I believe the people are our greatest asset. It’s the people who have built the
country and provide the money to pay for every service in this country.
We elect TDs to run the country on our behalf and serve the needs of the people.
But the situation at the moment is that party leaders make all the decisions, TDs
within parties at local level seem to have no voice, and this is borne out by the
fact that Dublin is growing and rural Ireland is being decimated. They will once
again make promises, but we only need to look back to see what they have done.
Restrictive planning laws, forestry, and lack of services all contribute to the
decline in rural areas.
Businesses will base themselves in areas where there is a decent level of
infrastructure and services, such as hospitals, schools, sports facilities,
broadband, and suitable housing, for their staff.
In order to stop the decline, we need to remove the restrictive planning laws and
invest in the services that attract businesses.
Farming grants are supposed to help farmers to improve their farms; instead,
they are needed to supplement farming incomes in order to just survive. Large
supermarkets and factories are the ones actually gaining from these grants.
Farmers are being bullied into below-cost selling to large supermarkets and
factories; I believe this should be made illegal.
The grants available for forestry should also be available for young farmers who
wish to buy land, as they are being priced out of the market by investors buying
land for forestry due to the tax incentives available.
There is more than enough money in the budget to provide a world-class health
service, but that budget is badly managed.
Due to a cruel recruiting embargo leading to understaffing, plus a shortage of
beds in our hospitals, we are now in a situation where thousands of people are
being left to suffer for years while waiting on vital treatment. Why have all of our
politicians allowed Simon Harris to continue to lead the health service into crisis
after crisis? I will demand a review of the entire HSE budget and its allocation,
and an immediate lifting of the recruitment embargo.
FF & FG have supported the introduction of a ‘co-payment system’, which means
that people in need of home care will have to pay 10% of the cost. Basic
healthcare is a service that people have paid for all of their lives through
taxation, and this cannot be accepted. I would demand that vulnerable people in
need of support are not being forced to pay twice for basic home care.
Mental Health Services
Many patients fall through the cracks after receiving initial treatment. A
designated counsellor should be available to keep regular contact with people
who have been diagnosed with a mental illness on a regular basis after being
The housing crisis could be alleviated with some common sense approaches. For
example, I would advocate to extend tax incentives for second hand houses, and
relax planning laws.
Currently, vulture funds are being allowed to buy debt at up to a third of the
value, leaving owners who can’t pay vulnerable to eviction. The simple solution
would be for the State pension fund to buy the debt at this price, allow the
county councils to manage the debt by reducing the payments and extending the
term for hard-pressed home-owners, until they are in a position to return to
normal payments. The profits would provide much needed revenue for the
county councils and the State pension fund.
This is a penal law and needs to be abolished. Struggling
families will eventually lose their homes if they cannot pay this tax.
SUBSIDIES that are paid to crèches should also be paid to families where a
parent stays at home to rear their children.
Our money is being used irresponsibly, and billions of euros are wasted while
thousands are homeless, the health services is in crisis, and many families find it
difficult to make ends meet. There is no real opposition to this. We need a strong,
capable and willing voice to speak up for the people, someone with the desire
and ability to find solutions to problems, and implement them.
As an independent candidate who will work for and answer to you, I am asking
for your number 1 vote.
I’m originally from Glenfarne, Co Leitrim, and now living in Greaghnafarna,
Dromahair, with my husband Martin. I run my own business consultancy service,
and am the editor and publisher of the Medjugorje Messenger. I have a Masters
in Business and a lifetime of experience in business. I believe a just society
should recognise and defend the life and dignity of each human being from
conception to natural death, which must include:
– the right of every child to have an education;
– the right of every family to have their own home;
– each person to employment and a fair wage;
– access to all services necessary for normal living in the 21st century;
– and proper medical and home care services to assist those who are
vulnerable and need care in the home.
FB: Bernie O Hara