Monday, April 13, 2009



Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald visited Rush recently to canvass support for Sinn Féin local county council election candidate Fergus Byrne.

The election team canvassed in Woodland Park and Brookford where they received a very positive response. The issue of planning in the area was raised quite frequently by residents concerned that the local area plan did not provide for enough infrastructure to support the high density units proposed.

Many residents felt it was incredible that Fingal Council were proposing the development of over 1000 new homes in Rush, before dealing with the long term problems of roads, sewerage, traffic and the provision of adequate recreation and leisure facilities. One resident pointed out that Rush Athletic F.C are running over 20 teams on only two 11 a side pitches. He said, "We have been promised that development in the town would lead to extra pitches for the club, but where are they? I give my time to help provide something for the local kids, all I ask is that the council support us." Other residents mentioned the public service levy, childcare costs, anti-social behaviour on Rush beach and lack of a full-time Garda station.

Mary Lou and Fergus Byrne were also made aware of the problem with school overcrowding in the area. Mary Lou stated she was particularly aware of this issue given that her own children are being educated in a school in Cabra that has been housed in pre-fabs for over 11 years! Fergus said, "If one thing is for certain, it is that investment in education must not be cut if we are to get the Irish economy moving. Our children are this country’s future and to compete economically on the world stage we require a highly qualified and skilled workforce. Our schools need to be proof of the value that we as a society place on education. Therefore children should not be housed in inappropriate pre-fabricated classrooms for years on end. We must invest in our children an we must do it now."

Mary-Lou and Fergus also outlined their total support for the Gaelscoil Ros-Eo and pledged that Sinn Féin councillors will do everything possible to assist them in acquiring a permanent site for the school. Mary Lou said, "Once again the GAA, and Scouting Ireland, should be congratulated in coming forward and providing Gaelscoil Ros-Eo with a home until they find a permanent location." Fergus Byrne agreed with these comments and added, " St Maur’s and before them the Rush Scouts have done a great job in helping to establish a gaelscoil in the area, and thus give local parents a choice about their children’s education. However, where was the local council in the search for accommodation? Why could they not have provided land or support for the school? Why was it left to the kindness and support of the GAA and the Rush Scouts? Both these groups have put themselves out greatly to facilitate this school, why hasn’t Fingal Council done the same?"

At the end of her visit Mary Lou McDonald said: "Rush is a lovely area and I’m heartened by the warm welcome I’ve received, along with my local colleague Fergus Byrne. We have spoken to many people today who are really feeling the effects of this recession. We need a change of government, and soon. Sinn Féin is dedicated to bringing about change both nationally and in local communities. I ask that people vote for Fergus Byrne in the June elections, as he is the person best placed to work for the local community. He is a working, family man with two young children, knows well the issues affecting people here, and cares about making a difference".
If you wish to view a clip of Fergus and Mary Lou in Rush then you can see it on youtube at

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