Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has welcomed Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to County Tipperary to talk with representatives of the Angling community. Following her visit, MEP Ní Riada has said that the potential of the River Suir to support the development of angling tourism has yet to be fully realised. She made the comments following a visit to Golden this week.
Liadh Ní Riada said: “Golden is a beautiful village in an area of outstanding scenery. Its location close to Cashel and its proximity to the main Dublin – Cork motorway mean that it is accessible for domestic and foreign tourists alike.”
“As a member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries I have taken a keen interest in the potential for the further development of angling as both a sport and a lure for tourism.”
“Rural Ireland is crying out for investment and for job opportunities. The development of sustainable tourism, based on our greatest natural assets, would be a fantastic boon for rural communities, not least here in Co. Tipperary.”
“I will continue to work alongside Cllr. Martin Browne and with all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable, clean and vibrant tourism offering for anglers that benefits the community and rural economy.”
Cllr Martin Browne adds: “In one of the most historic and one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, we have a significant opportunity in terms of a unique angling experience. The potential of tourism has never been doubted, and I compliment the members of Cashel/Golden Anglers Association on their work. We received a short tour from Owen Jackman who is Secretary of the Association and were impressed with the commitment of the Association to maintaining the environment.”
“The potential for employment in any environmentally friendly tourism industry should not be overlooked.”
“Every Irish citizen is entitled to a home, an education, comprehensive health care free at the point of delivery, and, equal pay for equal work.” – Declan Kearney.
“To break the connection with England…and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland… and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter, these were my means.” – Wolfe Tone.
This is the address by Declan Kearney at Bodenstown 2017: Advancing towards Irish Unity – in the United Irish tradition
This time 220 years ago Ireland was in the midst of dramatic political and revolutionary change.
It was described as ‘The time of the Hurry’ in the poem ‘The man from God knows where’ dedicated to Thomas Russell.
The United Irishmen were the engine of that change.
They took their inspiration from the new democratic and egalitarian ideals of the American and French revolutions.
They were Republican separatists committed to the promotion of anti-sectarianism, fraternity and equality.
They forged alliances across Irish society and mounted an unprecedented military insurgency in every Province.
In my own county the United Irishmen took control of towns like Randalstown and Ballymena. Local United Irish leaders such as Henry Joy McCracken, Roddy McCorley and William Orr remain household names to this day.
Jemmy Hope “The Weaver” from Templepatrick and his farseeing revolutionary vision became an ideological reference point for Fintan Lawlor and later generations of Irish Revolutionaries.
These and others personified the central tenet of emergent Irish Republicanism – the unity of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter.
Wolfe Tone famously summarised the United Irish Republican programme:
“To break the connection with England…and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland… and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter, these were my means.”
As modern day Irish Republicans in the tradition of Tone, we are dedicated to the establishment of a national Republic, built upon equality, fraternity, unity and reconciliation between all citizens in Ireland.
Our primary aim is for an agreed, multicultural united Ireland, which celebrates diversity and equality, and shuns bigotry and discrimination.
Sinn Féin stands against all forms of sectarianism, racism, homophobia, sexism, and intolerance in society.
Today’s Ireland is one of huge social change and political realignment.
Partition continues to be the central fault line at the heart of Irish politics and society.
The imposition of the Brexit decision upon the people of the six counties has now magnified that fault line.
We are clear; Brexit is a by-product of partition and continued British jurisdiction in the North of our country.
It has now become a catalyst for a new realignment of politics in Ireland; in relations between this island and Britain: and, it is redefining politics in the British State and Europe itself.
Irish Unity has become central to the political discourse.
Next Saturday in Belfast at the Waterfront our party will host a major national conference on Irish Unity to build on that discussion.
Many citizens are now looking beyond the Brexit fall out and towards new constitutional and political opportunities.
In the North, greater numbers of ordinary people are now more engaged with politics.
Young people have become increasingly politicised.
All that is reflected in the Assembly and General election results in March and just last week.
The election of 27 Sinn Féin MLA’s and 7 MPs with 239,000 votes is an historic high in electoral support for our party, and for progressive politics.
I want to thank every activist and supporter and all their families who contributed to these spectacular achievements; and also to all of our voters.
There is a building momentum for Irish Unity and in support of anti-unionist and progressive politics.
There is also a new, popular expectation of real, and substantial political change.
