Monday 3 December 2018

Public consultation launched on proposal to deal with Wicklow dump that is getting washed into Irish Sea

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the public consultation process that has commenced by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on plans to address the Old Bray landfill on the North Beach in Bray that is being washed into the sea. The consultation process is taking place prior to the detailed design and construction of the coastal protection project.

Welcoming the consultation process Teachta Brady said “I’m delighted that after campaigning for the last 13 years to get a resolution to the serious environmental problem at the old landfill at North Beach in Bray, things are now progressing. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has opened a consultation process which is taking place prior to the detailed design and construction of the coastal protection project. The council has chosen a preferred option and this is now on public display.”

“The old dump contains more than 104,000 cubic metres of waste including, broken asbestos tiles, and excessive levels of ammoniacal nitrogen, potassium and manganese. Due to coastal erosion the old landfill has been getting washed into the Irish Sea, causing an environmental disaster.”

“The proposed work consists of the placing of an armourstone revetment at the toe of the cliff at the landfill and stabilising the cliff face above by re-grading to a long term stable slope. The work will prevent contaminated material reaching the foreshore. It is proposed to maintain beach access by means of a path along the cliff top and a set of access steps down through the revetment at the northern end.

Bray Sinn Féin representative Grace McManus said “Addressing the environmental disaster at the old Bray landfill has been a priority for Sinn Féin for many years. It’s a huge achievement to get plans to address the erosion at the dump to this advanced stage. The public consultation process is open until December 14th and people can view the proposals on the website for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, It’s critical that once the plans are approved that work commences as quickly as possible.”

Teachta Brady concluded “It’s been a long process to get to this stage. We need to finally close the destructive environmental chapter. I will continue to lobby the Minister to ensure that the funding is in place to allow the work proceed without delay once the plan is approved. “Ends

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Brady welcomes agreement on use of premises for Wicklow rough sleepers for cold weather initiative

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the news that Wicklow County Council has finally secured the use of a premise that will be used over the winter months for rough sleepers in the County.

Teachta Brady welcomed the news and said “This is welcome new and brings an end to many months of hard work to get agreement on the use of the premises. Full credit must go to the housing staff in Wicklow County Council who have worked tirelessly on this issue. The premises in Bray will be used as part of the cold weather initiative for the Counties rough sleepers. This is something I’ve worked closely with the council on as it’s badly needed as the number of rough sleepers continues to grow.”

“It is anticipated that it will be open in the next couple of weeks, however with the weather getting colder it’s important that it will be done as quickly as possible.“
Teachta Brady continued “This is good news and a big well done to the council for working on this and securing the premises. Rough sleepers will be referred to the premises which will have a team in place to manage it. I would also like to pay tribute and thank all the groups across the County working with our homeless people particularly all the team in the Bray Area Rough Sleepers Support group (BARSS) for all the work they do for rough sleepers in the Bray area.

“We need now to put emergency accommodation in place permanently for the homeless and I will continue to work with the council on this as there is a chronic shortage of suitable emergency accommodation in Wicklow.”

Teachta Brady concluded “Wicklow Sinn Féin will again this year be holding our annual Christmas homeless shoe box appeal for homeless people in the County. Boxes can be dropped into either the Bray or Arklow Sinn Féin office anytime between now and Dec 21st, or by contacting any of the Sinn Féin team across the County, these will be then distributed to homeless families and individuals.”

Monday 19 November 2018

Concern as National Transport Authority confirm they are proposing to privatise the 133 Bus Éireann route

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed serious concerns about the 133 Bus Eireann route after the NTA confirmed to him that the route is on a list that may be privatised. The NTA have informed the Sinn Féin TD that they are proposing that route 133 be included in a package that will be removed for Bus Éireann’s contract and be competitively tendered

Speaking after receiving the news from the NTA Teachta Brady said "I am very concerned for the future of the 133 Bus Éireann route. In correspondence I received back from the NTA they inform me that they are proposing that the 133 be included in a package of routes that will be removed from Bus Eireann’s contract and competitively tendered”.

“In October the NTA said that they intended on to tendering out another 10% of Bus Éireann routes with the intention of Direct Award Contracts for public bus services from December 2019”.

“Recently we have seen the straightening out of the 133 route, the bus no longer goes through Bray town centre, nor does it stop at places like Barrindarrig. I warned that the changes were being made so the route would be more attractive for the private sector; it certainly wasn’t done for the public. Unfortunately that prediction now seems to be becoming a reality”.

Wicklow East Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton said "Handing over millions of taxpayers money to private Corporations whilst at the same time paying workers a pittance is nothing less than a State supported race to the bottom".

“The determination of the NTA, supported by the Thatcherite ideology of the Fine Gael-led Government, to aggressively attack semi-state jobs cannot be allowed to go unchallenged by those from across the political spectrum that profess to oppose the privatisation of State services”.

Teachta Brady said “Sinn Féin is completely opposed to the privatisation of our public transport services. As part of the consultation process which is currently underway we submitted a comprehensive submission outlining our opposition to the privatisation of more Bus Éireann routes”,

Muireann Dalton concluded “I have organised a public meeting to oppose the privatisation of the 133 route and to discuss other issues within our public transport service. It will take place on Thursday 22nd November in the Parkview Hotel in Newtownmountkennedy at 7pm and all are welcome”.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Brady says that the vacant Wicklow District Hospital could be used temporarily as an alternative to the Grand Hotel for refugee accommodation

Speaking in the Dáil today Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady sharply criticised the expansion of the Direct Provision system by opening a new accommodation centre in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town. He also said that the vacant Wicklow District Hospital in Wicklow Town could be used to provide temporary accommodation if needed, whilst the Direct Provision system is dismantled. Teachta Brady has called on Wicklow TD and Minister for Health Simon Harris to work with the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton to make it happen.

Teachta Brady said “Since I broke the news about the Grand Hotel being used as a Direct Provision Accommodation centre, it has angered a lot of people about the impact the loss of the hotel would have on Wicklow Town and the tourism industry. Today I raised the issue directly with the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton in the Dáil and offered him a temporary solution whilst the Direct Provision system is dismantled. ”

“I outlined my opposition to the shameful and totally unacceptable Direct Provision system and that it needs to be dismantled. I also outlined the concerns about the loss of Wicklow Towns only hotel and the impact it will have.”

"Whilst criticising current Government policy and the opening of the Direct Provision centre in the Grand Hotel, I also provided the Minister with a temporary solution to provide accommodation to refugees if there are capacity issue in the current system.”

“The government forcibly closed the doors to Wicklow District Hospital in Wicklow Town in 2010, citing a dubious report. The vacant premises is in State ownership, close to all services and I believe that it could be brought on stream very quickly. A small amount of work may be required, but this could be done cheaply and quickly, and it would ensure we don’t lose our only hotel.”

“Minister Stanton has given a commitment that he would explore my proposal. Wicklow TD Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to immediately work with the Minister Stanton on this proposal and make sure it happens, ensuring that Wicklow Town’s only Hotel remains open.”

“Direct Provision is the incarceration of innocent people; it’s often called the Magdalene Laundries of our time and with good reason. The proposal I have given the Minister would mean moving away from paying for accommodation from the private sector, but also allow us to develop secure, safe, publicly provided accommodation that is suitable to the needs of asylum seekers.”

Teachta Brady concluded “We also need to ensure that the process for seeking asylum is not so long and torturous, and that asylum seekers can have their applications processed within a reasonable timeframe. This in turn would free up accommodation.”

Opening of Direct Provision accommodation centre in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town is a retrograde step-Brady

A number of Wicklow Sinn Féin public representatives have voiced serious concerns regarding plans from the Reception and Integration Agency to extend the Direct Provision system and open a new accommodation centre in the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town. They describe Direct Provision as “basic denial of human rights” and have called for the system to be “dismantled”.

