Count update

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Things are tight here in the hub. Looking like we’ll get in but i expect we’ll be here for some time

Labour’s Candidate in Kilkenny, Councillor Ann Phelan said that of the 450,000 people on the live register almost half are unemployed for a year or more. It clearly illustrates how much Fianna Fáil and the Greens have abandoned job retention over the past year. On the doorstep both parties want us to forget their past four years in charge of our destiny.

Cllr. Phelan stated that Labour’s ‘Plan for Enterprise, Innovation and Growth’ outlines our plan for a coherent jobs and enterprise strategy that will get a grip on the unemployment problem and drive economic growth.

“When Labour was last in Government with F/Gael we helped create 1,000 additional jobs each week as well as the platform for the economic boom by introducing the 12.5% corporation tax rate”.

The outgoing government parties have talked, produced reports, set up committees,– but they have done nothing to grow the economy. FF created a casino economy which must be replaced with an investment economy, to promote innovation, small firm start-up and world-class infrastructure.

Ann Phelan, who herself is part of a small family business said that  Ireland has significant economic advantages and strengths that can provide the basis for an economic renaissance if the right policies are implemented.

“Labour has a commitment to ring-fencing €500m of tax payers money for a range of initiatives that will attempt to get the unemployed back to work. They will include the following:

Over the past decade global trade has shifted from the developed G7 economies in the direction of the Big Four rapid growing economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC countries). However, in recent years the share of Irish trade with the BRICs accounted for less that 4% of our overall external trade.

  • Labour will set up local trade and investment teams BRIC countries which offer huge trading opportunities for Irish exporters
  • Labour will appoint individuals from BRIC countries who are living in Ireland as trade champions
  • Labour will coordinate the work of agencies involved in the promotion of trade and exports through a Trade Council
  • Labour will appoint a Trade and Enterprise Tzar to work with the Trade Council

In advanced economies, productivity and standards of living can only be enhanced by technological innovation.

  • Labour will establish an Innovation Strategy Agency to take over the duties of several key agencies to promote and support investment in technology research
  • Labour will create a network of Technology Research Centres such as the Tyndall Centre in UCC, which are focused on applied technological research and commercialisation of intellectual property, to be located in appropriate higher-education institutions.

She said that we should concentrate on Ireland’s Knowledge Economy rather than just on the so-called Smart Economy in sectors where we have a natural comparative advantage as:

  • CLEANTECH: The establishment of a renewable manufacturing hub to attract investment from international and national companies.
  • CREATIVE INDUSTRIES: Extend the R&D tax credit to the gaming industry in order to attract game developers and grow the game sector in Ireland.
  • EDUCATION: A strong focus on the development of education as a significant export sector over the period to 2016.
  • FOOD: IDA and Enterprise Ireland should continue to include the Food industry as a development priority
  • TOURISM: A new emphasis on platforms provided by the internet for new or enhanced tourism products, such as an interactive Irish tourism application for Mobile Internet Devices and specialist websites, such as a Surf Ireland portal or a dedicated portal for golfing holidays in Ireland.
  • RETAIL: Enact The Labour Party’s legislation to abolish upward-only rent reviews for all commercial leases, as a matter of urgent priority for the Dáil. In the interim appoint a Commercial Rents Ombudsman with some powers currently only granted to an Examiner

Ann Phelan, Kilkenny’s Labour Party election candidate stated that she
is concerned about the Palliative Care services in the South Kilkenny
and Waterford City environs. She stated that although specialist
palliative care services are available in Waterford Regional Hospital
and in St. Luke’s general Hospital in Kilkenny, only 2 dedicated
regional beds are available in this region of 400,000 people.

She has asked colleagues in the HSE Forum to seek expedition of the
proposal to provide 20 beds for terminally ill patients in a new Cancer
Care Centre in Waterford Regional Hospital.

“It is essential that the extraordinary efforts of Waterford Hospice,
which has been providing a home care service to Waterford and South
Kilkenny for over 22 years are taken seriously and that the capital
plan for the project are brought forward in the Public Capital Plan”,
she said.

