Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Death Of Martin O'Brien, Father of Jonathan O'Brien TD The death has occurred of Martin O'Brien, Father of Jonathan. Martin passed away at home after suffering with Motor Neuron disease for some time; commenting the Chairperson of Cork Sinn Féin Cllr Mick Nugent said: 'Martin will be a huge loss to his family & friends, Martin was only in his early 60's but was suffering from Motor Neuron disease for the last two years, he was determined to be with his family at the end and died peacefully at home this morning, Martin & Jonathan were very close and he was a great source of advice & counsel to Jonathan since the start of his political career and enjoyed been part of the various election campaigns over the years, he got great joy from Jonathan's success in the general election last year and it was a proud and emotional night at Na Piarsaigh's GAA Club for the election celebration, Martin was a good friend to myself and others in the local Sinn Féin Cumann in the Northside and we will be sorely missed by his friends, family & neighbours in Fairhill, on behalf of Sinn Féin Chorcaí I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Martin's wife Margaret, children Jonathan, Tracy & Martin jnr, Brother Liam, Sister Mary and the entire family circle'. Cllr Mick Nugent 087-6755793.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sinn Féin Cllr. Thomas Gould has slammed the decision to close the Dept. of Social Protection offices in Shandon Street formally known as FÁS. This is another attack on the northside as this leaves only one office in the entire city and suburbs to cater for the unemployed who are seeking jobs and training. The people of the northside and especially Cork North Central have used this office for many years and feel left down once again by the Government’s decision. This is another blow to vital services on the northside following the recent closure of the Unemployment Drop –in/Training Centre on North Main Street. Cllr. Gould is appealing to the Dept. of Social Protection to reverse this decision and is calling on the Government’s TDs for Cork North Central to fight against these cutbacks. The staff involved are been relocated to the Cornmarket Street office but Cllr. Gould does not believe that the Cornmarket Street office will have the staff or the resources to cater for the demand for the unemployed in Cork City and surrounding suburbs. At a time when there are over 26,000 people are unemployed in Cork metropolitan area, these cutbacks will directly affect services for people who are looking for jobs, training and advice. According to the Dept. of Social Protection website, they are to provide services for the most disadvantaged in the labour market. Cllr. Gould adds ‘how can you name this a Dept for Social Protection when in fact it is doing the opposite or at the very least not making these facilities readily available which in his opinion defeating the purpose. Cllr. Gould fears for those who are already in vulnerable situations and by removing this office will only hinder those in need and add to the pressure they are already under.
Jonathan O’ Brien TD dismisses Taoiseach’s “economic sovereignty” remarks at Beal na mBlath as ‘hollow’ rhetoric.
Jonathan O’ Brien TD dismisses Taoiseach’s “economic sovereignty” remarks at Beal na mBlath as ‘hollow’ rhetoric. Calls on Enda Kenny to reflect on the content of speech given government’s actions. Sinn Fein’s TD for Cork North-Central, Jonathan O’Brien, has dismissed the Taoiseach’s remarks at Beal na mBlath as hollow rhetoric and has urged the Taoiseach to reflect on his comments in light of the government’s refusal to put Irish interests ahead of those of international concerns. Mr. Kenny was the keynote speaker at the annual gathering to commemorate the death of Michael Collins. Commenting on the content of the Taoiseach’s speech, O’Brien said: “This government has continuously put the interests of a federalising Europe ahead of the economic and social needs of its own people. This coalition has pushed-on with the disastrous policy of bailing-out corrupt banks at the behest of foreign concerns that are looking out for their own corporate and political cartels. The government has used public money to facilitate and now we see the consequences in the form of the inequitable household tax cuts in education funding from primary school right up to postgraduate grants and the forthcoming water charges. Indeed the crisis in local government funding is a devastating result of their approach. “When you look at even these few examples you would have to say that it is hypocritical for the Taoiseach to talk of how this government is fighting for Ireland’s economic sovereignty. The hard evidence runs contrary to this claim. I think it was very irresponsible of the Taoiseach, to come to Cork, and spin his government’s subservience to European technocrats and faceless international bondholders with some form of hollow pseudo-patriotic rhetoric. He should reflect on this given that so many ordinary people are now struggling as result of decisions taken on his watch.” Deputy O Brien’s comments come on the back of Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams’, own critique of the speech in which he stated: “Whatever one thinks of Michael Collins, he acted in line with his decisions. On the other hand, Mr Kenny’s assertive language is totally at variance with his actions.” For further comment please contact Jonathan O’Brien TD on 0860274142