Speaking after receiving news that it has been proposed by the Reception and Integration Agency to open a new Direct Provision accommodation centre in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town, Sinn Féin TD John Brady said “I am deeply concerned that rather than trying to dismantle the shameful and totally unacceptable Direct Provision system, this government is expanding the number of centres that are currently operated.”

“Direct Provision is incarceration of innocent people, most of whom are at the most vulnerable points in their lives. We hear daily more stories of cramped, hostile and sometimes dangerous conditions within these centres. The average stay in Direct Provision is 2-3 years with many staying much longer. For the Department to open another centre in the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town in the midst of public outrage at the system is to show utter contempt for public opinion and refugees rights alike.”

Muireann Dalton who is the Sinn Féin representative for Wicklow Town said “There are 35 accommodation centres operated across the State and the plan to open a new centre in the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town is a retrograde step and it reflects an attitude which in previous years created the dreadful Magdalene laundries and the industrial schools.”

“People seeking asylum are welcome in County Wicklow. Our party policy is to end Direct Provision and to provide more humane, human rights based approach to supporting refugees. The department's latest move on this is in stark contrast to this position. Those with responsibility must deliver for those seeking refuge in our County.”

Bray Sinn Féin representative and member of the North Wicklow says No to Direct Provision group, Grace McManus said “Direct Provision is often called the Magdalene Laundries of our time and with good reason. Centres are often referred to as ‘holding camps’ and ‘sites of deportability’. Similarly, the Free Legal Advice Centre states that these privately owned centres, administered by this Government, constitute a ‘direct provision industry’, which makes a profit on direct provision.

“It's a privatised system, initiated by Fianna Fáil, run by highly profitable private companies making over €50m a year. There remains no accountability or transparency and no clear process of tendering for these centres. There are no support services or expertise amongst staff working on sites.

Deputy Brady concluded “The system of Direct Provision is a basic denial of human rights. The system has been in place for 17 years. It was originally intended to accommodate asylum seekers for six months, but the reality is that many people have had to grow up in Direct Provision.”

“The International Protection Act which was meant to solve this catastrophic system appears now to have been nothing but a Trojan horse. It has put Direct Provision on a permanent footing. Direct Provision must be scrapped. There are other models which can be looked at and which NGO’s such as the Irish Refugee Council, Doras Luimní, and Nasc have been proposing. We need to introduce a new system which treats people humanely; a system we can be proud of rather than feel shameful of.”

“The opening of a new Direct Provision centre in Wicklow Town will not serve the vulnerable people arriving in Ireland seeking International protection, nor will it serve the recently launched Wicklow tourism strategy. The only people it does serve are those private entities making millions out of this system and it needs to be scrapped.”

Thursday 8 November 2018

Irish Rail need to immediately remove barrier to new schools-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on Irish Rail to immediately reopen public access from the Bray Harbour area to the new Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools that are located on the old Bray Golf Clubs lands.

Teachta Brady said “Access to the new Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools from the Bray harbour area for pupils is a critical part of the overall plans that were approved for the construction of the schools. Irish Rail need to immediately remove a palisade they erected blocking the access under the railway line to allow students and teachers get to school.”

“There has always been public access under the railway line at this location. It was temporarily blocked off during construction of the Dargle flood protection scheme, with the intention of having it reopened. Having access to the new schools from this location was a critical part of the planning permission that was granted for the Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools. Provision was made for pedestrian and bicycles along with restricted vehicular access. This was deemed necessary to alleviate any potential traffic problems on the Dublin Road due to the relocation of the two schools.”

Teachta Brady continued “Unfortunately when access at this location was temporarily restricted to the public during construction of the schools, Irish Rail erected a palisade fence across the newly constructed footpaths and roadway. Students who could use this entrance have to make a long detour to get to the schools on the old golf club lands. It’s also estimated up to 70 students could be dropped off to the harbour area to walk from there to school if the access was open. This would result in up to 70 less cars using an already busy Dublin Road.”

“I have been in contact with Irish Rail, the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Wicklow County Council on this issue over the last few weeks with a view of having this issue resolved. Whilst Irish Rail needs to ensure that the railway line is protected, I believe that the measures that have been put in place in the area are more than adequate to ensure that this is the case. The current situation is crazy, a new roadway along with footpaths and cycle lanes have been constructed on both sides of the fence which was erected by Irish Rail. They need to remove the fence and open the critical artery to the schools immediately.”

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Important milestone in addressing chronic traffic congestion on M11 as ARUP consultants appointed-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed as an important milestone the appointment on Tuesday of ARUP consultants start the design process of the M11 upgrade project. The appointment of the consultants follows the needs assessment report that was published in 2017. The report recommended the upgrading of the M11 to 3 lanes.

Speaking after discussions with the National Roads Design Office Teachta Brady said “The appointment of ARUP consultants to start the design process of the M11 upgrade is an important milestone and will be warmly welcomed by the many thousands of road users caught in lengthy and growing traffic jams along the M11 on a daily basis. The appointment of ARUP on Tuesday starts the design process that will see the M11 upgraded to 3 lanes.”

“Over the coming weeks a dedicated project website is to be set up to keep people informed of the project. A public consultation day is also to be organised, this will be held locally and it’s anticipated that it will happen in December. It’s important that people engage at the early stages of the design process, and I urge people to attend this consultation day once the date is set.”
“It’s important that this critical project progresses as swiftly as possible, and the government need to ensure that funding is ring-fenced to ensure that once the design and planning process is exhausted that it can proceed to construction without delay.”

Brady continued “I also welcome the progress on the developing the parallel service road in Kilmacanogue. It’s hoped to move to the tendering stage with that project in the coming weeks, this will hopefully see the appointment of a contractor to carry out the works over the coming months. This will finally address the lethal situation at the service station on the southbound lane on the M11 in Kilmac. There are issues regarding pedestrians using the M11 that need to be addressed however.”

Teachta Brady concluded “The traffic congestion on the M11 is having a big negative impact on Wicklow and its citizens and the upgrade of the M11 is crucially important to allow the County develop economically and socially. The road upgrade is not the panacea to all the traffic problems however; we also need to see progress on extending the LUAS to Wicklow and ultimately the Metro. We also need urgent movement on the N81 upgrade scheme that has been shelved and I will continue to lobby the Minister on the project.” Ends

Friday 19 October 2018

Time for Fianna Fáil to put up or shut up on Donard Post Office-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that he is disappointed with the decision to go ahead and close Donard Post Office by the independent reviewers. Brady also questioned the independence of the reviewers and said that it’s now purely a political decision that will keep open or close Donard Post Office.

Speaking this week after An Post confirmed that following the review or a substantial number of appeals to the independent review body the closure of Donard post Office will now go ahead at the end of December Teachta Brady said “Whilst I’m deeply disappointed with the decision taken by the review group to go ahead with the closure of Donard post office, I’m not surprised. The review group just looked to ensure that the criteria that was laid down by An Post was adhered to when the decision was taken to close the post office. It didn’t look at the social or economic impact the decision would have, nor did it look at alternatives such as community run post offices.”

“Unbelievably it was An Post that informed the many people this week by post that the decision to close Donard post office was upheld and not the independent review body where the many appeals were sent to. It was a standard template reply that didn’t address the individual points that were made; I believe that the entire review process lack credibility and calls into question the independence of the entire process. The full review document, detailing how each point we made was dealt with, in particular the points about population and distance for over one third of the community from the replacement post office should now be made public.”

