Government clearing way for major influx of migrants?

Sligo News File Online

Fears are growing that the government is moving to allow thousands of migrants to travel to Ireland.

Ministers are being put under heightening pressure to admit more than the 600 they originally agreed to take following an EU response to conditions in the Mediterranean.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel last week named Ireland as one of three countries she said was not doing enough to tackle the migrant crisis.

A number of left leaning politicians and NGO representatives are also demanding a major increase in the agreed quota – with some calling for the removal of all restrictions on entry.

The country is currently still suffering the effects of the worst economic and social depression in its history – tens of thousands are homeless, hospitals and schools are struggling to cope with the demand on services and secure and meaningful employment in most areas remains at an extreme low, forcing more and more younger
people and families to seek work and prospect of better living conditions abroad.

This is thought to account to a considerable extent for the results of a recent MRBI Poll that showed 52% of the electorate was opposed to allowing migrants to resettle here.

Data published cross channel has confirmed that Britain’s foreign-born population has now exceeded eight million, indicating one in eight of those living there were born abroad.




More than 80,000 protestors again say No to water charges

Scale of Dublin turnout sends shivers down spines of government

Sligo News File Online

Irish WaterOrganisers of last weekend’s mass demonstration against water taxes have said they will continue to mobilise against the charges.

It is estimated that more than 80,000 took part in the protest, raising fears in government circles that the charges and the future of Irish Water are destined to feature heavily in the coming general election.

Although Environment Minister, Alan Kelly declared that water charges are here to stay, Finian McGrath, an Independent TD, said the scale of Saturday’s protest was a message to the government that the charges must be abolished.

It’s been that kind of week…

Sligo News File Online

Gardai called in the bomb disposal service to examine a white powder discovered in the constituency office of Environment Minister Alan Kelly. The packet was reportedly later declared a hoax.

A day before what organisers expect will be one of the largest-ever National demonstrations against water charges and Irish Water, the Daily Mail has reported that the gardai have set up a unit to “spy” on activities of water protest organisers.

Minister Simon Coveney has announced plans to beef up the armed forces with new ships and other military armaments because of an apparently perceived terrorist threat to the state. Some feel the real reason for the multi million-euro investment is Government preparation for Irelands participation in a long mooted EU-wide military regime working alongside NATO.

Transport Minister Pascal Donohue is said to be toying with the idea of compelling motorists found exceeding speed limits for the first time to undertake a training programme for which they will have to cough up hundreds of euro. As evidenced from reports, mobs are meanwhile running riot throughout the countryside following Government closure of garda stations and rundown in garda
manpower and services. There is widespread fear as homes are being broken into and ransacked, people attacked and stealing from farmyards and lands has become a regular nightmare occurrence for the farming  community.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is spouting anger over what she claims to be Irelands failure to open the door to more immigrants – it appears the participation of the naval service in rescue missions in the Mediterranean and the fact the number of non Irish nationals in the country is already at an all time high is not up to what she wants from the country. In the UK, illegal immigrants will face six months in jail and firms will be shut down if they employ them under measures being considered by the Government there.

Sligo County Council released a draft plan for economic and community development across the county. Given the number and variety of the issues listed for attention, and the rather bitty presentation of the content in places, it is hard to see how people can be seriously expected to ponder the plan in any meaningful way, or where funding for identified programmes or projects is to be sourced from – the council is up to the neck in debt. Anyway, the authority is seeking submissions from the public on the draft, as presented, the deadline for which is 8 September 2015.


ICSA welcomes positive response to request for extension of farm safety grant deadline

‘Disappointed Minister did not see need for a longer  extension’

Sligo News File Online.

Billy Gray, chairman,  ICSA National Rural Development Committee.
Billy Gray, chairman,
ICSA National Rural Development Committee.

ICSA rural development chairman Billy Gray has welcomed the announcement by Agriculture Minister Coveney to extend the deadline for submitting paperwork for the farm safety and sheep handling scheme.

“It is a common sense position to take, although we were disappointed that the Minister did not see the need for a longer  extension” he said.

“Farm safety is a very important issue and we would encourage anyone who has commenced work to follow through and have it completed by the extended deadline.”

Northern crisis: Sinn Fein Leader says ‘…the IRA is gone and is not coming back’

‘There is nothing more Sinn Fein can do’
The following – circulated by the Sinn Fein Press Office – is the text of Gerry Adams TD’s weekly column in the Andersonstown News that will be published later this evening.
Gerry Adams, TD, Leader, Sinn Fein
Gerry Adams, TD,
Leader, Sinn Fein

Deputy Adams writes:

·         Unionist politicians ignored the bits that didn’t fit with their        narrative and jumped on Hamilton’s claim that the IRA still exists to ratchet up the crisis.

·         I don’t agree with the PSNI Chief Constable’s claim that the IRA exists – even in the benign way he paints it. The war is over and the IRA is gone and is not coming back.

·         Sinn Féin and republicans, including the IRA, have taken a series of historic initiatives to create the opportunity for peace; to sustain the process in difficult times and to overcome obstacles.

·         The Sinn Féin leadership has worked hard to find imaginative and innovative ways to resolve problems. But this problem is not of our making. Sinn Féin has no responsibility whatsoever for those who killed Kevin  McGuigan or Jock Davison. The response of the other political parties to these killings has been self-serving and short sighted.

