Local Activist Warns of Drug Paraphernalia

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú and activist Eugene Garvey pictured at a previous dumping incident

Local Sinn Féin activist Eugene Garvey from St Nicholas’ Avenue area has advised residents in the area to resist the temptation to dispose of any drug paraphernalia they might come across.

Speaking today from the area, Eugene Garvey said “In this good weather we have a lot of people using the path down by the river for walking their dogs or just out enjoying the good weather. Unfortunately they aren’t the only people using the path and some drug paraphernalia was found there today at the green. There are needles present which can be very dangerous if you accidently prick yourself attempting to clean them up.”

Mr Garvey contacted Louth County Council and has been advised that they will ‘get it cleaned up as soon as possible’.

Drug paraphernalia found today

Garvey who lives in the area said “St Nicholas Avenue is a great place to live, the residents look after their area and any dumping of unwanted paraphernalia or rubbish will be reported and followed up on. I would ask residents that if anyone sees anyone dumping anything, to please contact Louth County Council immediately.”

Do not attempt to dispose of it yourself

Adams calls for mandatory reporting

Speaking in Tuesday night’s Dáil debate on the Sinn Féin Private Members Motion, Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams called on the government to end its insistence on fighting every compensation case exhaustively through the courts.

He also said that there is now an “imperative on the government to urgently introduce, before the summer recess, strong legislation requiring mandatory open disclosure in the HSE.”

The Louth TD said:

“A Cheann Chomhairle, the daily drip feed of revelations around the cervical cancer smear scandal, and the reports into the deaths of babies in the Portiuncula and Portlaoise hospitals, have undermined confidence in the health care service. They have also added to the trauma of the families affected.

Without the remarkable courage of Vicky Phelan, the cervical smear scandal might never have become public. Her rejection of a demand that she sign a confidentiality agreement was a hugely courageous and selfless act. Her example demands that this Oireachtas be equally courageous and resolute in how we confront and tackle this scandal.

There is now an imperative on the government to urgently introduce, before the summer recess, strong legislation requiring mandatory open disclosure in the HSE.

Nothing less will do. Nothing less will work. Nothing less is acceptable.

The distress and grief of Stephen Teap, Paul Reck, Emma Mhic Mhathúna, and of so many others demands that this government take all of the steps necessary to ensure there is no repeat of this, or any of the other scandals that have bedevilled the health service over the years. Sadly, there have been too many.

In the 1990’s over a thousand people, mainly women, were infected with contaminated blood products. The Blood Transfusion Service Board were warned about this but failed to tell those who had received the products. A report published three years ago revealed that at least 260 people who were infected with Hepatitis C had died in the 20 years since the facts first emerged.

Another victim of the culture of secrecy and cover-up is Louise O’Keefe. It took her 15 years to win her legal battle forcing the government to pay her compensation for the abuse she had endured as a pupil.

There are many elderly women victims of symphysiotomy who are still fighting for truth and compensation. And none of us can forget the women victims of the Magdalene Laundries or the mother and baby homes, or Savita Halappanavar or the countless others.

Nor should we forget that this government and previous governments have forced many of these women to fight long, expensive, stressful legal battles. The government approach is to fight every case tooth and nail.

This too has to change. The government has said it will not oppose our motion. That is not the same as supporting it. I am therefore appealing to every Teachta Dalaí to support the Sinn Féin motion, and the need for justice and support for the women affected, and for the families of those women who have tragically died.

And I am appealing to government to go beyond its position tonight by speedily introducing the legislation needed for mandatory open disclosure. This is a necessary and immediate step in rebuilding confidence in the healthcare service”.
 

Munster welcomes announcement of SNA allocations in coming days

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today received confirmation from the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD, that Special Needs Assistants (SNA) allocations will be published in the coming days.

Deputy Munster asked Minister Bruton in the Dáil chamber when SNAs would be informed of their job status for the coming school year. In previous years SNA allocations were not made public until July, which left hundreds of SNAs unsure of their employment status when they finished work for the summer.

Deputy Munster said:

“The unions balloted on this issue and 97% of the membership voted in favour of industrial action over this issue. A deal was struck where the Minister committed to publishing the allocations earlier this year, and in the coming years and plans for industrial action were halted.”

