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Fianna Fail TD calls on government partners to give farmers more money now

Risk of no deal Brexit ‘real possibility.’

Sligo News File.

Fianna Fail wants its Fine Gael-led government partners to roll out more money to farmers.

Party TD Marc MacSharry said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed “must fulfil his commitment that money would be available to protect those in our biggest indigenous sector.

“Grants should be made available now in advance of Brexit to allow those in the sector to prepare,” he stressed.

“There are 35 days until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU and at this juncture, the risk of a no deal Brexit is a very real possibility.

“If this comes to pass and Irish beef is forced to compete in the UK market against cheaper imports from other countries thousands of jobs will be lost in both islands,” he warned.

Every effort must be made to safeguard this industry and, he added “the hundreds of thousands of people employed in it, both directly and indirectly.

“We are neglected by the government in the North West region and are most at risk from the consequences of a no deal Brexit.”

Sligo firm to expand operations

American owners say it plans to create 200 jobs.

Sligo News File.

An American owned Sligo firm is expanding its operations in the town.

GW Plastics acquired Finisklin-based Avenue Mould Solutions in 2017. Supported by the government through the IDA, it now plans to extend its moulding activities with the addition of, it says, 200 jobs.

The primarily specialist positions will be in production, quality and engineering.

GWS has its headquarters in Vermont.

Varadkar, the Taoiseach was on hand to say: “Under the government’s national development plan, Project Ireland 2040, Sligo is recognized as a major regional centre and a driver of economic development.”

During the day, Varadkar joined Ross the Transport Minister to mark the start of the work on the Ross sanctioned N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin road and the Western Distributor Road on the outskirts of Sligo town.

Beef trade in crisis

Prices, demand and Brexit sparking deep unease.

Sligo News File.

The beef trade is in chaos with both prices and demand at virtually rock bottom.

Farm bodies are also concerned about a glut of dairy calves.

By far the greatest worry, however, is the catastrophe likely to arise in the event of a no deal Brexit.

UK government threats to grant tariff-free quota status to beef imports from Brazil while slapping hefty tariffs on beef from Ireland has the potential to wreck the Irish beef industry.

As of now, one farm organisation is saying it needs answers from processors “on whether there is any reason for farmers to feed cattle over the coming twelve months.”

The prevailing situation “is unacceptable,” said a spokesman.

Meanwhile, Sligo farming and business interests are being invited to hear Tanaiste, Simon Coveney discuss the government’s response to the Brexit crisis at a meeting in the town’s Institute of Technology this Thursday evening, commencing at 8 pm. A panel will include experts in the agriculture, business and freight transport sectors.

Harris survives no-confidence vote after Fianna Fail abstained

‘Sleeveen politics now the order of the day.’

Sligo News File.

A Sinn Fein vote of no confidence in Harris, the Health Minister, 
was defeated by a mere five votes when government partners Fianna Fail abstained. Galway Independent Catherine Connolly also abstained.

Fianna Fail leader Micky Martin …party abstained on no-confidence vote

Independents Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry and Denis Naughten voted with the Government.

Fianna Fail has said that supporting the Sinn Fein motion would be wrong in view of Brexit.

Backbencher John McGuinness said he didn’t know why his Fianna Fail party was not backing the Sinn Fein motion.

Following the vote, Harris went on about the ballot box and the Armalite to which, he said Sinn Fein had now added the soapbox and the no-confidence motion.

Sinn Fein said sleeveen politics was now the order of the day.

Millions for ‘spin doctors’ while government telling nurses ‘it cannot pay them’

Outrageous,’ says TD.

Sligo News File.

The phenomenal level of government spending on ministerial special advisers was highlighted in the Dail last week.

Mattie McGrath TD

Deputy Mattie McGrath said the government had spent €6.5 million of taxpayers money on the employment of special advisers in the last two years alone.

Ministers, he said were employing “special advisers and media advisers, in other words spin doctors,” while at the same time the government was telling nurses it “cannot
pay them.”

“€6.5 million. It is an outrageous sum of money,” he said.

It’s understood that about 10 journalists have been appointed as press advisers since the general election.

In calling for a review of the process, McGrath said there was a need for a policy under which ministers couldn’t appoint advisors “willy-nilly whenever they like. Their friends in the press, bring them in and cosy up to them.”

