Tuesday 24 October 2017

O'Donoghue refuses to meet protesters

Anne Lucey

FORMER Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue came up against public sector anger over pay cuts outside his constituency clinic last night.

The 60-strong crowd assembled outside his office were members of a group that includes gardai, teachers, nurses, ambulance workers, civil servants and social welfare workers.

All are part of the Kerry Public Service Workers' Alliance (KPSWA), and they are demanding an unconditional reversal of pay cuts.

For four weeks, they have protested outside the constituency offices of all Kerry TDs who supported the cuts. Last night, they said they would return to Mr O'Donoghue's clinic until he addressed them in person.

"This man is hiding," Cormac Williams, a psychiatric nurse said.

He would get his reply on the ballot paper, he added.

Mr O'Donoghue's assistant, Colin Miller, told the group Mr O'Donoghue would meet with a delegation of five people.

"That is the offer," he said. But it was roundly rejected.

"Both Jackie Healy-Rae and Tom Mc Ellistrim came out and met with us," the protesters said.

Last night, the Fianna Fail press office issued a statement saying Mr O'Donoghue was disappointed the protesters did not take up his offer to send in a small delegation.

"I am very aware of the concerns of public sector workers in Kerry South and throughout the country," said Mr O'Donoghue.

Irish Independent

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