Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Minister Doherty ‘alarmingly clueless’ on what is happening in JobPath - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said Minister Regina Doherty is ‘alarmingly clueless’ on JobPath and clearly has no idea what is going on within the scheme.

Speaking during Priority Questions with Minister Doherty this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“Today, I raised a number of issues around JobPath and the fact that they have gone beyond what they were initially set up to do.

“JobPath was set up to engage with the long term unemployed and assist them in returning to work. Instead, JobPath is hounding people who are either recently unemployed or are engaged in part-time work and are not unemployed at all.

“Minister Doherty has refuted these claims and insisted that JobPath is only engaging the long term unemployed and anything beyond that would be in breach of their contract with the Department of Social Protection.

“Over the past three months, I have conducted a JobPath Exposed campaign with a ‘Tell Your Story’ element listening to the actual reality on the ground from those who know it best – the participants.

“Through this process, I have ample evidence of people who are only unemployed for a number of weeks or days in some cases, teachers who are subbing, people who have just left college being 'invited' to engage with JobPath. These people are not long term unemployed.

“In the case of teachers who are subbing, they are not unemployed. Some people are in part-time work and this suits them as they can work around raising children, again they are not unemployed yet JobPath is hounding them.

“It is beyond alarming that Minister Doherty has absolutely no idea what Turas Nua and Seetec, who are delivering JobPath are doing. I will be publishing my report on JobPath next week and I expect urgent action to be taken on these private companies.”

Brady gives cautious welcome to Greystones' designation as a rent pressure zone

Sinn Féin Wicklow TD John Brady has given a cautious welcome to the news that Greystones has been designated as a rent pressure zone.

Teachta Brady said;

“While I welcome Greystones' designation as a rent pressure zone, it is clear that the Residential Tenancy Board should be given additional powers and resources to ensure that the designation is being adhered to.

"I have been calling on the Government for months to include Greystones as a rent pressure zone given the rising cost of rents. Minister Murphy rightly says that this is being done in response to exceptional rent increases in Greystones. These rent increases have been as a result of the Government's failure to take steps to address the rent crisis.

“Sinn Féin firmly believes that linking rents to an index such as the Consumer Price Index is one measure that should be adopted.

“We have tabled numerous Bills and amendments calling for the introduction of real rent certainty along these lines. Unfortunately, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have failed to support these measures.

“Tenants also need greater security of tenure. Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy must reconsider the government’s opposition to a Focus Ireland amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act. This measure would prevent buy-to-let landlords, who took advantage of generous tax breaks when purchasing their properties, from issuing vacant possession notice to families when they want to sell the property. This measure alone would prevent more families from going homeless and would keep properties on the rental market.”

Monday, 18 September 2017

Commencement of development at Avondale Heights, Rathdrum ‘a step in the right direction’ - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has welcomed the commencement of works for the development of homes at Avondale Heights in Rathdrum as ‘a step in the right direction’ at long last.

Speaking following the ‘sod turning’ event this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“I was delighted to attend the sod turning event at Avondale Heights this morning marking the commencement of works for the delivery of badly needed housing in Wicklow.

“There will be 20 units in this the first phase, taking 52 weeks to construct. Overall, there will be 47 units in the development when complete.

“Department of Housing red tape has been rightly criticised for slowing down social housing delivery and this development at Avondale Heights has certainly not been brought about before time.

“We are experiencing a housing crisis that many of us have never witnessed before; this crisis will not be tackled without the building of adequate housing for people who need it.

“I want to commend the staff in the housing section in Wicklow County Council who have worked hard to progress this scheme.

“Today marks a step in the right direction however, it is just that. It is one step but we have a long way to go and many more developments such as Avondale Heights must follow.”

Friday, 25 August 2017

Brady calls on Minister Harris to act following second public meeting for a GP Out-of-Hours Service for North Wicklow

Brady calls on Minister Harris to act following second public meeting for a GP Out-of-Hours Service for North Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has called on Minister Harris to honour his commitment to the people of North Wicklow and establish a GP Out-of-Hours Service.

The public meeting was held on Thursday evening in Greystones and heard from Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly TD and Sinn Féin Councillor for the Greystones Municipal District Nicola Lawless.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“The people of North Wicklow are sending a clear message to Minister Harris, they want him to honour the commitment he made to them regarding a GP Out-of-Hours Service which was promised to be up and running six months ago.

