Munster – Gov TDs failing to deliver on beds promises

IMG_6186_edited-1Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster has accused the government of “cynically exploiting the allocation of funding to three residential care centres in Louth for electoral purposes.”

The Louth County Councillor also accused the government and in particular government TDs Ged Nash and Fergus ODowd of failing to deliver on their claims of 100 additional beds through St. Mary’s.

Councillor Munster said:

“The governments plan is for a 90 bed unit to replace the existing 64. In all this means an additional 26 beds. While this is welcome it still falls far short of what both government TDs were promising.”

Imelda Munster said:

“The announcement by the government of funding for three residential care centres in Louth is long overdue. The decisions to refurbish and rebuild St. Mary’s Hospital in Drogheda, St. Joseph’s in Ardee and St. Oliver Plunkett were taken years ago.

The decision on St. Mary’s was made in 2012. The refurbishment plan for St. Joseph’s was agreed in 2013. In a HSE response to Gerry Adams last November it was confirmed that the capital funding had been allocated.

This is another example of the government making the same announcement several times.

More importantly these projects have been planned for three and four years. The failure by the government to prioritise these projects means that St. Mary’s will not be delivered until 2020 and St. Josephs in Ardee will not be finished until 2021.

As a consequence of government failure the residents of these residential care centres will continue to live in unacceptable and outdated conditions.”

Government failing citizens on flood insurance – Gerry Adams TD

IMG_6222_edited-1Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has accused the government of failing to “follow up pro-actively and energetically in challenging the insurance companies to ensure that householders and businesses are able to access flood insurance.”

Teachta Adams said:

“There are many families still struggling to recover from the devastation that has been caused by flooding in many parts of the state. Some families are still challenged by flooding while others are engaged in cleaning up and making safe and habitable homes, farms and businesses that were damaged. Many have not received any compensation.

On Tuesday in the Dáil I challenged the Taoiseach on the lack of progress following his meeting with the insurance companies. In a statement the insurance sector were sceptical of the government’s focus on demountable defences – those which require manual intervention to work – and acknowledged that ‘cover would remain a problem.’

Households and businesses at risk of further flooding are looking for solutions not periodic bluster from Government Ministers.

The government response to flooding has been chaotic. Its plans for flood defences have been woefully inadequate and its dithering around securing insurance is leaving citizens vulnerable.

The Department of Finance is carrying out an analysis of insurance. The Taoiseach needs to spell out when this report will be completed and published.

If the insurance companies are not prepared to provide insurance cover then the government has a responsibility to fill this gap and support families and businesses.”

Minister Kelly refuses to meet Gerry Adams on Louth Traveller evictions

IMG_6222_edited-1Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams this evening hosted a briefing in Leinster House for members of the Oireachtas by members of the Traveller community in Woodland Park who were evicted two weeks ago by Louth County Council.

Teachta Adams said:

“I asked the Minister to meet to discuss solutions to Traveller issues in Louth following the recent evictions by Louth County Council.

In his response to my request the Minister’s Private Secretary claims that the Minister has no ‘role in operational matters and the evictions at Woodlands’ and places the onus solely onto Louth County Council.

This is unacceptable. The Minister has a responsibility to ensure that there are structures and supports in place to assist Louth County Council to provide Traveller accommodation. This includes providing funding.

The Council has failed to do this and the Minister refuses to discuss it.

I have encouraged the Council to develop the Woodlands Park site as an emergency halting site.

This will provide a temporary solution and resolve the crisis until long term solutions are created.

Minister Kelly also has responsibility for Local government, which includes ensuring that Councils are fulfilling their responsibilities.

I believe that the Dundalk Traveller families have been treated shamefully by the Council and the Minister’s refusal compounds this.”

“My Life and Yours will be Better with Sinn Féin” – Cllr Imelda Munster

IMG_6186_edited-1Speaking at the launch of the General Election Campaign for the Louth/ East Meath Constituency in the Westcourt Hotel in Drogheda on Monday Evening, Sinn Féin General Election candidate Councillor Imelda Munster said that Sinn Féin has solutions that will address the problems we have in this state today.

Cllr Munster said:

“Like all Republicans I have a vision for our country, a country that has freedom, equality and fairness for all its citizens enshrined in its constitution just like the 1916 Proclamation states.

“We need a government that leaves no stone unturned to ensure it delivers for all its citizens but unfortunately we have yet to see this happen.

“The parties who have run the state since partition have destroyed the economy, brought the state to its knees and gave away whatever sovereignty existed.

“They are trying to tell us there is a recovery but it’s not a recovery for all, it is not a fair recovery, it’s a recovery for a few.

“Sinn Féin is different. We put people first. We are now the biggest threat to the corrupt administration in the 26 counties and the elites are terrified of us.

“Sinn Féin has costed solutions that will address the problems we have in this state today.

“That’s why I am standing here today. I want to make a difference and my life and yours will be better with Sinn Féin.

“I want to get elected to strengthen the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House because by doing so, I will be strengthening the voice of the more vulnerable in our society.

“One hundred years ago this year, Irish men and Irish Women rose up against all the odds.

“They dared to dream of a better Ireland, they dared to dream of a new republic. So they shot and imprisoned them. Well guess what – They can kill the revolutionary but never the revolution.

“Look around you, is this the type of country you want your children and grandchildren to grow up in, and watch them emigrate from? We all need to stand up just as they did in 1916.

“Sinn Féin has a vision for a new and better Ireland. We need to stand up and elect a party that will dare to bring that 1916 dream to fruition.”

Ambulance Safety Concerns raised – Adams

Ard Fheis 8Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “serious concern at Ambulance cover and patient safety in the north east region, as well as across the state, following a response to a recent Parliamentary Question.”

In a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Health Teachta Adams asked the Minister “the time allocated for ambulance response times for Clinical Status 1 Delta Calls in 2014 and 2015; and the percentage of ambulances that achieved this goal.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Delta calls relate to life threatening illness or injury, other than cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The response from the HSE reveals that last November – the latest month available – only 61% of ambulances achieved the Delta target response time of 18 minutes and 59 seconds.

The HSE response reveals that the average time for the 11 months up to the end of November 2015 was down on the previous year. In 2015 the percentage of Ambulances achieving the 18 minutes and 59 seconds target was 65.2 per cent. This is a drop from the 66.2 per cent in 2016.

This is a cause for serious concern. Ambulances are only reaching their targeted time to respond to a Delta 1 life threatening alert in less than two thirds of cases.

The implications of this for patient safety are a cause of grave concern.

The ambulance staff do a remarkable job under very difficult circumstances and with inadequate resources.

Several months ago I raised with the Taoiseach the condition of the ambulance fleet following an incident in August when the two back wheels of an ambulance fell off as it was transporting a chronically ill patient on a life support machine from Letterkenny to Galway. The wheel fell off outside Sligo. As well as the patient, there was a nurse, a nurse and doctor and two paramedics in the vehicle.

On that occasion only the skill of the driver prevented this incident from becoming a much more serious accident with lives lost.

The vehicle which lost its wheels was 8 years old and had done an amazing 411,786 kms. That’s over 50,000 kilometres a year.

A similar incident occurred in March 2014 in county Louth when a wheel came off an ambulance as it returned to Dundalk from Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda. The week before there was a similar incident in the mid-west and earlier that year a Dublin fire brigades ambulance also lost a wheel.

Sinn Féin has consistently made the case that the government has presided over the erosion of our public services. The information in respect of ambulance response times and the mechanical failures of some ambulances are evidence of this.

Citizens in Louth, as well as elsewhere in the state, deserve a credible and effective ambulance service and the minister has a responsibility to deliver this.”