Sinn Féin will resist FF/FG plans to increase the pension age – Matt Carthy

Sinn Féin will resist FF/FG plans to increase the pension age – Matt Carthy

 

Sinn Féin MEP and General Election candidate, Matt Carthy, has said that the government plans, which are supported by Fianna Fáil, to increase the State pension age to 68 are ‘wrong, unfair and don’t represent the values of the Irish people’.

 

Carthy, who is running in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency, said everyone has the ‘unquestioned right’ to retire on a State pension at 65 because “at that age, they will have done their heavy lifting, they will have worked hard, paid their bills and paid their taxes to this State”.

He continued:

 

“But Fine Gael and their partners in Fianna Fáil don’t see it that way.  They don’t believe that 65-year-olds are entitled to a State pension, and they don’t believe that people who have worked for more than four decades deserve it.

“Six years ago, Fine Gael raised the pensionable age to 66.  They have spent their time in government eroding entitlements of retirees while ensuring that millionaire business executives are treated to sweet-heart tax breaks.

“In contrast, Sinn Féin in opposition has battled for retirees because we understand that we are not talking about some abstract age bracket on a page – we are talking about our parents, grandparents, families, friends and our neighbours.

“We are talking about the people who have provided the resources to build our hospitals, our schools and our roads and they are entitled to respect and dignity.

 

“They shouldn’t be put on jobseekers’ payments for two years.  Quite frankly that it is an insult.

“Sinn Féin stands up for workers, and we will stand up for a fair State pension age.

“In government, Sinn Féin will reintroduce the State pension for 65 year olds who choose to retire and we will legislate to protect the rights of those who wish to keep working.

 

“I hope that myself and Pauline Tully will be part of the team that defends the rights of workers to retire with dignity at 65 if that is their wish”.

ENDS

‘Home help waiting lists are serious indictment of government’ – Carthy

‘Home help waiting lists are serious indictment of government’ – Carthy

 

The fact that 303 people were waiting on home help in the Cavan/Monaghan area, according to the latest HSE figures, ‘is a serious indictment of the government’, according to Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy.

 

The Midlands Northwest MEP made the comment after Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson, Louise O’Reilly revealed figures she had obtained from a parliamentary question to the HSE earlier this month.

 

The latest statistics showed there were 303 people waiting on home help hours in the Cavan/Monaghan area, the highest number in the HSE’s CHO1 area, which includes Donegal and Sligo/Leitrim.

 

Carthy said the numbers represented 303 families who were ‘desperately waiting for help for their loved ones so they can be cared for in their own homes’ and were a result of a government freeze on home help hours since last year.

 

He said:

 

“The government policy of freezing the allocation of home help hours in the third quarter of 2019 means that the numbers of local people waiting has exploded.

 

“On one hand, the stated government policy is to have people stay in their own homes for as long as possible, preventing them from needlessly entering hospitals and nursing homes, but on the other, the policy is to stop allocating home help hours.

 

“It is a ridiculous situation and a tragic one for the older people who are waiting.  These people are assessed as needing and being entitled to the care, but they are subject to a postcode lottery for who gets these vital services and who doesn’t.

 

“These figures show how Fine Gael and their government partners, Fianna Fail, are utterly failing older people in Monaghan and Cavan, and around the State”.

ENDS

 

 

Latest Farm Protests signal of despair within rural communities – Matt Carthy

Latest Farm Protests signal of despair within rural communities – Matt Carthy

 

The latest farmers’ protest in Dublin on Wednesday ‘clearly shows that beef farmers are at breaking point’, according to Monaghan MEP and general election candidate, Matt Carthy.

 

The Sinn Féin representative confirmed that he has been in contact with members of the protest, which gathered in Dublin city centre, and that he supports their demands for a fair prices for beef in order to sustain their livelihoods and the communities depending on them.

 

Matt Carthy said:

 

“This latest protest, which saw some 400 tractors on the streets of Dublin, highlights, yet again, that farmers are at breaking point in counties like Monaghan because, despite the promises of Minister Michael Creed and the government, nothing has improved for farmers since they last protested in November 2019.

 

“I have been in contact with members of the protest and have assured them of my support and that of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.  This government, just as successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments, has shown complete disregard for farm families and rural communities.

