Government to hit rural dwellers for further millions

Already massive carbon taxes on motor fuel, coal and briquettes to be raised by another 50%.

Sligo News File Online.

Climate change measures debunked by America as junk science are about to cost Irish rural dwellers millions more in levies.

Michael Fitzmaurice TD – surge in carbon tax attack on rural dwellers

Under provisions to be introduced by the Fianna Fail backed Fine Gael and Independent Coalition, the price of fuels on which the rural population is heavily dependent is set to soar to an all-time high.

Although already heavily carbon taxed, Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice has revealed that a further massive 50% levy on diesel, petrol, coal and briquettes is on the way.

The measures, he said, “once again unfairly penalise people living in rural areas of the country.

“And that’s only the start of it.”

On the way also, he said “are further plans to introduce …new restrictions in agriculture, transport, and power generation in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

“There are also proposals to reduce the speed limits on motorways and to cut down on the number of free car parking spaces available in the bigger cities and towns around the country. Obviously, people who live in rural Ireland have not been thought about when these proposals were mooted.”

He said that many rural areas have no proper public transport. As a result, “the vast majority of people have to use their cars to get to work every day and to go about their daily business. Putting up the price of fuel and restricting where people can park for free is grossly unfair and will impact on them more than those who live in cities and who have access to decent public transport.

“With regard to a possible reduction in the speed limits on motorways, the official statistics show,” he said “that motorways are by far the safest roads in the country with the fewest fatalities. Most modern cars have six gears now and are very fuel efficient on motorways.”

The people of the country are currently paying “over 400 million Euro in Carbon Taxes per year” on top of “the many other taxes that we have on fuels, motor taxes other environmental taxes and levies.

“We have seen a reduction in school bus services over the past few years, there is talk about a reduction in train and bus routes in rural Ireland, yet we see these proposals that would further reduce the ability of people in rural areas to go about their daily lives.”

Branding  the proposals as yet another attack on rural areas, he said that “once again they will have to pay for all these changes.”

The Deputy added that he will be vigorously opposing the measures.

Rosary to be prayed outside hospitals

Rumoured that calls will be recited for resignation of Health Minister.

Sligo News File Online

It’s rumoured that the Rosary is to be prayed outside hospitals in the province.




The move is understood to be an expression of concern over growing waiting lists and lack of government investment in the health service.

According to accounts, groups will assemble at hospitals in Sligo, Donegal, Mayo and elsewhere.

It is thought that political interests are behind the action.

Among other issues, it’s said calls are expected to be recited for the resignation of Health Minister Simon Harris.

The 30-year-old was only appointed to the job less than a year ago.

There is a view some TDs may take part.

Sligo News File would welcome information about the date and time of vigils from the organisers.

Special: Fianna Fail expert to reveal his vision for future of the North West

Event follows Fine Gael exposition on Brexit.

Early morning breakfast affair in Sligo.

Menu to include Michael Ring’s Wild Atlantic Way and whereabouts of elusive high-speed broadband.

Sligo News File Online.

The Fianna Fail part of the current Fine Gael-led Government is now also convening a meeting to discuss the future of the local economy in Sligo.

The event follows hot on the heels of the Brexit gathering chaired by Fine Gael’s local TD Tony McLoughlin.

Reports from that are that the Taoiseach has claimed to have done a

Taoiseach Enda Kenny – border deal agreed with British Government?

deal with the British Government on the border. He is said to have stated at the meeting that things won’t be that hard after all. However, if what we’re reading is correct, he evidently seems to have overlooked an important point. Negotiations on Britain’s departure from the EU haven’t commenced at all yet, and until then matters hard or soft cannot be decided. As well, Kenny will have to sit in with the Brussels’ elite, and that could mean in a place well back from the front row.

Otherwise, it doesn’t appear that Kenny or McLoughlin had much of substance to say about something very much closer to home; the faltering condition of the North West economy where businesses are closing almost every other day. No new industry, no new jobs – if Brexit is destined to spell hard times for Ireland where will that leave the economy and social conditions of Sligo and the other towns of the North West?

Fianna Fail is rolling in with a presidential style breakfast meeting

Fianna Fail TD Michael McGrath has ‘visions and plans’ for North West

next Thursday, starting at 8 am. The venue is the Sligo Southern Hotel where the party faithful of local TDs and councillors will be waiting anxiously in the hope of a good turnout of the business community. Why have they made the event a ticket affair? Presumably, they don’t want to have to waste time on dealing with awkward little questions such as which government it was that almost landed the country on the rocks. Or which party was heading up the government that decided to remove the cancer services from Sligo’s regional hospital.

The agenda for Thursday morning has a fortifying aura, with

Scanlon and MacSharry – handling tickets for Fianna Fail breakfast in Sligo.

offerings including Brexit (Fianna Fail flavour) challenges facing the region’s development, Michael Ring’s Wild Atlantic Way, the death of the farming industry and the last known whereabouts of the elusive high-speed broadband. Presenting it is their very own expert, Michael McGrath. His “vision and plans,” the party hopes, will lift the spirits with appropriate nods of appreciation from the early morning arrivals.

