Deputy Munster Dismayed over Disregard for Environment

imelda photo orangeLouth Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has expressed her dismay at Irish Water’s total disregard for the environment following the successful prosecution of the company by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Irish Water were prosecuted for failing to ensure sewage waste from a water treatment plant at Tinure did not cause pollution.

The fine imposed was to the value of €2,000 but Irish Water were given the option to donate this money to charity in order to avoid a criminal conviction.

Deputy Munster said she was “disillusioned as to why Irish Water appears to get away with causing pollution on a regular basis”.

“This isn’t the first instance of pollution by Irish Water. In the past eighteen months there have been two other incidents similar to this in Monaghan and Cavan, which saw Irish Water fined. These are only the incidents that we are aware of. It’s also worth noting that the company has only been fined €3,500 combined, despite the fact that each case could carry a maximum fine of €5,000.”

“There have also been calls on many occasions to investigate other areas, such as claimed sewage discharge in Doldrum Bay, Howth. Although the prosecutions have been welcomed, the EPA must go further in ensuring our waters remain pollution free. Repeat offenders must be actively discouraged from polluting and I feel that a combined fine of €3,500 does not have that effect on a company which is willing to spend another €88 million on meters which have the potential to become obsolete.”

“I will be raising the issue with the minister via parliamentary questions. I want to know what measures, if any, have been put in place to prevent incidents like these occurring in the future; how stringent these measures are; and have there been other allegations of pollution, and if so, have they been followed up?”

Deputy Munster pointed out that “if pollution was being carried out by a local farmer or business, the courts would be quick to deter them from committing such crimes again. It is baffling how Irish Water is continually punished with a slight slap on the wrist.”

Adams calls on Tesco to respect the rights of its workers

DSC_3254_6510Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has accused Tesco management of “behaving irresponsibly and illegally in ignoring the recommendations of a Labour Court ruling in February which said that the company was to introduce a two per cent pay increase”.

Tesco has four stores in County Louth. Tesco workers are currently being balloted by the Mandate Trade Union for strike action.

Gerry Adams said:

“As well as ignoring the Labour Court recommendation for 1000 of its 14,500 Irish workforce Tesco also plans to introduce unilateral pay cuts of up to 15% from April 18th and to change workers’ conditions of employment, work patterns and bonus payments. This is sharp practice and is unacceptable.

Tesco is ignoring the rights of workers and is seeking to increase its substantial profit margin in this state by forcing staff to accept significantly reduced pay. Claims by Tesco that this is about streamlining its systems deliberately ignores the reality that for many workers their conditions of employment will be made worse and their pay packets will be cut.

I would urge Tesco to rethink its current workplace strategy, negotiate properly with the workers union, and step back from what could be a damaging industrial strike.”

Concluding Gerry Adams said:

“The Fine Gael/Labour government failed to legislate to protect workers, especially low paid workers, and has cleared the way for the extension of zero hour contracts and the exploitation of low paid workers. Whatever shape the next government takes Sinn Féin will be demanding stronger workplace protections for staff.”

 

Adams backs emergency call staff

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams TD has urged BT/Conduit Global to “resolve the ongoing industrial dispute at their 999 centres by accepting the need to pay workers a living wage standard.”

Teachta Adams said:

“On Thursday April 7th staff at the 999 emergency call centre in Navan took part in a 12-hour strike. This strike and the industrial action involving workers at all three call centres in Dublin, Navan and Donegal is clearly an issue of concern for the people of Louth.

These 999 emergency call centres provide an essential service and is the first point of contact for people in the event of a life threatening emergency.

The 60 staff in the three centres deserve to be paid a living wage.

Currently there is a 50 cent an hour gap in pay which BT/Conduit Global should move to close. The employers should also recognise the right of the workers to be represented by their Union.”

Fianna Fáil hypocrisy over government formation – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Speaking in Belfast, where he is campaigning in the Assembly elections, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has accused the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin of “a cynical attempt to exert control over a Fine Gael led minority government and its direction, as well as having another foot in opposition”.

“The Fianna Fáil leader last week rejected a partnership proposal from Enda Kenny on the basis that he was mandated to get rid of Fine Gael in government. Yet, this week he is negotiating a proposal that would see Fianna Fáil keep Fine Gael in power.

“In the event of Fianna Fáil support for a Fine Gael led minority government, Sinn Féin is very clear that we will hold Fianna Fáil equally accountable for every government decision taken.”

Teachta Adams rejected as “spurious” claims that Sinn Féin is not interested in going into government or helping to create a stable Dáil.

He continued:

“Sinn Féin wants to be in government, but the general election results mean that that is not possible at this time.

“Any claim that Sinn Féin is not serious about being part of efforts to establish a stable government are spurious. I have said many times that Sinn Fein is prepared to talk to any of the other parties. We believe in dialogue. It is Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil that have ruled out speaking to us.

“Unlike some of the independents, who presented themselves during the election as being opposed to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and who are now seeking to prop up these parties and their policies, Sinn Féin is opposed to either of the conservative parties leading the next government.

“We do not believe a government led by either of the parties who comprise the Conservative Bloc would be in the best interest of citizens.”

Laurence McKeown 1916 – 2016 Play on Saturday Night

Writer - Laurence McKeown

Writer – Laurence McKeown

Tí Chulinn in Mullaghbawn is going to come alive on Saturday evening in what promises to be a night for everyone. Rehearsals have been taking place and last night I caught up with the writer of the play Laurence McKeown, who promised music, dancing, drama, archival film footage and even a rap song, so something for everybody.

Laurence McKeown has become well-known in the world of Arts and has won many awards for his writing and this is his latest creation “Cherishing all the children of the nation equally” a line taken from the 1916 Proclamation.

Laurence said “this is looking at 1916 and what happened, the executions up to partition, then looks at the 50th anniversary, the civil rights of 1969, the conflict, Bloody Sunday and brings it right up to the present day asking ‘what is the Proclamation?, what is its relevance today?’.”

There is quite a big cast, eighteen actors in all and they come from the surrounding areas of Dundalk, Carlingford, Warrenpoint and Newry.

Laurence with 2 of the cast Caoibhe Sloan & Martin Hearty

Laurence with 2 of the cast Caoibhe Sloan & Martin Hearty

Laurence explained how “the performance is being hosted by the South Armagh Centenary Commemorations as part of their year of celebration of 1916 and we have a committed cast who have been working hard on the script and Tí Chulinn is a great venue deep in the heart of Mullaghbawn and the community here.”

The Play “Cherishing All The Children Of The Nation Equally” was written by Laurence McKeown and is directed by Paula McFetridge of the Kabosh Theatre Company and will be performed on Saturday night 9th April at Tí Chulinn, Mullaghbawn Co Armagh.

Tickets are £5 each and show starts at 7.30pm sharp.

You are advised to contact Tí Chulinn for tickets as they are going fast and you definitely don’t want to miss this event. They can be contacted through Facebook or by phoning 028/048 308 888 28 or email info@tichulainn.com

Laurence McKeown poster Cherish