Archive for July, 2016

Al Helal will play match against Ballybrack u14s and participate a day of activities in Ballybrack F.C

palestinian-flagPeople Before Profit Dun Laoghaire on Sunday will welcome the Al Halal u14s to Ballybrack F.C for a family fun day. The fun day will consist of a football match between Al Halal and Ballybrack, a bouncing castle, face painting, a DJ, hula-hoops and Palestinian food and culture stalls.

The event will take place on Sunday 31 July, from 11-3 in Ballybrack F.C., Coolevin, Ballybrack, Co. Dublin.

The Al Helal group, which is made up for 12 kids and 2 coaches, will be travelling around the country visiting different football teams, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and other events on their 12 day tour.

People Before Profit Cllr, Hugh Lewis, who organised the event said that this was a “great opportunity for these kids to experience something positive in their lives.

“The situation in Gaza with the clear and blatant oppression of the Palestinian people means that these kids have grown up in an environment of violence, repression and death. These kids have experienced some of the most vicious state sponsored violence at the hand of the Israeli regime.

“Having these kids over to Ballybrack F.C is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to play football and make new friends. It will hopefully give them and experience they will remember for a long time.

“It is a privilege to have them over to Ireland. I would also like to thank Ballybrack F.C and all their coaches and members, for hosting this family fun day and offering friendship to these kids from Gaza.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, who will be attending the event, said “This is a very significant event for young people from one of the poorest places on earth and a place that has been utterly decimated by inhumane and indiscriminate bombing and military aggression by Israel over many years. These young people have been denied their childhood and life chances that we would expect in a civilised society because of the cruel treatment of Gaza by the Israelis.

“This is, maybe, a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids to escape the hell that is Gaza, This is an opportunity for people in Ireland to realise that the people of Gaza and Palestine are just the same as anyone else but most of the time denied the opportunities that we all take for granted. They want to play football. They want to have fun. They want a future but they are denied this. We are delighted Ballybrack F.C have offered the hand of solidarity and friendship to these kids.

“We would encourage people from the wider Dun Laoghaire area to come along and support this event.”

Irish government must react by withdrawing use of Shannon Airport by US military

 In a statement, reacting to the horrific and sombre news that 28 civilians have been killed by a US-led coalition air strike in Syria, Richard Boyd Barrett TD has called for the Irish government to publicly condemn the US military campaign in Syria and withdraw facilities for the US military of Shannon Airport.
img_4276Richard Boyd Barrett said that the US and its coalition partners “have innocent blood on their hands” thanks to their misguided bombing tactics in the Middle East and that Ireland is implicated in these killings as long as it extends facilities to the US military at Shannon Airport.

“The bombing campaign against the ‘so called Islamic State’ has taken another disastrous turn today with the shocking news that 28 civilians have been murdered by US-led coalition bombs. This is the second mass casualty killing of civilians by US bombing in Syria in the last two weeks. The US bombing has apparently been designed to ‘save’ the civilians in this region but this is further proof that the US-led bombing and military tactics do not work and will only lead to more civilian deaths and increased radicalisation of people in that region against the West.

“I am calling for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flannigan and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to condemn this act and intervene in this matter immediately and remove facilities from the US military at Shannon Airport. Whilst Ireland facilitates US bomber aircraft and military in Shannon Airport, we bare some of the responsibility for this horrendous atrocity. If our government do not act by removing the US military from Shannon Airport, then the responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians in these regions falls directly on our shoulders because of our lack of action and our failure to face up to the role we are playing in the Western Military project in the region. We in Ireland, a supposedly neutral country, have the blood of innocence on our hands as long as the US military are allowed to use Shannon.
“I condemn these actions by the US and its partners and I condemn them also for creating the environment in the Middle East of radicalisation through their militarist policies, which saw the invasion of Iraq and the destabilisation of Libya and other surrounding countries and the creation of a war zone in the Middle East region.”
People Before Profit TD  calls for the restoration of all social welfare cuts as priority for Minister for Social Protection 
Reverse the discriminatory u26 Jobseekers rate
Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has called on the government and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, to reverse all social welfare cuts and restore them to 2007 levels. Deputy Smith also called for the government to end the discriminatory u26s Jobseekers rate.
Recently, Minster Varadkar has put forward the idea of increasing social welfare payments to those with more PRSI contributions. People Before Profit believe that what should be done before this is the reversal of the cuts to social welfare that have inflicted massive damage on local communities. The lower rate of Jobseekers for people under the age of 26 is a matter that has to be urgently addressed by the Minister.

