Road Safety Alert – Weather Warning Issued with Strong Winds

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extreme care when using the roads this weekend as Met Éireann has issued an orange weather alert warning of extreme winds from Saturday afternoonthrough to early Sunday morning.
South-westerly winds veering West with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h reaching gusts of 110 km/h and130km/h, in exposed coasts and headlands for a time on Saturday evening and early night. There will be high seas and some high tides and coastal flooding is possible.

The RSA also advises road users to:

·         Beware of objects being blown out onto the road and to expect the unexpected. In particular watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road. Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.

·         Drivers should allow extra space around vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.

·         Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

·         Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility not parking/side lights and fog lights.

·         Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.

Pedestrians should take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

·         Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are advised to be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.

·         Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

For advice on severe weather driving tips please see severe weather advice<http://www.rsa.ie/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/Severe-Weather-Advice/> on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more weather updates visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie<http://www.met.ie/>

For further information contact;
RSA Communications department 096-25008

Communications Department| Road Safety Authority | Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo | Dir 096 25008 | www.rsa.ie<http://www.rsa.ie/>

Seamus Healy TD Calls for Release of Right to Water Protesters Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

IMG_4930-0

I am shocked by the jailing of five water protesters for contempt of court yesterday

I wish to condemn these jailings and to call for the immediate release of the protesters

It is important to remember that these jailings are not as a result of any crime or act of violence committed, but for a technical ‘contempt of court’ issue.

They stand in stark contrast to the impunity of those who brought about the financial crisis which has resulted in untold hardship for communities across Ireland – hardship further exacerbated by the imposition of water charges. The movement against water charges has been based on mass peaceful protest, and this will continue.

The ultimate responsibility for these incarcerations lies with the Government who have made a political choice to impose water charges on communities. The protestors jailed today are simply protecting themselves, their children and their communities from further political attacks on their living standards. They should be freed without delay.

We have a country where 37% of children live in deprivation and 1.7 million citizens have less than €100 disposal income monthly. Moreover, another 500,000 citizens have nothing left after bills have been paid. The communities represented by the protesters jailed today are the human face of these statistics. I again call on the Government to show common sense, halt the installation of water meters and abolish these charges. This is necessary to prevent any further unnecessary confrontation in the interests of both communities and workers.

Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

NET LOSS of 321 IDA JOBS In Co Tipperary over last 3 years but County Excluded from Provision of New Advance Factories or Offices in Government Plan For JOBS

From Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

NET LOSS of 321 IDA JOBS In Co Tipperary over last 3 years but County Excluded from Provision of New Advance Factories or Offices in Government Plan For JOBS

Minister Bruton Admitted to Deputy Seamus Healy in Dail to-day that only 2 (two) net jobs were provided by IDA in Co Tipperary in 2014!!!!! There were 64 new jobs and 62 job losses in the county. WORSE STILL-There was a net loss of 321 IDA Jobs in the county over the last 3 years. Yet the towns of County Tipperary were all omitted from the plan to spend 150 million euro on providing advance factories and offices to encourage inward investment in its plan for jobs issued yesterday!!!   

Despite repeated questions from Deputy Healy  in the Dáil on Thursday morning , Minister Bruton failed to give any assurance that any advance manufacturing and office facilities for incoming IDA supported industry would be built in any Co Tipperary location over the next five years.

  • Deputy Healy pointed out that this would mean that the locations specified in the Ministers statement for such advance facilities (Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford) would have a huge advantage  over Co Tipperary in the location of new jobs and would compound the discrimination
  • against Co Tipperary over the past two years by IDA.

DEPUTY HEALY SAID: “The Minister’s announcement yesterday says nothing about towns in Tipperary. It talks about the investment over the coming years in building advance manufacturing and office facilities in Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford. There is no mention of any town in Tipperary or the building of advance factories or office facilities on any of the sites that are available throughout the county, in Tipperary town, Archerstown in Thurles, Lisboney in Nenagh, Benamore at Roscrea, Clonmel, Cashel or Carrick-on-Suir. It is quite obvious that there is no commitment to job creation for County Tipperary through IDA companies into the future.

