Friday, 29 January 2016

Brady launches Citizens Charter for older people in Blessington.

Speaking after he launched his Party’s Citizens Charter for older people in Blessington last Thursday, Sinn Fein’s candidate for Wicklow/East Carlow Councillor John Brady has hit out at Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail over what he describes as a legacy of neglect when it comes to the rights and welfare of the country’s older citizens:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet local people and talk about the challenges facing communities like Blessington at the launch of our citizen’s charter for older people. The prospect of getting older in Ireland should not be a source of fear and anxiety. Older people who have worked all their lives contributing to Irish society should be able to to enjoy their twilight years in safety and in comfort. However, the policies adopted by successive governments have sadly pushed the needs of our older citizens behind the needs of the privileged few.”

“Under the Fine Gael/Labour coalition in particular, many older citizens have been ignored and ill-treated. While many older people have had to wave goodbye to some of their younger relatives forced to emigrate, they have also been left isolated and anxious due to the closure of rural Garda stations and post offices. They have been left stranded due to poor transport infrastructure and they have been left financially strained due to cuts in the heating allowance, the cost of prescription fees and the imposition of water and property charges. In fact, in almost every tangible area, our older citizens have had to bare a scandalously disproportionate share of the Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour austerity assault”.

Councillor Brady went on to say that Sinn Fein’s citizen’s charter for older people represents a commitment to reverse the policies that have brought so much distress to our older citizens:

“How can it be the case in modern Ireland that we tolerate such neglect of our older citizens? How have we tolerated deliberate political choices which have forced so many of our older people to struggle needlessly? Sinn Féin will invest to protect the welfare of the very people our society should cherish. Sinn Fein will deliver dignity, security and equality for our older people so that all of us can live long and prosper in Ireland.”

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A vote for the Social Democrats is a vote for Fine Gael - Brady

Speaking in response to the announcement by the newly formed Social Democrats that the party would be willing to go into coalition as a minor partner with Fine Gael; Sinn Fein candidate for the upcoming election Councillor John Brady has said that the last thing the people of Wicklow/East Carlow need is another Fine Gael TD in the form of Stephen Donnelly:

“The social democrats allegedly came into being as a left leaning party claiming to offer the electorate an alternative to the current coalition. However, when they had the opportunity to align themselves with similar minded parties through the Right2Change initiative they refused. Now they are saying they will support Fine Gael in a future coalition arrangement”.

“It is absolutely clear now that Stephen Donnelly and his crew are willing to break their word before the election even takes place. Donnelly wants to support a government party who have given tax breaks to the rich, refused to invest in public services, overseen a surge in rural crime and refused to address a spiralling housing and homeless crises. In 2011 three Fine Gael TD’s were elected to this constituency, all three of them along with the Labour party TD and Stephen Donnelly himself supported the decision to reduce services at St Colmcille’s Loughlinstown; the consequences of which are now being played out in the corridors of St Vincents.”

Councillor Brady went on to suggest that Stephen Donnelly and the Social Democrats need to look up the definition of Social Democracy:
“Fine Gael have made it clear that their priority if returned to office would be to abolish the Universal Social Charge to benefit the rich; effectively reducing tax revenue by an astonishing four and a half billion euro, monies that could be used to invest in the very public services which have been battered by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour. Policies like these are the antitheses of social democracy yet Stephen Donnelly is obviously prepared to support Fine Gael on this and other issues including the continuance of Irish Water; which Donnelly has previously said should be abolished”.

“A vote for Stephen Donnelly and the Social Democrats is quite clearly now a vote for Fine Gael which threatens a return to the failed unfair and destructive policies of the last five years. The Wicklow/East Carlow constituency deserve to benefit from a fairer recovery, the last thing we need is another Fine Gael TD in the form of Stephen Donnelly.”

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Brady welcomes inclusion of social clause for the construction of Coláiste Ráithín and St. Philomena Schools

Wicklow Sinn Féin general election candidate Cllr John Brady has welcomed the inclusion of a Social Clause in the contract to develop two new schools in Bray. Planning permission was finally granted for St. Philomena’s Primary School and Coláiste Ráithín by An Bord Pleanála last November. The social clause in the contract will see 10% of all jobs on the project being reserved for long term local unemployed people, another 5% of jobs will be for apprentices. It is planned that construction of the schools will commence this June and will be finished by August 2017.

Welcoming the inclusion of the social clause in the contract Cllr Brady said “I welcome the inclusion of a social clause in the contract to build St. Philomena’s Primary School and Coláiste Ráithín. This will mean that 10% of all jobs during construction must be reserved for Long Term local unemployed along with a further 5% reserved for apprentices. Sinn Féin has been calling for mandatory inclusion of social clauses in all public contracts. In 2014 we introduced the Social Clauses in Public Procurement Bill in Leinster House. The Bill attracted support from all sides of the house as well a welcome consensus on its core objectives. Construction is due to commence this June on the badly needed two schools, the project is expected to take 14 months with a completion date of August 2017”.

