Local Issues

* Socialist Party TD condemns decision to axe Donabate Community Welfare Service

* CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE REVERSAL OF “DISASTROUS DECISION”

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly has condemned the decision of the Department of Social Welfare to end the Monday morning Community Welfare service that has operated in Donabate for the past 17 years serving residents from the Donabate/Portrane area.

Deputy Daly said, “This is a huge blow to residents living on the peninsula. At a time when unfortunately more people than ever need to access social welfare services,forcing people who have very little income to travel to Swords is adding insult to injury. The services in Swords are already overburdened, not to mind the expense of having to get there. Let’s face it, operating in the area one day a week was hardly a gold standard service anyway, but at least it was something. To remove it, is a total kick in the teeth for the area.”

“This is a real indictment of government policy and a particular betrayal by Minister Burton and the Labour Party”, Clare Daly said. ” Many people believed that voting labour would protect the most vulnerable. Instead we have even greater inequality than at any time in our history. This is not good enough.Social Welfare services should be locally based so that people can access them. Following on from the closure of the office in Malahide, requiring people to travel to Kilbarrack, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the government has totally abandoned this part of the county. Enough is enough. I believe that residents and the trade unions have to make a stand and save this service and I am strongly urging all to get on to the government TDs and the Minister and get them to reverse this disastrous decision before it is implemented next week.”

Worker's Rights

Joe Higgins TD and Clare Daly TD offer full support and assistance to the workers of Game

The Game stores suddenly announced their closure on Monday resulting in 121 workers losing their jobs without warning. Many of the workers have provided considerable years of service to the games retailer. The workers have now courageously decided to occupy 13 of the stores across the country.

Joe Higgins TD said “I would like to offer my full support and solidarity to the workers of the Game stores who are occupying 13 stores nationwide. It is remarkable that these workers are courageously following in the footsteps of the La Senza and Vita Cortex workers who themselves were inspired by the global Occupy Movement. This dispute is yet another example of major companies using the recession as an excuse to treat loyal workers with complete and utter disdain. I call on the Games stores to immediately provide these workers with their full redundancy and pay entitlements”

Clare Daly TD added “I would like to congratulate the Game workers for making their stand. The fact that these workers recognised immediately the importance of occupying their stores shows once again just how much the worker’s movement has learned in recent times about cut-throat big business. I demand that the Government and in particular the Labour Party intervene into this dispute to ensure that these workers are paid in full what they are due. The trade union movement need to have an immediate response on this issue by putting pressure on the retailer and by also preparing their members for industrial action if it becomes necessary.”

Environment

Media attempting to whitewash the role of the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes in organising mass non registration

“With just under four days left and over 75% non payment there is an emerging narrative in the largely pro establishment media that non payment can be attributed to administrative mess ups on the part of the government.

“While it is true that the Department of the Environment has made blunders the plain facts cannot be escaped that we have seen over the last three months the biggest organised campaign of civil disobedience since the Land League.

“There have been public meetings and protests in every corner of the state and tens of thousands of people have become active in advocating and organising non payment in their street, estate and workplace.

“As part of the effort to diminish the role of the campaign Prime Time last night facilitated Minister Hogan who refused to go head to head with myself on the issue. Instead the role of the campaign was made a foot note when compared to the whys and wherefores of whether or not the tax can be paid in the Post Office.

“By Saturday with the mass demonstration at the FG conference coinciding with the deadline it will be demonstrated that the campaign is the decisive factor on the ground.”

Environment

Clare Daly calls on the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaelteacht to prevent eviction of barge dwellers at Lowtown Marina in Naas

“Residents moored at Lowtown Marina near Naas in County Kildare have without warning been told by Waterways Ireland that they will be asked to quit by the end of this month without any alternative arrangements being offered.

“They are being told that they must do this because the area is to be redeveloped. To date residents paid a company Lowtown Marina Ltd for the right to moor there. It is their home and recognised as such by An Post, the Department of Social Welfare and the HSE.

“Residents have found that representatives from Waterways Ireland are reluctant to properly engage directly with them. This is a very high handed approach which residents I have been in touch with won’t take lying down. Efforts by my own office to talk to officials in Waterways Ireland have proven fruitless. I have therefore tabled a question to the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaelteacht which has oversight over Waterways Ireland, asking him to intervene and make a statement on the matter.”