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.”