A very productive meeting took place between the Chair and Secretaries of both Lios Dubh and Armagh Road/Lennon Meila Residents Associations last night.
Concerns from the recent break-ins in the area were brought to the attention of local Sinn Féin councillors Jennifer Green (left) and Edel Corrigan (right). A meeting was arranged between Garda Eugene Collins and Garda Paul Burke with representation from the residents’ Committees.
Councillor Jennifer Green said “it was a very informative and productive meeting and we are moving forward to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme in the area and also tie in with An Garda Síochána frequently to express any concerns or worries the residents may have.”
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams and Councillor Pearse McGeough visited St. Joseph’s Nursing Home on Thursday evening.
Speaking afterward Teachta Adams commended “the staff, residents and families for the tremendous campaign they ran in defence of St. Joseph’s. As always I was impressed by the care and kindness and consideration of the staff who provide an invaluable and compassionate service to the elderly and sick residents despite the absence of some essential supports.”
Teachta Adams said:
“After a long and hard fought campaign against closure, led by the staff and residents, a refurbishment plan is in place to bring St. Josephs up to HIQA Environmental Standards by 2015.
It is expected that a planning application will be made in the next few months with a contractor being appointed before the end of this year. Actual construction is expected to take between 6 months and a year to complete.
I have written to the Minister for Health asking a series of questions about the anticipated schedule for the programme of refurbishment; the costs relating to it; the expected impact on staffing levels and the numbers of residents and services provided by St. Josephs and future plans for the site.”
Cllr Pearse McGeough
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has accused Justice Minister Alan Shatter of failing to act decisively in relation to the penalty points scandal and of attempting to undermine the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee.
Speaking today during Leaders’ Questions in Dail, the Sinn Fein leader welcomed the decision to hold an independent investigation into the penalty points scandal but said the decision raised serious questions.
Mr Adams said:
“It is almost two years since Garda whistle-blowers drew attention to irregularities in the implementation of the penalty points system. Rather than announce an independent investigation then, the Minister has chosen to do so just before a planned appearance by a Garda whistle-blower at the Public Accounts Committee.”
The Sinn Fein Leader said a key requirement of serious political reform was ensure the capacity of TDs to ask questions that needed to be asked of public officials:
“But now, when robust questions are indeed being asked, we see, once again, that the real intention of this government is to close down public scrutiny and frustrate oversight and accountability, including the work of the Public Accounts Committee.”
He said “the sole reason for the protracted nature of this controversy was Shatter’s failure to deal with the scandal decisively in the first instance, that he had attempted to undermine the Public Accounts Committee and that he had made the situation more difficult for future whistle-blowers.”
Mr Adams pointed out the Taoiseach had recently praised the role and the work of the Dail Public Accounts Committee and asked whether he agreed that the PAC was performing an important public service in its examination of the penalty points scandal and should be allowed to continue with its hearings on the issue.
He said Minister Shatter could have referred the matter to the Garda Ombudsman when it was first brought to his attention, and that this had been confirmed by the Garda Ombudsman Commission.
He also asked for an assurance that the Ombudsman will have the power to question the Garda Commissioner and will have full and unfettered access to the Garda’s electronic Pulse system.
We face resistance at every monthly meeting
Sinn Féin Councillor Tomás Sharkey believes that Louth County Council has been
losing the confidence of the public, despite winning a Best Council Award from
“The award received by Louth County Council last week is down to
the work of ordinary public servants. Its true that good work is done on the
ground but too many questions hang over the work of council management and the
Fianna Fáil / Fine Gael coalition that hogs power.
“We are 5 months into an investigation around the purchase of houses from housing section management and still no report is available.
“The local government auditor has raised questions around the valuation of lands bought for housing during the boom with cash reserves.
“Three years after Councillor Jim Loughran requested it, we have no full list of lands bought by the Council.
“Last year Dundalk Women’s Aid Refuge turned away 293 requests for help while the
Council cut funding.
“The culture of junkets is alive and well amongst some Councillors. Thousands of Euros are spent on junkets despite the fact that the Council doesn’t have a training plan as required since 2010.
“Up until last week the council management calculated domiciliary care allowance as
income for charging rent. Louth was one of the last councils to end this mean practice.
“In 2013, applications for disability grants were accepted for only 5 weeks due to lack of funds.
“Over recent months I have met more and more people who are raising concerns about our council and I cannot disagree with them. We in Sinn Féin have a daily battle to ensure openness, fairness and transparency in Louth County Council. We face resistance at every monthly meeting.Though we appreciate the hard work of ordinary public servants, we caution against this award being seen as an endorsement of the culture we see in the council chamber. “
Children and IT are our future
Kenneth Flood would like to wish Coder Dojo all the best in its latest project, CoderDojo Drogheda on the Boyne. On 1st February, Coder Dojo will be running an event to teach teenagers about computer programming, including the possibility of writing their own games.
Kenneth Flood said “I would have loved something like this when I was a teenager. Everything we use now requires computer programming from games to ATMs. The children this course is aimed at are 13-17 years old and computers are the future no matter what line of work you are interested in.”
Kenneth who is a Sinn Féin candidate in the upcoming elections in May was enthusiastic about the whole idea of Dojo and explained how accessible it is for everyone. “The course will be held for 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon (1st Feb) at St Oliver’s Community College in Drogheda. All the organisers ask is that you be nice and honestly interested in computing. The course is free of charge and they even provide pizza.”
According to their website http://zen.coderdojo.com/dojo/60 it is essential that you book early.
Flood said “there is a lot of talent among the young people of Drogheda and this could be an opportunity for them to shine.” Kenneth laughed as he noticed that the one rule Coder Dojo has is to ‘be cool.’ He good-humouredly said “I suppose that is me ruled out then.”
CoderDojo have events running at different times, if you feel your child or children would be interested, please go to their web site for further details.
Sharpening skills at a young age