 

“The ongoing Beef Taskforce has yet to deliver the required reforms and this farmers have returned to the streets of Dublin to signal their despair.

 

“Throughout recent years farmers have articulated the crisis they are in.  Rather than enacting real and meaningful measures to address that crisis the government has overseen its exacerbation.  The free rein that has been given to the factories and retailers to manipulate the market position of farmers has been such that the emergence of these types of protest has come as no surprise.

 

“Farmers are not asking for anything radical: they are simply requesting that they receive a fair price for their product and a guarantee that they will be paid more than the cost of production.

 

“Unless the underlying issues of inequalities that are the hallmarks of the beef sector in Ireland today are addressed, once and for all, then these protests will continue.  I commend those farmers who have taking a stand and who have now placed the challenges they face at the centre of this election campaign.

 

“For our part, Sinn Féin will continue to stand with farmers on the picket line for as long as it takes because we understand that without our family farmers rural Ireland as we know it will not survive.  In government we will enact the legislative measures necessary to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their product – we will stand up to the beef barons and multinational retailers!”

ENDS

Matt Carthy confirms he will run in General Election

Matt Carthy confirms he will run in General Election

 

Co Monaghan man, Matt Carthy, has confirmed that he will seek the Sinn Féin nomination to contest the upcoming General Election in the Cavan Monaghan constituency.  Carthy’s name will go before a reconvened constituency convention will take place this coming Thursday evening in the Hotel Errigal, Cootehill.

 

Speaking today Matt Carthy said:

 

“Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has been an outstanding representative for Cavan Monaghan and a pivotal and important leader within Sinn Féin, especially since his election to the Dáil in 1997.  In the first instance I want to ensure that his legacy of hard work and dedication to the people of this constituency is maintained following his planned retirement from elected office.

 

“But, I also believe that further delivery for these counties requires strengthened republican representation in Leinster House and that requires two Sinn Féin TDs to be returned.  Previously myself and Pauline Tully were selected as candidates but that convention lapsed when Fianna Fáil refused to force an election and we were instead subjected to two more years of government failures.

 

“I am hopeful that this Thursday Sinn Féin members will re-affirm their previous decision to allow Pauline & I to contest the General Election to win two seats.

 

“I am a proud Monaghan man – I can think of no greater honour than to be elected to the Dáil by the people of my home constituency.

 

“Monaghan is a great county, but we have been let down by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments.  Those parties have failed miserably: they have decimated our hospital and local health services, they have refused to provide the necessary investment in jobs and infrastructure and they have allowed our families to struggle while they play their games in the Dáil without adopting the policies necessary to address the crises they have created in our public services and in rural communities.  Our families are being ripped off with colossal insurance costs, high rents and mortgages, childcare costs and stealth charges.

 

“I believe that there is a better way – that Sinn Féin in government can and will have the courage to put families and communities before insurance companies, bankers and vulture funds.  That Cavan Monaghan can receive our fair share of investment in public services, in health services, in job creation so that our young people don’t constantly have to leave their home communities in search of employment.

 

“I have loved being a member of the European Parliament.  I hope my record speaks for itself in terms of representation and delivery both at EU level and within each of the counties in my constituency.  I am especially proud of my work in bringing the voice of the Irish people to the heart of the Brexit negotiations.

 

“But, these are important times.  For the last four years we have had a Fine Gael government, propped up by Fianna Fáil, that hasn’t worked for the Irish people.  The government expended more energy defending their decision to commemorate the RIC than they have in listening to the needs of our communities.

 

“I want to be part of that team that delivers a better, fairer, united Ireland.

 

“Of course, it will be the voters who will decide whether I can play that role.  Over the coming weeks I will be asking the people of Monaghan to allow me to continue the great work of Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and to build on his legacy.

 

“I want to be one of two Sinn Féin TDs, alongside Pauline Tully, representing the great communities of Cavan Monaghan and North Meath, and I will leave no stone unturned in that bid.

 

“From my period as a councillor, as a MEP and as a community activist I believe I have proven myself to be a hard worker with the experience, energy and commitment that will allow the voters of Cavan Monaghan to entrust me with the mandate to now represent them in Leinster House”.

