Thomas Pringles’ Positions for Election ‘16
Thomas Pringle launched his 2016 election campaign in his hometown of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, stating that “it has been my honour to serve as an independent TD for Donegal since 2011 and hopefully with your support and the support of the people of Donegal I will be able to continue to represent you.”
On Election 2016, Pringle set down his views on why this election is of particular importance stating “it is about the future of our county and our country. We need to think about what kind of a country we want to see in this centenary year. Will we decide that we want to see the vision of 1916 delivered 100 years later or will we decide that we want to be slaves to corporate interests?
We should be setting ourselves to build a more just society and community not just an economy. An economy that serves the people not people serving an economy. “I want to see a society that respects all our people. A society that no matter where you live you can access services, when you live in Donegal you can be happy that your children can grow up and stay here if they choose.”
Pringle stated that “the last five years has been a difficult time for everyone in our country and even though Enda and Joan claim we are in a “recovery” to the many people in our county who are struggling, their talk of a recovery must ring very hollow to them as they struggle to put food on the table and heat their homes.”
He set out his position on constitutional reform saying “he believes we need a major constitutional programme in the next Dail, we have to protect our water and natural resources, repeal the 8th amendment, allow citizen initiatives and enshrine economic, social and cultural rights in the constitution. As the guiding document of our community these referenda will start the process of changing the culture of our government. It would mean that the government no matter who they are would have to put the interests of the people first, not corporate interests.”
Why is this important? Under Fine Gael and Labour the top 10% of earners now control 54% of the wealth in Ireland. Every decision of this government has moved more and more wealth into fewer and fewer hands. There is another way but Fine Gael, Labour and political parties will not deliver that change, only you the people can do it by insisting that our future governments work for the people….. not banks and big business.
Pringle outlined his “Donegal Programme for Change” saying “it is essential” and requires priority focus in Pringles view, stating “as well as making the constitutional change we have to insist that communities in Donegal get access to the 21st century tools to make change for themselves. Access to fibre broadband as a right be rolled out in a timely way not having to wait until 2021 for basic technology is my goal. This will release the potential of Donegal. Donegal people can make their own work, make their own business pay and ensure that the county can develop. Under this government every house in Letterkenny will have not one but two fibre optic connections while over 50% of the households in the county will have to wait until 2021. We can develop a wood biomass industry starting in Donegal that will create rural jobs, provide local fuel for households and move away from importing oil to heat our homes. By supporting co-operatives like the Donegal Woodland Owners Group with resources this can become a reality providing local jobs and local development. We should never settle for the scraps from Dublin that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in Donegal have told us we should.”
On his campaigning record, Thomas said “he has been privileged to stand with the people of Donegal on many campaigns over the last five years. The household and property tax and the anti-water tax campaign has shown the potential that the people can achieve when they stand together. But don’t be fooled by any party that says all you have to do to defeat the water tax is put us in government. The only way to defeat the water tax is to make sure that the boycott of the tax stays strong so that whatever government is elected they will have no choice but to abolish Irish Water.
The campaign to secure a new building for the Clery Workshop in Donegal Town has been successful.
The campaign to keep the School of Tourism open in Killybegs will have to continue to make sure that we retain the world famous college and the campus can develop for the whole of southwest Donegal.
GP out of hour’s services in west Donegal will have to be constantly monitored and the campaign to reopen the gynaecology services in Dungloe hospital will continue.
On the issue of Government accountability, Thomas stated that he “will always hold to account any Minister or politician who comes to Donegal with promises and does not deliver. I would be failing myself never mind Donegal if I did not try to make them accountable for their failure or inaction. We have seen too much failure and too much inaction.”
Deputies Clare Daly, TD and Mick Wallace, TD travelled up to Donegal to support Pringles election campaign and they echoed Thomas’ track record on speaking in the Dail on Donegal issues and questioning the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste during Leaders Questions and noted his continual track record in campaigning for justice and accountability.