Cllr Cassidy Seeks Clarification on Cottage

Harty CottageSinn Féin Councillor Alan Cassidy has been left with no option but to organise a weekly protest at Harty’s thatched cottage which will take place every Friday at 4pm.

Speaking today, Cllr Cassidy said “it is my intention to escalate these protests in the coming weeks. I am aware there are individuals who wish these actions to cease but hat is not going to happen.”

Cllr Cassidy has consistently raised the issue of the two thatched cottages in Drogheda with Louth County Council’s chief executive and has been repeatedly told that the council is ‘active on the issue’.

Alan Cassidy said “two months ago when I met the Chief executive to discuss the issue again, she informed me that something may be happening, but she was ‘not at liberty to say’. Early last week I again raised my concerns with the chief executive, as always I finished by asking to be kept up to date on the matter, I informed the chief executive of my intention to stage a protest at my frustration with the lack of enforcement.

“As a member of The Old Drogheda Society Committee, I informed them on last Wednesday of my intention to hold a protest the following Friday. I also informed them I was not looking for any ‘glory’ out of it, as the issue shouldn’t be politicised given its gravity. The society issued a statement which had been previously agreed at committee level to the press.”

However, five hours before the protest began, Labour councillor Paul Bell issued a contradictory statement congratulating himself on his own efforts in ‘saving the two’ cottages in Drogheda and one in Castlebellingham. He stated that thanks to his efforts ‘funding had been secured to restore the two cottages in Drogheda’.

Cllr Alan Cassidy has a few questions on this. “Which stream of funding is this? Is it the structures at risk fund? Applications don’t close until the 15th of April and it is in no way a foregone conclusion who gets that funding. I wonder is Louth county council inferring that if you fail in your duty of care to keep your protected structure in good order, that you can then apply for the structures at risk fund? Ironically you only qualify because you the owner have put that protected structure at risk.”

The Structures at Risk fund for last year was only €5,000 for Louth, a county that boasts over 600 protected structures.

Specifically regarding Harty’s cottage Cllr Bell stated that “the council have had discussions with the owner of this property and have designed a plan which will see the property fully restored”. Cllr Cassidy disputes this citing contact with the council as late as 15th March when they confirmed they still hadn’t made contact with the owner.

Cllr Cassidy continued “Even more strangely, there is no plan in place. In fact nothing exists in writing at council level in relation to any of these discussions. That is what the chief executive told me personally over the period of an hour long conversation on the 15th of March”.

“Cllr Bell stated on local radio four hours before Friday’s protest, that not only would the two cottages be saved, but there would be an educational aspect to this restoration project which is included in The draft Louth Local Economic and Community Plan 2016-2022, which will be coming before the council for approval very shortly. However, I again dispute this. On the page and a half dealing with Heritage I could find nothing that specified this in any way.”

Cllr Cassidy said “I have the utmost respect for the Old Drogheda Society, its work, and all its members. It became very evident last Friday that some members felt there was a political tug of war going on. To defuse the situation I immediately resigned from the committee of the O.D.S to avoid damaging its good name. The great and good of our Town have dedicated their lives to building this wonderful organisation. This was, I feel the honourable course of action. Has Cllr Bell treated the society with equal respect? I feel not.”

Concluding Alan Cassidy said “I’m sure Cllr Bell will be able to clarify this whole matter satisfactorily.”

The protests will go ahead as planned despite reports in the media to the contrary, every Friday at 4pm.

Dundalk Easter Arrangements

Memorial at Knockbridge

Memorial at Knockbridge

Sinn Féin in Dundalk will mark the Centenary of the 1916 rising with its Easter Commemoration to Dowdallshill this Sunday 27th March. The parade will assemble at 2.30pm at the Market Square in Dundalk.
Speaking in advance of the event, newly elected TD for Louth Imelda Munster said,

“In this the Centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising some of those in attendance will be dressed in period attire and I would encourage anyone else who is coming along to do the same.
“The Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is a time of huge significance for the people of Ireland. This is a time for the commemoration of those who worked, fought and died for Irish freedom. It is a time for the celebration of the spirit of freedom and the progressive vision that motivated them. It is a time for renewed Commitment to the values of the Proclamation: the sovereignty of the Irish people; the unity and independence of Ireland; equal rights and equal opportunities for all the people who share our island.
“We need to apply the principles of the Proclamation to our own time. For us in Sinn Féin that means making equality the basis for our society, our politics and our economy. It means national reconciliation and an end to Partition. We want to build a New Republic. 
“I would encourage people to honour Ireland’s patriot dead by wearing an Easter lily”.

Main Easter Sunday Parade starts at 2.30pm assembling at the Market Square and the main speaker will be Eoin O’Broin TD

Also on Easter Saturday (26th March) there will be a wreath laying at Mill Street, Seatown, for the Watters Brothers who were executed on that spot. That will be at 12:00

There will then be a further wreath laying in Knockbridge cemetery at 2.00pm on the same day to honour those from the 4th Northern Division of the IRA.

 

Drogheda Easter Commemoration 2016

Imelda Photo WhiteSinn Féin in Drogheda will mark the Centenary of the 1916 rising with its Easter Commemoration to the Republican plot on the Marsh Rd this Sunday 27th March. The parade will assemble at 12 noon outside St. Peter’s Church, West Street.

