Wednesday 27 April 2016

Installation of water meters must stop now - Brady

Installation of water meters must stop now - Brady

Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady has called on the government to stop the installation of water meters and the arrest of protestors. He made his comments as part of a Dáil debate on Irish Water

Deputy Brady continued;

“In February the people decided to elect 90 TD’s to this house with a mandate to scrap Irish Water and Water Charges.

The state has forcefully pursued the Irish Water agenda, with Gardaí and private security firms in tow.

Last year across the state over 188 ordinary citizens were arrested for opposing the installation of water meters, some of which are being installed by companies who have friends in high places.

On 14th April, 14 people were arrested in Wicklow Town for peacefully protesting against the roll out of the water metering programme which is costing over €540m. At that particular protest, not unlike many others, over 15 members of the Gardaí where present acting as private security for a private company.

Last year at a similar protest in Wicklow 17 people were arrested by a force of over 30 Gardaí. The irony here minister is due to cut backs, Wicklow Town has no Community Garda, yet Garda resources are being squandered in protecting Denis O’Brien.

Would those resources not be better spent protecting the communities from the crime gangs that are terrorising and murdering people in our communities?

Would it not be better to stop raiding the limited resources that local authorities have, in order to hand it over to Irish Water to install meters?

The mandate they have given to the majority of TDs here is for the total scrapping of Water metering, Irish Water and Water Charges.”

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Number of Wicklow motions passed at successful Sinn Féin Ard Fheis - Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady hailed the parties annual Ard Fheis as a huge success. The Ard Fheis was held on April 22nd and 23rd in the Convention Centre in Co Dublin, the eve of the centenary of the 1916 Rising. A large number of delegates from Wicklow attended the event, which seen 3500 delegates from across Ireland debate many motions over the course of the two day event.

Speaking after the event Teachta Brady said “The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis was a huge success, delegates travelled from across Ireland to debate many motions on many issues from the crisis in health and housing to mental health, workers rights and the fire service amongst many others”.

Brady continued “Delegates from Wicklow put forward numerous motions for the Ard Fheis and I’m delighted that all were passed by the membership. I proposed and spoke to a number of motions over the course of the Ard Fheis including one on the discriminatory two tier pay structures that have been introduced for nurses, teachers and the Gardaí.”

“The vital role people working in the public service do, particularly our Gardaí, nurses and teachers must be commended. However with the introduction of the discriminatory two tier pay scales that were introduced in 2011 for new nurses, teachers and Gardaí, have created an environment that is eroding morale, sapping goodwill and breeding discontent and resentment. Having a multiplicity of pay rates for the same work was a regressive concept and completely untenable.”

“The two-tier pay system must end. We need a fairer system that rewards people based on their work and is not defined by when they began their career. We need a system that delivers a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. I’m delighted that this motion passed unanimously by the membership.”

Brady concluded “The buoyant conference passed many progressive motions dealing with housing, water charges, rural affairs, health amongst others. Eight weeks after the election Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are still courting each other whilst there is no political accountability. We in Sinn Féin will talk to anyone; work with everyone who shares our goals, many of which were debated at our Ard Fheis.

We will not sit on our hands or stand idly by. However, we will not prop up a Fine Gael government that favours only the wealthy and disregards the rest. We will not facilitate the austerity Taoiseach Enda Kenny back into government and we make no apology for that. We will not play the game of make believe that Fianna Fáil are acting responsibly or in the ‘National Interest’.”


For more information contact

John Brady 087-0666780

Speech delivered by Teachta John Brady, Steenie Mulvey Cuman, Bray

Speaking in support of motion 73.

Ireland north and south has a low pay problem and it’s getting worse. Eradicating low pay is central to building a just, fair, equal and sustainable economy on the island of Ireland.

The twenty six counties has the dubious distinction of having the second highest percentage of low paying jobs in the OECD, coming a close second to the United States which was the highest.

There are continuous battles to try protect workers’ rights, entitlements and pay. We salute and stand in solidarity with the Dunnes Stores, Tesco, LUAS and all other workers who have fought and continue to fight for their rights and entitlements.

Big Jim Larkin once said “Those who want to divide the workers have resorted to the foulest methods”

Unfortunately those foulest methods are still being deployed.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the so called Labour party have not only failed to introduce robust legislation that would protect vulnerable workers from unscrupulous employers and vulture capitalists.

