Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Michael D goes international

What can you say Michael D takes his campaign to France. For some unknown reason, a Michael D poster has appeared in bus stop in Brittany. Good old Michael D always looking for the international angle.

Any way we are down to one day to go, I have been on the campaign trail for 16 months now and it all comes down to one day.

I spent this afternoon in Thomastown and the evening with a large canvas team in Kilkenny City. Seamus Pattison joined me on the canvas again this evening.

The Kilkenny Voice has tipped Labour to be battling for the last seat, so get out an vote we need every number 1 possible.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Over 3,000 and thanks

The hits on my blog have really taken off over the last few weeks, at the last count tonight 3,017 hits have come onto my site since I started. Over 60 so far today alone. Thanks to everyone for visiting and I hope it gives you a small idea of what goes on behind the scenes of a campaign.

You will hear it said that Irish people are not interested in politics, however come election time we Irish like to talk about nothing else. Thanks to everyone who have greeted me at the door and promised the No.1. (I just hope enough people follow through with their promise).

Also thanks to my many canvas teams across Kilkenny. Tonight we had seven different canvas team knocking on doors ranging for Glemore to Castlecomer.

Thanks to my poster team who were out again yesterday and finally to my back off team for organising. With out the back off guys the campaign would not happen.

We are in a dog fight for that last seat, so come Thursday lets get out the vote

Hope everyone is enjoying the campaign and just over two days to go, lets keep it up.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The final days

We are now down to the final days of the campaign. Friday was spent in North Kilkenny in and around Casltecomer with the local branch. On Saturday I spent the day with one of the Canvas teams covering the City area. I have included a few of the guys who were canvasing with me to the end on Saturday. Sorry for not including everyone, however some of the guys had to head off early. On Sunday, I joined the guys in South Kilkenny canvasing FerryBank.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Only one week left

Well we are in the final straight, with one week left. Over the last week, Pat Rabbitte was down on Monday to visit Kilkenny and Thomastown. We visited the A&e in St. Lukes, which LAbour want to us as a model for A&E's for other hopsitals.

On Tuesday, we canvased areas in Thomastown and Inistoge during the day. That evening, I canvased with our City members.

On Wednesday, I spent the day in Mooncoin and Piltown with some of our South Kilkenny members and Tomás Breathnach. Thanks for the guys for the cup of tea after the canvas in Piltown.

Today was spent in Thomastown and Graignamanagh with Cllr Anne Phelan and then onto KCLR FM to be interviewed on the Farming Show.

On the door steps, there is a real feel for a change in Government made up of Labour and Fine Geal. The one thing that I have noticed in the last week is a fall off in the Green vote because people considering voting Green not sure if that vote will put FF back in power.

The next week is going to be fun

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pat's statement when visiting the A&E in Kilkenny

Labour’s plan for ending the chaos in A&E, which we are highlighting today, sets out a comprehensive and deliverable set of measures to improve conditions in A&E and across the health service. In drawing up our plan, we taken on board many of the lessons learned in St Lukes Hospital in Kilkenny. St Lukes is known throughout the health service as a hospital that works, and which has avoided the worst problems experienced in A&E units across the country. As I have seen on my previous visits to Kilkenny, there are a number of elements in making A&E departments function effectively, that we need to replicate.
As I have repeatedly emphasised, bed capacity is critical, both in terms of acute in-patient beds, and in respect of step-down facilities. That is why Labour is committed to building 2300 hospital beds and 1500 step-down beds.
We also need better organisation of A&E units and better liaison with local medical practitioners. A particular feature of St Luke’s is its Medical Assessment Unit, where patients can be seen, assessed and if necessary admitted to hospital without having to spend hours in A&E. Equally, it is important to have strong relationships with local GPs, to speed up admission to hospital based on a diagnosis made in the GP’s surgery. Too many people are spending too much time sitting in A&E, waiting to be seen by a less experienced doctor, when their GP has already assessed their condition.
Of course, we cannot exactly replicate the St Luke’s model in every hospital in every particular, but we can learn the lessons. Labour’s A&E plan sets out a series of measures to be put in place in A&E units across the country. These include medical assessment units, separate queues to treat minor injuries, better liaison with GPs and better facilities for GPs to diagnose problems before people go into hospital in the first instance.
We also need rigorous enforcement of cleaning protocols to end the phenomenon of dirty hospitals.
With these changes, and with the team-work approach which is so evident in St Luke’s, we can make a real difference to the A&E situation.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Party Political Broadcast

Some people have being asking about the Labour Party Political Broadcast, which was direct and to the point.



