Archive for March, 2011

Richard Boyd Barrett TD will speak at a public meeting in the Kingston Hotel in Dun Laoghaire at 8pm this evening to launch the next phase of the campaign to defend local bus services.  On April 1st at 12 noon campaigners from across the city will protest at Dublin Bus on O’Connell St to demand their local service be restored and that no further cuts be implemented. Last Autumn Dublin Bus launched the first phase of Network Direct, which saw cutbacks in Dun Laoghaire/Stillorgan, Lucan and Blanchardstown. The next phase is now coming on stream and will see the cuts being extended all across the city. Richard Boyd Barrett TD says: “The re-routing of the 46a, the cuts to the 4/4a service and the scrapping of the 746 and 46x services provoked huge anger in Dun Laoghaire. As in Blanchardstown and Lucan, people were outraged that such cuts could be implemented that would leave many people stranded in their estates or waiting hours for buses.” “A strong campaign was launched that lobbied TD’s, the minister for transport and Dublin Bus and also protested and blocked roads to force the 46a back along the previous route. These protests got the support of both Fine Gael and Labour. Our campaign has decided that now they are in government they should put their money where their mouth is and reverse these nasty cuts.” “The real agenda behind the cuts is privatisation and creating so-called “profitable” routes to prepare for full-scale privatisation. Our campaign intends to fight this every inch of the way” Local Councillors Cllr Melisa Halpin and Cllr Hugh Lewis will also be at the meeting. Cllr Melisa Halpin added: “It is an absolute disgrace that public transport is being cut at a time of recession, when many more people rely on it. The Fine Gael/Labour government should be ordering Dublin Bus to reverse the Fianna Fail cuts to Bus services. “ Cllr Hugh Lewis added: “How can a government that supposedly wants to protect our environment take buses off the road. Now more than ever we should be encouraging people to leave their cars at home to protect the environment. Every 1 bus scrapped means 90 more cars on the road.” Tomorrow morning the campaigners from Dun Laoghaire will join other angry residents from Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Rathcoole at the Dublin Bus Headquarters on O Connell St. Cllr Brid Smith from Ballyfermot said “Our bus services are being slashed. Dublin Bus claim that their new plan will provide a “more reliable, faster, and more direct service that better reflect customers’ needs for bus travel.” This is nonsense! This revamp is really about taking 90 buses off the road. In 2009 120 buses were cut from the fleet. How can a service with 210 less buses be “more reliable, faster and more direct”? The Fine Gael/Labour Programme for Government commits itself to selling off state assets to pay-off the gambling debts of bankers and bondholders under the EU-IMF deal. Dublin Bus may well be put on the list.” Cllr Gino Kenny from Clondalkin says: “Over the last weeks and months I have met residents from Rathcoole, Clondalkin and Lucan who are livid about the cuts to their services. Many people thought a change of government would mean a change of agenda but it seems clear the Fine Gael and Labour are committed to continuing the slash and burn policy of Fianna Fail. We need a huge campaign of people power to restore bus services and resist any attempt to privatise our public transport system”.

Further info: Richard Boyd Barrett, TD 086 7814520; Cllr Hugh Lewis 086 7814523; Cllr Melisa Halpin 087 6604439; Cllr Brid Smith 087 9090166; Cllr Pat Dunne 087 7764422


On Tuesday, 29 March in the Dail, Richard Boyd Barrett TD asked the Taoiseach to make a statement in relation to the company CACI UK who will be providing the hardware and software required for processing the returned census forms aswell as providing on-site support for the CSO.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD asked the Taoiseach to confirm whether this firm is a foreign based company CACI (UK), and whether he is aware that serious allegations have been made against the parent company, CACI in the US, that it was involved in torture and interrogation on behalf of the US military in Abu Ghraib prison and other US run prisons in Iraq. The Taoiseach did not answer on Tuesday and Deputy Boyd Barrett has successfully moved the question again and it will be debated at 6pm today. CACI International claims on its website to provide “professional services and IT solutions needed to prevail in the areas of defense, intelligence, homeland security”. Amnesty International in a report in 2004 stated that “At Abu Ghraib in late 2003, private contractors, about 30 in all, made up half the interrogation teams.” In May 2005, Seymour Hersh’s article in The New Yorker revealed that Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison were being tortured and that interrogators employed by CACI were involved. Two CACI employees are reported to have been named in a secret U.S. Army report about the abuse. CACI is currently trying to block lawsuits brought against it by former Abu Ghraib prisoners by claiming “official immunity” and to date, the legal actions concern whether CACI has civil immunity. In 2009 the US court of appeals ruled that CACI fell under the US military chain of command and thus had government contractor immunity. The supreme court is considering the case. There has been no ruling on the actions of the CACI employees. Some concerned members of the public are asking if they should fill out the census form at all. Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, “Serious questions need to be asked about the use of a company who has allegations of torture against it having access to sensitive and personal information about ordinary citizens. The census is effectively a database of all the information the state has on the citizens of the country”.

