Sinn Féin TD says Home Help personnel must have necessary PPE

Sinn Féin TD says Home Help personnel must have necessary PPE

 

Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy has called for necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to be provided for all home help staff as a matter of urgency.

 

The Sinn Féin representative said said:

 

“Since the onset of the Coronavirus I have been calling on the Minister for Health to ensure that Home Help staff are allocated the necessary Personal Protective Equipment.  Bizarrely, for a lengthy period, the Minister and the HSE denied that these workers need PPE at all.  Thankfully, there has now been a recognition that this was the wrong position.

 

“Many older people living at home do not have family around who can care for them during this crisis and they have been relying on home help workers to help them where possible.

 

“For their part, home help workers have been doing their best to care for their patients in recent

weeks.

 

“However, many elderly people who are normally visited by home help personnel are rightly anxious that they have the necessary PPE.  They need these services.  That is why it is absolutely vital that PPE is provided to home help workers to put people’s minds at ease.

 

“Home help workers cannot do their job safely in the current environment if they do not have the necessary PPE.

 

“The safety of our older people and our home help workers should be paramount for the HSE and for the government.

 

“PPE is as important to home help workers and as it is to those working in our nursing homes or hospitals.

 

“Home help workers must have the adequate equipment to protect themselves and to protect their clients as they work.  I acknowledge that the situation has improved in recent weeks but much more is required to ensure that there are no outstanding gaps in this area.”

ENDS

Carthy calls for Bird Flu compensation for poultry farmers

Carthy calls for Bird Flu compensation for poultry farmers

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has called on the government to introduce a compensation package for poultry farmers affected by Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).  Deputy Carthy raised the matter with the Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, during last Thurday’s Dáil sitting.  The Minister failed to address the issue in his own remarks and Deputy Carthy has said that he has followed the matter up in writing.

 

The Sinn Féin TD said:

 

“On Thursday last I asked the Minister to give me a yes or no answer as to whether he will consider providing a compensation scheme to those poultry farmers who have experienced culls as a result of bird flu outbreaks.

 

“Unfortunately, the Minister did not respond and has yet to comment on this issue which has caused huge hardship to some poultry farmers.

 

“These are farmers who have suffered devastating losses due to an occurrence that they cannot insure against.  In the absence of an insurance scheme, the government needs to provide compensation to those affected.

 

“I have followed up this matter in writing to the Minister and I intend to pursue this issue until there is a fair package put in place.”

ENDS

“Crazy that government allowed Carbon Tax hike during Covid19 emergency” – Matt Carthy TD

“Crazy that government allowed Carbon Tax hike during Covid19 emergency” – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan Monaghan has described as “crazy” that the government facilitated an increase in the Carbon Tax at a time when households have seen their incomes collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Carthy said that low-income and rural households would be hit hardest by the tax which was increased last Friday.

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“Last Friday the Carbon Tax on solid fuels increased by 30 percent.  That is a crazy situation considering so many families are under severe pressure as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.  The Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, had previously written to Revenue calling for the planned increase in Carbon Tax to be deferred in light of the financial crisis which has hit workers and families across the State.

 

“Sinn Féin always opposed carbon tax hikes because we see them as an unfair burden on ordinary workers and families.  In the last Dáil, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party agreed to the increases.

“Since then, an ESRI report assessing the financial impact a Carbon Tax on households has found that this tax increase will predominantly hit low-income and rural households.

 

“While this was the case in normal times, its effect is even greater now when so many have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many families will be hit hard by this tax.  They cannot be expected to unfairly feel the brunt of government measures, especially at a time when so many of them are already struggling financially.

 

“This tax increase should have been deferred at least during the Coronavirus crisis.  The fact that it wasn’t is a worrying indication of what is likely to come under a Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael government where neither party has learned the lessons from February’s General Election.

 

“The priorities in the months ahead must be protecting the incomes of households, and then preparing a recovery plan that transforms our economy and invests in green technologies and alternatives which will enable a just transition.  Carbon taxes, which hit rural communities and low-income families are not the answer.  Sinn Féin will continue to oppose them.”

ENDS

 

 

Covid-19 regulations must apply to everyone, from both sides of the border – Matt Carthy TD

Covid-19 regulations must apply to everyone, from both sides of the border – Carthy

Sinn Féin TD asks for Inquiry into high rates of Coronavirus in Cavan/ Monaghan

Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, has called on the Minister for Health to urgently amend the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) Regulations 2020, which would allow Gardaí to enforce Covid-19 restrictions not just on those resident in the State but also on persons visiting.

