‘Atlantic’ will make your blood boil – Tom Cunningham

SF Tom Cunningham council picSinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has invited every citizen in Louth to attend and watch the film ‘Atlantic’ being shown in Clogherhead Community Centre on Friday 6th May at 7pm.

Cllr Cunningham who hails from Clogherhead said “this is not just for the fishing community to watch. We all need to be informed as to what has happened to our natural resources in this country. The film compares the three coastal communities of Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland and it would make your blood boil to see how we fare in the film compared to the others.”

Cllr Cunningham has been liaising closely with Matt Carthy MEP on the issue of the Dutch ‘super trawlers’ which “basically can fish in our waters and drain our stocks while the Irish fishermen can do nothing but look on because they have such small quotas. This is wrong. This film will show how the shrinking quotas and the mismanagement of our natural resources have had an effect in Ireland on the fishing industry and how Norway did it all so different.”

“They looked after their natural resources and fought for their communities and you will see a very different outcome.”

Councillor Tom Cunningham was appalled “at the waste and greed when I saw how tonnes of dead fish were simply discarded back into the ocean because they weren’t big enough and would cost more to process than larger fish. All the while, the Irish fishermen can’t fish at all. It really made my blood boil.”

Atlantic was filmed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill and is narrated by Brendan Gleeson and will be shown in coastal communities around the state.

Louth showings are:

Friday 6th May – Clogherhead Community Centre 7pm

Friday 13th May 2016 – Order of Malta Hall, Mill Street Dundalk 7pm


Atlantic Poster

Imelda Munster – Honour Your Commitments on Irish Water

Imelda Munster at deskSpeaking yesterday in the Dáil Louth’s Imelda Munster TD had a clear message for the Government on the issue of Irish Water and their charges.

“The Government must now accept that they failed miserably to win the support of the people for their water tax, their quango that is Irish Water. The people had their day and their say on the 26th February.

“You see, despite what the government had been saying Water Charges WERE the single biggest issue that mobilised , rallied and ignited the spirit of protest and determination to fight back in the Irish people that had not been seen for decades. This was because the unfairness of the government’s austerity policies was obvious to everyone except the government. People recognised from  the start that Irish Water was a toxic entity.”

Continuing, the TD for Louth pointed out to the government that “the people knew that they were already paying for water through general taxation. They were also aware that they were paying PRSI, PAYE, Universal Social Charges, Motor Tax, LPT, Toll Charges, Bin Charges, A&E charges, and Emergency Service Charges. They were also aware that you had cut these services to the bone.”

Imelda Munster TD accused the government of heaping yet another tax “on to the working man and woman and those who could least afford to pay by a government hell bent on bulldozing this through regardless.”

“But how wrong you were!
“You did not break the back of the hundreds of thousands who mobilised on to the streets in every city, town and village across this state.”

And in a very clear message, Deputy Munster said “Any attempt to fudge addressing this issue by either short term suspension or by setting up a commission whereby a government and those propping them up will have a majority to veto abolition will not be tolerated.

“A democracy represents the will of the people and 90 TDs who pledged to abolish water charges were elected to this chamber and will be expected to honour their commitment given to the people.

“So let me be clear, the motion signed by 39 TDs calling for the abolition of water charges, and Irish Water is not going to go away. So I say to the incoming government and those propping them up—

“Honour your commitments, honour the mandate you were given, respect the will of the people Abolish water charges, abolish Irish Water and nothing less will suffice”.

Adams – Mental Health Services ‘Worrying’

Gerry Suicide StatementThe meeting took place in St Brigid’s Hospital, Ardee on Friday 15th April and was also attended by Sinn Féin councillors Tom Cunningham and Pearse McGough.

Speaking after the meeting Gerry Adams said;

“I want to thank the Manager of Louth Meath Mental Health Services, Ger McCormack and the recently appointed Suicide Prevention Officer for Louth Meath, Sandra Okome for facilitating our meeting.

“During the course of the meeting some worrying issues were identified such as the lack of out of hours support for people located in Dundalk and the surrounding areas.

“Currently out of hours provision is delivered by the North East Doctor on Call (NEDOC) which is located in Drogheda, at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, also based in Drogheda or at St Brigid’s Complex in Ardee.  There is no HSE facility in Dundalk for people who are suffering outside of regular office hours.

“SOSAD is the only 24 hour, completely free service available to the 64,000 people who live in Dundalk and the surrounding rural areas.  I am well aware of the amazing voluntary work that SOSAD do, however their services are under constant threat of due to lack of resources.”

In addition the Sinn Féin President has expressed concern that the Dundalk base for mental health services, the Ladywell Centre at the Louth Hospital, is a dilapidated prefab.

“There is a lot of excellent work being done by the HSE in Louth to combat suicide,” said Teachta Adams, “This is evidenced by the figures which show a reduction in deaths by suicide in County Louth over the past three years.

“However I don’t believe that staff in the HSE are being properly resourced to do their jobs and this is having a negative impact on patient care and patient experiences.

“In addition to sub-standard accommodation I have received information that the Louth Meath area has the 2nd lowest per capita funding on mental health in the State – this is unacceptable and I intend to write to the acting Health Minister to query why Louth spending on mental health is so low, particularly in light of recent revelations that €12 million of the €35 million ring-fenced for mental health in the last budget is being diverted to other areas in health.”

Joint Narrow Water Bridge / Southern Relief Road Proposal merits investigation – Adams

Gerry Adams SmilingSinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has written to the Transport Minister, Pascal Donohoe TD, and Department of Regional Development Minister in the Executive, Michelle McIlveen MLA, seeking further information on a proposal to amalgamate the Narrow Water Bridge Project and the Newry City Southern Relief Road Scheme.

Gerry Adams said,

“The media have reported that the Assembly Executive and the Government have been furnished with a proposal which seeks to incorporate the proposed Southern Relief Road in Newry and the Narrow Water Bridge project.

“Sinn Féin has long championed the Narrow Water Bridge Project and we successfully ensured its inclusion in the November 2015 ‘Fresh Start’ document in the North.

“In Fresh Start the Irish Government states its commitment to the project and both the Irish Government and the Executive commit to reviewing the project with a view to identifying options for its future development, for consideration by the North South Ministerial Council in June 2016.

“I have written to Pascal Donohoe TD and Michelle McIlveen MLA to request an update on the Narrow Water Bridge project and this most recent proposal to incorporate Newry’s Southern Relief Road Scheme.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham Warns of Accident Blackspot near Ardee spot

SF Tom Cunningham council picSinn Féin’s Tom Cunningham raised the issue of safety at the junction for Ballapousta and Belpatrick which has seen a few accidents recently as a result of traffic not slowing down. The motion read ‘That Louth County Council place rumble strips on the north bound lane of the N2 coming down the hill approaching the junction for Ballapousta L5252 and Belpatrick L5255 to try and slow traffic down approaching this junction and the bend on the N2’.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Cunningham said “a number of people have raised this with me and you can see where previous accidents have occurred.  I felt that if there were rumble strips it would warn motorists of the upcoming junction as well as slow them down but according to the Council ‘new guidelines have been issued regarding the use of yellow bar markings/rumble strips.’

Tom Cunningham at Ballapousta Junction

Tom Cunningham at Ballapousta Junction

They will now only be used on high speed approaches to roundabouts. The Council also feel that there is adequate signage on this road but I have to disagree.




I have written to the Council now asking them to forward my request on to the National Roads Authority. I feel more has to be done at this junction because the status quo is not working and is unsafe. It is becoming an accident blackspot.”20160206_164337