Working in the Community, Working for the Community

South Tipperary General Hospital urgently needs 40 additional beds to rescue patients from trolley chaos at the hospital.

These additional beds are absolutely essential and would make a huge difference for patients and staff. The Winter Health Service Initiative of the Government is generally disappointing. It is particularly so as regarding extra beds at South Tipperary General Hospital. While the modular/hotel type beds proposal is included, it is not definitive and is only referred to as 1 of 2 options. These beds must be approved and delivered without delay as we approach the autumn/winter period. The Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D. will be visiting the hospital in October and he must formally confirm these additional beds then. Should the Minister fail to do so it will be clear that the government commitment is not serious. I call on all stakeholders including all political representatives, national and local, to rally behind the hospital to ensure that the additional beds are delivered. The last thing we need is political wrangling, point scoring and disunity. If these beds are not delivered, the Minister and the Government should be warned that People Power will be back on the streets of Clonmel. The people of Tipperary are determined that hospital patients be treated with respect and are provided with quality services at South Tipperary General Hospital.
Seamus Healy T.D. 13/9/2016 Tel 087 2802199
Note on Fit out Option
Fit out space within new build under construction. This refers to the building under construction for CT and MRI Scanning Units. The 1st floor of this building is currently a shell. This proposal would be totally inadequate, would not address the serious overcrowding at the hospital and is a cul de sac. It is currently earmarked for Day Surgery and would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. At most, it would accommodate 5 beds going nowhere near addressing the overcrowding problem. There were 28 patients on trolleys yesterday and it has been as high as the mid 40’s.

Apple – Healy only Tipperary TD to vote against Government Motion.

Seamus Healy TD was the only Tipperary TD To Vote Against The Government Motion To Appeal the Award of 13 billion Plus Interest to Ireland in Corporation Tax at the Special Sitting of Dáil Eireann.
Deputy Healy said “I am proud to have voted against the return of in excess of 13 billion Euro to Apple. I want the money to be used to address the severe crises in housing, health, education and other public services for the needy. Sweetheart deals and allowing corporate entities to avoid paying their fair share of tax have serious consequences for ordinary people. It is not a victimless crime.
We have, for instance, a serious housing emergency, with more than 100,000 families on housing waiting lists, and a growing homelessness problem, with 2,000 children living in emergency accommodation. Families continue to be evicted from their homes by banks owned by the State. Hundreds of thousands of people are on hospital waiting lists and chaos prevails in hospital emergency departments. Home help services, home care packages and education are being cut and the list goes on. Low and middle income families are also being fleeced by the universal social charge, house tax, inheritance tax, VAT, student fees and the water tax. Fine Gael, the “Endapendents”, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party are betraying the Irish people by refusing to accept €13 billion with interest from the €228 billion which Apple has resting in subsidiaries with no tax residence anywhere in the world.
The same politicians meekly gave €64 billion of citizens’ money to large international investors who gambled on Irish bank bonds and imposed austerity on our people They now want to give back the guts of €19 billion to one of the largest companies in the world, thus leaving our public services in deep crisis”.
Seamus Healy T.D. Tel 087 2802199

Statement by Seamus Healy TD re South Tipperary General Hospital

South Tipperary General Hospital

Statement by Seamus Healy TD  087-2802199  Chairperson Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee

The decision by the Minister for Health to approve the commencement of the procurement process for additional beds at South Tipperary General Hospital is another success for the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee.

