Archive for July, 2013

PBPA TD says political establishment closing ranks to protect corporate giants while ordinary citizens and the economy are beggared

In a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Finance spokesperson for People Before Profit Alliance/ULA and a member of the recently established Joint Oireachtas sub-committee on Global taxation has accused the committee of “deliberately shielding multinationals like Google, Facebook and Apple from questions about their aggressive tax avoidance strategies in an effort to hide the truth about Ireland’s corporate tax regime.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the decision of government, Fianna Fáil and some Independent members of the Joint committee on Finance to vote down motions that he had put down requiring the committee to bring representatives of Google, Apple and Facebook before it, represented a “disgraceful closing of ranks by Ireland’s political establishment to cover-up the truth about Ireland’s tax haven status.”

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rbb pressIn a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett TD called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, to intervene in the dispute between management and dáil print unit workers.

The workers in the shared print facility, who are members of SIPTU, have been staging an unofficial picket at Kildare House on Kildare St. since 8am this morning.

Workers at the print facility were informed yesterday that their core pay was being reduced and that a working arrangement agreed only last week was no longer acceptable. These changes were announced without any consultation or prior notification.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “Management are riding rough-shod over the Haddington Road agreement which while we had problems with it did require local agreements before changes were implemented. Management have broken this agreement and are attempting to cut pay. This is just unacceptable”

“This stand of workers shows that it was one thing to bully workers into voting for Haddington Road but it’s another thing entirely to force workers to accept it”.

jail bankers protestDAY OF ACTION JULY 17th:

On July 17th, the last day the Dail sits before the summer.

We want to get feet on the street to demand the arrest of the Anglo Irish Bankers.

On that day workers from Waterford Glass will be marching for their pensions.

We have to say: Pay the workers! Jail the bankers!

Waterford Glass march during the day followed by a people’s gathering outside the Dail from 6pm!

If you can’t make the pensions march just join the Dail protest afterwards!





The first day the Dail returns after their summer break we need to unite every group that has been protesting against the cuts, from special needs to hospital campaigners, union branches to football clubs, we need everyone to surround the Dail that day.

For more info contact: James 0872604143

For posters/leaflets please comment on our page or mail us:

rbb meetingIn a statement this afternoon, Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit-ULA Finance spokesperson, said he will be questioning the Troika at a meeting at 3pm, on the IMF’s intentions regarding mortgages, repossessions and pressure they are exerting on the Irish government over banks repossessing distressed mortgages.

He will also be questioning the Troika on Ireland’s exit from the bail-out and their views on recent statements by Finance Minister Michael Noonan that we are nearly at the end of austerity, particularly in the context of Ireland’s fiscal treaty obligations and recent suggestions that there might be a back-up line of finance available for when Ireland re-enters the private bond markets.

The People Before Profit -ULA Finance spokesperson will, in addition, ask questions about worrying growth and unemployment indicators of further economic contraction across Europe, Ireland’s move back into recession and what implications this may have for future policy.

People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, says abortion bill could be supported if government dealt with Fatal Foetal Abnormalities and dropped criminalisation clause.

It’s not too late for government to remove criminal stigma from vulnerable women

tfmrIn a statement, today, Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD, announced that he would still be willing to vote for the abortion bill if the government would include a provision for terminations in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities and if Section 22, which criminalises women and doctors, was deleted.

The People Before Profit TD, told the Dail last night that there is strong legal opinion suggesting that abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities is likely to be compatible with the constitution. He adds that “the Irish State argued this as part of their defence in the D case before the European Court of Human Rights.”

He also pointed out that “Minister Varadker has said the whole bill should be referred to the Supreme Court. This would be an opportunity to test this point and so Fatal Foetal Abnormalities should be included in the bill.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett’s amendment to delete section 22 will be discussed and voted on in the Dail this evening.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “It is not easy to vote no to this bill, but I have made this decision after wide consultation with pro-choice groups. It is not just that this bill does not go far enough but it actually is a step backwards. Rather than giving women their constitutional rights it is unnecessarily restricting these rights. There is NO requirement arising from the X Case Judgement for the very restrictive terms included in the bill.

