Despite the weather, there was a huge turnout in support of Mental Health Reform outside Leinster House this afternoon. It was a very emotional and powerful demonstration. More investment in our services is vital and these cuts must be reversed. #iscuisme #IAmAReason
Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199
I stood in the recent general election as a Right2Water and Right2Change candidate and have been involved in the movement since the initial stages. I congratulate all water campaigners around the country who in the past two and a half or three years stood up to be counted. Hundreds of thousands of people went out onto the streets. Community campaigners, anti-metering protestors and those who fought Irish Water on every street and estate and in every village, town and city stood up to be counted. They also stood up to the political parties. People power has won its first victory against water charges. Those involved have forced the political parties to retreat. The emerging deal – a fudge – is the first victory as the Government and Fianna Fáil have been forced to back down, but they did not do so voluntarily. They did it under the pressure exerted by people power. A word of caution to everyone involved in the campaign: he or she should stay organised and continue to resist metering. The political parties are treacherous and may attempt to reintroduce water charges. Today’s bad tempered rant by the caretaker Minister, Deputy Alan Kelly, may be an indication of what is to come. If we stay organised and continue to resist metering, however, water charges will be dead and buried.
As we have said from the beginning, water charges are unjust and represent double taxation. They were the straw that broke the camel’s back among people who had been devastated by austerity, in particular low and middle income families. A motion on the Order Paper that has been signed by 39 Deputies calls for the abolition of water charges and the enshrining in the Constitution of the public ownership of water infrastructure. It should be debated urgently, but, unfortunately, Fianna Fáil has agreed with Fine Gael to prevent that from happening. I appeal to Fianna Fáil, the Members of which where elected on a pledge to end water charges, to allow the motion to be tabled and voted on, as there is a majority in the House in favour of abolishing water charges. Irish Water must be abolished as it has been a disaster for ordinary people. We must also ensure the many people who paid their water charges under duress – the elderly people who were afraid and people who were ill and worried certainly did not pay voluntarily – will have their money refunded. It is important that the legislation underpinning domestic water charges is repealed. I appeal to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to allow the motion on the Order Paper to be debated and voted on so as to put water charges and Irish Water to bed once and for all.
Healy Demands immediate opening of Existing vacant 40 bed Hospital Unit at Our Lady’s Hospital, Cashel.
Deputy Seamus Healy has again raised the scandal of a closed 40 bed unit at Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel while at the same time South Tipperary General Hospital is bursting at the seams.
Deputy Healy has raised the issue of overcrowding at South Tipperary General Hospital twice in the Dáil at the election of Taoiseach and is again raising this issue ahead of a debate on health in the Dáil tomorrow where he will again be calling for urgent action.
It is long since passed the time when the trolley crisis at the hospital must be tackled.
On the 10th March, the first day of the vote on the election of Taoiseach, there were 44 patients on trolleys at South Tipperary General Hospital, the highest number in the country. On the second day of the vote for Taoiseach there were 38 patients on trolleys and the numbers have been consistently high since well before Christmas.
It’s not as if there isn’t a solution to the problem. There is a very obvious solution.
There is an existing 40 bed hospital unit, moth balled, closed and lying idle at Our Lady’s Hospital, Cashel.
Deputy Healy is demanding that this unit be opened immediately to relieve the crisis at South Tipperary General Hospital.
It is not good enough that patients must lie for days on trolleys at South Tipperary General Hospital while the Health Service Executive does nothing.
Patients have no privacy and little or no access to wash and bathroom facilities.
The Emergency Department crisis is now affecting the whole hospital. The occupancy of the 79 medical beds is now running at 150% and general surgery and gynaecology procedures are being cancelled.
The whole hospital is now running at way above capacity, in the region of 130%, putting huge pressure on patients and staff and raising the issue of safety.
It is time to solve this situation once and for all and the solution is available and obvious – the opening of the Cashel Unit.
I will again be raising this issue in the Dáil tomorrow.
Seamus Healy T.D.19/4/2016
Tel 087 2802199
– Social Entrepreneurs Ireland call for entries closes 7th April –
With the deadline fast approaching, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) is calling on Tipperary based social entrepreneurs to apply to their 2016 Awards Programme. With €600,000 in support on offer, SEI is searching for people with innovative ideas to some of Ireland’s biggest social and environmental problems.
SEI has a history of supporting home-grown social enterprises, investing nearly €6.3 million in 190 social entrepreneurs since 2004. These investments have been made in a variety of areas ranging from adult education, the provision of emergency services in rural Ireland, voter engagement, food waste, and many more. SEI supported projects have worked with more than 380,000 people around the country, creating 1,080 jobs in the process.
