Local Issues

*DALY CALLS FOR REVERSAL OF DECISION TO AXE YET ANOTHER PUBLIC SERVICE IN MALAHIDE

* SHOCK AS COMMUNITY WELFARE OFFICER SHUTS DOOR

Dublin North TD Clare Daly has reacted angrily to the decision of the Department of Social Protection to shut the doors of the Community Welfare Officers clinic in Malahide from Tuesday week, March 20th.

Deputy Daly has called on the Minister to pull back from the decision. She said, “Axing the community welfare officer service from Malahide, at a time when more people than ever need to avail of it, is a severe blow to families and individuals in the area and cannot be allowed to proceed. Forcing people to go to Kilbarrack to access a service that will only be open for an hour and a half, three mornings a week, is scandalous.”

She continued, “Following on from the decision to cut the Garda station opening hours and not proceeding with the Fry’s Model Railway project for the Casino, you’d begin to wonder whether the government has a vendetta against Malahide.”

“This is part of a wider problem of inadequate Social welfare services across north county Dublin. Forcing people who are unemployed to spend their limited resources on bus & train fares, or petrol going into the city centre or indeed Kilbarrack in this instance is just not on,” she said.

“Everyone remembers the election promises. It’s about time the government TDs started delivering for the area”.

Education

Environment, Local Issues

* MINISTER RABBITTE REFUSES TO RESPOND TO DAMNING NEW HEALTH EVIDENCE IN RELATION TO EAST WEST INTERCONNECTOR

* DALY CALLS ON MINISTER TO ACT

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly had an angry exchange in the Dail today (07/03/2012) with Labour’s Minister Pat Rabbitte over the Minister’s refusal to intervene in relation to the fact that it has emerged that Eirgrid submitted seriously inaccurate information during the oral hearing into the East West Interconnector and the very serious potential health effects for residents, especially children.

Deputy Daly was questioning the Minister in relation to whether he was satisfied with the electro magnetic field information submitted by Eirgrid to An Bord Pleanala. She slammed his assertion that he had “no reason to believe that any relevant information in relation to EMF had been withheld or misrepresented”.

She said, “The Minister has every reason to believe that this happened. This information was brought to his attention, where Rush Community Council explained how Eirgrid had incorrectly stated during the planning process that the magnetic field would be static only. They now admit that the actual magnetic filed will have a time varying component, and that this knew this all along, but try to say that this information is insignificant.”

“This is absolutely not the case. The fact that one of the government’s own former advisor’s Professor Anthony Staines said, “It now appears that the evidence as to the induced magnetic field presented at the oral hearing was SERIOUSLY INACCURATE….. the potential adverse health effects of the cable system’s magnetic field have not been assessed..low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, “should be the decider in the government demanding an immediate inquiry and full re-examination of the planning process.”

“That minister Rabbitte dismisses these concerns is an affront to the community of Rush. It is now up to the Minister for Health, Dublin north’s Dr. Reilly to immediately take action,” Deputy Daly said. “Failure to act is akin to criminal neglect of residents in the area and particularly children. I really hope that residents get active again and demand that Eirgrid are called to account”

Communications Energy and Natural Resources

The reason the Government should not sell a 25% stake in Aer Lingus is that it would realise a pittance for it. Bearing in mind the Government’s share and the 15% staff shareholding, one realises the State would lose a vital strategic link and connectivity with Heathrow and other areas. The company has been in existence for decades and has provided secure, permanent, pensionable employment and a good service.

The Labour Party has some neck to posit the sale of State assets as some great move towards job creation. What an absolute betrayal of the people who voted for it. It told them it would protect valuable State concerns although the dogs on the street know that every privatisation inevitably results in job losses. We saw this with Eircom, in respect of which at least 7,000 more jobs were lost. Some 3,500 jobs were lost in Aer Lingus since its part and majority privatisation. We should consider the valuable job creation prospects that would exist if we were to retain the semi-State industries in our control.

We must consider this discussion against the backdrop of the collapse of private sector investment in our economy. This collapse has amounted to €30 billion since 2007. Where will the jobs come from, bearing in mind that the State could be the main mover in job creation? Rather than hiving off parts of our assets, why are we not investing in research, wind and wave energy? The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources told us 10,000 jobs could be created in the wind and wave energy sectors. Where is this investment? Why is the State not investing in the semi-State concerns?

It is inevitable that workers in the companies in question will resist any attempts to sell off vital assets. They will be supported by the public. I ask that the agenda put forward by the United Left Alliance be accepted and that the workers be supported.