The people of the North have spoken.
Sinn Féin respects the mandate secured by the DUP.
But make no mistake Sinn Féin’s electoral mandate is a vindication of our pledge that there will be no return to the status quo: and I repeat; no citizen or section of society will be put to the back of the bus again.
In 1967 our parents and grandparents and others in this gathering set out to demand civil rights in the North. They were beaten and shot off the streets.
Fifty years later an equality revolution is happening in the six counties and it is being led by young people.
Agus tá siad tiomanta agus diongbhailte. Tá siad dearg le fearg agus tá muid go léir dearg le fearg.
For the first time since partition electoral support for political unionism has fallen below 50%.
These are the new realities.
And this is the new context for the current round of political talks.
Let us be clear – the political crisis in the North can be resolved.
The political institutions can be re-established.
However, that means the DUP and British government need to get the message – which they have ignored since Martin McGuinness’ resignation on 9th January.
So I will spell it out.
The equality and rights agenda is not negotiable.
Agreements previously made on equality, rights, parity of esteem and legacy must be implemented.
The Good Friday Agreement cannot be unpicked.
The political institutions must not be misused to advance institutionalised bigotry.
Continued refusal by the DUP and British government to accept these fundamental positions will create only one outcome: a future of permanent political instability.
The DUP have spent the last week in talks with the British Government trying to strike a deal which will keep the Tories in power.
As with Brexit, any deal with Tories will be bad for the economy, public services and for citizens.
This Tory government cares as little for working-class unionists as it does for working-class republicans.
Working-class unionists did not vote for Tories.
The DUP leadership know that. They know the north is of no consequence in Westminster.
Even Edward Carson recognised this nearly 100 years ago. He said:
“What a fool I was… in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power.”
The central fact is the political process in the North remains overshadowed by financial scandals.
That is why Sinn Féin stood the DUP leader down from her position last January.
The focus on her future role in an Executive is completely misdirected and premature.
That discussion will only arise when there is an acceptable implementation plan to restore public confidence in the political process and ensures that the institutions will work on the basis of proper power sharing, equality, respect and integrity.
This is a serious situation, which demands a serious focus by all parties.
It is not a game, and it is certainly not a dance.
If the DUP really wants to go into the Executive, that party needs to decide whether it is now prepared to embrace a rights-based approach to government in the North.
Instead of pretending that a crisis does not really exist, the DUP should get with the programme.
If the DUP imagines it can wind back the clock, with a Tory side deal or not, and reestablish the institutions without adherence to equality and rights, then the DUP is indeed living in a fool’s paradise.
As for the two governments, instead of talking up the prospect of a successful outcome to these talks, they and the DUP should reread Martin McGuinness’ resignation letter on the 9th January.
It sets out exactly what is required to restore public confidence, and to create the conditions for proper government in the North.
We don’t need optical illusions; we expect change!
The new Irish government now carries a huge responsibility.
The failure of the last Irish government to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor for the Good Friday Agreement is a national scandal.
This dereliction of political leadership must end.
The new Taoiseach and his administration should now publicly disassociate itself from the pro-unionist, partisan position of the British government.
This Irish government should bring forward a comprehensive plan for Irish reunification, including:
– A joint Oireachtas committee on preparing for Irish unity;
– A government White Paper on national reunification;
– And, specific proposals for a unity referendum on the island.
This month 40 years ago and here at Tone’s grave our comrade Jimmy Drumm correctly observed that the achievement of national and social liberation relied upon the development of a popular progressive movement for change throughout Ireland.
Today we live in an Ireland of endemic financial scandal, political corruption, gombeen elites, discrimination and sectarianism.
The strategic position articulated by Jimmy Drumm in 1977 is now more relevant than ever.
The austerity programmes imposed by Fine Gael and the British Tories have entrenched social inequality, both North and South.
None of our children should have to live in fear from poverty or austerity; inequality or discrimination; or from intolerance or sectarianism.
Social inequality is the antithesis of values enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation and the democratic programme of 1919.
Every Irish citizen is entitled to a home, an education, comprehensive health care free at the point of delivery, and, equal pay for equal work.
Instead social inequality, political corruption and financial scandal have become bywords for public policy under Fine Gael.
The new Taoiseach seems determined to take his government further to the right.
