CFRAM flood alleviation works will not be impacted by government overspend – Ó Murchú

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú & Minister Kevin Moran

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the €668,571,000 flood relief scheme announced by Minister Kevin Boxer Moran this morning is a hugely necessary piece of work.

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“The drainage works at Balmer’s Bog announced by Minister Moran this morning will have a hugely positive impact on people living in the Ardee Road area and across Dundalk.

“This was one of the areas which I had previously brought to the attention of the Minister

“I also asked Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran if there was any possibility of Government overspend on projects such as the National Broadband Plan and National Children’s Hospital impacting on the delivery of CFRAM projects in Louth and across the State.

“I am delighted that the Minister confirmed explicitly that these cost overruns would have no impact on any proposed anti flooding works.

“At this morning’s meeting with the Minister, Louth County Council Chief Executive Joan Martin confirmed that there are currently 1800 properties in Dundalk at risk of flooding.

“Any work to reduce this number and provide certainty for families is most welcome.

“I have queried the proposed timeframe on this project and Louth County Council staff have indicated that they will now enter negotiations with affected landowners.

“Once this is complete the Council will issue tenders for the works.”

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams added;

“In January 2016 I visited homes in Mounthamilton on the Ardee Road which were very badly flooded.

 

“The residents couldn’t get insurance for their properties due to the high level of flood risk.

 

“Some families living in this area have been flooded numerous times and the severity of the flooding has meant that families have had to move out for substantial periods of time.

 

“Since 2016 I have been liaising with Louth County Council to ensure these vital works are undertaken

 

“I welcome the announcement today and I know that this will be a huge relief to the families I have been working with and all of the residents in the area.”

 

Adams accuses government of incompetence over Dundalk Primary Care Centre

Louth TD Gerry Adams has strongly criticised the Minister for Health, the HSE and the Department of Health providing “contradictory, confused, and conflicting” information about the Dundalk Primary Care Centre. He said: “Incompetence has been a mark of this government. Such incompetence leaves the most vulnerable in our society behind. The lack of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services CAMHS for the young people of north Louth is totally unacceptable”.

In correspondence last week the HSE told Mr. Adams that the provision of Dundalk Primary Care Centre is under review and has consequently been delayed.

Teachta Adams said:

“There are no Child and Adolescent Mental Health services CAMHS in north Louth. Children who need CAMHS have to travel to Drogheda for services. I have visited the Day Care Centre at Ladywell in Dundalk and despite the best efforts of the staff the facilities are not fit for purpose. It is impossible to deliver proper, effective community mental health services from a facility which is old and decrepit and not fit for purpose.

A new Primary Care Centre for Dundalk was first announced in 2008 when the HSE advertised for expressions of interest to develop a centre. Ten years later not a brick has been laid.

In November 2016 I was told that the operational lease process for the primary care centre would be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

In August 2018, the HSE stated that the planning application would be submitted by the end of 2018; that work would commence in 2019; and the centre would be open early in 2020.

Last week I was told by David Walsh, the National Director of Community Operations, that Disability Services are now “seeking space in the Primary Care Centre”.

While I welcome this why on earth was it not part of the original plan?

Mr. Walsh added: “This has resulted in a requirement to review the project … this has resulted in a delay … the new updated proposal will require additional approval from the HSE Property Resource Group”.

Last Friday, two days later, I received a letter from Minister Harris which makes no mention of disability services. Nor does he mention the need to review the project. Nor does he state that the project will be delayed.

It would appear that Minister Harris does not know what is happening with Dundalk Primary Care Centre. Incompetence has been a mark of this government. Such incompetence leaves the most vulnerable in our society behind. The lack of lack of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services CAMHS for the young people of north Louth is totally unacceptable”.

Teachta Adams asked Minister Byrne what is the current timeline for the design stage of Dundalk Primary Care Centre; how long will the review take; what are the cost implications; will a new letter of intent be required and does this mean that a new process of identifying a preferred applicant must be undertaken; when will construction commence and what is the expected opening date now for Dundalk Primary Care Centre?

Minister Byrne accepted that she should have simply said that she doesn’t know. She said she would raise the matter with Minister Harris.

Gerry Adams TD has now written to the Minister.

Govt use of Money message an abuse of power – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the second stage vote in the Dáil which saw all of the opposition parties unite to pass Sinn Féin’s Protection of Employee Tips Bill.

The Louth TD criticised Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd who voted against the Bill.

Teachta Adams also accused the government of “abuse of power by its introduction of a ‘money message’ to block the Bill from becoming law”.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Sinn Féin Protection of Employee Tips Billis a simple but important piece of legislation. Hospitality workers are often on low pay and suffer disproportionate levels of exploitation in the workplace. Currently these workers don’t have a legal right to the tips they earn.

Sinn Féin’s Bill ensures that workers’ tips are given legal protection by making it illegal for an employer to withhold or deduct them. It also requires businesses to display their tipping policy so that customers know how tips are distributed”.

Workers deserve their dues, they deserve fair treatment, they deserve their wages and they deserve their tips”.

However, the government is now frequently using the imposition of a ‘money message’ to block Bills which it is against despite their having Dáil support.

Mr. Adams said:

“The use of the money message mechanism is an abuse of power and undermines the democratic right of the Oireachtas to pass legislation. “

 

Note to Editor:

According to article 17.2 of the Constitution, “no law shall be enacted for the appropriation of revenue or other public moneys unless the purpose of the appropriation shall have been recommended to Dáil Éireann by a message from the Government signed by the Taoiseach”.

 

This “money message” procedure effectively allows the Government to block Bills emanating from Opposition even when it is in a minority position in the Dáil.

Gerry Adams TD leads delegation to meet DKIT President and Staff

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has praised the work of DkIT President Dr Michael Mulvey, staff and students following a visit to the campus on 21st June 2019. 
 
Gerry Adams said,
 
“I met with Dr Mulvey in March and at that time we discussed outreach by DKIT to prospective students in the North and from underrepresented communities in Dundalk. 
 
“On Friday I was delighted to lead a cross border delegation including Sinn Féin representatives Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, Chris Hazzard MP, Emma Rogan MLA, Megan Fearon MLA and Cllr Oonagh Hanlon. 
 
“The Coordinator of Muirhevnamor Local Training Initiative, Gerry Bradley, Emma Maguire and Donna Conroy From the International Fund for Ireland project in Cox’s Demesne and Manager of the Redeemer Family Resource Centre, Colin Roche, also attended. 
 
“DKIT has a student population of over 5000, yet only 250 of these come from the north of Ireland. 
 
“In fact there are currently more international students at DKIT than northern students. 
 
“I am delighted to learn of the outreach work that DKIT is doing to promote the Institute across the north. The staff have converted all BTEC and A Level qualifications into the relevant Leaving Cert points equivalents so potential northern students can easily check appropriate courses. 
 
“I encourage Students from across the north to consider DKIT for further and higher education.”
 
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú who also attended stated;
 
“I thank all of the staff at DKIT who took time on Friday afternoon to present to the delegation.  
 
“I was particularly interested in work of the Regional Development Centre, through which DKIT supports indigenous business start ups. This work is essential to ensure high value jobs are created in this region. 
 
“I also commend the College Connect project which is involved in outreach to underrepresented groups and communities and offers alternative pathways to accessing third level education.  
 
“I will continue to liaise with DKIT staff and communities across Louth to ensure that this world class facility is fully supported and utilised.”
 

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”.