“Following repeated requests from Tipperary Dairy Farmers I am calling on Minister Simon Coveney and the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, to process applicants to the various TAMS II Schemes without further delay stated Deputy Michael Lowry.
These delays have caused unparalleled stress and anxiety for the Farmers in question. It is ludicrous to suggest Farmers should have to wait until first approvals to go out in January for the TAMS II Scheme. All applications for TAMS II are made under a tranche-based approach the first Tranche of the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme closed seven weeks ago and the first Tranche of the Dairy Equipment Scheme closed over three weeks ago. Minister Coveney surely understands that these cows and Heifers are already in Calf at the moment and they will Calf when they are ready and not when the Minister dictates.
In addition, to the obvious time constraints to complete necessary storage and housing work there is also a clear animal welfare issue here while Farmers are waiting for approval. I am calling on the Minister of Agriculture Food and the Marine to process these applications without delay and give urgently authorisation to all the TAMS II Schemes applications.
This issue is extremely frustrating for dairy farmers who must carry out work while herds are dried off and this must be resolved without delay concluded Deputy Lowry.”
Michael Lowry demands action on the future of the Lisheen Mine.
“Time to lift the prevailing veil of secrecy.”
“Following repeated requests for openness on the future plans for Lisheen Mine, the official response has been one of continuous drawn out silence,” stated Michael Lowry TD.
“In 2012, I sent a written letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny requesting state intervention and to this end a ‘Task Force’ was set up to assist in identifying alternative sources of employment. To date this Task Force has remained silent in relation to details of any future developments which may be pending. In November 2014, I again raised this issue in the Dáil, stressing the extreme gravity of this situation and the need for immediate and pressing action.
“The closure of the Lisheen Mine, first established in1997, has been one of the most important sources of employment here in Co. Tipperary in recent years. However despite my repeated appeals for immediate action, this same industry will soon contribute to the long term detrimental effect of the local economy,” continued the Deputy.
“The negative effects, which will be felt by both Tipperary and indeed the greater national economy can be forecasted as follows”, stated Lowry :-
- Unemployment for a workforce of 380 people; amounting to some €28 million in wages and salaries lost annually, much of which is spent in the local economy.
- The immediate loss, by supportive local service industries, particularly in the areas of transport, fuel, tyres, general hardware, etc.; with an estimated loss expected to be in the order of some €14 million.
- Lisheen Mine has also been a major source of support and funding to local clubs, amenities and charities.
- A large well-appointed and resourced site, for the foreseeable future, will be left to lie, for the most part, redundant.
“This massive imminent loss to Co. Tipperary continues to be placed on the long finger. Despite Lisheen Mine Management having regularly informed their workforce regarding the dwindling reserves and future limited employment prospects at the mine; the mine site has huge potential for future investment.
With major access via Rail and Motorway nearby, this 1200 acre site is ideally suited to big industry. An existing powerful 38 kV electricity supply is one of the biggest in the country and with on site extensive modern offices and outbuildings, this site is ready for immediate occupation.” stated Lowry.
“This site boasts a massive underground aquifer capable of supplying millions of gallons of water daily, but most importantly, Lisheen has an adaptable, highly committed workforce with an impeccable industrial relations record. Surely the whole package would not be too difficult to sell to a major investor!” continued the Deputy.
“Lisheen Mine has huge future potential for investment, yet Tipperary and its surrounding rural areas are now destined to slide backwards into a period of prolonged and totally unnecessary economic uncertainty. With the rural economy continuing to decline, I now call upon the Task Force to report direct to Tipperary County Council membership and all elected membership for the county, so that established facts can be assembled and debated.
I have formally requested the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, to acknowledge the full consequences of this imminent closure and to ensure that State Agencies come forward to play a real meaningful role in directing alternative industry to the site.
The local community have heard of promised replacement projects and jobs creation. They have heard of ‘sensitive discussions’, however the reality is that truly nothing tangible has materialised.
This issue must appear from behind its current veil of secrecy,” concluded Michael Lowry.
Michael Lowry TD condemns the chaos & heartbreak caused by Bank Repossessions
Following a review undertaken by Deputy Michael Lowry TD; he is now aware that appearing before the Court in Nenagh on Thursday last, financial institutions sought 86 applications for home repossessions, with similar figures being repeated in Clonmel and Nenagh every couple of months. The majority of these applications are causing intense anxiety, distress and disruption to Tipperary individuals and their families, who remain, firmly, the victims of a banking industry which has been permitted to run out of control.
