L-R Oilibhear O Bradaigh, Ruairí Ó Murchú, Conor Neary, Edel Corrigan & Eugene Garvey
Sinn Féin Councillors Edel Corrigan and Ruairí Ó Murchú have congratulated Dundalk Outcomers on yet another successful Pride weekend.
Cllr Edel Corrigan said “Each year I come to this event and each year I am amazed by the work that has gone into making it more inclusive. That was very evident today as I looked around at families just having a fun day out. There was everything from music and food to face painting. Something for everyone. I give them my continued support as they are very much an important part of the Dundalk landscape now and are vital in helping young people who may be struggling with their sexuality see that they are not alone and it is ok to be themselves. ”
Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said “yesterday was Youth Pride and young LGBTQ people between the ages of 13 and 18 were encouraged to attend. Being here today, what has struck me is that I feel this is a safe place where young people can come without fear of judgement. That makes Outcomers a vital service in the Dundalk, North East area and I want to thank them all for making me and my colleagues feel welcome today. It was a very enjoyable event and I wish them continued success and my continued support.”
Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams attended a Dáil briefing on Tuesday given by a Working Group of Residents who will be significantly impacted by the N52 Ardee by-pass. The briefing was attended by the Minister for Transport Shane Ross.
The families live on the Mullanstown Road, Townspark Road and Silverhill Road, two of which will become cul-de-sacs if the current N52 plans go ahead unchanged. The presentation was made by Fergal Finn and Anne Lennon.
Teachta Adams met several of the Working Group two weeks ago when they brought him and Councillor Pearse McGeough along the affected roads and explained the community concerns and the environmental impact of the proposals.
Gerry Adams said:
“I asked Minister Ross, who attended the Dáil briefing to listen carefully to the briefing by the local community representatives and to look closely at their reasonable and thoughtful alternative proposals to the currents plan.
Like everyone else in and around Ardee the families welcome the decision to finally move ahead with the Ardee by-pass. However, they correctly point out that the N52 Realignment project was granted permission 12 years ago in 2006. Since then there have been community, demographic, sporting and environmental changes which the plan fails to take account of.
As a result of the current proposal the Townspark Road and the Mullanstown Road will become cul-de-sacs and the Silverhill Road will have a staggered ghost island junction. The Silverhill Road is essentially a narrow country lane which is inadequate for the substantially increased traffic it will now be expected to take, including school buses servicing the Tallanstown National School, Ardee Community Secondary School and the Ardee Day Care. The road is also prone to flooding.
The imposition of the current plans will in some instances double the physical length that residents have to walk or drive and will increase the time it takes for residents to reach Ardee. It will also present safety concerns for people travelling to the Ardee Celtic grounds.
The bogland between the Townspark Road and Silverhill Road is now a National Heritage area which seeks to protect our natural fauna, bird life and other wildlife. The current plans pre-date this development and no environmental impact assessment has been carried out.
The residents’ proposals outline a number of common sense, practical solutions to resolve the difficulties arising from the current plans. These include the use of over-pass and under-pass arrangements, as well as traffic lights. I asked the Minister to support these proposals.”
Louth TD Gerry Adams has warmly welcomed the passing of the Occupied Territories Bill in the Seanad.
The Bill which has been introduced by Seanadóir Frances Black and was supported by Sinn Féin and others seeks to ban the importation of Israeli goods that are produced on Palestinian land illegally occupied by Israeli settlers. The Bill now moves to the committee stage.
Gerry Adams said:
“One of my abiding memories from my visits to the Middle East in recent years and especially to the west Bank, has been the enormous scale of the Israeli settlements. Almost all occupy the high ground like Crusader forts of an earlier conflict.
There are over 200 settlements with an estimated 600,000 Israeli citizens. These are all built illegally on Palestinian land. These settlements are serviced by roads which are for the exclusive use of Israeli citizens. Large swathes of the countryside are off limits to the Palestinian people who own the land. The wire fences of the Israeli Army stretch for kilometres across the landscape. And water rights are stolen by the Israeli authorities. In addition permanent Israeli road blocks, similar to those which used to blight the border corridor here, prevent Palestinian citizens from travelling freely between Palestinian towns and villages.
The result is that an estimated sixty per cent of the west Bank, which should be the core of a Palestinian state, is off limits to Palestinians.
At the same time farm produce and other material produced by the illegal settlements is exported to Europe, the USA and other places.
Trading in goods that are the product of stolen property is wrong. The Bill which has been produced by Seanadóir Frances Black seeks to right this dreadful wrong by blocking Israeli product produced in the settlements from being sold in this state.
On Tuesday Imelda Munster TD, Councillor Pearse McGeough and I met with Fayez and Muna al-Taneeb who farm 3.2 hectares of land in the northern west Bank. When Israel built its huge separation which runs for hundreds of kilometres it took the opportunity to steal more Palestinian land. In the case of Fayez and Muna they stole 60% of their farm.
It is right that the Irish state gives leadership on this issue and bans settlement goods.”
Louth Sinn Féin has condemned last night’s attack on the homes of Gerry Adams TD and Northern Chairperson and activist, Bobby Storey. Explosive devices were thrown at both houses.
Speaking on behalf of the Party, Councillor Pearse McGeough said “these attacks are reprehensible. I understand that Gerry’s grandchildren were in front of his house a short time before the device was thrown. There is no excuse for these kinds of attacks which are clearly directed at the leadership. Those that carried them out are obviously getting desperate as they become more irrelevant in the community but they will not deter Gerry or Bobby or indeed the wider Sinn Féin party from carrying on their work.
“These criminals, because that’s all they are, have no place in any community and are not wanted in any shape or form. I would appeal for everyone to remain calm and not be baited into retaliating. That’s what these thugs want.”
Earlier in the evening, Party leader Mary-Lou McDonald described the dissidents who are believed to be behind the recent rioting in Derry as “warped, negative, regressive, dangerous people.”
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has this week asked Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan to address the shortage of Gardaí in Louth, especially ahead of the Fleadh Cheoil in August.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber Deputy Munster asked Minister Flanagan to honour the commitment made by government regarding a strong and visible police force.
Minister Flanagan agreed to convey Deputy Munster’s concerns to the Garda Commissioner regarding personnel shortages in Louth.
Deputy Munster said:
“The government is failing to honour its commitment on Garda numbers. This is very obvious in Co. Louth.
“Louth’s Garda force is short several key personnel, and there are serious concerns in the county about this.
“There is a shortage of sergeants and inspectors locally.
“The Fleadh Cheoil is coming to Drogheda in August, and with it will come over 400,000 visitors to the town.
“Garda leave has been cancelled for the duration of the Fleadh, but Drogheda is still short of Gardai including supervisory Gardai.
“We need to have confidence that there are enough Gardai to manage the crowds and to be in a position to respond should there be an incident. We need to prepare for all eventualities.”