Casey pledges ‘always-on’ 24-7 clinic for Donegal

Independent candidate Peter Casey has pledged to get things done “around the clock for Donegal constituents” with the introduction of a 24-7 TD clinic service.

Mr Casey is to set-up a 24-7 clinic helpline and promises “a same-day response” to constituent queries. He will also offer face to face meetings via video conferencing for those who do not want the inconvenience of having to travel.

He said that as Donegal’s independent TD, he will employ communications technology to “add value” to the traditional service for those he will be representing.

“My door will always be open for the people of Donegal as their independent representative in Dáil Éireann – and I mean 24-7. Of course, people will always be welcome to attend in person during office hours, but for many this may not be an option.

“My office will be always-on for people when they need representation. I pledge to be accessible to the people of Donegal and to work hard on their behalf as a reliable and efficient TD with a business approach to politics.

“With this new method of public representation for Donegal, constituents will also be able contact us anytime of the day or night.

“This is the level of service that I believe the people of Donegal deserve from their TD and it the standard I am committed to delivering,” he said.

AIB shares should fund Mica redress in Donegal

Independent candidate Peter Casey has said the Government should sell its AIB shares in order to fund Mica redress in Donegal.

Lambasting the Government for dithering on the delivery of the long-awaited Mica redress scheme, Mr Casey said selling shares in AIB would provide a perfect funding solution.

“Taxpayers in Donegal, including those whose homes are falling apart, helped fund the bailout of AIB. The bank is owned and controlled by the Government’s majority shareholding and those shares should be sold to fund the restoration, repair or rebuild of homes in Donegal.

“In 2017, the Government sold just under 29% of its 99% shareholding in AIB for €3.4bn. I’m calling on them to sell another tranche of shares to address this devastating crisis for so many Donegal families. They could sell enough to cover a full and fair redress scheme and still hold the controlling stake in AIB,” he said.
Mr Casey added that the €40 million promised by the Government falls “way short of the many hundreds of millions of euro needed to address the living nightmare of crumbling homes” in the county.

He said: “Homes are literally falling apart in Donegal and the Government has dragged its heels to the extent that lives are being put at risk. I have visited family homes in Inishowen that are on the brink of collapse due to crumbling blockwork and it is heartbreaking for them. It is causing incredible mental anguish and stress for people. One man, who lives in one of the worst affected homes I have seen, told me that he can literally hear his home creaking at night.

“This has to be the most immediate issue for any person hoping to be returned as a TD in Donegal – including our county’s own Government minister Joe McHugh.
“The problem affects thousands of homeowners, families and businesses whose walls are literally falling apart right across Donegal.

“Dozens of families in affected homes across the county will not have a house to call home at the end of this election campaign. That is the harsh reality facing these families while our Government dithers on delivery of the scheme,” Mr Casey said.

“February 8 will afford people the opportunity to stand up and be counted in the ballot box on this issue. The people of Donegal are tired of the same old rhetoric from this Government – promising funds and failing to deliver. Not one penny of the promised €40 million has been delivered and not one house has been fixed under the scheme,” he added.
5,000 homes are registered under the Mica redress scheme at present.

“A house, for the majority of people, is the single biggest investment they will make in their lifetime. Thousands are crumbling in the county and it is taking a toll on the health and well-being of many families. It is past time that the redress money needed is delivered to the people of Donegal, so that they can sleep safe in their beds at night,” Mr Casey added.

Mr Casey said he is committed to working hard to ensure that redress for those affected is rolled out as soon as possible.

Facebook needs to face up to cyber bullying – Casey

Peter Casey has called on Facebook to improve its complaints process in order to safeguard vulnerable people and children from cyber bullying.

Mr Casey made the comment after his photograph was used without his consent as a profile pic on a shadowy Facebook page called Right Wing Ireland.

“I have contacted Facebook using its own complaints process to have a profile pic of me removed from the Right Wing Ireland page. I’ve had zero response so far.

“If a runner-up in an Irish Presidential election and contender for Dail Eireann can’t get Facebook to help, how can naive, innocent and vulnerable children expect to be helped by the social media giant.

“The cumbersome automated process is flawed to say the least and is failing those who are being bullied on the platform. Social Media platforms have to do better than this to protect all of our young people.

“In my case, this is grown up bullying and I can take it – but so many of our youth cannot, often with terrible consequences. Facebook has a lot of questions to answer and actions to take in order to clean up its act.”

Mr Casey accused those managing the Right Wing Ireland Facebook page of attempting to smear his campaign to be elected to the 33rd Dáil.

“Sinister forces are at work linking me with a Facebook page called Right Wing Ireland. I do not know who is behind this weak attempt at sabotage and I wish to make it clear that I do NOT have any affiliation with the page.

