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.”
Deputy Lowry is pleased to support the community of Loughmore Castleiney in there fundraising efforts for the Eddie Connolly Trust Fund
The Eddie Connolly Trust Fund will hosting a Family Dog Night on the 18th of September in aid of the Eddie Connolly Trust Fund to raise money for ongoing treatment.
Eddie is 29 years of age and has been a long serving member of the Loughmore Castleiney GAA Club. Eddie represented Tipperary in both hurling and football during his distinguished career. In late 2013, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Since then he has been receiving extensive medical treatment. Presently he is undergoing a new form of cancer treatment in Spain which is not covered by medical insurance.
On the night there will be 10 races and an Auction. Tickets will be €10 (Buster Ticket and Entry), Under 16’s go free. Tickets can be bought from any family member or any member of the Loughmore Castleiney GAA Club.
For those who wish to assist in the fundraising efforts you can also sponsor the following
- Race Sponsorship €500
- Nomination of a dog €100
- Donate item for the auction to follow the racing
- Alternatively the fundraising committee has established a bank account for Eddie’s fund to which you can make a direct donation. Details are as follows.
Name: Eddie Connolly Trust Fund
Account No: 23828075
Sort Code: 93 53 01
All donations are greatly appreciated.
Deputy Michael Lowry has urged the Government and Minister Simon Coveney to take action with the on-going crises within the Dairy Industry which has resulted in the continuing dramatic decline of Milk Prices.
Deputy Lowry was speaking in response to research compiled by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA)
“The recent Research conducted by economics professor Alan Mathews of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has shown Tipperary will see a fall of probably €111m through direct reduction in milk price and the multiplier effect that sees that milk price spent in local communities. The research has shown that milk prices per litre has fallen from 38.4 cent per litre to a low of 28 cent per litre in some parts of the country.
From speaking to Dairy Farmers across Tipperary it is evident they are under severe financial pressure due to these falling prices. We must not forget Co-op’s such as Arrabawn, Drombane, Centenary/Thurles, Tipperary, Mullinahone, Glanbia and Dairygold. These Co-op’s are providing massive employment within the county and are currently making great efforts to support Milk prices from within their own resource. This is providing vital support for many Tipperary based farming families.
Increased production internationally particularly in New Zealand and the United States coupled with the European ban on Russia and China’s economic weakness have all had an negative impact on Irish Milk price. It is now time for Dublin and Brussels to introduce practical measures to ensure that thousands of farming families in Tipperary will come through this crisis”
Deputy Lowry Concluded:
“I have suggested in my representations to Deputy Coveney and the Government to introduce a 5-point Dairy Recovery Plan:
- Early approval and payment of all Farmer Schemes & Grants to Farming Families. This will provide much needed cash flow in the Farming community.
- I am calling on the Minister for Finance Deputy Michael Noonan to investigate the possibility to allow provisions for Dairy Farmers to defer their upcoming tax bill to the next tax year. The inclusion of this in Budget 2016 would allow time for milk prices to recover and in turn will help cash flow for the farming community.
- That the banking sector should be instructed to investigate the possibility of providing low interest rate bridging loans to Dairy Farmers Nationally.
- €70 million of European Superlevy fines have been imposed on the Irish Dairy Industry. I have called on Minister Coveney to work with other EU Agricultural Ministers and Farming Organisations to ensure that this €70 million is retained within the EU Agricultural Budget. An emergency meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers is scheduled for September 7th in Brussels.
- That the Department of Agriculture continue working with Co-op’s to develop tools to allow farmers hedge portions of their milk at fixed prices to protect them from the volatility of the market.
I truly believe these provisions will allow the Dairy Farming Community in Tipperary to recover and in turn secure the future of 1,000’s of Jobs in Dairy Farming Industry. I would also call on the EU Commission to raise the intervention floor price for dairy product. This in turn would give some confidence to the market as well as giving confidence to the producer”
FEAD program 2014-2020 for the most deprived persons in Europe
What is FEAD?
The Department of Social Protection is the designated managing authority for the Operational Programme (OP) for the Fund for the Economic Aid (FEAD) to the most deprived who will have responsibility for the implementation of the programme in Ireland.
Who will FEAD be targeted at?
FEAD support will help people take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. The FEAD will help the most deprived people by addressing one of their most basic needs i.e. food and non-food for personal use e.g. sleeping bags, shampoo and other items for personal use, which is a precondition for them to be able to get a job or follow a training course.
What resources are available?
FEAD Ireland will be funded by some €22m of European funding and €4m of Irish exchequer funding totaling some 26.7m for the period 2014-2020.