The Committee, embracing all stakeholders, has been pursuing this project for some time. It is a decision which was expected and one that is very welcome.
As chairperson of the Committee, I want to thank all those who worked together on this issue, including the general public, hospital patients and their families, hospital staff and their representatives, the media, especially the Nationalist newspaper and Tipp FM radio, hospital management and local and national Public Representatives
These hotel type beds are, of course, only an interim and partial solution to the continuing crisis at the hospital. The delivery of these beds and the crucial future development of permanent beds, new wards and upgraded facilities will require a continued united effort to deliver for the people of the County.
The Hospital Committee policy over the last 8 years of inclusivity and united effort of the public, patients, staff, hospital management the media and people of all political persuasions and none has been particularly successful.
I want to appeal to all concerned to put aside any personal or political differences and to continue to work together for the future of hospital services in County Tipperary.
The early delivery of the additional beds will require a hugely concentrated effort and commitment and the dovetailing of a number of processes including procurement, planning, building, fitting-out and staffing.  It is vital that this be done with the greatest possible haste.

Other measures are also necessary to address the overcrowding crisis at the hospital.
These include:

·         Full time Community Intervention Teams
·         Additional Home Care Packages
·         Reversal of the cuts to Home Help hours
·         Additional Step-down Beds
 
The Save our Acute Hospital Services Committee sees the commencement of the promised Phase 2 development at the hospital as both urgent and vitally important. It has raised this issue on an ongoing basis with HSE officials and previous Ministers for Health including Minister Varadkar.
 
Minister Harris must now instruct the HSE to complete a Development Control Plan for the Hospital and commit Capital Funds to the hospital in Budget 2017.
The Development Control Plan should detail Phase 2 developments at the hospital, including new medical, maternity, paediatric and acute psychiatry inpatient wards, together with support facilities and services.
 
The closure of St Michael’s Unit and the transfer of acute in-patient psychiatric beds to Kilkenny and Ennis has been nothing short of disastrous and these beds must be returned to South Tipp General Hospital in the short term.

The Committee will be raising these issues directly with the minister on his visit to the hospital on the 1st of October next
 
Seamus Healy TD
Chairperson of the  Save our Acute Hospital Services Committee  087-2802199

 

Hands Off Our Hospital

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Deputy Seamus Healy

Deputy Seamus Healy, Chair of the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee, has warned the Health Service Executive and the Minister for Health to keep their hands off the services at South Tipperary General Hospital.

Deputy Healy was responding to media reports suggesting that the emergency department at the Hospital was being earmarked for closure.

As in the past, “people power” will defeat any attempt to downgrade services at South Tipperary General Hospital.

Saturday 27 th March, 2010 was a red letter day for hospital services in South Tipperary. That was the day the people of South Tipperary stood, 15,000 strong, on the streets of Clonmel and defeated the last attempt to downgrade and transfer our hospital services.

I have no doubt the people of Tipperary will do the same again if needed.

The closure of the emergency department at South Tipperary General Hospital would be dangerous and irresponsible and would indeed put lives at risk with seriously ill patients bypassing the hospital going to already overcrowded services at Cork and Waterford.

Far from downgrading and closure, South Tipperary General Hospital needs to be supported with additional resources, funding and staff. The hospital is “bursting at its seams” working at 120% capacity every hour of every day.

The newly appointed Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris T.D., at my request, will be visiting the hospital shortly to see both the excellent work being done at the hospital and the difficulties being experienced by patients and staff due to under resourcing and shortage of beds.

Indeed we are currently in discussion with the Minister with a view to getting approval for a quick build 40 bed capacity modular/hotel type unit for the hospital for the coming winter.

I will be raising the issue of the future of the emergency department at South Tipperary General Hospital in the Dáil with the Minister this week.

Seamus Healy TD

12/07/2016

087 2802199

Britain Votes to Leave EU Mutualise Cost Of Bank Bail-out Now! Terminate Application of Fiscal Treaty To All Ireland

The imposition of austerity on workers and the poor throughout the EU has had a dramatic outcome in the vote of the majority in the UK to leave the EU.

The capitulation of social democratic political and trade union leaders to this imposition by the European Elites has thrown workers into the hands of right wing leaders.
The abstention by large numbers of nationalist people in the North shows that there is little confidence in a policy of “remain” under current political circumstances as public service cuts are implemented through the Northern Assembly and Executive.
The economic shock caused by this outcome will have huge implications for the 26-county economy bringing a deepening of the economic crisis.

