Monday, February 28, 2011

Historic Day For Cork- O'Brien

Historic Day For Cork – O Brien

Newly elected TD for Cork North Central, Jonathan O Brien, has described his election as a historic day for Cork.

Jonathan O Brien said: “This has been a historic election. The people have shown that they want strong and principled representation in Cork North Central, a constituency long taken for granted”

“I am humbled to have received so much support from the people of this area, who have chosen the first Cork Sinn Féin TD in the tradition of Terence MacSwiney in modern times. However amongst the celebrations tonight I wish to put the government on notice that Sinn Féin will be a formidable opposition both within and outside the Dail. We will fight tooth and nail any attempts to force people to bear the burden of gambling by bankers and developers.”

“Nationally people have come out in strength and voted for Sinn Féin policies supporting people against the savage policies of the previous government. We want to build on this and focus on creating the momentum to achieve real political change over the coming years towards a strong and vibrant united Irelands of equals”ENDS

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mahon Hospital Another Failure of Fianna Fáil Health Policy- O'Leary

Mahon Hospital Another Failure of Fianna Fail Health Policy

South Central Candidate Chris O Leary, expressed amazement at the threatened closure of the Cork Medical Centre based in Mahon and described it as another symptom of the failure of Fianna Fail health policy. He called on the company to do their utmost to reallocate the staff to other positions in other medical facilities.

Chris O Leary said: “I am amazed that with all the fanfare over the opening of the Cork Medical centre by former Health Minister, Mary Harney, last year that staff have now been issued with protective notice. There were high hopes in the area for further job creation and investment when the hospital opened its doors last year. It looks like another failure of Fianna Fail Health policy,”

“There are 75 people employed at this facility and I am urging the company to do its utmost to ensure that these people find employment either within the company or in other medical facilities in Cork. We cannot afford any more job losses of this scale in Mahon or elsewhere.”ENDS

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Threatened Cork Job Losses Show Fianna Fáil Hypocrisy- O'Brien

Threatened Cork Job Losses Show Fianna Fail Hypocrisy

Cork North Central candidate, Jonathan O Brien, today said that the threatened layoffs of workers on the retrofitting scheme in Farranferris and across the country showed the hypocrisy of Fianna Fail on the issue of job creation. It is ironic that the layoffs are to occur on Friday, Election Day, while Fianna Fail’s election literature quotes retrofitting as a part of its jobs initiative.

Jonathan O Brien said: “The threatened layoff of up to 20 workers from NCE Insulation shows the hypocrisy of Fianna Fail on jobs creation. During the leader’s debate last night and this morning on radio, Micheál Martin quoted retrofitting as an important element of his jobs proposals.”

“It is my understanding that the money for this scheme has been transferred from Europe to Dublin but the existing Fianna Fail Minister has not signed off for it to be paid out. This will result in the closure of up to 25 such schemes across the country, including that run by NCE Insulation based in Farranferris, Cork. It could also affect some CE workers involved in the scheme.”

“These are the very type of jobs which much be preserved. Cork cannot afford any more job losses. I call on those responsible to immediately allocate funding to ensure the continuance of this important scheme.”ENDS

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Power to Make Change in the People's Hands- O'Brien

Power To Make Change in the People's Hands-O'Brien

Speaking from the canvas, Cork North Central Candidate, Jonathan O Brien, said that the power to make change lies in the peoples hands and urged them to come out and use their vote on Friday.

Jonathan O Brien said: “The last three weeks canvassing have been a humbling experience. The devastation caused by the last government’s policies is widespread. Fine Gael offers a continuation of these policies with further tax rises and further cuts in services.”

“The people of Cork North Central have an opportunity on Friday to elect strong and radical representation for this constituency. It is time for change. Use your vote to say that we want to see an Ireland fit for all its people, not just those in the golden circle.”ENDS

Chance to Elect a Real Alternative-O'Leary

Chance to Elect a Real Alternative

Cork South Central Candidate, Chris O Leary, said that Friday’s election gave the people of Cork South Central an opportunity to vote in a real alternative to the conservative parties.

Chris O Leary said: “All the indications are that I am running neck and neck with Deirdre Clune for the last seat in Cork South Central. I firmly believe that electing three Fine Gael candidates in this constituency will offer little in the long term. It is very important that the people of Cork have an alternative to policies which will mean:

· Huge reductions in social welfare

· Continuance of the Social Service Charge

· 30,000 lay offs in the public service

· Big increases in VAT

· Billions more of our scarce resources put into zombie banks

“I am the only candidate putting forward an agenda for change who is in a position to take the last seat. I urge the people of Cork South Central to turn out in strength on Friday and use their power to vote for change.”ENDS

O'Leary Slams Martin's Facile Attacks

O Leary Slams Martin’s Facile Attacks

Speaking from the campaign trail, Cork South Central Candidate Chris O Leary, called on

Mícheál Martin to get real and stop making facile attacks on Sinn Féin.