·         Let me be very clear. Once again. Anyone who breaks the law should be held accountable by the justice and policing agencies.

·         Let me be equally clear. Enough is enough. Sinn Féin has no special, or particular or specific responsibility to respond to the allegations made about the IRA, above and beyond what I have outlined here.

·         There is no basis for the charges made against Sinn Féin by our political opponents and if this descends into a political crisis it is a direct result of their stupidity and party political opportunism. 

·         Indeed given the manner in which the debate has descended into personalised attack, invective and Sinn Féin baiting, it is hard to know how the other parties, Executive Ministers or Irish government Ministers would  hope to sort this crisis out.

·         Unless of course, and I accuse them of this, they are motivated entirely by party political and electoral interests.

·         Sinn Féin will not allow ourselves or more importantly our electorate to be demonised or marginalised over matters that have nothing to do with us. In this case there is nothing more Sinn Féin can do.

·         Frances Fitzgerald has uncharacteristically undermined her role as Minister for Justice to politically smear Sinn Féin.

.        Micheál Martin has also sought to use these killings for party political purposes. He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs when the then Minister for Justice, Dermott Ahern said that the IRA was gone and not coming back.

.        In 2010 when Sinn Féin successfully negotiated the transfer of policing and justice with the two governments he was part of the process. He never raised the matter with me once. But now we are on the cusp of an election and Micheál Martin is in electioneering mode.


New vehicles for North West garda motor fleet

Seven 2015 allocated vehicles to be increased to fourteen

Sligo News File Online

The Government is upgrading the garda motor pool in the North West

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim

A stock of seven new vehicles already delivered to Sligo and Leitrim in 2015 is to be expanded to fourteen later in the year, according to local FG TD, Tony McLoughlin.

He pointed out that nationally the Government had invested €27.5 million in Garda vehicles between 2012 and 2014.

The Government, he said, was “also strengthening An Garda Síochána for the future by reopening the Garda training college in Templemore and recruiting 550 new Gardaí.

“The first intake of 100 new recruits entered Templemore in September 2014 and passed out in April of this year. A further 200 recruits entered in December 2014 and February 2015, with 250 more expected to begin training later this year.

“When Fianna Fáil closed Templemore it was a major blow to An Garda Síochána and to rural areas.

“Our local Gardaí will be really bolstered by this influx of new vehicles and Gardaí…” he said.


Attacks on Sinn Féin cynical and self serving – Caoımhghín Ó Caoláın TD

‘The IRA is gone. It no longer exists.’

Sligo News File Online.

Caoımhghín Ó Caoláın, TD, Sinn Fein.
Caoımhghín Ó Caoláın, TD, Sinn Fein.

Caoımhghín Ó Caoláın TD responded to criticism of his party by political opponents of Sinn Féin today. 

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“There have been two killings in Belfast. Sinn Féin supports the PSNI in their investigation into these killings and anyone involved must be brought to justice.

“With an election looming it is no surprise that other parties have attacked Sinn Féin. This is highly cynical and wholly self-serving.

“Let me be clear, the IRA is gone. It no longer exists. This has been in evidence over the past number of years.

“Let me also be clear, Sinn Féin, like all other parties, are in these institutions on the basis of our mandate. It is the people who support us, that elect us to institutions north and south. Their rights cannot be undermined by other political parties or external commentary.

“Sinn Fein will continue to represent our voters, continue to defend the peace process and continue to build a fair recovery with fundamental change north and south. We will not allow criminal gangs or other political parties to deflect us from that work.”

Fianna Fail Senator pressing for increased National Fuel Scheme funding

‘Wet and cold weather has meant households forced to use more fuel than normal to heat their homes’

Sligo News File Online

Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail

A Fianna Fail Senator has called on the Government to increase funding for the fuel allowance scheme because of, he said, the extra cost incurred by households in heating their homes during the recent cold spell.

Marc MacSharry said the wet and cold weather has meant that households have been forced to use more fuel than normal in order to adequately heat their homes. Owing to the pressure this has put on many household budgets, particularly on those of older people, he is now demanding the Government makes sure that additional funding is allocated to the fuel allowance scheme.

He said:

“This summer has been very difficult on families, and in particular older people, due to the poor weather that we have had to date. Met Éireann have highlighted that July was poor month weather-wise, with some parts of the Country recording the coldest month since 1965 and its third coldest July since records began in 1950.

“The wet and cold weather has meant that households have been forced to use more fuel than normal in order to adequately heat their homes. This has put pressure on many household budgets, particularly for older people. In light of this I am calling on the Government to ensure that additional funding is allocated to the fuel allowance scheme.

“People who normally qualify for this payment on a seasonal basis have found themselves having to provide fuel to heat their homes in what has been a desperate summer. The fuel allowance payment should be made without delay to all recipients to take account of this fact.

“Many people in financial difficulty have had to spend money they had not budgeted for on fuel to keep their homes warm this summer. As a result of this they have to forgo other essential payments. The reality is that these people need to be looked after by the Government and an exception should be made to bring forward fuel allowance scheme payments without delay.

“The Government is talking about providing tax breaks to the wealthy in advance of the next budget. In light of this the least they can do is make sure that vulnerable people especially the elderly can continue to adequately heat their homes.”