Cllr Brady continued “It is worth noting that Sinn Féin has successfully pursued the inclusion of social clauses in public contracts in the north. There is no reason why such an approach cannot be rolled out on an all-island basis; the Social Clauses in Public Procurement Bill which we introduced hasn’t been turned into legislation and if in Government after the election is something we will ensure will happen. Our Bill outlines how public purchasers and suppliers will be legally required to protect the vulnerable and promote other social goals and community benefits. This can be done by including social clauses in all public contracts. Social clauses are a tool for getting more value out of each public euro spent”.

Cllr Brady concluded “It is good news that we now know when construction is due to commence on the two new schools in Bray and when they will be completed. All going according to plan they should be opened for the school year commencing in September 2017. The construction of the schools will see a boost to the local economy and ensure now that with the Social Clause included in the contract as Sinn Féin has been pushing for, that local unemployed people will be employed on the project and that apprentices will be also able to learn their trade”. Ends

Friday, 22 January 2016

Vote for Sinn Féin’s progressive, republican vision for Ireland and Wicklow - Cllr John Brady

Sinn Féin General Election candidate Councillor John Brady has called on the people of Wicklow to vote, in the forthcoming General Election, for Sinn Féin’s progressive, republican vision for Ireland and Wicklow.
He said that the Fine Gael and Labour Party government had delivered nothing but chaos during their five years in office and that only the well-heeled would benefit from their re-election.
Councillor Brady was speaking at launch of his campaign in the Royal Hotel in Bray this evening where he was joined by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD.

He said;

“A Sinn Féin led progressive government would build a fair recovery, would invest in public services and would progress the cause of Irish Unity.

“Fine Gael and Labour talk of stability and chaos. The truth is they have delivered chaos in hospitals, chaos in housing and chaos in communities over the past 5 years. A Fianna Fáil government closed Wicklow District Hospital and the Orchard Welfare Home in Bray. Fine Gael and Labour closed the 24hr A&E in St. Columcille’s Hospital

“They have failed the health service and believe that it is acceptable that our grandparents, our parents our partners and our children languish on waiting lists and hospital trolleys. There are 23 people on trolleys in St. Vincent’s Hospital as we sit here this evening. This is mainly because they closed the A&E in Loughlinstown, Hospital, something all 5 Wicklow TDs supported. 415 people nationally lying on trollies.

“In the area of housing they have taken the side of the banks, landlords and developers. 1,500 children are sleeping in emergency accommodation, nearly 20% of them in Wicklow alone. We have 98,000 families in mortgage arrears across the state, while many families are faced with ever-increasing rents, evictions and homelessness.

“They claim their austerity policies have led to recovery. This is a lie; there is no recovery for the vast majority of ordinary citizens. Only the well heeled and those with the deep pockets have benefited and will continue to benefit from Fine Gael and Labour. Their policies have deepened and prolonged the recession.

“Since 2008 Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour have cut 32,000 jobs in the public service. They have placed the private debt of banks, bondholders and developers onto the shoulders of the people. A generation has been lost to emigration. This is the cost of their economic policies. The recovery in jobs has not been due to the actions of this government. For the first three years they simply done what the Troika told them and got lucky for the last two years.

“This is not the record that any government should be proud off. This is the record of parties that have failed to deliver. Parties that lack a vision, a plan and lack ambition for our people and our economy.

“Furthermore, I will bring an end to the parochial way of doing politics here in Wicklow. If and when elected I will be a TD for Arklow, Newtownmountkennedy, Coolfancy, Kilmac, Donard, Carnew, Lakin, Rathvilly and every other town and village in Wicklow/East Carlow

“Sinn Féin have a vision, grounded in the republican values of 1916. We have a plan for a fair recovery. A fair recovery that will benefit all our people equally. We want to lead a government that will deliver equality and prosperity, unity and inclusion. To build a true republic. That is our ambition. I am asking the people to vote for that vision in forthcoming General Election.”


As part of his speech this evening, Cllr Brady committed to the following:

Supporting business to continue to create quality jobs that pay across Wicklow/East Carlow. Investing in the TV and Film Industry, Tourism and making Wicklow the capital for outdoor recreational activities and water borne sports.

Giving the Fishing industry a better and fairer deal. Investing in the Fishing fleet and harbours in Arklow, Wicklow Town and getting the Greystones fishing boats back into our harbour.

Helping low and middle income families by increasing the minimum wage, abolishing the property tax, tackling extortionate mortgages, abolishing Water Charges and consigning Irish Water to the dustbin of history.

