoples Park Bray

Speaking after Wicklow County Council recently discussed issues around the future of the Peoples Park in Bray, Sinn Fein TD For Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said he is pleased the issue is center stage and will be watching closely how events unfold.

Teachta Brady said:

“So far so good; the people of Bray can breathe again after a period of uncertainty around the future of the Peoples Park. Wicklow Sinn Fein organised a public meeting at the beginning of December. The jam packed meeting stands as a testament to the determination of the local community to protect their Public Park. But this was the first time the public had an opportunity to air their views on the issue as the council had failed to engage in any public consultation regarding the future of the park.”

“This type of approach can make people a little nervous, when state bodies or institutions are seen to fiddle with amenities or services behind the backs of the local community, people understandably become suspicious of intent. With this is mind we in Sinn Fein made sure the issue got onto the floor of the recent meeting of Bray Municipal District.”

Sinn Fein Councillor for Bray Michael O’Connor said the issue of the future of the park is still very much alive:

“At the council meeting on Tuesday evening I pushed further on the issue, trying to hammer home to other Councillors how important the park was to the local community. Present in the gallery where local residents attending the council meeting on behalf of the wider Dargle and Little Bray community who are still wary of the councils intentions particularly regarding plans to build an access road and a skateboard facility in the park . Thankfully we convinced the council chamber to back the Sinn Fein position for the need for full and open engagement with local residents before any plans are considered regarding the park and to cease any encroachment of the park.”

Teachta Brady said that the best way to proceed is for the council to provide absolute openness and transparency:

“As a TD and a Bray Councillor for 15 years I have worked closely with many groups in the area on various issues. I have also worked with local skateboard enthusiasts, supporting their calls for a skateboard park. It was broadly agreed at the council meeting that the Peoples Park is not an appropriate place for such a facility and alternative locations will be discussed at the January meeting of the Council. I will continue to work with the skaters to secure a suitable alternative. As for the suggestions that an access road to the river Dargle might be ploughed through the park also; this is simply a non-runner as far as the local community are concerned. Myself and my local Sinn Fein colleagues will be keeping a close eye on suggestions emanating at Council level, we will be further engaging with locals and are determined to maintain the Peoples Park as just that; a park for the people and that its developed and maintained and protected as a public amenity .”

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Government will be held to account on future development of Ardmore Studios - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that the concerns surrounding the sale of Ardmore Studios, Bray have been discussed with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor following his successful request for a meeting.

Teachta Brady said:

“Having sent a number of letters raising concerns about Ardmore Studios to both Minister Mitchell O’Connor as well as Minister Humphreys, I was happy to attend a meeting with the Minister this afternoon.

“The Minister has confirmed that the State’s interest in Ardmore Studios remains in place. The State are not willing to sell their almost 32% share in Ardmore Studios and I welcome this confirmation.

“There were also fears that Ardmore Studios would be on the market as an unconditional sale as oppose to as a going concern – this has been rejected and Minister Mitchell O’Connor has given assurance that Ardmore Studios is being sold as a going concern.

“The Minister has also confirmed that protections are in place to prevent asset stripping of Ardmore and protections for staff.

“I welcome that Minister Mitchell O’Connor has also agreed to my request that she will meet with a delegation from Wicklow County Council as well as workers from Ardmore Studios within the next fortnight.

“The second round of bidding for Ardmore is expected in the New Year. The Minister has said that the State will not be forced into selling their shares or have the State any desire to do so, and their primary role is to protect and grow the film industry in Wicklow.

“These assurances are welcome however; I fully intend to hold the Minister and the Government to account. The Government must be more than silent partners when it comes to the protection and future development of Ardmore Studios in Bray.”

Friday, 2 December 2016

Sinn Féin calls on Dáil to support motion on Pension Equality and Fairness – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has urged political parties to support Sinn Féin’s Pension Equality and Fairness motion coming before the Dáil next week.

Teachta Brady said:

“This motion is about fairness for those who are obliged to retire at 65 years in accessing their State pension and equality for all women when they retire.

“This motion is about correcting the mistakes made by Fine Gael and Labour in Pension reforms made in 2012. These reforms were made without any long term thinking or forward planning, with no adequate processes put in place alongside these reforms.

“The 2012 reforms were rammed through the Oireachtas and they were wrong. Sinn Féin opposed them then and we oppose them now.

“We have engaged with a number of organisations on this motion including, Age Action Ireland, The National Women’s Council of Ireland and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

“We are seeing 65 year olds, who have worked their whole lives, in some cases for over forty years, who are left with no income on retirement. This is what has led to more 65 years in receipt of Jobseekers payments than any other age category in the State – some 5,075 men and women as of April of this year.

“The European Institute for Gender Equality showed a 37% gender gap in pensions in Ireland in 2012. Without doubt pension reforms have only widened this gap even further.

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have talked the talk when it comes to Pensions; in fact, they have been talking about Pensions for years. The time for talking, the time for Green Papers, White Papers, studies and reports on Pensions is over, we need action.

“The Labour Party played a huge part in the Pension Reforms of 2012, announced by Joan Burton. I am particularly, calling on them to take this opportunity to reverse these changes.

“I am calling on all political parties to support this motion as the first step in tackling our pension system.”

Unanimous call from packed public meeting to protect People's Park in Bray

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady and Cllr Michael O’Connor have said that a loud message went out from a public meeting on the People’s Park in Bray last night.

Teachta Brady said:

“Sinn Féin organised a public meeting last night as a response to the huge concern voiced by local residents as regards the future of the People’s Park.

“Close to 150 people attended the meeting last night which was held at the Royal Hotel in Bray.

“Residents expressed huge concerns at the lack of consultation on the Council’s intentions for the future of the park. Prior to the commencement of the flood prevention works on the River Dargle, which impacted on the People’s Park over the past four years, residents had been guaranteed that the Park would be reinstated to its original condition.

“However, it is clear now that the Council are working on plans that will greatly impact on the amenity value of the Park. The Council are looking at developing an access road to run through the Park in front of Glenburg Terrace. This will be used for heavy machinery to access the river for future maintenance works.

“The Council are also looking at constructing a skateboard park within the People’s Park.

“There is wide agreement and support for the development of a skateboard park in Bray and I have been heavily involved with the Bray Skateboard Association in delivering this for the town. However, the skateboard park needs to be developed in a suitable location.

Cllr Michael O’Connor added:

“The process has been completely flawed from the outset with regard the People’s Park, to present a final plan to the residents is not consultation and the residents need to be consulted as to what they want to see for the future of the People’s Park.

Teachta Brady concluded:

“I believe that the Council need to go back to the site selection process for the skateboard park and ensure that a suitable site is selected.