Chris O Leary said: “Mícheál Martin’s attacks on Sinn Féin are becoming increasingly divorced from reality. If he spent more time on the campaign trail here in Cork South Central he would be well aware of the devastation caused to families by the government of which he was a key member for 14 years.”

“Sinn Féin didn’t create the economic crisis. Sinn Fein didn't give away what remains of our sovereignty. Sinn Féin didn't put big bankers and golden circles before the needs of Irish people. Sinn Féin did not reintroduce the scourge of emigration, leaving families split and heartbroken.”

“A little self reflection would be in order for Mr Martin and a little less of his facile attacks on Sinn Féin”

“Sinn Féin makes no apology for saying that Irish taxpayers cannot afford the EU/IMF money. Our view on this is shared by many prominent economists including a Nobel Prize winning economist.”ENDS

Call to Publish New Ballot Paper- O'Brien

Call For Samples of New Type Ballot Papers to Publicised before Friday’s Vote

Cork North Central Candidate, Jonathan O Brien, has requested the returning Officer, Martin Harvey, to publish sample ballot papers to allow voters to see the new type of layout before polling day.

Jonathan O Brien said: “It is my understanding that the returning officer Martin Harvey has decided that ballot papers for Cork North Central and Cork South Central constituencies will be printed in a very different format from before.”

“I believe it would be useful for voters if samples of this new type ballot paper were publicised so voters could see them before the election. I have written to Mr Harvey asking him to do so”ENDS

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sinn Féin President in Cork Monday

Sinn Féin President in Cork Monday

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will be in Cork on Monday to support general election candidates Jonathan O'Brien and Chris O'Leary,in the wake of polls showing both of them in the running for Dáil seats.

The key themes of the visit will be job creation, the future of local health services including the Orthopaedic Hospital, and the impact of cutbacks and the Universal Social Charge on working families.

A press conference will take place with Gerry Adams and both candidates in the Pegasus Room at the Clarion Hotel at 9am.

At 11.45, following a number of media engagements, the Sinn Féin President and Cllr Jonathan O'Brien will visit the Orthopaedic Hospital to meet health care workers.

Gerry Adams will afterwards canvass in Knocknaheeney with Jonathan O'Brien and in Mahon with Cllr Chris O'Leary.

For further information or comment, contact Jonathan O'Brien 085-2133907

Chris O'Leary Calls for Free Recycling Service

Chris O’ Leary Calls for Free Recycling Service

Sinn Féin’s Cork South Central candidate, Chris O’ Leary has said that if we are to seriously encourage recycling, then recycling materials should be collected for free from people’s homes and places of work.

Chris O’ Leary said: “It’s always amazed me that councils choose to charge people for collecting recycling material. We should be encouraging people to recycle and keep the rubbish mountain down. In the long term it would make recycling more efficient and cut down on the amount of waste going into land dumps.”

“If we are to seriously tackle climate stage then we can begin by tackling the huge amount of waste material that is dumped in the ground or exported to China. Free recycling encourages people to separate as much reusable material as possible from the waste they have to pay for.”

“Local authorities should put more effort into encouraging indigenous industries which can reuse materials and turn them into profitable commodities. Councils or waste operators should be required to collect recycling materials for free. Stop paying lip service to climate change and build on the goodwill of most people who recycle their waste.”ENDS

Friday, February 18, 2011

IMF Diktat to Greece is Forewarning of What is to come for Ireland

IMF diktat to Greece is forewarning of what is to come for Ireland

Cork North Central candidate Jonathan O Brien speaking from the campaign trail warned that the order by IMF/EU officials to the Greek Government to sell off €50 billion in state assets provides a forewarning of what is to come down the road if the bailout is kept to in Ireland. The Greek PASOK government, one of Labour’s sister parties in the European parliament, has already promised to sell off €7 billion in state assets, and has introduced a savage series of cuts. They are now under pressure to sell off airports and public amenities to multi national corporations.

