Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Purchase and subsequent decision by Wicklow County Council to demolish St Paul's Lodge in Bray referred to the Public Accounts Committee

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed astonishment and bitter disappointment at the majority of Wicklow County Councillors for voting to demolish St Paul’s Lodge in Bray to construct 47 car park spaces. He stated that Wicklow Sinn Féin will now refer the issue to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Speaking after the meeting Teachta Brady said “I’m bitterly disappointed that Wicklow County Councillors voted 16-10 to demolish St Paul’s Lodge on the Herbert Road in Bray to construct a few car parking spaces. The Council recently acquired the beautiful Edwardian home and large garden for €913,000 including the vendor’s legal and other costs. We are in the midst of a housing a homeless crisis and for the council to spend close to €1m on a house with the sole intention of demolishing it for car park spaces beggars belief.”

Bray Sinn Féin Councillor Michael O’Connor said “At the council meeting on Monday my colleague Nicola Lawless and I put forward a proposal that rather than demolish the house that the council officials purchased without consulting with the elected representatives, that it would be used as emergency accommodation for homeless families. Unfortunately this was ruled out.

We are in the middle of the worst housing crisis the council is willing to waste nearly €1m of taxpayer’s money to purchase and subsequently demolish a perfectly good house, which could be used for so many beneficial purposes. Sinn Féin believes that this is a complete waste of taxpayer’s money and that there are many unanswered questions. We have now written to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and asked them to investigate the process and the waste of taxpayer’s money.”

Councillor Nicola Lawless stated “This terrible decision by the majority of Wicklow County Councillors to demolish St Paul’s Lodge is what gives politics a bad name. This is a terrible decision and one that the Sinn Féin representatives are also following up directly with Minister Eoghan Murphy. We have written to him and asked him to step in and overturn this crazy decision.”

Teachta Brady concluded “Whilst I’m astonished and disappointed with the councillors that voted for the demolition of St Pauls Lodge, I’m particularly disappointed with the local councillors that voted for this. I’ve yet to talk to one member of the public that support this decision, so I’m not quite sure who they were representing when they took the decision they did. If additional car parking is needed for the construction of the Florentine Centre, there are many alternatives that should have been examined. The Florentine debacle has been ongoing now for over 20 years, surly that’s time enough to put in place alternative arrangements to allow for the loss to the car parking onsite during the construction process.” Ends

Friday, 9 March 2018

Brady meets Bus Éireann CEO regarding Route 133

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has met with the CEO of Bus Éireann Ray Hernan to ask for the reinstatement of route 133 back into Bray.

Speaking following the meeting, Teachta Brady said:

“Last year the 133 Bus Éireann service began by-passing Bray town centre and used an alternative route via Upper Dargle Road. The National Transport Authority recently confirmed that what was a temporary detour was to last indefinitely.

“I met with the CEO of Bus Éireann Ray Hernan to express the anger of the public that have been directly affect, and to ask him to ensure the route is reinstated while alternative plans are looked at.

“Bus Éireann have firmly laid the blame of the loss of route 133 through Bray at the feet of the National Transport Authority. At our meeting it was revealed that the NTA turned down a proposal from Bus Éireann to run a dedicated route into Bray, in parallel they wanted to run one directly between Wicklow and Dublin. This was a temporary proposal whilst alternatives proposals were brought forward. Unfortunately the NTA showed no regard for the people of Wicklow and turned down the proposal.”

“I also proposed to the CEO a new dedicated route would be put in place linking Arklow, Wicklow Town and Bray. Mr Hernan confirmed that this is a proposal that Bus Éireann are willing to consider. This would allow a direct 133 service to operate from Wicklow Town to Dublin. However, I pushed for the reinstatement of the 133 service back through Bray while new route proposals are considered.”

“Mr Hernan assured me the concerns of the using public along with my proposals would be given serious consideration. I have however subsequently requested a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority Ms Anne Graham.”

Government must act as more of the Murrough in Wicklow Town washed away-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed serious concerns about extensive new erosion at the Murrough in Wicklow Town during recent storm Emma. He has called on the Minister with responsibility for the OPW Boxer Moran to ensure that funding is put in place immediately to protect the amenity and the rail line.

Speaking after inspecting the recent erosion Teachta Brady said “The issue of protecting the Murrough needs to be taken serious and progressed as quickly as possible. During Storm Emma several meters of coastline the length of the Murrough was swept into the Irish Sea. Not only further diminishing the public amenity, but also putting the rail line at risk.

“In January I along with other public representatives walked the Murrough with Minister Moran and showed him the extent of the erosion and left him under no illusion as to why it needs to be protected. He gave assurances that he would work with Wicklow County Council on a technical report with a view of securing funding from his Department for the extensive coastal protection works that are needed.

“He however now needs to ensure the report is completed and that funding is forthcoming immediately for the extensive coastal protection works that are needed. During Storm Emma the pre-cast concrete units that were installed in 2016 following Storm Frank along a small section of coastline, only gave very limited protection. Storm Emma washed away several meters of coastline directly behind the defences. The best option would be off-shore protection units; this would provide more extensive protection the full length of the Murrough.

