Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Toxic dump in the middle of the best agricultural land in Ireland? No local Green party TD would allow that, or would they?

Fergus Byrne, Sinn Féin representative for the Balbriggan area, expressed his anger at An Bord Pleanála decision to give the green light for a controversial new landfill at Nevitt, Lusk, Co Dublin. He said, “This is yet another blow to the local community in North County Dublin and especially those trying to promote and develop the agricultural sector in the region. For years now The Nevitt Lusk Action Group have fought this plan and they have highlighted that Fingal County Council's own consultant’s have confirmed the Nevitt aquifer as a future water supply for the area. Given this fact I ask anybody to tell me how it can make sense to place a toxic dump right in the middle of such a water supply for an area that is famous throughout the country for producing food!”

We in Sinn Féin would like to put on record that we feel this decision simply does not make any sense what so ever. At this time all those involved in the agricultural sector are struggling to compete with cheap food imports and as a result jobs are under threat or being lost. However, one of the advantages that Irish farmers have is our country’s reputation for producing quality HEALTHY food products. This is a market advantage we must build on to grow this sector of the economy, increase exports and secure jobs. So what happens? Bord Pleanála decide to put a toxic dump in the middle of the best agricultural land in Ireland! This is clearly MADNESS!!!

Fergus Byrne further stated that local people should demand that Trevor Sargent take action now to stop this development. He said, “What is the point in having the Green Party in government, and an ex Green Party leader as our local TD, if he won’t do anything to protect the environment and agricultural jobs in our area. I would encourage everybody to contact Trevor ASAP and let him know that we demand he do something to prevent a toxic dump being located in the heartland of Irish agriculture. It is only by people putting pressure on now that this disastrous decision can be reversed.”

The contact details for Trevor Sargent are as follows. His office number 01 8900 360, or you can leave a comment on his website or go along to his clinic in Balbriggan, Friday evenings, 7.00-7.30pm: Hamilton Room, 2nd floor, Town Hall, Balbriggan, or Swords, Saturday mornings, 10.00-10.30am: Constituency office, 2 Glebeview, Rivermall (off Main St. - adjacent to Wise Owl Bookshop), Swords.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sinn Féin call for legislation to bring an end to self assessed performance related bonuses such as the €70,000 awarded to HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh called for legislation to bring an end to self assessed performance related bonuses such as the €70,000 awarded to HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm.

Speaking this afternoon after his Dáil engagement with the Tánaiste Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has given a commitment that no bonuses will be paid out for the period covering 2008 and 2009. This, quite simply, is not good enough. These types of grossly excessive and unwarranted payments must be consigned to the past with the rest of Fianna Fáil’s economic concepts.

“People in my constituency and throughout Ireland are disgusted to hear of the €70,000 payment to Brendan Drumm for his role in overseeing the destruction of our public hospital network.

“At Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin many children are waiting for urgent operations as the resources are not forthcoming to deal with demand. Yet this Government feels justified in paying Brendan Drumm, a public servant on a higher salary than the Taoiseach, €70,000 in a bonus payment.

“Brendan Drumm should be ashamed to look for a bonus when sick children are having urgent operations cancelled. It symbolizes everything that is rotten with this state.

“This money and the monies from other excessive bonus payments to health service managers should be put into frontline services. Suspending these payments is not good enough. Legislation must be amended to ensure that these grossly excessive payments are never again permitted.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Fergus Byrne, Sinn Féin representative Balbriggan, has expressed his support for Aer Lingus workers in the face of the company’s plans for massive redundancies affecting 676 jobs covering all aspects of its operations.

Fergus Byrne pointed out that once again we are seeing yet another example of panicked and negative thinking on behalf of employers in Ireland. Yes the company, and indeed the country, has severe problems, but simply throwing people onto the dole queues is not the way to tackle them.

Sinn Féin demands that the government take immediate steps to stop any job loses at Aer Lingus and fully supports the workers involved and the demand by their trade union representatives that the threat to their jobs is lifted.

What is needed is for the government to recognise that they can no longer stand aside and allow good jobs to simply disappear. Such inaction by the government creates a viscous circle whereby their refusal to act leads to increased unemployment, this then reduces government tax income and leads to increased social welfare spending, which makes the whole finical crisis in the country worse.

People need to remember that it is not public sector wages that are draining the public finances, but rather having to finance the 400,000 plus people this government has put on the dole queues.

But there is an alternative!

This government was quick enough to jump in and bail out the bankers and property speculators, so now let them help a major employer like Aer lingus get over this difficult period. In Germany and other European economies time limited subsidies are given to struggling companies so that they can keep on their employees. These subsidies help cut the company’s wage bill and it to spend time in upskilling its employees. This is what is needed at Aer Lingus.

The latest world economic figures show many countries are beginning to come out of recession and this will no doubt lead to increased air travel. The present downturn in the industry is therefore expected to be reversed and Aer Lingus needs to be a position to respond quickly to this. If the government takes positive action NOW to maintain jobs in Aer Lingus then the company will have the experienced personnel in place to respond positively to increased consumer demand.

What the people of North Dublin do not want to hear is empty words from local Fianna Fáil or Green Party representatives saying they support the workers and their families. Instead this government needs to show the people of Ireland and North County Dublin that it understands the pain of unemployment and is prepared to do everything in its power to help keep people in jobs.