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Tax cut for people earning over €100k will cost taxpayer €123 million per year – Mairéad Farrell TD

At a meeting last week of the Dáil Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in terms of its impact on the Fiscal Position, Galway West/South Mayo Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell raised the issue of a tax cut for people earning more than €100,000 as promised in the draft Programme for Government agreed by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party that will cost the taxpayer €123million a year.

Teachta Farrell said that she is deeply concerned about the impact that this and other tax cuts could have on spending cuts in health, housing and childcare.

Addressing the committee Teachta Farrell said:
“In the Programme for Government, we see that there is a commitment to index tax credits and bands from 2022 in line with wage inflation of 2% to 3%. The cumulative cost of these tax cuts from 2022 to 2025 is between €2.7 billion and €4 billion.
 
“In addition to this, the programme for Government promises a tax cut for people earning over €100,000 at the cost of €123 million a year. Given the fact that the programme for Government has ruled out progressive taxation, and Mr. Barnes has said that the adjustment of approximately €10 billion will need to be made by either tax increases or spending cuts, my concern here is that there will be spending cuts in health, housing and childcare.”
 
Teachta Farrell added on Monday:
 
“Yesterday, during an online Fine Gael conference, Leo Varadkar also promised to cut inheritance tax for high-wealth households – at a cost of approximately €72 million a year – in any future Government.

“Once again, it is clear that the priorities of Fine Gael in any future Government are not in health, housing or childcare.

“At a time of economic crisis, when every effort should be to transform our public services and protect incomes, Leo Varadkar has promised to remove all inheritance tax for individuals receiving gifts of over €400,000.

“This is not the change that people voted for, but yet another confirmation that instead of committing to deliver universal healthcare, solve the housing crisis, transform childcare and end the scourge of low pay, Fine Gael are determined to deliver tax cuts to the richest in our society.

“Sinn Féin will oppose the two-tier recovery this Programme for Government would deliver.”
 
DEIREADH
 
Note to editor: Script of Dail speech available here.

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Iarracht atá sa gclár rialtais dalladh púicín a chur ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta is na Gaeilge – Mairéad Farrell TD

15 Meitheamh 2020

Tá ráite ag an Teachta Dála de chuid Shinn Féin do Ghaillimh Thiar/Maigh Eo Theas Mairéad Farrell gur iarracht atá sa dréacht chlár rialtais atá aontaithe ag Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael agus an Comhaontas Glas “dalladh púicín” a chur ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta is na Gaeilge.

Dúirt an Teachta Farrell:

“Níl aon cheo nua sa gclár rialtais seo a thabharfadh sásamh do mhuintir na Gaeltachta is na Gaeilge.

“Béalghrá den chuid is mó atá sna ráitis gan bhrí atá le léamh sa gcáipéis seo ach pé ar bith céard faoin duine nach dtuigeann cúrsaí Gaeilge is atá dall ar an ngéarchéim sa nGaeltacht maidir le cúrsaí fostaíochta, teangan, infreastruchtúr is bunseirbhisí poiblí, cúis náire amach is amach go raibh ábhar rialtais againn sa tír seo a thugann faoin ealaín chéanna.

“Níl aon ghealltanas maidir le toghcháin phoiblí a thabhairt ar ais do bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta agus níl caint ar bith ar Aire Sinsearach don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht. Bhí barúil againn nach raibh Fine Gael sásta polasaithe mar seo a chur i bhfeidhm ach tá a fhios againn anois nach raibh Fianna Fáil ná an Comhaontas Glas ró-chorraithe fúthu ach an oiread.

“Deirtear linn go dtabharfar tús áite do bhranda “Gaeltacht na hÉireann”, agus sin í an áit a bhfuil an buile. Sin duit an tuiscint atá acu ar an nGaeltacht. Branda atá ann le turasóirí a mhealladh don tír seo agus riocht an Ghaelachais a tharraingt orainn seachas infheistíocht cheart a chur isteach i gceantracha Gaeltachta sa gcaoi is gur féidir leis an bpobal maireachtáil ann.

“An méid atá sa gcáipéis i dtaobh chur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge, Bille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla agus Lárionaid Ghaeilge do Bhaile Atha Cliath agus áiteacha eile ‘fud fad na tíre’, tugadh na geallúintí sin cheana agus níl ann ach athrá ar a bhfuil beartaithe.