The Sinn Féin TD this week said that the anomaly, whereby Gardaí cannot apply the Covid legislation to those from north of the border, highlighted the pressing need for an all-island approach to this crisis.

Deputy Carthy also this week confirmed that he has asked the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to initiate an inquiry into the reasons why counties Monaghan and Cavan appear to have proportionally high rates of Covid 19.

He said:

“Many people have contacted me this week understandably concerned by reports of the limitations of the Gardaí to enforce Covid-19 restrictions on visitors.

“The primary emergency legislation that was passed in the Oireachtas a number of weeks ago provided for regulations to be made by the Minister which could be imposed on ‘…persons or classes of persons resident in, working in or visiting locations…

“However, the Regulations that the Minister did make, define an “applicable person” on whom the restrictions can be imposed as: ‘…a person whose place of residence is located within a relevant geographical location.’

“Therefore, it is possible for the Minister to urgently amend the regulations to widen the definition of an “applicable person” to include all persons, regardless of their place of residence.

“In this unprecedented public health emergency, An Garda Síochana must have the full suite of necessary powers available to them to enforce the restrictions equally, without exception.

“During this time, our normal daily lives have been suspended.  The vast majority of people, north and south, have been adhering to the restrictions and staying at home.  Our elderly and vulnerable citizens have been cocooning.  It is important that everyone is treated equally and that nobody is seen to be outside the scope of these restrictions.”

High instances of Covid-19 in Monaghan & Cavan

Deputy Carthy also confirmed that, in response to recent figures released by the Health Protection and Surveillance centre that show that Cavan and Monaghan have recorded among the highest instances of Covid-19 in this state, he has asked the Minister for Health to initiate an inquiry into the reasons for this.

He said:

“There has been a lot of public unease, and much commentary, on these figures.  They are surprising considering that the international evidence suggests that incidents of Covid-19 tend to be proportionally higher in large urban settings.   Monaghan and Cavan are predominantly rural counties.  Questions are naturally being asked.

“I have written to Minister Harris requesting that he provide whatever insight health agencies have into this situation.  But I also think it is important that he agrees to carry out an inquiry into the reasons for such a proportionally high occurrence of the Coronavirus in this region.

“A commitment to such an inquiry would, in my view, help ease public anxieties and also allow communities and health officials to better prepare for the challenges of the coming weeks and months”.

ENDS

Government failing farmers during Coronavirus Emergency – Matt Carthy TD

Government failing farmers during Coronavirus Emergency – Matt Carthy TD

 

The government is failing farmers during the Coronavirus crisis, according to Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy.   He described the measures produced at domestic and EU level as ‘pathetic’ and ‘far short of the robust financial package required to protect Irish Family Farmers during the Coronavirus emergency’.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“Many Irish farmers, most of whom were in difficult circumstances before the Coronavirus emergency emerged, have been left dumbfounded by the pathetic nature of the so-called supports put in place thus far.  They were stunned with the inadequacy of the €76million EU package and they were shocked that an Irish Minister for Agriculture would welcome it.

 

“It is clear that the EU will not provide the level of assistance that Irish Family Farmers need at this time.  Therefore, the Irish government needs to introduce an emergency financial package for our family farmers at a domestic level.  It should include the distribution to family farmers of all unspent funds from the BEAM scheme and all other underspent resources within the Department of Agriculture.  But, crucially it will require new funding.

 

“Such an emergency package must be directed at those farmers who need it most, particularly in the beef and sheep sectors, and it must be a simple, unbureaucratic scheme that puts monies into the hands of our family farmers who need it if they are to survive this crisis.

 

“This emergency has shown how important our family farmers are – to our economy and to our communities.  We have a huge advantage in that we can produce more food on this island than we can consume.  That is an advantage that our farmers should be benefiting from.  Rural economies will not survive if our farmers don’t.

 

“This is not a time for excuses or complications.  This is a time to support our family-farmers who, just as they were after the financial crash, will be pivotal in any recovery we experience after the Covid-19 crisis.  They will not be able to play that role if they don’t get government assistance in the immediate future.”

ENDS

Sinn Féin TD calls on government to clarify student grant situation

Sinn Féin TD calls on government to clarify student grant situation

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has called on the government to provide clarity regarding student grant applications particularly for those whose family’s income has been affected by COVID 19.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“The SUSI student grant application process opened last week.  Crucially, however, there has been no specific recognition of the fact that many families have lost jobs or had income reduced due to COVID 19.