Sixty-five per cent (65%) of available resources will be applied to the provision of food and thirty five per cent (35%) to the provision of basic material assistance e.g. sleeping bags, personal need items such as shampoo, shower gel etc.
Accompanying measures funding will also be available to a maximum of 5% of the value of food or non-food items purchased.
How will FEAD work?
The Department will establish an open selection mechanism in a fair, transparent and equitable manner for the provision of funding from the OP to partner organisations to provide food and /or basic material assistance for homeless persons. This will allow the organisations to purchase food and basic material essential non-food items and will then organise the distribution of food/non-food directly to people or transfer the food/non-food products to other not-for-profit organisations working with the target groups.
The criteria will consist of the following elements:
- organisations status, governance structures and legal/recognisable form
- expertise in the provision of food and/or basic material assistance
- capacity to target, deliver services to and support persons who are most severely deprived
- track record in the provision of services to persons who are most deprived
- organisational policies in respect of equality, non-discrimination, care of vulnerable people, accessibility, and inclusion
- ability to record and provide necessary data for monitoring/evaluation
- administrative, operational and management capacity
- financial standing and ability to manage public funds
- integration with other publicly funded programmes (to avoid duplication of support from other publicly funded programmes)
- geographical coverage.
Focus of OP
The focus of the fund will be on those on the margins of society and in need of essential supports. Effectively, the OP will target
- homeless persons including long-term rough sleepers
- children in low income/work intensity households
- victims of domestic violence in refuges and shelters
- person suffering or recovering from addictions
- certain members of the Roma and Traveller communities
- vulnerable persons transitioning to independent living from emergency accommodation, institutionalized care settings or places of detention
- any person without income, accommodation or means not otherwise defined above.
Michael Lowry T.D. has expressed his complete apprehension and support for the employees at the C&C facilities in Borrisoleigh and Clonmel.
The recent announcement of job losses at the C&C facilities are of great concern for the employees, their families and the wider communities of Borrisoleigh and Clonmel. In recent weeks the company has finalised plans to outsourced part of their logistics operation. This has resulted in a number of drivers being made redundant. It is also my understanding that some of the drivers in question have over 30 years’ service with the company.
This news comes as UNITE members based in the Bulmer’s plant Clonmel which is also part of the C&C Group have issues strike notice for July 15th . The strike announcement follows a unanimous vote for industrial action on foot of the company’s decision to renege on a 2009 agreement which governed redundancy terms.
Independent TD Michael Lowry: I wish to convey my complete support with all employees affected by today’s announcements and I hereby call on Mr Glancey Chief Operating Officer and C&C to enter into meaningful negations with all key Stakeholders, Management and Union Representatives to resolve these matters. Deputy Lowry also called on Mr Glancey and C&C to give a steadfast commitment to the future of the Clonmel and Borrisoleigh facilities
Independent Deputy Michael Lowry has welcomed the completion of the latest phase of development at Nenagh General Hospital. I am pleased to acknowledge the official opening of the new Surgical Day Unit on Monday 29th June.
“It gives me great satisfaction to witness another significant chapter in the hospitals development and expansion. At a crucial time I worked closely with the HSE and the Department of Health to rescue the hospital from permanent decline. I had to take unpopular political decisions in the face of orchestrated opposition to my stance. The political opportunists said I had got it wrong and forecast the closure of the hospital. I am glad that I had the courage to pursue my conviction on what I considered was the best option to safeguard a role for the hospital and secure it’s future. My representations resulted in agreement to include Nenagh in the National Capital Programme with an investment of 6.5 million. Funds were earmarked for new lifts, new endoscopy unit, additional recovery unit, new surgical suites together with general restoration and refurbishment work. My commitment and ability to deliver on this development programme and funding package was frequently questioned, but now the results are evident with modern fully equipped facilities available to the public”.
Deputy Lowry added “Nenagh General Hospital has now established a very influential and abiding role in the delivery of endoscopy, diagnostic and surgical procedures for the people of Tipperary and the Mid-West region. Under the new HSE structures the Hospital also provides an expanded range of consultancy specialists at it’s outpatient clinic centre.
Since the re-development and restructuring of services the throughput of patients has increased by an average of 40%. Nenagh General Hospital is now a thriving, bustling successful health care centre with opportunities to further grow and expand”.
Deputy Lowry commended the management and staff of the hospital for their continued hard work and determination. Their professionalism and efficiency is an essential factor in the continued success of Nenagh General Hospital.
Michael Lowry. T.D.