If that is his intention, then he should call a general election now, and let the people cast its verdict on that political programme.
In those circumstances Sinn Féin will go forward with our progressive political agenda.
We know where we stand, and it’s not with the gombeen men, the crooks, or fat cats.
To paraphrase Tone Sinn Féin stands with:
“That numerous and respectable class of the community, the men of no property.”
Irish unity has never been more achievable.
But that goal is only inevitable when Republicans successfully persuade sufficient numbers of our people that an agreed, united Ireland will serve their interests.
The refusal of significant sections of political unionism to embrace a shared future, and divisions caused by deep-seated sectarianism, create enormous challenges for Republicans.
Yet despite that, we must continue to show generosity of spirit, and reassurance to our unionist neighbours in the North.
As agents of change it is up to us to reach into the wider unionist constituency.
As republicans in the United Irish tradition we have to demonstrate how their rights, traditions, and identity will be accommodated in a new constitutional framework of an agreed Ireland.
It is for us to convince them that it is far better for Irish unionists to exert their influence over a progressive Ireland, instead of being reduced to stage props for a right-wing British Tory government.
Sinn Féin’s policies on reconciliation and anti-sectarianism represent genuine contributions towards the development of reconciliation between Republicans and unionists, within Irish society, and, between Ireland and Britain.
These need to be internalised and mainstreamed within our political work, both North and South.
Our generation of Republicans are history makers.
Martin McGuinness atá anois ar shlí na fírinne, and whom we greatly miss here today, as well as others in our leadership, have brought us to this point.
Now it is for the rest of us to finish that work.
We must become the nation builders.
We must continue the transformation of Irish society.
Meeting these responsibilities requires a step change in our party.
We need to be always strategically focused, cohesive, flexible and creative.
Let us be clear: building popular support and political strength is not a plan for opposition.
Our political strategy is a road map for governmental power.
So that means Sinn Féin being in government North and South.
This is our road map to achieving national democracy and a united Ireland.
But being in government is not a vanity contest.
This party is not interested in acting as a prop for the status quo North or South.
Political institutions are not ends in themselves: they should be made to work as the means to make positive change.
And of course, we must avoid being defined by the nature of the political institutions.
Sinn Féin participation in the Dáil, Assembly, all-Ireland institutions and European Parliament must be at the heart of a broader momentum for political and social change in Ireland.
If change is to be people centred, then change must be driven by the people.
A popular democratic movement for transformation needs to be developed across Ireland.
That is a progressive coalition of political, civic, community, cultural and labour activists united in support of economic democracy, sustainable public services, equality, rights, and the welfare of citizens.
These are the means of modern Republicans today.
Ireland is in transition. Our party is in transition.
The process of leadership succession has already commenced.
We have begun to implement a ten-year plan to regenerate our party with more youth and women; and enhanced skills and capacity.
Mar sin, más cearta, cothromas agus Poblacht atá uaibh – ná habraigí é – eagraigí, tógaigí, agus déanaigí é.
If you want equality and rights – if you want fairness in Irish society:
If you really want a Republic – then just don’t vote Sinn Féin:
Join Sinn Féin – and get your family and friends to do the same.
We continue to take our inspiration from Tone.
This afternoon in Bodenstown we stand resolute in the tradition of Henry Joy McCracken, William Orr, Roddy McCorley, Jemmy Hope, Betsy Gray and Mary-Anne McCracken.
Now let us go forward reenergised and confident, to mobilise and organise, and to achieve national independence and Irish Unity.
The first motion below, 8.2, submitted by Sinn Fein Councillor, Catherine Carey, was born out of anger from some locals in Clonmel from an incident where Irish Water turned off supply to number of households, including some elderly, without any prior notice. This left many unprepared for having no water for a long period.
Cllr Martin Browne of Cashel Sinn Féin Tipperary has poured scorn on recent announcements from the government and their plans for rural Ireland. Browne has claimed that the €60 million which was announced is over a three year period and is been spread over 600 rural towns and villages.
Cllr Browne said: “Any and all money being spent in rural areas is welcome. But these announcements are just a rehash of different previous announcements from this Fine Gael led government. We have heard it all before.”
“If this money is spread evenly over the proposed 600 towns and villages that very little work or improvements will be done in any area. €60 million sounds like a lottery windfall, but everyone knows that if you divide a win by 600 members that no one is getting a lot.”