Jonathan O Brien said:

“What is happening in Greece is what will happen here unless the IMF/EU bailout is rejected. Wages and public services have been slashed and now the social democratic government is being told to sell off the state to profiteers. “The Memorandum of Understanding, which Olli Rehn has said is binding on the Irish state, outlines a timetable to examine the sell of off state companies. Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael are all committed to adhering to the IMF/EU bailout.”

“The only choice here is to reject the bank bailout and in reclaiming our sovereignty from the EU and the IMF throw off the massive and unsustainable bank debt.” ENDS

Sinn Féin Launch Proposals for Cork Jobs- O'Brien

Sinn Féin Launch Proposals for Cork Jobs-O'Brien

Sinn Féin this morning launched proposals entitled ‘10 Ways to Get Cork Working’ which are aimed at stemming emigration and unemployment by bringing jobs growth back to Cork. The proposals are estimated to generate 7,000 jobs in Cork in a very short period.

They include:

· Immediate construction of high quality broadband infrastructure

· Major strategic infrastructure such as the North ring road and the Eastern Gateway Bridge

· Building health and education infrastructure

· Creative ways of helping small businesses in the Agri food sector

· Helping small businesses survive and develop

· Ensuring that public projects, government or council, will create local jobs.

Jonathan O Brien said: “Job creation is the biggest challenge facing Ireland. The relationship between jobs and the deficit is a clear one – more people in work produce higher levels of spending activity and tax revenues, as well as lower welfare payments. We believe that scarce national resources should be put into job creation not zombie banks or bondholders. €7 billion would be transferred from the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) for a state-wide investment programme.”

“We have outlined a number of essential key infrastructural developments for Cork which would in themselves create employment but more importantly would kick start economic growth in the region. Cork needs jobs not zombie banks”

Chris O Leary said: “Politicians cannot themselves create jobs, but they can provide an environment for economic growth. These proposals will help create jobs and economic activity in the Cork region. Most importantly they will bring hope back to the economy and to society as a whole. By using our scarce resources to invest in Cork, we will begin the difficult road to recovery”ENDS

O'Brien Says Cork North Central Wants Strong Representation

O Brien Says Cork North Central Wants Strong Representation

Sinn Féin’s Cork North Central candidate, Jonathan O Brien welcomed this mornings Red C poll saying it reflected the response he is getting on the door.

Jonathan O Brien said: “There is a lot of anger, a lot of fear for the future on the doorstep. People in this constituency want the strongest possible representation in the years ahead.”

“However there is a lot of campaigning yet to be done, and this election will not be over until Friday night. I will be asking people to make sure they turn out and vote clearly on the day.”ENDS

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sinn Féin to Launch Proposals for Cork Jobs Tomorrow

Sinn Féin to Launch Proposals for Cork Jobs Tomorrow

The document entitled 10 Ways to Get Cork Working will be launched in the City Hall Cork tomorrow, Friday 18th, at 10am.

The launch will be attended by Cork North Central candidate, Jonathan O Brien and Cork South Central candidate, Chris O Leary.

For further information contact Frank O Neill on 087 6739036

Young People's Mental Health Must Be on the Election Agenda -O'Leary

Young People’s Mental Health Must Be on the Election Agenda

Sinn Féin’s Cork South Central candidate, Chris O Leary today called for young peoples mental health to be put on the election agenda, and for the immediate staffing and opening of the long planned for children’s in patient unit in Besboro, Cork

Chris O Leary said: “In the midst of trying to deal with the fallout from the bank bailout fiasco, we must also look at how this election can be used to build a better future, above all for our young people. So far in this election mental health, particularly the mental health of our younger generations has been totally neglected.”

“This January was the fifth anniversary of the publication of ‘Vision for Change’, a blueprint for the provision of mental health services in Ireland. Non governmental organisations such as Headstrong and Reachout are doing great work but many state services outlined in the blueprint have not been developed due to a lack of political will.”

“All this is against a background of continuing very high youth suicide rates; long waiting lists to access children and community health teams; many children and families left without any resources to deal with depression, anorexia and anxiety disorders. There is no dedicated service for the very vulnerable age group of 16 – 18 year olds, falling as they do between children’s services and adult services. Such a failing is appalling.”

“Here in Cork young people who need in patient treatment are still placed in highly unsuitable adult wards. This is inexcusable. All parties in this election must commit to the immediate opening of the long planned for children’s unit in Besboro and the recruitment of staff to enable it to provide a service.”