Tickets for the auspicious event are available from Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon. Potential guests are urged to contact them at the earliest; it could be a sell out occasion – and a sign of an early general election.


Two held following alleged attempted robbery in Tubbercurry

Garda vehicle rammed in Coolaney.

Sligo News File Online

Gardai have detained two people for questioning after a garda car was reportedly rammed in the Coolaney area of Sligo earlier today.

The incident allegedly followed an attempted robbery at business premises in Tubbercurry.

Members of the Garda Regional Support Unit later pursued a car in which two people were travelling.

A garda vehicle is understood to have been rammed near Coolaney

Gardai have confirmed that they are holding a man and woman in their twenties for questioning at Ballymote.

See Tony chair Sligo meeting on Brexit

Taoiseach Enda dropping by to speak.

Aurivo which transferred plant from Tubbercurry to Cork represented.

Sligo News File Online

If it’s the kind of thing that interests you, TD Tony McLoughlin wants it to be known that he is chairing a local meeting on Brexit this evening.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, fresh from a visit to Poland, is the chief contributor. Others on the panel of speakers include Aaron Forde of Aurivo, the co-operative that recently turned over its butter packing operations to Cork, Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness, Bernie Butler and Joe Dolan.

According to the statement circulated by Blaine Gaffney, Sligo Chamber of Commerce, IT Sligo, the IFA and the IDA will also be represented.

It sounds like an ideal opportunity to question why the current and last Fine Gael-led governments have left the economy of the North West to fester for the want of investment in industry and the region’s service sector.

The circular does not mention that members of the public will be able to raise anything with the Taoiseach. There are rumours that his friend Vincent Browne will be present. Fianna Fail may be there in their official capacity as partners in the present government.

Anyway, to ensure the event is not closed to the people, those who might like to be there should ring and ask to speak directly to Tony McLoughlin. His Dail number is: 016183537.

The circular from Gaffney says the venue is the Sligo Park Hotel, with the meeting as commencing at 7 pm.

Rural call to ban drinking in the Dail

Close bars and end wine service in the ‘lavish restaurants.’

‘Introduce random breath testing of members driving out of the Oireachtas.’

Sligo News File Online

Demands are growing for a ban on the consumption of alcohol in houses of the Oireachtas. This follows apparent moves by the Minister for Transport Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross to introduce measures aimed at disqualifying motorists found to be even slightly over the current 50 milligrammes drink driving limit.

Minister for Transport Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross.

The Minister’s proposal is viewed in quarters as a war on rural Ireland where in many places there is no public transport. It is also argued that Ross as Transport Minister has shown no inclination to improve the situation, yet is seemingly proposing to drive off the road relatively minor wrongdoers relying on a car as their only means of getting to work or to socialise.

A rural-based resident who contacted Sligo News File spoke of what he said was the “exploding anger” over the minister’s announcement. He said people are “getting up in arms” because they consider that consumption of marginally more than a pint of beer does not leave the driver impaired or unfit to drive carefully.

“There is also evidence that so low is the present legal level even small amounts of medication can push a driver over the limit.

“Ross, in the comfortable environment of the Dail, dictating that even first time offenders should be disqualified doesn’t have to bother himself about what being put off the road could mean for some rural drivers. Think of those with a family and mortgage-reliant on a job. Without a car, how are they going to get to work, how are they going to look after the family and the overheads, things the likes of Ross doesn’t have to think of about his bulging salary and bum in a car to take him a few miles from the Dail to his home. Rural dwellers don’t have that kind of luxury, but they pay for his luxury as taxpayers.

“Drivers living in rural areas cannot socialise with a drink because, like smoking, ministers have also made that a potential criminal offence. We are laden down with every cost and levy there is, in spite of which we are still being criminalised and penalised and priced out of it at every turn of the road. There is no one speaking up for us, or seem to care that we are treated as if we don’t have even the right to live in the countryside. It is bordering on apartheid or the system of segregation that was one time a lot of the people under British rule. Now, it’s our own that are turning life in rural Ireland into a living hell for residents.”

The bars in Leinster House raked in nearly €300,000 in 2016. Just under €7,000 was spent in the bars during the day and night of the abortion debate in July 2013.

Attacking what he branded the “luxurious environment” of TDs and Senators, he said it was objectionable and immoral that alcohol should be readily accessible to them while they are conducting the business of the Oireachtas. “The bars should be permanently shut down; it’s just not acceptable that those we elected to manage the country should be able to drink while supposedly acting as legislators. They are there to work. You also need a clear and sober system to do the job properly. Bars and bottles of wine in the lavish restaurants should be prohibited. Of course, there is no suggestion all legislators are into alcohol, but obviously, many are. Otherwise, there would be no need for either wine or bars. How can you think straight if you’re excessively under the influence of alcohol when considering legislative material affecting the people or voting on it.

