Category Archives: news

Minister for Justice seeking report following Dail allegation Gardai “stood idly by” while KBC Bank hired former British Army members forcibly entered Dublin family home

‘Householder assaulted and ejected from the house with family.’

Sligo News File

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has ordered a report following claims that Gardai “stood idly by” during an incident allegedly involving former British army soldiers hired by KBC Bank forcibly entering a Dublin home where it’s been said the householder was physically assaulted and ejected from the residence along with his family.

Mattie McGrath,TD, Independent.

Raising the issue during Leaders Questions in the Dail on Tuesday, Mattie McGrath said KBC had hired former British Army members forcibly to enter the Smith family home in Balbriggan the previous day. Entry, he said, was made at 9 am. In the course of the occurrence, the householder was physically assaulted and ejected with his family from the home.

He said, “Gardaí were present all day at the scene in Balbriggan and stood idly by but, thankfully, neighbours and friends of the family arrived late yesterday evening, at which stage the gardaí advised the mercenaries to leave, and I salute them for that.”

“This is the same bank that put 2,500 people on the wrong tracker mortgage rate, resulting in the loss of 33 properties, including six family homes,” he said.

Remarking “I do not want to invoke the song ‘Go On Home British Soldiers,'” McGrath went on to say that, “Those former British soldiers should not be here to carry out such thuggery on Irish people.

“The Taoiseach wants to allow such actions along with allowing people to freeze to death. Such events are being carried out under our watch by KBC and other banks and more will be facilitated by banks selling mortgages to vulture funds. Retired British army mercenaries have no business in this country. We have the Garda Síochána to enforce the law. It is outrageous.

“What is the Taoiseach going to do?”

The Taoiseach replied that he was “unaware of the matter” referred to by the Deputy.

McGrath said the Taoiseach could not “sit idly by and allow thuggery to be perpetrated by a third force, neither the Garda nor the Army. We do not need such people here. They did their deeds elsewhere and have retired on pensions. They should not be allowed come to Ireland—–”

An Ceann Comhairle said the Deputy couldn’t “come in a second time.”

McGrath: “The Taoiseach must answer the question.”

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: “He must answer.”

An Ceann Comhairle: “Does the Minister for Justice and Equality have anything to say on this matter?”

Fine Gael Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan TD

Minister for Justice and Equality: “The Deputy has made very serious allegations. I ask him to communicate with me in writing—”

McGrath: “I will.”

Minister for Justice and Equality: ” —–and I will seek a report from the Garda Síochána on the matter.”

McGrath briefly mentioned the alleged incident again in the Dail on Wednesday.

He said, “We saw what happened in Balbriggan to the Smith family who were terrorised by people from abroad, ex-British soldiers. The Taoiseach asked me to put it in writing.

I have two letters here, one for the Taoiseach and one for the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Flanagan. I will give them to the usher to hand to them.

“Ex-British soldiers beat this family. We have a short memory. In September 1920, Balbriggan was sacked and looted by the Black and Tans and two people were killed that night. The local barber, James Lawless, and John Gibson were both beaten to death by the Black and Tans. They are back again and this has happened under the Government’s watch. It is a shame on all of us to allow this go on last Monday morning in Balbriggan. I have the information here and I want the Government to act on it. I also want the Government to support legislation to stop the vultures getting their grisly claws on any more loans.”


The information is contained in the report on proceedings in the Dail

Treatment for Hereditary Haemochromatosis only free to patients in Dublin

Charge of €80 for all other patients brought in by Government in 2013.

Sligo News File

Patients with Hereditary Haemochromatosis, the treatment of which necessitates the removal of a pint of blood, are being victimised – unless they can get to Dublin
where the treatment is free. TD Eamon Scanlon has described the situation as discriminatory.

Eamon Scanlon,TD

The Sligo-based Deputy said the €80 charge was only introduced in 2013 “after changes were made to the Health Act. It’s completely ridiculous that some patients are being forced to pay the charge while others are not. It’s discrimination based on address.”

Hereditary hemochromatosis is a disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron from the diet. The excess iron is stored in the body’s tissues and organs, particularly the skin, heart, liver, pancreas, and joints. Unless treatment is availed of the condition could have serious health implications for the sufferer.

Scanlon said, “It is deeply unfair that some people are having to pay the fee while others aren’t. This isn’t an optional procedure – if patients don’t undergo the treatment they could end up with liver damage.