This same banking industry was led by exorbitantly well-paid executives with all of the resources of economists, blue-chip accountancy firms, together with consultants, at their finger-tips. Despite this scenario, their corporate structure fully succeeded in detonating a massive, caustic explosion within the Irish economy, not just demoralising their customers but collapsing the very foundations of its own structures. Despite this financial catastrophe, the Irish Government and tax-payers combined to bail out these financial institutions at huge costs, thus saving them from their own avaricious negligence and wilful recklessness.
Deputy Michael Lowry now probes the question:
“What have the Irish people gained from these financial institutions, in return for their largesse and support?”
“While we are still caught in a difficult and dangerous situation and ‘on the hook’ for tens of billions, which these banks, through absolute avarice, have cost this country; we nevertheless still have these same arrogant bankers treating ordinary house-holders and their families with ruthless aggression. Do not be misled by Government propaganda; their Insolvency Service is just another quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation; a quango if you will, with banks still allowed to hold a veto over all mortgage arrangements.
“Mortgage holders presently in financial difficulty are being treated in horrendous ways; terrorised out of their homes without any proper or real engagement; designed to restructure mortgages and achieve civilised and humanitarian solutions. On top of this, we have the disgraceful situation of huge regulatory fines being imposed on the parent banks of some institutions operating and advertising here in Ireland; arising from the fraudulent manipulation of interbank benchmark rates and foreign exchange markets.
“I am almost on a daily basis, being confronted with appalling instances of financial institutions being allowed to ignore their own wrong-doings and trample on Irish borrowers. I have been consulted by one parent, in the building sector, who in addition to his family home and with a view to helping pay for his children’s education, bought just one ‘buy-to-let’ house in 2006. With the collapse of the building industry, he still managed to find occasional work, but fell into arrears. These arrears which, at their very worst, rose to just €5,500, had by 2013, been reduced to €1,600. However his financial institution still appointed a Receiver, sold his house and pursued him through the Courts to reclaim the balance.
“Yet another vulnerable family were convinced by a Broker that he could get them a Mortgage in circumstances where they should never have been approved. He took a fee of €2,500 from them for his work; got them a mortgage which realistically could never be paid and they in return are now being hounded out of their home by their financial institution, which accepts no responsibility in the matter.”
These are just two examples from numerous similar situations.
“At present, borrowers are being held to account for their behaviour, however financial institutions are permitted to sail completely free of having to take any share of the responsibility for the chaos, distress and heart-break, which has resulted from this present financial crisis. Again, I state that this recent crisis has been caused primarily by these same financial institutions, who had all the ‘top-notch’ advice and who have spent the past year before the Banking Inquiry, unable to recall their actions and refusing profusely to take any responsibility for their totally dissolute actions.
I firmly believe that borrowers, particularly distressed home-owners, should get some respite. Why should thousands of individuals and whole families be put on local authority housing lists, simply because bankers went fanatical; wildly encouraging people to borrow 100% loans, most often knowingly aware of peoples inability to repay?
“I demand a new deal for distressed home-owners under which our banks and Vulture Funds, which bought many of their Loan Books, will immediately be forced to enter into the following arrangements with borrowers. In other words, where a borrower is committed to an agreed affordable repayment situation (initially for a trial period of say 2 years), same should be permitted to keep their homes, on the condition that they abide by same pre-agreed affordable repayment. Legislation to compel these arrangements should be a priority for any incoming Government.”
Michael Lowry General Election Campaign
I wish to invite interested people in South & North Tipperary, regardless of their experience, to help in my re-election campaign.
I am an experienced, Independent politician with a track record of committed service and delivery to individuals and community in North Tipperary. I would like to offer the people of South Tipperary the benefit of my extensive knowledge of Government, both locally and nationally. It is likely that in the next Government, solid, Independent T.D.s will have a much enhanced influence.
Over the years, I have built up a network of contacts in Business, Farming, the Health Service, the Social Welfare Service and many other areas of Irish life. This affords me the advantage of being able to efficiently solve the numerous problems which people refer to me daily.