“There should also be random breath testing for alcohol and drugs when members are leaving the Oireachtas in their cars, the same as the checks they themselves are insisting on for the public across the country. If they think testing is essential, there should be no exception for them. The laws should apply equally to everyone.”

Concluding, he said that, “unless the Dail and Seanad are bent on completely destroying what is left of life in rural areas,  the present plans for disqualification based on a minor breach of the drink laws or first offence should be abandoned.

“It is not, of course, being asserted that drinking to excess and driving is right or ought to be tolerated. But if this is to be a needed measure, TDs must first lobby and procure a proper bus service to take rural people to work and enable them to have a social life, the same as those living in Dublin and other cities and towns. Criminalising rural dwellers when they are stripped of nearly every form of public transport and harassing and prosecuting them because they are otherwise forced to use a car is outrageous.

Leinster House with its bars and restaurants.

“It’s time the TDs we have elected stood up and fought for us. As it is, most of them seem to be little better than ‘yes men’ turning a blind eye to government actions that are leaving rural dwellers a victimised part of the Irish race.” 




Government support for law to allow drug addicts self-inject illegal substances in state-funded centres

Addicts using centres will be able to use illegal substances purchased from drug traffickers on the street.

Move follows revelation Government underfunded hospitals have hundreds of thousands of patients waiting for medical interventions.

Centres for drug addicts could cost millions and encourage illegal trade in drugs.

Sligo News File Online

The government could soon be pumping millions into centres for drug addicts despite hundreds of thousands of patients being left to languish on the waiting lists of the country’s underfunded hospital services.

A bill about to be piloted through the Dail and Seanad by a Fine Gael Minister provides for the development of units where it seems addicts will not only be able to self-inject on the premises but also do so using illegal substances purchased from drug dealing criminals on the street.

Introduced by Mrs. Catherine Byrne TD, Minister for Communities, the highly controversial bill has been approved by the cabinet. It is understood to have been discussed this morning as the Taoiseach and Ministers were poring over details of last night’s RTE Investigates programme, Living on the List. The programme revealed the number of patients waiting for hospital procedures or appointments now stands at nearly 600,000, many of them, including children, left to suffer in indescribable agony for years on end. The figure represents an increase of 94,000 on last year’s level.

It is not clear whether the horrific and profoundly disturbing scenario highlighted by RTE was considered with any measure of urgency during this morning’s cabinet discussions. However, what has emerged is that the government has made a priority of a bill designed to clear the way for places where it looks that addicts will be helped shoot up illegal drugs under the supervision of medical professionals.

The Government’s aim, according to the mother of five Byrne is initially to roll out the project as a pilot scheme. From that beginning, it looks that the programme will eventually be extended to the country as a whole. The cost of the undertaking could, it’s estimated, spiral to millions of euros annually, without any obvious benefit other than to lubricate the ease with which addicts will be able to use or consume illicit drugs with the full protection of the State.
Health Minister Simon Harris has welcomed the Government’s decision to support the publication of the bill. The measure will allow him to issue a licence to operate a supervised injecting facility. Addicts will be able to “self-administer, by injection, drugs they have brought with them.” They will be exempted from the offence of possession.

Speaking last night, Harris said he was “ashamed” at the suffering which the RTE Investigates programme had exposed.

Today, however, he turned his concern to drug addicts. A statement on the bill quotes him as saying he is “delighted to be bringing forward this important legislation that adopts a health-led approach to drugs use by those in our society who have been marginalised as a result of their addictions.”

Byrne, his colleague in the Department of Health, said, “For me, this is all about people and looking after the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society.”

Her statement does not mention the human cost to the health threatened children and adults among the 535,000 left on the waiting lists of hospitals fund-starved by the current and previous Fine Gael-led governments.

Many will be deeply troubled that the people are about to be dragged into a scheme for drug addicts where apart from having to fund the envisioned drug using the programme they may also be unwittingly aiding and abetting the illegal drug trade and pushers of illicit substances on the streets. The bill indicates that addicts using facilities will have to purchase the illicit substance on the outside. How is this to be read if not that it is the Government or State openly legalising or turning a blind eye to morphine, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, illegally procured prescription drugs and much more besides?

Is it not suggesting to young people that drug consumption is trendy to the extent it is backed by the political establishment? Does it not also at least imply that the drug lords are winning, that the gardai have lost the war on drugs, and that people could see more and more children falling victim to addiction owing more readily available dangerous and highly addictive illegal product?

Can we afford the massive price, socially and economically, that this liberal government drug venture is destined to cost all and sundry soon into the future?

Nursing: the hard slog

Shared on the INMO Twitter page, the image depicts a staff nurse doing the manual labour while other hospital staff stand around watching.

The image reads:
“Hiring so many managers will not resolve your problems. It will just slow things down and confuse only one person that is really doing the job.”

The post has been criticised. What do readers think?