Ending the housing crisis, building 100,000 social and affordable homes, supporting the rights of tenants and helping those in mortgage distress.
Ending the trolley and waiting list crisis, increase spending on healthcare by €3.3 billion to move from a failing two tier health system to universal healthcare.

Rebuilding rural Wicklow by ensuring we have communities where the quality of life is matched by the quality of public services and which welcomes back those forced to emigrate over recent years.

Ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Securing a referendum on Irish unity and beginning the practical preparations for Irish reunification.

Rooting out corruption in politics and cutting the salaries of politicians. If elected I commit to taking home the average industrial wage and putting the remainder into providing a better constituency service for all in Wicklow/East Carlow.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Brady welcomes launch of the Wicklow 1916 programme of events and urges people to get involved in celebrations

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady who is a member of the Wicklow County Council 2016 Steering Group has welcomed the launch of the new Wicklow Life App. The App along the programme of events planned in Wicklow for the Centenary of the 1916 Rising were launched on Monday in County Buildings. The hope of the App is to evoke a sense of everyday life in County Wicklow during the year of the Rising.

Speaking after the launch Councillor Brady said “I welcome both the launch of the new Wicklow Life App and the programme of events that are planned to commemorate the Centenary of the 1916 Rising and the declaration of the Republic. Wicklow people played a leading role in the Rising and the preparations for it, so it’s only right that they are remembered, but more importantly we remember what it was they fought for and the Republic that was declared on the steps of the GPO on Easter Monday morning 1916.”

“In 1914 in the build up to the Rising, Kilcoole beach was used to land a considerable number of German guns that went on to be used in the Rising, many volunteers from Wicklow were involved in that operation. Another Wicklow man Robert Monteith from Newtownmountkennedy was a member of Rodger Casements Irish Brigade, along with Casement he landed on Banna Strand in Co. Kerry in a German U-Boat while trying to land guns there from the Aud in 1916. Other volunteers from right across Wicklow took an active role in the fighting during Easter week. Volunteers such as, Steenie Mulvey and Tom Sutton from Bray, Tom Cullen and Patrick Kavanagh from Blessington and Mick McDonnell and Tom Keogh from Knockananna, are just a few of the volunteers from Wicklow, who went out and fought for the Republic during Easter week.”

Cllr Brady continued “I’m particularly pleased that €30,000 has been secured to develop 5 Gardens of Remembrance across the County, one in each of the Municipal Districts, this is something that I’ve been pushing for at committee level since last year. The Glór na Cásca project will all have a number of elements in common: an engraved life size typographical replica of the 1916 Proclamation, a maintenance-free flag pole with Tricolour and 7 trees that would represent the 7 signatories of the Proclamation. I would also like to see Time Capsules been put together by local school children and buried in the gardens; these would be opened for the 150th anniversary of the Rising.”

“I want to pay tribute to all members of the Wicklow County Council 2016 Steering Group, particularly Catherine Wright who is the Councils Archivist and Genealogist for putting together the Wicklow Life App, In the app its hoped to evoke a sense of everyday life in County Wicklow during the year of the Rising through weekly updates of newspaper snippets featuring local news stories, advertisements and events as presented in the two main County Wicklow newspapers of the day – The Wicklow People and The Wicklow News-Letter. The App can be downloaded free at”

Cllr Brady concluded by saying “I also want to congratulate all the community groups from across the County that have come together to commemorate the 1916 Rising and the Republic that was declared. It’s important that everybody gets involved in the events that are planned throughout the year in Wicklow. Sinn Féin has also launched an exciting programme of events and I’m looking forward to the discussions and debates that will take place throughout the year. This is an ideal time for people to rededicate themselves to the true Republic that was declared in 1916, one that truly does cherish all the children equally.”

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to work at European level to protect the Murrough in Wicklow Town.

Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has stated that the Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty that needs to be protected and has pledged to identify and fight for any possible European funding available to provide for long term coastal protection. This follows a meeting on Friday between the MEP, Sinn Féin councillors John Brady, John Snell and representatives from the Save the Murrough and Friends of the Murrough groups.

Speaking after the visiting and walking the Murrough and inspecting the coastal erosion Liadh Ní Riada MEP said “The Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty; it’s the only parkland available in Wicklow Town and is an important local amenity. It must be protected from both coastal erosion and development. The area is environmentally important and is designated under the EU Habitats Directive as a candidate Special Area of Conservation for birds.”

“The level of coastal erosion happening at the Murrough is alarming and its imperative that the issue is pushed at both National and European levels. I’ve pledged to raise the Murrough at a European level to try getting the relevant protections enacted; I will also try identifying funding streams to ensure the necessary long term coastal protection is put in place to ensure the area is protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor John Brady said “My Sinn Féin colleagues Eamonn Long, Garrett O’Reilly and John Snell have worked over many years to try ensuring the Murrough is protected for the people of Wicklow to enjoy. A lot of credit must go to the late Cllr Pat Kavanagh who also championed this issue over many years and to the Friends of the Murrough group.”

