Clare Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin Candidates Pledge Support for SIPTU Firefighter Campaign

Published: 6 May, 2014

SIPTU last week launched a nationwide campaign calling for election candidates to pledge to support fire services and oppose the implementation of measures the firefighters say will endanger lives. The union's Retained Firefighters Committee say the lives of both the public and their members will be at risk due to a reduction in crew levels on appliances. The union is also calling for charges for private car accidents and house fires to be rescinded saying the property tax should pay for these. A union spokesperson said "Firefighters are also highlighting the lack of coordination between the ambulance and fire service. This results from the total failure to integrate these services in a strategic way due to a 'turf war' between the Health and Local Government sectors over who pays the bill". Sinn Féin's Clare candidates, Noeleen Moran in West Clare, Mike McKee in Shannon and Cathal O'Reilly in Ennis as well as the party's EU candidate Liadh Ní Riada have issued a joint statement saying they support the firefighters' pledge. The candidates met firefighters in Ennistymon, Kilrush and Ennis in recent days and listened to their views and gave their support for the pledge. It comes two weeks after the party condemned Clare County Council for introducing the changes while negotiations at national level were still ongoing. Their statement also says they "pledge to propose the repeal of Section 26 of the Fire Services Act, if elected". The statement goes on to say "Fire-fighters are on the frontline, their views must be fully taken on board. They are the real experts in tackling fires and other dangerous situations safely. We have no hesitation in supporting their pledge for candidates. Clare councillors jumped the gun, they should have awaited the outcome of talks. If elected we will fight to have the new measures suspended until that happens. Fire personnel who put their lives on the line every day for us deserve nothing less". END