“Dar liomsa gur iarracht atá sa gclár rialtais seo dalladh púicín a chur ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta is na Gaeilge. Más ea, is lag mar iarracht í. Tá seans fós againn an clár seo a chaitheamh i dtraipisí agus iallach a chur ar na páirtithe dul chun cainte le Sinn Féin ach g bo gcaithfeadh baill na bpáirtithe sin vótáil ina aghaidh ag na comhdhálacha a bhéas ar siúl go gairid amach romhainn. D’fhéadfaí ansin plean ceart feiliúnach a chur le chéile ina mbeadh spriocanna soiléire, amlínte agus eile, ní hamháin don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht ach don stát ar fad.”

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'Forgotten’ stranded Irish in Australia need government’s help now – Mairéad Farrell TD

Thousands of young Irish people are stranded and ‘forgotten’ in Australia because of the Covid-19 pandemic and are ‘begging’ for their government’s help right now, according to Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell.

The Galway West TD said she had been contacted this morning by constituents who are working in Perth and Sydney, desperately seeking help now that Australia has been put on lockdown and all non-essential services have been halted.

Ms Farrell said the current situation in the country for tens of thousands of young Irish people is ‘dire’ because they are on working holiday visas and are not entitled to State assistance from the Australian government.

In addition, almost all flights in and out of the country have been suspended, leaving thousands of Irish people, mostly aged between 20 and 30, with ‘absolutely no means of living during this lockdown and no means of getting out’.

Ms Farrell has said that Sinn Féin have contacted Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney and Minister of State with responsibility for the Global Irish, Ciarán Cannon, to highlight the situation.

She said: ‘This is a global pandemic that is affecting every country in the world. There are thousands upon thousands of young people stranded in Australia at the moment who have told me they feel like they have been forgotten by Ireland.

‘Many of them are on working holiday visas and with the lockdown of Australia in the last 24 hours, thousands of them are suddenly out of work and have no way of supporting themselves during this crisis because they don’t qualify for assistance from the Australian state.

‘They are desperate to get home, but even if they can get a flight, they are being quoted between AUS€10,000 and AUS$16,000 to get home, which is way beyond their means. They are terrified, they tell me, and they are begging the Irish government to help them’.

In letters to Ministers Coveney and Cannon, Sinn Féin have asked that the government considers chartering special flights to get those who want to come home out of Australia. They have also asked that they consider giving direct financial aid to the Irish on visas in Australia who have no way of supporting themselves.

She said: ‘We need to look after our people, no matter where they are. The situation is unique and unprecedented and the government needs to step up and assist the thousands of Irish in Australia using every and all means at their disposal’.

DEIREADH

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Private hospital capacity must be made available to the State – Mairéad Farrell TD

23 March 2020

Private hospital capacity must be made available to the State – Mairéad Farrell TD

Speaking this evening, Sinn Féin Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell has said that private hospital capacity must be made available to the State to ensure a collective approach to tackling Covid-19.

Teachta Farrell said:

“Dr. Michael Ryan of the World Health Organisation has said that to tackle the Coronavirus we must react quickly and be the first mover. We have to be prepared to act as speedily as possible.

“With those words in mind, it is important that private hospital capacity is made available to the State to ensure a rapid and collective approach to tackling Covid-19.

“We have limited capacity in our public hospitals, and while alternative settings of care are being identified and made available to treat patients, it is also important that private hospital capacity is at the ready.

“The private hospital sector has approximately 2,500 beds; a number of which are critical care and ICU beds. This capacity may prove essential in the weeks ahead.

“Last week, Spain took all private hospitals under public control as the country combats Coronavirus – we must stand ready to do the same.”

DEIREADH

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Increased emergency measures needed to tackle Covid-19 – Mairéad Farrell TD

Galway West Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell has said that it is time to bring in increased emergency measures and restrictions to combat Covid-19, saying that ‘other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives.’

She said that “mixed messages” from Government must stop.
She has also set out Sinn Féin’s plan for a comprehensive Income Support Scheme for workers and families impacted by the crisis.

Deputy Farrell said:

“In the space of a few short weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused levels of national and international disruption unprecedented in our lifetimes. We need to wake up to that here.

“Welcome interventions have been made to get ahead of this virus, to slow it down and to ‘flatten the curve’, but the truth is that we now need more urgent, decisive action from the government. They need to be taking every necessary measure to save lives.

“Social distancing is central to this strategy, but Government Ministers can’t criticise people for gathering together, while at the same time saying that gatherings of up to five hundred people outdoors are still allowed. This limits the ability of the relevant authoiries to endorce social distancing. These mixed messages must stop.

“People in workplaces where there is no real prospect of social distancing are also worried that they are bringing the virus home. They have asked me why it is that – in this race against time – the government have not yet introduced full measures to protect them and to give full effect to social distancing?


