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.”
Kenneth Flood, a Sinn Féin candidate in the local government elections was contacted before the weekend by a concerned citizen. Flood says ” at approx 8.30pm this evening (Friday) I was contacted by a father who told me his 8 year old had come across 20 or so syringes, some used, some capped and associated works in a little den the children play in on Widgeon Street, Aston Village.”
Flood told us “I contacted the council emergency number and a council worker called me within 10 minutes. I met him and took him to the scene 5 minutes later where he cleared up all the syringes and paraphernalia. He told me that this was a growing phenomenon in the town and that council officials were already investigating several instances of this happening. He assured me I would be contacted in the coming days by a council official.”
Kenneth was outraged and said “I am going to contact the groups in the town that provide assistance to addicts in Drogheda to hightlight this issue and to ask them to please impress upon those to avail of their services to dispose of their works responsibly. Someone is going to get hurt. I also want to thank the council official who acted in a prompt and professional manner that night. I would ask that the council provide whatever equipment is needed to their staff for this type of work.”
Louth Meath Education & Training Board will spend €100,000 renovating a prefab in Drogheda to transfer administration staff, Councillor Tomás Sharkey has learned.
An outraged Sharkey said “at a recent meeting of LMETB, I was shocked to hear that there is a €1million shortfall in funding for local schools. The CEO, Peter Kierans told us that there may not be money for light and heat by October.
“But to add to the ridiculous situation in the ETB, I learned that there is a proposal to spend €100,000 refurbishing old prefabs in Drogheda and then to transfer administration staff from Chapel Street in Dundalk to work in them.
“It is a nonsense in this day and age to waste public money on old prefabs and moving public servants. The ETB is a huge employer and this move will send Human Resources and Payroll functions to prefabricated units in the back yard of a secondary school. I was shocked to learn that the ETB management have not discussed the proposal with planning staff in the local council as there would be a change of use, additional car parking and a significant traffic impact on the Drogheda site.
“I was shocked to learn that the CEO shared his proposal with only one Oireachtas member for Louth and refuses to share the document with board members like myself.
“It appears to me that the good working environment of staff in Dundalk and the taxpayers money are to be sacrificed for the sake of giving Ged Nash TD a political boost when seeking re-election as a Labour Party candidate.”
Sinn Féin Louth County Councillor for the Ardee Area Pearse McGeough paid tribute to those Community Activists who work in the Killany area.
McGeough, a candidate in the upcoming local elections said “It has been my privilege to work closely with this community over the last 10 years. These community activists work on a daily basis to improve the quality of life for people in the Killanny area and I want to give them some recognition for all their hard work.”
Ardee man McGeough explained “the fruits of this work is clear for all to see with the playground being a fine example that stands out.”
Councillor McGeough lauded the activists by saying “It is my belief that Killanny is the template that other communities throughout Louth should replicate. When the current Louth County Development plan was being renewed I requested that Killanny be included in Louth County Council settlement Hierachy \ Village Status. Unfortunately, this proposal was not successful, however, I do feel a lot has been achieved to date and this is an ongoing work in progress.”
“When Louth County Council announced that their Speed Limit Bye Laws were to be reviewed I, after consultation with the local community, requested that Killanny be included as an area where Speed Limit Signs be erected. I am pleased to say this proposal was passed at the April meeting of Louth County Council and these signs will be rolled out shortly. Over the last 10 years, together with my fellow councillors from Monaghan, Matt Carthy and Noel Keelan, we have worked with the killanny activists and look forward to continuing that relationship.”