“The profile picture of me which features on the page has been used without my consent. Such dirty tricks are no more than an attempt by shadowy online figures to smear my campaign to honestly represent the people of Donegal on issues that really matter to them.

“I have reported the page to Facebook and await a response. I totally condemn those behind this attempt to stir up unnecessary hysteria in order to promote their political agenda.”

Government failing Donegal’s sick and dying – Peter Casey

The Government’s “shameful track record in Donegal” is highlighted by its failure to provide for the most vulnerable, sick and dying at Letterkenny University Hospital, said Independent candidate Peter Casey.

Mr Casey said he is committed to reversing the “devastating deficit in resources” across departments at the hospital.

“The chronic staff shortages, overcrowding in A&E with sick people lying on trolleys, and crises across departments due to long-term neglect by the Government, are quite unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Casey insists that when elected he will work hard to achieve greater cross-border co-operation in health services to give the sick in Donegal a fighting chance.

“Improving cross-border co-operation in health is a top priority for me. I will work hard to ensure the people of Donegal have the option to access increased health services just across the border.

“On a personal note, when my wife fell ill recently, a GP in Moville told us to go straight to Altnagelvin hospital due to the lack of capacity in Letterkenny and the close proximity of Derry. She spent six days in intensive care and it was a tremendous relief to have such a facility so close to home. I will be working to improve cross border co-operation in health, so that more services in the North are made available to people in Donegal.”

“The revelation last week that up to 12 stroke patients in Donegal are dying each year because Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) is the only hospital in Ireland that does not have a dedicated stroke unit, is disgraceful,” Mr Casey said.

“Consultant Geriatrician at LUH, Ken Mulpeter is right to be annoyed at the lack of delivery by this Government, the current Health Minister Simon Harris and indeed the previous Health Minister Leo Varadkar.”

An eight-bed unit had been approved before the flood of 2013 and was expected to open last August. However, an agency recruitment embargo has stopped the unit from opening as promised.

“A proper stroke unit is an integral part of any acute hospital.

“There are eight beds assigned for stroke patients in Donegal, but patients are literally dying because of a lack of investment in health.

“Up to 12 stroke patients have died each year or are living with severe disabilities because this Government has failed to allow funding for three nurses, a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and health care assistant.

“The people of Donegal deserve health care equality with the rest of the island of Ireland. A life in Donegal should not be less than that of one in Derry, Dublin, Galway or Cork. The people of Donegal deserve better services, they need representative who will listen to healthcare professionals, one who will get things done,” said Mr Casey.

Peter Casey fully committed to ‘Get Things Done’ for Donegal

Independent candidate Peter Casey is “fully committed” to taking a business approach to getting things done for Donegal in the 33rd Dáil.

Mr Casey has confirmed he is simultaneously contesting the election in the Dublin West constituency for the “sole reason of giving people there an opportunity to register an obvious protest vote” against An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

He said: “My heart is in Donegal and I’m committed to delivering for our county in Dáil Éireann. I live in Donegal, I employ people in Donegal, I vote in Donegal and would be honoured to represent the people of Donegal. I will take a business approach in order to get things done in Donegal.

“Yes, I have put my name on the ballot paper in Dublin West, but only to give people a chance to register an obvious protest vote against the worst Taoiseach in living memory. I’m also placing a series of ads in local Dublin press and erecting billboards stating the reasons people shouldn’t vote for him.

“He has presided over so many disasters during his term and has made countless political u-turns. His well-funded machine may well attempt to tag me as a so-called populist for doing this, but the people of Ireland will not be fooled. Even the biggest PR spend in Government history, couldn’t spin away his big-mouthed gaffes, embarrassing about-turns on policy and low moral compass. It’s is truly astonishing that he squandered €1.8m on spin to promote his image in just his first 18months as Taoiseach. It’s an utterly disgraceful waste of public money as people are dying as a result of chronic underfunding for essential services such as health and housing.

“The Taoiseach’s string of failures is recorded for all to see. There’s the swing-gate and fob-gate scandals, the National Children’s Hospital disgrace, the broadband spending debacle, the unprecedented crises in health and housing – list goes on and people have had enough.

“On a more personal note, he was very close to breaching the constitution in the Presidential election when he asked people not to vote for me.

“People are right to be angry and that’s why I’m giving them the opportunity to voice their anger directly by voting for me in Dublin West.”

However, Donegal is the priority for Mc Casey, who lives in Greencastle in Inishowen.

“Donegal needs a strong independent voice and that’s something that has been sadly lacking.

“My primary goal is to represent my home county of Donegal. The people of our county deserve an alternative voice, one which reflects their views. They want someone who will get things done in a business-like fashion, someone who will listen to their problems and work hard to deliver real solutions. That’s my pledge to the people of Donegal.