It was a huge betrayal by the 26-co government and its supporting elites to agree to the Fiscal Treaty and to agree to have the Irish people pay 42% of all European Bank Debt. It is this which has made the Irish people so deeply powerless and vulnerable to this shock
I call on the government to open immediate talks with the European Union.
There must be no second capitulation to the EU threat that a “bomb would go off in Dublin”

We must demand , not ask, for compensation from the EU for the bank bailout payments and the termination of the application of the Fiscal Treaty to the whole of Ireland.

The 26 county government must also accept responsibility for the well- being of the people of the whole of Ireland North And South in these talks.

The outcome raises the necessity for an early election to an All-Ireland Parliament to be in place before the 100 th anniversary of the first All-Ireland Dáil(1918) in two years time ( 2018). This is necessary in order to restore Irish sovereignty which is now more necessary than ever to protect the interests of the Irish People North South

Seamus Healy TD
087-2802199

The History and Evolution of the Mental Health Service

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As part of the See Change – Green Ribbon Campaign running for the month of May, this event has been organised. The aim of the campaign is to get people talking about Mental Health and stop the Stigma associated with it.  Everyone is welcome to attend, admission is free.

Remembering James Connolly 1868-1916

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Connolly

The man was all shot through that came today
Into the barrack square;
A soldier I – I am not proud to say
We killed him there;
They brought him from the prison hospital;
To see him in that chair…
His wounds were opened out and round that chair
Was one red lake;
I swear his lips said ‘Fire!’ when all was still
Before my rifle spat
That cursed lead – and I was picked to kill
A man like that!

-Liam Mac Gabhann

On this day one hundred years ago, James Connolly, socialist and republican, being unable to stand was instead tied to a chair and shot in Kilmainham jail.
When news of this leaked, it evoked disbelief, anger and pity among the general population.

But Connolly was no naïve revolutionary. He was a military man, having served in the British army and since acted as Commandant of the Irish Citizen’s Army and Commandant General of the Dublin Division during Easter Week. He was a soldier and he died, unafeared, a soldier’s death. Foreseeing his own death in the cause of Irish freedom he said;

“As a Socialist I am prepared to do all one man can do to achieve for our motherland her rightful heritage – independence”

In order to achieve his twin aims of an Ireland that was free and equal for all, he was ready to die. But Connolly was no starry-eyed romantic, rather he was guided by the starry plough and the very real and untapped power of the workers of Ireland united as one.

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INFLUENCES
Connolly read the work of Karl Marx and Friederich Engels and having spent a number of years in America, was very influenced by the radical Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) or “The Wobblies” as they were also known.
At the outset of World War I, Connolly made known his opposition to the war which he saw for what it was- an imperialist’s squabble over control of their colonies, workers being used as pawns in a rich man’s game. These phony calls of imperialist nationalism would eventually lead millions of working class men to their slaughter in the fields of Europe, many of them Irish. Instead Connolly urged his fellow trade unionists not to let workers be ill-used against each other in this patriot game. He realised the real potential of the workers on all sides to work together and instead overthrow their masters. His sentiments on the subject probably best summed up in that rallying cry,

“The great are only great because we are on our knees. Let us arise!”

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AN IRISH SOCIALIST AND REPUBLICAN
Having discouraged workers’ involvement in such patriot games as “nationalism” of big powers in World War I, Connolly’s ardent republicanism in Ireland might then seem incongruous. How could Connolly discourage Nationalism and support the cause of Irish nationalism? He rightly distinguished between the nationalism of the oppressed and that of the oppressor.
One of Connolly’s central achievements was his understanding of the Irish struggle for independence in the context of the British colonialism of the day. In his 1897 pamphlet, “Socialism and Nationalism”, he explained this philosophy.

