Solidarity statement on the visit of Pope Francis

Many people will, rightly, be sickened by the red carpet being rolled out and the fawning approach of the Irish establishment to Pope Francis and the Vatican. This is because of the repressive role which the church has played in Irish society over the last century, and the continued fraudulent covering up of child sex abuse internationally by the Vatican which continues to this day.
The inadequate apology which was issued by the Pope for the crimes of the Catholic Church has rightly been rejected by survivors in Ireland and internationally. The Catholic Church and the Vatican have for decades covered up cases of child sexual abuse, and facilitated this by moving priests from parish to parish where they continued their abuse. In recent weeks this has again been highlighted by the abuse scandal in Pennsylvania where over 300 priests were involved in abusing at least 1,000 children.
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Growing inequality highlighted by massive pay-gap between bosses & workers

Solidarity TD MICK Barry this morning called for a a 'dramatic narrowing' of the pay gap between bosses and workers and has proposed a number of measures to fight the growing inequality in Irish society.
His call came after the IRISH TIMES reported that the bosses of Ireland’s top 20 companies (ISEQ 20) are paid on average 33 times more than their staff.

Average pay for an ISEQ 20 CEO now stands at €1.88 million per annum compared to an average pay rate for ISEQ 20 employees of €55,595, a differential of 33 to 1.
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Government must block mortgage sales to vulture funds

Solidarity TD MICK Barry this morning slammed Ulster Bank’s decision to sell more than 5000 distressed Irish home loans to a vulture fund. 

 
He said the government’s refusal to block mortgage sales to vultures would open the door to homelessness levels well above the 10,000 rate.

Deputy Barry called on the State to intervene at Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC. He called for measures to be taken to secure state ownership of properties with severe arrears and the rolling out a mortgage to rent scheme. 
 
The Cork North Central TD warned that these measures are necessary to prevent “an explosion in homelessness” by renting to those who cannot repay mortgages.
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Family sleeping in Tallaght Garda station should haunt government

Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy has this morning commented on the case of a family forced to sleep in Tallaght Garda station last night because they had no alternative accommodation. He said that the case highlighted the failure of the government's policy on housing which relies on private landlords and builders to provide social and affordable housing. He said that the occupation by activists of a property in Summerhill should inspire others to become active and build a movement on housing to demand the building of public housing.

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Ryanair's threat to axe jobs should be met with a strong response by trade unions

Responding this morning to reports that Ryanair had issued 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew with protective notices, Solidarity TD Mick Barry, who is a member of the Oireachas Transport Committee said:

“The issuing of protective notices is an outrageous and transparent attempt at union-busting. The company are effectively threatening to axe jobs rather than deal with trade unions. 

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"No backtracking on free GP care" - Healthcare should be based on need not bank balance

Solidarity TD MICK Barry this morning said that there should be no backtracking on the Sláintecare report recommendation that universal free GP care be introduced by 2022.


His comments came as the IRISH TIMES reports that last Friday’s Cabinet meeting seems to have downgraded the recommendation from a 5-year to a long term objective.


The proposal to introduce universal free GP care within 5 years was a key element of the Sláintecare report.

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Abortion Legislation: Ruth Coppinger submission on Ireland's abortion legislation

Shaping Ireland's Abortion Legislation: Current Scientific Evidence and Best Practices from Medical Guidelines Worldwide 

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger today publishes a submission sent to to Minister for Health Simon Harris on issues which should be covered in the abortion legislation, which is currently being drawn up, to meet best international practice. 
The report which she commissioned titled Shaping Ireland's Abortion Legislation: Current Scientific Evidence and Best Practices from Medical Guidelines Worldwide was prepared by Dr. Abigail Aiken, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Dr Aiken had previously given evidence before the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment. 

 

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Solidarity - "Minister Murphy must legislate to end mass evictions by landlords"

At a press conference in Buswell’s this morning, Solidarity TD Mick Barry was joined by Aimee O’Riordan, a resident from the Leeside Apartments and Father Peter McVerry.

They called on Minister Eoghan Murphy to immediately introduce legislation to prevent mass evictions as has happened in Leeside.

The press conference came in the wake of a ruling by the Residential Tenancies Board which upheld the right of vulture fund Lugus Capital to carry out a mass eviction of low income families from the Leeside Apartments in Cork.

Notices to quit issued to more than 30 residents by Lugus Capital after their 2017 purchase of the Leeside Apartments were contested at the RTB in April and May. There are more than 20 households remaining in the complex who are affected by this ruling.

 

 

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Government should officially condemn racist actions of Trump administration – not just tweet about it

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has this morning said that she welcomes the sentiment of Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney’s tweet last night condemning the racist policies of the Trump government, but called on him and the government to officially condemn the actions rather than just tweet about it.

They said that the best response and condemnation of these policies would be to withdraw the invitation which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued to President Trump to visit Ireland.

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Rainy day fund? More like a new bank bailout fund!

This morning Solidarity TD Paul Murphy responded to reports that Minister Paschal Donohoe intends to take €1.5 Billion from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to establish the fund, alongside a portion of corporation tax income, to establish the 'rainy day fund'.

Paul Murphy TD, member of the Finance Committee, said:

“The establishment of a so-called ‘rainy day fund’ by Fine Gael and agreed by Fianna Fail is another example of how out of touch they are with reality. For the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the many crises in society – be it housing or health – every day is a rainy day, it's monsoon season.

“People will remember what happened the National Pension Reserve Fund, which was raided to pay for the bank bailouts. That is in reality what this fund is being established for again – it will be a new bank bailout fund. The 'expenditure benchmark' fiscal rule will effectively prevent it being used for necessary public investment. It will only be allowed to be spent in cases of ‘external shocks’, which in reality means when banks inevitably fail again.

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