Friday 25 August 2017

Brady calls on Minister Harris to act following second public meeting for a GP Out-of-Hours Service for North Wicklow

Brady calls on Minister Harris to act following second public meeting for a GP Out-of-Hours Service for North Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has called on Minister Harris to honour his commitment to the people of North Wicklow and establish a GP Out-of-Hours Service.

The public meeting was held on Thursday evening in Greystones and heard from Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly TD and Sinn Féin Councillor for the Greystones Municipal District Nicola Lawless.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“The people of North Wicklow are sending a clear message to Minister Harris, they want him to honour the commitment he made to them regarding a GP Out-of-Hours Service which was promised to be up and running six months ago.

“It is not good enough for Minister Harris to simply say the funds are not available from the HSE. This excuse does not wash with the people here.

“When we look around at the current state of the hospital crisis, it is more important than ever that people can access health services locally in their communities. If we want to tackle overcrowding in our A&Es and hospitals, there has to be adequate access to care in communities first and foremost.

Cllr Nicola Lawless concluded:

“We have now had two successful public meetings in both Bray and Greystones, our campaign for this service will continue until the Minister acts on his promise. I would urge people to continue to sign and share our online petition which is available at ”

Action needed after extensive damage to parked cars at Florence Road Carpark in Bray - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called for additional security measures to be put in place at the Florence Road carpark in Bray after an incident of serious vandalism occurred on Wednesday night.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“On Wednesday night, eleven cars were vandalised in the carpark on Florence Road. This was a shocking act of destruction to cars that were parked there overnight.

“I understand that the level of damage to one car was so extensive that the car has had to be written off with all eleven cars having their windows smashed.

“This was an appalling crime to peoples’ property and I utterly condemn these actions.

“I am calling on Bray Municipal District to review security in the carpark to ensure that an incident such as this is not allowed to happen again. I have raised issues in the past as regards lighting in the carpark and while, this was improved, the Council must go further.

“When we have a situation where communities are left without adequate Garda presence and resources, we have no choice but to invest in additional CCTV and security measures to protect people and their property.

“Finally, I would appeal to any individuals who may have seen or heard anything in the Florence Road vicinity on Wednesday night to make contact with the Gardaí.”

Minister Doherty must clarify Government intentions behind Public Services Card - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Minister Doherty will face questions as to her intentions behind changes to the Public Services Card (PSC) when the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 is debated next month.

Teachta Brady said:

“The upcoming Social Welfare Bill includes a number of ambiguous provisions regarding the Public Services Card which I will be questioning Minister Doherty on in the coming weeks.

"The Bill seeks to enable a person to use the card as a means of establishing identity with service providers such as banks and utility providers. The Bill also allows for the person’s date of birth to be included on the card, if requested by an individual.

“These changes further point to an agenda on behalf of the Department to make the PSC a mandatory identity card. On the one hand, the Department continue to insist that the PSC is optional yet, on the other, they are forcing people to have one if they wish to apply for a first-time passport or to sit their driver theory test.

"In fact, the PSC will shortly be required for all passport and driving licence applications.

“So instead of an individual simply applying for a passport, they will first have to apply for a PSC and then for a passport, and the same for a driving licence.

“In recent days, a case came to light where a lady was left without her State Pension because she did not apply for a PSC. There was nothing optional about this case when it came to the PSC.

“The public are becoming increasingly concerned as to the motives behind the need for a PSC and the provisions included in the Social Welfare Bill only add to this.

"I will be questioning Minister Doherty on these provisions when the Bill is debated in September and I expect absolute clarity on the Government’s agenda with these cards.

“Sinn Féin will oppose any attempt by Government to introduce a national ID by stealth."

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Full investigation needed after heart attack sufferer turned away by hospital – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that it is utterly unacceptable that a man suffering a severe heart attack was turned away from St. Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown because he did not have a GP referral letter.

Deputy Brady said:

“Last Wednesday, a local man presented at St. Columcille’s complaining of severe chest pains and an inability to breath. He was told by staff that he would not be seen without a GP referral letter. Despite pleading for medical assistance, staff insisted that he would not be seen. When the man sat down in the waiting area, unable to remain standing, he was again told there was no point in waiting and that he would not be seen.

“The man took a bus back to Bray in an attempt to reach his GP’s office. After disembarking the bus, and walking towards the GP surgery, he collapsed on the Main Street. Luckily, passers-by stopped and eventually resuscitated him before flagging down a passing training ambulance whose crew stabilised the man and brought him to St. James’s. Having undergone major surgery, the man is now thankfully, in a stable condition.

“This is one case which serves to demonstrate the danger of downgrading local hospitals and replacing A&Es with Minor Injury Units. I have contacted the Hospital Manager to request an immediate meeting to discuss the protocols and hospital policy in place which seen a seriously ill man turned away from his local hospital. It is only for the heroic actions of passers-by in Bray that saved this man’s life.

“I am calling on Minister Harris to instruct the HSE to carry out an immediate investigation into this serious incident. Minister Harris must ensure that no person in medical distress will be turned away from any healthcare facility.”

Wicklow County Council 'lax attitude' towards collecting hundreds of thousands of Euros owed to them

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has criticised Wicklow County Council’s lax attitude towards recouping hundreds of thousands of Euros owed to them for lands on the Southern Cross in Bray. Speaking following receipt of Freedom of Information documents, Teachta Brady said: “Back in 2008, a 1.78 acre site on Southern Cross Road was sold by Wicklow County Council and Bray Town Council to limited company Nechouka at a cost of €14.4 million. The purchase of the 1.78 acre site from the Council was key to opening up a privately owned site that adjoined it.