Teachta Brady continued “From the outset it was apparent that only government action would save all 159 post offices earmarked for closure in this round of cuts. Despite all the talk from Fianna Fáil TDs about keeping the post offices open, it was surprising not to see any provision in the recent Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil negotiated budget to ensure Donard and the other post offices remain open. With a change of Minister and the commencement of discussions on the Confidence and Supply arrangements between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, this is now where the focus will be. It is now time for Fianna Fáil to stop trying to ride two horses, they need to put up or shut up and ensure that Donard and the other post offices remain open”.

Teachta Brady concluded “The Government must act to save these post offices, they can’t be silent bystanders and allow the heart be ripped out of rural Ireland. I look forward to welcoming members of the Save Donard Post Office Group to the Dáil next Tuesday when they will take their protest to the Minister for Communications Richard Bruton, arriving with a convoy of tractors and 4x4’s.”

Thursday 18 October 2018

Decision to deport Bray child 8,000 miles must be revoked-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that common sense must prevail in the case of 9 year old Bray native Eric Zhi Ying Mei Xue who is facing deportation to China.

Speaking after raising the issue again with the Justice Minister Teachta Brady said “For over a year now I have been working on this case for Eric and his mum, it’s devastating to think that having spend his entire life in Bray that someone can make a decision to up heave him and send him over 8,000 miles to the other side the earth. Eric was born in Ireland, and has gone through school here, all his friends are here. He is Irish and knows nothing else”.

“I have made numerous appeals to the Justice Minister over the course of the last year for him to revoke the deportation order on humanitarian grounds. It’s fantastic now to see the entire community row in behind the campaign for Eric to stay here in his home, nearly 37,000 people have signed a petition that was launched only a few days ago”.

“Clearly there is something wrong with the system that allows something like this to happen. In 2004 Sinn Féin and I campaigned against the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution which was introduced by the Fianna Fáil–Progressive Democrat coalition and supported by Fine Gael. The change resulted in children born on the island of Ireland to parents who were both foreign nationals no longer had a constitutional right to Irish Citizenship. I opposed that change then because it was inevitable there would be serious repercussions”.

“I have again appealed to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to see common sense here and revoke the deportation and allow Eric to become an Irish citizen and stay in his home with his friends and family.”

Slow progress made in meeting educational needs in West Wicklow

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed progress that has been made in providing a new extension onto Blessington Community College in West Wicklow; he however said that the process needs to be fast-tracked to meet the educational needs of the area.

Teachta Brady said “The current situation with Blessington Community College is totally unacceptable. The school has been awaiting a badly needed extension now for a number of years. A large number of pupils are taught in prefabs, many of which aren’t fit for purpose. The educational needs of the area are also growing at a rapid pace, putting more pressure on the school.”

“I’ve had a number of meetings with the Kildare Wicklow Educational Training Board (KWETB) about Blessington Community College. The Schedule of Accommodation which lays out the needs of the school into the future have been signed off. The approval of a design team for the new extension is now awaited.”

“As this is a lengthy process the KWETB has agreed to replace some of the older prefabs that aren’t fit for purpose with new modern ones. They will also provide four additional classes to cater for the expanding needs of the school. A planning application to Wicklow County Council is to be made in the coming weeks for the new prefabs. An application to the Dept. of Education for funding to carry out essential works in the school is also to be made.”

Teachta Brady “Blessington Community College is a fantastic school with fantastic teachers; unfortunately the facilities aren’t to the level they should be. I welcome that action is now finally been taken to address the educational needs of Blessington. I however don’t believe that any child should be taught in a prefab, so the entire process needs to be fast-tracked. If not it could be another 3 years before the badly needed extension is finally delivered.”

Teachta Brady continued “I will continue to engage with the Department of Education and the KTETB to ensure this critical educational project is delivered for Blessington.” End

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has described Budget 2019 as “a Budget for booming banks and vulture funds”.

Teachta Brady said the government is attempting to buy the votes of the people with the scraps from the table while the real prizes have been given to landlords and those profiteering from the housing crisis. Today’s Budget represents a major let down. Minimal additional supports have been offered across the health, education, welfare and housing areas.

Teachta Brady said: “Despite the hyped up Fianna Fáil rhetoric that Budget 2019 would be a Housing Budget, the figures indicate that only a paltry additional €120m has been allocated for capital investment in housing for 2019 above existing commitments.

“This will only deliver just 490 additional new social homes on top of what was already committed to. The government real social housing target for 2019 is now only 7,900 and falls well short of what is needed.

“We need a target of at least 10,000 new social homes very year. Which Sinn Féin has provided for in our Alternative Budget.

“Meanwhile, 19,430 subsidised private rental tenancies will be used to meet social housing need. 70% of the governments social housing targets for 2019 are subsidised private units, once again confirming their over reliance on the private rental sector.

“As for the €89m announced for affordable housing via the site services fund, €75m of this is carry over from 2018. This means just €14m in additional funding is being allocated for affordable housing in 2019. Despite all the boasting from Fianna Fáil in recent days, all they will have delivered in their budget negotiations is a paltry 350 affordable homes above what was already committed by Government.

“The budget also contained paltry increases for traveller specific accommodation and adaptation grants. There was also no mention of a latent defects fund to assist those living in badly built properties bought during the boom years.

“The Government also ignored the needs of struggling renters. They have granted an unnecessary tax relief to landlords while doing nothing to reduce rents or halt rent increases.

“This Budget is just a continuation of the failed housing policy of Rebuilding Ireland and the government’s over reliance on the private rented sector in particular to deliver insecure social homes.

“Today, they could have sided with the tens of thousands of people unable to access secure or affordable housing. They could have stood with the homeless, those on Council waiting lists or those struggling to rent or buy. Instead they turned their backs on those in need making it clear that the cosy coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are unwilling or unable to tackle the housing crisis.”

Thursday 20 September 2018

Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday September 25th.

Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday September 25th.

Speaking ahead of the debate Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady said “Fine Gael’s housing policies are not only failing to tackle the housing crisis, they are actually making things worse. They have been in office for seven years and during that time homelessness has reached unprecedented levels. During their first term of office they slashed investment in social and affordable housing and cut staffing levels in Council housing Departments.

“Their current flagship housing policy, Rebuilding Ireland, has been in place for two years and the crisis shows no sign of abating. The plans underinvestment in social and affordable housing and over reliance on the private sector to meet social and affordable housing need repeats the mistakes of previous Fianna Fáil administrations with the same disastrous results.

“Eoghan Murphy has been Minister for Housing for 15 months. During his tenure, homelessness has increased 25%, child homelessness has increased 34% and pensioner homelessness has increased by 40%. Rents and house prices continue to rise well beyond affordable levels. Tens of thousands of homes lie vacant across the state. Real social housing output in 2018 will actually be lower than in 2017. Not a single affordable home has been delivered by any Government scheme under his watch. And private sector supply is in the main overpriced and unaffordable.

“Meanwhile, the Minister responsible attacks Local Authorities, local councillors, and opposition parties in the Dáil for the failures of his Government. During his months in office, he has opted for spin over substance and, crucially, has not been willing to accept that his policies are failing.

“The true test of a Minister is that, when Government policy is not working, they have the courage to go to cabinet and propose a change of course. Instead, Minister Murphy continues to defend the indefensible. He is so out of touch and out of his depth that he doesn’t even realise that what he is doing is making the crisis worse.

“In light of all of this, Sinn Féin believes that he must go, but so too must Rebuilding Ireland. Our motion of no confidence makes clear that we need a change of Minister and a change of policy. Without both of these things, the housing crisis will continue to get worse.

