Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Healy Tells Taoiseach – Hands off our Bus Service – Give Tipperary a Fair Crack of the Whip

Speaking at Leaders Questions in the Dáil on 21st  Feb Deputy Healy said

 

“All citizens have a right to a satisfactory and good-quality public transport service. It is the duty of the State to ensure that such a service is provided. It cannot and must not be left to market forces.

 

Members of the public in my Tipperary constituency and in rural areas generally are entitled to the same standard of public transport as the constituents of the Minister, Deputy Ross, here in Dublin.

 

Yesterday, Bus Éireann proposed the closure of the Clonmel to Dublin bus service among others. This is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

 

Of course, it comes on the back of the closure of the Carrick-on-Suir to Dublin bus service in 2015. It comes on the back of the proposed closure of the Limerick to Waterford rail service and the Limerick to Ballybrophy rail service. The Limerick to Waterford rail line servicing Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cahir and Tipperary town is being undermined on a daily basis by management regularly and frequently cancelling trains on that line. In addition, the main social and economic corridor across the south of the county, the N24, has been left out of the road capital programme, which is particularly damaging to the Tipperary town and Carrick-on-Suir. Of course, the failure to build the Thurles bypass, which has been overlooked for years, resulting in chaos in the square, turning it into a car park.

 

County Tipperary is not getting a fair crack of the whip.

 

A Fine Gael led Government already abolished Clonmel Borough Council and the town councils in Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Tipperary town, Thurles, Templemore and Nenagh. A Fine Gael led Government with the help of the Labour Party also closed the St. Michael’s 50 bed psychiatric unit at South Tipperary General Hospital.  Now north Tipperary patients must travel to Ennis and south Tipperary patients must travel to Kilkenny to avail of a service that is inadequate and substandard.

 

The abandonment of County Tipperary must stop.

 

I am asking the Taoiseach if he will give an assurance to stop any threat to the Clonmel to Dublin bus service. Will he give an assurance to re-establish the Carrick-on-Suir to Dublin bus service? After 20 years of waiting, will the Taoiseach give the go-ahead for the N24 upgrading, including the bypass of Tipperary town, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir? Also after 20 years, will the Taoiseach give the go-ahead for the bypass of Thurles this afternoon?

 

We have been waiting for 20 years for both the N24 upgrade and the Thurles bypass. The Taoiseach’s Government and the previous Government starved public transport and road budgets. The road budgets fell between 2007 and 2015 by €1.722 billion. The State subvention to CIE was slashed by €132 million, from €321 million in 2008 to €189 million in 2015. The State subvention to Bus Éireann is down €16.3 million from €49.4 million to €33.1 million. The free travel contribution from the Department of Social Protection is completely inadequate. It has been capped for years despite increased numbers and the fact that 30% of Bus Éireann’s passengers are availing of free travel.

 

In June 2016, the Taoiseach wrote to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, seeking permission to borrow money for infrastructural works. He said at the time that investment in infrastructure in Ireland was “at its lowest level for many years, and also represents the lowest level of any member state at present”. He got no reply, or none that we heard of.

 

Italy recently told President Juncker it will borrow money with or without his permission.

 

I ask the Taoiseach to do likewise. Will he reassert Irish sovereignty and put the right of the Irish people to proper transport infrastructure, and other capital investment such as housing, before the EU and EU diktats.”

 

Seamus Healy T.D. 22/2/2017

Tel: 087 2802199

 

Hands Off Our Bus Service

 

Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199

Senior Legal Counsel confirm article 9(4) water charges derogation is still available to Ireland.

Senior Legal Counsel confirm article 9(4) water charges derogation is still available to Ireland.

