Monday 27 February 2017

Action needed to address dump at Bray Harbour which contains Asbestos and other dangerous chemicals- John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that there can be no further delay in dealing with hazardous waste including, toxic asbestos at Bray beach flowing into the Irish Sea.

Teachta Brady:

“Waste from the old municipal landfill formerly, operated by Bray Urban District Council is being continually exposed as it is being washed into the Irish Sea. I first raised this issue in 2005 and called for an environmental report on the matter.

“The actual volume of waste is now expected to contain twice as much as was thought in the 2005 report. With this, we also have to consider the amount of waste that has been lost, washed into the Irish Sea over the past 12 years.

“This has been confirmed in a new report carried out on behalf of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council at the request of the EPA.

“The dump contains more than 104,000 cubic metres of waste including, broken asbestos tiles, and excessive levels of ammoniacal nitrogen, potassium and manganese in the ground water.

“Both Wicklow and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councils along with the EPA have a responsibility to act without delay on the back of this report.

“I have been continuously raising this issue for the past 12 years and I will continue to do so at every opportunity until the health and safety of the public is no longer at risk and the environmental damage is no more. Having recently raised this issue with Minister Naughten, I will continue to give the issue priority until the site is secured and made safe.”

Friday 24 February 2017

John Brady TD welcomes unanimous Dáil support to abolish mandatory retirement age

Sinn Fein Social Protection Spokesperson John Brady TD has tonight welcomed the Dáil's unanimous support for his Bill to abolish the Mandatory Retirement Age. Speaking from Leinster House this evening, Deputy Brady said; "I welcome the unanimous support of the Dáil to bring an end to what has been a long-standing practice of discrimination against people who are forced to retire against their will. "This Bill will address a multitude serious issues facing older people including the fact that many are made to retire at the age 65 and then forced onto a job-seekers payment for a year before they can receive their state pension. "It will also alleviate the unjust and disproportionate impact on people, particularly women, who may have taken time out of work to raise families or to care for a loved one and are now left in the vulnerable position where they cannot draw full pension entitlements because they have not built-up sufficient contributions. The abolition of the mandatory retirement age will allow those people to continue working in order to bridge that gap. "This Bill is fundamentally about giving the worker, and not the employer, the choice as to when they can retire. It is a progressive and significant development, which will be welcomed by many people and organisations who have been campaigning on this issue for a long time.
"It is important to our society that the Dáil has tonight realised the imperative of removing the mandatory age of retirement and I now look forward to the passage of the Bill through the remaining stages without opposition

Thursday 23 February 2017

Brady calls on Minister to ensure Family Income Supplement payments will not be stopped for striking Tesco workers

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on Minister Varadkar to ensure that no person engaging in industrial action will have their Family Income Supplement stopped.

Teachta Brady said:

“On joining with Tesco workers on the picket lines in recent days, I was concerned at the number of workers who had mentioned threats made to them regarding the loss of Family Income Supplement payments for participating in strike action.

“Tesco’s use of bully boy tactics and threatening workers who are on FIS because of the Tesco contracts is totally unacceptable.

“This is not just another tactic used by Tesco management in an attempt to break the ongoing strike but a threat straight from the Department of Social Protection rulebook.

“The Department expect employees to declare that they are engaging in industrial action for their FIS payment to be stopped and then re-applied for once they return to work.

“Workers are then left to wait up to 6 months for FIS to be awarded to them again and are therefore, left with this payment that they are already entitled to.

“Minister Varadkar needs to ensure that his Department remove this rule immediately. He also needs to give assurances that no worker engaging in industrial action will have their payment cut.

“No worker engages in industrial action unless they have no other option. The State must not play any role in discouraging industrial action through such a financial sanction as this.

“On raising this with Minister Varadkar today, he has committed to look into the matter and I will be following up on this with him

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Brady calls for the abolition of mandatory retirement age

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD will be calling for the abolition of mandatory retirement age when Sinn Féin's Bill is debated in the Dáil on Thursday.

The Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2016 is being brought forward by Deputies John Brady and Denise Mitchell.

Teachta Brady said:

“Every year workers are forced to retire for no other reason than their age.

“This Bill seeks to put an end to this discrimination and give workers choice when it comes to their retirement.