“It was deeply frustrating to see the large numbers of people filling our beaches and coastal communities last weekend when local people who are trying to avoid contracting the virus were virtually marooned in their homes. Nobody should be holidaying at this time. People should be staying in their primary homes, walking and shopping in their local communities.


“It is time now to scale up emergency measures and restrictions. Other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives. We also need urgent action to ensure that tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs are protected financially and that they can provide for their families at this time.

“Sinn Féin has proposed the immediate introduction of an Income Support Scheme that will guarantee an income of up to €525 per week for 20 weeks for all workers that are laid off as a result of the current crisis. This would benefit every worker and would mean that everyone who earns up to €32,500 a year will receive their full wage.

“The people of this State bailed out the country’s banks a decade ago.

“Now we need a bailout for workers and families.”

LEAGAN GAEILGE

Tuilleadh bearta éigeandála ag teastáil chun dul i ngleic le Covid-19 – Mairéad Farrell TD

Tá ráite ag an Teachta Dála de chuid Shinn Féin i nGaillimh Thiar Mairéad Farrell go bhfuil sé in am anois tuilleadh bearta agus srianta éigeandála a thabhairt isteach chun dul i ngleic le Covid-19, í a rá go bhfuil “foghlamtha ag tíortha eile, faraor, go gcailltear daoine de bharr moill ar na cinnithe seo”. Dúirt sí freisin go gcaithfí deireadh a chur leis “an easpa soiléireachta i ráitis ón rialtas”.

Leag sí amach plean Shinn Féin i leith Scéim Tacaíochta Ioncaim do theaghlaigh agus d’oibrithe atá buailte ag an ngéarchéim seo.

Ar Teachta Farrell:

“Taobh istigh d’achar cúpla seachtaine, tá an phaindéim (Pandemic) Covid-19 tar éis cur isteach ar chúrsaí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta ar leibhéil nach bhfuil feicthe lenár saol. Níor mhór dúinn glacadh leis sin.

“Níl aon amhras faoi ach gur dearnadh go leor cheana le teacht roimh an víreas seo, le moill a chur air agus “leis an gcuar a shíneadh” (to flatten the curve) ach is í an fhírinne go bhfuil géarghá anois le gníomh níos práinní agus níos dionghbháilte ón rilatas. Ní mór dóibh an oiread bearta agus is féidir a thabhairt isteach le beatha daoine a chosaint.

“Is cuid fíor-thábhachtach den straitéis seo é an scaradh sóisialta – nó fanacht dhá mhéadar óna chéile – ach ní féidir leis an rialtas caitheamh anuas ar dhaoine a bhíonn ag bailiú lena chéile nuair atá an rialtas féin ag rá gur ceadmhach grúpaí suas le cúig chéad duine taobh amuigh. Cuireann sé seo srian ar chumas na n-údarás a chinntiú go bhfuil an pobal ag fanacht dhá mhéadar óna chéile. Caithfear deireadh a chur leis an easpa soiléireachta seo i ráitis ón rialtas.

“Tá faitíos freisin ar dhaoine atá fós ag dul chuig áiteannaí oibre san am i láthair agus nach féidir leo cloí leis an riail dhá mhéadar go bhfuil siad sin ag tabhairt abhaile an víreas. Tá na daoine seo ag fiafraí dom cén fáth nach bhfuil bearta iomlána á dtabhairt isteach len iad a chosaint agus leis an scaradh sóisialta a chinntiú.

“Caithfidh mé a rá gur ábhar feirge dom an líon mór daoine a ghabh amach ag tránna agus pobail cois chósta ar an deireadh seachtaine. B’éigean do dhaoine áitiúla a bhí ag iarraidh an víreas a sheachaint fanacht ina gcuid tithe dhá bharr. Níor cheart go mbeadh daoine ag imeacht ar laethanta saoire theart thimpeall na tíre faoi láthair. Ba chóir go mbeadh daoine ag fanacht ina gcuid tithe féin, ag siúl, ag fánaíocht  agus ag siopadóireacht sa gceantar áitiúil.

“Is mithid anois na bearta agus srianta éigeandála a ghéarú. Tá foghlamtha ag tíortha eile, faraor, go gcailltear daoine de bharr moill ar na cinnithe seo.

“Caithfidh muid gníomh práinneach a dhéanamh freisin le go mbeadh cosaint airgeadais ann do na mílte duine a bhfuil post caillte acu sa gcaoi is gur féidir leo maireachtáil agus riar ar a gcuid teaghlach ag an uair seo.