“Last night provided the first opportunity for a conversation among the locals and users of the park as to what they want to see happen. Any attempt by the Council to rail road proposals through will simply not be tolerated. There are alternative locations for both Council proposals and these would be more suitable. I would urge the Council to examine these alternatives before progressing with the current plans any further.

“A number of petitions have been compiled by local residents and Sinn Féin along with many of the residents will attend the Bray Council meeting on Tuesday evening at 7pm to present these petitions.”

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Brady calls on Ministers to stop play-acting on Ardmore Studios

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has commended all those who turned out today in support of Ardmore Studios outside Leinster House. 

Teachta Brady said: 

“I was delighted to join with protestors, who are predominately workers within the film and television industry, outside Leinster House today in support of Ardmore Studios and its continued existence as it is in Bray. I also joined the protesters in handing in a petition with over 2,500 signatures to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. 

“The recent announcement that Ardmore Studios is to be sold came as a huge shock to all those involved in Ardmore Studios and also to me as a public representative. During previous meetings I held with the CEO, discussions were about the expansion of Ardmore Studios and never any potential sell off. The huge concern was highlighted in the huge numbers that turned up to the protest today. 

“Ardmore Studios are internationally renowned as Ireland’s leading provider of film and TV studio infrastructure. The studios are highly regarded and have been home to hundreds of national and international film and TV productions since it was established in 1958.  

“The silence from Ministers Heather Humphries and Mary Mitchell O’Connor to numerous representations that have made to their offices cannot continue. 

“On the one hand, Minister Humphries has launched a new economic analysis on screen based creative industries and on the other, both Ministers have failed to address the potential sale of the State’s almost 32% share in Ardmore Studios. 

“The Ministers must confirm that the State’s shares will be protected and if the private shares are to be sold; this must be as a going concern. Any unconditional sale of Ardmore Studios will not be acceptable.  

“It is essential that the prospectus in relation to the sale of Ardmore Studios is made available to both the employees and concerned public representatives. 

“I will be making further contact with both Ministers, who have failed to reply to me as of yet. The questions and concerns put to both Ministers must be addressed.”

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Fianna Fáil sheer hypocrisy for lone parents

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that despite talk, Fianna Fáil have once again, failed lone parents across this State. 
Teachta Brady said: 

“I brought forward an amendment last week at Committee stage seeking a report into the financial and social impacts of the changes to the One Parent Family Payment for lone parents. This amendment was passed with full support including the Minister’s. 

“Today, at Report Stage the Minister had changed his tune giving himself 9 months rather than the initial 6 months to present a report to the Oireachtas. 

“I urged the Minister to revert to the original amendment and I pushed this amendment to a vote to oppose the 9 month wait for such a report. 

“Speaking on behalf of Fianna Fáil Deputy Willie O’Dea outlined the serious and real issues being faced by lone parents as a result of the changes made.  

“In fact, Deputy O’Dea, in his own amendment, wanted the report to be produced within 3 months yet when it came to a vote on 9 months they abstained. 

“The urgency for such a report outlined by Fianna Fáil was nothing more than false concern for lone parents and when it came to a vote Fianna Fáil sat on the fence. 

“Although it is thanks to Fianna Fáil that the Minister has got his way, I am delighted that a report will be carried out and our amendment has ensured this.  

“There is absolutely no reason why this report cannot be delivered within 6 months and I will continue to push the Minister on this. This report will be critical in framing budget 2018.”

Huge concern for future of Bray Wanderers and Carlisle Grounds - Brady

Huge concern for future of Bray Wanderers and Carlisle Grounds - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed huge concerns about the future of Bray Wanderers football club as well as the future of the Carlisle Grounds.

Teachta Brady said:

“This concern comes on the back of the clubs newly produced Strategic Plan 2017-2021 which has been published this week.

“This is an ambitious and comprehensive plan and I commend the work that the club have done over many years. Bray Wanderers have flown the Bray and Wicklow flag at the highest levels for many years.

“However, I do have serious concerns and reservations with the plan and the direction in which the club Chairperson is taking the club.

“The plan outlines the intent to seek a larger site and there are many references to South County Dublin and the fear is that there is an attempt to move the club out of Wicklow.

“Another concern is around the publicly owned Carlisle Grounds and its future under this plan. The lease which Bray Wanderers hold for the Grounds is very specific for sporting activities. I would be totally opposed to any changes to the zoning which would allow any commercial development to take place on the site.

“As there is a deficit for playing pitches in the area if Bray Wanderers have no further need for the Grounds there are many other sporting clubs that would be only too happy to avail of the Grounds.

“I will be speaking to the Council in relation to the existing lease to outline my concerns. I will also be seeking a meeting with the Chairperson of Bray Wanderers to discuss this plan."

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Ballynagran dump expansion ‘a sign of incompetence from EPA and Minister’ – Brady

Ballynagran dump expansion ‘a sign of incompetence from EPA and Minister’ – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow-East Carlow John Brady has said that Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment Denis Naughten’s response to the increase of 40,000 tonnes of waste for Ballynagran landfill is the wrong one, saying that “the people of Wicklow should not pay for the incompetence of the Minister and the EPA in their failure to plan ahead”.

Teachta Brady said:

“I questioned the Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment and raised a number of concerns surrounding the decision made to increase the intake of waste at Ballynagran landfill to 190,000 tonnes in the Dáil chamber yesterday evening.

“This increase is 40,000 tonnes above the maximum tonnage under the planning conditions set out by the EPA waste licence. However, the EPA are on board and have already facilitated it by making technical amendments to the waste licence.

“The fact that Minister Naughten, along with others, were made aware of this emergency situation well before it occurred yet, they still failed to take action and put plans in place is particularly concerning.

“I appealed to the Minister to intervene in this most serious situation and I asked him to contact the EPA to request that they reverse this decision.

“I highlighted a number of ongoing concerns with the landfill site as it is never mind with an additional 40,000 tonnes which will simply make a bad situation worse.

“I am disappointed that Wicklow County Council did not see fit to consult with the community liaison committee which, was set up as part of the planning process, elected representatives or locals living in the community. This was wrong.

“The Minister’s response to my concerns provides little comfort to the people of Wicklow particularly, those living within the vicinity of the landfill site. The way that this so-called emergency situation has been dealt with has been entirely insufficient and it has blatantly ignored the legitimate concerns of people in the area.

“I do not accept the response I received from the Minister on this matter and I fully intend to pursue this further. The people of Wicklow should not pay for the incompetence of the Minister and the EPA in their failure to plan ahead.” ENDS

See video of exchange with Minister Naughten here:

Monday, 21 November 2016

Dump branded ‘worst in state’ by EPA to receive additional waste – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has described plans for an increased 40,000 tonnes of waste at Ballynagran landfill as extremely alarming.

