Home News In Pictures: New Labour leader Ivana Bacik visits Laois on whistle-stop tour

In Pictures: New Labour leader Ivana Bacik visits Laois on whistle-stop tour

Ivana Bacsik

New Labour party leader Deputy Ivana Bacik visited Laois recently and was joined by Portlaoise Councillor Noel Tuohy and Local Area Representative in Graiguecullen-Portarlington Eoin Barry.

Deputy Bacik visited the new Community Centre in Killeshin and was updated on the plans for the next phase of the project.

The tour included a visit to the local youth centre in Fruithill Manor in Graiguecullen and Deputy Bacik met with Carlow Regional Youth Service team that is working with young people in the area.

In Portlaoise, Deputy Bacik visited the Ukrainian shop and heard of ongoing work to welcome Ukrainian Refugees in Laois.

The visited included meeting Principal John Moran and some of the pupils and staff in St Francis School in Portlaoise.

Deputy Bacik was given a tour of the new school and some of the innovative facilities that they have for their students.

Deputy Bacik met with the team at SOSAD in Portlaoise, hearing of the need for better access to services and counselling for those experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Deputy Bacik finished the visit by meeting the team in MABS in Portlaoise.

The staff in the service told Deputy Bacik of the impact of the rapidly rising cost of living and the lifting on the eviction ban.

This has resulted in the a record number of calls to the service.

Deputy Bacik raised the issues raised by MABS in the Dail this week and called for immediate measure to be adopted by the government to support those on the lowest pay and with the lowest income.

Deputy Bacik said: “I was so glad to join with Eoin Barry and Noel Tuohy in Laois.

“I am grateful to them for introducing me to so many local activists and members of the community.

“In Laois, as in other parts of the country, local communities are showing immense fortitude in the face of a spiralling cost of living, the housing crisis, and Ireland’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

“Ireland deserves better; Ireland needs a pay rise, and it needs stronger supports from the State to allow everyone in communities like in Laois to thrive.

“The current government simply isn’t delivering on what matters. I am looking forward to my next trip to Laois, and to staying in contact with all the brilliant people I met on my travels last Monday.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.