Teachta Brady concluded “I have been in direct contact with the Minister again on this important issue. Unfortunately time isn’t on our side when it comes to protecting the Murrough; action must be taken now before we lose this important amenity for good.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Funding for critical Fassaroe Community Centre works welcomed

Bray Sinn Féin Councillor Michael O’Connor has welcomed the allocation of €30,500 by Bray Municipal District towards the replacement of the roof on the Community Centre in Fassaroe. The decision was taken by the council at their meeting on Tuesday evening.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor O’Connor said “I’m delighted that the local area councillors supported the proposal to allocate €30,500 towards replacing the roof on the community centre in Fassaroe. The community centre is a fantastic amenity which is widely by locals and residents from across Bray.”

“Unfortunately the original roof on the Community Centre is in an unsafe condition and needs to be completely replaced. It’s estimated that it will cost up to €80,000 to replace the roof, making it safe and ensuring that it’s to a high energy rating. The allocation of €30,500 from Bray Municipal District is not just recognition of the important work that’s carried out in the centre; it’s also recognition of the fantastic team of people who operate it.”

Welcoming the allocation of the funding Teachta John Brady said “The allocation of the funding for the replacement of the Community Centre roof in Fassaroe is fantastic news. I have been working with the management of the centre over the last number of years to have the work carried out. I had previously secured some funding to have some sections of the roof replaced as a temporary measure. The allocation of €30,500 in tandem with some Leader funding recently secured will go a long way to completely replacing of the roof.”

“I want to commend all the staff in the Community Centre who have worked tirelessly on this issue to ensure that the centre can continue to be at the heart of Fassaroe, providing a first class amenity for all the community.”

Friday, 2 March 2018

Government must ensure that post offices have sufficient funds on reopening - Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the Government to ensure that not only do post offices reopen tomorrow as planned but that sufficient funds are available in all post offices across the State.

Teachta Brady said:

"On Thursday, post offices in Dublin, Louth and Offaly were reported to have run out of cash as social welfare recipients arrived to collect their payments early, as directed to do so by Government.

"This situation cannot be repeated when post offices reopen tomorrow. There are thousands of people relying on these payments to get through the week, including the most vulnerable people in the State.

"Where funds are low, the Government need to call on the Defence Forces to assist in getting cash to the affected post offices before tomorrow.

"There have been cases where older people were turned away from post offices on Thursday. One gentleman said that as a result, he could not afford food. This is totally unacceptable.

"First and foremost, post offices need to be able to reopen tomorrow and they need to be assisted to do so, if necessary. With that, the Government must ensure that all post offices have adequate funds in place.

"The cause of uncertainty this week for social welfare recipients is firmly left at the Government's door. This is exactly why Minister Doherty needs to instruct her Department to put protocols in place to ensure the payment of social welfare to recipients during severe weather warnings. I have asked Minister Doherty to do this."

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Brady welcomes double payment of Fuel Allowance this week

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has welcomed Minister Doherty’s announcement that fuel allowance recipients will receive a double payment this week.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome Minister Doherty’s announcement this morning and the U-turn from Government to provide an additional fuel payment as called for by Sinn Féin and others yesterday.

“It is absolutely crucial that nobody is left cold in their homes out of worry for increased fuel bills during the cold weather.

“I would call on those with vulnerable family members or neighbours to make sure that they can collect the fuel allowance payment. There are also a number of homes where meters are used and older people in particular, may not be in a position to get to the shop to top up their meter. Family members and neighbours should be mindful of this.

“I would also call on Minister Doherty to consider putting protocols in place for future weather events where temperatures drop dramatically. We should be looking at providing additional fuel payments to people at these times. The uncertainty, panic and worry experienced by the most vulnerable in society yesterday should not have occurred and it should be prevented from happening in future.

“In Britain, there is a Cold Weather Payment available between November and the end of March if temperatures fall to zero or below for seven consecutive days, we should examine a similar proposal here.”

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Brady calls on Government to provide additional Fuel Allowance payment

Brady calls on Government to provide additional Fuel Allowance payment

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the Government to issue a one-off additional Fuel Allowance payment to those who need it during the cold spell this week.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“Every year in Ireland, there is between 1,800 and 2,000 excess winter deaths. For older people particularly, those living alone cold weather poses serious health risks.

“Yesterday, older people were advised to prioritise fuel and not to worry about paying for it until another day. This advice is well and good but the reality is that older people will worry about their fuel bills with many older people used to rationing fuel weekly just to get by.

“I am calling on the Government to provide an additional fuel allowance payment this week either through a top up payment amount or a double fuel allowance payment.

“We must be conscious that there are other vulnerable groups in society who will need assistance during the severely cold weather promised this week. Lone parents, those living alone, people with Disabilities and those who are suffering with a long term illness must also be assisted.

“I have heard Government representatives referring to the Exceptional Needs Payment and the Urgent Needs Payment however; these are not guaranteed payments and are, instead at the discretion of Community Welfare Offices across the State.

“There is an onus on the Government to ensure that no person is left without adequate heat in their homes during cold weather. We need clarity as to what exactly will be put in place to ensure that nobody suffers financially as a result of increased fuel costs this week.”