Teachta Brady said:

“Wicklow County Council have approved a temporary increase of an additional 40,000 tonnes of waste for Ballynagran landfill. This increase will bring the annual intake this year to 190,000 tonnes, 40,000 tonnes above the maximum tonnage under planning conditions. The EPA has pushed for this and has granted technical amendments to the licence for Ballynagran.

“This has come about because the landfill at Drehid in Co. Kildare has exceeded its annual EPA licence capacity. Clearly, this emergency situation was seen coming however, there was a failure to put in place any plans to deal with it and now Wicklow will become the dumping ground because of this failure.
“We know that Ballynagran landfill is already rated by the EPA as the worst dump in the State. Rather than doing something to change this, we will see thousands of additional waste instead.

“Furthermore, it is concerning that this decision has been agreed with no consultation with locals or public representatives whatsoever. Hundreds of officials complaints to the EPA regarding the landfill detailing the horrendous conditions that people have been forced to live in have gone ignored in this decision making process. I am aware of a family who had no option but to leave their own home one year ago and haven’t been able to return since because of the odour.

“A letter detailing this decision was circulated late Friday evening without any warning. Locals and public representatives should have been made aware of the emergency situation a long time ago. Wicklow County Council have not taken into the account the legitimate concerns of locals and instead are about to make a bad situation much worse.”

Friday, 18 November 2016

John Brady TD secures amendment for report on impact of changes to the One Parent Family Payment

Speaking at the Committee Stage on the Social Welfare Bill, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has secured the unanimous passing of an amendment for lone parents.

Teachta Brady said:

“I am delighted that despite, initial hesitation by the Minister, my amendment securing a report on the financial and social impacts of the changes to the One Parent Family Payment has been passed.

“Initially, the Minister had hesitated on such a report as he felt it was too early to see the true impacts of such reforms. However, the reality is that we do not need to wait to see the consequences that the changes to the One Parent Family Payment have had. In fact, the consequences are already well known and well highlighted consistently.

“We know that child poverty is much more highly prevalent among one parent families with child poverty rates among children in one parent families at 22.1%. We also know that 60% deprivation is experienced by these same one parent families.

“Poverty rates alone are reason enough for such a report to be carried out but we do know there are also many more issues being experienced by lone parents.

"I have met with a number of organisations and having listened to and engaged with these organisations as well as lone parents themselves, it is clear that this report is desperately needed.

“I welcome that the Minister, along with the other members of the Social Protection Committee are in agreement that a report will be carried out and brought before the Committee within six months.

“When it comes to lone parents, who are among the most vulnerable in our society, we need action. I have made clear to the Minister that this report cannot be written to sit on a shelf, we need action on the back of this report. We need to actively work hard to make life better for our lone parents.”

Jigsaw Project ‘provide an invaluable service in our community’ – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has pledged his continued support to the development of the Wicklow Jigsaw Project for Youth Mental Health following a meeting with representatives from the Youth Mental Health Subcommittee as part of the Bray Area Partnership yesterday.

Teachta Brady said:

“As a former member of the Bray Area Partnership, I am fully aware of the importance of the Youth Mental Health Subcommittee, the work that they do, and their proposal for the development of the Wicklow Jigsaw Project which is so vitally important.

“Jigsaw, who is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, provides a unique and essential service for our young people. The need for such a service was reflected in a recent Wicklow Comhairle na nÓg survey of 1,000 young participants who identified mental health as the number one issue for their age group.

“Jigsaw has identified three stages in the development process of this Project, which will be based in Bray. The first stage is the need to receive a formal announcement from the HSE of their intention to support Jigsaw to establish in Bray. I would call on Minister Harris, in his position as Minister for Health to ensure that the HSE do this as quickly as possible.

“The second stage will be for the Courts Service to officially transfer the old courthouse in Bray to the HSE for the Jigsaw Project. I would be hopeful that the local authority will assist with final stage, through a partnership approach in providing funding support to make the premise fir for purpose.

“I commend the work that Bray Area Partnership and Jigsaw have done in progressing the proposal this far. I am delighted that I can play some small part, along with other elected representatives, in delivering a facility that will provide an invaluable service in our community. I hope that there can be a partnership approach in delivering this Project for Wicklow.”

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Arklow to be Hit in Government Planned Cuts to Libraries.

Speaking after it was revealed that the government intend to promote “Staffless Libraries” across the State, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Social Protection and TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has slammed the move as a despicable cost saving measure:

“It appears from recent reports that the government are pushing forward plans to introduce ‘Staffless Libraries’ across the State with Arklow Library in the firing line. The measure is being promoted as a way of increasing opening hours to benefit the public but in truth it is clearly a despicable plot to create an avenue where Library services and staff can be cut as a cost saving measure.”

“These plans will have an obvious negative affect; Library users in Arklow and across the country will not have the benefit of trained staff on site, nor will it be possible for those premises to conduct cultural, educational or community events.”

Teachta Brady said that where Arklow is concerned, this measure has sneakily come from nowhere:

“This issue has not been discussed in the council chamber. Councillors of all parties and none have had no opportunity to examine the detail of the proposals. More pointedly, the councillors that represent Arklow Municipal District have had no knowledge or no say on the plans for Arklow Library; which is situated only a few yards from council offices. Already in Kilkenny, Library staff have convened an urgent meeting with union representatives to consider industrial action to protect their jobs and protect the important services Libraries offer to the community.”

In conclusion Teachta Brady said that it appears the government are hell bent on picking fights with public service personnel:

“The government are bouncing from one industrial dispute to the next in their efforts to squeeze what they can out of hard pressed public employees. This ludicrous attack on Libraries represent a new desperate low on the part of the government. I along with my Sinn Fein colleagues will fight the government every step of the way in support of Library staff and service users.”

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Closures of post offices would be a devastating blow for communities right across the State - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that any further closures of post offices would be a devastating blow for communities right across the State.

Teachta Brady said:

“Post offices are the life and soul of rural villages and towns across the State. Our post office network is the largest retail network in the country with 1,150 offices employing 3,700 people.

“Post offices are not only vital in the services that they provide but also, as a community hub. They provide a social dimension which is crucial to so many people particularly, our older citizens in rural areas.

“The Director of Retail Operations at An Post has said that 700 post offices in the State are not sustainable. If this is in fact the case then our job is to make these post offices sustainable because without a post office many communities will no longer remain sustainable themselves.

“The Government have been all talk and no action when it comes to our post offices. The Postmaster Union have already outlined their vision for the post office network by the extension of State services with increased financial services, additional social protection services, driver licences and motor tax payments.

“These are all viable options for our post offices and would be welcome by both postmasters and customers alike. Our post offices must be invested in and they must be protected

“The Government must make post offices sustainable and take this opportunity now to preserve this invaluable service into the future.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Government must take real action to meet climate change targets - John Brady TD

Speaking after a Stop Climate Chaos event earlier today, Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that we must be more proactive when it comes to climate change.Teachta Brady said:

“I was delighted to meet with constituents at today’s event and to listen to their views on global warming and climate change.