ENDS

Carthy impressed by high standards at BT Young Scientists as Monaghan and Cavan students shine

Carthy impressed by high standards at BT Young Scientists as Monaghan and Cavan students shine

Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy was in attendance at the 2020 BT Young Scientists Exhibition in Dublin’s RDS on Thursday last. The Midlands Northwest MEP had high praise for the students who took park.

“These brilliant young minds will shape the Island of Ireland in years to come. Some of the ideas, studies and inventions were incredible. It was an honour to meet so many of Ireland’s brightest students. Our future really is in good hands”

Having perused hundreds of stalls Carthy met in person with many students from Schools across the the country. “It’s inspiring to meet so many confident young people with such progressive ideas. I really enjoyed chatting to the students and their teachers and I wholeheartedly congratulate them on what really was a brilliant event.”

Carthy reserved particular praise for students from the Monaghan, Cavan and Meath areas. “I was delighted to see my homelands so well represented. I saw lots of familiar faces from Schools in Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones, Monaghan, Kingscourt, Bawnboy, Cavan, Kells and Navan. These students, their parents and their teachers deserve great praise.”

The Young Scientist Exhibition has been growing from strength to strength since it’s inception in 1965 with the 2020 edition again attracting record numbers. ENDS

 

————– Photos from Event—————————-


Matt Carthy MEP meets Niall Murnaghan from Patrician High School, Carrickmacross


Matt Carthy MEP chatting to Castleblayney College students Katie and Sarah Mooney


James O’Harte of Largy College, Clones impressed MEP Carthy with his economic findings on the uncertainty surrounding Brexit


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy pictured with Shanice Alwell of Coláiste Dún an Rí, Kingscourt, Co Cavan

Sinn Féin MEP calls for uniform phone chargers

Sinn Féin MEP calls for uniform phone chargers

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the EU Commission to stop dragging its feet and to implement rules to force phone manufacturers to make all phones in the EU chargeable with a common charger.

 

The issue will be debated next week in Strasbourg with MEP expected to call on the European Commission to adopt rules forcing companies to make all phones compatible with a common charger.

 

MEP Carthy said:

 

“I am calling on the new European Commission to show they have consumers’ interest at heart by stopping the foot-dragging and to act to enforce a common charger.

 

“Most companies already apply common standards with the exception of Apple.  It is not in the interest of consumers that one brand requires specific chargers to be charged.

 

“It is believed the Commission is reluctant to stand up to Apple given the trade tension between the USA and Europe but consumer rights, (and particularly the rights of parents suffering daily battles over chargers!) must triumph here.

 

“The new rules would also mean less electronic waste when taken alongside the proposal to allow chargers to be sold separately.

 

“I am adding my voice to the call or a common charger to be made the law as soon as possible.”

 

 

NOTE:

 

  • The Radio Equipment Directive was adopted in 2014 and gives the opportunity to the Commission to introduce, through a delegated act, a requirement to produce common chargers. This would mean that any mobile phone on the European market would be charged with the same charger. The Commission reportedly examining possibilities to adopt such delegated act.
  • Many producers already participate in a voluntary scheme, only 18% of the market is not harmonised at present.  This 18% is the exact market share of Apple.  Apple has been actively lobbying against a delegated act to introduce a mandatory common charger.
  • An impact assessment is ongoing and the results should be presented by the Commission in the coming months.
  • This Oral question and Commission statement will be used to pressure the Commission to introduce the common charger as this is better for consumers.  In combination with new rules on decoupling (not automatically receiving a new charger with every newly bought phone), the common charger could also greatly decrease the amount of electronic waste.
  • A European Parliament resolution will be drafted for later in January.

 

Mining cannot proceed without community acceptance – Matt Carthy MEP

Mining cannot proceed without community acceptance – Matt Carthy MEP

 

Local MEP, Matt Carthy, has stated that mining licences should not be granted in the absence of community acceptance.  The Sinn Féin representative was speaking after it emerged that Adventus Zinc Ltd has applied for a renewal of their prospecting licence, which covers much of South Monaghan.

 

A public meeting concerning local mining developments is to be held in Magheracloone next Monday.  Speaking in advance of the event, which is organised by the Drumgossatt/Knocknacran Residents’ Group, Matt Carthy said that if companies were forced to secure the approval of those living close to mining operations before they were granted licences then many of the problems faced by local communities would not emerge.