“How can we or the public take these measures seriously, when at the same time their policies are aimed at closing down more post offices? That will has a huge knock-on effect especially in small towns and villages.”
“Rural Ireland is in big trouble if Fine Gael don’t change their policies; they say they’re trying to get people back to rural areas, but for this to happen, they need to provide proper services in these areas.”
“For young couples to make the move from a city, they require an assurance that school places will be easily available on the basis of equality, that public transport can be accessed, that childcare can be accessed, that there are shops stay open, and most importantly that high speed broadband is available.”
“The announced measures are no more than window dressing and unless more funds are made available, very little change can be made.”
“If Fianna Fáil had any principles they would hang their collective heads in shame for their continued role in keeping this Government in place; they’re helping them to continue with austerity measures, and all the harm that does. Then again, they’re the ones who bankrupted the country in the first place.”
“And I find myself laughing at the Labour Party, who today attack Enda’s Austerity Government for implementing policies that only less than 12 months ago they pursued and supported when they themselves were in Enda’s Austerity Government.”
Tipperary Sinn Féin Councillors support call on Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, to speed up the delivery of social housing to meet the growing number of people in emergency accommodation. The call comes as the Department of Housing published the December homeless figures showing yet another increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation.
Speaking on this, Councillor Martin Browne said: “The latest homeless figures published by the Department of Housing show yet another increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation. On that month, December, 4643 adults were in emergency accommodation, an increase of 207 people on November. For the first time since these figures were collated we now have more than 7000 in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Davy Dunne added: “This figure does not include adults and children in Tusla funded domestic violence emergency accommodation, non-Irish nationals in emergency accommodation funded by the New Communities Unit of the Department of Social Protection or the 400 families trapped in Direct Provision despite having their Stamp 4 visas.”
Councillor Catherine Carey stated: “The Government refuses to fully fund the purchase of up to 1000 houses offered for sale by AIB and PTSB. To date funding has only been approved for 200 of these units and contracts signed on only 30.”
Councillor Davy Doran said: “Minister Coveney keeps telling us that money is not a problem in tackling the homeless crisis. Yet houses for sale that could house homeless families are not being bought. The Minister needs to either put his money where is mouth is and buy those 1000 units Catherine mentioned or explain to the Dáil the reasons why he has chosen not to take families out of emergency accommodation and put them into houses that tonight are lying empty.”
Dúirt an Teachta Peadar Tóibín go raibh an cinneadh chun fáil réidh leis an riachtanas Gaeilge dóibh siúd atá ag lorg post sinsearach i leabharlanna poiblí an-díomách ar fad. Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín gurb é seo an dara h-ionsaí ar sheirbhísí leabharlanna le cúpla mí anuas le teacht isteach na scéime ‘leabharlanna gan foirne’.
Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín: “Ba mhór an díomá a chloisteáil go raibh an riachtanas Gaeilge le baint agus leabharlannaithe sinsearacha nua á fhostú. Céim siar mhór atá ann – seo an riachtanas deireanach a bhí ann maidir le fostóirí dhátheangacha a earcú sa státchóras. Is laghdú eile é ar na seirbhísí do Ghaeilgeoirí agus lucht foghlamtha Gaeilge mórthimpeall na tíre.
“In an-chuid ceantar sa tír is iad na leabharlannaithe sinsearaigh a ghlacann cúramaí an Oifigigh Gaeilge chucu féin sna comhairlí. Ní ról lán-aimseartha é i gceantair áirithe. Míníonn na rialacha nua a tháinig isteach, go bhfuil an baol ann nach mbeidh comhairlí in ann a gcuid dualgaisí Gaeilge a chomhlíonadh mar is cóir, toisc nach mbeidh siad in ann teacht ar na hoifigigh páirtaimseartha seo.
“Leanann na rialacha seo an scéim nua atá curtha chun cinn ag an rialtas le ‘leabharlanna gan foirne’ a chur ar fáil. Díoltar dúinn é mar rud forásach – ach i ndáiríre caitheann sé anuas ar ról tábhachtach leabharlannaithe mar gheatóirí eolais agus mar chuiditheoirí léinn.