“We have seen the impact of climate change in our own towns and villages with flooding and particularly, flooding in areas where it has never occurred before.

“While, it is welcome that the Government have signed up to the Paris deal this is not enough, and the Government need to take action if we are to reach the targets set out.

“The issues discussed today are manageable for the Government to achieve. They call on a fair subsidy to make solar electricity affordable for homes and businesses. They focus on renewable forms of energy as oppose to over reliance on fossil fuels which will not last forever. They urge the Government to invest in clean public transport; any privatisation agenda for public transport will not deliver this.

“Climate change is not something coming in the future, it is here. The Government need to wake up to the impacts it is already having. We all have a role to play on tackling climate change and doing our bit for our environment. I commend the efforts of everyone at today’s event.”

Saturday, 12 November 2016

John Brady TD urges young people to register to vote today

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has urged young people to take a stand against the establishment and register to vote today.

Teachta Brady said:

"The very first people to bear the brunt of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's austerity agenda was our young people particularly, those aged under 26.

"Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have enshrined age discrimination into the Social Welfare system with those aged under 26 in receipt of reduced Jobseekers payments. This discrimination has been in place since 2009 when first introduced by Fianna Fáil.

"These cuts were a direct cause of the hundreds of thousands of young people that were forced to leave their families and their communities and emigrate.

"Budget 2017 will mean that a person aged 18-24 will now struggle on €102.70 as oppose to €100 and a person aged 25 will now struggle on €147.80 as oppose to €144. A tiny increase for young Jobseekers while every other social welfare recipient will receive €5.

"Voting is the one opportunity we have to make a change. I urge young people to take a stand, to fight back against discrimination and unfairness and to take on the establishment of this state.

"Sinn Féin cannot do this on our own. It is time to rise up and make your voice heard."

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sinn Féin’s John Brady votes against pay rise for politicians

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has today voted not to accept the pay increase which will increase TDs’ pay to €92,672.

Deputy Brady is the only Wicklow/East Carlow TD to do decline this pay rise.

Teachta Brady said:

“I, along with my colleagues in Sinn Féin committed from the outset that we would not, under any circumstances, take this pay increase and will instead, return it to the Exchequer.

“There is no TD in Leinster House that deserves a pay rise of any kind. In fact, the current pay rates for elected representatives are excessive and obscene.

“My Fine Gael constituency colleague, the Minister for Health, Deputy Simon Harris, has a basic take-home pay of €157,540 a year. My Fianna Fáil colleague Deputy Pat Casey has a basic take home pay of €87,258 a year with Deputy Andrew Doyle, as a Minister for State, taking home €121,639 a year. My Independent colleague, Deputy Stephen Donnelly has a basic take home pay of €87,258 a year.

“Today, in the Dáil I voted not to take the pay rise however, all other Wicklow/East Carlow TDs, with the unfortunate exception of Deputy Donnelly who was not present for the vote, voted for a pay rise.

“In my mind, without any pay rise, the current rates of take home pay for all of my colleagues are far too high already.

“On a number of occasions in the past Dáil, Sinn Féin tabled legislation in the House to reform those payments substantially. Other parties, including Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, in particular, opposed them.

“Sinn Féin believes that politicians should lead from the front when it comes to their pay. We are committed to cutting TDs salaries to €75,000 and Senators to €60,000. We want to reduce the salary top-ups of An Taoiseach and Ministers by 50% as well reducing the excessive pension payments to former Taoisigh, Ministers and top civil servants. We include these figures year on year in our party manifesto.”

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Sinn Fein TD John Brady: “Government’s Housing Policy is A Hamster Wheel of Horror.”

Speaking after released their most recent report on the state of the Private Rental Market, Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Social Protection and TD for Wicklow/East Carlow said the shocking figures for Wicklow alone are an indication that this government housing policy has become a Hamster Wheel of Horror.

Teachta Brady Said:

“Figures released by the online site suggest the cost of renting a home has shot up by 10.5% in the last quarter of last year and is still rising. This represents an increase of 45% since 2011 and is the strongest indication yet that the chronic housing shortage in Wicklow and across the Country is set to continue. These figures prove beyond doubt that the government’s failure to initiate measures giving rent certainty to tenants is allowing the price of rental accommodation to spiral out of control and out of the reach of the average worker. The only people benefiting from the governments failures are landlords operating in the private market. The figures come on foot of a report last week which showed the continued growth in the numbers of families with young children becoming homeless.”

Teachta Brady went on to say that the governments housing policy is in tatters:

“The government’s patch work policy of housing initiatives is in tatters. Even if the plans were implemented in full; it would hardly put a dent in the figures of homelessness which are now growing a rate that is beyond comprehension. The lack of social housing and the failure of the government to commence a realistic house building programme means almost every day another family in private rental accommodation is forced out onto the streets due to spiralling rent costs; with no hope of securing accommodation in social housing. It is a hamster wheel of horror for thousands of frustrated parents and frightened children. Fianna Fail’s policy of placing the responsibility of house building solely in the hands of private developers has led to a disastrous over reliance on the private housing market which clearly cannot meet demand even at a modest level. Fine Gael and labour compounded the problem by ignoring the warnings coming from Sinn Fein and homeless organisations such as the Peter McVerry trust over the last number of years, as a result we now have a vicious cycle of dysfunction which is sucking more and more families into it unending wheel of despair.”

In terms of the future prospects for those in rental accommodation or languishing on the housing list Teachta Brady had this to say:

“At a certain point in any crises the natural human reaction is to throw out the book and deal with the immediate danger. Here, Minister Simon Coveney and the entire Fine Gael/ Fianna Fail coalition are failing in their responsibilities on every level measureable. Rent certainty is needed right now to put a cap on rising rents and force a reverse in costs. This would immediately relieve the stress on the tens of thousands of people who are literally sitting on a ledge waiting to fall into homelessness. The lack of social housing has shifted from a Crises situation to an Emergency, and is now in the realm of catastrophe. Sinn Fein is calling on the government to declare a National Housing Emergency and release the funds needed to allow local authorities and other agencies to immediately commence a nationwide building programme. No level of Hyperbole could exaggerate this housing emergency. Time is running out fast before the housing requirements of the nation move well beyond the capacity of the state to deliver while this government dithers with useless plans and pointless platitudes. Fiddling while Rome Burns.”

Fianna Fáil support for Social Welfare Bill is shameful – Brady

Speaking this evening on the Social Welfare Bill, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Fianna Fáil’s support for Fine Gael in this Bill is shameful.