I want to see the plan the Minister announced yesterday amended to include County Tipperary specifically.”

In 2013 while 202 new  were created  521 IDA JOBS WERE LOST IN THE COUNTY

In 2014  only 16 new jobs were provided in North Tipp and 48 in South Tipp. There were 62 job losses giving a net gain of two

 

78% of all IDA Jobs were provided in Dublin,  Cork, and Limerick

Seamus Healy TD  087-2802199

Extracts From Dáil Report Feb 12

Deputy Richard Bruton:   I assure the Deputy that every county, including Tipperary, is included in our regional strategy. No one is excluded. The annual employment survey shows that 68 jobs were created and 77 were lost among IDA client companies in Tipperary in 2012. In 2013, 202 jobs were created while 521 were lost, and in 2014, 64 jobs were created while 62 were lost

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Minister’s announcement yesterday says nothing about towns in Tipperary. It talks about the investment over the coming years in building advance manufacturing and office facilities in Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford. There is no mention of any town in Tipperary or the building of advance factories or office facilities on any of the sites that are available throughout the county, in Carrick on Suir, Archerstown in Thurles, Lisboney in Nenagh, Benamore at Roscrea, Clonmel, Cashel or Tipperary Town. It is quite obvious that there is no commitment to job creation for County Tipperary through IDA companies into the future. I want to see the plan the Minister announced yesterday amended to include County Tipperary specifically.

Seamus Healy TD  097-2802199

 

  • Co Tipperary has been omitted from IDA plans to provide advance factories in the Jobs plan announced by Government yesterday
  • In his statement launching the plan the Minister said: “IDA Ireland will roll out a 5-year €150million capital investment programme to help attract more multinational jobs into each region. This programme will build on the recent investment by IDA in facilities in Athlone and Waterford, and will include investments over the coming years in building advance manufacturing and office facilities in Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford”
  • (see full statement below)
  • .

Statement by Minister Bruton on Jobs Plan

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation  Website

€250million plan to accelerate jobs growth in towns and villages across the country

Action Plan for Jobs – Regional aimed at encouraging communities and agencies in each region to work together to support job-creation

Minister Bruton – jobs are now growing in every region of the country, we need to accelerate this

The Government today announced details of its 5-year, €250million strategy aimed at accelerating the jobs recovery in every part of the country.

Action Plan for Jobs – Regional is based on the principle that the best way to support job-creation in towns and villages across the country is to support agencies and organisations within each region to build on the particular strengths and assets of their area and drive new job-creation strategies and projects.

The strategy will be based on the successful Action Plan for Jobs model of setting out lists of actions with timelines and responsibility allocated, and then monitoring implementation. The initiative is being led by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD and will include three main elements:

  • Each of the 8 regions (below) will develop its own Action Plan. Lead responsibility for coordinating the development of the plan will be assiged to an Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland official in each region. Stakeholders including enterprise agencies, educational institutions, local authorities, business and community groups will be responsible for working together to develop the Action Plan in each region. The first plan will be published in the coming weeks for the Midlands, with 6 plans published by July and all 8 in place by Q3
  • To support and encourage regional stakeholders in working together, up to €100million in Enterprise Ireland funding will be made available over 5 years through a series of competitive calls. The first tranche of €50million will be made available from 2015. Funding under these programmes will be allocated on a competitive basis, with most funds awarded to regional projects offering the best prospects for job-creation
  • IDA Ireland will roll out a 5-year €150million capital investment programme to help attract more multinational jobs into each region. This programme will build on the recent investment by IDA in facilities in Athlone and Waterford, and will include investments over the coming years in building advance manufacturing and office facilities in Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford.