“Tá molta ag Sinn Féin Scéim Tacaíochta Ioncaim a thabhairt isteach láithreach bonn a chinnteoidh teacht isteach suas le €525 in aghaidh na seachtaine ar feadh 20 seachtaine le haghaidh oibrí ar bith ar scaoileadh leis nó léi de bharr na géarchéime seo. Bheadh sé seo ina bhuntáiste an-mhór don lucht oibre uilig agus ciallaíonn sé go mbeadh páidh iomlán le fáil ag duine ar bith a bhí ag saothrú suas le €32,500 in aghaidh na bliana sul má chaill siad an jab.

“Tháinig muintir na hÉireann i gcabhair ar na bainc sa stát seo deich mbliana ó shin.

“Caithfear teacht i gcabhair ar mhuintir na hÉireann anois in am an ghátair.”

DEIREADH

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Galway Public Rally will give people a chance to discuss Government for Change – Mairéad Farrell TD

Galway West Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell has said that “Sinn Féin is determined to deliver on the desire of the people for a Government for Change” and that a public rally will be held on Friday 6th March in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill from 7.30pm to bring the conversation about a Government for Change to the people.

She said:

“The people clearly voted for a change of government on 8th February and Sinn Féin is determined to deliver on the desire of people for a Government for Change.

“That means a government that will meaningfully address the issues that were central to the election campaign; building homes in urban and rural communities, cutting rents and freezing them, guaranteeing a pension at 65 years of age, tackling the trolley crisis in hospitals such as UHG and Portiuncula, addressing climate change and working towards Irish Unity.

“Our Sinn Féin negotiations team have been stepping up their engagements with other parties to bring about a Government for Change and we know that it can happen if the political will exists in other parties and among progressive-minded independents.

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s plan to carve-up political power between themselves and to block change is a rejection of what people voted for. We have initiated a series of public rallies to bring the conversation about a Government for Change to the people, starting with Cork, Dublin, Newry, Cavan and Galway.

“I look forward to hosting our party leadership here in Galway for the western regional meeting and of course to engaging with all those who want real change.”

Béarla

Gaeilge

LEAGAN GAEILGE

Ollchruinniú Poiblí i nGaillimh le deis a thabhairt don phobal Rialtas don Athrú a phlé – Mairéad Farrell TD

Tá ráite ag an Teachta Dála nua de chuid Shinn Féin i nGaillimh Thiar Mairéad Farrell go bhfuil “Sinn Féin tiomanta mianta an phobail a chur i bhfeidhm i rialtas” agus go mbeidh ollchruinniú poiblí ar siúl ag Sinn Féin Dé hAoine 6 Márta in Óstán Chuan na Gaillimhe i mBóthar na Trá le deis a thabhairt don phobal Rialtas don Athrú a phlé.

Ar an Teachta Farrell:

“Ar an 8ú Feabhra chaith daoine vóta le athrú rialtais a bhaint amach agus tá Sinn Féin tiomanta mianta an phobail a chur i bhfeidhm i rialtas.

“Is ionann sin agus rialtas a ghabhfadh i ngleic leis na ceisteanna is mó atá ag giolliúint ar an bpobal agus a tháining chun cinn le linn an fheachtais olltoghcháin: tithe a thógáil i gceantracha uirbeacha agus tuaithe, praghasanna cíos a ghearradh agus a chur ina stad, an pinsean ag seasca cúig a chinntiú, deireadh a chur le géarchéim na dtralaithe in ospidéal cosúil le Ospidéal na hOllscoile Gaillimh agus Ospidéal Phortiuncula, polasaithe a chuireann in aghaidh athrú aeráide agus pleanáil i gcomhair aontú na hÉireann.

“Tá dlús curtha anois ag foireann idirbheartaíochta Shinn Féin le cainteanna ar mhaithe le rialtas nua a chruthú a bheadh sásta athruithe a dhéanamh agus tuigeann muid go maith gur féidir linn an méid sin a bhaint amach ach an toil pholaitiúil ó pháirtithe eile.

“Tá sé ina phlean ag Fine Gael is Fianna Fáil an chumhacht a roinnt eatarthu féin ach is ionann sin agus diúltiú glan do mhianta an phobail san olltoghchán. Chuir muid tús le sraith chruinnithe ó cheann ceann na tíre leis an bplé ar Rialtas don Athrú a thabhairt chuig na daoine agus tosnófar le Corcaigh, Baile Atha Cliath, an tIúr, Cabhán agus Gaillimh.

“Tá mise ag súil go mór le fáilte a chur roimh cheannaireacht an pháirtí anseo i nGaillimh do chruinniú réigiúnach an iarthair agus, ár ndóigh, le cloisteáil uathu sin atá ag iarraidh athruithe bunúsacha a fheiceáil sa gcur chuige ón gcéad rialtas eile.”