“Feictear dúinn anois go bhfuil gach seans ann nach mbeidh duine cuí i bhfeighil ar na leabharlanna le linn an deireadh seachtain, nó duine ar bith ar fáil agus Gaeilge acu i rith na seachtaine. Seo buille eile don Ghaeilge agus do sheirbhísí poiblí.
“Tá ról lárnach ag leabharlanna i saol an phobail – ní áit iad le leabhair a sholáthar amháin – ach spás poiblí inar féidir leachtanna agus taispeántais a chur ar fáil agus eolas a roinnt. Níl aon amhras ach go gcuirfidh cinneadh chun fáil réidh leis an riachtanas Gaeilge bac ar an Straitéis 20 Bliain a bhaint amach.
“Táimid buartha freisin maidir le leabharlanna Gaeltachta agus na dualgais teanga seo bainte ó na leabharlannaithe nua-earcaithe. Táim ag impí ar an Aire an cinneadh seo a chúlú láithreach.”
Another attack on the Irish language by the government – Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD has said that the decision to get rid of the Irish language requirement for senior librarians was very disappointing indeed. Teachta Tóibín said that this was the second attack on library services in the past few months following on from the introduction of ‘staffless libraries’.
An Teachta Tóibín said: “I was very disappointed to hear that the Irish language requirement for senior librarians was being removed. This is a big step backwards – this was the last Irish language provision in the recruitment of employees in the state system. It marks a deterioration in the services for Irish speakers and Irish language learners throughout the country.
“In many districts in this state, it is senior librarians that accept the responsibilities of Irish Language Officer in their council. Regrettably, this is not a full time role in certain parts of the country. There is now a danger that councils will not be able to adequately fulfil their duties with the introduction of these new rules, as they will not be able to find suitable part-time officers.
“These rules follow-on from the ‘staffless libraries’ scheme as recently introduced by the government. This has been sold to us as a progressive measure – but in reality it diminishes the importance of the librarian’s role as gatekeeper of knowledge and enabler of learning.
“It appears that there is every chance now that there won’t be an appropriate person in charge of libraries during the weekends – and no-one with Irish available during the week. This is another knock for Irish and for public services.
“Libraries have a central role in civic life – they do not exist for the provision of books alone – but they act a public space in which lectures are given, exhibitions displayed, and information shared. There is no doubt but that the decision to get rid of this Irish language requirement will hinder the ability to achieve the aims of the ’20 Year Strategy.
“We are also concerned about libraries in the Gaeltacht as to whether Irish language requirements have been removed from the recruitment of librarians. I’m asking the Minister to reverse his decision with immediate effect.” CRÍOCH
Sinn MEP Liadh Ní Riada was in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on Friday to meet the River Shannon Protection Alliance group along with Cllr Séamie Morris. Liadh heard first hand from people who have been affected by the lowering water levels on Lough Derg among many other issues. Liadh agrees that Lough Derg is vital for the tourism prospects in the region for the future and as an economic asset for the Mid West region.
Irish Water’s preferred proposition at present is to use water from Lough Derg via a major pipe construction to supply Dublin and surrounding areas.
Irish Water have begun a public consultation process that will last until Feb 14th 2017. Councillor Morris is calling on people who feel strongly about this issue to contact him, get involved in local campaign groups, or lodge their own submission.
“We already have problems arising in the Irish mushroom sector, because of the significant weakening of Sterling against the Euro over recent weeks, with plants closing down, as a result of Brexit concerns.”
“Brexit is an all-island issue. So, I expect MEPs from all over Ireland to support the setting up of a Brexit working group for agriculture.
“In my opinion farming and food in Tipperary are the industries that have most to lose from Brexit.”
Liadh is also concerned about rural Tipperary, A European Commission report into the Cumulative Effects of Trade Agreements which was published today proved again that deals like CETA & TTIP will have devastating consequences for agriculture.
Now Irish MEPs (Fine Gael, in particular) have a choice to make in advance of the European Parliament vote on CETA, due to take place in December.
They can either support Irish farmers or they can support regressive trade deals such as CETA & TTIP, but they can’t support both.
2015-06-19: Cllr Séamie Morris (Sinn Féin), MEP Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin) and Declan Collisson (Shannon Protection Alliance) outside The Lake Café.
