Government Action needed to avoid planned Hospital Strike – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that the planned 24-hour strike by 10,000 hospital workers, including staff in Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda “will have a significant and serious impact on the provision of services.”

The Louth TD said: “The possibility of a further five days of strikes, on June 25 and 26 and July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th will put an enormous strain on the health service in Louth and across the state.”

Gerry Adams aid:

“This dispute between health workers and the HSE is over a failure by the HSE to implement pay increases arising from a job evaluation scheme. Health care workers involved include porters, household and catering services and healthcare assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.

This threatened strike comes on top of the recent strikes by ambulance staff belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association who have gone on strike seven times in pursuit of their demand for union recognition. The PNA are planning a further 24-hour strike sometime this month.

The HSE claim that recognition of the PNA would impair good industrial relations in the Ambulance Service is a nonsense. The denial of workers their constitutional right to form or join unions of their choice is what is impairing industrial relations in the health service.

At the same time the HSE and Department of Health have introduced a recruitment pause within the health service and the most recent figures released by the INMO showed that 9,015 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds in May. Clearly there continues to be a serious capacity deficit.  

There is an onus on the government, and in particular the Ministers Harris and Donohoe  to take immediate action to resolve this dispute before June 20th – the date of the first strike. The decision by the Dept. of Public Expenditure to refer this situation to the Public Service Stability Agreement Oversight Group gives no reassurance that this matter is being treated with the urgency that is required”.

Adams welcomes confirmation by Taoiseach of Presidential Referendum Bill

Louth TD Gerry Adams today asked the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil about the planned referendum on Presidential Voting Rights which was announced yesterday.

In his response the Taoiseach said that he expects to have the Bill in the Dáil for second stage before the recess in July. This is necessary if the referendum is to be held in October/November.

Teachta Varadkar also said that citizens would register online to vote and would cast their vote by postage.

Speaking afterward Teachta Adams said:

“On Tuesday the Cabinet approved the Bill to hold a referendum on Presidential Voting Rights. This referendum will allow for the extension of voting rights in Presidential elections for citizens living outside of this state, including citizens living in the North. That is a very welcome development.

At a time when the British Home Office is disputing the right of Irish citizens in the North to be recognised as citizens, this is a crucially important piece of legislation.

It is the norm in other states that people living outside of the state would have vote in elections. This is a sensible and inclusive action and I think that all of us should be calling for a YES vote.

In his response the Taoiseach confirmed that the legislation was agreed by Cabinet yesterday and that he expects to have it in the Dáil for second stage before the recess in July. This is necessary if the referendum is to be held in October/November. An Taoiseach acknowledged that there is no set date yet because the legislation has to be passed through the Oireachtas.

Adams Commends Ludlow Family

Sinn Féin Teachta Dala for Louth, Gerry Adams has praised the family of Seamus Ludlow as they begin distributing the information leaflet launched last month. 
Gerry Adams said;
“For 43 years the family of Seamus Ludlow have faced a wall of silence and misinformation in their quest to get to the truth of the circumstances surrounding his murder. 

“In 1979 the RUC notified Gardaí of four suspects it believed were responsible for the killing. 

“Shockingly the Gardaí failed to act on this information and they did not inform the family

“21 years later in 1998, the four were arrested by the RUC. Two confessed to killing Seamus during interviews. They were released without charge and later that year the North’s Director of Public Prosecutions declined to take them to court. Among the four men were two serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment.

“In March 2006 the final report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow (Barron Report) was published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights.

“The Commission accused the Gardaí of having treated the family in “an appalling manner.” And it recommended that the Government establish two Commissions of Investigation regarding Seamus Ludlow’s murder.

“In the intervening years successive Irish Governments have refused to establish these Commissions. 
“This is unacceptable. 
“In the coming weeks I will bring a motion to the Dáil calling for the immediate establishment of the two Commissions of Investigation recommended by Justice Barron. 
“Sinn Féin has written to every TD asking them to co sign this motion and to support it when it is introduced. 
“The Ludlow family have also written to all TDs requesting their support. 
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú added;
“Last month a motion I brought to Louth County Council which also called for the implementation of the Barron recommendations received unanimous support across the chamber. 
“In fact my motion was co signed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors. 
“I hope this is replicated in Leinster House.”

Cllr Cunningham Critical of Council Seat ‘Farce’

Councillor Tom Cunningham who was recently elected to the Drogheda Rural constituency has criticised Independent Cllr Kevin Callan for nominating a Fianna Fáil candidate to his ‘unwanted seat’ in the area.

Cllr Callan ran in two constituencies, Drogheda Rural and Drogheda Urban and secured both seats. Callan then chose the Drogheda Urban seat which meant that he had the right to nominate whoever he liked to the Rural seat.

Cllr Tom Cunningham criticised the practice of running in the two constituencies saying “although there is nothing illegal in what he has done, the morality of it is certainly questionable.”

At this month’s June Council meeting, Callan formally nominated Declan Power from Fianna Fáil to take the ‘unwanted seat’. Cllr Cunningham was very vocal in the chamber about what he thought of the whole situation.

I would welcome Declan Power to the chamber but it is disappointing to witness the farce that has happened around this seat. The good people of Drogheda Rural voted in good faith and elected an Independent and despite assurances from Cllr Callan that he would choose an Independent to gift his unwanted seat to, he in fact has chosen someone from a political party.”

“It is difficult enough to get the electorate interested in the local elections and to come out and use their vote. One box in Drogheda Rural had a turnout of 20.77% and an overall turnout of 44.5% in the constituency. This farce here this morning will do nothing to help increase the turnout. It is also note worthy that Mr Power’s signature isn’t even dry yet on his Fianna Fáil registration form and he is now resigning from them, promising to be an Independent.”

Declan Power had run in the constituency for Fianna Fáil having recently joined their Party and secured just 259 votes.

Interestingly, Independent Frank Godfrey was also nominated at the meeting to take the extra seat but failed to secure a seconder. He secured 317 votes in the area and 518 in the Drogheda Urban area.

Adams Welcomes Additional Garda

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision of the Garda Commissioner to allocate 25 new Gardaí recruits to Drogheda ,adding to the frontline Services so urgently needed to respond to respond to the ongoing drug related crimes in the County.

Teachta  Adams said:

“The significant and ongoing escalation in violence and intimidation by drug gangs demands a robust response from adequately resourced Garda services in Louth.

I therefore welcome the announcement of additional Garda. 

However, the drug crisis and the associated violence it brings from gangs extends beyond Drogheda. 

In order to tackle the crisis effectively it needs to be adequately resourced in a holistic way.

It must include support services for drug addiction , mental health services .

In recent months my colleagues on Louth County Council and I have dealt with a number of families in the north Louth area that have been the victims of threats and attacks from these drug gangs.

We have also been working closely with the Louth Garda Division who have bluntly told us that Louth needs more Gardaì and support services .

I have recently urged An Taoiseach to commit to providing a significant increase in additional Gardaí resources from the upcoming budget.

Additional resources must be allocated fairly across the constituency.”