The provision of good mental health services is not merely a matter of money. It also needs political will. Young people and their families deserve a commitment to prioritise the delivery of these much needed services.”ENDS

Sinn Féin's Position on the IMF/EU Bailout Gathering Support- O'Leary

Sinn Fein’s Position on the IMF/EU Bailout Gathering Support

Sinn Fein’s Cork South Central candidate, Chris O Leary, said that there is a growing consensus among national and international experts around Sinn Féin’s position on the IMF/EU bailout and the need to remove private banking debt from the shoulders of the Irish people. Chris O Leary made his comments on the campaign trail in Mahon, Cork.

Chris O Leary said: “The issue of the Universal charge is raised on almost every doorstep. It and the other stealth tax rises are causing untold hardship. All this distress stems directly from the bank bailout”

“It is now quite clear that the position Sinn Féin has adopted on the IMF/EU bailout is being supported by a broad spectrum of economic and political commentators. It’s not just many Irish economists , but also economists from Europe and the US including one who won the Nobel Prize for economics”

“The question the other parties, who are all willing to accept the IMF deal, must answer is what is in the interests of the Irish people - making bondholders take the hit, or a sovereign default which would be catastrophic for Ireland and would destabilise the entire Euro zone.”

“It is time for the parties to be honest with the people regarding the IMF deal and what it will really mean for the people and stop pretending that they will get anything meaningful from a renegotiation. How much more in universal social charges, stealth taxes and cutbacks in health and education must Irish people endure? " ENDS

Fine Gael- Party of High Taxation and Increased Emigration- O'Brien

Fine Gael - Party of High Taxation and Increased Emigration

Fine Gael’s manifesto launch today shows that despite all the spin they are a party of high taxation and increased emigration. They will add to the burden on families caused by the universal social charge and other stealth taxes slavishly following Fianna Fail’s bank bailout strategy. Their commitment to cut savagely over the next three years will stifle any potential growth in the economy and increase the rate of emigration.

Jonathan O Brien said: “This election is about choices. Sinn Féin believes that people should not have to suffer due to the reckless behaviour of the banks and their political allies in government. The universal social charge is wrong. The cuts in health and education are wrong. The people who can least afford are being asked to carry the consequences of other’s financial gambling.”

“Fine Gael is slipping in to the space left behind by a disintegrating Fianna Fail. They are proposing to throw billions of Irish people’s money into failed banks. To pay for it they will continue to impose the social charge. They are proposing to increase VAT to make everything more expensive. Their dependence on unrealistic growth figures implies even more levies.”

“This amount of taxation prevents people from spending. The economy is stifled. There is no growth in jobs and more become dependent on social welfare. On top of this they are proposing savage cuts in public expenditure, in services such as education and health and social welfare. These cuts will stunt the economy even more. The inevitable result is still greater emigration.”

“There is another way. Instead of putting the national finances into bank bailouts, put it into creating jobs and building the infrastructure to build jobs and services. It may not be easy but we can grow our way out of this.ENDS

Chris O'Leary Welcomes Poll Result

Chris O Leary Welcomes Poll Result

Sinn Fein’s Cork South Central candidate, Chris O Leary welcomed this morning’s poll findings in the Irish Examiner.

Chris O Leary said: “The results in this morning’s Irish Examiner show that I am in place to take the fifth seat in Cork South Central. There is a need for a radical voice to reflect the requirements of this constituency and I believe that enough voters looking at the ballot paper will put their tick next to the Sinn Féin box to allow me take a seat on polling day.”END

Jobs Most Important Issue Facing Ireland- O'Brien

Jobs Most Important Issue Facing Ireland-O'Brien

Addressing the Blarney Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday evening, Sinn Féin’s Cork North Central candidate Jonathan O Brien said that the issue of the jobs was the most important issue facing the country and resources need to be put into job creation not zombie banks or bond holders.

Jonathan O Brien said: “Jobs are nearly always a topic in elections. But in this election, the country is in crisis and the issue is very real and very urgent. Jobs are the number one issue, here in Cork and across the country.”

“We have to make job creation a priority. We have to make a clear decision whether to put what remains of our squandered resources into creating jobs or pouring it into zombie banks and bondholders.”

“I firmly believe that Sinn Féin’s ten point plan will start a recovery, will produce jobs and begin the road to prosperity. It will not be easy, but we have to start with an economy undermined by years of misrule.”

On Friday morning we will launch our specific proposals for Cork. We want to introduce a stimulus package which will bring back jobs to the city and its surrounds, which will turn around the tide of emigration and above all bring hope to the people of Cork.”ENDS

Support The Nurses- O'Leary

Support The Nurses

Speaking on the campaign trail in Wilton, Sinn Féin candidate, Chris O Leary, expressed support for the nurses and student nurses who were on a national demonstrating today against the removal of wages.