“Once the regional hospice is provided, not only will the HSE see
savings on freeing up of acute beds, but also the continuation of
service to relatives of terminally ill patients will be underpinned and

In addition to the voluntary services Ann Phelan also paid tribute to
the management and staff of both General Hospitals in Waterford and
Kilkenny for their efforts to address this difficult aspect of human
life. END

Cllr Ann Phelan, one of Labour’s two election candidates in Carlow Kilkenny, has come out against the cut in the minimum wage, introduced by the Fianna Fáil-Green government and brought into on its last day in office.

“It is ironic that such a blow to women, who are the majority of low paid workers, should be brought into force on the feast of St Brigid, the patron saint of Irish women,” she said.

“The government, on its way out of office, had no moral authority to introduce this measure.

“Labour and the other parties in opposition opposed the legislation to cut the National Minimum Wage when it was going through the Dail before Christmas. If the Labour Party is elected to government, we are committed to restoring the minimum wage to €8.65 level,” she said.

At least the general election called this afternoon (Tuesday) will provide people with the opportunity to boot this redundant Fianna Fáil party out of office.

Cllr Phelan said that she has been canvassing for the past couple of weeks, but that her postering team sprung into action last night and now that the election date has been set, it is “full steam ahead for two Labour seats in Carlow Kilkenny,” she added.

welcome the readiness of the European Commission to establish a Common
Agricultural Policy more focused on the environment and on rural
development, stated Councillor Ann Phelan.

She said that she was endorsing Labour Party reaction to the
Commission’s publication ‘Common Agricultural Policy: Towards 2020′,
particularly in relation to its stated recognition to secure global
food security into the future.

While there are great aspirations within these proposals, Irish farmers
will have to question if there are any devils among the detail. We all
agree that there should be a move toward more sustainable management of
natural resources, viable food production and the maintenance of
territorial balance and diversity of rural areas. However, it is a worry
that if there is a move to introduce more equity in the distribution of
direct payments to Member States, this will most likely significantly
reduce the overall envelope to Ireland.

It is encouraging to see the Commission giving three options as to how
payments should be structured. These options have to be fully explored
and there is still a long way to go in terms of negotiations.

Cllr. Phelan said that the Labour Party believes the Government must now
grasp the reality that the historical method of payment is not a tenable
negotiating position. It must outline what their favoured option will be
in terms of future negotiations.

“I welcome the clear statement from the Commission on the proposal that
active farming will receive a more equitable distribution of funds, but
I am concerned that any move towards the second pillar will result in a
loss of direct funding to farmers. It is vital that any funding approach
under the second pillar ensures that monies don’t find their way into an
administrative black hole” she said.

“There are challenges ahead and it is most likely that a new Irish
Government will be tasked with the negotiations. We must ensure that
Ireland commands the greatest possible share of the envelope and a
fundamental premise in securing that envelope, will be to fund those who
are innovators and who are most active”.

Saturday 15th January 2011.

There are many unanswered questions about alternative fuels
particularly around World Health Organisation norms relating to land use
for food production and the overall environmental issue. Some of these
questions were teased out in Cillin Hill before an estimated attendance
of 700 people. Among a sprinkle of politicians was Labour Councillor Ann
Phelan who is a member of the ‘Carlow Beet Industry Steering Committee’
dedicated to the recreation of a sugar beet industry in this area.

After the meeting she said that large countries throughout the world as
widespread as France, USA and Brazil have been developing ethanol as a
high octane fuel, that is most commonly used as a gasoline additive and
or extender with conventional fuels. The majority of ethanol produced by
countries other than the United States uses sugar crops as the primary
feedstock. Sugarcane is used the most, although several countries use
sugar beets as the main ingredient in ethanol production.

For 30 years now Brazil has had an ethanol program for cars. Some cars
there are 100% powered by ethanol and newer of duel-fuel engines or
cheap conversion kits is of significant benefit to the economic
wellbeing of the transport system as well as reducing carbon footprint.
In that country as well as in the US their respective aircraft
industries have developed a much cheaper ethanol based fuel alternative
to conventional aviation fuels.