Currently people under the age of 26 receive a lower Jobseekers Allowance payment than that of people over the age of 25. People aged 26 and over on Jobseekers receive €188, whereas people ages 25 earn €144 and persons aged 18-24 earn €100 a week.

Deputy Smith said “for the best part of the last eight years successive governments have been using the excuse of the financial crisis in order to slash social welfare payments. Critically though they have targeted the youth. Young people who are looking to avail of Jobseekers are penalised because of their age.
“The government, in not reversing the cuts to social welfare and specifically age based discrimination in the Jobseekers payment, are demonstrating their contempt for young people.
“The government must now reverse the discrimination manifested in their policies towards young people, specifically in the Jobseekers Benefit payment, and restore the cuts to social welfare which are a net to prevent people falling into poverty.”

People Before Profit TD says Dun Laoghaire Harbor company “flotel” tender  is another example of the hair brain solo-runs  of a discredited unaccountable quango

Minister must dissolve Harbour Company and bring vital amenity and asset fully under public control

harbourIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance in Dun Laoghaire has hit out at the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company for issuing a public tender yesterday on e-tenders  for a “flotel” in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, describing the move as “yet another example, in a long line, of hair-brain solo runs by an unaccountable and discredited quango.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company had wasted millions of euros of public money over recent years on ill-considered and inappropriate plans for high-rise apartments, a giant cruise berth, floating swimming pools, while consistently ignoring the calls of the public for more appropriate amenity developments.

Currently, a harbour Company planning application for a giant cruise berth in the middle of Dun Laoghaire Harbour is before An Bord Planala, despite being met with overwhelming public opposition and the opposition of the elected members of Dun Laoghaire Co. Council.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, it “beggars belief that while the cruise Berth proposal remains unresolved and the subject  of such huge public opposition, that the harbour Company would unleash yet another hair-brain plan, without any consultation with the public, the Council or other elected representatives.”

 Deputy Boyd Barrett called on the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, to move immediately to dissolve the Harbour Company and put Dun Laoghaire Harbour under fully public control by integrating into Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council, as allowed for under the recently passed new Habour Bill.

Richard Boyd Barrett concluded:

“This discredited and unaccountable quango must be dissolved by Minster Ross without delay. The over-paid and out of touch executives of the harbour company are wasting vast amounts of public money simply to justify their own existence, without any reference to what the public actually wants for this unique and vital harbour amenity.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is too important a public amenity and piece of unique maritime and cultural heritage to be left in the hands of quango that is simply a law unto itself.”

Pays tribute to the work of the Migrant Rights centre Ireland for their work opposing the Bill

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin spBrid Smith TD has said that she is delighted that a proposed Fianna Fail bill concerning Au Pairs has been rejected by the Dail in a vote this afternoon. Deputy Smith said that this Bill would have left vulnerable young migrant workers without any protection or access to the states Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Deputy Smith paid tribute to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland for their sterling work in opposing the Fianna Fail Bill.

Deputy Smith said “Our amendment to Fianna Fail’s ‘Au Pair Placement Bill’ urged TDs to allow workers continued access to the WRC to hear their grievances over low pay and long hours. There have also been reports of some of the worst examples of gross exploitation in the sector.”

Deputy Smith continued to say “the Au Pair Placement Bill is ill designed and could have had horrendous consequences for people working as Au Pairs as their work is already undervalued. This Bill talked about pocket money and light domestic duties; it doesn’t reflect the reality of domestic work today and seems instead to hark back to some idealised past of Au Pair work as something a student did as a rite of passage. 

“I Au paired myself when younger but an unintended consequence of this bill would be to remove protections and laws from the most vulnerable of workers. We have a child care crisis in this country which can’t be dealt with by legislating to allow people to import cheap child care dressed up as cultural exchange.

“The recent cases before the WRC give lie to that argument and exposed an industry which unfortunately is dominated by gross exploitation. We must stand against that.

“I would like to say well done to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland for their work on this matter. Migrant workers have rights too and as workers they should have equal access to the mechanisms of the Workplace Relations Commission.”

Call comes after reports of economic growth of 26%

Gino Kenny election posterPeople Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, has demanded that the HSE respond to and inquiry he made about special needs school places, therapists and waiting times for services for special needs children.