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We need answers on Corrib Great Southern site – Mairéad Farrell

We need answers on Corrib Great Southern site – Mairéad Farrell

Galway Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell has this week heavily criticized Galway City Council for refusing to release information regarding fees paid by owners of a derelict site at the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel on the Dublin Road in Galway City.
Speaking this week Farrell said:
“In a response to a request submitted under FOI legislation with regard to the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel, Galway City Council have refused to release any information regarding fees paid in respect of the standard annual 3% levy on derelict sites and in fines for non-compliance with notices to carry out works.
“The excuse being used to withhold this information from the public is that any disclosure on what City Hall term ‘negotiations’ would have an adverse effect on their function ‘relating to the management of finances’. I don’t understand what is meant by negotiations in this case and no explanation is given but I can only speculate that it implies negotiations with the owners of the site were necessary in order to recoup some/all of the fees.
“It was also confirmed through the FOI that since the inspection carried out by Galway City Council at the site on 22nd January 2018, no further work has been undertaken by the owners to render the site non-derelict. That’s nearly 12 months without any remedial work.
“Planning Permission to demolish the current structures at this site was granted in 2010. The site was added to the derelict sites register in January 2015, 5 years ago. Yet we’re still here years later stuck with this eyesore in one of the most prominent locations on the east side of the city.
“It’s not good enough. We can’t afford lands lieing idle in Galway when we have young people who can’t find an affordable home here, a crisis in student accommodation and massive housing waiting lists. The day of property developers taking the people of Galway for fools needs to end. I will be writing directly to the owners of the site and will continue to push both them and Galway City Council for answers.”
cgs
LEAGAN GAEILGE
 
Teastaíonn freagraí maidir le suíomh an Chorrib Great Southern – Mairéad Farrell
Tá cáineadh géar déanta ag Mairéad Farrell, Sinn Féin na Gaillimhe, ar Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe as séanadh eolas a scaoileadh maidir le táillí atá íoctha ag úinéirí suímh tréigthe ag iar-óstán an Chorrib Great Southern ar bhóthar Bhaile Átha Cliath ar an Rinn Mhór i gcathair na Gaillimhe.
Ag labhairt di an tseachtain seo dúirt Farrell:
“I bhfreagra a tugadh do cheist a cuireadh isteach faoin reachtaíocht um Shaoráil Faisnéise maidir le suíomh iar-Óstán an Chorrib Great Southern, dhiúltaigh Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe aon eolas a scaoileadh maidir le táillí atá íoctha i leith gnáth-thobhach 3% ar shuíomhanna tréigthe agus fíneálacha as gan cloí le fógraí ag ordú obair dheisiúcháin a dhéanamh ar an suíomh.
“Is é an leithscéal a luaitear leis an diúltiú seo eolas a scaoileadh maidir le ‘comhráití’, go gcuirfeadh sé as d’obair na Comhairle ‘i leith cúrsaí airgeadais a bhainistiú’. Ní thuigim go baileach céard atá i gceist le comhráití sa gcás seo agus níl aon mhíniú tugtha ag an gComhairle air ach is dóichí gur féidir tuairimíocht a dhéanamh gur theastaigh comhráití le úinéirí an tsuímh ar mhaithe le cuid de na táillí nó ná táillí ar fad atá dlite orthu a bhailiú.
“Deimhníodh freisin tríd an iarratas saorála faisnéise nár rinneadh aon obair dheisiúcháin eile ar an suíomh len é a bhaint ó chlár na suíomhanna tréigthe ón iniúchadh a rinneadh ag an suíomh ar an 22 Eanáir 2018. Is ionann sin agus dhá mhí dhéag ó shin, nach mór, gan aon obair dheisiúcháin bheith curtha i gcrích.
“Tugadh cead pleanála na foirgnimh ar an suíomh a threascairt i 2010. Cuireadh an suíomh le clár suíomhanna tréigthe na Comhairle Cathrach in Eanáir 2015, 5 bliana ó shin. Ach tá an ghráin súl fágthaí againn fós i gceann de na suíomhanna is feiceálaí ar an taobh thoir den chathair.
“Níl sé sách maith. Níl d’acmhainn againn tailte mar seo sa gcathair gan bheith in úsáid san am céanna nach bhfuil sé de ghustal ag daoine óga teach a cheannacht, go bhfuil géarchéim buailte linn maidir le lóistín do mhic léinn agus liostaí fada do thithíocht shóisialta. Níor cheart go mbeadh forbróirí fós in ann an dallamullóg a chur orainn sa gcathair seo. Beidh me ag scríobh go díreach chuig úinéirí an tsuímh agus ag coinneáil brú orthu sin agus ar Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe freagraí a thabhairt ar na ceisteanna tábhachtacha seo.”
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Sinn Féin would stop the EU push to privatise Irish Rail in Government – Mairéad Farrell

