The following is a Press Release issued for this weeks newspapers (week commencing 13/4/09) Got great coverage from Tom Young in the Munster Express and honourable mention in News & Star. Two good mentions in Waterford Today, one for this press release and another on City Centre retail grouping).
City Councillor Mary Roche. "They should do the decent thing and go and seek a mandate from the Country," she says "for this new era and the type of policies that are required to deal with it."
"People have the right to have these policies debated wholly and in the open and they have the right to make their choices based on all this new information" she said.
Neither Fianna Fáil nor the Green Party have a mandate from the electorate for the current trying times and she argues that now, post budget is the right time to 'come clean' and ask people to endorse them and their current policies if they so wish.
While she believes that this is the correct course of action she does not believe that either Fianna Fáil or the Greens will do the honourable thing (i.e. go to the country) as they know well that such a course of action would leave them "all but wiped-out".
"I certainly know that they would have many questions to answer on their performance nationally and in Waterford," she continued. "I would like to ask them a few questions myself" she said "on crucial local issues such as the disgraceful demise of our flagship industry Waterford Crystal, the continuing farce of the closure of St Bridgets Ward in St. Patricks Hospital, the lack of investment in public radiotherapy at WRH, the absence of Breastcheck, the robbing of teachers and investment from disadvantaged schools, the ignoring of our University application for 3 years and 2 months (so far), the pulling of the Gateway Innovation Fund, the abandonment of decentralisation after riding that wave for years."
Mary accused the current coalition Government of "playing fast and loose with peoples lives and livelihoods"."The list goes on and on and on," said Roche. "Its so bad now that you have Fianna Fáil candidates in the forth-coming local elections publicly trying to dissociate themselves from their own party policies and responsiblilties.""However as I learned in my 10 year political sojourn to date, if you stand for a party, you are, by extension, standing for their policies," she said. "I was elected for Fianna Fáil 10 years ago and served four years in that party before I resigned in dissappointment and disgust at their failure to deliver on their 2002 (9 years ago!!) election promise of public radiotherapy for our cancer patients. I understood that by being a Fianna Fáil Councillor I would be giving my implicit support and acceptance of that stand. I refused. If my party had the kind of policies that I could not stand over, then I would not stand for them and so I resigned."A General Election would give Fianna Fáil the chance to tell us all why we should 'take the pain' for the misery inflicted by them. Tell us why we should be happy that our mortgage payments are reducing - when our incomes are reducing by much more. They could tell us why we get sicker in our hospitals. Tell us why a new geriatric hospital is not built in St. Patricks before the patient numbers are reduced.
"In the face of monumental mis-management of Ireland plc., serious lack of investment in Waterford and in ALL of our services, I know that the Fianna Fáil party have no intention of going to the Country at this time," said Mary "however that doesn't stop it being the right thing to do. Convince us that you weren't looking out over the stern of the good ship Ireland, while she was heading for the shallow reefs".
Go to the Country Fianna Fáil. If you have the courage of your convictions.