Colreavy disappointed at decision of Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum

Speaking after it was disclosed that the Enterprise Forum had accepted €20,000 to assist in the planning and design phase for the development of a hotel the Manorhamilton-based TD for Sligo / North Leitrim Deputy Michael Colreavy has said: “I am surprised and extremely disappointed that members of the Forum have sought and accepted this money from a Company seeking to establish an industry that has the potential to cause massive damage in North Leitrim.”

“It defies belief that the so-called “unconditional” donation was accepted in advance of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency in relation to the impact of Fracking on the environment, on water supplies, and on human and animal health.’’

“When I first read the anonymous statement on the Forum’s website I thought it was a joke – imagine seeking €20,000 towards the cost of providing a hotel in an area where tourism as well as agriculture would be destroyed by the activities of the donors.’’

“I now understand that this decision was made behind closed doors by a small number of Forum members, and that the general membership of the Forum was unaware of the meeting or the intention to accept a donation from Tamboran Resources.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Sean Mc Sharry has also expressed his surprise and great disappointment that Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum has sought and accepted the money from Tamboran who are trying to establish Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) in North Leitrim and surrounding areas.

Deputy Colreavy said “I am aware of and have always supported Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum as they attempt to improve community and business life in the area. I would enthusiastically support the development of hotel facilities in Manorhamilton. However, I cannot and will not support the seeking and acceptance of donations from Companies whose sole motivation is profit, and who care nothing for the area or the people of North Leitrim.’’

“I strongly urge Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum to review and reverse this unwise decision and to return this donation; and I ask all community and sporting groups to recognise Tamboran’s agenda and to reject out of hand any offers of donations, no matter how worthy the project being sponsored” concluded Deputy Colreavy.

‘Scaremongering will not work’ – Colreavy

As Sligo\North Leitrim Sinn Féin launched their No campaign, local TD Michael Colreavy has accused the parties calling for a Yes vote, “of scare mongering because there are no credible arguments in favour of the austerity treaty.”

Deputy Colreavy was speaking at a public meeting to launch the campaign in Sligo last Thursday April 27th.

He said, ‘‘We have already seen and experienced the damage to the Irish economy and the hardship for citizens caused by the failed policies of bank bailouts and crippling austerity, supported by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil. There are countless examples of the cuts and there devastating impacts evident here in our own constituency, from the cuts to the budget of Cregg House, the continuing closure of beds in Sligo general hospital, the cuts in the carers allowance, which is bordering on sinful, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

“This treaty means at least a decade more of austerity and economic stagnation with even greater levels of unemployment, emigration, poverty and inequality such as the cuts I have already talked to you about. National and household debt, already at unsustainable levels, will increase. And crucially the arbitrary and draconian 0.5% deficit target will more than likely not be reached. Meanwhile billions of euros of taxpayers money continues to be pumped into Anglo Irish Bank”

Addressing the packed hall Cavan Senator Kathryn Reilly said “What this fiscal compact means in real terms is that were the referendum passed it will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty and Irish democracy by enshrining the policies of austerity into our constitution and our laws forever. They are asking us to say yes to surrendering important Irish fiscal and budgetary matters to un-elected and unaccountable EU officials. It would also mean that our domestic economy would remain in recession and that we would see even more people out of work. Vital funding for frontline health, education and community services is being cut even further in a bid to reach a structural deficit of 0.5%. Given that our structural deficit is projected to be at 3.7% in 2015, it would take up to a further €6 billion in cuts and new taxes to reach the 0.5% target post 2015”

Director of Elections Councillor Chris MacManus, “invited others locally opposed to the Treaty to assist Sinn Féin in the forthcoming campaign.”

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Colreavy said that “Sinn Féin is the only party in the constituency opposed to austerity and we are the only party opposing the Austerity Treaty. The Yes side has no arguments except scare mongering because there are no credible arguments in favour of the treaty. On May 31st let’s stand up for ourselves and for our families. Let’s stand up for each other. Let’s stand up for Ireland. Let us deliver a resounding and overwhelming ‘No’.” ENDS

Sinn Fein representatives Say NO to Austerity. L to R, Cllr. Arthur Gibbons, Deputy Michael Colreavy, TD, Senator Kathryn Reilly, Cllr. Chris Mac Manus.

