For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
Old Student Union Manifestos? including Brendan Doris, Joe Duffy and Mark Little 19:54 Wed May 22, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
Corporate power speaking truth to power? in the US and closer to home? 19:24 Wed May 22, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
The Phoenix 30 Year edition 13:01 Wed May 22, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Rockin? Road Festival 2013 10:57 Wed May 22, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
What you want to say? Open Thread, 22nd of May 2013 07:54 Wed May 22, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Yes, Say it Again: Ireland IS a Tax Haven and it?s Worked Hard to Be That Way Wed May 22, 2013 18:13 | Donagh Brennan
Understanding European Movements: New Social Movements, Global Justice Struggles... Wed May 22, 2013 13:32 | Irish Left Review
Progressive Film Club Fundraiser with Ken Loach Tue May 21, 2013 13:56 | Irish Left Review
No2CrokePark2: Public Rally, Liberty Hall, Sat 25th of May @2pm Tue May 21, 2013 13:46 | Irish Left Review
Ireland Allows Google To Send it?s Profits Straight to Bermuda Company Which is ... Mon May 20, 2013 23:41 | Donagh Brennan
Irish Left Review >>
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 >>
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
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.