“There are a number of exemptions in this Bill for those who work in security related employment such as An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces.

“This is a Bill about choice for older workers when it comes to their retirement. Instead, of being obliged to retire without any choice whatsoever at 65 or 66 years old, workers will be able to decide if they would like to retire immediately or continue working.

“This Bill will also address two major pension issues. It will end the current practice of those forced to sign on for Jobseekers payments at 65 for one year until they are eligible for the State Pension at 66. It will give people who have insufficient contributions for the State Pension an opportunity to continue at work to make up the additional contributions to avoid a reduced pension if they so wish.

“Last month, Minister Varadkar announced that it was his intention to make mandatory retirement ages illegal. Fianna Fáil have been consistently in favour of the abolition of mandatory retirement and also tabled a similar Bill after this once was introduced last December.

“I am calling on both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to support this Bill for the benefit of all workers.”

Friday 17 February 2017

Brady condemns illegal actions in attempt to break Tesco strike

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has condemned the painting over of the pedestrian crossing outside Tesco, Bray overnight.

Teachta Brady said:

“This is a new low for the management at Tesco who Mandate Trade Union has said were behind the painting over of the pedestrian crossing.

“Strike action by Tesco workers in Bray has been taking place at the pedestrian crossing since Tuesday.

“The damage caused is not only outrageous but also, is a criminal offence as the pedestrian crossing is on a public road.

“I have been in contact with the Gardaí and Wicklow County Council; both are taking these actions very seriously.

“The blatant disregard for the local community especially, for young children who use the crossing daily on their way to school, with four schools in the area, is unacceptable.

"These careless actions threaten health and safety and have made crossing the road extremely dangerous.

“I have been supporting Tesco workers in their strike action at Bray and Greystones and I continue to support the workers.

"Any actions taken by management that impacts on the community are especially unnecessary and this behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Thursday 16 February 2017

Only Wicklow TD with no confidence in this Government - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that Enda Kenny and his Government are “on borrowed time.”

Speaking as the only Wicklow/East Carlow TD to vote against a vote of confidence in the Government last night Teachta Brady said:

“Last night, the Fine Gael led minority government scraped through a vote of confidence thanks to their partners in Fianna Fáil.

“In the end and after all of the talk of false concern and crocodile tears over the disgraceful handling of the McCabe case, Deputies Pat Casey and Stephen Donnelly decided they had no opinion on the matter after all.

“The actions of Fianna Fáil’s forty-four TDs have kept this chaotic government in power. They have put their own narrow, electoral considerations ahead of the needs of the people.

“They have decided that homelessness, a two tier health service and growing inequality are tolerable because the timing for an election does not suit them.

“It is apparent that Enda Kenny does not retain the support of his own party let alone the confidence of the people.

“It is also apparent that Sinn Féin is the only party of opposition in the Dáil. As a representative for the people of Wicklow/East Carlow I certainly will not be sitting on the fence on any issues.”

Wednesday 15 February 2017

John Brady TD expresses serious concern over the temporary closure of Kilmacanogue Post Office

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has expressed serious concern at the temporary closure of Kilmacanogue post office.

Teachta Brady said:

“It is worrying to see the closure of another post office in a small community in County Wicklow following on from the recent closure of Laragh/Glendalough post office.

“The site notice was put in place in Kilmacanogue yesterday announcing the immediate closure of the post office without any prior notice to customers.

“This is a vital service for the people of Kilmacanogue and the surrounding areas after an attempted closure was avoided only a couple of years ago.

“I have been in contact with An Post today in relation to the circumstances around the closure and to voice my concerns at the need for the post office to be re-opened for the community.

“Following my discussions with An Post I have been informed that there have been some issues of concern expressed by An Post that need to be resolved by the contractor.

“There is a responsibility on An Post not to use any potential issues as a trojan horse to close this post office. There is a duty of care to the people of Kilmacanogue and surrounding areas.
“For now, all social protection payments have been diverted to the post office on Quinsborough Road in Bray.

“I intend to keep in touch with An Post in the coming days and I hope that a resolution will be reached to ensure that the post office is reopened and the vital services provided continue in the area.”