“People are dying because of a critical deficit in services at Letterkenny General Hospital, lives are at risk as home crumble while the Government backtracks on delivering redress for those devastated by Mica.

“Hard working families are being terrorised by the VRT police, our fishing communities are crippled by the gestapo-like tactics of the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority, our farmers face their biggest crises in history with unsustainable price cuts, carbon tax and the Brexit fallout.

“I am committed to battling for Donegal people on all of these fronts while striving for long-overdue infrastructure improvements, championing increased cross-border co-operation, and working tirelessly to bring more businesses and job creation to our county.

“I am setting up 24-7 online response centre where people can be assured of proper representation from a politician who will act promptly and professionally on their behalf.

“It’s time for a business approach to politics in Donegal – let’s get things done together.”

Finn Harps ‘let down’ as Government incompetence wastes billions

Independent candidate Peter Casey is backing Finn Harps’ stadium funding appeal after the Ballybofey club was “shamefully let down by the Government”.

Mr Casey has offered his support to the football club after meeting board members, following the exclusion of its Donegal Community Stadium Project from the funding round announced by the Department of Sport earlier this month.

Mr Casey said: “It is now feared that around €1.2 million in taxpayers’ money spent on preliminary works may be wasted because the Government has effectively abandoned the project. I’m told that the structures already put in place will soon be not fit for purpose. That cannot be allowed to happen.

“Finn Harps has done its part, but the Government has pulled the carpet from under the club. The hard-working people who are dedicated to delivering this important community facility should have the backing of all candidates in Donegal to ensure its delivery as soon as possible. Let’s get this done for Donegal.

“Sport plays an important role in our society and Finn Harps is an integral part of the sporting community in Donegal. It is a shame and a disgrace that the €6.7 million in State funding which was approved is now being reneged on by this Government. This is all the more galling for local people as the Government wastes billions of euro through incompetence in the disgraceful mismanagement of projects such as the National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan.”

Direct Provision is not fit for purpose

EU Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey says Direct Provision should be limited to 90 days in Ireland, adding that the current system is “not fit for purpose”.

“Direct Provision is not fit for purpose. We should close down provision centres within 90 days. If you are legal, you get a passport, if you are illegal you get a plane ticket.”

The Midlands-North-West candidate says there must be a more efficient system for the processing of asylum seekers. Mr Casey said it is unacceptable that people in Direct Provision in Ireland are spending between five and seven years in the system while background checks are carried out and disputed. He compared the inefficiency of the system to the efficiency of the US Homeland Security checks carried out at Dublin airport.

“A senior source at an international airline informs me that US immigration officials process around 7,000 passengers each day during peak times. And that’s just in Dublin airport and only passengers travelling to and from the US.

“On average over 80,000 passengers pass through Dublin airport daily and are all processed by passport control.

“Compare this to Direct Provision which has more 6,500 people who spend anywhere between five to seven years in the system. While people are in the system, the Irish tax payers pick up the bills for the legal costs of appeals. The system is all wrong.

“85% of deportation orders are not carried out in Ireland. We’ve become known as the soft touch of Europe in this regard. This needs to change.”

Immigration ‘a ticking time bomb’ for Ireland

Immigration controls in Ireland need strengthened.

EU Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey says Ireland must suspend EU Freedom of Movement temporarily to avoid an immigration boom that will overwhelm the country.


Mr Casey is calling for what he describes as a “mature discussion” on Ireland’s immigration policy to ensure migrants help sustain and grow the Irish economy rather crippling it.


He says: “Britain leaving the EU poses an immediate immigration problem for Ireland.  After Brexit, people within the EU, who would have ordinarily tried to migrate to Britain, will look to Ireland as an English-speaking alternative. Where else can they go?


“Last year more than 200,000 people migrated to the UK from within the EU. If only a fraction of that number of people were to arrive in Ireland as the only other English-speaking country (except for Malta), then we would not be able to cope,” he says.


Mr. Casey said the Central Statistics Office predicts that up to one million people will arrive in Ireland from other countries over the next 32 years. That is more than one fifth of our current population, yet there are no realistic plans to create the capacity to deal with such an influx of people. 


Mr Casey adds: “Last year, the ‘National Risk Assessment’ report disclosed that Ireland is at risk of increased illegal movement of asylum seekers. According to the report, Brexit could also give rise to a risk of increased illegal movement of third-country nationals into Ireland from the UK. It further notes possible consequences for secondary movements of asylum seekers and illegal migrants from the UK to Ireland in the event of UK divergence from EU law in the field of asylum.”


The presidential election runner-up acknowledges that immigration is important to Ireland’s economy but is adamant it must be affordable.


