Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Environment

Responding to leaked e mail correspondence between Waterways Ireland and Developer Ian Brabazon regarding the latters intentions to develop Lowtown Marina in Naas Clare Daly TD said:

“It would appear from this correspondence that the publicity arising from the active opposition of current long time residents of the marina (see press statement below from last March) delayed the efforts of Waterways Ireland to drive these people out.

“The informality and cosiness in the correspondence between a Waterways Ireland official and developer Ian Brabazon is disturbing and in stark contrast to the near complete lack of engagement by Waterways Ireland and the residents at the Marina and likewise their refusal to talk to my office about this case.

“The rights of the current residents are paramount and the efforts by the developer and Waterways Ireland to turn this Marina into a playground for the rich should be opposed.”

see also March 20th 2012 Lowtown Marina, Naas – barge dweller evictions

Environment

Scale of problem seriously underestimated and recommended response too piecemeal and slow

Report lets current and past governments off the hook

Responding to the publication of the government commissioned report on Pyrite Socialist Party representatives Clare Daly TD and Councillor Ruth Coppinger who have been active on the issue in their areas alongside residents organised in the Pyrite Action Group commented:

Clare Daly said:

“It is a shame that this report is coming out at a juncture where time won’t be made available to debate its findings in the Dáil because there is a lot I and others who have campaigned on this issue have to say. The acknowledgement by the report that the building industry bears responsibility for the pyrite scandal is indisputable. However its claim that the governments past and present do not have any responsibility is simply not the case.

“Successive governments stood over a system of lax building regulations leaving the industry to regulate itself. The catastrophic affects of heave inducing pyrite have been known since the mid 1970s.

“That up to 60,000 houses, considerably more than the 12,000 estimate in the report, spread across scores of housing estates in Leinster could have been built with this material in the foundations represents a gross dereliction by the state.”

Ruth Coppinger said:

“The fact the government commissioned this report and have to been seen to be doing something about the pyrite problem is a testament to the organisation and determination of the householders affected, spearheaded by the Pyrite Action Group who have put ceaseless pressure on the political establishment and representatives of the building industry whose own response has been scandalous.

“The scale of immediate remediation proposed, while welcome for the 850 householders affected is completely inadequate. The piecemeal rate of repairs implied in the report leaves tens of thousands of households have to endure this ordeal for years to come. A system of levying the industry is just too gradual.

“We say that the government should front the funds required for a rapid and extensive remediation programme. The workers and materials required to make this happen are available. The state should then seize the assets of all the quarrying, building supplies and construction companies responsible in order to recoup the funds required for this.

“Anything short of this is an injustice to tens of thousands of predominantly young couples and families who on this any many other instances bear the burden of the economic crisis. I am sure Pyrite Action will be stepping up it campaign in response to this report.

Worker's Rights

Press statement: Clare Daly TD (Socialist Party)

“Bar workers employed by the multinational catering giant SSP in Dublin Airport are rightly determined to fight to save the jobs they have being doing for decades in many cases.

“SSP, after winning a tendering process last February overseen by the DAA paid lip service to Transfer of Undertaking laws and proceeded to try force wage costs down in the most crude of manners which I have detailed in previous statements.

“At this point in time some six bar staff have been selected, unfairly in my view, for redundancy and are pursuing an internal appeals mechanism within SSP overseen from the UK. Those that have not been selected for redundancy are being put on a four week ‘trial’ and are being told that if they are not sacked at the end of that period they may continue their job at €9.40 per hour, a pay cut in the order of 37%.

“Rather than responding to the mood for a ballot for industrial action the SIPTU official locally has mistakenly bought into the redundancies as a done deal and has engaged in a process of negotiating redundancy terms. This fatalistic approach by SIPTU of not fighting to save jobs has got to stop. The workers have taken the unprecedented step of addressing themselves in an open letter to Jack O’Connor, General President of SIPTU insisting that a ballot be conducted as a last throw of the dice to save their jobs.

“I salute their couragious stand. I think it will resonate with working people and the unemployed up and down the country were it not for the media disinterest to date. A successful ballot and action might change that.”

Economy, Features

Press Statement issued by Socialist Party TDs Joe Higgins and Clare Daly, People Before Profit Alliance TDs Joan Collins and Richard Boyd Barrett
Scurrilous attempt to smear Socialist Party and People Before Profit Alliance TDs calculated to undermine principled opposition to Bank bailout/Austerity agenda
Mountain of public funding to establishment political parties dwarfs funds to left parties
The smear campaign orchestrated by Independent Newspapers against the Socialist Party and People Before Profit Alliance TDs is cynically calculated to try and undermine effective and principled opposition to the disastrous austerity agenda implemented to bail out the speculators and bankers who gambled and lost in the property bubble which they created.
It is scurrilous and underhanded to suggest some kind of impropriety in using a Dail travel allowance to travel around the country addressing mass meetings and rallies against the Household Tax or indeed any other issue.
Statutory Instrument 84/2010 refers clearly to a travel allowance that is to be used for ‘travel expenses which the member is obliged to incur in the performance of his or her duties as a member of Dáil Eireann.’ It is our duty to campaign for ordinary working class people against the baleful hardship imposed by the destructive austerity agenda.  But there is a blatant attempt to try and smear those TDs who are to the fore in the fight against this.
Massive public funding of Establishment parties ignored in smear campaign against the Left
In creating an artificial and manufactured controversy about using part of a travel allowance to fight the austerity agenda, Independent Newspapers conveniently overlooks the massive public funding of the pro-austerity political parties.  Under two headings: Party Leaders Allowance and Exchequer funding of Parties based on their first preference vote in the General Election over a 2% threshold: In 2011 Fine Gael received €4.57 million; Fianna Fail received €3.38 million; The Labour Party received €2.67 million; The Socialist Party and PBPA received €120,903 each which was audited and accounted for.
Among the uses for which the major parties can use their public funding for is ‘co-ordination of the activities and members of the party’. In essence their officers and organisers can travel the country to build their parties on public funding.

Public Funding of Registered Political Parties in 2011

Party Leader’s Allowance

First Pref Vote Payment

Total 2011

Fine Gael

€2,579,030

€1,996,638

€4,575,668

Labour

€1,634,607

€1,036,050

€2,670,657

Fianna Fáil

€1,746,501

€1,635,708

€3,382,209

 

le=”MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt;”>Green Party

€75,583

€151,291

€226,874

Sinn Féin

€933,875

€629,275

€1,563,150

The Socialist Party

€120,903

nil

€120,903

People Before Profit Alliance

€120,903

nil

€120,903