Labours Battle Bus visit's Carlow Kilkenny

Pat Rabbitte and the Labour Battle Bus will be visiting Thomastown and Kilkenny City on Monday morning. So if you around on Monday look out for us and call over to us for a quick chat.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Backing the nurses

I was delighted to support the local members of the Irish Nurses Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association in their work stoppage on Wednesday outside St. Luke's Hospital. It sems ludicrous that Mary Harney, who's turning into a fine replacement for Thatcher, and the so-called negotiator we have for a Taoiseach have led us all to this mad point where virtually all the workers in our hospitals, from doctors down to ancillary staff are either engaged in or threatening industrail action. I stated plainly to the nurses that I fully support their claim for a 35 hour week, something that is long overdue. I see this evening that the Taoiseach is offering to carry out a feasibility study into providing this- nearly 20 years too late!!

What a joke that one of our most respected groups of workers are offered a study into a 20 year old demand. I also told the nurses that I support their demand for decent pay although not be easy to acieve while the nurses stay outside benchmarking. I agree with Michael D. Higgins that it is vital for bith the ICTU and the Taoiseach to get involved to ensure this dispute does not lead to long-term damage to the industrial relations climate. Hopefully we'll see Liz MacManus as the next Minister for Health to sort this out first-hand.

Mr Tayto


Taking a small break this morning from my campaign, I am across Mr Tayto and his election campaign. Great to see Tayto Crips bring a bit of fun to the campaign and we all look forward to Mr Tayto visiting Carlow / Kilkenny. Now to call and see if they are interested in talking about a vote transfer agreement.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Election debate

The Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce are hosting an election debate in Kilkenny City this evening. Sue Nunn of KCLR FM will be in the chair directing the questions.

The event starts at 8.00 so if you are around Kilkenny City this evening, pop in and take the opportunity to ask the candidates a question.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lance Armstrong and a Kilkenny hurling stick

Getting away from politics for a minute, I came across a excellent news story during the weekend. Tony Griffin the Clare hurler is cycling 7000km to raise money for a cancer charity.

http://www.tonygriffinfoundation.com it is a charity worth supporting.

What caught my eye was the photo of Lance Armstrong getting a hurl, which was made by Dowling's of Patricks street in Kilkenny City. Shows you that even the seven times winner of the Tour de France knows class when he sees it.

Log onto Tony's site and donate. I know that I will be.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Now 2,750 hits (2,500 hits)

Just checked the hit rate on my election blog and it broke the 2,500 mark this evening.

So a quick thanks to everyone who has logged onto the blog and I hope is gives a small insight into an election campaign.

Thanks to everyone,

Quick update the hit rate to the blog has really jumped this week. I have very good hit rate for http://www.mycandidate.ie.

Thanks to everyone for visiting

Mobile O'Brien

A Photo of my mobile advertising trailer. A nice idea that my campaign team thought up.

Behind this fencing is the sewage tank for a housing scheme in Gowran in Kilkenny. The developer is using a 40ft container to take the sewage for a new development in the village. This is not the only time this has happened in Kilkenny.

Any way we are off, a busy week canvasing, spent the week across Kilkenny.

Sunday was out with my poster teams getting the posters up. In most places we were the first party and in Kilkenny City it was ourselves and FF.

Monday was in Kilkenny with the City guys knocking doors.

Tuesday was in Thomastown and Graignamanagh, with Wednesday in Ferrybank in South Kilkenny.

Thursday was back into the City and Friday we covered Clogh and Moonenroe. I formally registered as a candidate on Friday as well.

Today it was back into the City with the City branch canvassing. Overall a very busy week getting out early and back to base very late at night. However the party members all over the county have been great turning out in force to help with the canvasing teams. A special thanks to my posters team who worked all day Sunday to make sure we got our posters out and up well before the other parties.