I have built an excellent support base, parish by parish in North Tipperary. This has taken place over a long period and has been achieved without the structures and support which is available to established party candidates. In the short period before the election, I cannot possibly achieve the same support base in the South of the county without the help of people who see in me a candidate worthy of their support.
Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in helping me with my Election campaign, please phone 087 4329300 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Michael Lowry calls for a full reversal to the proposed opening hours changes at Cashel Library.
Deputy Michael Lowry calls for a full reversal to the proposed opening hours changes at Cashel Library.
Deputy Michael Lowry has called on Tipperary Co. Council and its Chief Executive Joe MacGrath to reverse its decision to change the opening hours of Cashel Library.
Deputy Lowry said I have personally written to Tipperary Co. Councils Chief Executive Joe MacGrath requesting a full reversal of the council’s decision.
Cashel’s Library service is one which focuses on building a sense of community, it is also a place which inspires and educates its users both young and old. The removal of the Saturday service will be detrimental to the Families and working Parents who use the service regularly at the weekends.
It’s time for platitude statements in relation to Cashel library to cease and I again call for a full reversal of the Council’s decision
DEPUTY MICHAEL LOWRY DECLARES FOR GENERAL ELECTION
LOWRY CONFIRMS INTENTION TO CONTEST NEXT ELECTION.
Michael Lowry, T.D. has announced his intention to contest the forthcoming General Election as an Independent Candidate for the newly formed Constituency of Tipperary. For the first time in 67 years this historic election will allow the voters of County Tipperary to speak with a united voice. Culturally, socially, across business, education, sport and beyond, the people of Tipperary have always been proud to call themselves sons and daughters of the Premier County.
It is evident that a rural crisis has developed over the last number of years. As a largely rural community, Tipperary has ample experience of this fact. We are told every day that Ireland is on the move – the recession is over – we are on the road to recovery. This recovery road has not yet arrived in our county. A crippling lack of jobs, a creaking health service, a frightening increase in rural crime, poor or non-existent broadband has led to a sense of despondency and isolation amongst us.
In our once thriving small towns and villages we observe factories with padlocked gates, boarded-up shops, closed Garda Stations and communities diminished because of emigration. It is sad to witness our rural way of life decline.
I consider this election to be the biggest challenge in my political career. Tipperary, being one of the biggest counties in the country, poses major campaign problems for all politicians, but particularly for me as an independent candidate. In South Tipperary I do not have access to the structures and support like that of the established political parties. Here, it will be a difficult task to build my support group, parish by parish, as I have done in North Tipperary over the years.
Therefore, I am inviting any person, regardless of experience, to lend a hand and give some time to my campaign. The process of mobilising my campaign is underway and I will shortly, publicly launch my campaign. With only five Seats available it will require a huge effort by my organisation to return me as a representative to Dáil Éireann. Throughout my political career I have tirelessly and continuously worked on behalf of individuals, families and communities regardless of their political affiliation. Each day I am moved by genuine cases of hardship and misfortune – people losing jobs, pay cuts, inability to pay mortgages and bills, no opportunities for young people finishing their education, delays in getting access to health services. More than ever the people of Tipperary are entitled to demand leadership, honesty, and hard work from their elected representatives. I renew my commitment to working on behalf of the people of Tipperary and delivering results that make a difference.
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to represent my county in Dáil Éireann. The loyalty and support shown to me through good times and bad has given me great strength and encouragement. I look forward to receiving a mandate from the people of Tipperary to serve as one of their representatives in the 32nd Dáil.
MICHAEL LOWRY T.D.
DEPUTY MICHAEL LOWRY APPLAUDS THE PROFESSIONALISM AND DEDICATION OF STAFF AT SOUTH TIPPERARY GENERAL HOSPITAL
DEPUTY MICHAEL LOWRY APPLAUDS THE PROFESSIONALISM AND DEDICATION OF STAFF AT SOUTH TIPPERARY GENERAL HOSPITAL AS REVEALED IN THE REVIEW INTO GOVERNANCE OF MATERNITY SERVICES AT STGH.