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Economic Mismanagement & Austerity to Blame, Not Household Charge Deficit – Sinn Fein Sinn Fein representatives in Cork have called on the Department of the Environment and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enter into constructive dialogue with local authorities and to end the fostering of fear amongst the public regarding cuts to local services. Sinn Fein TD for Cork North-Central, Jonathan O’Brien, was particularly critical of Minster Phil Hogan saying: “It’s time for Minister Hogan to face up to the reality of the funding crisis now facing hundreds of local authorities throughout the country. He especially needs to stop being disingenuous about the root cause of the problem which is the mismanagement of the economy by the previous administration and the ill-considered austerity & bailout policies, of this government, that have stifled any prospect of growth and recovery. This is why central government has a shortfall and not as a result of the deficit in payments of the household charge. O’ Brien went on to say that the Minister’s use of sensationalist language and the financial penalisation of local councils will not contribute anything constructive in terms of a sustainable response: “It seems that the Minister would prefer to create a climate of fear amongst the public rather than offering a workable response strategy. While scaremongering, particularly threatening people with the turning off of street lights in local communities, is far beyond the pale. It is unacceptable for Phil Hogan to think he can bully the citizen’s of this state under any circumstances and even less so as a reaction to his own unfair, failed and mismanaged household charge.” Meanwhile, Cllr. Chris O’Leary, Sinn Fein’s leader on Cork City Council, has expressed his concerns that the approach is having a diluting affect on the functioning of local democracy. “I am calling on all city and county managers throughout the state to stand-up to this attempt to disenfranchise local government through the cutting and withholding of crucial funding. The approach adopted by Phil Hogan is one which absolutely ignores the mandate of elected local representatives and it will dilute our ability to advocate on behalf our constituents The Department of the Environment and the Local Government Management agency should now seek to communicate with councillors about the effect of the measures they are taking. So far this has not happened. Local government management has a responsibility to resist this punitive approach from central agencies and to avoid becoming mouthpieces and apologists for the disempowerment of communities. They will come under serious pressure but they have to remember that ordinary people did not create this mess.” For further comment please contact Jonathan O'Brien TD on 0860274142 or Cllr. Chris O'Leary on 0872794307
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Postgraduate Loan Scheme Represents a Backwards Step for Higher-Level Education in Ireland - Cllr. Mick Nugent
Postgraduate Loan Scheme Represents a Backwards Step for Higher-Level Education in Ireland - Cllr. Mick Nugent Sinn Fein's Mick Nugent has slated the government's decision to push ahead with plans to scrap maintenance grants for new postgraduate students in favour of a controversial government backed loans scheme. Speaking after Bank of Ireland announced the details of the scheme yesterday, Cllr. Nugent said: "The scheme represent a serious and alarming step backwards for high level education in this country. The government are using the economic crisis to enforce a right-wing perspective on the funding of education and social infrastructure. Since the coalition came to power it has systemically attempted to remove the idea of education as a right from the Irish psyche." "The initiative lacks any real vision and will only really benefit students who are already on a sound financial footing. It penalizes those who are less well off and as such will go some way to creating an inequitable, elitist dynamic at the higher tier of education & research by restricting opportunity of access for those with limited financial capacity. I can't see how this is conducive to building the knowledge-economy is so widely talked about in government circles." Cllr. Nugent went on by saying that he was worried that the move represent a move towards "Americanizing" financial support options for third level education in Ireland. "We know that many graduates in the US spend half their working lives financially crippled by college loan repayments. The 10.8% interest rate which had been set for this scheme will put many Irish graduates under serious strain long into their careers. It is also a great deal for the banks. Sinn Fein is calling on Ruairi Quinn to reverse this disastrous decision." ENDS Cllr Mick Nugent 087-6755793.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
CUTS TO AGENCY NURSING STAFF AT CORK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL IS EVIDENCE OF GOVERNMENT’S RECKLESS APPROACH TO HEALTH SERVICE – SINN FEIN
CUTS TO AGENCY NURSING STAFF AT CORK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL IS EVIDENCE OF GOVERNMENT’S RECKLESS APPROACH TO HEALTH SERVICE – SINN FEIN The cuts to agency nursing staff at Cork University hospital is a true reflection of the government’s failure to deliver on health for the people of Cork. Speaking last night, following a meeting of SinnFein’s team on Cork City Council, Cllr. Fiona Kerins said: “We agree with the perspective that the unions have taken. It is worrying that the government see the job of managing and reforming the health service as purely an accounting concern. Of course you have to develop financially robust models for ensuring the long-term viability of our health service. But when these savings are being made at the cost of diluting resources at the point of care then surely the government is developing a false economy within the health service. It is extremely reckless on their part.” “It is an issue of objectives. And when a spotlight is shone firmly on these decisions then the government’s objectives are called into question and rather sharply. If they want a health-service that looks good on paper and has a managerialist orientation then they are certainly going the right way about it. If however the aim is to provide first-class quality of care in places where it is most needed, in the wards and A&E’s, then I think the government’s approach is being cloaked in buzzwords and soundbites.” Cllr. Kernis continued by saying that the cuts represented a second attack to health services in Cork in as many weeks: “It isn’t really surprising. It is simply a continuation of the government’s austerity agenda. Developing sensible, citizen-centred strategies around social infrastructure seems to be a way down their list of priorities. Sadly, this is the second attack on local health services in two weeks. The closure of the A&E in the South Infirmary will prove to be a misguided decision for government and a disastrous one for people on the Southside.” ENDS