Glenties based county councillor Terence Slowey has said that he will not be seeking the nomination for Fine Gael at next week’s convention.
The three contenders are now county councillor Barry O’Neill, Martin Harley and a surprise late entry, a town coumncillor from Ballyshanon, Brendan Travers.
Cllr Slowey was to run in the last previous general election, but was shafted by his own party after it was believed he would not win the seat for Fine Gael, after internal polls suggested that Perase Doherty would win a seat instead.
Dinny McGinley, who had said that he was going to step down as a TD, as he knew that he would be defeated at selection convention, was reinvented and emerged victorious in the subsequent general election.
UNITE Trade Union
Workers at Bank of Scotland (Ireland), supported by their trade union UNITE, have vowed to fight tooth and nail to maintain their jobs. The company announced today that it was to close its retail branch network and call centre with the loss of 750 jobs throughout the bank.
There are 400 jobs on the line in 44 Halifax retail outlets, spread throughout almost every county in Ireland, 130 jobs at the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) customer service centre in Dundalk and a further 220 jobs to be cut in associated services and the asset finance division at the Bank’s Dublin headquarters.
Staff in Dublin and Dundalk and across the branch network heard the news through a telephone conference call from BoSI Chief Executive, Joe Higgins this afternoon. The announcement was met with shock and anger.
“Our workforce is made up of partners; of people who left secure jobs on the promise of a long stable future; and of many returning sons and daughters who took the opportunity to return to Ireland and reunite their families,” said Bernard Daly, Secretary of the UNITE group within the Bank. “There is a huge human cost to the announcement today, and people are in a state of total shock.”
The bank operation has been under threat since the takeover of Bank of Scotland by the Lloyds Banking Group in January 2009. UNITE representatives have sought to elicit guarantees about future plans in Ireland but these have never been forthcoming.
On Monday, UNITE published a report commissioned from FGS Consulting which showed that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) would be an invaluable component of the third banking force which is likely to emerge from discussions between the government, Permanent TSB, the EBS and Irish Nationwide Building Societies.
“Management were given a copy of this report yesterday,” said UNITE Regional Officer Brian Gallagher. “It clearly demonstrates the unique role which the bank’s experience in the SME sector can play in the third banking force and the national recovery, but rather than engage on this, they have chosen instead to panic and make a hasty announcement which puts 750 employees on notice that their jobs will be gone before the summer.”
“It is a crazy, wrong headed decision which is likely born of a London boardroom that has no sense of the strong future which the bank can have.” “We will not give up on these jobs, they are too important for the country as a whole for the government to allow them slide away.”
“We are today seeking an urgent meeting with officials from the Department of Finance and the Department of an Taoiseach so we can bring forward the third banking force at a faster pace and make it strong from the outset.”
“If we allow these jobs to go, a generation of experience will be lost exactly at a moment in our history when it is most needed to assist small business and export enterprise to lift the economy and create more jobs.”
Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has said that the resignation of former
Fine Gael TD George Lee must not be used as an excuse to put the
bye-election in Donegal South West on the back burner.
“Yesterday’s resignation of former Fine Gael TD George Lee means that a
bye-election will need to take place in order to fill the seat which is
now vacant. I am calling on the government not to allow this to push the
long-awaited bye-election in Donegal South West back even further. The
constituency simply cannot wait another 6 months to a year while Fianna
Fáil considers what candidate they will run.
“It has now been eight months since Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher’s seat
became vacant in Donegal South West. Since then unemployment has soared
to record highs for the county, a budget has been introduced which will
see the most vulnerable badly hit and the government has yet to
introduce any sort of a jobs creation strategy.
“The people of Donegal South West deserve the representation they have
been deprived of since last June. They cannot wait around while Fianna
Fáil size up their options in South Dublin. It is about time somebody
took a stand for the people of Donegal who have been on the receiving
end of massive unemployment levels, devastating budget cuts and a
government which discriminates against the people of Donegal. Let’s
start the fight-back for Donegal.”