 

“Because the assessment is seemingly based on 2019 income, it appears that no provision has been made for the changed realities that Covid-19 has presented and there is a fear that the new position for many students and families is being ignored.

 

“While the Department of Education has referenced the ‘Change of circumstances’ provision, the guidelines state that this only applies where a change is ‘permanent or for the foreseeable future’.  It isn’t at all clear that this will allow for people who are unemployed now as a result of the Coronavirus restrictions, and who do not know if their employment will reopen or not.

 

“There is growing concern among students and their families in Cavan and Monaghan and Sinn Féin have therefore called on Education Minister, Joe McHugh, to address those concerns.

 

“What is required here is clarity, certainty and honesty for students and their families.  Students are facing enough pressure and uncertainty as it is without this additional stress.

 

“We in Sinn Féin are calling on the Minister to immediately amend the criteria to insert specific arrangements for students’ whose families incomes have been affected by the Covid-19 situation.  It is the fair and appropriate course of action.”

ENDS

Closure of Covid-19 Hardship Fund shows need for increased supports for older people – Matt Carthy TD

Closure of Covid-19 Hardship Fund shows need for increased supports for older people – Matt Carthy TD

Speaking following the announcement that Age Action and the Red Cross have been forced to close the application process for the Covid-19 Hardship Fund due to the volume of applications, Sinn Féin TD for Cavan/ Monaghan, Matt Carthy, has said that the government must step up and provide increased supports for older people affected by Covid-19.

Deputy Carthy said:

“The Age Action and Red Cross Covid-19 Hardship Fund was clearly seen as an important initiative by elderly people and their families as evidence by the tens of thousands of applications received within a very short timeframe.

 

“Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications and the lack of funding available, these bodies have had to take the difficult decision to close the fund to new applicants from last weekend.

“That the original deadline was the end of August clearly shows that even Age Action and the Red Cross did not anticipate the level of hardship currently being experienced by older people in this crisis.

“Earlier this month, Sinn Féin criticised the exclusion of over 66s from the financial supports available to other workers as the government refused to allow over 66s access the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment.

 

“While I commend Age Action and the Red Cross for their very worthwhile initiative and efforts in securing funding, it is clear that it is now time for the government to step up to the plate and provide additional financial supports to vulnerable older people that are struggling through this crisis.”

ENDS

Further urgent action needed on nursing homes crisis – Matt Carthy TD

Further urgent action needed on nursing homes crisis – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin Deputy also calls for PPE to Home Carers

 

Speaking following the news that a member of the Irish Medical Council has resigned due to the handling of the Covid-19 crisis in nursing homes, Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin Deputy Matt Carthy said that the issues cited require urgent action.

 

This week, Carthy also reiterated his call for home help carers to be allocated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stating that he was disappointed that this principle had yet to be agreed by government.

Deputy Carthy said:

“A lot of concern has been conveyed to me regarding the prevalence of Covid-19 in nursing homes.  Certainly, these concerns were exemplified by the news on Monday that a member of the Irish Medical Council has submitted their resignation to the Minister for Health Simon Harris, citing his belief that the Department of Health have failed to adequately address the Covid-19 crisis in nursing homes and other residential care settings.

 

“The fact that when Nursing Homes Ireland introduced visitor restrictions for nursing homes on the 4th March they were criticised by the Department of Health for moving too fast in this regard raises questions.

 

“It took a further ten days for the Department of Health to give their approval for such measures, and it appears that this decision has proved to be a monumental and fatal error for many of our most vulnerable citizens.

 

“I support the call by the Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Louise O’Reilly, that there be an acknowledgement that this decision was the wrong one, and that the Minister and the Department should state this categorically.  It is only when mistakes are acknowledged that the public can be confident that they won’t be repeated.

 

“The Nursing Homes sector have also stated that they made numerous requests to the Minister for Health and his officials for a meeting in the early days of this crisis, but that this was not forthcoming until the end of March.  This is a point raised specifically in the resignation letter sent to the Minister, and this issue has also not yet been addressed.

“As well as acknowledging mistakes made and answering the remaining pressing questions, the immediate government priority must be to do all necessary to ensure those in residential care settings are protected and cared for.  That means fast tacking the implementation of staff redeployment, as well as improving PPE access without any further delay.  Those who reside in these settings, and those who care for them, deserve no less.