However, Ann Phelan said that ethical issues surrounding human food
chain sources like sugarcane, wheat and milk, makes a more sustainable
case for accelerating ongoing research for a beet alternative. It also
provides an exciting possibility for all of those farmers, workers and
allied businesses who had their livelihoods and developed skills
thwarted by the Greencore fiasco of destroying a viable industry.

“Following the huge interest shown by the attendance in Cillin Hill
tonight and as a positive means of adding to these attempts to develop a
register of potential producers of sugar beet in this constituency I
have invited facilitator Tom Barry to organise a further meeting in the
Carlow end of my constituency in the near future” Councillor Phelan said

LABOUR’s election candidates, councillors Ann Phelan and Des Hurley
rally support at a meeting at the Club House Hotel, Kilkenny tomorrow
(27 January).
The pre-election rally will have Pat Rabbitte TD, justice
spokesperson, as a special guest and he is expected to speak on the
subject of
political reform, a strong plank of the Labour Party’s election

Surprisingly, Deputy Rabbitte does not necessarily support
cutting the
number of TDs in the Dáil. He says that people’s anger with the
political system
has provoked a knee-jerk reaction calling for a smaller parliament.

“Those who want a route to import Michael O’Leary and Bill Cullen

directly into cabinet because of the supposed paucity of talent in a
comprising 166 members should acknowledge that it will be more difficult
nominate a cabinet if the number of deputies is severely reduced.
Whatever the
faults of our electoral system it can’t be said that it is not
democratic,” he said recently.

He went on to say: “In a country where confidence has fallen
further than
the economy, it is natural that the public should lash out at those who
brought them to the verge of ruin. But let us not throw out the baby
with the

Cllr Ann Phelan said she is looking forward to hearing what
Rabbitte has to say about the political reform necessary to get the
country back
on track.
“People are so angry and upset by the economic situation
that they
are really anxious to go out and vote, to find some hope for the
future,” she
said. “Myself and Des Hurley are really delighted to be part of the
change that
is coming for our party and for our county and we know that the people
of Carlow
Kilkenny are looking for that change,” she said.
“People will have a
to meet him and hear more about Deputy Rabbite’s ideas on political
reform at
the Club House on Thursday at 7.30pm,” she added.

In a week in which Ireland made political headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons, most of the damage could have been avoided if sense had

Information that more than 4,500 mainly negative articles were written about us in 70 countries in just seven days is shocking. Being described by The New York Times as a circus, this critical analysis will make the job of the next Government infinitely more difficult, stated Councillor Ann Phelan.

Cllr. Phelan was speaking to a group of well wishers on her canvass in the heart of Kilkenny on Saturday. Surrounded by her canvassing team she said that she made a public plea in the local media in recent weeks asking the government parties to jump in the public interest before our reputation is damaged beyond repair.

The Labour Party candidate and member of the South East Regional Authority said that inward investment in jobs throughout Kilkenny is a top priority. “To encourage these jobs we have to assure foreign investors that we have sound and stable political sense as a nation”.

“We recognize the huge challenge ahead and the most striking thing being said to me on the doorsteps is the
recognition by constituents that despite having four TDs out of five in government during the Celtic tiger years, Kilkenny lost out badly”, she said.

New Government, Better Government

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Changing a broken system

Issued : Thursday 6 January, 2011
Among the 140 proposals contained in ‘New Government, Better Government’, include:

  • Establish an Independent Fiscal Advisory Council to undertake official macroeconomic projections and monitoring
  • Establish an Independent Electoral Commission
  • 50 per cent increase in Dail sitting days, longer working week, longer working days, less holidays
  • Abolish the Seanad
  • Introduce Whistleblowers legislation
  • Introduce spending limits for local and Presidential elections

The election is almost upon us!

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Registration is still possible, up until two weeks before the election!

Get the RFA2 form here