“A subsequent application was lodged to develop a large retail store, a six screen cinema and other various retail outlets to be commenced within one year. As part of the lease agreement a clause was included to impose penalties if construction on site did not commence within year one as agreed, this was at a cost of €100,000 per annum. “Those familiar with the Southern Cross area will know that such a development was widely welcomed and anticipated due to the absence of any such services in the area.

“Over nine years later and much to the frustration of those living in the area, the site remains vacant. With that, Freedom of Information documents confirm that the company have not paid one cent in penalties as stipulated by their lease. In fact, Nechouka have been allowed to accrue monies outstanding to the Council of €750,000 over the past seven years. “Despite this, Nechouka remains a registered limited company and is profitable.

Cllr Michael O’Connor added: “As a public representative for the Southern Cross area, I am constantly being contacted by residents looking for basic services for their community. I have been requesting monies from Wicklow County Council for these facilities, services and minor necessities in Southern Cross and time and time again, these requests are rejected due to financial reasons. The latest request rejected due to cost implications was for litter bins for the area.

Teachta Brady concluded: “The Council’s excuse of having no money available for such requests will no longer wash with the community and a couple of friendly reminder letters to the company is clearly achieving nothing. “Wicklow County Council must now explain why they are allowing a two tier payment structure, one for ordinary taxpayers and another for big business. While, the people of Wicklow are being crippled paying property taxes and commercial rates, big businesses are allowed to ignore hundreds of thousands of euro owed to the Council without any repercussions.”

Friday 11 August 2017

Waiting times for Domiciliary Care Allowance ‘getting worse’– Brady

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has accused the Taoiseach of misleading the Committee on Social Protection as regards waiting times for the processing of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) in his previous role as Minister for Social Protection.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“Back in May, during Varadkar’s final engagement with the Committee as Minister, I questioned him as to the failure of his Department to meet their target of processing DCA within 6 weeks with a success rate of 2%.

“At the time, Leo Varadkar informed the Committee that they were resolving the issue yet, almost three months later and the waiting times are actually worse. In May, the waiting times for the processing of the payment was 15 weeks, it now stands at 18 weeks.

“This week, I was contacted by a constituent who received a text message from the Department informing her of the 18 week waiting time for processing her application for DCA.

“This means that there are people caring for children with severe disabilities who need constant attention and full time care being left waiting five months before they receive a decision on their application. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“Whatever “resolving” Minister Varadkar was doing back in May clearly has had the opposite affect and the situation is now worse than before. I will be writing to Minister Doherty in the hope that she will act to address this scandal. Whether additional staff has to be taken on in this unit or moved, this waiting time must reduce drastically and it cannot be allowed to get to these levels again.”

Thursday 10 August 2017

Brady warns of ‘privatisation agenda’ behind changes to operation of bus routes in Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said the announcement of changes to a number of Dublin Bus routes including three Wicklow routes signals a serious move to the privatisation of our public transport service.

Speaking following the announcement by Dublin Bus earlier today, Teachta Brady said:

“It was announced this morning that Dublin Bus has been unsuccessful in the tender process to operate 24 of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus routes in the Dublin metropolitan area. Go-Ahead, a private English bus operator, will instead begin taking over the operation of all 24 bus routes from November next year.

“Three of the twenty four routes are in Wicklow with the 184 from Bray Rail Station towards Newtownmountkennedy, the 185 from Bray Rail Station towards Shop River and the 45A from Dún Laoghaire Rail Station towards Kilmacanogue.

“Recent strike action by Dublin Bus workers exposed concerns at a privatisation agenda at work and this move seems to signal that intent.

“I am eager to learn from the NTA what made Go-Ahead more preferable than Dublin Bus who are already operating a decent service in both Wicklow and Dublin.

“I will be contacting Minister Ross and the National Transport Authority to raise concerns at the direction by which these changes are going. Public transport must remain just that, there cannot and should not be any interference in the network by private entities.”

Thursday 3 August 2017

Brady welcomes ‘long awaited progress of refurbishment works at Hillview Estate’

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady has welcomed the long awaited progress of refurbishment works at Hillview Estate in Wicklow Town.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome the fact that at long last works are progressing to deal with the dreadful slum like conditions of houses in the Hillview Estate.

“For many years, Sinn Féin has consistently called for these works to be carried out to address the many problems with properties in the estate such as dampness. Some work on the balconies and the re-tiling of stairways has already taken place.

“It is regrettable that despite Sinn Féin securing €20,000 for an audit to identify the cause of the problems in the houses as far back as 2013, progress is only now taking shape. However, this is badly needed and it is to be welcomed.

“On a site visit with Liadh Ní Riada MEP this week, I was delighted to speak to council officials and the architect and see this progress for ourselves. I look forward to these works being completed without delay.”

Wicklow Sinn Féin launches campaign to extend Dublin Bus from Kilcoole to Newtownmountkennedy

Wicklow Sinn Féin representatives have this morning launched a campaign calling on Dublin Bus to extend route 84 from Kilcoole to Newtownmountkennedy, the fastest growing village in the State.

Speaking about the campaign, Teachta Brady said:

“I am delighted to join my colleague and East Wicklow Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton in launching this public transport campaign for the people of Newtown and surrounding areas.

“Currently, there is no direct public transport service between Kilcoole and Newtown which is having a detrimental impact on both communities for young people and the elderly alike.

“The extension of route 84 into Newtown is essential to ensure that communities can travel easily between Kilcoole and Newtown including, students attending Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole. This will also be of benefit to the local economy of East Wicklow.

East Wicklow Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton added:

“Last week, we launched an online petition for people to sign in support of this initiative. The petition is available online at This week, we have made petitions available in local businesses across Newtown and in the coming days, we will going out door to door seeking support from the community.

“I would encourage people to support this local campaign and ensure that the people of Newtown have access to the most basic public transport.”