PRESS RELEASE – August 24, 2018

The review of Search and Rescue service, commissioned by Transport Minister Shane Ross in the wake of the R116 helicopter crash in April 2017, yet to be published, appears to indicate “serious confusion and conflict of interest” at the heart of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) operations.

The Review did not directly examine the circumstances of the crash that led to the loss of four rescuers off the County Mayo coast, but according to Brid Smith TD, (People Before Profit, Dublin South Central)  “the outcome of the review could possibly guide any investigation into the crash as to what may have gone wrong”.

The IAA is mandated as a commercial entity and has a corporate structure and this appears to conflict with its remit for safety regulatory oversight functions.Read more »

Will the tendering process for bus services help move people out of cars and into public transport? And can the Minister for Transport ensure that the tendering process will not become a race to the bottom for workers in their pay and working conditions?

RAIL WORKERS NEED A PAY RISE. I made this point to Minister Ross yesterday in the Dáil, on foot of his claim that ‘the country can’t afford it’. The Ministers are getting a pay rise on top of their 6 figure incomes; so are TDs, so are CEOs, all on big money. But we can’t pay workers?

Privatisation of our bus services! Despite Transport Minister Shane Ross’s waffle – this is what is happening on a gradual basis. 10% of Dublin Bus routes were put out to tender. Dublin Bus came in cheaper and better than ‘Go Ahead’, a British-based international company. Guess who won the tender? The more expensive ‘Go Ahead’ company. I tackled Ross about this in the Dáil. He waffled, so some of his responses are cut in this clip; you can check the Dáil playback for 11 Oct to hear his full commentary-which said little.

VARADKAR THE SNOB – NO UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE. Brid made the point today in the Dáil that BUS EIREANN strikers face hardship, as do people depending on public transport, and hardship is nothing that Varadakar and his kind ever have, or ever will, experience. So he makes flippant comments about subsidies to public services while the government ignores the €100 million in unanticipated VAT returns that could fix this strike today. The contempt of this government for ordinary people becomes more evident by day.

Speaking in the Dail this evening, Bríd demands Minister Shane Ross restores the subvention needed to maintain pubic transport services in Bus Eireann, congradulates the stance of the workers there and slates Fianna Fail for posing as the worker’s friend, while championing neo-liberal policies that attack workers rights and promote privatisation