Sinn Féin Cllr Imelda Munster has called on Louth County Council to engage fully with the public by holding a series of public meetings throughout the county as part of the consultation process on the Local Property Tax.
Cllr Munster said, “There is a real need to engage with the public and not to just abide by the Minister for the Environment’s nonsensical directive seeking only the public’s opinion on “Potential impact on adjustments”. Instead the public consultation process should declare its intention to begin the process of reducing by the maximum possible level, the rate of Local Property Tax payable by households. The public consultation, which began in mid July, ends on August 16th. I would urge as many people as possible to make submissions”.
Cllr Munster stated that despite the fact that people have been forced to pay this tax on their homes, not one cent has come back into the county to fund local services in 2014 despite being told otherwise. Instead, the money collected was handed over to set up Irish Water, which in turn will also tax householders for the supply of water service in January. In 2015 Louth will only get 80% of the Local Property Tax back to fund services and many people are now questioning exactly what services we get, if any. We are already paying road tax, bin charges, toll charges, A&E charges, emergency services (fire brigade) call out charges, Universal Social Charges, PAYE, PRSI, LPT, and the forthcoming water charges. Families are at breaking point financially and can simply take no more when getting so little in return. It is time that public consultation by local authorities amounted to more than placing a small advertisement in a local paper; it should also include a series of local public meetings.”
Little 7 year old Conor Magennis from Dundalk was so moved by what he saw happening to children his own age in Gaza that he asked to attend the solidarity protest in Dundalk. He proudly stood beside his father Paddy and his grandparents and little sister.
Unfortunately, over the weekend he fell and injured his leg and has been confined to the house and to bed. His father Paddy said “when we told him he wouldn’t be able to jump around or play football he didn’t care. All he cared about was not being able to support the children in Gaza.” It didn’t take long for the innovative little boy to come up with a plan.
Granny Maria was sent to buy loom bands and little Conor is now spending his time making special ‘Gaza Loom Band Bracelets’. Conor said “I am going to sell them for whatever anybody wants to pay me. Then when I get all the money, I am going to buy books and pencils for the children in Gaza to bring to school.”
His father Paddy said “I’m so proud of him, he is just 7 years old and this is all his own idea.”
You can get one of Conor’s special ‘Gaza Loom Band Bracelets’ for a donation at Gerry Adams TD’s office in Crowe Street. But hurry, I have a feeling they are going to go fast.
Conor in bed – but still working
Conor, sister Katie, Daddy and Granny at Gaza Solidarity Protest in Dundalk
Louth Sinn Féin has established a number of drop off points for those who wish to donate items to aid the children of Gaza.
Spokesperson for the party, JJ Quigley said “we are asking everyone to search their homes and hearts and give generously to the Gaza Toy Drive. Our local councillors and I have been approached by lots of people who are outraged and feel helpless at what is happening in Gaza especially to the children. We all have items in our homes that we don’t use and instead of disposing of them why not give them to the children in Gaza.”
Quigley continued “there is a ship going from Ireland, England and Denmark at the end of August to Gaza and we need to fill it with essential supplies. We have organised several drop off points throughout County Louth and ask that you donate what you can over the next couple of weeks. We need to have everything boxed up and in Dublin before the ship goes.”
The items needed are:
- First Aid kits; bandages, dressings and plasters
- Nappies, cotton wool, baby wipes
- Toys and books for all ages
- Children’s bikes with pump and repair kit if possible
- Clothes for babies and children up to 18 years old.
We ask that you don’t donate cream liquids or tablets. If you wish to donate money, could we ask that you purchase some of the above items and then donate them.
The collection points are:
- Office of Gerry Adams TD, West Street, Drogheda (Mon-Thurs 10am-3pm)
- Community Centre, Muirhevnamor (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)
- Family Resource Centre, Ard Easmuinn
- Office of Gerry Adams TD, Crowe Street, Dundalk
- Longs Pub, Grange, Carlingford
Quigley ended by saying “we really appreciate anything you can spare.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out at the lack of communication from Irish Water to thousands of residents who found themselves without water on Monday.
Flood said “After talking to residents I learned this can happen on average four times a year. The problem appears to be the watermain on the North Quay in Drogheda. When it bursts thousands of residents are affected from Greenhills, Termonfeckin Road, Newtownstalaban, Queensborough and Beaulieu. Several residents are also reporting air-locks in their water systems which will require a plumber to fix them, at considerable expense to themselves.”
An Angry Kenneth Flood continued “what I don’t understand is why it keeps happening. What quality of parts are they replacing it with? A patch up job is a false economy, people deserve better than this.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor also questioned the lack of information available. “There was no notice on the Council website until well into the day and there was no notice on the Irish Water website at all that there would be any disruption. When you get up on a Monday morning the last thing on your mind is ‘I must check the website to see if there will be enough water for the day’. This is 21st Century Ireland and there must be better communication with households who are having water charges forced on them by Irish Water. This is poor service and simply isn’t good enough.”