Colreavy highlights impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, marine and food Michael Colreavy TD has highlighted the impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture.

Deputy Colreavy today met a delegation from the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland who raised the impact of high fuel costs of the agricultural industry.

Speaking in the Dáil last night Deputy Colreavy said:

“Agriculture is doing well, but the agri-food sector is under a significant threat from rising fuel costs. Fuel costs for farmers have doubled in the last three years; however, profits for farmers have not increased to match this price. The profit margins of farmers are being eroded and this is putting serious financial pressure on them and on their families.

“The cost that agricultural contractors now face when trying to carry out their work on farms is enormous. Contractors face massive costs during the summer and harvest periods. These massive costs are then in turn off-loaded on the farmer.

“In the last two years agricultural diesel has gone up by a massive 54%, while road diesel has increased by almost 35%. At a time when government call for industrial and commercial competitiveness, Ireland’s competitiveness in agriculture is being damaged due to expensive road haulage and the distance we are from our markets.

“I am calling on the government to substantially reduce fuel duties to stop the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel. The high price of fuel is causing severe hardships on consumers, with government taxes accounting for more than 57 per cent of the cost of fuel according to the Irish petrol retail association. It is within the remit of government to address the considerable extra hardship placed on rural dwellers by these taxes. Motoring is a necessity in rural Ireland, we don’t have buses passing our doors every 15 minutes or a luas or taxi ranks that we can go to so as to get our kids to school or travel to work or the shop or visit a doctor. The Government should also seriously consider the law of diminishing returns – energy and transport costs are seriously damaging our local and national competitiveness.”

Colreavy Condemns Scraping of the AEOS for 2012

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Marine and Food, and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh have strongly condemned the decision by Minister Simon Coveney to scrap the Agri Environmental Options Scheme (AEOS) for 2012.

Deputy Colreavy stated “This is a direct attack on low income farmers. The role of the Minister for Agriculture is to ensure that as many farmers as possible are able to farm the land. This move by Minister Coveney makes the lives of farmers trying to make a viable income from farming even more arduous.

Only last month when I questioned the Minister on the opening of AEOS for 2012 he replied that he wanted to emphasise his ‘commitment to the agri-environment schemes which put environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and which recognise the vital role farmers play in delivering public goods for the benefit of all society.’ Clearly Minister Coveney has abandoned low income farmers in the slash and burn agenda of the Fine Gael/Labour Government.”

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh slammed the move as “a retrograde step by the Minister. Farmers, especially those in the west of Ireland, depend on AEOS as a viable source of income. Minister Coveney already cut the Disadvantaged Area Scheme in December’s budget. This fresh attack will push more and more farmers into financial hardship. It is clear that the scrapping of AEOS is part of the austerity agenda of this government. It is imperative for farmers, especially those who have been victims of these cuts, to vote against the upcoming Austerity Treaty. Rural Ireland must unite in an effort to fight against this savage austerity.”

Colreavy : Sinn Féin will be Campaigning for a No vote on the Austerity Treaty.

Deputy Colreavy has welcomed the announcement of the date for the referendum on the Austerity Treaty and made clear Sinn Féin’s intention to campaign for a no vote. The Government has announced Thursday 31st of May 2012 as the date for the referendum, this must have been a difficult decision for the Government to take, given the lengths to which it went to try and avoid a referendum in the first place.

Speaking on the issue Deputy Colreavy said “While I welcome the decision to hold the referendum, I am concerned that the Government have decided to hold the referendum on a Thursday which means that students and people working away from home may not get the chance to vote. Sinn Féin believes this treaty is bad for Ireland and for the EU and will institutionalise austerity into domestic constitutional law and international law in perpetuity. If ratified this treaty will cost taxpayers at least an additional €6 billion in public spending cuts and tax increases after 2015. It will mean more cuts to our schools, our hospitals and our community services.