Tuesday 14 February 2017

John Brady TD to host public meetings on Health Service in Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has announced dates for his upcoming public meetings ‘Save our Health Service’ to be held in Arklow and Baltinglass.

Teachta Brady said:

“I am delighted to be rolling out public meetings to discuss the health service in Arklow and Baltinglass.

“At a time when every sector of our health service is in crisis I feel it is important for the people of Wicklow to have their say on their health service.

“The ongoing trolley crisis and waiting list scandal has put health firmly back on the political agenda and this cannot be lost. In Wicklow alone, there are 9,811 people waiting on an Outpatient appointment.

“This meeting will give people an opportunity to share their views on the current health service available in their own area, the concerns that need to be addressed, as well as a vision for our health service going forward.

“The need for a 24/7 ambulance service to be in place in both Arklow and Baltinglass is central to the health service in both towns and this must be delivered.

“Sinn Féin has embarked upon nationwide outreach on the need for an Irish National Health Service.

“This engagement is part of a process to highlight to people the system that they should be demanding of their elected representatives, that puts their health firmly at the centre of health deliberations, irrespective of income.

“Speakers at the public meetings will include Louise O’Reilly TD who is Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Health and Liadh Ní Riada MEP.

“I am looking forward to hearing the views of the people of Arklow and Baltinglass and hearing their vision for the future of their healthcare service in Wicklow.” ENDS

Meeting details: Thursday February 23rd at 7.30pm in the Arklow Bay Hotel, Thursday March 2nd at 7.30pm in Germaines Hotel, Baltinglass

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Government must ensure maximum protection for Workers’ pensions – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said when it comes to protecting workers’ pensions, Minister Varadkar does not want to know.

Deputy Brady was speaking last night during Fianna Fáil’s Private Members Business on the need to tackle the issues around defined benefit pension schemes.

The Wicklow TD said:

“Last week, Sinn Féin launched a Bill to ensure that no company with positive net revenues or which has a parent company with positive net revenues would be allowed to close a defined benefit scheme unless this scheme has reached a minimum 90% funding standard.

“Our Bill would prevent a similar situation to what happened last November in Independent News & Media. This would send a clear message to profitable companies that you will not be allowed to simply decide to renege on and walk away from your obligations to your employees.

“Minister Leo Varadkar’s excuse for doing nothing to protect employees is for fear of ‘threatening a company’s financial stability’ or ‘rendering some employers insolvent’. However, we are talking about companies who are profitable and therefore, the Minister’s argument makes no sense.

“The Minister’s rhetoric of his Department scrutinising issues around defined benefit pension schemes is achieving nothing and this is not good enough for workers in this State.

“The inaction by Government sends out a message to companies right across this State that they are free to consciously wind down defined benefit schemes and walk away from their pension obligations. Sinn Féin absolutely oppose this.

“Despite some concerns, Sinn Féin will support this Bill, but we will be looking at ways to improve this Bill to ensure maximum protection for workers.”

Thursday 2 February 2017

Donnelly’s move to Fianna Fáil ‘a long time coming’ – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said that Deputy Stephen Donnelly’s move to Fianna Fáil has been a long time coming.

Teachta Brady said:

“The news that Deputy Donnelly is to join Fianna Fáil is disappointing, but not surprising. It is something that has been talked about over recent years and, even more so, since his departure from the Social Democrats last year.

“This time last year, Deputy Donnelly stood on a platform of fighting for a strengthened economy and an improved health service. Today, he joins the very party that single handily destroyed our economy and unashamedly presides over a two tier health service.

“Fianna Fáil’s privatisation agenda is well known, be it in the health service or our transport service, and this could not be further from the platform Deputy Donnelly stood on only last year.

“On a day like today, I recall Deputy Donnelly’s stance after the last General election when a Government was being formed and his disgust at Fianna Fáil even considering sharing power with Fine Gael having made promises to the contrary.

“I would question Deputy Donnelly’s own promises to the people of Wicklow in the last election and I wonder if the thousands of people who voted in good faith for Deputy Donnelly in Wicklow are feeling betrayed.

"It is hard to see how the ordinary grassroots members of Fianna Fáil will relate to Donnelly and what he stands for.

“As the only opposition TD representing Wicklow/East Carlow, I fully intend to hold Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to account.”