Flood Welcomes Better Lighting for Drogheda

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed confirmation that all of Drogheda’s ageing street lights will be replaced with new and more efficient LED Lights.

Cllr. Flood said, “I had raised the issue around Drogheda’s aging street lighting last year after consulting with Airtricity when there were delays repairing out of order street lights. At that stage they informed me that the technology in our current street lights was defunct and replacement bulbs were hard to come by.”

Indeed, some of the bulbs were almost 40 years old.

Cllr Flood said “At the last Infrastructure Strategic Policy Committee meeting, we were informed that a National Public Lighting Upgrade project will be rolled out to help the Local Authorities and TII reach their national energy efficiency targets, reduce energy and maintenance costs to improve and provide a better service to the public.

“I am happy to confirm that the replacement programme will start next year and conclude a year later in 2021. “The new LED street lights provide better public lighting and use up to 50-60% less energy than the current orange haze of the older street lights. The new LED bulbs are easier to maintain which will see fewer out of order street lights in the future.”

Concluding Cllr. Flood said “The LED’s are expected to last for 25 years and are being financed by way of a 14 year loan which is an investment in our street lighting and we will see the savings at that time. We need to be more circumspect with the public’s money and invest in services wisely and this is a good example of that.”

Clarity needed on Dundalk Primary Care Centre – Adams

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has criticised the Minister for Health for his failure to deliver a new Primary Care Centre in Dundalk following information received this week in response to parliamentary questions tabled by Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD.

Gerry Adams said; “Dundalk Primary Care Centre simply does not feature on a schedule of Primary Care Centres which are currently operational, under construction or at advanced planning stage.

“This is despite the Health Minister informing me in August 2018 that construction work on Dundalk Primary Care Centre would commence in 2019 with an expected opening in 2020.

“I have written to the Minister for Health asking him to urgently clarify the position and to indicate when a new Primary Care Centre, with capacity to facilitate Community Mental Health services, will be delivered in Dundalk. “In 2006 ‘A Vision for Change’ recommended integration of Community Based Mental Health Services and other Primary Care medical services.

“Mental Health practitioners in Dundalk have been calling for this for the past 10 years, yet successive governments have done nothing

“I first visited the Ladywell Community Mental Health facility in Dundalk in October 2016

“The current premises, which was originally constructed over 70 years ago as staff quarters for the adjacent Louth County Hospital, is not in any way fit for purpose.

“Due to the conditions at Ladywell there are no Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or Old Age Psychiatry services available in North Louth.

“The maintenance costs of this premises are a huge drain on the resources of the service

“This is an intolerable position which is wholly inadequate for the people of north Louth and for the mental health staff at Ladywell. “I have written to the Minister for Health seeking an update on Dundalk Primary Care Centre and to ask him to visit Ladywell to see for himself how unsuitable the premises is.”

Ludlow Ruling a Welcome Step – Conor Murphy MLA

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said today’s ruling in the High Court on the Seamus Ludlow case is a welcome step in the fight for truth and justice.

The Newry/Armagh MLA said: “I welcome today’s ruling by the High Court to grant leave to the family of Seamus Ludlow to challenge a PPS decision not to prosecute, failure to provide reasons and to hold a review into the decision.

Members of the Ludlow Family on a recent visit to Leinster House with Gerry Adams TD & Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú

“The Ludlow family have been campaigning for over 40 years for truth about Seamus’ murder in 1976 by Loyalist paramilitaries, some believed to be serving members of the UDR. 

“This decision will allow the family to move forward in their fight for truth and justice through the courts.

“The Irish government must also end the delay in implementing the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice which concluded in 2006 that Commissions of Investigation were needed into important aspects of the Seamus Ludlow case. “Sinn Féin will continue to support the Ludlow family in their quest for truth and justice.”

International Women’s Day: The struggle for Equality continues – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams speaking on International Women’s Day said: “International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to celebrate women who are active in society; in their communities, trade unions, voluntary organisations and the political institutions of Ireland.

“However, it is also a time for reflecting on the serious inequalities that still exist and the fact that in many ways women continue to be second class citizens. The decision by the government to finally ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is welcome. However, it is important to note that it has taken the government eight years to achieve this. The onus now is on the government to implement the Istanbul Convention in full.

“A range of surveys over the years have found that one third of women surveyed were victims of sexual of physical violence. A shocking and harrowing fact. Research has also found that 70% of women in the Irish state experience sexual and physical violence suffer in silence. “Despite the progress that has been made in recent decades there is still serious inequality between women and men in the workplace; in employment rights; and in access to education and health.

Councillor Anne Campbell added; “Women have been failed by the political system where they are continually underrepresented in Council Chambers and in the Dáil and the Seanad. Politics remains an unfriendly environment for families and women, a reality that benefits no one.

“Women on the island of Ireland and all over the world have won many battles for equality over the past century, but there are further battles ahead. The struggle for equality must continue”.

Cllr Tom Cunningham Appalled at idea of Britain dumping Nuclear waste in Ireland

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has welcomed cross-party support for his motion at last night’s Ardee Municipal Council meeting.

Cllr Cunningham was moved to bring the motion before the Council asking that they write to the Minister for the Environment stating its opposition to the proposal by the British Government to dump its nuclear waste at a site in the Mourne Mountains and Slieve Gullion areas.

Cllr Cunningham said “the very idea that Britain or indeed any other country can come here, a country that has no nuclear power stations, to dump their nuclear waste is appalling. It is frightening and wholly unacceptable.”

“Nuclear waste is THE most toxic substance on the planet. It remains radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. During this time, no matter how well they believe it is secured, it still poses deadly threats to life in large surrounding areas. There are so many dangers connected to this proposal. All it would take would be a small earthquake or even a tremor, a human error at the storage facility or in transport across the sea or even a seal on the material to be broken or damaged and the surrounding areas will be contaminated.”

“It’s not hard to see why they don’t want it dumped in their own country!”

Following the passing of his motion, Cllr Cunningham said “we need Minister Bruton to send a very clear message to the British Government that this island is not a dumping ground for Britain’s nuclear waste. And while he is at it, state our opposition to yet another British nuclear plant being built, this time on the Isle of Anglesey which is far too close to this island for comfort. It is unacceptable to the people of Louth (closest neighbours in proximity) and Ireland as a whole.”

 Full text of motion reads: That this Council write to the Minister for the Environment to state its opposition to the proposal by the British Government to dispose of radioactive material in the Mourne Mountains and Slieve Gullion areas and that this Council urges the Minister for the Environment to inform the British Government that the Irish Government and the Irish citizens will not tolerate the disposal of radioactive material at any location on this island. We also ask the Minister for the Environment to state his objection to the construction of a new Nuclear plant on the Isle of Anglesey.