“In 2004 Eamonn Long and I stood on the Murrough at the Monkey Pole which was at risk of getting washed into the sea due to coastal erosion. In the subsequent years the Monkey Pole has had to be moved further inland on two separate occasions.”

Cllr Brady concluded “A small amount of funding has been allocated by the OPW to carry out some short term coastal protection work that should have been carried out many years ago. We need now to work towards securing funding to protect the Murrough long term, there are plans there that need to be funded and advanced. The Murrough is environmentally important, we need to push to ensure it get designated under EU legislation as a Special Protection area, also that a Special Area Amenity Order (SAAO) is given. I commend the work that both Save the Murrough and the Friends of the Murrough are doing both to highlight the serious issues affecting the area and ensuring that its protected as an valuable public amenity for the people of Wicklow.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Gerry Adams set to launch party’s general Election campaign for the Wicklow East/Carlow constituency

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD will officially launch the party’s general Election campaign for the Wicklow East Carlow constituency. The event will take place at the Royal Hotel Bray on Monday 18th January at 7.30pm.

Speaking ahead of the official launch of the election campaign, Cllr Brady said “I’m delighted that the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will officially launch my election campaign on Monday 18th January in the Royal Hotel Bray. I’m proud to have been selected to represent Sinn Féin in the forthcoming election and I’m looking forward to running a vibrant, positive campaign and intend on bringing the positive message of change to as many homes across the constituency as possible. In the centenary of the 1916 Rising, we can make history again by returning the first Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow in over 90 years.”

“Sinn Fein takes nothing for granted; despite the constant speculation on who might form the next government, we in Sinn Fein are keenly aware that it will be the citizens of this state who are the final arbiter when it comes to deciding who might lead the country for the duration of the next Dáil term. For our part, Sinn Fein aim to present a credible alternative to the disastrous policies of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail. With fifty candidates standing across all constituencies in the country; for the first time ever citizens have the opportunity to reject the self- interest culture of the establishment parties and vote for a fairer recovery.”

Councillor Brady went on to say that Sinn Fein has been canvassing already across Wicklow and East Carlow and it is clear that people are ready for a change of government:
“The message on the door-steps is clear; after years of austerity, the so-called recovery has done nothing to alleviate the hardship on hard pressed families, businesses and community groups. Canvassers from all over the county are reporting back stories of intolerable distress caused by the many failures of this government. It is also clear that the effects of austerity are indiscriminate, with individuals and families from all social classes struggling needlessly.”

“For a number of weeks the Sinn Fein team have been criss-crossing the constituency knocking on doors and engaging with people. We are lucky to have a bright, energetic team bringing the Sinn Fein message of fairness and equality to every corner of the constituency. We would like to welcome as many people as possible to the launch on January 18th. Moreover, if anybody is interested in getting involved during the campaign they should feel free to contact Sinn Fein or myself at any time or approach us directly on the night”.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Brady calls for end of environmental vandalism as old Bray municipal dump gets washed into Irish sea

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has called for immediate action to be taken to stop the old Bray municipal dump from getting washed into the Irish Sea, the dump is located north of Bray harbour. During Storm Frank substantial new sections of the dump were washed into the sea, leading to Brady calling it environmental vandalism.

Speaking after visiting the Back Beach, which is north of Bray harbour, the Sinn Féin councillor said “What is going on at the Back Beach is nothing but environmental vandalism. I’ve been pushing for action to be taken for the last 10 years stop the estimated 200,000 tonnes of rubbish from getting washed into the sea. This was a local municipal dump and it was used right up to the 1980’s. Now that it’s closed and the cause of coastal pollution, nobody wants to take responsibility for it. The dump also straddles the County boundaries, so there is an element of passing the book between Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.”

Brady continued “During Storm Frank more large sections of the old dump were washed into the Irish Sea, this waste is then dispersed all along the coast line. Asbestos, rusted metal, heavy plastics, bricks, glass and bags can be seen at the foot of eroded cliffs and also sticking out from the unstable cliffs. This area is subject to ongoing coastal erosion, I’m beginning to believe that some people would just like the problem to be washed away, rather than deal with it. That is simply unacceptable and amounts to environmental vandalism.”

“This needs to be addressed without any further delay. A comprehensive plan needs to be put in place by all stakeholders, Wicklow County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and the Minister for the Environment. This site was used by Wicklow municipal dump and they can’t shirk their responsibilities. I have been pushing for the council to apply for a Blue Flag for Bray beach, however as long as waste from the old dump continues to get washed up along our shoreline, this will be a difficult thing to achieve.