Sinn Féin would stop the EU push to privatise Irish Rail in Government – Mairéad Farrell

Galway West Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell has said that the next Government must oppose any attempts by the European Union (EU) to impose privatisation on the Irish Rail Network. In December 2016, the EU resolved to transpose a directive in to national law on the opening up to the market of domestic rail passenger services across the EU. It is understood that the EU Commission sent a ‘reasoned opinion’ to the Irish Government on 25th July 2019 requesting that national measures be taken to transpose EU rules on privatisation of rail services as well as the governance of railway infrastructure in to Irish law, provisions contained within the Fourth Railway Package.

Speaking this week Farrell said:

“I understand that a formal notice was sent to Ireland by the European Commission in January 2019 requesting compliance with the Directive but that by late 2019 no response had been made. It was reported before Christmas that the government had been given two months to comply with obligations or that the Commission would possibly refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

“I think this behaviour by the European Commission is reprehensible. They’re effectively trying to bully us in to privatising Irish Rail. They are pushing the same line in Greece under the guise of the Fourth Railway Package but the reality is that this process, if complied with, will do untold damage to our rail services.

“These EU rules had demanded that railway companies have access to all EU domestic passenger rail market from 1st January 2019 in time for the railway timetables starting on 14th December 2020.

“A number of member states including France, Germany and The Netherlands, however, have used EU rail directives to build up a large portfolio of franchises across the EU, giving them a head start in the scramble to dominate opening rail markets.

“In fact, rail privatisation in Britain during the 1990s – enabled by EU Directive 91/440 in 1991, which aimed ostensibly at creating a more efficient rail network through greater competition – was an expensive disaster that we would be foolish to emulate. They now have the highest fares in Europe and numerous opinion polls have shown a clear majority of people in support of the re-nationalisation of rail services; a 2012 poll showed 70% of voters wanted re-nationalisation of the railways; in 2013 the results of a YouGov poll put public support for bringing railways in to public ownership at 66%; and according to the Office of Rail and Road in Britain, as of 2016 there was 62% support for public ownership of train-operating companies.

“Privatisation of Domestic Rail services has proven to be a really bad idea. It results in exorbitant fares, overcrowding, lack of service provision to rural areas and poor rail infrastructure. I will be working with our Sinn Féin team in the Dáil to assess what correspondence has been received from and sent to the European Commission as well as what plans the Minister has to stop this privatisation agenda.”

irishrail

LEAGAN GAEILGE

Chuirfeadh Rialtas Shinn Féin deireadh le feachtas an AE Iarnród Éireann a phríobháidiú – Mairéad Farrell