 

He said:  “Many people have been surprised to learn that Adventus Zinc have applied for a renewal of their prospecting licence.  This licence covers areas in Drummond Otra, Magheross, Magheraboy and Lisanisk and therefore many residents are likely to have views on the matter.  But, rather than engage with residents, the company submitted their application in the days prior to Christmas.  It is easy to assume that this was an effort to ensure minimum public engagement with the process.

 

“It is these types of antics that lead to public distrust in mining and prospecting companies.  That Monday’s meeting on the impact of Mining developments takes place in Magheracloone is apt.  That community has been at the brunt of mining failures where families have been displaced, facilities lost and entire areas discommoded due to the massive sink holes that appeared overnight.

 

“For years the concerns of residents who expressed fears of such incidents were dismissed, not just by the company involved but by the statutory agencies responsible for monitoring them.  Now Gyproc plan to expand their existing open case mining operations. 

 

“For me the solution is clear.  In other to secure prospecting licences or permission to mine, companies should be first obliged to garner the support of the local community.  The track record of previous operations should also be taken into account.  That would force the companies involved to proactively engage with concerns of residents.

 

“At the moment the planning and licencing processes are skewed in favour of the companies rather than the communities.  We in Sinn Féin are committed to correcting that imbalance.

 

“I commend the Drumgossatt/Knocknacran Residents’ Group for organising next Monday’s meeting and I encourage people to attend.  With the deadline for submissions to the Adventus Zinc proposal closing on the 18th January this is an ideal opportunity for the public to be informed of the proposals but also to hear from residents who live beside the current Gyrpoc mines and other communities involved in battles with mining companies”.

ENDS

Sinn Féin MEP calls on government to cancel RIC commemoration

Sinn Féin MEP calls on government to cancel RIC commemoration

 

The government plan to ‘commemorate’ the RIC on January 17 is ‘an insult to those who fought for Irish freedom’ and should be cancelled according to MEP Matt Carthy.

 

The event, which is due to be held at Dublin Castle, is planned as part of the government’s programme marking a decade of centenaries.

 

The Midlands North West MEP said the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations were not consulted on this event and would likely have ‘dismissed it out of hand’ if they had been because ‘it is an insult to those who fought for Irish freedom’.

 

Matt Carthy said: “Since the plans for this event were first revealed last week public opposition has intensified and several elected representatives, from various shades of political opinion, have publicly stated they will not attend the event.

 

“The role of the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) was not merely, as indicated by senior Fine Gael representatives, to act as normal police services.  Instead, they had a specific role of upholding British rule in Ireland, which often manifested itself through instilling terror in the populace particularly in their attempts to break the democratic will of the Irish people for independence.

 

“In no other State that has emerged from anti-colonial struggle would they celebrate the deeds of the oppressors.

 

“This is Fine Gael revisionism in action – this has been evident at several points during these commemorative years.  The commemorations have often been partitionist and more concerned with commemorating those who tried to suppress the Irish Freedom struggle than those who fought for their own country.  They have been almost apologetic of the Easter Rising and the subsequent armed struggle despite the fact that these events were responses to British aggression in Ireland.

 

“Fine Gael, by being more interested in commemorating the enforcers of British rule in Ireland than ordinary citizens who bore the brunt of British forces, have drastically misjudged the public mood.

 

“Yes, all those who died in conflict should be remembered and we should acknowledge all who were killed during the pivotal period from 1914.

 

“But there should be no tolerance for any attempt to equate those who died for Irish freedom with the ones who were paid to oppress it.  The RIC commemoration must be cancelled” he concluded.

ENDS

Unprecedented hospital waiting lists the inevitable outcome of FF & FG policies – Matt Carthy MEP

Unprecedented hospital waiting lists the inevitable outcome of FF & FG policies – Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin rep says removal of services from hospitals like Monaghan ‘key component’ of current crisis

Fine Gael this week achieved a new record when, on Monday, 760 patients were awaiting admission to hospitals across the state, the highest number ever.  This has been described by local Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, as the “inevitable outcome of the health policies pursued by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over the past two decades”.

Carthy said that the removal of services from centres such as Monaghan Hospital was a key component in the dangerous situation that has regularly emerged in other hospitals that have been expected to pick up the pieces.