“I warmly welcome diversity and realise that continued immigration is vital to supply the labour needed to grow the Irish economy. However, it must be affordable.


“We can’t afford the current rate of immigration into Ireland. That is obvious from the housing crisis, pressure on our health services, the cost of our social welfare system and many more areas of our society.


“There are many people in our towns and cities who feel aggrieved and also many who believe we should open our doors just like other countries did for the Irish people for generations. This is why immigration should be top of the agenda for mature discussion. We need to acknowledge the views of all Irish people in order to make informed decisions on how we handle this ticking time bomb for our country.


“We need to stop running away from controversial issues when hard decisions must be made. The politically correct lobby should stop trying to claim that any debate is right wing populism. That’s ridiculous.


“Last year around 31,100 people from within the EU plus 30,900 from other parts of the world arrived in Ireland. That is a lot of new arrivals when compared 18,000 and 6,000 respectively in 2010.”


“Article 112 of the EEA agreement gives a country the right to put in place safeguard measures regarding Freedom of Movement within the EU in light of ‘serious economic, societal and environmental difficulties’. If Britain leaves, then we have a major problem. There will definitely be ‘serious economic, societal and environmental difficulties’. If Liechtenstein can do it, so can Ireland.”

Irish SMEs need EU ‘Brexit support package’ 

European Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey says Europe must provide emergency financial support for Irish SME’s to overcome the negative impacts of Brexit.


Mr Casey says the leaders of small to medium-sized business across the Midlands-North-West constituency want assurances that they won’t be left to pick up the pieces if Britain crashes out of the EU.


Mr Casey was speaking after attending Tuesday morning’s Chambers Ireland Election Hustings, hosted by Meath Chamber of Commerce in the Newgrange Hotel in Navan.


He said: “Many business leaders across rural Ireland, the border region and midlands deserve the support of the EU to ease the pain of Brexit.


“Countless reports and a bombardment of news articles on best and worst-case scenarios paint bleak Brexit pictures for our SMEs. Regardless of the outcome, the EU must be ready to step in to ensure our businesses continue to thrive.


“I will be a strong business voice in lobbying for support of our SMEs by Europe post-Brexit. So many of our businesses depend on their strong trading relationships with the UK. Any negative impact on these relationships must be addressed by way robust financial support from the EU.


“Furthermore, it is now more important than ever that the EU continues to expand SME-friendly trade agreements in other regions. Improving global trade channels to help off-set damage caused by Brexit will be a key driver for businesses which stand to suffer loss of trade with our nearest neighbour.


“Ideally, Ireland wants Britain within Europe, but if that’s not possible, then Europe must work as hard for Ireland as we do for it.


“Ensuring the right conditions for our businesses will boost living standards, increase tax revenues, and generate more jobs.”

Reclaiming Lough Foyle for Ireland

European parliamentary candidate Peter Casey has “reclaimed Lough Foyle for Ireland” by raising the Irish tricolour on seabed claimed by the UK Crown Estate.


The UK’s claim of jurisdiction over Lough Foyle has been disputed for decades. The Crown Estate claims ownership of the seabed up to the high-water mark, which is just yards from the Donegal coast.


However, Mr Casey who recently built a controversial sea wall outside his home in Greencastle, Co Donegal, has now hoisted an Irish tricolour at the end of the structure –right at the high-water mark.


A video showing the EU parliamentary candidate hoisting the Irish flag on a permanent, fifty feet-high flagpole has generated great interest on social media. In the footage, Mr Casey states: “I’ve just reclaimed Lough Foyle for Ireland”.


Mr Casey says: “The Crown claims ownership of the water just outside my front door and right out to the end of Lough Foyle. Ireland, quite rightly, lays claim to its half of the waterway. However that will have major implications for shipping bound for Derry port, as the channel is on the Donegal side of the lough.


“It’s somewhat akin to the Rockall ownership dispute, but a lot closer to home,” he adds.


Lough Foyle, which separates counties Donegal and Derry, has been a disputed territory since partition.


After the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, the Loughs Agency was given responsibility for administering Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough (the only other waterway straddling both jurisdictions – counties Louth and Down).


However, following the UK’s Brexit vote, then Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire reasserted Britain’s claim over the entirety of Lough Foyle. That claim was rejected by Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan.


Mr Casey adds: “I don’t accept British claims that all of Lough Foyle comes under UK jurisdiction. I’ve raised our flag here simply to highlight the issue in the hope that an amicable and fair resolution can be reached between Ireland and the UK. If Britain does finally leave the EU, then it will be operating under different fishing rules, so this really is an area where agreement is needed.”


Lough Foyle was a key strategic naval base for Britain during World War II and was the scene of the surrender of Germany’s U-boat fleet in 1945.