 
Tá ráite ag iarrthóir olltoghcháin Shinn Féin i nGaillimh Thiar Mairéad Farrell gur chóir don chéad rialtas eile cur in aghaidh iarrachtaí an Aontais Eorpaigh (AE) príobháidiú a dhéanamh ar Iarnród Éireann. Bheartaigh an tAE treoir a thabhairt isteach i ndlí náisiúnta na mballstát leis an margadh i leith seirbhísí iarnróid a oscailt suas. Tuigtear dúinn gur chuir Coimisiún na hEorpa comhfhreagras chuig rialtas na hÉireann ar an 25ú Iúil 2019 ag iarraidh orthu na bearta cuí a shocrú le rialacha an AE a chur i bhfeidhm i ndlí na hÉireann maidir le príobháidiú seirbhísí iarnróid agus infastruchtúir iarnróid na tíre, forálacha atá le fáil sa gceathrú beart iarnróid de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh.
Ag labhairt di an tseachtain seo dúirt Farrell:
“Tuigtear dom gur cuireadh fógra foirmiúil chun na hÉireann ó Choimisiún na hEorpa in Eanáir 2019 ag iarraidh orainn cloí leis an Treoir ach nach raibh aon fhreagra faighte acu faoi dheireadh 2019. Tuairiscíodh roimh Nollaig go raibh dhá mhí ag an rialtas cloí leis na dualgais nó go gcuirfeadh an Coimisiún an cás ar aghaidh chuig Cúirt Bhreithiúnais an Aontais Eorpaigh.
“Feictear dom gur cúis náire é iompar Choimisiún na hEorpa sa gcás seo. Is é an chaoi go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh muid a scanrú le go ndéanfadh muid Iarnród Éireann a phríobháidiú. Tá an ealaín cheannan chéanna ar siúl acu sa nGréig faoin gCeathrú Beart Iarnróid seo ach is é lom na fírinne go ndéanfadh an próiseas seo damáiste uafásach do sheirbhísí iarnróid na tíre.
“Is é an t-éileamh a rinne na rialacha Eorpacha go mbeadh teacht ar mhargadh iarnróid an Aontais Eorpaigh uilig ag comhlachtaí iarnróid ón gcéad lá Eanáir 2019 sa gcaoi is go mbeadh eagar ar chuile shórt do na hamchláracha ar fad ón 14 Nollaig 2020.
“Is cinnte gur bhain ballstáit áirithe leas as treoracha iarnróid an AE le punanna breá iarnróid a cheannacht, ina measc an Fhrainc, an Ghearmáin agus an Ísiltír, rud a thugann an-bhuntáiste dóibh roimh theacht na hiomaíochta do mhargaí nua iarnróid na hEorpa.
“Ba thubaiste críochnaithe an príobháidiú a rinneadh ar iarnród na Breataine le linn na 1990aí – agus a tugadh isteach faoi Threoir AE 91/440 in 1991 – bíodh is gur dúradh gur chun leas an ghréasáin iarnróid a beartaíodh é. Ba fhánach an mhaise é iarracht a dhéanamh dul ag dréim leis an anachain sin. Is ag an mBreatain atá na táillí iarnróid is airde san Eoraip agus léiríonn pobalbhreitheannaí go dtugann formhór mór na ndaoine tacaíocht d’ath-náisiúiniú seirbhísí iarnróid; thaispeáin pobalbhreith in 2012 gur theastaigh ó 70% vótóirí iarnród na tíre a bheith faoi sheilbh an stáit agus de réir Oifig Iarnróid agus Bóithre na Breataine tá 62% de dhaoine ag tacú le seilbh an phobail a bheith ar chomhlachtaí iarnróid.
“Ní luíonn sé le ciall seirbhísí iarnróid a phríobháidiú. Is é an toradh a bhíonn air – borradh faoi tháillí, ró-phlódú ar threanacha, easpa seirbhísí iarnróid do cheantracha tuaithe agus droch-infrastruchtúr iarnróid leis. Beidh mise ag obair le foireann Shinn Féin sa Dáil le fáil amach cén comhfhreagras go baileach atá faighte ón AE agus le plean a leagan amach chun cur inaghaidh na mbearta seo.”

DEIREADH.

 

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Sinn Féin would re-introduce Údarás na Gaeltachta elections in Government – Mairéad Farrell

PREAS RÁITEAS

Leagan Gaeilge Thíos – Irish Version Follows

Sinn Féin would re-introduce Údarás na Gaeltachta elections in Government – Mairéad Farrell

Galway West Sinn Féin Spokesperson Mairéad Farrell has committed her party’s support for the campaign to re-introduce public elections for the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta if in government after the next General Election. She claims that elections will make the Údarás more open, democratic and accessible to the people.

Farrell said:

“We strongly opposed the ending of public elections to the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2011 by Fine Gael and Labour. It was a regressive and undemocratic decision. We have continually proposed their re-introduction but Fine Gael don’t have any interest.

“In late 2017, Sinn Féin proposed a bill in the Seanad to return direct elections back to the board of the authority and it was accepted. We brought a similar bill forward in the Dáil again in May 2018 but the government just ignored it.

“I am delighted that Cumann Forbartha Chois Fharraige have begun a campaign to re-introduce these elections. It was the people of Cois Fharraige who successfully fought a campaign to have Údarás na Gaeltachta established in the first place and they can be successful in this campaign too.

“Sinn Féin in Government would put forward a bill to return the power to the people and allow Gaeltacht residents to elect their own representatives directly to the board. We believe that this would increase support for the organisation in those Gaeltacht communities and we would match it with decision making powers and a badly needed increase in resources for the body.

“We need to reimagine and refocus Údarás na Gaeltachta to deliver on the vision of the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement which pushed for its setup, to foster economic prosperity and create jobs which would support the language and the residents of the Gaeltacht.

11 Nollaig 2019 - Údaras Elections Galway Advertiser.jpg

LEAGAN GAEILGE

Dhéanfadh Sinn Féin toghcháin d’Údarás na Gaeltachta a thabhairt ar ais i rialtas – Mairéad Farrell

Dheimhnigh urlabhraí Shinn Féin i nGaillimh Thiar Mairéad Farrell tacaíocht a páirtí maidir le toghcháin phoiblí do bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta a thabhairt ar ais dá mbeadh Sinn Féin i gcumhacht tar éis an chéad Olltoghchán eile. Creideann sí go mbeadh an tÚdarás i bhfad níos daonlathaí, níos osclaithe agus ar fáil don phobal níos mó ná mar atá dá mbeadh toghcháin ar siúl.

