9 November 2011
Eamon Gilmore TD
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Re: Continuing Detention of Irish Nationals in Israel
We are writing to you to express our outrage at the continuing detention of 14 Irish citizens in Givon prison. The 14 crew of the MV Saorise alongside the crew of the Canadian vessel Tahrir where kidnapped by the Israeli navy in international waters and have face ludicrous charges of illegally entering Israel.
If any other country acted in this fashion against Irish citizens the pressure on you to condemn outright such an action would be considerable. However different standards seem to apply to Israel in the world of international diplomacy. Frankly the response of the government has been disgracefully lacking and you personally must take a large share of the responsibility.
Even at this advanced stage we demand that you and press for the immediate release of all those who were kidnapped, condemn the actions of the Israeli state and expel the ambassador for this outrage
Seamus Healy TD
Joe Higgins TD
Clare Daly TD
Richard Boyd Barrett TD
Joan Collins TD
Responding to the speculation of an immenent announcement from Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar of the cancelling of the Metro North project Socialist Party/United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly said:
“This announcement kills the prospect not only of a vital piece of infrastructure for the northside of Dublin but also the hope many thousands of unemployed construction workers had of getting back to work.
“This comes as no surprise coming on the back of the promised €750 million cut in capital spending in budget 2012. Precisely when state investment in jobs is needed most because of the collapse of private sector investment this government does the complete opposite of what is required.
“The timing of the announcement is cynical in the extreme. The Socialist Party and its candidate in the recent Dublin West by election, Ruth Coppinger, who topped the poll in the Swords part of the constituency strove to make Metro North alongside Metro West a key point of debate about how to combat unemployment during the election campaign.
“Labour and Fine Gael however remained silent on the issue. The Labour by election victor Patrick Nulty, after opposing a debate and vote last week on the €715 million Anglo bailout has another opportunity to prove himself to be true to his word when he promised to be ‘a voice that will be heard’ within the government. We should not hold our breath!”
Clare Daly on Fingal Community TV re: Rush Super Sewerage Treatment Plant [5:05] (click on the green cue point)
“The proposed Water Services Amendment Bill to enable inspection of septic tanks is part of the further privatisation of public services. The local authorities already know that all houses not connected to a public sewer dispose of effluent to a cess pit, septic tank or package treatment plant so what is this registration process for other than to get the charge accepted so that it can be increased in the future?
“The local authority Water Services already have staff capable of compiling all the information required in relation to the type of system in use and the associated percolation areas. In addition, the legislation proposes that the local authorities be ignored again as the EPA will organise an inspection service – application fee to register as inspector is €1,000 This is all part and parcel of the plan to privatise the water services which will inevitably impose more costs on householders already stretched to the limit.
“Eamon O’Cuiv has made similar points but has some neck given his party’s role in government and on local authorities over the past decades where they used Section 4 legislation to overturn planning advice. The failure of FF, FG the Greens and Labour in Government during this period has created the situation whereby probably 50% of the individual house treatment systems are not compliant with many not having any secondary treatment.
“When these systems inevitably fail the initial inspection the house owner will be faced with significant works to enable compliance with the EPA standards – a new septic tank and percolation system, testing of soil for infiltration characteristics, civil engineering works and professional fees.
“Taxpayers in rural areas- not all rural residents – can justifiably feel hard done by given that billions have been spent during the past decade on upgrading of waste water treatment systems to benefit urban areas.
“While the upgrading of septic tanks and other treatment systems is definitely needed, the attempted privatisation should be resisted.
“Better by far, that a government task force employ thousands of the unemployed engineers, technicians and other building workers to systematically inspect and remediate the treatment systems throughout the country and to connect as many as possible to public sewers and ugrade or new public waste water treatment plants.
“Where’s the money going to come from? The €715 million of bankers debt handed over to unknown bondholders by Fine Gael and Labour this week would have made a good start.”