Louth County Councillor Tom Cunningham has reacted angrily to the EU quotas for the coming year’s fishing industry. Cllr Cunningham feels that Ireland has got a unfair deal and feels “the Fishing industry is under enough pressure but this is adding to the strain. It’s hard enough to make a living at the fishing now but these further cuts in the quotas is going to make it nigh on impossible.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor from Clogherhead said “I have written to the Minister Simon Coveney asking him how these new quotas will help the fishing industry and have attached the letter below.”
Councillor Cunningham said he intends “to contact Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy in the new year and invite him to the area to speak to the fishermen himself and see what is happening to our Fishing industry.”
The following is the letter sent to Minister Coveney.
I write to you in the wake of the EU quota’s for the fishing industry for 2015. First of all I would like to welcome the 14% increase in the prawn quota. But again overall the Irish Fishing Industry got a bad deal which could have a catastrophic effect on Irish Fishermen and coastal communities.
With a reduction of 12% in the haddock quota and 13% reduction in the cod quota where both species of fish stocks are showing signs of growth, can you explain to me why our cod and haddock quotas get such a big reduction? Already Irish Fishermen have taken the initiative to manage and conserve fish stocks in Irish waters.
Since 2012 fishermen have been using 100mm square mesh panels in their nets to reduce the number of small fish that are caught and discarded. Since this Government has taken office we have listened to Fine Gael and Labour talk non stop about jobs recovery. How will these EU quotas create jobs? If anything these quotas will cost jobs in the Fishing Industry and in the coastal communities.
As an island community the Fishing Industry should be at the cold face of our economic recovery. Because of repeated failures of this government and previous governments and of EU policies our Fishing Industry will not achieve its full potential.
Cllr Tom Cunningham
Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has called on Louth County Council to replace the road signage along the Callystown Road in Clogherhead that was knocked down in an accident years ago.
Cllr Cunningham said “We need the signage put up again warning drivers there is a school ahead. This is a busy road and one of the main routes into Clogherhead. For drivers who don’t know the area, they approach the school without warning and at school times there are a lot of children using the road including some who need to cross the road.”
Councillor Cunningham continued “there is also a playground here so it is not just at school times we need to warn drivers. The fact that it the original signage was knocked down in an accident should reinforce the need for it to be replaced before a child gets hurt along this route.”
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has expressed his “grave concern at the increasing numbers of sick citizens who are confronted at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with chronic overcrowding and long waiting times.”
Describing the crisis in Emergency Departments as ‘unacceptable’ the Louth TD called on the Minister for Health to “take urgent steps to allocate additional resources, including funding, to open closed beds, recruit additional staff and provide for more community homecare nursing support”.
Teachta Adams said:
“On two days of this week Our Lady of Lourdes hospital has topped the list of hospitals across the state facing serious overcrowding. On Tuesday the Irish Nurses and Midwifes Organisation reported that there were 38 patients in the Emergency Department – the highest in the state. And on Wednesday that number was 31 – again the highest in the state.
Our Lady of Lourdes is regularly in the top three hospitals facing major difficulties in its Accident and Emergency dept.
We have also learned today that the Louth Hospital Group General Manager has written to General Practitioners advising them that Our Lady of Lourdes is ‘experiencing extreme levels of surge with regard to medical presentations at present.’
As a result the hospital has been forced to put in place ‘measures to manage this level of escalation internally.’ This includes advising GPs that the Louth Hospital Group is suspending ‘direct GP referrals to the AMAU (Acute Medical Assessment Unit) in OLOL hospital in order to prioritise current acute medical patient presentations and flow.’
Earlier this week the INMO described the situation facing the health service as the ‘most significant overcrowding situation since the INMP began counting trolleys over ten years ago.’
The Minister has the responsibility to ensure patient safety, as well as appropriate standards of care. He must take urgent steps to allocate additional resources, including funding, to open closed beds, recruit additional staff and provide for more community homecare nursing support”.
Picture supplied by Cllr Tomás Sharkey
Sinn Féin Councillor in Louth Tomás Sharkey has learned that GPs in the area have been asked that GPs stop referring patients to the Acute Medical Assessment Unit while the hospital has a huge overcrowding crisis.
Councillor Sharkey said “This is the latest in a series of crises in the Drogheda Hospital. The trolley crisis in the A&E Department is as bad now as it ever was under Mary Harney. The letter (pictured below) to GPs gives us an insight into the failures of the hospital’s systems.
“This letter explains that there is a huge number of acute medical patients in the hospital and asks that GPs stop directly referring any more medical patients into the hospital. But this is a nonsense. It means that a sick patient with an acute medical condition will have to present at A&E to be triaged to receive attention.
“The people of Louth do not need reminding that acute medical services were withdrawn from Louth County Hospital in Dundalk. we warned that this type of crisis would happen. I am calling on all government TDs and senators in Louth and Meath to admit that there is a crisis in our hospital and to demand the reopening of acute medical wards in Dundalk.”
In correspondence with Irish Water Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has questioned their contractors’ methods of installing water meters.
Councillor Flood asks “Although the Water Services Act allows Irish Water to meter all properties, I haven’t found the Article or Provision in the Act where it says they can dig up or cut into footpaths in estates that have not been taken in charge by the local authority or do any works without the permission of the company responsible for the area until such times as it is taken in charge.”
The Drogheda Councillor said “I don’t understand it, up to now any other Company who wanted to do work in an estate before it is taken in charge, has had to have permission from the Company responsible for the estate. How is Irish Water different from those Companies?”
Councillor Flood has asked Irish Water to provide him with the specific part of the legislation which covers this area.
Kenneth Flood has been inundated with citizens complaining about burst water mains and water disruption during the installation process and Louth County Council has had to step in to repair the damage after the contractors have left the area. As a result the Councillor has asked a series of questions from Irish Water:
“If IW contractors are working in an Estate that has not been taken in charge, will Louth County Council repair the damage in an estate not taken in charge, regardless of the scale?
“Is there legislation that covers who is obligated to repair any damage done in estates not yet taken in charge? If so, can you quote me the specific part that explains what will happen in the above scenario?
“I believe that Irish Water or any other Company for that matter, needs to have a permit to dig below 150mm and they also need to have a safe work plan in place before they carry out any work. Can you confirm if that is correct and these rules are being adhered to?”
Councillor Kenneth Flood has vowed to continue to oppose the water tax until such times as it is abolished. “Water is a human right and we already pay for it. We refuse to pay twice.”