Sinn Féin Launches YES Campaign in Louth

SF YES Campaign launchSinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today launched Sinn Féin’s Yes campaign for the two referenda taking place on May 22nd.

The Sinn Féin leader and local Louth Councillors and activists took to Dundalk’s Clanbrassil Street handing out Yes leaflets.

Gerry Adams said: “In just five weeks’ time two referendums will be held. One is to reduce the eligibility age for a candidate for the Presidential elections. The second is on marriage equality. Sinn Féin is calling for a Yes vote in both referendums.

“We will be running a vigorous campaign. The Party will be distributing around half a million leaflets; at least five thousand posters and the party in every constituency will be carrying out a thorough canvas.

“In respect of the Marriage Equality Referendum, many of us will have a member of our family or extended family who is gay. All of us, whatever age we are or wherever we live or work, know someone who is gay.

“They want what we want – the right to live their lives as full and contributing citizens and to share in the love of a family of their own.

“A Yes vote for same sex-marriage is about recognising people’s right to equality; respecting their right to express their own sense of identity; and is about affirming their right as citizens to be free, equal and happy.

“There is a possibility that some citizens who are so angry at this government will see this as an opportunity to hurt Fine Gael and Labour. I would appeal to them not to do this. This referendum is not about those parties it is about the rights and entitlements of our family members, our friends, our neighbours and workmates.

“Nor should those who support these referendum be lulled by the opinion polls into believing that these referendum will easily succeed. This is not a time for complacency. Every vote will count.

 “I would also appeal for everyone to join the campaign for a Yes Vote. If you feel you can’t become part of any of the formal campaigns being organised then become part of the informal campaign. Talk to your friends, to your workmates, to your family and neighbours and ask them to vote Yes. Text them. Facebook them. Use Twitter. Let’s get the biggest vote possible and ensure that on May 22nd both referendums are passed.”

Cassidy Claims Change in Name for 2016

Alan CassidySinn Féin Councillor Alan Cassidy has tabled a motion at Monday’s Municipal District Council meeting calling for the dual carriage way from the bus depot to the Bridge of Peace to be renamed.

Speaking today, the Tullyallen councillor said “in the run up to the 1916 centenary, it would be fitting to rename the dual carriage way ‘Eamonn Ceannt Way’ in honour of the executed 1916 leader and proclamation signatory. Like many other Irish Republican men and women, he pursued a fairer Republican vision for this country and paid the ultimate price for his beliefs”.

Explaining the connection with the area, Cllr Cassidy explained how “Eamonn Ceannt moved to Drogheda at a young age and spent his first two years in education at the Christian Brothers school in the town before moving to Ardee aged 6”.

Although the motion was seconded, the Council hasn’t made a decision yet.

Cllr Cassidy concluded with “if the motion is passed, then the matter will be referred to the Infrastructure special committee and then forwarded to the place names committee. I’m hoping it will be in time for the 2016 celebrations.”

Adams backs Dunnes Strikers in Dundalk and Drogheda

Dunnes Stores have 113 stores, including seven of which are in Louth.

Three in Dundalk and four in Drogheda.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD expressed Sinn Féin’s “solidarity and absolute and unambiguous support for the Dunnes Stores workers in Dundalk who are taking industrial action today as part of their campaign for decent working conditions, wages and standard of living for them and their families.”

Gerry Adams said:

“In my recent letter to the Directors of Dunnes Stores I made very clear Sinn Fein’s support for the Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign. I also expressed our total support for their right to secure hours and incomes; secure jobs; fair pay; and the right to trade union representation.

The Decency for Dunnes Workers is calling for the introduction of banded hour contracts to give workers security of hours and earning; fair and consistent work; and a review of Dunnes excessive use of temporary contracts of employment.

The workers and Mandate Trade Union have tried to resolve this dispute directly with Dunnes Management. They have also sought to use the State’s mechanisms for resolving industrial disputes such as the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

Dunnes has rejected all attempts at mediation and negotiation and have broken an existing 1996 agreement procedure for resolving industrial disputes.

The Dunnes Workers are taking a stand in defence of their own rights but also in support of low-paid workers, part time and casual workers across this state who are victim of exploitation.

Fair Deal crisis in Louth – Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed “serious concern at the significant rise in citizens on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal) waiting list in County Louth.”

Teachta Adams said:

“According to HSE figures I have received in response to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Health there has been almost a four fold increase in the number of people on the Fair Deal waiting list for Louth in the last 4 years.

 In 2012 there were 9 people in Louth on the Fair Deal waiting list. In January of this year that number had risen to 33. In the Dublin North East region, which incorporates Louth, Cavan/Monaghan, Meath and Dublin North the number has risen from 68 in 2012 to 252 in January of this year.

This reflects a similar picture across the state. In January 2012 there were 325 citizens on the Fair Deal waiting list. In January 2015 that figure was 1196.

In response to a Parliamentary Question two months ago the Minister for Health claimed that the government’s allocation of an extra €25 million to address delayed discharges and provide additional home packages would see the 300 additional Fair Deal beds and a reduction in the time people would have to wait for a fair deal bed.

However, in February the HSE director general Tony O’Brien warned the Oireachtas health committee that the waiting list for the scheme will grow to 2,200 people by the end of the year while waiting times will swell to 18-20 weeks.  

The PQ response I have received from the HSE shows that there has been a cut of over 50 million euro in the Fair Deal budget. In 2011 it was €1,011m. This year the figure is €948.7m – a drop of €52.3 million.

(The PQ gives a figure of 948.7 but there was an additional allocation of 10 million bringing the total to 958.7)

The failure of the government to plan properly for health and in particular for fair deal, puts patients at clinical risk. The ad hoc and inadequate way in which the government has approached this issue means that people have to wait too long on trolleys because beds are not available as a result of delayed discharges. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is particularly affected and consequently tops the list of hospitals with the worst trolley numbers. This is unacceptable and is further evidence of chaos and damage caused by the government’s austerity policies.”