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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
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Centrism extremism: how horseshoe-politics silences brutality Sat Jul 02, 2016 18:25 | yeksmesh
Of Tankies, Trots and Social Democrats Thu May 12, 2016 23:41 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche â€“ Capitain America: Civil War Mon May 09, 2016 00:07 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Wailings about Left Unity Sat Feb 13, 2016 01:13 | James O'Brien
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
Who Represents Ballyfermot, the Government or the People?
Tuesday October 16, 2012 13:42 by Elric
The following article is a release from éirígí's Ballyfermot representative, Councillor Louise Minihan, in response to claims made by a number of Government TDs that those who took part in a ‘Hands Off Our Children’s Allowance’ protest in the area on the 5th October are not representative of the people of Ballyfermot.
In recent days a number of Dublin South Central TDs have claimed that anti-austerity protesters are not representative of the people of Ballyfermot.
These same TDs, Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne, and Eric Byrne and Michael Conaghan of Labour, claim to represent Ballyfermot, yet they have consistently voted against the interests of local residents by supporting ‘slash and burn’ cuts to our community. The three government TDs that represent Ballyfermot are strong supporters of:
- The bank guarantee scheme which has seen Fine Gael and Labour hand over billions of taxpayer’s money to pay for the greed of the private banks
- The austerity programme which has unleashed savage attacks on the people of Ballyfermot over the last number of years
All three government TDs have voted in support of successive austerity budgets – budgets that have slashed public and community services in Ballyfermot. Such attacks hit the most vulnerable in our community the hardest.
In recent years the Fine Gael/ Labour government have:
- Cut funding to Cherry Orchard hospital
- Cut funding to local drug addiction services
- Cut funding to local youth services
- Reduced our local bus service
- Reduced the numbers of special needs assistants in our schools
- Attempted to divide public and private sector workers
- Cut the fuel allowance, while at the same time increasing energy prices, forcing many families to choose between heating and eating
- Privatised the bin services leading to chaos and ultimately higher charges
Michael, Eric and Catherine, the so-called representatives of the Ballyfermot people have supported all of the above.
Labour and Fine Gael are currently attempting to impose unjust property and water taxes across this state. The high numbers of people that continue to boycott the ‘household charge’ austerity tax across the local area gives some indication of just how un-representative of the people of Ballyfermot the coalition have become.
Michael Conaghan, Eric Byrne and Catherine Byrne have a combined income (not including their allowances) of €278,016 per year. That’s a huge €92,672 each. These wages are paid by us, the taxpayers of this state. According to the CSO the average annual earnings for workers is 2012 is just €33,327 per year. The basic payment for somebody on the social welfare is just €188 a week. TDs receiving such huge amounts of taxpayers’ money in return for voting to cut our community and public services, cannot seriously claim to represent the people of Ballyfermot.
The anti-austerity protesters who forced Eamon Gilmore and Frances Fitzgerald to retreat from Ballyfermot, however, were and are representative of the anger of a proud community that feels betrayed by the professional political class. Those who protested in Ballyfermot last Friday (October 5) were mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers who decided to take a stand against the proposed cuts to Child Benefit and the years of cutbacks that have devastated our community.
Some of those at the protest were community and political activists who are daily faced with the human cost of the austerity measures that Michael, Catherine and Eric vote for from the comfort of Leinster House.
The Hands Off Our Children’s Allowance protest showed that the anger against austerity in Ballyfermot is palpable. That protest showed that so long as government Ministers continue to launch attacks on the working class, they are not welcome in our communities. Michael Conaghan, Catherine Byrne and Eric Byrne would do well to take note of such anger and stand up for our communities against austerity and cutbacks. It’s high time they decided to do the job we pay them to do – represent the people of Ballyfermot and Dublin South Central.
The upcoming budget is predicted to be one of the harshest on record. By taking to the streets our communities can take a stand and fight back. The upcoming budget will also provide Catherine, Michael and Eric the opportunity to show they have grown a backbone and are willing to stand with the people who voted them into power.