“It is disappointing that Micheál Martin has so far refused to support our motion. If Fianna Fáil are content to allow a failing housing plan and failing Housing Minister to remain in place, that is a matter for them, but their support for Minister Eoghan Murphy and Rebuilding Ireland will come at a cost; increased homelessness, every greater number of peoples locked out of secure and affordable homes, ever growing social housing waiting lists, and rising government expenditure on subsidising social housing tenants in the private rented sector. Given that this was Fianna Fáil policy from 2007 to 2011, maybe it is not so surprising that they are willing to back Fine Gael on this issue.”Ends

For more information contact: Teachta John Brady 085-8546464

Note: The Motion of No Confidence will read as follows:

This Dáil notes that

Fine Gael have been in office for seven years and during that time homelessness has increased to unprecedented levels, house prices and rents have spiralled out of control, and tens of thousands of households are unable to access secure and affordable homes

Rebuilding Ireland has been in place for two years and has clearly failed to address the causes of our housing crisis. Underinvestment in social and affordable housing and over reliance on the private sector has exacerbated the crisis

Eoghan Murphy has been Minister for Housing for 15 months and, on his watch, homelessness has increased 25%, child homelessness has increased 34%, pensioner homelessness has increased 40%; rents have increased 7% and house prices 6%, and social housing delivery remains glacial, not a single affordable home has been delivered by any central government scheme, private sector output in the main is overpriced and unaffordable, and vacant housing stock remains higher than the norm in comparable countries.

This Dáil

Does not have confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and calls for him to be removed from office

Calls on the Government to accept that Rebuilding Ireland has failed and to urgently introduce a new housing plan that will meet social and affordable housing need through an ambitious programme of public housing provision and tackle homelessness through a greater focus on prevention and reduction of the length of time adults and children spend in emergency accommodation.

Friday 31 August 2018

Community of Donard vow to fight closure of local Post Office

Over 120 people attended a public meeting in Donard organised by Sinn Féin TD John Brady and have vowed to fight to save their local post office. The post office in Donard is one of 159 named by An Post to close in the coming months.

Speaking after the meeting Teachta Brady said “I was delighted to see over 120 people pack the Donard Community Hall. Members of the community and I had organised the meeting to discuss the planned closure of the Donard post office by An Post.”

“It was a very positive meeting and many speakers outlined how important the Post Office is to Donard for social and economic reasons. It is a vital lifeline for the village of Donard and the wide catchment area that it serves.”

Teachta Brady continued “There was unanimous support that we would fight to retain the vital service. The Donard Post Office Action Group was set up and a number of events are planned in the coming weeks. A submission will be made on behalf of the community to the Independent Review body established to deal with the planned closure of the 159 post offices across the State. Members of community will be also encouraged to make submissions before the deadline of 28th September.”

“Over the coming week’s pressure will also be put on the Government and Government TD’s. The Government must act to save these post offices, they can’t be silent bystanders and allow the heart be ripped out of rural Ireland. Is this part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan to develop rural Ireland, by destroying rural communities and increasing rural decline with the removal of local services? ”

Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella said “If Minister Naughten is serious about reversing rural decline then he must intervene to save these post offices from closure. A plan must be put in place to allow that post office remain in its own premises or for another local business to take it over.”

Teachta Brady concluded “I would encourage all communities facing a post office closure to appeal to An Post through their review mechanism which can be done in writing to or Independent Reviewer, An Post GPO, Dublin 1.”

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Public meeting to be held in Donard to oppose closure of local post office

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD in conjunction with the local community of Donard have organised a public meeting to discuss the proposed closure of the local post office. The post office in Donard is one of 2 Wicklow post offices out of 159 rural post offices that face closure by An Post.

Teachta Brady said “An Post’s retirement deal is a very worrying development for rural communities and will no doubt lead to further decline of services in rural Ireland. Under An Post’s plans for Wicklow, the post offices in Donard and Coolboy face closure. I have been working alongside the community in Donard since An Post’s plans were first leaked a number of weeks ago. We are not prepared to sit back and allow a vital lifeline in Donard close.”

“As a first step in the campaign to save our rural post offices we have organised a public meeting. It will take place in Donard Community Hall on Thursday 30th August at 8pm,”

“An Post has an integral role in servicing communities, Donard and Coolboy will be seriously impacted as a result. The Government must act to save these post offices, they can’t be silent bystanders and allow the heart be ripped out of rural Ireland. Is this part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan to develop rural Ireland, by destroying rural communities and increasing rural decline with the removal of local services?”

Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella said “If Minister Naughten is serious about reversing rural decline then he must intervene to save these post offices from closure. A plan must be put in place to allow that post office remain in its own premises or for another local business to take it over.”

“I would encourage all communities facing a post office closure to appeal to An Post through their review mechanism which can be done in writing to or Independent Reviewer, An Post GPO, Dublin 1.”

Teachta Brady concluded “Our post office network is a vital piece of social, community as well as business infrastructure which must be protected if rural Ireland is to thrive. I would encourage members of the community to attend the meeting on Thursday evening to discuss the planned closure. A further public meeting is the be held in Coolboy area to make plans to fight the closure of the post office there.”

Sunday 26 August 2018

Statutory planning notice for Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant to be published on 5th September-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed confirmation that Irish Water is to publish the statutory planning notice for the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant. It is intended to be published on the 5th September in both a local and national newspaper. The application will be subsequently lodged directly to An Bord Pleanala.

Speaking after receiving confirmation from Irish Water Teachta Brady said “The news that we are at a very advanced stage in the planning of the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant is great news for Arklow. Following my ongoing engagement with all the agencies responsible for delivering the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant, Irish Water has confirmed to me that they intend on publishing the statutory planning notice on the 5th September. The planning notice will be published in a local and national newspaper.”

“This is an important milestone for this critical infrastructural project that has unfortunately held Arklow’s full potential back for 20 years. The plan will involve the construction of the Wastewater Plant on the site of the old Wallboard factory on North Quay, Ferrybank for a planned equivalent population of 36,000. Once the statutory planning notice is published on 5th September, the application will be subsequently lodged directly to An Bord Pleanala. It is intended that the application will be available to the public for inspection from approx. 20th September for a period of 7 weeks.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald also warmly welcomed the news and said “Since I was first elected as a councillor the sewage treatment plant has been one of my top priorities, I welcome the news which has been a long time coming. There is however some concerns locally regarding plans to carve off sections of the river bank along South Quay. Irish Water has also informed my colleague Teachta Brady that their application doesn’t include these proposals. These plans however may still be included in the proposed Flood Relief Scheme and we are still trying to get clarification.”

Teachta Brady continued “Recently I launched a substantial report into unlocking Arklow’s full potential. The report found that the key for unlocking Arklow's potential is the construction of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. I believe Wicklow County Council should now start granting planning applications that had been previously turned down due to a lack of a sewage treatment plant. Arklow needs housing along with industrial and commercial development; these applications can be conditioned on the actual delivery of the Sewage Treatment Plant.”

Brady concluded “I hope that people engage with the planning process and that any concerns that people may have will be addressed. The delivery of the Sewage plant is top priority to unlock Arklow’s full potential and cater for the needs of the town now and into the future.”

Thursday 23 August 2018

Carillion saga set to end for Coláiste Ráithín as students start school term in new school-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed delight in the news that after a delay of more than 10 months, the pupils of Coláiste Ráithín will finally get to enter their new school next Tuesday 28 August, when the new school term starts.

Speaking after receiving confirmation that Coláiste Ráithín will finally get to move into their new school next Tuesday Teachta Brady said “This is fantastic news for the pupils, teachers and everyone associated with the school. This not only brings an end to the terrible saga which arose with the collapse of Carillion in January, it also brings an end to the 20 year campaign by Coláiste Ráithín for a new school.

“The handover of the new Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools on the Old Bray golf course was due to take place last October. This was pushed back to December and then we seen the collapse of Carillion in January and the subsequent collapse of Sammon. This led to 8 months of uncertainty and frustration.”

“I’m further informed that it is hoped that Ravenswell will move into their new school later in September.”

