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“Private Security Authority confirm significant weaknesses in governing legislation,” Mattie McGrath, Carol Nolan, Michael Collins

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Independent TD’s Mattie McGrath, Carol Nolan and Michael Collins have said their meeting with the CEO of the Private Security Authority, Mr Paul Scallan, has given rise to serious concerns about the capacity of the state to effectively sanction unlicensed security personnel. The group had organised the meeting to try and address the apparent lack of sanctions for those who engage in aggressive acts of intimidation while purporting to be linked to licensed security operations:

“This meeting was organised as part of our wider engagement with all stakeholders involved in the repossession of homes or property; specifically how those repossessions are conducted.

Overall we had a very constructive engagement, where significant amounts of detail relating to acts of violence carried out by rogue operators and indeed some licensed operators, was put to the CEO of the PSA by Mr Jerry Beades on behalf of Friends of Banking Ireland.

As elected representatives, our over-riding concern at the meeting was to try and ascertain what we can do at the legislative level to try and strengthen protections for families and communities who experience threats, aggression and even assaults at the hands of those claiming to have legitimate authority.

It was made absolutely clear that the current provisions of The Private Security Services Act 2004 which is the primary legislation under which the Private Security Authority operates, is grossly inadequate and needs to be urgently revised or amended.

We are aware that the Board of the PSA contains representatives from an Assistant Garda Commissioner as well as the Minister for Education and Skills and the Minister for Justice and Equality.

In light of that it is highly unlikely that government is not aware of the scale of the problem that exists.

What we are calling for is thorough, sector wide public consultation on this issue so that the experiences of families and ordinary people who have experienced intimidation can be fed into any changes that may emerge.

At present, these people are operating as if it is the Wild West and that has to stop. If that includes the PSA being given more sanctioning or investigative powers then so be it” concluded Deputy McGrath.

Politics

McGrath calls on political parties to form grand coalition

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“The time has come to consider forming a National Government,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that strong consideration must be given to the idea of forming a National Government in order to avoid destabilising level of political impasse. Deputy McGrath went on to say that such arrangement could utilise the d’Hondt method as a fair means of allocating positions and seats within such a government :

“Given that we are in such unchartered territory and given the absolute necessity of ensuring we have some kind of political stability for our people, then I believe all options should be considered with respect to government formation.

The single most important objective here is that we create conditions where the needs of the people can be met.

It is time to set aside narrow political interests and to put the needs of the people first.

If that involves all parties and groupings in the Dáil compromising in order to agree a common government platform, the maybe that is something we ought to consider.

This election has sent the political class a clear message from the people; they want delivery, they want results.

We all should be courageous and imaginative enough to consider any option which will bring that about including that of a National Government,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Community

Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.

Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.

Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000

Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000

Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000

PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000

Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000

The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000

Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.

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Politics

The people will no longer tolerate political excuses for lack of delivery – Mattie McGrath

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Independent TD Mattie McGrath has warmly thanked the people of Tipperary for renewing their confidence and trust in him after he was re-elected following Saturday’s General Election. Deputy McGrath, who received 13, 064 votes in the 2016 General Election increased his vote this time around to 15, 127. Speaking after his re-election he went on to say that the outcome of the national vote was a clear and unequivocal rejection by the public of the arrogance and unwillingness of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to effectively respond to the core issues affecting the majority of ordinary people’s lives:

“At the outset I want to salute and warmly thank the great people of Tipperary for renewing their trust in me.

I am truly humbled by their confidence and will do everything in my power to honour the mandate they have given me by representing their interests in Dáil Eireann.

I also want to thank the amazing work of my entire campaign staff; my Campaign Manager and daughter, Triona O’Flynn, my wife Margaret and all my family and friends who have sustained me and supported me and without whom I simply could not do what I do.

They have worked tirelessly, night and day, to canvas the enormous geographical area of Tipperary and to meet the people on my behalf when I could not be there personally.

As we go forward from here, I think it is absolutely clear that politics in Ireland simply has to change.

It must re-engage with the day to day priorities of people’s lives especially around health and housing.

The government, whoever it will be, must listen and act in the people’s interest. It cannot be politics as usual once they have their feet under the Ministerial tables.

We must rid our politics of the kind of elite detachment that came to characterise the outgoing government.

We must escalate change and bring about genuine improvements in the quality of life of our people. The people are sovereign. The last government ignored that basic political reality by pushing ahead with failed policies, massive over-spends and a culture where accountability was almost completely absent.

The people have now enforced accountability upon them in the most democratic way possible.

I look forward to playing an active part in the talks that lie ahead and to advancing the interests of the people of Tipperary,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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