At a time when we remember the hero’s of the 1916 Easter Rising we must remember the reasons for which so many men and women scarified their lives for, the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. They proclaimed Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and they pledged their lives and the lives of their comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and its exaltation among the nations and yet we have an Fine Gael/ Labour government promoting a yes vote to a treaty which will not only impose more cuts and taxes but It will also undermine the Oireachtas and give significant control over economic and fiscal policy to unelected bureaucrats and judges in Brussels and Luxembourg and that is why the European Trade Union Confederation is opposed to the Treaty.

Our Government are promoting a yes vote on a treaty which is a far cry from the values of the 1916 proclamation and if passed the treaty would undermine democracy by centralising control on the hands of the unelected Eurocrats. The French Socialists, the German Social Democrats and the Dutch Labour Party – all sister parties of the Irish Labour party, are opposed to this treaty. They like Sinn Féin believe Austerity policies will not end the economic crisis.

For these reasons Sinn Féin will be vigorously campaigning between now and May 31st and asking the citizens of this state to vote no.”

To find out more information or to get involved with the No Campaign please contact your local Sinn Féin representative or my constituency offices in Manorhamilton – 071 9855099 or Sligo – 071 9154040.

Deputy Colreavy presents cheque to Sean Fallon, co-founder of S.T.O.P!

The Michael J Marren South Sligo Cumann held a table quiz in Cawleys Hotel, Tubbercurry in aid of the charity S.T.O.P. (Suicide, Teach, Organise, Prevent). The Marren Cumann raised €400 from the table quiz and a great night was had by all who attended. Deputy Colreavy presented the cheque to Sean Fallon, co-founder of S.T.O.P, on Friday 30th March 2012 along Marren cumann members and their families in Tubbercurry.

Speaking after the presentation Deputy Colreavy said ” I am very pleased to be able to present the funds to STOP today on behalf of the Marren Cumann especially as this charity does great work in our communities assisting and supporting individuals who feel suicidal, are in distress or those who have been bereaved by suicide. Sinn Féin is committed to supporting hard working groups and charities such as S.T.O.P because the work they do and supports they offer are invaluable.”

Find more information on the supports available from S.T.O.P on their website:

OR For Immediate Assistance Call: 071 916 4286 (24 hour crisis help line)

Deputy Colreavy speaking on behalf of school pupils in Sligo and North Leitrim.

Deputy Colreavy speaking on behalf of pupils in Sligo and North Leitrim and commends the hard work of the National Anti-Bullying Coalition while speaking in the Dáil on the need for protective legislation for school pupils.

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Marine and Food has welcomed the publication of a draft of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012. This bill has been promised for some time and Deputy Colreavy stated that the current legislation needs to be updated.

Speaking on the matter Deputy Colreavy said “This bill was promised in the programme for government and it is encouraging to see a draft of the bill published. However, we strongly believe that this bill should accommodate both animal welfare and farmers. It is important that the health and welfare of animals are catered for without impinging on the important work of disease eradication carried out by farmers. The Animal Health and Welfare Bill must not create a level of bureaucracy for farmers either. Sinn Féin will also be pushing for animals such as race horses, minx in fur farms, and cats to be included under the new legislation.”

Real concerns about Fracking: Colreavy

01 February 2012

Deputy Michael Colreavy has criticised proposed plans for the use of hydraulic fracturingor fracking as a means of gas extraction in the Lough Allen Basin. Deputy Colreavy highlighted the fact that there are real concerns about the use of fracking, both for the health of the people in the surrounding areas, and also environmental concerns.

Speaking on the issue Deputy Colreavy said: “The use of fracking has been outlawed in France and in Bulgaria. In England, near Blackpool, fracking has been suspended due to strong evidence that it was a contributing factor to a number of earthquakes. The practice, if introduced into Ireland, could well have environmental and health implications for people in the vicinity of the fracking activity. The practice is not likely to benefit the people of the area because, just like the gas, the money too will flow out of Ireland.”

Deputy Colreavy added: “People will be excused if they are sceptical of Tamboran Resources promise of jobs to the area. The practice of fracking will cause more harm to the area than benefits. The real potential for job creation in the North West region is in the development of clean, renewable energy. Most people in Leitrim, Cavan, Fermanagh and other areas realise that this practice could have a huge impact on their lives and their surrounding area. This has been clearly demonstrated by the massive groundswell of opposition to fracking. Sinn Féin will stand with the people in their fight against it.