Cllr Joanna Byrne Warns Council of Consequences of Placement Fees

At last week’s Municipal District of Drogheda’s monthly meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne firmly queried Director of Services for Housing as to whether Louth County Council had bought into the idea of offering placement fees to estate agents.

Cllr Byrne said “It emerged this week that some Local Authorities are offering estate agents €500 + Vat in ‘placement fees’ in return for them securing private rental accommodation for homeless families. I want to know firstly, are Louth County Council participating in this? And secondly, if there has been a direction from Minister Murphy to do the same?”

Cllr Byrne who is Chairperson of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee went on to voice her concerns that this would be a very bad move for the County.

“I understand that until social and affordable housing stock is increased dramatically in Louth it may seem that there is no alternative but to engage in these desperate negotiations but by God, it is plain to see this will distort the market even further. There is already an over-reliance by this Government, and in turn this Council, on the private rental sector and if that stock, in short supply as it is, is removed to facilitate backroom deals without the implementation of subsequent measures, the consequences will in turn lead to more and more families entering homelessness than the local authority will be able to manage!”

In response to Cllr Byrne’s concerns, Paddy Donnelly in his first meeting in the district in his new role as Director for Housing,  confirmed that Louth County Council are not currently participating in this scheme. Whilst stating that this may be a ‘viable option for some’, this then sparked serious concerns to Cllr Byrne that this may a route the Local Authority would consider in the future.

Mr. Donnelly alleviated these counter concerns by committing to the meeting that there are no plans for Louth County Council to engage in this process in the future.

Cllr Byrne has welcomed this outcome and vowed to monitor this going forward.

Full redundancies should be paid by TAFC Headquarters: Adams

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has called on the former Director of The Authentic Food Company (TAFC) to honour staff redundancy payments.

Teachta Adams was commenting on the liquidator’s High Court petition, which was heard on Monday 12th November.

Deputy Adams said;

My office made contact with the liquidators, Deloitte, who were formally appointed during the high court appearance on Monday.

The liquidators confirmed to me that the company is now deemed terminally insolvent and they do not hold any realistic hope of TAFC being bought as a going concern.

They also provided me with a copy of the report presented to the high court.

This report indicates the Dundalk company to have assets of €11.9 million and liabilities of €26.6 million, with €8.5 million of this owed to ‘group companies’.

In light of this I have again written to the former company director, Nik Basran, who I understand is also the director of the other Alternative Food Company groups, asking him to honour staff redundancy packages.

Many staff of TAFC were long term employees with years of redundancy entitlements built up.

They have been treated shamefully by an unscrupulous employer which cut them adrift in the run up to Christmas.

Brexit chaos threat to Louth – Adams

Commenting on the current crisis arising from Brexit withdrawal agreement Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams

” Brexit is a deadly serious issue. It poses a significant threat to the economy of County Louth, to jobs and infrastructure. It threatens the two economies on this island, will undermine social cohesion, and directly attacks the Good Friday Agreement. The crisis within the British government, the chaos within Westminster, and the fallout between the DUP and the Tory leader Theresa May highlights the stupidity, insanity, absurdity and ludicrousness of Brexit.

“In the referendum in 2016 the clear majority of voters in the North voted to remain within the EU. The DUP and the British government continue to disrespect that democratic vote.

“Sinn Féin has consistently campaigned for the North to be designated a special status within the EU in order to ensure there is no hard border and that communities and businesses, especially along the border corridor, are protected. Our MEPS led this effort in the European Parliament. In Ireland, North and South and in Westminster we consistently pressed this proposal.  The draft withdrawal agreement, and in particular the backstop arrangement, if implemented would go some way to achieving this objective.

“However we should not lose sight of the fact that the current draft withdrawal agreement will not stop Brexit. The British Conservative Government remains committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act that is the foundation stone on which the equality and human rights elements of the Good Friday Agreement are based. Moreover, the British Prime Minister repeated her intention in recent days to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the Common Agricultural Policy.