The report completed by Mr. David Flory of the UK’s NHS Trust Development Authority on The Review Into Governance Of Maternity Services At STGH only confirms what we already know which is that the staff at the Maternity Unit are professional, committed and caring. The quality of care at the Clonmel unit and the positive statistical outturn is above the national average. However the Report does highlight the necessity of improvements and developments to the service delivered. It is imperative that any element of risk to mothers and babies be eliminated. It is undesirable to have long-term Locum Obstetricians in place. There is a need for permanent appointments and the appointment of a fourth obstetrician consultant. The Report confirms the necessity to upgrade the accommodation and facilities. There is an obvious need to increase staffing numbers.
The Governance model needs to change. Change has to be instigated. Change needs to be led by the HSE and must be funded and implemented. If the gaps identified in the service and the issues raised in the report are not addressed it will lead to an undermining of the service. Strengthening the Management and governance and addressing the issues raised in the report is essential before the upcoming national review on Maternity Services in Ireland is completed. The Management and Staff at the Maternity Unit are doing excellent work and deserve and require our full support and the resources necessary to sustain the Unit into the future.
MICHAEL LOWRY T.D.
The people of Tipperary and the Staff of South Tipperary General Hospital deserve clarity into the governance and future of Maternity services at the Clonmel Hospital.
Deputy Michael Lowry has called for clarity on the external review completed by Mr. David Flory into the governance of Maternity Department services at South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Deputy Michael Lowry said; this report is disturbing in the context of the long-term future of maternity services at South Tipperary General Hospital.
Deputy Lowry stated; South Tipperary General Hospital provides a vital service to the People of Tipperary. In 2014 there were 1,102 births registered in the hospital. The people of Tipperary and the Staff of South Tipperary General Hospital deserve clarity into the governance and future of Maternity services at the Hospital.
Deputy Lowry Concluded; I hereby Call on the Minister for Health to clarify the Government’s attitude to this report and give reassurance that there will be no reduction in the level of quality or services which are currently provided by South Tipperary General Hospital.
RURAL IRELAND IN CRISIS.
Deputy Michael Lowry Condemns The Latest Initiative To Regenerate Rural Ireland.
Deputy Michael Lowry has this week criticised the late late Government Initiative on a stimulus package to regenerate Rural Ireland. Labour Minister Ann Phelan has been Minister with specific responsibility for Rural Development for almost 5 years. We hardly knew she existed but hey presto a couple of months before an election she comes out of a slumber with a whopper of an empty promise. Since this Government was elected all we have heard is aspirational statements and hot air. This most recent announcement is a paltry €30m pre-election gimmick. Minister Ann Phelan has the audacity to allocate €4m of this fund to her own constituency of Carlow/Kilkenny leaving €26m for the rest of the country. The kind of schemes covered under the new proposal such as renovation of old buildings and improving local amenities are already covered under the terms of Leader Group and Lottery Funding. The real issue faced is that the funding available to Leader in Tipperary has been cut by €15 m. It’s ironic that the person who presided over that €15m cut is one and same Minister Kelly.
The root cause of the crisis in rural Ireland is the lack of job opportunity for young people. Thousands of our young people have had to emigrate, forced to leave home, leave their families, friends and community. Parents are denied the privilege of being close to their loved ones, denied the gift of seeing them mature into adulthood. There are many issues as a consequence of this emigration. Fewer houses being built, no work for builders and tradesmen, fewer children being born, schools losing numbers, putting teachers jobs at risk with small rural schools facing closure. We then have small shops, post offices and Garda Stations shut down. We also face the prospect, due to a shortage of priests we are going to have parish clustering with implications for rural churches and social contact. Emigration has had a massive impact on local communities and in particular sports clubs. Many GAA soccer and Rugby teams have been decimated by the flight of its young members.
The government and the national agencies have done nothing to correct the imbalance between city and rural regeneration. Access to a proper broadband service and information technology is a huge disadvantage. It is impossible for country towns to attract industry as it has little prospect of competing against the city locations that have the entire necessary infrastructure already in place. The IDA should immediately construct advance factories in places like Tipperary. It is inevitable that when a Company decides to set up business it will make a decision on the location based on a ready to go turnkey facility.
Deputy Lowry stated – we now have a two speed economy – one for Dublin and one for the rest, operating in a fast and slow lane. The closure of Garda Stations has left older people in particular feeling vulnerable at a time when city crime gangs are roaming the country causing fear and anxiety. The feeling of isolation is made worse by a combination of no local transport which makes it impossible for people to socialise.