The Taoiseach said: “While recovery is under way, we cannot let it bypass families or communities on the basis of their location. Irish recovery is for all of Ireland. Today, the Government is publishing a €250 million plan to ensure that no part of Ireland is left behind in the jobs recovery. While every part of the country has seen an increase in jobs since 2012, we can and must do more. The Regional Action Plan for Jobs will maximise the individual strengths and assets of each region to support enterprise growth and job creation. The plan also includes up to €150 million for an IDA property investment programme to attract foreign direct investment into different parts of Ireland. All of these initiatives are part of the Government’s strategy to rebuild a strong, enterprise economy that can support full employment.”

The Tánaiste said: “Our economic recovery is well under way, with Dublin and other cities recording particularly strong growth in job creation. We want to spread that jobs recovery to every region and every community. Today we are committing to funding of €250 million to drive job creation across the different regions, through IDA and Enterprise Ireland. In addition, locally-driven Regional Enterprise strategies will help each region lean on its own unique strengths and assets to power regional economic growth, benefitting local businesses and families.”

Statement on European Debt 04 February 2015

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

Debt is a millstone around the necks of the Irish people and of all low and middle-income families across Europe. I support the call for a new European debt conference. There is precedent for that. In 1952-53, Germany had 50% of its debt written off with a moratorium on repayment and a lengthy repayment period of 50 years or more.

The Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan has told us that the Irish debt is affordable and repayable. Of course it is, but it is only affordable and repayable if we are prepared to starve our children and have them live on the streets in cardboard boxes in Dublin and other towns and cities across the country. Of course, that is an absolutely outrageous suggestion.

The Minister of State, Deputy Harris, has told us we talk about abstract statistics. I can tell the Minister of State that the 350,000 people who are unemployed are not abstract statistics. They want a debt writedown. The 90,000 people on local authority housing lists want one, as do the 40,000 families who are facing repossession of their family homes.

The 30% of the population experiencing deprivation and the children living in poverty want a debt write-down. Certainly, they do not believe the debt we are repaying is either affordable or repayable.
Unfortunately, that is only half of the story. This assessment is made on the basis of the country paying interest on the debt of €7.5 billion per year. What will happen after the next general election is something the Government is not telling the people about. That is when the fiscal treaty will kick in and we will have to pay to meet the structural deficit.

How much more will that take out of the economy? I figure it will be anything up to €11 billion for several years. What will happen when the second part of the fiscal treaty kicks in? We will be obliged to get the debt down to 60% of GDP from its current level, anything from 102% to 120%, depending on to whom one is talking. That will give us austerity for a further 20 years or more. Austerity is not something abstract; it means human misery and chaos for low and middle-income families throughout the country and the eurozone.

It is unbelievable the Government will not take the opportunity to look for a debt conference and a write-down of debt that could ensure jobs would be created, houses built and trolleys taken from the corridors of accident and emergency departments, It could also ensure thousands of families would not lose their homes and children would not live in poverty. It is unbelievable the Government does not support the concept of seeking a debt write-down for the people in question who are already paying through the nose for a recession they did not create. Even before Syriza came to power in Greece, because that country had stood up to the European Union it had received a better debt deal than Ireland. Ireland should get together with Greece and the other programme countries and demand a new European debt conference for the benefit and betterment of the people.

Closure of Court Services – Another attack on Rural Ireland.

Proposed closure of the Court House at Carrick on Suir, of the District Court Sittings in Tipperary Town, the Court office at Nenagh Courthouse and the actual closure of the Probate Office in the County is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped.
These proposed closures are part of a more widespread, focused and deliberate assault on Rural Ireland involving the stripping away of services.
This policy was commenced by the last Fianna Fail/ Green Party Government and has been continued even more aggressively by the current Fine Gael/Labour Coalition.
The destruction of rural Ireland involves the
• Closure of rural Garda Stations
• Closure of rural Post Offices ( now continuing by way of deliberate reduction in Social Welfare business and proposed salary cuts for Post Masters)
• Reduction in teacher numbers and increased class sizes in small rural schools
• Withdrawal of bus services north and south of the county including Carrick on Suir, Cahir and North Tipperary areas.
• Lack of effective Broadband Services
• Failure to provide GP Services
• Withdrawal of Medical Card offices which has created confusion, fear and trauma
• Regionalisation of Hospital Services
• Deliberate focus of job creation on the east coast area around Dublin and the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway to the detriment of rural counties like Tipperary.
I want to commend Muintir na Tire for the launching with other community groups of the “ Save Rural Ireland” campaign which focuses on the Post Office, GP, Broadband and flood risk and flood insurance areas among others. I will be strongly supporting this initiative.

