Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087 2802199

The government has this afternoon announced the closure of Kickham Barracks.

This is an outrageous decision which is completely indefensible on any grounds whatsoever.  It will not save a cent for the exchequer.  It will take €9 – €10 million per year out of the town, will cause further job losses and business closures.  It is a vicious attack on soldiers and their families.  Many are in negative equity and will be unable to sell houses.  Soldiers will be foreced to commute to Limerick at a cost of €3000 per year or to resign from the Defence forces.  This decision is totally unacceptable and will be fought with the greatest resolution.

When taken together with the proposed closure of St Michael’s Acute Psychiatric unit and the movement of the head office of the Vocational Education Committee out of Clonmel and South Tipperary, it is clear that the Labour – Fine Gael Coalition has targeted South Tipperary for savage attacks.  The Government parties have abandoned the constituency.

Not since Clonmel was encircled by Cromwell’s forces in the 17th Century has South Tipperary been subjected to such a siege.

I call on all Oireachtas members, MEP’s and Councillors, especially those who belong to Fine Gael and Labour including Deputy Tom Hayes, Senator Denis Landy and MEP Phil Prendergast not to be found wanting in anything that may be necessary to repulse this onslaught.

Government must be told, not asked, to reverse the decision taken this afternoon immediately.

Signed: Deputy Seamus Healy