“Given that we are now in the middle of May, there were concerns that SNAs would be left waiting for this information again this year.”

“This afternoon when I questioned the Minister he confirmed that the allocations would be published in the coming days, which is very positive news for SNAs.”

“It is a pity that industrial action has to be threatened for the Minister to move on a matter as important as this.”

“It is cruel to leave workers in limbo each year. It leads to huge uncertainty and worry for SNAs, who do invaluable work in the education sector.”

Munster Calls for Minister To Meet Residents on Ardee ByPass

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Imelda Munster TD, is calling for amendments to the proposed plans for the N52 Ardee bypass following a meeting with the Ardee Residents Committee.

Deputy Munster said:

“Minister Ross announced on 23rd December that the project is now “shovel ready” to go ahead but the residents committee are urgently seeking a review to ensure that the safest methods are employed to maintain continuity of access for the community into and out of Ardee town, while diverting the Heavy Goods Vehicle traffic from the town.

While the committee stress that they welcome the bypass, they are concerned that the realignment design needs to be modified to reflect changing demographics in the area during the intervening 12 years since the plans were originally finalised in 2006. The community understand and support the need for the bypass to join the the N2 but they do not accept that this necessitates the closure of two roads with cul-de-sacs which would permanently block local traffic from travelling two established direct routes in and out of Ardee town. They contend that with innovative engineering there is a safe way to retain both roads open and at the same time achieve the stated objective of the N52 bypass while maintaining through access with other options such as roundabouts, traffic lights, staggered junctions and flyovers/tunnels.

I have requested a meeting with Minister of Transport, Shane Ross and a small delegation from the residents committee to highlight the negative affect the plan as it stands will have on the communities to the north of Ardee town and the bypass.

I do hope the Minister will make himself available to meet with the delegation.”

Stand by the people of Palestine – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called again on the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador and to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on 17th May on the recent mass killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces Teachta Adams said:

“The refusal of the Cabinet to do no more than issue a call for an independent investigation into the dreadful events in Palestine is in reality a call to do nothing.

“We are all aware of the mass killings of Palestinian protestors. The government has rightly repudiated the Israeli government actions. But the Taoiseach claims that to expel the Israeli Ambassador is against the principle and imperative of dialogue. Not true.

“Recently the government expelled a Russian diplomat not for any alleged wrong doing in this state but in solidarity with the British government.

“So, the Taoiseach and the Minister should stop finding excuses for not taking positive action that gives meaningful expression to the rejection by the Irish people of the treatment of the people of Palestine.

“There is no excuse for the government not formally recognising the state of Palestine as agreed by the Dáil and Seanad. If the Irish don’t stand by the Palestinians who will? If we as a former colony, still occupied in part by a government we don’t want; if we with our history of freedom fighters and resistance and our peace process; if we don’t uphold the rights of the Palestinians who will?

“Their land is being slowly stolen from them. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live on Palestinian land in violation of UN resolutions. Their water rights are taken. They live in poverty and disadvantage, with no rights to freedom of movement. Our government’s stance is a cop out.

“What is Sinn Féin asking for? We are asking for our government to demand that the international community uphold international law. The muted words of condemnation are insufficient.

“I have visited the Middle East five times in recent years. I have spoken to Israeli leaders and citizens and Palestinian leaders and citizens. I have been in Gaza City and the west Bank. I have been in the refugee camps, spoken to children released after years in Israeli prisons, spoken to their parents who despair at the neglect of the international community, and walked along the abhorrent separation wall which cuts Palestinian families off from their land.

“Those Palestinian academics and others who organised the recent series of protests to mark 70 years of the Nakba, took as their example the non-violent campaigns of Martin Luther King and of Ghandi. The protests in Gaza were the Palestinian equivalent of the March to Selma. A peaceful, mass protest at an injustice ignored for 70 years.

So, the government’s options are clear. Talk a lot but do nothing. Or expel the Israeli Ambassador. Stop ignoring the democratic will of the Dáil. Recognise the state of Palestine as you recognise the state of Israel. And stand up for peace in the Middle East by standing by the Palestinians”