Louth County Councillor Edel Corrigan has hit out at the ‘junket culture’ which is prevalent in councils across Ireland. Sinn Féin candidate for the Dundalk Carlingford area Corrigan broke the figures down for her own area.
“Fine Gael Councillors Martin Murnaghan who was co-opted in 2010 and Terry Brennan who stood down at that time claimed € 6,482.71 between them on junkets.”
Corrigan reminded us that “this is public money and these junkets are needless trips and courses where you are put up in the best of hotels. Fine Gael weren’t the worst offenders it should be said.”
“Independent candidate Jim Ryan racked up a shocking € 13,156.88 which is greater than all the other councillors in the area combined. “
In addition to these ‘junkets’, councillors who chair a Strategic Policies Committee (SPC) which meet only 4 times per year can get an annual tax-free payment of € 6,000.
Corrigan went on to say “Sinn Féin have consistently spoken out on the issue of ‘junkets’ and I have previously proposed that the four chairs of the SPCs no longer accept their € 6,000 tax free payment as it is an insult to those who continue to suffer at the hands of the current Government’s austerity measures. This money could be put to better use.”
Councillor Edel Corrigan is asking that “all councillors elected on May 23rd put a stop once and for all to this ‘junket culture’ and start giving people value for money.”
Councillor Edel Corrigan has today welcomed the news that funding has been approved to complete essential works in Saltown, Dundalk.
Speaking today, the Sinn Féin councillor said “Louth County Council applied for this funding in February under the Unfinished Housing Development Special Resolution Fund and I am delighted that it has been approved. We should see parts of the Estate resurfaced and essential works carried out.”
“These one-time dream homes that in the past were in high demand have now turned into victims of the building boom bust where residents have had to suffer due to poor planning and development and sections of the unfinished phases of the development.”
Edel Corrigan acknowledged that “the residents have worked hard together to improve the area and to have the bonds released to have the development finished. Hopefully this funding will go some way to achieving that. Works should be completed by the end of November.”
The Dundalk/Carlingford Councillor said “everyone has the right to live in a decent, clean and peaceful environment. These people have been left in a building site so I am delighted that this money is coming and warmly welcome it.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster is calling for an end to the ‘junket culture’ on the new Louth County Council.
Cllr Munster said “Almost € 65,000 has been lavished on junkets over the last few years by some councillors in Drogheda with Fine Gael councillors alone spending almost € 50,000 of that total. I would ask that all councillors elected on May 23rd put a stop once and for all to this ‘junket culture’ that some have been indulging in over these past four and a half years. People in Drogheda are expected to pay more taxes for less services and these ‘junkets’ are a total waste of their money.”
“The figures below are shocking:
FG Cllr Anthony Donoghue 19,963.66
FG Cllr Michael O Dowd 11,065.76
FG Cllr Oliver Tully 14,356.61
FG Cllr Richie Culhane 1945.64
FG Cllr Kevin Callan 2083.00
These figures show the scandal of the gravy train that some Councillors in Drogheda have been on for the last five years. Councillors from the Fine Gael party along with others, who demand that citizens do without services are the very ones wining and dining on public money .”
Imelda Munster was angry as she said “Families in Drogheda and across Louth are struggling to pay austerity taxes while their local Fine Gael Councillors are wasting their money. There is no need for junkets. Councillors have laptops provided by the Council. They should be informing themselves using local libraries and online resources and not going on junkets to Roscarberry, Letterkenny, Galway, Tralee, Listowel, Dungarvan, Kilkenny and other popular tourist spots while the people in Drogheda who elected them are finding it hard to pay their bills and make ends meet.”
Sinn Féin Cllr Imelda Munster said “this squandering of public money has to stop and I am calling on these councillors to stop this practice of self-serving indulgence with tax payers money.”
JJ Quigley, a Sinn Féin candidate in the upcoming local government elections has welcomed the launch of the Youth Matters: Not For Export! document addressing the problems facing the youth in Ireland today.
Quigley, who works with young people said “we hear from the FG/LAB government that the unemployment figure is down but the reality is that the only reason the figure is down is because of the numbers of young people leaving the country. When you couple that with schemes like JobBridge and Gateway which are nothing more than cheap labour, then of course the numbers are down. It is unacceptable that in the 21st Century there is a scheme that provides free labour to employers and that it is mandatory if you are unemployed. We need a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
JJ continued “when I am on the doorsteps it is heart breaking to hear mothers talking of their children emigrating through necessity, not choice. We in Sinn Féin are all about building communities, communities that young people can contribute to and be proud of. We need to give the youth their self-worth back. They are our future.
“There are a range of solutions contained within our Youth Matters: Not For Export! document and I would invite all interested parties to have a look.”
For full document please click – http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/30255