Teachta Brady said:

“Fianna Fáil fell over themselves this evening to support the Social Welfare Bill.

“Fianna Fáil has shown tonight that their concern for young Jobseekers after the Budget were false. The outrage that Deputy O’Dea voiced in relation to the €2.70 increase for 18-24 year olds and his claim that Fianna Fáil would work to reverse it was clearly lies.

“Not content with running thousands of our young people out of the country when they purposely cut Jobseekers in the first place, Fianna Fáil have played a part in ensuring that the discrimination for our young people that they started in 2009 continues in this Bill.

“When it comes to lone parents this Bill fails to address poverty among lone parents and it fails to acknowledge the perverse effect that lone parent reforms have had. The recent Millar report concludes that the policy implemented by Fine Gael has left lone parents in paid employment being financially worse off.

“I welcome the €2 million to be provided for projects which provide pre-activation support for people with disabilities in 2017 – however, we need to know where this money is going and we need the detail on this.

“This Social Welfare Bill in its present form does not do everything it could have done. It is the result of a Budget that further marginalises our young people, lone parents and those living alone.

“As the main opposition party here, there is little room for Sinn Féin to bring forward amendments to this Bill given the fact that as an opposition party we cannot table amendments that constitute a charge on the Exchequer or on the public.

“Having said that, it is my full intention to frame amendments in such a way as to bypass the restrictions so that a proper debate can take place on the many issues that should have been in this Bill.”

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Sinn Fein Welcomes Decision to Protect the Rocks Area of Kilcoole

Speaking after Wicklow County Council voted to accept an amendment to the councils development plan which will protect The Rocks area of Kilcoole from future development, Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow / East Carlow John Brady, and The Party’s Leader in Wicklow County Council Cllr Nicola Lawless have described the decision as a great victory for both the local community and the native wildlife.
Teachta Brady Said:

“This issue has been bubbling away for quite some time. The council’s plans to disrupt the natural habitat of the Rocks which would have had a devastating effect on an ancient area of natural beauty and ecological significance have been opposed by Sinn Fein and local residents from the outset. Studies confirmed that the area is of historic geographical importance and a rare example of an untouched ice age glacial valley with a diverse range of wildlife. Whilst continued development in County Wicklow is very important and can often have very positive outcomes on a number of levels; here was one example of where a costly plan was quite simply not in the best interest of anybody. ”

Cllr Nicola Lawless spoke of her relief when the decision was taken after a long battle against the plans:

“On a personal level I am relieved that this issue has been put to bed once and for all to the satisfaction of local residents and environmental groups. Concerns had been raised at plans to dump 280,000 tonnes of river bed material from the Dargle into the site, turning the area into a so-called Eco park. From my own perspective it was hard to imagine how anything could replace such an exceptional legacy of natural beauty with a variety of plant and animal life and an inimitable landscape. This view was shared by local residents and many council colleagues who have fought to protect the area in its current form. After dozens of meeting and numerous representations to elected representatives I am delighted with the outcome. I would like to commend the dedication and resilience of the ‘Save The Rocks’ campaigners; they are the true heroes in this saga.”

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Mobility Allowance Grant must be replaced without further delay – John Brady TD

Mobility Allowance Grant must be replaced without further delay – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has called on the Taoiseach to fulfil a commitment he made three years ago in replacing the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant.

Teachta Brady said:

“I raised this issue with the Minister of State Finian McGrath back in June when I was told that the drafting of primary legislation was underway yet, nearly five months later there is no replacement in sight.

“Last week, I questioned the Taoiseach on when the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant will be replaced having been cut with immediate effect in 2013.

“At the time, the Taoiseach had said that the €10.6 million allocated for the two schemes would be ring fenced and he hoped a new legal scheme would be devised in the coming months.

“Three and a half years later, we are without any replacement.

“The thousands of people who relied on these payments to assist with their transport costs have been left in limbo since 2013.

“The Taoiseach failed to address my question as to the whereabouts of the €10.6 million that was supposedly ring fenced for the new scheme that was to be put in place a number of years ago.

“People with disabilities cannot be expected to wait any longer for this scheme. They cannot be fobbed off for another three years waiting for a replacement scheme that is nowhere to be seen.”

Varadkar needs to focus on welfare waiting times rather than leadership bid – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Minister Varadkar has serious questions to answer when it comes to waiting times for social welfare payments.

Teachta Brady said:

“Sinn Féin received the current waiting times for social welfare payments through a recent Freedom of Information request. These waiting times vary but reach as high as 40 weeks.

“Those waiting on the most crucial of payments such as Invalidity and Carers are left waiting for 21 and 40 weeks respectively.

“Other payments include waiting times of 19 weeks for Disability Allowance, 27 weeks for the non-contributory State Pension, with children left to wait 17 weeks for Domiciliary Care Allowance.

“In June, I raised the 19 week wait for Carers Allowance with Minister Varadkar and asked what measures he was taking to tackle this outrageous waiting time. Clearly, there were no measures put in place as this has now jumped to a massive 40 week wait, that's almost one entire year.

“The current waiting times for social welfare payments are absolutely unacceptable. The idea that people who are the most vulnerable in our society are left waiting months for these vital payments is disgraceful.

“Minister Varadkar is clearly spending too much of his time eyeing up his party's leadership position rather than doing his job. Waiting times is something he needs to tackle immediately. I will be writing directly to Minister Varadkar to ask him what he intends to do to improve this situation.”

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Yet more FF and FG election commitments fall by the wayside – Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that clear election commitments on the Living Alone Allowance made by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were quickly forgotten.

Teachta Brady said:

“Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil pledged to increase the Living Alone Allowance on an annual basis in their election manifestos yet. This increase was nowhere to be seen in Budget 2017.

“Older people who live alone are among the most vulnerable in our society. Many of them rely solely on their State Pension for income yet, they face the same increased cost of living as all other households.

“We know that additional charges placed on older people such as the family home tax and increased prescription charges have placed a huge burden on our older people. At this time of year, older people see further increased costs with fuel as they try to keep warm in their homes without any increase in the fuel allowance. These costs are made all the more difficult to manage when a person is living alone and in many cases, relying on one source of income. This reality has been ignored in Budget 2017.

“While Fianna Fáil were busy tripping over to each to take credit for the parts of the Budget that were welcome an entire group of older people have been left behind. This is simply another U-turn by Fianna Fáil where yet again, they go against their own party policies.

“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin included an increase of €9 for the Living Alone Allowance monthly; this would make it double what the payment is now. At a time when TDs and Ministers are in line for huge pay rises, older people living alone will see no rise in their allowance whatsoever.”

John Brady TD wishes Katie Taylor well as she embarks on professional career

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady extends his congratulations to Katie Taylor, who hails from his hometown of Bray, as she steps into the professional world of boxing.