Organised by Richard Boyd Barrett TD Open Meeting Speakers: Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Mick Wallace TD, Andy Storey (Afri), Jimmy Kelly (Unite Trade Union), Rita Fagan (Community Activist) Tuesday 5th April, 8pm, Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St

Protest at the Dail, 6th April, 6pm

Click here to watch the video

On behalf of the People Before Profit Alliance, and along with my colleagues in the ULA, I will not vote in favour of Deputy Kenny’s nomination as Taoiseach. The reason for that relates to a comment Deputy Martin made about the need to break from certain bad traditions in Irish politics. One of the worst traditions in politics, which we seem to have a particular capacity for in this country, is saying one thing during an election campaign when one is looking for votes and then doing something very different as soon as the votes are in the ballot box. That is precisely what has happened with the new programme for Government. Deputy Kenny said that the EU-IMF deal was a bad deal for Ireland and it was a bad deal for Europe. There was a clear implication that something would be done about that and that we would stand up to those institutions that were trying to unload the cost of a financial crisis created by bankers and speculators on to the backs of ordinary people. This deal will cause immense suffering for them and it will cripple our economy for years to come. The rhetoric about standing up and doing something about the IMF-EU deal has disappeared in the programme for Government, which sets out clearly the intention to continue the programme of austerity and cuts implemented by the previous Government in the interests of paying off the bankers and bondholders at the behest of the EU and the IMF. Another promise emblazoned on almost every Fine Gael poster was to get Ireland working, yet the plan to get Ireland working is reflected in one of the few specific commitments in the programme for Government, which is to slash 25,000 public sector jobs. One does not have to be an economic expert to realise one will not get Ireland working by axing 25,000 jobs. That will mean an additional 25,000 people unemployed, less money being spent in the economy and more suffering. It is particularly depressing that the Labour Party will support Deputy Kenny, the incoming Government and the programme for Government. Labour Party Members should be ashamed of themselves for signing up to a programme that will axe the jobs of 25,000 of the people who very particularly voted for them in the hope and expectation that their jobs would be safe. They should be ashamed that when asked about the issue of water charges on national television and in the national media, they made solemn promises that they would not introduce such charges and now they have signed up to a programme for Government that sets out to implement such charges. They should be ashamed to sign up to a programme that talks about selling off State assets to pay off the bankers, bondholders and speculators. It is shameful to sell the family silver and to strip the assets of this country in the name of paying off bankers and bondholders. What about the promise to do something about the universal social charge, which has savaged the incomes of low and middle income families who have lost hundreds of euros, as a result of which many cannot meet their mortgage repayments or pay other bills? What about the promise that the Labour Party would recalibrate the taxation system so that those earning more than €100,000 per year would be subject to increases? That has also been abandoned and all we have been told is that there will be a review. For all those reasons, it is impossible to support the incoming Government which has abandoned all its promises related to the desperate cry for change which the people expressed during the election campaign for a programme for Government, which is simply a plan to do more of the same and cause suffering to ordinary people and which will cripple our economy for years to come. Last weekend, Deputy Gilmore said he feared he would see forests of placards as he and Labour Party. He should fear and so should the incoming Government. The pledge of the United Left Alliance—–is to support those groups in society which through no fault of their own are being targeted with job losses, brutal pay cuts that will put families under, and savage cuts to the public services on which they depend. We will facilitate, support and encourage people to take up their placards and to democratically resist this counterproductive, unjust and economically unsustainable programme for Government that will do nothing to realise the hopes for change people expressed in the election campaign. That is the pledge of the ULA over the coming period.

March t0 Dail, Wed, March 9, 10.45am Central Bank The United Left Alliance Dail Deputies are inviting their supporters to join them in a March to the Dail. The ULA Deputies will be using the Dail a platform to mobilise people power against cuts and austerity. They want to enter the Dail with the people who have supported them.

ULA Victory Rally: Why We Need A New Left Alternative Friday March 11, Gresham Hotel, O Connell Street, Dublin. 7.30pm Speakers include Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd Barrett, Joan Collins, Clare Daly and Seamus Healy

United Left Alliance will be the radical opposition in the Dáil & will advocate strategy of people power protest against austerity

Speaking at a United Left Alliance press conference today, People Before Profit Alliance TD for Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The United Left Alliance will be the consistent radical opposition in the Dáil to the Fine Gael/Labour/IMF government. We will use the platform of five Dáil seats to likewise argue for a fundamentally alternative way of organising society in the interests of people before bankers and speculators. We will also use our positions to advocate an active response from working people and the unemployed to the attacks this government want to inflict on them. The United Left Alliance will be active on the ground in the communities, workplaces, schools and colleges building resistance in the form of strikes and people power protests in the months and years ahead. Having made our breakthrough in this election we will go on to build the ULA as a nationally as a mass left alternative to the political establishment.”

Read more HERE