Aontú Hold Cost-Of-Living Meeting In Castlewellan

Key Public Meeting on Cost-of-Living Crisis Takes Place in Castlewellan

Key Public Meeting on Cost-of-Living Crisis Takes Place in Castlewellan

A public meeting on the cost-of-living crisis too place in the Kings Inn Hotel, Castlewellan, on Monday 16th January.

The well attended meeting was organised by Aontú representative for the area, Rosemary McGlone, and was attended by party leader, TD Peadar Tóibín.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms McGlone said: “It was vital that we had a strong show of support at this meeting.

“There are a lot of people facing enormous struggles with the cost of living at present. People are contacting me in shocking situations, people who are sick due to living in cold and damp conditions, and people struggling to put food on the table.

Peadar Tóibín TD with Rosemary McGlone, Aontú representative.

“We need to send a strong message to our elected representatives that the current situation which sees MLAs drawing a massive wage while refusing to work in Stormont, is unacceptable”.

“It is incredible that right through this crisis we have a political class that is drawing down big wages, yet refusing to do their job and help the people who are most in need.

“Aontú is calling for wages to be stopped until elected reps do their job. We are also calling for reform of Stormont so that no one political party can crash the Assembly or prevent an Executive from being formed again.

“We are calling for the devolution of real economic powers from London to Belfast so that elected representatives can take real steps to alleviate the hardship that people are under”. 

Ms McGlone added: “I am delighted that Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD was present at the public meeting. Of a number of local issues which need urgent attention, primary among them is the fear that when Daisy Hill Hospital becomes an elective care centre, it will be at the expense of other services, especially the potential loss of Daisy Hill’s capacity for emergency general surgery.

“The issue of nurses pay is also big at the moment – with many facing unprecedented poor and stressful working conditions, while also struggling with inflation-associated costs.  Nurses deserve a pay rise.

“The National Health Service is on its knees. We need a health system in Down which is properly funded and staffed with workers that are happy, healthy and who feel valued.

“We need to also encourage our local economy to grow and thrive. A key way of doing this, I believe, is to increase the investment into InterTradeIreland.

“We are well positioned on the Dublin-Belfast corridor next to half of Ireland’s population. We need investment to help businesses to survive.

“As the cost of fuel rises, and the threat of climate change becomes more apparent, proper public transport routes are a necessity for this region.

“It is shameful that people in this constituency are going hungry”, said Rosemary McGlone.