This year SEI are providing €600,000 in funding and support to nine social entrepreneurs and their high potential social start-ups. In addition, successful applicants will be provided with access to professional supports, mentoring, and training.
Speaking about the 2016 Awards Programme, Darren Ryan, Chief Executive of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said “Just as entrepreneurs can drive change in business, social entrepreneurs can bring about real change in society. This year we are calling on people all around Ireland to consider if their big idea has the potential to change Ireland. If so, we want to hear from them.”
DCC plc, one of Ireland’s largest public companies, has partnered with SEI in their search for the country’s leading social entrepreneurs over the past five years. Tommy Breen, CEO of DCC plc said “We strongly believe in the work carried out by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and we’re delighted to be supporting their Awards Programme again this year. It is a great privilege to play a role in assisting Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs who are dedicated to making a positive impact on our society.”
The deadline for applications to the SEI Awards Programme is 5pm on Thursday, 7th April. Full details on the application process and eligibility criteria can be found online at www.socialentrepreneurs.ie.
Deputy Seamus Healy slammed the Government as over 40 Patients wait on Trolleys at South Tipp General as 7 billion in annual Interest paid to European Banks
The following is a speech by Deputy Healy in the Dáil regarding the treatment of people entering our hospitals.
“Yesterday at South Tipperary General Hospital, there were 44 patients on chairs, trolleys and corridor beds awaiting admission. I am told this is the highest number on trolleys in the hospital in the whole country. What has this to do with the debate we are having here today? It has, of course, everything to do with it. The hospital is starved of resources.
Approximately 25% of its budget, or approximately €15 million, has been cut over recent years. This is because the previous Government, namely the Fianna Fáil–Green Party Government, and the current Government, the Fine Gael–Labour Party Government, have agreed to pay €7 billion in debt interest repayments every year to EU institutions and banks. I wonder whether the Taoiseach raised the issue of debt and its renegotiation at the recent meetings. He told us approximately two and a half years ago that there would be a game-changer in regard to debt. It never happened. Now our services, including health and housing services, and economy are being absolutely devastated by the fact that huge sums of money are being paid out of the country to financial institutions right across Europe, including very wealthy ones. Some €7 billion per year is being paid in interest alone.
The fiscal treaty agreed following the Lisbon treaty has created a new colonialism within Europe. That treaty flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation. It is not a sovereignty-sharing treaty. It effectively sets aside Irish sovereignty and hands it over to big EU powers. It must be renegotiated. This could best be done in the framework of a debt-neutralisation conference. Ireland should demand such a conference and seek support for this demand from Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and others. The fiscal treaty requirement for Ireland is essentially a continuation of austerity over the next 20 years. This is linked to the circumstances we note today in South Tipperary General Hospital and the 1,600 children living in emergency hotel accommodation.
The fiscal compact requires that the current budget deficit be reduced below 3% of GDP, that the structural deficit be eliminated by 2018 and that the public debt–GDP ratio be reduced to 60% over the next 20 years. Despite the physical exit of the troika from Dublin, the Government and this country are still bound by the treaty to keep the current budget deficit below 3%. On the other hand, the current budget deficit in Germany, for instance, has been below 3% for the last number of years. It has no structural deficit and the German national debt–GDP ratio is at 57%, already below 60%. In other words, there are no impositions whatsoever on Germany under the fiscal treaty. The treaty is merely a device to force the programme countries and other indebted countries to make huge repayments to stronger countries, led by Germany, although all EU countries were responsible for the banking busts and European recession.
A new economic colonialism has been established within Europe through the fiscal treaty. Owing to this and the payment of €7 billion in interest, the Irish economy and public services, including health, education, housing and other services, are being devastated. Ireland will continue to pay over €7 billion per year in interest on borrowings. Our public service will remain under-funded. Any attempt to reduce our reliance on foreign direct investment through public investment in modern indigenous industry will fail because of that huge payment out of the country.
The combination of our over-reliance on multinationals and the provisions of the fiscal treaty mean the State has virtually no sovereignty or power to ensure the economic and social well-being of its citizens.
The new Dáil must demand the renegotiation of the fiscal treaty and the convention of a European debt mutualisation conference to ensure moneys are available to provide for citizens and public services such as health”
Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199
I have to-day nominated Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan for election to the post of Ceann Comhairle of the new Dáil. Deputy O’Sullivan was also nominated by several other independent deputies and members of small parties.
I believe that it is important to have a Ceann Comhairle who is not a member of any of the political parties. I am confident that Deputy O’Sullivan would be a scrupulously fair and competent Cathaoirleach of Dáil sessions.
Deputy O Sullivan was re-elected in the Dublin Central Constituency in General Election 2016. She was backed by the (Tony) Gregory Group.
I call on all Deputies to give their first preference vote to Maureen O’Sullivan on Thursday.
Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199