Fianna Fáil are party of inequality: all Councillors must condemn race questioning
Councillor Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has spoken of his concern that a Fianna Fáil TD has asked the Minister for Health the number of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in the public service. He says questions of that nature are tantamount to racial profiling. He says it should remind us that Fianna Fáil, far from being true Republicans, are in favour of inequality when it suits them, and adds that Tipperary councillors and TD Jackie Cahill must distance themselves from their party colleague.
Cllr Browne said: “It was Fiona O’Loughlin TD from Kildare asked the question, and was told there is no need to keep such profiling data, and so rightly couldn’t be given it. The request came from a party that has ruled over inequality for most of the life of the State. It’s right to be suspicious of what the data was for.”
“In a true Republic everyone is equal, everyone gets a fair chance, and skin colour or background doesn’t matter. Asking for statistics on the ethnicity of workers in this way is sinister, and not Republican. Does she want to root out all the Polish living here too?”
“Fianna Fáil call themselves the Republican party, but have never shown true Republican beliefs. Even now after Brexit they don’t support calls for a border poll to allow an all-island economy such as Sinn Féin aims for, and as existed in 1916. They don’t work to achieve the ideals of the Republic as Sinn Féin does. We want one efficient economy working for the people, and not the people slaving for the economy like at present.”
“Fact is, Fianna Fáil did such damage to this State that Ulster is unlikely to want to merge with us. The financial damage wrought by Micheal Martin and his cronies might never be undone. When the people of Ulster look at us, and see and hear what Fianna Fáil does – including asking racial questions such as who’s “from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds” – the average Northern Irish person is not going to want to risk merging with us. They’re afraid that someone will accuse them of being from the wrong background.”
“We see in the South that Fianna Fáil never made the social conditions for unity. We see they crippled our economy and so ruined the economic conditions for unity. They still have their old habit of treating people differently based on their race or background. We already know that Fianna Fáil has more time for the rich than for the poor.”
“I want a clear statement from each Fianna Fáil councillor in the county of Tipperary where they stand on this racial profiling question. Let them make a clear statement as to whether they support equality for all without reference to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or any other differences.”
“A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is all they need contribute. If they feel like saying a bit more, then let them say that they distance themselves from the question of their party colleague.”
Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has said that the Government has abandoned citizens to their fate at the hands of vulture funds. He says that while Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour engage with presenting schools with tokens of 1916 they are hypocritical in their failure to act on the ideals of the Republic. Speaking at a march in Clonmel, he has called for the declaration of a housing emergency, to include a moratorium on repossessions.
Cllr Browne said: “In 2016 it is totally unacceptable to have thousands of families’ homeless. The government must declare a housing emergency now. With over 2,000 children in emergency accommodation, and a further 3 families a week presenting as homeless, our Government is sitting back and letting this happen. This has to stop, and it has to stop now.”
“Vulture funds are reviled around this country by all right-minded people but we have a Minister for Finance that is a big fan of these. Ulster Bank recently sold 900 home mortgages to such funds at discounted prices; which means a large number of these families will get evicted from their homes. Recently we saw thugs in balaclavas moving on a house in Clare and try to throw a family out of their home.”
“At least banks can give some excuse – no matter how poor it is – that they have to answer to shareholders. But what excuse has the government for selling thousands of homes to these funds? They have sat back and watched while NAMA sold massive property portfolios at a fraction of what they are worth.”
“It has been three years since the governor of the central bank warned of the consequences if this continued. But Fine Gael & Labour drove on with this policy and we condemn them for this. The most frightening thing about this is that at present 46,000 Irish mortgages are operated by these vulture funds. That’s the equivalent of all the houses in a large town like Drogheda.”
“It is time they dealt with the problem, as all the evidence points to this crisis getting worse. In 2006 only 10% of the population were renting. By 2016 this had jumped to 20%. Last year it was announced that 1,700 social houses were now shovel ready. Not one of those has even started.”
“All of the blame cannot go on the last government. The seeds of this began with the Fianna Fáil & Green Party government. We must not forget that. But while we are constantly being told that there is no money in the country, the top 300 citizens in this country have a combined wealth of €88 billion. That is an increase of 3.9% in the past 12 months.”
Speaking at the march in Clonmel, Cllr Browne called on the Government to:
Recognise the scale of the crisis and to declare a housing emergency
Fast track the approval, procurement, and tendering process for local authorities
Introduce rent certainty and link rents to the consumer price index (CPI)
Introduce a repossession moratorium pending steps to deal with mortgage distress