“Whilst this will hopefully bring an end to this saga for the schools, it doesn’t end it for the many subcontractors that remain to be paid. They have done nothing wrong in this saga, but face possible ruin because of the collapse of Sammon. The new contractor, Woodvale needs to engage with the subcontractors. We can’t have a situation where we have these new schools in use by the State, while the builders who built them face bankruptcy or liquidation.”

Brady continued “It has also been confirmed to me that an interim facilities management appointment is now in place for the schools and that discussions are still ongoing regarding the long term facilities management arrangements.”

“Full credit has to go to all involved in the parents association of Coláiste Ráithín, the teachers, staff, students and parents who ensured the pressure was kept on the government and all responsible for ending this disgraceful saga. Particular credit has to go to former school principle Gearóid O’Ciaran. Gearóid led the campaign for a new school for 20 years and ensured pressure was kept on when the plans were derailed in January.”

Teachta Brady concluded “There however needs to be a message in this saga for the government and their use of Public Private Partnerships. There needs to be an immediate review by government of the effectiveness of PPP’s for capital projects such as schools.”

Monday 13 August 2018

Need for upgrade of N81 pressed upon Minister for Transport during visit to West Wicklow

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has described the Minister for Transport Shane Ross’s visit to West Wicklow as ‘Useful’ and that he hoped the Minister took something from his visit to look at the safety concerns along the N81. The Minister also met with locals and heard their concerns.

Teachta Brady said “I welcome the Ministers visit to Blessington on Monday to look at the many safety issues along the N81. The visit was arranged as part of the ongoing campaign to have the decision to reverse the cut of funding for the N81 upgrade.”

“The Minister met with a number of public representatives and locals. All pressed upon the Minister how critical the upgrade of the N81 is for road safety and the growth of West Wicklow.”

Teachta Brady continued “The Minister was very noncommittal; he said that the €271m needed for the upgrade wasn’t easily found. I pointed out that you can’t put a price on a life and that too many lives had been lost on the N81. ”

West Wicklow Sinn Féin representative Aidan Kinsella said “The N81 needs to be made a political priority. In Wicklow we have four Government TD’s, two of which are Ministers. When Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil sign off on their agreed budget for 2019, they need to substantially increase funding for Transport Infrastructure Ireland to allow this critical project to proceed.”

Teachta Brady concluded “The safety, growth and economic development of West Wicklow can’t be put on the long finger. We have been told that it will be 2027 at the earliest before the project is relooked at. Hopefully the Minister learned something from his visit to West Wicklow and that he seen firsthand how important the upgrade is.”

Saturday 11 August 2018

Government must act immediately to acquire Luggala Estate lands

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on the State to acquire the 4,000 acres of uplands surrounding the Luggala Estate to ensure that the area continues to be open to the public for recreational use.

Teachta Brady said "I believe that its in both the national and public's interest that the State acquire the Luggala Estate that is on the market for the last year.The Luggala Estate is bordered on three sides by the Wicklow National Park. Over the last number of weeks up to 10 signs have appeared along the roadside stating that the Luggala Estate lands are "private property". This has again raised serious concerns that public access on the lands of the estate will be curtailed if a private sale of the land occurs, so there is now a sense of urgency that the Government act immediately to acquire the lands."

"The Luggala Estate has been on the market with a quoted price tag of €28 million since last year, when it first came on the market I called on the Government to purchase the estate. The National Parks and Wildlife Service also recommended that the State purchase 4,000 of the estate. I believe that a the upland within the estate could be negotiated for a greatly reduced amount."

Teachta Brady concluded "The Luggala Estate has been widely used by the public and has some fantastic walking routes, including one to Lough Dan. The Government and Minister Madigan must act immediately before this jewel that would be a fantastic addition to the Wicklow National Park is lost."

242 respite care sessions cut in Wicklow - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that he finds it utterly unacceptable that after all the debate and all the promises made by the government in 2017 to improve and increase respite care that less respite care is being provided so far in 2018 compared to last year.

Teachta Brady said:

“Respite care is one of the most important services provided by the health service. Those who avail of respite services will tell you that it is precious in providing their loved one and their family with much needed rest.

“Last year in the aftermath of the RTÉ Primetime broadcast “Carers in Crisis”, which highlighted the difficulties for those who provide care for a family member or loved one face in the absence of adequate respite care being provided, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health promised improved and increased provision of respite care.

“Therefore, it is utterly unacceptable that despite rising requests and need that less respite care is being provided in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same time last year.

“Figures released to my colleague Deputy Louise O’Reilly through a Parliamentary Question show that there were 1,714 less respite care sessions provided in quarter one of 2018 compared to last year with Wicklow seeing a reduction of 242 sessions. Indeed, these cuts come on the back of close to 15,000 sessions of respite care being slashed last year.

“This situation is completely unacceptable. These respite sessions provide respite and relief to parents and families who have a person in the household with a disability; they are some of the hardest pressed and struggling families in the state, and the evidence shows that this government is failing them.

“We need to see year on year increases and investment in respite services in order to provide for those who currently need care as well as for those who will need it in the future. You cannot slash respite care sessions by thousands of hours and expect things to work the same. The cutting of these respite sessions has real life implications for families across the State and it has to be reversed as a matter of urgency.”

Brady encourages members of the public to meet Minister Ross and push for funding for the N81 when he visits West Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that Minister for Transport Shane Ross will visit the N81 on Monday next. This has been organised as part of the local campaign to reverse the decision to suspend the planned upgrade work of the N81.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome the planned visit of Minister Ross to West Wicklow on Monday next to see himself the dangers of the N81. His visit is in follow up to a meeting I held with him, along with local campaigners, representatives from the Blessington and Hollywood Forums and a number of other elected representatives. This was back in June.

“The aim of our campaign is clear we want the funding for the planned N81 upgrade scheme reinstated. Earlier this year I was informed that the N81 from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme was to be suspended. The project is not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan which provides the financial and strategic framework for Transport Infrastructure Irelands activities until 2021. Therefore the N81 is now not included in the national roads programme.

West Wicklow Sinn Féin public representative Aidan Kinsella said “The plans which have been worked on now for 10 years would have seen an upgrade of 31km of the N81, with a focus on improving the road safety and journey times for motorists using the road. Sinn Féin have been lobbying Minister Shane Ross on the urgent need for works to take place on the N81. Locals and those familiar with the N81 will know it is one of the deadliest roads in the County. According to a briefing report which was released by the Kildare National Roads Office, the current N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes.

Teachta Brady concluded “It is welcome that the Minister will visit West Wicklow on Monday next, however we don’t want this to be simply a PR stunt for him. What we need are solid commitments that the scheme will proceed as planned. I encourage members of the public to meet Minister Ross when he arrives at 'The Lamb' @ 2pm on Monday 13th. It’s important that the Minister hears from as many people as possible how important the upgrade of the N81 is.” Ends

Thursday 12 July 2018

Occupied Territories vote a 'momentous step' - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has welcomed the decision by members of the Seanad to support the Occupied Territories Bill.

The Bill, which seeks to ban goods and services from illegal Israeli settlements, will now advance to committee stage.

Speaking following the vote, Teachta Brady said:

“Yesterday’s vote in the Seanad to support the Occupied Territories Bill was the right thing to ensure that Ireland is on the map as standing against violations of International Law.

“This is also a momentous step towards officially banning the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources which come from settlements that exist on illegally occupied land in Palestine.

“These goods and services are only available due to war crimes carried out by the Israeli state by completely disregarding the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“Palestinian’s are forced from their homes, schools are destroyed and people are displaced on a daily basis to make way for the construction of these settlements.

“We can’t stand idly by and ignore this abuse of human rights. The Irish people have a proud history of standing against apartheid and occupation. This vote is a crucial step towards enshrining this in law.