The bill also redefines the “unborn” in such a way that it places a block in the way of legislating in future to provide for Fatal Foetal Abnormalities.

Despite the restrictive nature of this bill it could still represent some step forward if the government would attempt to deal with the tragic circumstances of women who receive a diagnosis of Fatal Foetal Abnormalities and delete the section that criminalises and stigmatises women.

I appeal to the government to, even at this late stage, to include the provisions we have been arguing for and to accept my amendment to delete section 22 on criminalisation. If this happens then this bill could be supported and we could then move on to debate the wider issues in the context of a necessary campaign to repeal the 8th amendment.

People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, criticises regressive legislation for not allowing for abortion in case of fatal foetal abnormalities

Richard_Boyd_BarrettIn a statement, tonight, Richard Boyd Barrett TD announced that he will be voting No to The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. The People Before Profit TD has campaigned for a woman’s right to choose for decades and stated he “couldn’t, in all conscience, vote for this regressive bill “.

The bill criminalises women and doctors, does not provide for abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities or rape and is so restrictive in the case of suicide that women and girls will continue to travel abroad.

The bill includes a legal definition of the unborn, for the first time ever. This definition states that the unborn is “a life ….. commencing after implantation in the womb of a woman and ending in the complete emergence of the life from the body of the woman”.

This definition precludes the availability of abortion for women with a foetus that is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality and does not preclude a Savita scenario happening again.

The requirement for two psychiatrists and an obstetrician in the case of suicide places unnecessary obstacles in the way of distressed women

The inclusion of a 14 year sentence maintains the ‘chilling effect’ that puts women’s lives and health at risk.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “As a pro-choice TD it goes against the grain to vote against what purports to be legislation for X. This legislation will not ensure that X does not happen again, it places such enormous obstacles in the way of a woman who might find herself in X’s position that it is barely worth the paper it’s written on”

savita 4More worryingly it defines the unborn as being from ‘implantation… to complete emergence of the life from the body of the woman’. For pro-choice activists this is a step too far.

This definition also places a further block in the way of all of those who are campaigning to have terminations allowed in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Myself and other progressive TDs proposed a number of amendments that have all been shot down. It seems that this legislation is about protecting the life of Fine Gael and this government rather than the life of the women and girls who deserve equal rights to men and boys in this country.

It is no longer acceptable in the 21st century for women and girls to be discriminated against on the basis of gender. I will vote against this travesty of a bill tonight but I will not give up the fight for a woman’s right to choose – the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment begins today”.

Bill a sham and a fudge protecting the life of this government not the lives of women

rbbAs the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill enters its final day, Richard Boyd Barrett demands that the government delete section 22 of the bill that criminalises women and doctors if they have or perform abortions in Ireland.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD commented: “The European Court of Human Rights ruling in the ABC case explicitly argued that the existence of criminal penalties for having or assisting in an unlawful abortion created a significant “chilling factor”. The fact that the proposed legislation retains criminal penalties for abortion and imposes a 14-year prison sentence will not only maintain the “chilling factor” it will inevitably enforce it.”

“It is not enough to claim that there will be no criminal prosecutions. Indeed a similar claim was made in 1983 that the Eighth Amendment would not be used to restrict travel abroad for an abortion and then ten years later the X case came before the courts. If the intention is not criminalise women why include the amendment.

“It is certainly conceivable that these sanctions could be used against vulnerable women who, for example, buy abortion medication online. This clause essentially brands women as criminals if they obtain abortions in Ireland – yet the government is happy to see it done in Liverpool or London.

“This bill is a shambles. It fails to live up to the expectations of ordinary people that this government would ensure that women’s lives are protected. This legislation is a fudge and a sham which seems to be more about protecting the life of this government than protecting women’s lives.

“Abortion is a reality of Irish life and it is about time that this government faced up to its responsibility to provide for the medical needs of Irish women and provide for accessible abortion rights in Ireland.”

rbb morning ireland


Richard Boyd Barrett TD speaking to amendment to Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill on Wednesday 10th July 2013.

(Apology for the poor sound quality- there was a problem in the Dail with the microphones during the debate)