“The Minister and the HSE need to level the playing field and ensure that all haemochromatosis sufferers have access to free venesection and phlebotomy services so that they can keep their condition under control.”

He said that Health Minister Simon Harris had informed him that a meeting is being arranged to consider “the issue of the application of the public in-patient charge of €80 for venesection in Acute Hospitals as well as broader issues in relation to the treatment of patients with Hereditary Haemochromatosis.”

Only six of Sligo’s eighteen Councillors backed motion calling for repeal of Eighth Amendment

Public support for removal of Amendment has plunged.

Northwest TDs against repeal.

Sligo News File

It must have been disappointing for Gino O’Boyle to see a sizeable body of councillors leaving the September meeting of Sligo County Council just before his motion calling for the Repeal the Eighth Amendment came up for discussion.

Cllr. Gino O’Boyle

O’Boyle’s motion asked that “Sligo County Council write to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ask him when will a referendum on Repeal the 8th take place and also Sligo County
Council support having a referendum.” 

The motion was carried but before the vote was taken a large body of councillors had apparently left the chamber.

Of those who remained, two voted against the motion, one abstained, leaving only six, including the proposer in favour.

Marked as absent were: Casserly, Independent, Clarke, Independent, Healy, Sinn Fein, Maguire, Fianna Fail, MacSharry, Fianna Fail, Mulvey, Fine Gael, O’Grady, Fianna Fail, Queenan, Independent, and Taylor, Fianna Fail. However, Casserly and Maguire are not listed among the attendees at the meeting.

The six supporters of O’Boyle’s motion were Bree, Independent, Henry, Fianna Fail, Keaney, Fine Gael, Kilgannon, Fianna Fail, MacManus, Sinn Fein and O’Boyle.

Lundy and Baker, both Fianna Fail, opposed the motion.

Gormley, an Independent, abstained.

Seemingly there is no great appetite among most Councillors for the removal of the Amendment from the Constitution.

At least three Northwest TDs, Fianna Fail deputies Marc McSharry, Eamon Scanlon and Pat the Cope Gallagher are all against repealing the Eighth amendment.

Councillor O’Boyle is a member of the People Before Profit Alliance which early last year moved a Bill in the Dail proposing that the penalty for procuring or assisting an abortion in Ireland be reduced to a €1 fine.

There was also controversy when the Independent reported last September that Trinity People Before Profit defended their members who were allegedly pictured cutting down posters advertising a pro-life event in Dublin.

It was claimed that a Facebook post on their page “showed two members of their group cutting down a poster along with the message: “2 comrades, 1 pair of scissors, 32 vile anti-choice posters surrounding the campus. A successful evening indeed”.

The posters were advertising an event by The Life Institute and Unbroken Ireland that had been scheduled for a Dublin hotel.

Polls show that public support for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment and abortion up to 12 weeks has plunged from 65% in 2018 to 56% in January 2018.

Up Up and Away, Taoiseach and Ministers to fly out for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations abroad.

The announcement comes just as Dail is resuming after long Christmas break.

Oireachtas out again for Easter.

Sligo News File

Varadkar the Taoiseach and ministers are to take off for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across the world.

The announcement has come just as the Dail is getting back after the long Christmas break. The Oireachtas will be closing again for Easter.

Listed to travel for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are Varadkar, Ring, Humphreys, Stanton, D’Arcy and Attorney General Wolfe, all destined for the United States. Naughton and O’Donovan (Patrick) will spend St. Patrick’s Day in Canada. Joe McHugh is down for a visit to Brazil, Donohoe is going to Argentina, Moran, Kenya, Griffin, USA and Mexico, Kehoe, Lebanon and Cyprus, while housing Minister Murphy is to take in Korea and Japan.

Coveney is to leave for China and Hong Kong, Daly, Australia and New Zealand, Flanagan Australia, Mary O’Connor UAE and Oman, Doyle, Vietnam and Phelan, Singapore. Dail chairman O’Fearghail is included for Croatia, Senate Chairman O’Donavan (Denis) Slovenia & Bosnia Herzegovina, McEntee, Austria and Slovakia, Kyne, Switzerland, Byrne, Denmark and Finland, Cannon, Czech Republic, and English, Poland.

Harris is set to travel to the Netherlands and Belgium, Bruton, Germany, Madigan, Norway and Sweden, Zappone, Italy, Doherty, France, Creed and Halligan, UK, and Breen, Scotland.

Ross is remaining in Ireland.

It’s reckoned visits to date have cost taxpayers around a million euro.