“Sinn Féin will continue to argue for justice, rights and peace in Palestine and make our voice heard against the abuse of International Law which damages the two-state solution.”

Friday 6 July 2018

BusConnects proposals from the National Transport Authority are a mixed bag for Wicklow

Wicklow Sinn Féin public representatives have said that the new BusConnects proposals from the National Transport Authority are a mixed bag containing some positives, some missed opportunities and some retrograde proposals.

Speaking about the BusConnects proposals Teachta John Brady said “The long awaited BusConnects proposals are a real mixed bag for users of public transport from Wicklow. There are some proposals that Sinn Féin representatives have been pushing for included in the plan, such as linking Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole and extended a route from Wicklow to link in with the LUAS in Cherrywood. There are also proposals for a local loop service for Greystones.”

Bray Sinn Féin councillor elect Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien said “When we look at BusConnect and its proposals we see two key elements worth our consideration. 1. Our local infrastructure. 2. Our journeys into and out of Bray.”

“It should be fair to assume that the aim of the BusConnect plans are to improve things for all passengers, so that should be our criteria when we look at the proposals that impact on Bray. Unfortunately the plan at this stage looks like both a missed opportunity and bad news for Bray. My colleague John Brady TD has long sought the establishment of a Bray loop service. Whilst not included in the initial proposals I believe there still is an opportunity to consider a local loop service for Bray, this would link key areas like the Seafront, Southerncross and Little Bray to Bray Town centre. The loop service could also include running a service back into the Fassaroe area, reinstating a route that was cut a number of years ago.

In the current plan put forward by the National Transport Authority we would also see a bus service to Palermo being cut, this is currently provided by the 185. A new loop service could incorporate the Palermo area but the idea of leaving Palermo or Fassaroe without any service does not represent an improvement for passengers whatsoever. All aspects of our community benefit from the easy movement of people within our town whether it is for school, work, shopping, leisure or to access services. It is my intention to hold a public meeting on this BusConnect proposal in the coming weeks and I hope people will come along and share their own views, ideas, insights on how Bray can get the best out of the future plans for Bus provision. The ambition of the plan must match the needs of people who use the services. "

Wicklow East Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton said “Recently I submitted a petition to Dublin Bus calling for a service to be extended to link Newtownmountkennedy to Kilcoole. I’m delighted that my proposals have been included in the BusConnects proposal. Newtown is the fastest growing town in the State and it’s essential that there are adequate public transport links.”

Greystones Sinn Féin councillor Nicola Lawless stated “The proposed local loop of Greystones service is to be welcomed, I do think there is scope however to have the route expanded to cover Delgany and the Blacklion Manor Road where many local students attend schools. We should also be looking at the use of single decker buses; these would be more suitable for this type of service.”

Teachta Brady concluded “A process of public consultation on the BusConnects report will formally commence on Monday 16th July and continue until Friday 14th September. I encourage members of the public to inspect the proposals on Sinn Fein will be holding a public meeting on our proposals in the coming weeks and to ensure that all the concerns of the public are taken on-board during the consultation process.”

Thursday 5 July 2018

John Brady TD launches 'Unlocking Arklow's Potential' discussion document

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady was joined on Wednesday evening in the Arklow Bay Hotel by the Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty to launch a document entitled ‘Unlocking Arklow’s Potential’. The discussion document which was launched before a packed room came about following extensive consultation with the public and key stakeholders. The meeting was chaired by Arklow Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald.

Speaking after the launch Teachta Brady said “I was delighted to launch the ‘Unlocking Arklow’s Potential’ document with the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Finance Pearse Doherty on Wednesday evening. It was good to see over 100 attend the launch, particularly given the time of year and the weather.”

“The document has come about following extensive consultation with the public and the key stakeholders. The comprehensive document looks at a number of different areas and makes recommendations that if only a fraction were to be implemented would go a long way to unlocking the massive potential that Arklow has.”

“The report is broken into 4 main areas, Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Public Realm Plan, Employment/Retail and Tourism. The report looks comprehensively at each of these areas and makes a number of key recommendations.”

“The lack of a sewage treatment has had a negative impact on both the economic and residential development of Arklow, it is anticipated that a planning submission will be made to An Bord Pleanala will be made over the next few months. This in itself will act as a catalyst, helping unlock development that has been stifled by the lack of a water treatment plant. Other key infrastructural projects include the construction of a Deep Sea Port at Arklow Rock, a port access road and slip roads on and off the M11 to the Avoca Road.”

“The report also makes a number of recommdations to help employment in the Arklow area, which still has very high unemployment rates and is a youth unemployment black sport. Some of the key proposals include a new Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Incentive Scheme, also an extension needed to the Arklow Business Enterprise Centre.”

“The plan offers some ideas and ways in which I feel that Arklow can grow. I hope this document will serve as a conversation starter for the people of Arklow and all those who wish to see it develop and thrive in the months and years to come.

We need to ensure party politics is left to one side and that the development of Arklow is priority for all. A number of the proposals that I have brought forward are immediately deliverable by the local authority, others would need substantial investment at a national level. I would hope that all public representatives at both local and national levels could unite around some of the proposals and lobby Government for funding.”

“Arklow is a great town with great people; it has so much potential that unfortunately has been held back. If working together we could deliver sections of this plan, it would move Arklow forward positively and help create sustainable employment. The report has received a very positive response and I look forward to continued engagement with the key stakeholders with a view to trying to adding to the plan and implementing some, if not all of it.”

Sunday 1 July 2018

Brady welcomes issuing of warning letter to Arklow landowner for blocking public right of ways to North beach

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the decision by Wicklow County Council to issue a warning letter to a landowner in Arklow who is trying to restrict members of the public accessing a local beach.

Speaking after the warning letter was issued Teachta Brady said “I have been working with local residents over the last number of months on this disgraceful attempt by a local landowner in his attempt to stop access of the public to the North beach. This is a fantastic local amenity that has been used by generations of Arklow people.”

“I welcome the decision by the council to issue the warning letter to the landowner this week. The warning letter as per Section 152 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 gives the landowner four weeks to respond to the alleged unauthorised development which has seen a fence being erected and locking of a gate to restrict public access to the local North beach.”

“In the letter the planning authority states that they are satisfied that the fence that has been erected along the southern boundary is not exempted development, as it is it is enclosing land that has been used by the public for recreational purposes or a means to access the seashore during the 10 years preceding.”

Teachta Brady continued “The protection of our public right of ways are very important and any attempts to restrict or curtail those rights has to be opposed. The right of ways to the North Beach and Porters Rock/Seabank areas in Arklow date as far back as 1896, these are fantastic beaches and any attempt to essentially turn them into private beaches will not be tolerated. Last month I called on Wicklow County Council to initiate enforcement proceedings, so I welcome their actions.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald said “I have worked closely with local residents on this issue now for several months and have raised it consistently at meetings of the Municipal District where unfortunately it seemed to fall on deaf ears. I welcome the warning letter that has now been issued by the council and I will continue to work on this issue until the public have unrestricted access along the well established right of ways to our beautiful beaches.”

Monday 25 June 2018

Brady cautiously welcomes the news that work on Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray is to restart

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has given a cautious welcome to the news on Monday, that arrangements have been put in place for the appointment of a replacement contractor, to facilitate the completion of Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray.

Speaking after the announcement from the Dutch Infrastructural Fund (DIF) was made Teachta Brady said “I cautiously welcome the news that a new contractor has been appointed to complete the work on Coláiste Raithin and Ravenswell schools in Bray. It is anticipated that the contractor will be mobilised in the coming days and will be on site in the coming weeks. Work on the schools is expected to be completed by the end of August.”