“It is not good enough for Minister Harris to simply say the funds are not available from the HSE. This excuse does not wash with the people here.

“When we look around at the current state of the hospital crisis, it is more important than ever that people can access health services locally in their communities. If we want to tackle overcrowding in our A&Es and hospitals, there has to be adequate access to care in communities first and foremost.

Cllr Nicola Lawless concluded:

“We have now had two successful public meetings in both Bray and Greystones, our campaign for this service will continue until the Minister acts on his promise. I would urge people to continue to sign and share our online petition which is available at ”

Action needed after extensive damage to parked cars at Florence Road Carpark in Bray - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called for additional security measures to be put in place at the Florence Road carpark in Bray after an incident of serious vandalism occurred on Wednesday night.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“On Wednesday night, eleven cars were vandalised in the carpark on Florence Road. This was a shocking act of destruction to cars that were parked there overnight.

“I understand that the level of damage to one car was so extensive that the car has had to be written off with all eleven cars having their windows smashed.

“This was an appalling crime to peoples’ property and I utterly condemn these actions.

“I am calling on Bray Municipal District to review security in the carpark to ensure that an incident such as this is not allowed to happen again. I have raised issues in the past as regards lighting in the carpark and while, this was improved, the Council must go further.

“When we have a situation where communities are left without adequate Garda presence and resources, we have no choice but to invest in additional CCTV and security measures to protect people and their property.

“Finally, I would appeal to any individuals who may have seen or heard anything in the Florence Road vicinity on Wednesday night to make contact with the Gardaí.”

Minister Doherty must clarify Government intentions behind Public Services Card - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Minister Doherty will face questions as to her intentions behind changes to the Public Services Card (PSC) when the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 is debated next month.

Teachta Brady said:

“The upcoming Social Welfare Bill includes a number of ambiguous provisions regarding the Public Services Card which I will be questioning Minister Doherty on in the coming weeks.

"The Bill seeks to enable a person to use the card as a means of establishing identity with service providers such as banks and utility providers. The Bill also allows for the person’s date of birth to be included on the card, if requested by an individual.

“These changes further point to an agenda on behalf of the Department to make the PSC a mandatory identity card. On the one hand, the Department continue to insist that the PSC is optional yet, on the other, they are forcing people to have one if they wish to apply for a first-time passport or to sit their driver theory test.

"In fact, the PSC will shortly be required for all passport and driving licence applications.

“So instead of an individual simply applying for a passport, they will first have to apply for a PSC and then for a passport, and the same for a driving licence.

“In recent days, a case came to light where a lady was left without her State Pension because she did not apply for a PSC. There was nothing optional about this case when it came to the PSC.

“The public are becoming increasingly concerned as to the motives behind the need for a PSC and the provisions included in the Social Welfare Bill only add to this.

"I will be questioning Minister Doherty on these provisions when the Bill is debated in September and I expect absolute clarity on the Government’s agenda with these cards.

“Sinn Féin will oppose any attempt by Government to introduce a national ID by stealth."

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Full investigation needed after heart attack sufferer turned away by hospital – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that it is utterly unacceptable that a man suffering a severe heart attack was turned away from St. Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown because he did not have a GP referral letter.

Deputy Brady said:

“Last Wednesday, a local man presented at St. Columcille’s complaining of severe chest pains and an inability to breath. He was told by staff that he would not be seen without a GP referral letter. Despite pleading for medical assistance, staff insisted that he would not be seen. When the man sat down in the waiting area, unable to remain standing, he was again told there was no point in waiting and that he would not be seen.

“The man took a bus back to Bray in an attempt to reach his GP’s office. After disembarking the bus, and walking towards the GP surgery, he collapsed on the Main Street. Luckily, passers-by stopped and eventually resuscitated him before flagging down a passing training ambulance whose crew stabilised the man and brought him to St. James’s. Having undergone major surgery, the man is now thankfully, in a stable condition.

“This is one case which serves to demonstrate the danger of downgrading local hospitals and replacing A&Es with Minor Injury Units. I have contacted the Hospital Manager to request an immediate meeting to discuss the protocols and hospital policy in place which seen a seriously ill man turned away from his local hospital. It is only for the heroic actions of passers-by in Bray that saved this man’s life.

“I am calling on Minister Harris to instruct the HSE to carry out an immediate investigation into this serious incident. Minister Harris must ensure that no person in medical distress will be turned away from any healthcare facility.”