“If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.
England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

Connolly understood well that rather than being mutually exclusive the causes of socialism and republicanism in Ireland, an oppressed country, were in fact absolutely dependent on each other.

“The Cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour”.

PARTITION
Before the ill-fated rising he warned that partition in Ireland would have a regressive impact on the cause of social justice on the whole island of Ireland.

“Such a scheme…would mean a carnival of reaction both North and South, would set back the wheels of progress, would destroy the oncoming unity of the Irish Labour movement and paralyse all advanced movements whilst it endured.”

Connolly had a habit of being prophetic. In the divided Ireland of today, the highest child poverty rates in the UK are to be found in the city of Belfast while the sovereignty of the Republic has effectively been sold to Brussels and the government’s power to provide for the social and economic welfare of its own citizens has been ceded to a foreign power. A new form of colonialism in the 21st century. This further explains how the socialist Connolly was such a committed republican, prepared to die for a 32 County Workers’ Republic.

LEGACY
In his short life, Connolly published a number of books and pamphlets on the questions of nationalism and socialism.

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Connolly had a number of children with his wife Lillie and at least two of children became active in socialist republican politics, Nora and Roddy. Nora was a member of the Belfast Fianna and helped found Cumann na mBan. She was also heavily involved in preparations for the 1916 rising, travelling to American to meet John Devoy and smuggling Liam Mellows back to Ireland following his deportation to England. She remained an active republican all her life, taking part in the War of Independence and being imprisoned by the Free State government during the Civil War.

“WOMEN ARE THE SLAVE OF THE SLAVE” -Connolly
Connolly, being influenced by other prominent socialists at the time, was a fervent feminist. Female volunteers were accepted as full members and combatants in Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army. Indeed, Countess Markevicz was in full command in the College of Surgeons/Stephens Green during Easter Week with Michael Malin as her second.
The campaign for universal suffrage was in full flow during Connolly’s years in Ireland and Connolly was a strong supporter of the cause. Of him Frances Sheehy-Skeffington said,

“Mr. James Connolly… is the soundest and most thorough-going feminist among all the Irish labour men…He has done more, by speech and writing, than any other man to bring about that strong feeling of sympathy for the suffragist cause which now exists among the Irish Labour Party.”

Connolly was not afraid either to tackle the issue of women’s liberation with the Catholic Church exposing the Pope for denouncing the women’s suffrage movement a view which can only have been very unpopular at the time.

THE TIPPERARY CONNECTION
Connolly was no stranger to Tipperary and founded the Labour Party with Larkin at the Irish Trade Union Council Congress in Clonmel 1912 which was held in the Workmen’s Boat Club in Irishtown and in the Town Hall.
The Labour Party which he and Larkin founded was an-All Ireland 32 County Labour Party representative of trade unions North and South. The 26-county Labour party of today is but a ruin, due to the damage done by leaders who rejected the Connolly position.

His influence and that of the early labour movement in general was particularly powerful in Munster where the message of equality and fairness spoke to thousands of factory workers and farm labourers in particular. During the War of Independence in the years that followed the rising, Ernie O’Malley wrote of the “red brigandage at large in Munster” where land seizures and take-overs of creameries were common-place. One such take-over took place at the creamery on Suir Island in Clonmel, the “Clonmel Soviet” in the last week of April, 1922.

POST 1916
Connolly’s vision of a future Ireland was an equal Ireland. An Ireland where every person was equal, man and woman, worker and factory owner, where no-one was above anyone else.
Equality.
A simple idea but a revolutionary one. And an idea which is not universally popular even in the Ireland of today because it changes the status quo.

But the spirit of Connolly lives on in initiatives like the Right to Change movement which we at Workers and Unemployed Action are proud founder members of.

At Workers & Unemployed Action we remember Connolly today and every day. He is the guiding light in our everyday work and the driving force behind each and every campaign we wage for a more equal and just Ireland.
Rest in peace James Connolly.


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