Teachta Brady said:

“I was delighted to hear the news this afternoon that Katie Taylor has signed a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing.

“Katie Taylor has been a brilliant ambassador for Wicklow and for Ireland throughout her amateur boxing campaign.

“She has been a fantastic role model for young people all over the country especially, for young girls. This will continue in her professional career.

“Katie’s gold medal at Olympics 2012 is seen by many as the highlight of her amateur career but with that also came six European titles and five world titles. I would class her as one of Ireland’s greatest amateur sporting stars of all time.

“I wish Katie well in her future as a professional boxer. I have no doubt that her successes in the boxing world will continue as she takes this step in her career.

“Next month, Katie will make her debut at London’s Wembley Arena and she will do so with the full support of the people of Bray, Wicklow, and her country.”

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Brady welcomes securing of derelict A O'Smith Factory

Wicklow/East Carlow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the commencement of works to secure and cleanup the derelict A O’Smith factory on the Boghall Road in Bray and he has said that it’s now time to look at the long term future of the site.

Speaking after the site was finally secured Teachta Brady said “Recently my colleague Cllr Michael O’Connor and I visited the derelict site to inspect the many dangers at the disused factory. We subsequently contacted the council and asked them to ensure the site was completely secured and cleaned up. Thankfully that work has now commenced.”

Cllr Michael O’Connor said “The absentee owners of this property have a legal and moral responsibility for this site, however since AO Smith’s closed in 2005 the owners of the site have imposed 11 years of neglect on the community of Ballywaltrim and Bray. It’s been a battle a day with the owners of the site to take responsibility for it and to ensure it’s properly secured. There is evidence of recent vandalism and drug use and illegal dumping on the site.”

“Children are regularly seen on the site and they run the risk of getting seriously injured as there are many dangers on site. Thankfully the only remaining access into the old factory itself is blocked up now and the site is in the process of being cleaned up.”

Teachta Brady concluded “Now that the site is secured, we need to look at the long term plans for the site. In June Wicklow County Council turned down a planning application for the demolition of the existing buildings on site & the construction of a discount foodstore/supermarket. This 11 year derelict eyesore must be brought to an end. I believe that the site provides an ideal opportunity to bring badly needed employment into the area and I will be doing everything within my power to ensure this happens.” Ends

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Minister Varadkar dragging his heels on replacement for JobBridge - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Minister Varadkar could not move any slower when it comes to replacing JobBridge.

Teachta Brady said:

“Sinn Féin welcomes an end to JobBridge just as we welcomed this news back in May when it was first announced.

“Today, five months later, we see another announcement of the end of JobBridge with consultation only now beginning on what will replace it.

“At a recent committee meeting on this very matter Minister Varadkar said that he would ‘have proposals for a replacement scheme for JobBridge in the next few weeks, in October if not in September.’

“I have raised a number of concerns in relation to JobBridge consistently with Minister Varadkar. A recent internal audit report by the minister’s own department has raised issues, not least two marked as of high concern to the department.

“The principles already brought forward by the Labour Market Council on the new programme leave little to be desired. It calls for much of the same – the equivalent of the net minimum wage, to be of shorter duration of six months and to be voluntary. JobBridge 2.0 will not cut it.

“Sinn Féin published an alternative to JobBridge months ago. It is a pity that Minister Vardakar did not see fit to move as quickly. He is dragging his heels on this issue. We can only hope that we do not have to wait another five months.”

Brady expresses concern at sale of Ardmore Studios

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed his shock at the news that Ardmore Studios in Bray is to be sold as a going concern.

Teachta Brady said:

“Ardmore Studios are internationally renowned as Ireland’s leading provider of film and TV studio infrastructure.

“The Studios is highly regarded by the community in Bray and has been home to hundreds of national and international film and TV productions since it was established in 1958.

“While I accept that the news of this sale comes with an assurance that it will not impact on the day to day running of the studios this provides little comfort.

"Last year, it emerged that a stakeholder in Ardmore Studios had expressed considerable disquiet at plans for key directors in Ardmore to set up a rival studio in Limerick putting both studios in direct competition.

"I believe that the development in Limerick is at an advanced stage and this may raise these past concerns again.

“I am aware that Ardmore Studios are in advanced planning stages with some expansion completed as recently as this year and further expansion to follow. I will do everything within my power to ensure that the valuable site at Ardmore is protected and that zoning remains in place solely for the expansion of film and tv production only.

“I met with Ardmore Studios last year and I fully intend to meet with them on this matter as soon as possible. Any threat to such a significant media hub is of national concern and will be of grave concern particularly, to the people of Bray.

Friday, 14 October 2016

As houses prices in Wicklow escalate Brady calls on Minister Coveney to rethink First Time Buyers Scheme

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on Minister Coveney to rethink his help to buy scheme for first time buyers following the surge in prices for newly built homes since the new measures were announced in Budget 2017.

“Following speculation that the scheme is already leading to a surge in prices for newly built homes I am calling on the Minister to publish any research his department has that convinced him that this scheme was a good idea. In one Wicklow development, the price of a house rose by between €17,500 and €45,000 following the Government’s new first-time buyers scheme.

“Before the Minister pressed ahead with the launch of this scheme the overwhelming majority of expert opinion told him that this scheme wouldn’t work and that it would in fact make the housing situation worse. The first time buyers scheme, available on homes up to the value of €600,000 will simply drive prices even higher and lock greater numbers of people out of home ownership. It is also very telling that Government thinks that struggling first time buyers are considering purchasing homes between €400,000 and €600,000.

“This new measure coupled with the recent changes to the Development Levies rates for houses by Wicklow County Council has done nothing for families struggling to put a roof over their heads. The only thing that the measures appear to be doing is lining the pockets of developers.

“Minister Coveney must now provide more detail on how he intends to monitor the impact of the scheme and if evidence emerges that developers are increasing prices due to the scheme he must give a commitment to scrap it."

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Budget 2017 sees more discrimination against young jobseekers – John Brady TD

Budget 2017 sees more discrimination against young jobseekers – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Budget 2017 continues the shameful discrimination of our young unemployed.

Teachta Brady said:

“The increases announced today as part of Budget 2017 include a €2.70 increase in Jobseekers Allowance for those aged between 18 and 24 years. This means that this weekly payment rises from €100 to €102.70.

“Those aged 25 will see an increase of a measly €3.80 from €144 to €147.80.

“This increase will have no impact whatsoever on our young unemployed. In fact, it will do nothing more than incentivise them to emigrate.

“Once again, the Government’s Budget provides our young people with absolutely nothing. While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil talk about Budget 2017 being about creating a fair and just society, young people do not feature.

“Last week, I asked Minister Varadkar to restore Jobseekers Allowance to the full payment of €188 for under 26s. His response has been to give them a pittance.