They are actually the drivers of the two tiered public services and worker’s pay and conditions.

They are the ones that have resorted to the foulest methods to divide workers. They are the ones that preside over the slave labour activation schemes such as Gateway and Job Bridge. They have also, as employers pitted worker against worker.

This Ard Fheis commends and fully recognises the vital role people working in the public service do, particularly our Gardaí, nurses and teachers.

However with the introduction of the discriminatory two tier pay scales that were introduced in 2011 for new nurses, teachers and Gardaí, they have created an environment that is eroding morale, sapping goodwill and breeding discontent and resentment. Having a multiplicity of pay rates for the same work was a regressive concept and completely untenable. As part of austerity-era cuts, the starting salaries for ­graduate teachers dropped 21%.

Over a career, the lower salary scales mean a loss of €100,000 for newly-qualified teachers, when compared with their more senior colleagues.

It could mean an income difference of about €8,000 between two nurses working alongside one another, doing exactly the same job, the only difference being when they started work.

The current entry level pay is €23,171 for Garda recruits. This has lead to one Garda recently describing it as Yellow Pack Pay, indeed the low discriminatory pay levels have seen three recently qualified Gardai resign from the Force.

Apart from the pay inequality between workers, two-tier rates lead to industrial disharmony and resentment in workplaces.

The two-tier pay system must end. We need a fairer system that rewards people based on their work and is not defined by when they began their career.

We need a system that delivers a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.

Friday 22 April 2016

Brady slams treatment of cancer patients

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady has slammed the outgoing government for their failure to tackle hospital waiting times in his constituency that are putting cancer patients at risk. He made his comments as part of statements on Health being heard in the Dáil today.

Deputy Brady said:

“The chaos in our health service is a direct consequence of the bad policies of the Fine Gael and Labour government, and of Fianna Fail before them.

“Wicklow has been served appallingly by successive governments when it comes to the provision of vital health services. What limited health services we did have been eroded by successive Governments.

“Fine Gael and Labour Government closed the 24Hr A&E in St. Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, that hospital has served my constituents well for many years, and the staff does fantastic work.

“Imposing the 21,000 patients of that A&E on the already overwhelmed St. Vincent’s University Hospital was bound to fail, and indeed it has failed all our citizens. Currently, as we are speaking, there are 21 patients lying on trollies in St. Vincent’s Hospital, 420 across the State.

“15,306 people are on outpatient waiting lists in St Vincent's, while nearly 900 patients have been waiting for treatment for over a year now.

“The true extent of the health crisis Minister doesn’t stop there. Last week St. Vincent’s University Hospital announced that it is to stop accepting new patients with malignant melanomas for four months, because it does not have enough consultants.

“Melanoma is the third most common cancer found in the 15-44 age brackets. In this State, there are more than 700 new cases diagnosed each year, unfortunately there are 100 melanoma-related deaths.

“Early diagnosis is key to treatment. For patients to be turned away from any hospital for four months is totally unacceptable.

“The Minister needs to take responsibility and ensure that the recruitment of a permanent consultant can take place immediately, so patients can get the necessary diagnoses and treatment.

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

Friday 15 April 2016

Brady welcomes progression of Arklow sewage treatment plant plans

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the progression of plans to construct a wastewater treatment plant in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, saying that such a facility will give Arklow the capacity to expand and grow as a town, as well as being a boon to the local environment as it will put an end to the pouring of waste into the Avoca.

Teachta Brady said “Arklow has been constrained as a town by a lack of a proper wastewater treatment plant. This has had a serious impact on the construction of new homes and businesses, not to speak of the effect on groundwater and the quality of drinking water in the area. The campaign to get a treatment plant has been ongoing for many years now, and I welcome this advancement.

Teachta Brady continued “The proposed plan will involve the construction of a Wastewater Treatment Plant for a planned population equivalent of 36,000. The site option that has been recommended is at the Old Wallboard Factory, North Quay, Ferrybank.

“I have consistently said that the treatment plant is the key to unlocking Arklow’s potential. Arklow is one of seven large towns identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as having no wastewater treatment. The practice of discharging untreated wastewater to the Avoca River is no longer acceptable and it’s had a detrimental effect on Arklow for far too long. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being drafted with a view to submitting a planning application in early 2017. Discussions are taking place with An Bord Pleanála as to whether this project will be a strategic infrastructure development (SID) so as its construction can be fast tracked.

