Drogheda To Remember Hunger Strikers

Kenneth FloodMembers of the Bobby Sands Sinn Féin Cumann will hold a Hunger Strike commemoration on Saturday 6th September, assembling at 2.30pm in Bolton Square.
The commemoration will honour the 22 men who died on hunger strike from Thomas
Ashe in 1917 right through to the last of the ten men who died in 1981 Mickey Devine.

The event has been held annually since a monument with the inscription of the 22 names was unveiled on Grove Hill by the then mayor of Drogheda in 2006. As keeping with the tradition of past commemorations held in the town the speech will be given by a former republican prisoner. On this occasion the speaker is Charlie Casey from Newry who will speak on his recollections of the hunger strikes, also in attendance will be the Rising Pheonix band from Dublin who have also attended the commemoration every year since the unveiling.

Speaking in advance of the commemoration Cllr Kenneth Flood said “The 1981 Hunger Strike was a pivotal event in the course of Irish history -it politicised large sections of the Irish people who followed the events from February to October of that year. For this generation of
republicans it’s was akin to the emotion generated in the wake of the 1916 rising.  The Hunger strike and related events mark 1981 out as a seminal year in the struggle for a united Ireland”.

Edel & Stan

Cllr Edel Corrigan and her father Stan who gave the address last year

Munster Hits Out At Rip Off That Is ‘Irish Water’

Imelda & EmearSinn Féin Cllr Imelda Munster has hit out at Irish Water – Uisce Eireann regarding their rip off charges. It looks Irish families are set to pay the highest water charges in the EU and this is coupled with the fact that the back up provided by Irish Water appears to be a nine to five service operating from Cork.

Commenting Cllr Munster said,  “The Government set up the mother of all quangos when they created Irish Water and they have continuously misled the public regarding the likely level of water charges to be imposed on households. The current proposed charges are only an interim measure and the bills families receive once their homes are metered are expected to exceed the forecasted figures recently released by the government. It is no coincidence the latest announcement regarding the cost to householders was made with the local and European elections out of the way and the Dáil in recess. When questioned regarding the average household water charges before the elections, the Labour/FineGael government said that it would cost around €240 per annum for an average family household. It now transpires that, for a household with 2 adults, the average cost will be €278 which is nearly 20% more than we were led to believe.

“For a household with 4 adults which includes teenagers and students the cost will be an average of €482. Even that figure conceals the fact that many will pay vastly more than this after 2016 when the average costs to be recouped in order to run Irish Water will rise to €594 per
annum.The free allowance for children has also been reduced from 30,000 litres to 21,000 litres with no hard evidence produced to support this reduction in allocation.

“Sinn Féin opposed the establishment of Irish Water from the outset believing that water is a basic right and the €180 million spent setting up the company along with the €500 million spent  installing water metres would be better spent upgrading the Victorian era water infrastructure currently in place throughout the country which is losing up to 40% of water as a result of leaks at the moment.”

Green Turns Junction Yellow

Jennifer GreenResidents of Barrack Street have in the past found their cars pinned in due to vehicles parking over the entrance/exit to the laneway which leads to their back gardens and garages. This laneway emerges on Peter Street.

After being contacted by several residents, Sinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green contacted the Council and said “the Council have now painted a yellow box at the entrance/exit so the residents should be able to get in and out freely. Vehicles were parking across the entrance not realising they were causing an obstruction. There can be no confusion now.”

The junction in Peter Street

The junction in Peter Street

Ballymakenny School Transport Issue must be Resolved – Adams

Gerry AdamsSinn Féin TD for Louth, Gerry Adams has said that the persistent uncertainty surrounding the availability of funded transport for pupils starting at Ballymakenny College must be resolved as a matter of urgency.

Deputy Adams said,

“I have been petitioned by a number of parents whose children are due to start at Ballymakenny College on Friday 25th August.

“Right up until the last moment these parents were assured that transport would not be an issue due to the fact that the school’s ethos is unique in the area.

“We now have a situation where parents of a number of pupils are finding out that they may not be eligible for transport after all.  This is obviously very stressful for everybody concerned and must be resolved.

“Parents have the option to select a school with a particular ethos and on these grounds I have asked the Minister of State, Damien English TD, to re-examine the status of those pupils deemed ineligible for transport by his Department.

“I am hopeful that Minister English will be able to assist in finding a satisfactory outcome to resolve this issue.”

Spelling Mistake Leads To Second Home Demand And Upset

Kenneth FloodA simple spelling mistake on a council or Revenue Commissioners database saw residents from Aston Village in Drogheda receiving NPPR demand letters last week. NPPR is a tax for a ‘Non Principal Private Residence’, or in simpler terms, a second home.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood was inundated with confused residents all over Drogheda and South Louth but noticed a spike in the demand letters in Aston Village. Councillor Flood said “I chased this up and contacted the council official whose name appeared on these letters. I wanted to know where this information came from and was particularly concerned that one of the letters had been sent to a gentleman who had passed away about seven years ago. You can imagine the anxiety and distress this caused his wife.”

The system cross references two databases, the Council Local Property Tax and the Revenue Commissioners.

Kenneth Flood continued “it was discovered that Aston Village was misspelt ‘Ashtown Village’ and when a person’s PPS number was checked in the two databases, it registers that you may own two properties and then an NPPR demand letter was issued. This has now been highlighted and should be corrected.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Flood has asked for a letter of apology to be sent to the widow of the gentleman who received the erroneous demand in her deceased husband’s name.

Cllr Kenneth Flood has called on the Council to be more efficient when dealing with these charges and demands. “The wording of these NPPR Demands makes it seem like the council are coming after you for a property you do not own. This can cause confusion and upset especially to older people who rely on the Council and officials to ‘get it right’.