 

“The issue of PPE provision is also important for those who are cared for in their home.  Home Help carers have been seeking protective clothing since the onset of this pandemic.  The Department of Health and the HSE continue to insist that it is not required.  That position makes no sense.  Home Help carers often care for several elderly citizens.  It is patently clear that they should be provided with the necessary equipment to protect themselves and those who they visit.

 

“I have raised this matter with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, on a number of occasions, and I will continue to press for this issue to be addresses before we see another system failure emerge”.

ENDS

FF/ FG stitch-up “an insult to voters’ desire for change”- Matt Carthy TD

FF/ FG stitch-up “an insult to voters’ desire for change”- Matt Carthy TD

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has hit out at what he described as the proposed Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael stitch-up saying it is an attempt to ignore the desire for change among the Irish people.  Deputy Carthy said that the joint framework paper published by those parties on Wednesday was a ‘wish list of vague promises’ which aimed simply to exclude Sinn Féin and their voters out of government.

 

He said:

 

“This stitch-up by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is not about the Coronavirus.  Every political party recognises that the immediate priority right now is public health and saving as many lives as possible.

 

“Rather, this is an attempt to exclude Sinn Féin and all those who voted for change, this trajectory by those two parties had began before Covid-19 ever reached Irish soil.  The paper produced by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is an insult to those who want a change in direction.  The promises of those two parties to fundamentally reverse the policies they have championed for decades would be laughable were this not such a serious matter.

 

“Most of the aspirations outlined in their document will never become a reality while those two parties share power.  We know this from the experience of their confidence and supply arrangement of the past four years.

 

“The people that voted for change last February know that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael cannot be trusted to affect that change.  They know that those parties will not deliver for ordinary workers and families.

 

“Delivering the change that people voted for means delivering the biggest house building programme in the history of the State, it means everyone being able to see a doctor when they are sick, it means delivering truly affordable childcare, it means addressing the neglect of our rural & farming communities and it means ensuring that workers can avail of a State pension at 65.

 

“None of this is laid out in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s document.  In fact, there is hardly a mention of the imbalances that discriminate against rural communities or the pressures our family farmers are facing.

 

“Real change requires a stable government that will lead – and deliver – and that is what Sinn Féin wants to see.  We will continue to work to this end and will continue to liaise with all political opinion to stop this stitch-up”.

ENDS

Coronavirus Emergency shows how important our farmers are… And, how perilous their situation is! – Matt Carthy TD

Coronavirus Emergency shows how it important our farmers are…

And, how perilous their situation is! – Matt Carthy TD

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that the government needs to urgently announce a robust financial package that protects Irish Family Farmers during the Coronavirus emergency.

 

Deputy Carthy stated that while the current emergency highlights the importance of our country having the capacity to produce our own food, it also exposes just how perilous the situation of our family farmers is.

 

He said:

 

“Many Irish farmers were at desperation point before the Coronavirus emergency struck.  While they previously wondered whether they’d see the end of this decade they now fear that they may not see out the end of this year working their land.

 

“The Irish government needs to introduce an emergency financial package for our family farmers as a matter of urgency, as in this week.  It should include the distribution to family farmers of all unspent funds from the BEAM scheme and all other underspent resources within the Department of Agriculture, and other revenues if required.  The emergency package must be directed at those farmers who need it most, particularly in the beef and sheep sectors, and it must be a simple,  unbureaucratic scheme that directs monies into the hands of our family farmers who need it if they are to survive this crisis.

 

“The EU is acting too slow in response to this crisis.  This must be a case of asking for forgiveness rather than permission.  Farmers desperately need funds to maintain production.

 

“This emergency has shown how important our family farmers are – to our economy and to our communities.  We have a huge advantage in that we can produce more food on this island than we can consume.  That is an advantage that our farmers should be benefiting from.

 

“But, this emergency has also exposed how perilous a situation our farmers are in.  That the largest meat processor in this country has been importing Polish beef, at a time when the prices received by Irish beef farmers is on the floor, is mind-blowing and insulting.  That action is more than a kick in the teeth to our farmers and simply reinforces the need for the Meat industry to be reigned in by the new government when in place.

 

“This is not a time for excuses or complications.  This is a time to support our family-farmers who, just as they were after the financial crash, will be pivotal in any recovery we experience after the Covid-19 crisis.  If they are to play that role they need support, and they need it now!”

ENDS

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