Speaking in advance of the event, newly elected TD for Louth Imelda Munster said,

“As in past years we look forward to having The Lourdes Brass Band, The Drogheda Republican Colour Party and The Rising Phoenix Republican Flute band in attendance at the commemoration.

“In this the Centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising some of those in attendance will be dressed in period attire and I would encourage anyone else who is coming along to do the same.
The Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is a time of huge significance for the people of Ireland. This is a time for the commemoration of those who worked, fought and died for Irish freedom. It is a time for the celebration of the spirit of freedom and the progressive vision that motivated them. It is a time for renewed Commitment to the values of the Proclamation: the sovereignty of the Irish people; the unity and independence of Ireland; equal rights and equal opportunities for all the people who share our island.

“We need to apply the principles of the Proclamation to our own time. For us in Sinn Féin that means making equality the basis for our society, our politics and our economy. It means national reconciliation and an end to Partition. We want to build a New Republic. 
“I would encourage people to honour Ireland’s patriot dead by wearing an Easter lily”.

Parade starts at 12 noon outside St Peter’s Church and the main speaker will be Denise Mitchell TD for Dublin Bay North.

 

Joanna Byrne To Be Co-Opted Onto Louth County Council

Imelda & Joanna 1A convention at the Westcourt Hotel last Thursday evening seen Sinn Féin select Drogheda woman Joanna Byrne as the replacement for Imelda Munster on Louth County Council.

Imelda Munster TD made history last month when she became the first female TD for Louth leaving her seat on Louth County cCuncil vacant.

30 year old Joanna was selected to replace her. Joanna Bryne is a retail manager but has resigned her position in order to pursue being a full-time councillor as her predecessor did in 2004. Joanna has been a member of the Bobby Sands Cumann in Drogheda for a number of years and was very active throughout the Local Government elections in 2014 and in Imelda Munster’s recent General Election campaign.

Speaking on Thursday night, the new councillor said “Deputy Munster was an exemplary Councillor and will be a hard act to follow but I believe with her guidance and advice and the support of my fellow 9 councillors in Louth, I can carry on the good work that the party are doing here in the county.”

When asked if she had received any advice from Deputy Munster, Cllr Byrne said “she told me to always remember that we are there to represent the people, leave no person behind, make sure everyone has the same rights as everyone else and we are all treated equally as it is written in the Proclamation and you won’t go far wrong.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne will attend her first County Council meeting on Monday morning

 

Joanna’s acceptance speech from Thursday night.

It is a huge honour and privilege for me to accept this nomination to take a SF seat on Louth County Council.

I would like to thank Hugh McShane and Ronan Caffrey for nominating me and the members of the Bobby Sands SF Cumann here in Drogheda for supporting it. Also to all of you for coming here tonight and putting your faith in me to represent this constituency. We have just come from an exciting few weeks with an extremely successful election campaign, nationwide but particularly here in Louth.
We vowed to make history , we took it on and we done it by electing Imelda Munster as the first ever female TD for Louth and East Meath. We now also for the first time ever, have two Sinn Féin TDs, the other of course being our party president Gerry Adams.

Deputy Munster was an exemplary Councillor and will be a hard act to follow, but I believe with her guidance and advice , and the support of my nine fellow SF councillors in Louth , which I’m told is the tighest-knit group of councillors in the country , I am looking forward to my new role! It is no secret that the country has been failed by the catastrophe that was the FG/LAB government, and it is no secret that Louth and indeed Drogheda were hit hard by the broken promises and crippling austerity cuts implemented by said government, but we in SF need to persevere in reminding people there is a fairer way. And I think the election results last week show that people are putting their faith in us.

We are progressing all the time with now 23 TD’s representing us today in Leinster House at the start of the 32nd Dáil term – 6 of them women might I add. 2 TD’s out of those 23 are now representing Louth with Imelda being the additional voice for the county alongside Gerry – which leaves me the additional voice for Drogheda which I am proud to be.

We have a number of events coming up over the Easter period and beyond to commemorate this being our centenary year and I would urge everyone to get involved in the new Rising be it locally or nationally. I look forward to seeing you at some of them.

Go raibh Míle Maith agaibh

 

Adams Slams Crisis in Health Service

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “deep concern at the ongoing crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda and the state wide numbers of patients still languishing each day on trolleys

The Louth TD criticised the “decision of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil to block a Sinn Féin motion on the first day of the new Dáil that would have allowed the questioning and scrutiny of the work of the caretaker Ministers, including the Minister for Health, as well as calling for the scrapping of water charges.”

The March 22nd meeting of the Dáil will not be able to hold Ministers to account and to scrutinise their decisions or the work of the departments.”

Gerry Adams TD said:

“On Thursday on the first day of the 32nd Dáil emergency departments in hospitals across the state had one of their worst days for trolley numbers. There were 511 on trolleys. Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda had 38 people on trolleys.

On Friday that number was 493 state-wide and 25 in Our Lady of Lourdes.

The crisis in the emergency departments remains undiminished.

This chaos in our health service is a direct consequence of the bad policies of the Fine Gael and Labour government, and of Fianna Fail before them.

Last year 92,998 people were treated on trolleys in hospitals. This is the highest ever number of patients since 2006 and represents an increase of 21% in hospital overcrowding.

The irresponsible decision by Fianna Fáil to close essential services and to downgrade Louth County hospital is a significant cause of the crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes.

All of the establishment parties have promised at one time or another that they will end the crisis in the health service and all have broken this promise.”