“While Fianna Fáil takes credit for the positives in Budget 2017, they may also take credit for this €2.70 increase for our young people considering they were the party that began the discriminatory cuts to young people in the first place.”

Monday, 10 October 2016

Fianna Fáil’s newfound concern for Older People ‘their latest gimmick’ – John Brady TD

Speaking ahead of Budget 2017, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to stop playing games with the proposed €5 pension increase for older people.

The Wicklow TD said:

“While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continue this farce over when to give older people the proposed €5 increase in the State Pension they have agreed on one thing – an increase in their own take home pay.

“In the age of ‘new politics’, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have seemingly agreed to an increase of over €5,000 in their own wages. At the same time, they continue this tiff over when to give €5 to older people.

“It is quite clear that Fianna Fáil are using this pension increase debacle as a smoke screen.

“Sinn Féin has looked beyond the State Pension in our proposals for older people with a package worth in excess of €410 million.

“Our measures would mean pensioners living alone would see their pension increase by €5.70 per week; this means an increase for 190,000 older people. All older people would benefit by a €1 reduction in prescription charges as the first step to abolishing them, three weeks extension on fuel allowance, a bereavement grant of €600 as well as additional home help hours.

“As Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continue this farce in the run up to the Budget, while at the same time lining their own pockets, Sinn Féin want to see proposals that will target a range of issues faced by older people.

“Fianna Fáil can drop the pretence that they are in opposition. This new found concern for older people is nothing more than a gimmick. Perhaps if they weren't so busy trying to control both Government and opposition at the same time, they could have released an actual alternative Budget.”

Thursday, 6 October 2016

John Brady TD commends 'Be Well' youth movement in Wicklow

Speaking on the Sinn Féin motion on Mental Health this evening Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady took the opportunity to commend the Be Well youth movement across County Wicklow.

Teachta Brady said:

“On Monday of this week I attended the launch of ‘Be Well Wicklow’ which originally started out in 2012 as Be Well Bray and has since expanded county wide.

“Be Well Wicklow consists of a group of young people from the age of 13 upwards who have taken on the challenge of promoting positive mental health in their communities.

“Be Well Wicklow is based on three key elements – battling the stigma surrounding youth mental health, learning and sharing skills that build resilience and ensuring that young people’s ideas and opinions are central to everything they do.

“Next week marks the group’s annual Be Well Week across Wicklow with a range of activities and events to raise awareness about Youth Mental Health and promoting positive mental health.

“I want to commend the work these young people have done – their engagement with the issue and their determination year on year to continue the conversation on mental health is something we can all learn a lot from. By taking on the challenge of promoting positive mental health they are inspiring many others throughout the country.

“I also would like to wish the other Be Wellers in Arklow with their first Be Well Week next week, the Be Wellers who are currently setting up in Kilcoole and other groups throughout the county.

Teachta Brady concluded:

“Young people are leading the way on mental health in Wicklow. They are setting the agenda and it is our job to recognise that and do all in our power to support groups such as Be Well Wicklow in the hope that we can have a Be Well movement in every county in the country.

“I am delighted that my party have brought forward this motion this evening and I hope that it will receive cross party support. In the words of Be Well Wicklow “Mental Health is not the same as Mental Illness, Everybody has Mental Health.”

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget is about reducing the cost of living & investing public services - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget is about reducing the cost of living & investing public services - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget launched today is about reducing the cost of living and investing in public services.

Speaking after the launch Teachta Brady said:

“Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget is about fairness, reducing the cost of living, fair taxation and increased capital investment to build much needed homes, schools and health facilities across the State.

“Year on year other parties have chosen tax breaks for high earners over investment in public services, but Sinn Féin has shown that we cannot fix our health services or our housing crisis if we go down that road.

“Our proposals allocate a fund of €111 million to support families by reducing the cost of childcare fees by an average of €96 per week for children aged between six months and three years.

“We include an investment of an additional €500 million in education to reduce the pupil teacher ratio at primary level, tackle third level fees and create 1,000 additional apprenticeship places.

“Sinn Féin would invest €267 million to provide an additional 500 hospital beds, reduce the prescription charge by €1 as the first step of abolishing it, increase ambulance cover and improve mental health services.

“We want to see older people supported with an additional €410 million for a range of financial supports including restoring the Transitional Pension for 65 year olds increasing their weekly payment by €45 as well as increasing the Living Alone Allowance by €5.70 per week for more than 190,000 pensioners.

“Sinn Féin continues to call on the Government to increase the cut off age for the One Parent Family Payment from seven to twelve years of age. This remains part of our alternative Budget this year.

“Sinn Féin recognises the discriminatory cut made to Jobseekers payments for under 26s, we will restore this to the full amount over two Budgets starting with a €40 increase in this Budget. We remain utterly opposed to those under 26 receiving a lesser payment of between €100 and €160 based on age.

“Budget 2017 needs to create an Ireland for living in, not merely getting by in. We need to invest in the public services that have been so badly eroded by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in the past. We need a Budget that leaves no individual, no family or no community behind.”

Sinn Féin seek a fairer Ireland for older people – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin seek a fairer Ireland for older people – John Brady TD

Speaking today at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Budget 2017 proposals on Older People, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Social Protection John Brady TD said that “everyone has the right to grow old in Ireland with dignity, security and equality”.

The Wicklow/East Carlow TD said:

“The reality for many of our older citizens under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is that they now face additional taxes and charges, they can no longer rely on the health service and they have to struggle daily to heat homes and meet their bills.

“Our proposals launched today provide a Budget for older people worth over €410 million. Our Budget is about fairness and reducing the cost of living for older people. We also include our commitment to abolish water charges and the property tax – putting money back in older people’s pockets.

“Under our proposals, pensioners living alone will see their pension increase by €5.70 per week; this means an increase for 190,000 older people. All other pensioners will see their pension inflation proofed and increased by €3.50.

“Sinn Féin wants an end to prescription charges and will begin by phasing it out by €1 in this Budget.

“Other measures include:

Reinstate the State Pension (Transition) Payment
Increase the Fuel Allowance by 3 Weeks
Introduce a Bereavement Grant of €600
Extend the Warmer Homes Scheme
Increase home help hours by 10%
Increase homecare packages by 10%

“It is absolutely unacceptable that those obliged to retire at 65 years of age are being forced onto Jobseekers payments and cannot access their pension for a year. There are currently more people aged 65 than any other age group in receipt of Jobseekers. We will re-introduce the Transitional Payment immediately impacting on 33,000 pensioners giving them an additional €45 per week or €2,340 per year.

“Sinn Féin’s proposals target a range of issues faced by older people. These proposals seek to create a fairer Ireland for our older people where they are able to live independently, have access to their pension on retirement and are protected from unfair taxes and charges.”