However, proceedings went a bit off the rails for a time when the Mayo Minister for rural affairs Michael Ring demanded the Tipperary Independent: “Give back the €40,000”, a reference to the annual allowance Independents receive for their work. “Give it back. Sit down.”

“You’re like my dog at home, always scratching,” added Ring.

The outburst caused a bit of a chuckle in the chamber. However, no-one on the government side still explained for the benefit of taxpayers footing the bill how the budget for ministerial special advisers, as McGrath claimed, has rocketed to multiple millions of euros in the space of 24 months.

Another example of yet another government overrun?

Nearly 20% of Sligo’s commercial properties lying idle

Sligo vacancy rate highest in the country – and worsening, says TD

Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal similarly affected.

Sligo News File.

The scale of vacant commercial properties in the North West is at a record high.

In Sligo alone, some 18.9 % of the commercial premises are vacant, according to the town-based Fianna Fail TD, Marc MacSharry.

Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal are also recording a disastrous level of vacant commercial structures.

Mac Sharry believes the situation is getting worse. Despite this, however, his party leader has still signed up to an extension of the confidence and supply agreement to keep the Fine Gael-led government that’s failing the North West in office for another couple of years.

In any event, the Deputy is insisting that “a new strategy must be pursued.” This, he explains,”could include incentivising people to live in town and village centres to breathe new life into our streetscapes to complement retail and other commercial enterprises.” He does not say from where he thinks the population to occupy the towns and villages would be drawn, particularly in the absence of satisfactory broadband service.

Empty shop units no longer suitable for modern retail and commercial activity could, he adds, be converted to use as dwellings.

Calleary, it’s understood, backing LGBT activist to be Fianna Fail European Election elections candidate in Dublin

Tiernan Brady is a former member of Bundoran Town Council.

Sligo News File.

Tiernan Brady is said to be seeking a Fianna Fail nomination to run in the European Elections.

Calleary, TD, Ballina

According to reports, Ballina-based Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary is backing the LGBT-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-activist to be the party’s candidate in Dublin.

Brady, a former Bundoran Town councillor, was involved in the campaign to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland.

Bishops call for ‘dialogue and consultative planning’ following fires at Rooskey Hotel

Hotel earmarked for housing of 80 migrants.

Opposition to planned anti-racism rally at hotel premises later today.

Sligo News File.

Bishops of two local dioceses have condemned the recent fire at the Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey.

The hotel is earmarked by the government as a centre for the housing of some 80 migrants, most understood to be of African origin.

According to tourism promotional literature, Shannon Key West, which is on the banks of the Shannon, is “a passionately designed and handcrafted hotel, where fine art adorns, inducing total serenity and relaxation in the most tranquil and peaceful surroundings. Corporate and leisure guests depart feeling refreshed, invigorated and determined to return.

Elegantly styled rooms

“All bedrooms are elegantly styled and beautifully appointed, most with enchanting River Shannon views. Discerning guests will appreciate the comfort of our hospitality tray, garment press, hair dryer and satellite TV with in-house video. All telephones are modem compatible and executive rooms have a dedicated line to a telephone, facsimile and answering machine.

“The gracious and classic Kilglass Restaurant, with its grape and leaf cornice, cut glass chandeliers, pilasters and original prints combine to create the perfect intimate ambience.

“The ergonomic and air-conditioned conference centre and Lough Rynn boardroom offer your business state of the art information technology with ISDN video conferencing, graphic digital projection and custom built 21st century IT network training facilities.”

Doran and Duffy, bishops of Elphin and Ardagh and Clonmacnois respectively, have condemned the most recent fire attack on the premises.

Fires have caused upset

The fires at the hotel have caused significant upset to local parishioners, they say.

They have called for “dialogue and consultative planning” to bring about the best outcome for refugees and the people.

Meanwhile, many of Rooskey’s small population have spoken out against an anti-racism rally planned to take place outside the hotel later today.

There is also growing anger throughout the country over the government’s continuing housing of relatively large numbers of foreign migrants in sparsely serviced rural locations. The government has shown no inclination to engage in any prior consultation with communities before bussing foreign migrants into an area.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that between 7 and 8 million irregular migrants from Africa live in EU States, including Ireland.