Members of local councils are also set to travel for the Patrick’s Day celebrations abroad.

Meanwhile, thousands of families in Ireland are left without homes; children are being crammed into temporary accommodation, closure of commercial outlets in the North West is at record levels, businesses locally are struggling, and jobs are as scarce as hen’s teeth.

An existing Sligo manufacturing outfit has reportedly announced plans to create 33 jobs annually over the next three years, however, government assistance to the development of new industrial infrastructure is virtually non-existent.

Despite the presence of no fewer than four TDs in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency, “delivery” for the area is light on the ground. The four TDs are Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail spokesman on business and employment, Eamon Scanlon, the party’s Sligo-based TD Marc MacSharry and Fine Gael TD and party’s assistant whip Tony McLoughlin.

Some companies are said to be planning on leaving the North West, further slashing the availability of employment in the area.

In the Midlands, the IDA has come under fire with a TD for the area branding the efforts of the agency “especially in counties Westmeath and Longford” as “abysmal, shambolic and disappointing, to say the least.”

Deputy Willie Penrose said that in 2017, “only 2% of jobs related to foreign direct investment were located in the Midlands, which also experienced the smallest increase in IDA Ireland supported jobs in the year. He noted, “the figure appears to worsen every year.”

Fianna Fail has committed to backing the Government, and to not bringing it down in confidence motions or objecting to reshuffles.

Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein backing proposed legislation to allow thousands of refugees to resettle in Ireland.

Direct provision system already under ‘ferocious pressure.’

Minister reveals refugee  centres ‘filling up very fast.’

Application for seventy relatives to join family already here as refugees.

Sligo News File

Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein are among the parties backing measures to enable thousands of refugees to enter the State.

The International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill moved by Independent Senators Colette Kelleher, Lynn Ruane, Alice Mary Higgins and others – has been introduced as the number of people without homes here has shot to an all-time high.

According to a Department of Housing report, 5,524 adults and 3,333 children were accessing emergency accommodation services in November, a substantial increase in the figures for October. In December, the number of people in emergency accommodation  had grown to more than 7,000.

The Senate amendment to the International Protection (Family Reunification) Bill states that its purpose is to “provide for a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection to apply for members of their family, including a grandparent, parent, brother, sister, child, grandchild, ward or guardian, to enter and reside in the State.”

There are concerns that the measure will facilitate the movement of some tens of thousands of refugee relatives to Ireland within a relatively short space of time, piling even more pressure on the country’s already over-stretched housing services, hospitals and schools.

Stating that the Government opposed the amendment, Minister of State for Justice David Stanton told the Seanad that the refugee direct provision system was under “ferocious pressure” and direct provision centres were “filling up very fast.”

He said, “As the Government informed the House in July, the average number of family members applied for under the family reunification provisions of the Refugee Act was 20, and the largest application was for over 70 family members.

“The admission of so many people would have significant and unquantifiable impacts on the provision of housing, health care, education, welfare payments and other State supports. The financial impacts of this proposal are not contemplated in the Bill,” he said.

Senator David Norris said it beggared belief that “large numbers of people are applying to be joined by 70 family members.”

Norris told senators he had received a communication from Active Retirement Ireland which said it strongly supported the Bill “because it recognises the role of grandparents  in families.”

Meanwhile plans to allow the present population of asylum seekers to take up employment, become self-employed or access training are currently under consideration. The government is also set to review the country’s employment permit system with the aim of substantially increasing the number of employment permits to enable low-skilled foreign workers to work in some sectors of the economy.

The development, while welcomed in some business representatives, could have serious implications for the employment prospects and pay rates of young Irish job seekers, particularly in the North West of the State where government support for the region’s economic health has been sparse in the extreme.

A trade union leader has claimed that currently tens of thousands of workers in Ireland are on “exploitive” zero-hour contracts

TDs in Sligo – Leitrim include Fianna Fail’s Eamonn Scanlon, party spokesman on employment and small business, and Marc MacSharry; Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein, and Tony McLoughlin, assistant whip to the Fine Gael Party.







Dail selects new Fine Gael Taoiseach

Varadkar homosexual son of Indian immigrant.

Sligo News File

The Dail has selected a homosexual as Taoiseach.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Thirty-eight-year-old Leo Varadkar is the son of an Indian from Mumbai.

He is expected to form a cabinet after receiving the Taoiseach’s seal of office later this afternoon.

Enda Kenny, who is he has taken over from, has gone to the backbenches.

The cabinet is expected to include Mick Ring from Westport.