Chris O Leary said: “I wish to express my support and Sinn Féin’s support for the nurses protesting today. The decision to withdraw pay from student nurses doing a full days work is wrong and should be reversed.”

“The HSE is not recruiting any new nurses under orders from the government and at the same time spending huge sums of money hiring in private agency nurses. So bad is the situation that the new community hospital in Ballincollig is unable to open due to staff shortage and the HSE is tendering out to private companies to provide staff for this new unit.”

“Nurses are in the front line of health provision. They have to cope with the outcome of the cuts trying to provide good patient care. It is not right that they are now expected at student level to do a day’s work without any pay, while at the same time the government is throwing money at private firms to provide nursing cover.”

We should be paying reasonable rates to nurses working in our hospitals, including young new recruits, not wasting resources on agency staff that have no long term commitment to the service.”ENDS

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sinn Féin Candidates Express Condolences

Sinn Féin Candidates Express Condolences

Sinn Féin councillors Jonathan O'Brien and Chris O'Leary wish to express their condolences to the families of the victims of today's tragic air crash at Cork Airport, and to those injured.

As a mark of respect, the party is calling off the canvass it had planned for this afternoon.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ireland Cannot Afford €100 Billion Bailout- O'Brien

Ireland Cannot Afford €100 Billion Bailout-O'Brien

Speaking in the wake of the suggestion by the Chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank Alan Dukes that a total of €100 billion may be required to ensure a “clean” banking sector, Cllr Jonathan O’Brien has said it underlines the insanity of the government’s banking policy and the need to revoke the bank guarantee and burn the bondholders.

Cllr O’Brien said:

“The government has already poured €46 billion into the banks, with a further €35 committed under the EU/IMF deal. Alan Dukes is now suggesting the total cost of the debacle may reach €100 billion.”

“Ireland cannot afford a €100 billion bailout. Already under the government’s Four Year Plan public services and welfare payments are being cut to the bone. Low-paid workers have been hit hard by the brutal 7% levy. Cutbacks have reduced consumer spending and damaged the economy.”

“If Alan Dukes is correct – and as Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank he ought to know – will the Irish public now be expected to accept even deeper austerity measures to bail out the banks? We cannot and we will not. The cost of the bank bailout is already killing our economy.”

“There is a quicker and more effective way to get a “clean” banking system – revoke the bank guarantee, burn the bondholders, and establish a single, well-capitalised state bank to lend to businesses and consumers. This is the route which an increasing number of economists are advocating. The government’s banking policy has failed. We must get the millstone of bank debt off our necks before we can start the process of economic recovery.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sinn Fein candidates Canvass Dole Office

Sinn Féin Candidates & members Cllrs Jonathan O'Brien & Chris O'Leary canvassing outside the Dole office last week.

Candidates hand in nomination papers

Sinn Féin general election candidates, Jonathan O'Brien-Cork North-Central- & Chris O'Leary-Cork South Central- handed in their nomination papers today accompanied by proposers Cllrs Henry Cremin & Thomas Gould.

Cork Cannot Afford IMF/EU Bailout- O'Brien

Cork Cannot Afford IMF/EU Bailout-O'Brien

Returning to Cork from the official launch of Sinn Fein’s General Election campaign, Cork North Central Candidate Jonathan O Brien said that Cork cannot afford the IMF/EU bailout and Irish people’s hard earned taxes should be put into job creation not the pockets of the already rich bankers of Europe.

Jonathan O Brien said: “Earlier in the week we in Sinn Féin outlined a ten point plan to return Ireland to work. To begin this process, we have to deal with the deficit and the banking debts. The relationship between jobs and the deficit is clear – more people in work produce higher levels of spending activity and tax revenues, as well as lower welfare payments. No job creation plan will work if money is constantly being taken from people’s pockets and the national coffers to fund our zombie banks and to pay off the already rich bankers of Europe – the bond holders”

“The IMF/EU deal is bad for Cork, is bad for Ireland. The cost of servicing the State’s debt by 2014 will have reached €8.7 billion. In four years time we will have to begin to pay off the loan itself, which is €67.5 billion. It is undoable. Establishment parties who argue that we should renegotiate a part of the interest rate are missing the point and being dishonest with the electorate.”

“Sinn Féin will put money back into people’s pockets where it belongs by removing the Universal Social Charge and use the state resources to stimulate immediate and direct employment in key sectors. We will put Cork back to work and get the bondholders – rich European bankers - off our backs.”Ends.

For further information or comment contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907