Category Archives: News

Fianna Fail foreboding over Brexit

Plans for agri-food tariffs ‘disastrous.’

Sligo News File.

Fianna Fail claims that plans to introduce new arrangements for the border and tariffs on products being exported from the Republic to Britain will have “massive ramifications on the Republic’s agri-food sector if allowed to be introduced.

“I sincerely hope that this is a provocative attempt to persuade MPs to vote against a no deal scenario when they are asked over the next 24 hours in Westminster,” said a spokesman for the party.

“The EU will obviously have to respond to the plans to allow goods to travel freely between the Republic and Northern Ireland in the short term and the Irish government will have to elaborate on their own plans to respond to this plan. The uncertainty is causing massive anxiety with businesses both North and South and will cost jobs soon if not sorted out.”

The government should publish the likely impact of the tariffs and put a plan in place to respond, the spokesman added.

A Leinster-based farm body has said the consensus among farm organisations is that a no-deal Brexit “would be a disaster.”

The IFA says it would be a “disastrous scenario” if a tariff regime is imposed on Irish food products.

Nurses and midwives may strike again over ‘unreasonable’ government offer

Labour court to examine disputed clauses of new draft contract.

Sligo News File.

It looks that the country’s overburdened hospital services could be hit with another strike by nursing and midwifery staff.

Harris, Health Minister

New contracts offered by the government following the previous strike action have been rejected by union representatives.

Talks between the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and government parties broke down without agreement yesterday.

Disputed clauses of the new draft contract are now being referred for examination by the Labour Court.

The INMO has criticised proposals tabled by the government as ‘unreasonable.’

Currently, more than half a million patients are on waiting lists for hospital consultations.

Irish government reportedly aiming to fund abortion services in third world countries as Trump outlaws American aid for abortions in the US and abroad.

Organisations may be able to dip into taxpayer-funded Aid programme to finance abortions in Irish supported developing countries.

Sligo News File.

Developing countries may be allowed to use taxpayer-funded Irish aid for the provision of abortion services. The claim has been made at the same time that theTrump administration has ruled out financially supporting abortion in the United States and abroad.

President Donald Trump – ban on aid to foreign organisations providing abortion services

Ireland distributes hundreds of millions in development aid to several countries including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Liberia and Vietnam.

Now, according to the Irish Times, the Fine Gael-led administration may lift existing restrictions on the use of Irish aid to the third world “as a consequence of the changes to the legislation on abortion in Ireland.”

It reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has said it will launch a new initiative on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the developing world as part of the work of Irish Aid.

The new plan, it states, “is likely to take account of the changed Irish position on abortion and will set aside a previous rule against funding abortion.”

Many will be shocked if it transpires the government intends to allow Irish aid to be used to support abortion practices abroad. The move, if effected, would contrast starkly with the position in the United States where President Donald Trump has made an order outlawing the distribution of foreign aid to organisations in countries that provide abortions or even counsel women on abortion.

Organisations seeking US aid must certify they were not discussing abortion or advocating for its liberalisation.

President Trump has also proposed a sweeping clampdown on abortion services in the United States itself, with the imposition of severe restrictions on what is known as Title X federal funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals.

The Trump Rule will also ban existing funded organisations from providing abortions if performed in the same facilities as other services financed by federal funds. Funds will be withdrawn from organisations that refer women to another provider for an abortion or procedure.

Trump has been praised by Catholic and other bodies throughout the States for his role in standing up for the sanctity of human life.

Taxpayer-funded Irish aid allocated to third world countries, which has been regularly increased, at present stands at around €820 million annually, and is being awarded on that scale in spite of the growing poverty, homelessness and the chaotically underfunded state of the State’s hospital services at home. The programme is managed by the Development Co-Operation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of which the minister is Simon Coveney.

Presently, the government is plying for a seat on the United Nations security council for which it needs the votes of 193 states to win.

TD relieved VAT on vitamins has been suspended

Spiralling cost of insurance may force businesses to close.

Three billion to install rural broadband.

Sligo News File.

Sligo Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry says he is pleased a Revenue proposed VAT on vitamins/food supplements has been suspended.

“My constituents in Sligo-Leitrim who use these products were facing significant cost increases,” he said.

In Ballymote, party colleague Eamon Scanlon is troubled about the failure of the Fianna Fail-backed government to tackle cost increases in the insurance market.

Small businesses, farmers, livestock marts and community organisations are, he said, being hammered by spiralling insurance rates “and some smaller family run companies say they may be forced to close if premiums continue to increase.”

As well, he wants licenses for further conifer planting in Leitrim to be put on hold “until the government commissioned report on forestry in the county is completed.”

It has emerged, meanwhile, that extending broadband to rural areas of the country may now cost €3 BILLION or more.

Spanish-owned Avantcard to create additional 40 jobs between Carrick-on-Shannon and Dublin

New staff will be engaged on the rollout of personal loan and credit card product.

Sligo News File.

A Spanish owned company is expanding its Leitrim-based operations. 

Avantcard says the development will result in the creation of an additional 40 jobs between Carrick-on-Shannon and a satellite office in Dublin.

The newly recruited employees will be engaged on the rollout of a new personal loan and a new credit card product with An Post.

It’s not clear how many of the new workers will be located in Carrick, where the company has its Irish headquarters.

Avantcard launched in Ireland in 2012.

Planning Board to rule on use of Rooskey hotel as a migrant centre

Decision not expected until July.

Controversial Antifa banner placed near the hotel.

Sligo News File.

An Bord Pleanala is being asked to decide if a hotel which the government is proposing to operate as an accommodation centre for migrants must have permission for change of use.

Shannon Key West, a luxury hotel on the banks of the Shannon at Rooskey has been earmarked for the housing of some 80 persons understood to be mainly from Africa. 

Since the announcement, the hotel has been damaged by fire on two separate occasions.

Now, the Planning Board has been called on to determine if the premises as intended to be utilised by the government constitute exempted development or need planning permission. A decision on the request is expected to issue in July.

This weekend, pro-migrant banners have reportedly appeared on a bridge to the front of the hotel. One of them is said to be a strip featuring a symbol of Antifa, a radical, left-wing organisation based in the United States and active cross channel in the UK if not also in Ireland. Wikipedia gives an account of the Antifa movement in America.

The banners are understood to have been placed on the bridge during the night hours.

Brexit sparking turmoil in the farming sector

‘Government aid will not cover losses.’

Sligo News File.

State aid will not cover losses incurred by beef farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the imposition of tariffs on Irish beef imports to Britain.

That’s the view of a Leinster-based farm body who have indicated that the government will have to seek a substantial EU aid package.

The IFA is of a similar mindset stating that the State aid limit will be inadequate.

President of the association said that “in a ‘no deal’ Brexit, State Aid limited to €8,300 per year will not be enough given the losses that farmers have already encountered and
will be facing in such a scenario.

“Talking about solidarity between the EU-27 is fine but meaningless unless it is backed up by extra funds,” he added

Fine Gael women to contest Brussels parliament elections

One of the two candidates an American from Boston.

Sligo News File.

Fine Gael have selected a couple of women to contest the elections for the parliament in Brussels in May.

Mairead McGuinness is currently a sitting MEP while an American named Maria Walsh is originally from Boston.

The two were selected at a party selection convention in Mullingar last night.

Meanwhile, Sligo Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin has been appointed an assistant whip with an annual allowance of €15,000.