Ring and Sligo’s Tony McLoughlin were among the first to offer their support to Varadkar.

Fianna Fail is to remain part of the incoming government under a previous confidence and supply pact.

The Soldiers of Destiny apparently prefer to stick with the Fine Gael-led administration fearful that a general election could leave them with still fewer seats.

Varadkar has expressed a preference for people who rise early in the morning.

While in Social Protection he ushered in a campaign asking the public to inform his department where they suspected persons on welfare were collecting more in welfare payments that they should. The cross -party Public Accounts Committee later showed there was no basis for the Indian son’s crusade.

His action was taken by some to also refer to the State pension and benefits for the most marginalised in the country.

He spent a bit of time in health with seemingly little obvious improvement recorded in the service. He slashed millions from the mental health budget. Hospital waiting lists rocketed.

He has advocated outlawing strikes in essential services, something it’s felt could very quickly prove the undoing of his adopted government.

Kenny from Castlebar will be remembered locally for his leadership of a government that left the West and North West in the economic doldrums.

There have been few if any announcements of investment is new manufacturing industry, all while this last few years major production operations have been restricted to Dublin, Cork and a small number of other locations.

Roughly 30% of Sligo’s commercial units are idle, numerous others have changed hands.

Farming is in crisis and set to get worse – two years after Simon Coveney as Minister for Agriculture told farm leaders at a dairy filled breakfast in the Department of Agriculture of an upcoming era of prosperity and jobs for the dairy industry.

Young people continue to exit the region in search of employment on a massive scale.

Even political appointees are leaving. In April, the Chairman of the Western Development Commission Paddy McGuninness contacted Junior Minister Mick Ring requesting not to be considered for reappointment. Reportedly he took the decision because he believed that there was no commitment at either political or administrative level to balanced regional development nor was there any worthwhile plan to redress rural decline.

Meanwhile priorities of political parties – Sinn Fein, Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fail and an assemblage of lefties – are the eighth amendment on abortion and provision of drug injection facilities where young people will be able to legally consume/inject illicit substances obtained from criminal dealers on the street. As
well, the decriminalisation of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, is outlined in the forthcoming Dail National Drug Strategy.

In case people have forgotten, Sligo-Leitrim has four TDs. They are Tony McLoughlin (Fine Gael) Sinn Feiner Martin Kenny and two Fianna Failers, Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, the party’s  shadow spokesman on small business and the likes.

Varadkar’s partner is Matthew, a Mayo man from Erris.

Currently, long-term economic prospects for the country have a distinctively sickly look about them as the Oireachtas stares down the barrel of Brexit following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, and its implications for the North and the Irish State.


Sligo County Council lauded for its resolve on fracking

Fracking: ‘Ireland first State in the world to divest its sovereign wealth fund of fossil fuel holdings.’

Sligo News File Online.

Sinn Fein has praised Sligo County Council on its decision to stick by the ban on fracking.

Lynn Boylan
Lynn Boylan MEP,
Sinn Fein


Party MEP Lynn Boylan said the councillors “refused to bow to a recommendation of the authority’s chief executive Ciaran Hayes” to remove the prohibition from the new county development plan.

She said:

“I applaud the decision of Sligo County Councillors to maintain their opposition to fracking in the Draft County Development Plan 2017-2023. This process of extracting shale gas by pumping millions of litres of fracking fluid — i.e. water mixed with sand — into a well in order to create cracks in shale formations, is highly polluting. A wide range of toxic chemical additives (1-2% of the total volume) is added to this fracking fluid to ease the operation of the well for the oil or gas company.

“In a State where water has been a major bone of contention for some years now, it is worth noting that fracking wastes and pollutes enormous volumes of water.



“Ireland this year became the first State in the world to divest its sovereign wealth fund of fossil fuel holdings. The Dáil has already voted to support a private members bill to ban fracking, a measure that is now before a select committee.

“When it becomes law, the Bill will prohibit the extraction of oil and gas from areas where it would need to be fracked to be taken out of the ground such as the shale deposits across Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.

“In the North, we have also managed to keep the fracking lobby at bay. What Ireland requires is a future powered by clean, renewable energy, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels. We cannot allow any backsliding on the progressive decisions made by our elected representatives in the last six months.”

To emphasise the dangers posed by hydraulic fracturing, she will be hosting a briefing for Oireachtas members in Leinster House from Food and Water Watch US on the disastrous environmental impact of fracking in the United States. The briefing is scheduled for 13 June 2017.