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Brady congratulates organisers of successful Arklow Enterprise Town event

Wicklow/East Carlow TD John Brady has congratulated the organisers the very successful Arklow Enterprise Town. The event took place in St Marys College, Arklow on Friday September 30th and Saturday October 1st.

Speaking after attending the event Brady said “The Bank of Ireland Arklow Enterprise Town event took place over two days in St Marys College was a huge success and I want to commend all involved.”

“The event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase local businesses, clubs and indeed local schools to potential new customers or new members. Nearly 70 exhibitors participated on each day and there was a massive attendance from the public. The exhibition showcased many of the positive things happening in Arklow and it was good to see some new businesses.”

The Wicklow Sinn Féin TD concluded “I was delighted to talk to so many people at the exhibition; I listened to all they had to say and reiterated my continued determination in working to unlock Arklow’s full potential.”

Friday, 30 September 2016

Only one TD in Wicklow votes to abolish water charges – John Brady TD

Only one TD in Wicklow votes to abolish water charges – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed his disappointment that no other Wicklow TD voted in favour of the immediate abolition of water charges.

Teachta Brady said:

“In the last General election, the people of Wicklow/East Carlow made it clear that they wanted to see the abolition of water charges and not their suspension.

“This week Sinn Féin brought forward a motion to scrap water charges and Irish Water, and not one other Wicklow TD supported this.

“In May, Deputy Donnelly signed his name to the Sinn Féin motion to end water charges and this week he voted against ending water charges. Perhaps, Deputy Donnelly could decide where he stands on the issue of water charges once and for all.

“I am proud to honour my commitment to the people of Wicklow/East Carlow who elected me. I fully intend to represent the wishes of the people of my constituency in abolishing water charges.

“I acknowledge the thousands of people that came out in protest of water charges as an unfair tax and another bill that households simply cannot afford.

“It’s unfortunate that Ministers Harris and Doyle along with Deputy Donnelly and Deputy Casey have failed to listen to the democratic voice of the people. They had an opportunity to end water charges this week and they chose not to.”

Thursday, 29 September 2016

John Brady TD criticises "dishonest" Fianna Fáil on water charges

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady launched a scathing attack on Fianna Fáil and their flip-flopping on the issue of water charges during his party’s motion on abolishing water charges this evening.

Teachta Brady highlighted the cause of a constituent who had contacted him in in relation to an ongoing sixteen week wait for a water leak to be fixed by Irish Water.

Speaking this evening Teachta Brady said:

“It took sixteen weeks for Irish Water to investigate one water leak reported to them as far back as June 8th. This certainly was not the case when local authorities had control of water services.

“This leak is causing the loss of two litres of water every minute that equates to over 200,000 litres since this leak was first reported.

“So not only are Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil standing over a utility that is wasting money with huge consultancy fees and the installation of water meters, they are also responsible for wasting water that they were initially allegedly set up to safeguard.

“The only thing that is clear in the Fianna Fáil water charges debacle is that they were dishonest with the electorate for votes in the last election. We only have to read their election manifesto to see this.

Teachta Brady concluded:

“Water charges and Irish Water have been universally discredited and rejected by the electorate.

“It is time to stop wasting water and money and abolish water charges for good.”

Brady welcomes the World Archery Championships to Wicklow

Wicklow/East Carlow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the World Archery Championships to Wicklow and said it’s a welcome boost to tourism and the economy.

Speaking after attending the opening ceremony which took place on Tuesday evening on Bray Seafront Teachta Brady said “I’m delighted to welcome the World Archery Field Championships to Wicklow. It’s a welcome boost to both tourism and the economy. Over 400 athletes and officials have flown in from around the world and will spend the week participating in the championships which are taking place in Kilruddery House and Gardens.”

“I want to commend Archery Ireland who secured the right to host the Championships here. Considerable time, energy and effort has gone into securing the Championships and preparing for the event in Kilruddery which will see over 30 countries represented, and everyone involved must be commended.

Teachta Brady concluded “This event is providing a welcome boost to tourism and the economy, its estimated the event will directly contribute in excess of quarter of a million euro in the local economy, with many Hotels fully booked. I wish the competitors every success and hope they have an enjoyable stay in Wicklow.”

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady commends Tidy Town groups

Speaking after the results of the latest Tidy Towns competition were released, Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow East Carlow said that he wished the community spirit promoted by the Tidy Towns Groups could be harnessed, bottled and distributed in the Dáil Chamber.:

“Communities up and down the country pull together and work tirelessly to present their towns and villages as contenders for the prestigious awards associated with the Tidy Towns competition. For those of us who sit in Leinster house tussling with the issues of the day, it might be no harm if we bare in mind the kind of cooperation and community spirit which drives the volunteers to succeed. These volunteers work tirelessly at a task which benefits all residents in the various towns and villages regardless of social, economic or ethnic background. It transcends differences and pulls communities together on a common platform.”

“This year Skerries took the top spot and well done to them however, county Wicklow was certainly not at the back of the line regarding awards. Aughrim took a Gold medal award in the tidiest smallest town category whilst Wicklow Town and Arklow won Bronze Awards. Hollywood, Grange Con and Stratford-On-Slaney did West Wicklow proud by picking up a number of awards. Greystones picked up a Waste Prevention Award. Many other towns and villages across Wicklow also done brilliantly, increasing their points from previous years.”

“A fantastic achievement for all involved in every county around the country and a fine example to all of us of what can be achieved when as a community we work together.”

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Fianna Fáil has no excuse not to back Sinn Féin motion to abolish Irish Water-Brady

Fianna Fáil has “no excuse” not to back a Sinn Féin motion to abolish Irish Water, according to Wicklow/East Carlow TD John Brady.

Sinn Fein’s motion to scrap Irish Water will be introduced when the Dáil returns next week on behalf of the TDs who have signed up to the Right2Water platform. However, Fianna Fáil have stated that they won’t back it, despite indicating at its party think-in this week that it will vote to abolish charges when an expert commission reports back next year.

Teachta Brady said “There is an opportunity to have the issue of water charges put to bed once and for all when the Dáil reconvenes. We have tabled a motion to abolish the charges; this will be debated on September 28th. Let's see then if Micheal Martin and his Fianna Fáil TDs will put their votes where their mouths are.”

“Unfortunately Fianna Fáil have stated they will oppose this motion, which is a ridiculous position. There is no reason for opposing the motion, except that they don’t want to embarrass the Government,” he added.

Teachta Brady concluded “"The reality is that Fianna Fáil's position on water charges is all over the place. Last week they were for abolition, but this week they have publicly stated that they will vote against a motion to abolish the charges. They are trying to ride two horses on this issue and I’m calling on them to do the right thing and vote to abolish the charge once and for all.”