CANDIDATE PROFILE: SEÁN MORAGHAN (Tralee) People Before Profit Alliance
Seán Moraghan (People Before Profit Alliance) is a shop-worker and bookseller in Tralee. He is 45 years old.
He is standing for election to Tralee Town Council.
Seán has been a council worker, tour guide, mussel-boat farmer, writer and political activist.
Seán has been involved in the local anti-parking charges campaign, protests for a better health service, opposition to education cuts, Tralee Anti-War Group, Shell to Sea, and campaigns against the G8 in support of fairer trade, and human rights activism.
He is a member of the Mandate trade union.
The People Before Profit Alliance learnt yesterday of plans to close St. Brigid’s Ward in Loughlinstown Hospital. This move by the HSE is a direct result of cuts in the department of health stemming from last October’s Budget.
St Brigid’s Ward is a general ward in the hospital and its closure will mean the loss of at least 18 beds.
Hugh Lewis, People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) Representative in the Ballybrack ward, says: “This closure is completely unacceptable. It is an utter disgrace that our health service, which is already in a shambles, is being forced to make further cuts. In an economic crisis a decent public health service is needed more than ever. The money that is being used to bail out the banks should instead be used to fund vital services, in particular, the health service. Once again it is the most vulnerable in society that have to shoulder the burden of our economic crisis. PBPA will immediately be organising meetings to discuss how we can stop this closure.”
The recent budget included an increase in the health levy that all PAYE workers already pay. This increase is grossly unfair because it once again forces ordinary people to make up the shortfall in public finances. It also now seems that an extra health levy is going to make no difference to cuts in the health service.
Colm Stephens, People Before Profit Alliance Local Election Candidate in the North Inner City has learnt that front line staff including nurses are likely to lose their jobs in the Mater Hospital. Unions representing staff in the Hospital are in negotiations with management and are trying to make sure that the affect will be a small as possible. “I have heard from nurses that contract staff who are approaching the end of their contracts have most to fear. They are not being told if they will be kept on or not. This means that nurses from overseas cannot renew their visas and are living with a double uncertainty – in a few weeks they might not have a job and might be forced to leave the country.”
Alternative Economic Agenda to Be Launched At Major Rally
The People Before Profit Alliance today called for immediate action to ensure that Ireland’s super rich make a serious contribution to bailing the country out.
The Alliance spokesperson Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The Rich List shows there is no recession for Ireland’s wealthy elite. The wealthiest top ten share €17 billion between them. Half of these, including Denis O Brien, Tony O Reilly and Dermot Desmond are tax exiles. While the rest of us are being hammered by levies, extra taxes and cuts in basic services these people are living it up. The government must immediately close off all tax loopholes so that these people pay their share”.
At a major rally on Tuesday the Alliance will launch An Alternative Economic Agenda.
The Alternative will offer a radical alternative to the failed policies which have created the recession.
If you live in either Dublin 12 or D6W and find yourself unemployed or on short time working you will have to endure a wait of over three months to have your claim processed” said Pat Dunne, People Before Profit Alliance.
Pat Dunne revealed details of correspondence he received from the Manager of the SWLO Bishop's Square who stated “unfortunately due to the overwhelming numbers of new claims for Jobseeker's Benefit there is currently a backlog at this office. Your claim will be processed and you will receive notification in due course” In follow up conversations with officials they confirmed to Pat that claims lodged back as far as mid January were still not processed.