Ar Farrell:

“Chuir muid go mór in aghaidh chinneadh an rialtais Fhine Gael/Páirtí an Lucht Oibre deireadh a chur le toghcháin phoiblí do bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta i 2011. Ba bheart náireach mídhaonlathach a bhí ann. Tá muid ag impí ar an rialtais i gcónaí na toghcháin a thabhairt ar ais ach is beag suim atá acu ann.

“I ndeireadh 2017 chuir muid bille chun cinn sa Seanad leis na toghcháin a thabhairt ar ais agus rinne muid amhlaidh sa Dáil arís i mí Bealtaine 2018 ach rinne an rialtas neamhaird iomlán de.

“Is mór an t-ardú croí é go bhfuil feachtas tosaithe ag Cumann Forbartha Chois Fharraige anois leis na toghcháin do bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta a thabhairt ar ais. Ba iad muintir Chois Fharraige a chuir brú ar an rialtas an tÚdarás a bhunú an chéad lá ariamh agus is féidir leo a sprioc a bhaint amach leis an bhfeachtas seo freisin.

“I rialtas thabharfadh Sinn Féin bille isteach leis an gcumhacht a thabhairt ar ais don phobal, mar go gceadófar do mhuintir na Gaeltachta a gcuid ionadaithe féin a thoghadh díreach chuig an mbord. Creideann muid go gcuirfeadh sé seo le tacaíocht an phobail don eagraíocht sna ceantair Ghaeltachta céanna agus bheadh aitheantas i gcomhréir, ó thaobh acmhainní breise, cumhachtaí breise agus ardú maoinithe a chur ar fáil chomh maith don Údarás sa mbuiséad agus sna blianta atá le theacht.

“Ní mór dúinn athshamhlú agus fócas as an nua a thabhairt do chúraimí Údarás na Gaeltachta leis an bhfís a bhí ag lucht Chearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta a fhíorú, mar go rabhadar ag iarraidh na ceantair Ghaeltachta a chur chun cinn ó thaobh na h-eacnamaíochta de agus fostaíocht fheiliúnach a chruthú do bhunú an cheantair.”

DEIREADH

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Letter to the Editor: John “Jack” Lohan

I sent the following letter to the editor of the Galway Advertiser about Volunteer John “Jack” Lohan of Woodquay (previously Raven Terrace), Galway City. Many Galway people lost their lives in the pursuit of Irish freedom 1920-1923 and the 100th anniversary of their deaths will be important times of remembrance and commemoration. Jack Lohan was one of those people.
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A chara,
I note an interesting piece by Tom Kenny in last week’s Galway Advertiser (10th October 2019) entitled “The turf market at Raven Terrace”. Tom mentions in his article “a sweet shop owned by two sisters, Hanna and Sheila Gannon” which was located on Raven’s Terrace next to the Claddagh Bar (now McGuire’s shop). Hannah and Sheila Gannon were sisters of Annie Lohan (née Gannon) who went on to become the Principal of Claddagh National School. Annie had married another national school teacher, Michael Lohan from Athenry, on 5th August 1899 in Galway and for the first few years of their marriage they lived in the Gannon house alongside Annie’s parent’s William and Hannah, as well as her 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Annie and Michael had a son named John “JackLohan, born in the Gannon shop at Raven Terrace on 19th March 1902. The family later moved in to a house at Woodquay where Annie, Michael and their 6 children lived. Jack went on to become involved in the Galway Brigade of the IRA as a teenager during the Black and Tan war, later taking the Republican side in the Civil War while he was enrolled as an Engineering student at University in Galway. On 24th September 1922, Jack Lohan was shot dead by Free State troops at McHugh’s Public House on the Tuam Road outside Galway, 6 months after his 20th birthday. He was buried with full Republican honours by his comrades under the command of the inimitable Comdt. Thomas “Baby” Duggan. It is said that Jack‘s funeral was the largest seen in Galway for many years previous. A letter from Duggan appeared in the Connacht Tribune the week following Lohan‘s death, correcting some of the factual errors in the reporting of circumstances around Lohan‘s death. He finished his letter as follows, “the late Lieut. Lohan was an old member of the Irish Republican Army, and did admirable and able work in the Social Secret Service Department for No. 1 Galway Brigade in the days of British Black-and-Tan terror. In the present campaign he did much serviceable work for the Republic, and while the Republic lives, the name of Jack Lohan will never die. Thomas Duggan, Col. Comdt. OC, Galway area.”.
Is mise le meas,
Mairéad Farrell
Mervue
Galway City