The Trolley Watch figures, complied by the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’  Organisation (INMO) revealed on Monday that the record 760 people waiting on admission to a hospital bed included 15 in Cavan General and 13 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The Midlands North West MEP said the figures, which are the highest since the nursing union started compiling them in 2004, ‘laid bare the utter inability of Fine Gael, along with the HSE, to properly manage the State’s health service’.

Carthy said: “Behind all these figures are individual patients, waiting and suffering because of a lack of beds being available in almost every hospital across the State.

“Just last month, the INMO figures revealed that 10,003 admitted patients waited to get a bed in hospitals in December and that 231 of these were children. Last Friday January, there were 620 people waiting for a bed in the State’s hospitals before this figure jumped again to a record-breaking 760 on Monday.

“The government and the HSE know there is a bigger demand on ED services at this time of the year, but instead of properly planning for it, they choose to put their heads in the sand, only for government spokespeople to act dumbfounded.

“In addition, there are very worrying reports about ambulances being held up at emergency departments for between three and seven hours because they are waiting to safely hand over patients to nursing staff.

“People in counties like Monaghan have to rely on already over-stretched nurses and doctors in Cavan and Drogheda, after successive governments have spent nearly 20 years decimating services at Monaghan General.  These record-breaking patient waiting figures are what happens when services are stripped from local hospitals and are the inevitable outcome of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael health policies.

“The cause of this most recent crisis is the failure of Health Minister Simon Harris to get to grips with his job.  He is only there because Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs keep him in situ.

“In the short term the Minister needs to look beyond his own propaganda and begin an immediate crisis intervention package that will alleviate the pressure on services.  This means lifting the recruitment embargo on frontline staff and expanding capacity in our hospitals.

“In the longer term though we require a radical overhaul of the health system as advocated by Sinn Féin.  This must mean the restoration and development of services at hospitals such as Monaghan in order to ease the pressures on other centres”.

ENDS

“Homelessness is as a result of political choices” – Carthy addresses EU Housing conference

“Homelessness is as a result of political choices”

Carthy addresses EU Housing conference

 

The Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands, North-West, Matt Carthy, has said that the levels of homelessness experienced throughout Ireland and in many EU states are a direct result of the political choices taking by governments and EU institutions.

 

Carthy was invited to deliver the opening address at a conference hosted by FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless, in Brussels last week.  The conference saw the launch by the Housing Solutions Platform of a compendium document detailing some of the most innovative and daring examples of housing solutions for the locked out in Europe.

The selected projects in the paper entitled “50m Out-of-the-box Solutions for the Locked-Out” focus on providing safe, decent, and affordable housing through many different means including innovative construction, novel legal mechanisms, new forms of inter-agency collaboration, and more.  The innovative housing solutions selected in the paper also provide ways to overcome financial and political barriers within the European housing market.

 

During his opening remarks at the conference held in European Parliament organised Matt Carthy said:

 

“In the past decade homelessness has increased throughout the EU by 70%.

 

“In Ireland, the number of those homeless has trebled in the past five years alone.  Many families, who during any other generation would be purchasing their own home, instead find that they cannot even find affordable rental accomodation.

 

“All of this is as a result of political choices.

 

“The scandalous rise in homelessness is not accidental.  Governments were told by parties like Sinn Féin that the implementation of austerity policies, their privatization agenda and the de-financing of public bodies would lead us to where we are today.

 

“In particular, the retreat from public housing provision by governments such as those lead by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and the drive to allow ‘the market’ to played the key role in house building are the route causes of the crisis we see in Ireland and elsewhere”.

 

Carthy asserted that it is only through the delivery of public housing provision that the current crisis will be addressed.

He said:

 

“The good news is the solutions are there, and they are simple.  They have been adopted before, indeed my own family was a beneficiary.  They revolve around local-authority led house building programmes and supports for first-time buyers in the private market.

 

“Just as the problems were caused by political choices so too will the solutions be found.  In Ireland, only Sinn Féin articulates these solutions and only Sinn Féin will have the political guts to implement them.

 

“So, those who want to resolve the current crisis and ensure that their own children can ever live in their own home need to get behind the policies that will deliver” he concluded.

ENDS

 

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