After a very successful meeting with parents, People Before Profit had written to the HSE in search of answers as to where the supports for special need children such as Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Special Needs Assistants were.

Children with conditions like ASD, Speech and Language Impairments or Dyspraxia, who are experiencing difficulty acquiring skills such as speech, language and physical coordination, need help from Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs). They also need support in school from Resource Teachers, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and special classes.  

Deputy Kenny questioned, due to the reports of 26% growth in the Irish economy, where the tax revenue for this increased growth was and why some of it was not being directed to services for special needs children such as SNAs, OTs and SLTs.

Deputy Kenny said: “We have written to the HSE demanding a reduction in waiting times for services and therapy for special needs children and the hiring of more SNAs, OTs and SLTs to work with these children.

“Despite the strong evidence for the success of these inputs, parents and children experience long delays, and are frequently missing services, when they try to access assessments and treatments. 15,000 children are waiting for SLT alone. Waiting times are up to two years in some areas. Therapists on leave are not being replaced and school places are not available locally. This is disgraceful and has to stop immediately. We need investment in these areas.

“It is absolutely criminal that the government are allowing these children to be held back by lack of funding. These children have rights, civil, human but also economic rights where they should be given access to these vital services that are required to live their lives equal to that of their peers.

“I am calling on the government to outline why the funding for these services has been pulled, why it has not being restored and furthermore, what proportion of the 26% economic growth will be taxed and how much of that money will be directed to restoring these services.”

Richard Boyd Barrett condemns Sean Barrett for coming out to bat for the privatisation agenda of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company

Barrett’s comments confirm the biased agenda and Fine Gael intentions in regard to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Dun Laoghaire Harbour should be developed in the interests of the people and the various harbour user groups

People Before Profit TD for Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett, has lashed out at the “biased” and “disgraceful” statements made by Fine Gael Deputy, Sean Barrett, in the Dail chamber today in which he suggested that the best thing for Dun Laoghaire Harbour would be to retain the Harbour Company quango.

In his contribution today, Deputy Sean Barrett, “came out to bat for the privatisation agenda” according to Ricard Boyd Barrett.

Richard Boyd Barrett is a long-time campaigner, with Save Our Seafront and various other harbour user groups, for the sustainable and appropriate development of the harbour in the interests of the people and the many different groups who use the harbour on a daily and weekly basis.

The Dun Laoghaire People Before Profit TD, has consistently called for the dismantling of the Harbour Company and for the Harbour to be brought under the democratic control of the Council and interest groups.

Deputy Boyd Barrett also rubbished the claim made by the Fine Gael TD that the local authorities have not the skills to run a harbour.

Protest in Dun Laoghaire to save local bus services, 25/07/2015 © Paula Geraghty NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “I am disgusted at the biased claims made by Deputy Sean Barrett in which he has essentially called for the privatisation of our harbour. The harbour is a public amenity which is the property of all the people of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and indeed the entire city.

“The Harbour Act that was brought in by FG/Labour last year means that a decision on the future governance of the harbour will be made in the very near future.  Sean Barrett’s comments can only be welcomed in that they end the fence sitting of our Fine Gael TD’s in Dun Laoghaire.  Clearly he supports the retention of the Harbour Company that has wasted thousands of euro in paying top executives 6 figure salaries and expenses that have been questioned on a number of occasions in Dail Eireann and at Dail committees. He seems to want to see floating hotels, supersized cruise ships and private apartments within our harbour.

“Our vision for the harbour is entirely different it is about democratic control, a diaspora centre, a national water sports centre – a harbour for the people not the profiteers and developers.

“Barrett’s plans are entirely in sync with the Fine Gael agenda that wants to put all public services and facilities into private for profit hands. The harbour is a landmark and asset of Dun Laoghaire of huge historical importance. Millions of people emigrated from this country through the harbour, countless families and children have walked the pier and used all the wonderful facilities that the harbour provides. It is for the people of Dublin and indeed the visitors to our city, to whom the harbour belongs, we will continue to oppose this disgraceful push for privatisation.

“The people, residents groups and civil society groups, sailing clubs and many other groups have all come together to oppose the privatisation of the harbour. I as chair of the Save Our Seafront campaign will continue to oppose the neo-liberal push to take the harbour into private ownership in the strongest possible way.”