I Say To This Government – Go Now

 

I will be voting no confidence in this Government for a number of reasons. It is now clear that senior gardaí were systematically intimidating whistleblowers. False accusations of sexual misconduct made to Tusla was the first leg of that operation. The second leg of that operation was the dissemination of these allegations through pet crime correspondents who are dependent on gardaí for information to do their jobs. In this way, these allegations were disseminated to other journalists, politicians and opinion formers. The Taoiseach has refused to say when he first learned about this operation. I am satisfied that he and the Tánaiste knew about it. They tried to cover it up and to confine the inquiry to a cosy secret investigation but Sergeant McCabe pulled the plug on them. They were caught out. It is time for the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Garda Commissioner to resign. I believe that a criminal investigation by an external police force chosen by this Dáil should begin immediately in parallel with the tribunal of inquiry.

The Committee of Public Accounts will shortly report that €220 million was lost on the Project Eagle sale and that it was not appropriate for the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, Department of Finance officials and NAMA to meet senior Cerberus representatives in the days prior to that sale. This is but the tip of the iceberg. Massive Irish assets are being sold off at knock down prices to the Government’s international financial friends. People in need of health care are being criminally neglected and hundreds are dying needlessly according to our medical consultants.

At the same time as the Irish super-rich make massive untaxed asset gains – the value of their assets is now significantly higher than at the height of the boom – tenants, mortgage holders and farmers are being evicted by banks and vulture funds, including banks owned by this State.

With regard to housing, the Government has refused to declare a housing emergency and to implement adequate measures to house the homeless and the 100,000 on the housing waiting list. Recent Governments have surrendered all Irish economic sovereignty under the fiscal treaty. Despite what I would describe as a begging letter, the European Union is now refusing to allow the Government to borrow money to put a roof over the heads of our citizens. The wheels are coming off the policy of privatising State companies, combined with the over-reliance on foreign direct investment. The interests of the Irish people have been put completely in the hands of foreign agencies, foreign companies and foreign governments. I say to this Government tonight: go now.

Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199

Support Tesco Workers, Don’t Pass the Picket!

Seamus Healy TD: I fully support the Tesco workers on strike tomorrow. Tesco make €250,000,000 in profit every year and refer to their Irish Business as “treasure island”. They have committed to paying dividends to their shareholders later this year whilst attempting to cut pay and conditions for their longest serving employees in Ireland by up to 20%. Please show your support for the workers and don’t pass the pickets. This strike is incredibly important for all workers in Ireland, if Tesco can set a precedent by effectively tearing up contracts of employment without agreement then no worker is safe.#TescoStrike #SupportTescoWorkers

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Hospital Waiting Lists – Public Misled

Waiting Lists – Statement in the Dáil 09 February 2017

Seamus Healy TD:

The recent “RTE Investigates” programme told us what we have all known for many years. The nation was rightly shocked. It put the human face of pain and suffering on the figures. The public has been misled. The term “alternative facts” comes to mind. The public is entitled to, must be told and know the truth. The long waiting lists are the result of cuts to services by successive governments, for example, 2,000 beds have been taken out of the system, there is overcrowding in accident and emergency departments, posts are not filled and there is a moratorium on posts. I have been raising these issues for some time.

I recently raised the issue of the urology waiting list at University Hospital Waterford. A letter received by one of my constituents puts the case very plainly:

We are writing to inform you that you have been placed on … waiting list. We will forward you an appointment in due course.

You have been prioritised as: URGENT.

You should expect to be seen within 48+ months.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

The constituent must wait more than four years. The reply from the HSE and the Minister, which I received only yesterday, confirms that there is a major problem at University Hospital Waterford. It states, “The clinical risk for the Urology Services is on the Corporate Risk Register and is rated high risk.” The management at the hospital has applied for additional resources, two consultant urologists, support staff and funding to provide a proper service to the hospital. Those resources have not been provided. Will the Minister provide those resources not just for University Hospital Waterford but for all those from the south east, including Tipperary, using the services at the hospital?

 

€500 Million Wasted Installing Domestic Water Meters

Evidence given by Scottish and Welsh Water to the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services in Ireland identified €500million was wasted by Irish Water in installing domestic water meters.


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