“With so many completion dates coming and going, the Minister for Education Richard Bruton must now give solid assurances that this time frame will be met and that the State will step in immediately to ensure that this is the case.”

Teachta Brady continued “Furthermore the Minister must ensure that the many sub contractors directly affected by the collapse of Carillion and Sammon must be protected and that the money they are owed is forthcoming. I’m aware that a sizable number of local contractors are owed sizable sums of money and now find themselves in difficulties as a result of this mess.”

“There needs to be a full review of the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s), particularly for critical infrastructural projects such as schools. Capital projects such as these should be funded directly by Government; it’s a crazy situation when you have the Dutch Infrastructural Fund and the Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi controlling if and when our children get into their new schools.

Teachta Brady concluded “Finally I want to commend all the pupils, teachers and parents for keeping the pressure on to ensure that progress was made in completing the schools, I’ve no doubt that without it, it would have dragged on considerably longer. Myself and I’m sure the schools will keep that pressure on to ensure that this time-frame is adhered to and that they can finally get into their fantastic new schools in September.”

Friday 22 June 2018

Pearse Doherty TD to help launch Unlocking Arklow’s Potential plan

‘Unlocking Arklow’s potential’ is the title given to a plan developed by Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow John Brady which will be launched next month as part of an initiative to help boost the fortunes and opportunity potential in the greater Arklow and South Wicklow Area. Speaking from Leinster house recently Teachta Brady said he hopes the plan will kick start a debate on the potential to transform Arklow’s fortunes. Teachta Brady said:

'After a lengthy consultation process I’m delighted to bring forward this plan. It is a plan of action to put Arklow back on the road to economic recovery. Traditionally, Arklow has often been overlooked by the establishment political parties. Unemployment and retail vacancy rates are higher in Arklow than anywhere else in Wicklow. Youth unemployment figures are particularly problematic as an infrastructural deficit has stifled both economic and residential development. Arklow requires strategic focused attention.’

Teachta Brady said that crucial to the success of any plan is the involvement of various stakeholders including local businesses, state agencies but most importantly the local community:

‘Extensive consultation has been carried out in compiling the report and this input was insightful and hugely beneficial in forming the basis of the report’s recommendations which are intended to tackle the challenges presented in Arklow with workable solutions. It is hoped that this report will be used as a discussion document that will put a political focus on Arklow.’

‘I am delighted that my colleague Teachta Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein spokesperson for finance will attend the launch of the plan in Arklow next month. The meeting is open to all members of the public and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to add their voice and ideas to unlocking Arklow’s potential.’

Sinn Fein TDs John Brady and Pearse Doherty will launch the plan in The Arklow Bay Hotel on Wednesday 4th July at 8pm. All welcome to attend.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Strong delegation meets Minister for Transport to push for funding for the N81 upgrade scheme

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has described as constructive the meeting with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross on funding for the N81 upgrade scheme. Strong arguments were made to the Minister, representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Road Safety Authority for the scheme to progress without delay. A petition containing thousands of signatures was also presented to the Minister.

Speaking after the meeting Teachta Brady said “I’m delighted that the long awaited meeting with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross has finally taken place. A strong delegation of representatives from West Wicklow met with the Minister, representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Road Safety Authority in the Dáil on Wednesday.”

“Bitter disappointment was expressed by all present that funding for the critical N81 upgrade scheme was pulled and the project wasn’t included in the Governments Capital Investment Plan. I put forward the safety issues and outlined that the N81 is one of the most dangerous roads in the State. I also showed how the development of West Wicklow is being stifled by the failure to progress the scheme.”

“The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District Vincent Blake, members of the action group along with representatives from Blessington and Hollywood Fourms put forward strong arguments also.”

Teachta Brady continued “The Minister listened to the arguments and has committed to getting an up to date safety report along with getting estimated current costings for the scheme. He is also going to meet with representatives in West Wicklow in July. It is intended to show him and his officials some of the many problems along the N81.

The Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella concluded “A petition containing thousands of signatures was also handed over to the Minister. Whist the meeting was constructive, we need action now from the Minister and the Fianna Fáil party. The funding for road construction has been cut by nearly €1b since 2007 Fianna Fáil must now ensure that they prioritise funding for the N81 in the upcoming budget discussions with thei colleagues in Fine Gael.” Ends

Thursday 17 May 2018

Slow progress made on Coastal protection schemes in Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has cautiously welcomed the slow progress on coastal protection works at the Murrough in Wicklow town and North Beach in Arklow.

Teachta Brady said:

“I have received a comprehensive update from the Minister with responsibility for flood relief Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran this week. This came after much back and forth with the Minister since his visit at my request to both sites in Wicklow last January.

“On Friday, officials from the Minister’s office will meet with officials from Wicklow County Council to progress plans. The Minister has informed me that he will fund coastal protection studies at both the Murrough and North Beach and that they will be completed within weeks. He estimates that this will cost between €55,000 and €76,000.

“Minister Moran has also confirmed to me that he will look favourably on the application for funding which will be approved by him in conjunction with the options put forward by the studies.

“I reiterated to the Minister the urgency for the work to be carried out. Considerable damage has and continuous to happen at both sites, both are of huge amenity value, the continued erosion is also undermining existing coastal protection.

“Progress has been extremely slow, its important that the Minister expedites the process. Critically however, what we don't want is another report on what needs to happen to protect both areas. There have been enough reports carried out that alone could be used as coastal protection. We need solid assurances that at the end of this process funding will be made available. I will continue to work on this issue to ensure that the crucial works needed at both the Murrough and North Beach is carried out.”

Sinn Féin Fair Hours amendment passed – Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has welcomed the passing of his party’s amendment to the Government’s Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill at Committee stage which was taken this afternoon.

The Sinn Féin amendment for fair hours was passed following the defeat of the Government’s own amendment to the Bill.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“This Bill is crucially important to protect the rights of all workers but in particular workers in precarious and low-paid employment.

“This Bill needed to achieve security for workers when it comes to their working hours and in turn, their incomes. We also needed to ensure that the actual hours worked by an employee are reflected in their employment contract.

“While this Bill consists of a number of important provisions, it was essential that the bands of weekly working hours were made sharp and precise and legislated for in this Bill.

“The Government had brought forward an amendment to the weekly bands which they had initially proposed, but this amendment was defeated in favour of the bands we put forward.

“This was an amendment brought forward by myself and my colleague Deputy David Cullinane who has worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of workers’ rights when it comes to fair hours.

“I also want to pay tribute to the Dunnes Stores workers who highlighted their own case back in 2015 and persisted with this to the benefit of all workers.”

Friday 11 May 2018

Meeting with Minister for Transport on N81 secured

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has secured a meeting with Transport Minister, Shane Ross to discuss the decision not to include the N81 Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“After numerous requests since January for a meeting with Minister Ross to discuss the decision not to include the N81 Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan, I am delighted to have secured a meeting on June 13th.

“It is essential that Minister Ross and his officials hear first-hand the major safety issues that people face daily, when using the N81. It is incomprehensible how any decision making person, particularly the Minister could ignore the horrific safety statistics of the N81. The figures show that the N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes.

Sinn Féin representative for West Wicklow Aidan Kinsella said “The Minister also needs to hear how the decision not to fund this critical project will impact on the economic and social development of West Wicklow. A delegation from West Wicklow will also be there to put this message across. This issue shouldn’t be party political, so it’s important that all five Wicklow TDs are present to put a strong argument forward along with local public representatives.

“We will be calling on Minister Ross to include the N81 in the Governments Capital Investment Plan and ensure priority is given to fund the upgrade project.

Teachta Brady concluded “I have also requested that a representative from Transport Infrastructure Ireland attend the meeting and I hope that Minister Ross will facilitate the request. This will ensure that all necessary bodies are at the table.

