Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mary Lou McDonald “Stands Up For Jobs” in Balbriggan

Mary Lou McDonald “Stands Up For Jobs” in Balbriggan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP and European candidate for 2009, Mary Lou McDonald, visited Balbriggan on Monday 20th April on a two-fold mission - to canvass support for Sinn Féin local and town council election candidate Fergus Byrne, and to speak at a public meeting regarding job creation arranged by Balbriggan Sinn Féin. The theme of the meeting was “Stand Up for Jobs in Fingal” and its aim was to discuss the out-of-control unemployment crisis, and to share Sinn Féin’s solutions regarding how the situation could be alleviated.

Prior to the public meeting, Ms McDonald, Mr Byrne and their teams canvassed the New Haven estate, where the canvassing team received a warm welcome. Local residents welcomed the opportunity to talk to Ms McDonald and Mr Byrne, and share their fears regarding issues such as crime, drug dealing in nearby areas, and not least the calamitous economic situation. Problems also mentioned included graffiti, anti-social behaviour, unfinished green areas, and the failure of Fingal County Council to take over the estate.

The public meeting commenced at 8pm and was chaired by Fergus Byrne. The two speakers were Mary Lou McDonald and Matt McCormack, Trade Union Activist and former employee of SR Technics. After the speeches, there was a question and answer session.

First to speak was Mr McCormack, who gave a very interesting and insightful account of the events surrounding the significant job losses in SR Technics. He explained clearly and in detail how the situation could have been prevented, and the far-reaching effects of the redundancies on himself, his fellow employees, those training for a career in aviation, and North Dublin in general.

Mary Lou McDonald was the second speaker, and talked about the disastrous financial crisis in Ireland. She described how the situation will actually be made worse by the “cut and slash” Budget, and set out Sinn Féin’s policies on attempting to rectify it.

“Ireland cannot simply cut or tax its way out of recession. The fall out from the emergency budget will be serious and long term. Families will continue to see their household incomes slashed. Workers will continue to loose their jobs. It is a recipe for the creation of a black economy rather than a real economy. And for what – to pay for a massive slush fund which will ensure their friends in the golden circle, particularly those who invested in the banks, will be saved. What this economy needs is sustenance not further punishment. It needs policies which will seek to maintain the existing employment where possible and prepare the ground for new employment.”

“Sinn Féin is the only political party that has set out substantial detailed proposals - 80 of them - to get Dublin and the rest of the country back to work. Protecting jobs and creating new employment is the absolute priority for us. A comprehensive skills and education strategy can prepare workers to create and take up new employment - getting early school leavers back to education, investing in Community Employment and allowing unemployed workers to keep benefits while attending college can all help.”

“At risk jobs can be saved by establishing a state fund to subsidise viable jobs and by sending in expert groups to assist companies that are in trouble. If what we have is good, or needs guidance, then better hold on to it than put workers on the dole. Construction workers can get back to work building schools, insulating homes and delivering much needed broad band infrastructure. Dublin city and county has its fair share of school buildings which desperately need upgrading. The Minister for Education may not know how many but it is a disgrace that we are paying out hundreds of million Euros per year on prefabricated buildings when we could provide gainful employment building schools of the future.”

“All the evidence shows that societies which are more equal prosper more in the long term. We need to get away from the politics of unsustainable development; of an economy run for the golden circle rather than those who create it. The Sinn Féin proposals are aimed to build an economy which is sustainable and which will reward those who contribute to it.”


  1. Great work. All Sinn Féin cumann should be involved in this type of grass roots work. Sinn Féin has the answers and we must promote our message.

    Well done

  2. Thank you starry plough. We are developing in the area and Fergus is the first local candidate we have put up for some time.

    I agree we have the answers and we are trying to get our message out as best we can.