Provocation to Bill – Begging and Lord Mayor Gerry Breen

I listened to Lord Mayor Gerry Breen talking prejudiced nonsense on Newstalk Radio with Jonathan Healy on the Lunchtime Show on 23rd December about street begging. There was about 10 minuyes of his rambling nonsense about “Businesses are suffering” “Aggressive beggars” etc etc.He knows that he has been recently selected to run for election with me in Dublin Northwest. He knows or should know (but probably doesn’t) that his exaggerated and inflammatory claims about the effects of begging are distasteful (to be polite) to many citizens of the city. He knows that I wrote what I thought of this much earlier when he spoke out about this issue in August. He knows that I find his attitude singularly offensive and anti-social. He should now know that I removed a motion from the City Council Agenda four weeks ago which would have humiliated him by calling for a roll call vote on support for his attitude.

The government intention to outlaw begging in the Criminal Justice Bill of 2010 is supported by Gerry but opposed by me and I presume the Labour Party, most Fine Gael councillors, presumably Sinn Fein and the Socialist Workers Party and independents. I would be amazed if 10% of Dublin City councillors supported his attitude. He talked on Newstalk radio about begging destroying jobs in the City Centre and repeated the number of currently employed as 25,000 as if begging or the lack of it would have a measurable impact on that number . He said it is a “critical issue” for business in the city as it is driving out customers to the suburbs where there is no begging. I have seen no valid evidence of this claim. He mentioned three times that non-Irish females were begging like entrepreneurs in the Nassau Street area. He said that this was commercial begging and not needs based. Lumping all into one category is not very wise. There is the Public Order Act if they become aggressive but when I have seen them they are sitting passively on the street plus or minus a baby. It is the xenophobic right wingers who single out foreigners in this way.

I regret having to re-enter this issue but Gerry Breen keeps up this tidal wave of biased ignorant rhetoric and sticks his fingers in my eyes. I am not politically sophisticated enough just to keep quiet.

Just to let the electorate of Dublin Northwest know – there is one competent, straight

and informed candidate in that constituency. — Bill Tormey.

Go through the record – the two Fianna Fail TDs have supported the economic catastrophe that his landed on the Irish people 70% from within. Deputy Shortall – try TV3 and Vincent Browne on the economy. Dessie – good councillor but running the country…… John Lyons replaced a competent Andrew Montague a man with a real record of some achievement. Gerry Breen – check the 20 year record on line of you wish.

You get more for your vote with Bill Tormey