The cuts to rural services are another form of austerity specifically targeted against rural Ireland based on centralisation and the baseless belief that bigger is best.
That of course is demonstrably untrue and is also diametrically opposed to the well-established and universally acknowledged principle of subsidiarity. In other words services are best and most effectively delivered as close as possible to the communities they serve.

I will be raising this way by way of Topical Issue and Parliamentary Question and I am calling on the Tipperary Government Oireachtas members, Minister Alan Kelly, Minister of State Tom Hayes and Senator Denis Landy to immediate halt any closure of Court Services in Tipperary and reverse the serious and deliberate assault on rural Ireland and its essential services.

Seamus Healy T.D.
Tel 087 2802199
3/2/2015

Statement in the Dáil during the private members motion on Housing Affordability on 27 January 2015.

Photo of Séamus HealySéamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

There is a very significant housing crisis in this country and the figures are truly horrendous. A total of 90,000 families languish on local authority housing waiting lists throughout the country. A total of 73,000 families are on rent supplement, in many cases, condemned to live in poor, substandard, damp and insecure accommodation.

For example, in Tipperary, 3,100 people are on the local authority housing waiting list and not a single local authority house will be built in 2015. No council, including Tipperary, has been given a capital allocation for housing this year as yet. This means that the council will be lucky to build any houses in 2016 – or at the very most, it will be at the end of 2016 before they are built.

This huge housing crisis is a result of the policies pursued by the previous Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government and by this Government slashing the local authority house building programme and privatising housing. The 2020 social housing strategy is a continuation of that privatisation. At the end of that period, we will find that three quarters of the social housing will be provided by private rented accommodation, with only 5,800 new local authority builds per year. Some 40 years ago, in 1975, we were building 8,794 local authority houses. We need to repeat those figures; we need to build at least 10,000 local authority houses for people on the housing waiting list. There is no doubt that the privatisation of public housing has been an absolute disaster. No less a person than Uachtarán na hÉireann has drawn our attention to the issue. He has stated that we have to accept once and for all that people who need housing and cannot provide that from their own means should not be abandoned to the market place and the principle should be accepted that their housing should be as good as any other housing. He stated that one of the most basic deprivations a human being can suffer or fear, is that of being homeless. He further stated that it is about democracy, that one cannot leave the provision of housing to a residual feature of the market place. We have done that and homelessness is the consequence. He also stated that we have to accept that we need a great, huge increase in public rental accommodation.

The Irish Council for Social Housing said something similar when it stated that the over-reliance on the private market to meet social housing demand is unsustainable and ultimately unpredictable. Barnardos states that it is seriously concerned about the scale of the housing crisis now facing many low-income families, particularly those reliant on social welfare.

Many children experience their childhood in overcrowded, unsuitable and insecure accommodation, which affects their social, emotional and educational development. We need an emergency public house building programme, with an absolute minimum of 10,000 local authority builds every year. This programme would be self-financing and would make common sense. It would put construction workers back to work and ensure additional PAYE income for the State. It would also ensure a saving to the State in social welfare payments and it would provide additional rental income for the State. It would also support the local economy, as it would put money in people’s pockets which would ensure a huge boost for local shops and businesses in danger of closing.

What we have heard from the Minister and the Government this evening is not the real world. A total of 90,000 families are on local authority house waiting lists, which is a huge figure. These thousands of families are condemned to live in insecure, poor and substandard accommodation. This must stop.