“This is an issue I have worked on for over 10 years and I will continue to work on until the upgrade works are carried out and the neglect of West Wicklow from successive Governments ends.”

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Greater sense of urgency needed by Government to get Wicklow courthouse reopened – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that much greater urgency by Government is required if Wicklow courthouse is to reopen.

Speaking having sought an update from the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Teachta Brady commented:

“I have been saying for a very long time that the reopening of Wicklow courthouse is of huge importance to the continued success of the town. Despite this, works are moving at an incredibly slow pace.

“In seeking an update from Minister Flanagan, I was disappointed to learn that no detailed planning or design work has commenced. The objective is to extend and refurbish the courthouse in Wicklow town to provide a significantly larger 4 courtroom venue together with a range of facilities for staff, the judiciary, jurors, legal profession, other state agencies and members of the public.

“The Courts Service has purchased a number of adjacent properties to the Courthouse, some of which will be demolished in order to create a larger site capable of accommodating a courthouse building on the scale envisaged. The demolition works are due to be carried out this year.

“We need to see the reopening of the courthouse as much more of a priority for Government. Its continued closure is impacting on the town and is having serious knock-on effects for the rest of the town. I am calling on Minister Flanagan to set out a clear timeframe for the works and an estimated time as to when it is envisaged for the courthouse to open.”

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Minister Doherty’s no-show to debate on Community Employment says it all - Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has criticised Minister Doherty for failing to turn up to the Dáil debate on the over-due provision of pensions for Community Employment Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors.

Speaking during the Dáil debate in support of pension provision for these workers, Teachta Brady said:

“Minister Doherty’s absence here tonight shows total disregard for the thousands of people engaged in Community Employment schemes right across the State.

“CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors are looking for the pension they are entitled to. This entitlement was backed up by the Labour Court in their recommendation in July 2008, nearly ten years ago.

“While Fine Gael Deputies were quick to praise the work of Community Employment schemes, this appreciation is utterly meaningless when the same Government are denying these workers something as basic as a pension.

“In typical fashion Fine Gael has brought forward a do-nothing amendment which I am calling on them to withdraw. The fact that Minister Doherty could not be bothered to be here to speak to her amendment says it all.

“The Government have sent a clear message to CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors here tonight – we acknowledge your work but we won’t give you a pension for it. Shame on them.”

Brady raises unmanning of Wicklow train station with Minister Ross

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has asked the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to explain why consideration is being given to the unmanning and downgrading Wicklow Train Station.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“I am extremely concerned at the possibility of the unmanning of Wicklow train station. This downgrading measure would have a detrimental impact on those who rely on public transport particularly our vulnerable citizens.

“The unmanning of Wicklow train station will make travelling for people with disabilities even more difficult. They already face an extraordinary ordeal when it comes to accessing trains in the first instance, this will only make a bad situation worse.

“Users of the train already have to deal with a substandard service as there a serious capacity issues with the trains and a lack of carriages. Many people have to stand their entire journey. I have continuously raised this along with other issues of concern regarding our public transport service. Unfortunately this government seems content not to invest in our public transport system as there will be no additional train carriages until 2021.

“Back in January I presented Minister Ross with a petition opposing the unmanning of train and DART stations signed by over 3,000 people. Their voices have gone ignored by Minister Ross.

“I have asked Minister Ross to explain to me why the downgrading of Wicklow train station is being considered. This is something that I will strongly oppose.”

Wicklow needs social and affordable housing and not PR stunts from the Minister for Housing

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy’s visit to Wicklow on Monday next is little more than a PR stunt aimed at masking the failure of the Government to tackle the housing crisis. The Minister is in the County to officially turn the sod on a long awaited 42 social housing units on Kilbride Lane.

Teachta Brady said “Whilst the delivery of any social housing units has to be welcomed, the government have failed the 3489 people in Wicklow lingering on housing waiting lists. Not one social housing unit has been constructed by Wicklow County Council over the last 3 years.

“The turning of the sod on the Kilbride Lane site comes after 12 years of talk. The site was first acquired in 2006 for €6.1m and red tape has held this project up since then.

“The minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy along with plenty of media will do the honours and turn the sod on this site. However unless the four stage process used for planning social houses is fast tracked and a more ambitious housing construction programme is brought forward for Wicklow, it will take decades to go anywhere near tackling the crisis.”

Thursday 19 April 2018

Extension of County Boundary would provide a ‘huge opportunity’ for development of Blessington – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that the extension of the Wicklow/Kildare county boundary at Blessington would provide a ‘huge opportunity’ for the economic and social development of the town.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“The development of Blessington is being stifled by the imposition of the current county boundary between Wicklow and Kildare. This is negatively impacting on the development of Blessington both economically and socially. Currently the County boundary cuts nearly right into Blessington Town centre.

“I am proposing that the new route for the N81 upgrade become the new natural boundary for Wicklow and Kildare. This route bypasses Blessington and will leave a sizable green field area that remains to be developed. I believe now is the time to start the official process of seeking a boundary extension. At the moment there is only one housing estate in the area that I’m proposing to move from Kildare into Wicklow, Blessington Manor. Many of the residents there are originally from Blessington and shop, socialise, work and send their children to school in Wicklow.

“It is lunacy to have two local authorities working back to back when it comes to part of Blessington and its surrounding areas. This is a unnecessary block to the natural development of Blessington. Not only is there a duplication of services, there are two separate Development Plans dealing with the Blessington area. The Kildare Development plan doesn’t take a holistic view of the development of Blessington into the future and this is stifling its development.

One prime example of Kildare’s lack of interest in the area is the failure to complete the Blessington inner relief road. The last section of this planned road runs through Kildare and there appears to be no appetite by Kildare County Council to complete this important piece of infrastructure.

“I have put my proposals to the Wicklow County Manager, Frank Curran and have also written to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD to start the official process. I have also contacted the Chairperson of the Baltinglass Municipal District asking him to have the issue discussed at the next council meeting and hopefully to support the proposal.

Local Sinn Féin representative Aidan Kinsella concluded “This proposed extension will allow Blessington to grow and prosper without the negative impact of the current boundary. We will be going door to door in Blessington, including Blessington Manor which will be directly affected and outlining our proposals. I hope that this common sense proposal gets the support that it needs both from the public and local politicians and that the official process can commence as soon as possible.”

Saturday 24 March 2018

State quietly sells 32% share in Ardmore Studios - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow, John Brady TD, has raised serious concerns at the sale of Ardmore Studios in its entirety to Olcott Entertainment Limited.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady:

“It came as a surprise to many back in October 2016 when Ardmore Studios was put on the market to be sold as a going concern.

"Ardmore Studios are internationally renowned as Ireland’s leading provider of film and TV studio infrastructure and their place in Bray has always been a great pride for the people of Wicklow.

“The State had owned a 32% share in Ardmore Studios and at no stage was it confirmed by anyone in Government or in Enterprise Ireland that the State’s shares were also to be sold.

"Despite being in regular contact with the relevant Ministers, Departments and Enterprise Ireland since October 2016, the sale of the State’s shares was never made known. This is totally unacceptable especially when all parties had committed to keeping the public informed.

“Today, through a press release, it has become known that Olcott Entertainment Limited has bought the full share capital of Ardmore Studios.

"The acquisition of Ardmore Studios was led by an individual who holds shares in Troy Studios in Limerick and this fact raises questions as to the future plans for Ardmore Studios in Bray.

“It is bitterly disappointing that the State’s shares have been sold without any consultation or fore-knowledge and this is something which I will be questioning with Enterprise Ireland and the Department.

"The lack of transparency on the sale of State shares is alarming.

"Ardmore Studios have been hugely successful in Bray and it is paramount that this success is continued in Bray.”