“The reality is that the agreement reached between the EU and the British can only moderate some of the worst aspects of Brexit. As one of the four remain parties in the north, which represent the majority view, Sinn Féin is determined to ensure that our economy, communities, the rights of citizens and the Good Friday Agreement are protected.”

Ruairi Ó Murchú Selected for Local Elections in 2019

Louth Sinn Fein have formally selected seven candidates for the Dundalk & Mid-Louth areas for the 2019 Local Council Elections.

Pearse McGeough was selected to re-run in Mid-Louth with his running mate not yet determined.

Dundalk Carlingford has the two sitting councilors selected, Antóin Watters and Edel Corrigan with new face Eugene Garvey from Dundalk.

In Dundalk South the three sitting Councillors were selected, Tomás Sharkey, Anne Campbell and Ruairi Ó Murchú.

Ruairi Ó Murchú was proposed on behalf of the Duffy Downey Cumann by Kevin Meenan who thanked Ruairí for all his work since he was co-opted 14 months ago. Ruairí has brought energy to the area as he hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. Ruairi replaced Kevin Meenan on the Council.Ruairí was seconded by JC.

Speaking after the convention, Cllr Ó Murchú said “the last 14 months have been hectic as I am continuing the excellent work done by Kevin Meenan. I want to thank Kevin for his support and valuable advice over these past months. It’s not an easy job but it is very satisfying when you can help people and make a difference in their lives.”

Ruairi was also selected at an earlier convention to replace Gerry Adams as TD when he retires at the end of the current term so let’s hope a General Election won’t be called before May 2019 or Duffy Downey Cumann will be seeking a new candidate for the Council election.

Ruairi said “I am looking forward to continuing the work of the past 14 months and am always grateful for any help.”

Ruairi and Duffy Downey Cumann

If you would like to help out in Ruairí’s campaign please contact him or call into the SF office 1 – 2 Crowe Street. All help is appreciated, leafleting, postering, canvassing, whatever you can do…

Ruairí with the other candidates selected and our 2 TDs

Ruairí can be contacted through social media, the office in Dundalk or the Duffy Downey Cumann Facebook page.

Edel Corrigan Selected for 2019 Local Elections

Louth Sinn Fein have formally selected seven candidates for the Dundalk & Mid-Louth areas for the 2019 Local Council Elections.

Pearse McGeough was selected to re-run in Mid-Louth with his running mate not yet determined.

In Dundalk South the three sitting Councillors were selected, Tomás Sharkey, Ruairi Ó Murchú and Anne Campbell.

Dundalk Carlingford has the two sitting councilors selected, Antóin Watters and Edel Corrigan with new face Eugene Garvey from Dundalk.

Edel Corrigan was proposed on behalf of the recently formed Maíre Drumm Cumann by Alan McArdle who also paid tribute to Edel’s father Stan. Stan Corrigan was the first Chair of the Maíre Drumm Cumann before he passed away. “We still miss the big man.”

Alan also said the Cumann looked forward to working with Edel and pledged their support to her going forward. The nomination was seconded by Vivienne Watters.

Edel with the Maíre Drumm Cumann

Speaking after the convention, Cllr Corrigan thanked the Cumann for their nomination and said “I’m looking forward to campaigning and continuing my work with their support. We are an active Cumann in the area and it’s sautifying to make a difference to people’s lives. With the prospect of a hard Brexit looming it is all the more important to protect the people living in rural areas especially around the border counties. Cross border crime is another scourge on the area which needs to be addressed on an on-going basis. I look forward to the challenges ahead.

If you would like to help out in Edel’s campaign please contact her or call into the SF office 1 – 2 Crowe Street. All help is appreciated, leafleting, postering, canvassing, whatever you can do…

Edel can be contacted through the office in Dundalk or the Maire Drumm Sinn Fein Cumann Facebook page.

Edel with the other candidates selected and our 2 TDs