“The construction of this plant will give Arklow a new lease of life as it provides the capacity to expand and grow as a town. It will also put an end to the outdated and environmentally harmful solution of dumping untreated waste into the River Avoca. It is crucial that the construction of this plant gets underway as soon as possible. The delivery of the sewage treatment plant is a priority for me, I intended on holding whatever government is in place to account, until it’s delivered."

Tesco is working illegally in ignoring Labour Court ruling-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has accused Tesco management of “Behaving irresponsibly and illegally in ignoring the recommendations of a Labour Court ruling in February which said that the company was to introduce a two per cent pay increase”.

Teachta Brady said “As well as ignoring the Labour Court recommendation for 1000 of its 14,500 Irish workforce Tesco also plans to introduce unilateral pay cuts of up to 15% from April 18th and to change workers’ conditions of employment, work patterns and bonus payments.”

“No company can erode the rights of workers through a desire a merely streamline pay arrangements. The Tesco workers in question signed contracts pre-1996 and now the company has decided that this is simply a nuisance that they can write off with the stroke of a pen. Rather than reward the loyalty of these workers, Tesco would seek to cut their pay and sick leave entitlements. Claims by Tesco that this is about streamlining its systems deliberately ignores the reality that for many workers their conditions of employment will be made worse and their pay packets will be cut.”

“The Fine Gael/Labour government failed to legislate to protect workers, especially low paid workers, and has cleared the way for the extension of zero hour contracts and the exploitation of low paid workers. Whatever shape the next government takes Sinn Féin will be demanding stronger workplace protections for staff.”

Teachta Brady concluded “I would urge Tesco to rethink its current workplace strategy, negotiate properly with the workers union, and step back from what could be a damaging industrial strike.”

Friday 8 April 2016

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has accused Fianna Fail of “Trying to ride two horses.”

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has accused Fianna Fail of “Trying to ride two horses.”

Teachta Brady said “The decision by Fianna Fáil to reject the Fine Gael offer of coalition had nothing to do with ideological or policy differences between the two. Fianna Fáil’s claim that it still wants to lead a minority government is ludicrous. Fianna Fáil wants to dictate the shape of the next government, retain the ability to pull it down at a time of its choosing and oppose Sinn Féin’s becoming the official opposition. They want to effectively try ride two horses at once, they want to control both the government and the opposition, and that can’t and won’t happen.”

“Citizens are not fooled by Mícheál Martin’s cynical posturing and there is a deepening and understandable public disillusionment with the ongoing charade which has now descended into a farce. If Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are unwilling to face up to their political responsibilities then both should come to the Dáil next Thursday admit they can’t reach agreement and clear the way for an election.

“Meanwhile the severe crises in health and housing are escalating, industrial disputes are increasing and other serious problems faced by families before the election remain unresolved. Not a day goes by that constituents aren’t contacting me on these and many other important issues; we have a caretaker government, with caretaker Ministers, who in reality don’t care as there is no political responsibility.”

Brady concluded “Only Sinn Féin brought forward constructive motions at the last two sittings of the Dáil to tackle some of these issues. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had no difficulty acting together to block these motions. They have no difficulty in working together on Wicklow County Council and many other councils and to exclude Sinn Féin and control power. They need to stop the farce, stop the posturing, or clear the way for another election.”

Dáil must act on mandate to abolish Irish Water – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called on the Dáil to recognise its mandate and abolish Irish Water and water charges as the votes of the public have clearly called for. He was making his comments following the arrest of 3 people this week in Greystones at a water meter protest.

Deputy Brady said:

“Last Tuesday, three more water protesters were arrested in Greystones as they opposed peacefully the installation of pointless, expensive water meters in their neighbourhood.

“We need a complete halt to this unnecessary waste of money and resources. Sinn Fein have published such a Bill to abolish Water Charges and Irish Water. We need an end to the sham caretaker arrangements that are in place to facilitate the schoolyard style negotiations going on between FG and FF.

“We need political accountability and the means to debate and put forward legislation for the abolition of Irish Water, not suspension.

“The people had their say on February 26th. This Dáil has a clear mandate for the abolition of water charges and yet it dithers.”