Ebay Threat Real – Adams

DSC_3254_6510The Minister confirmed to me that eBay is looking at new locations. She told me, and I quote, ‘IDA Ireland are working with eBay to find suitable premises and my concern, and it is a concern, is that eBay stays in Ireland. And I have asked IDA Ireland to work with the company to facilitate this.’

This is a very serious development.”

Teachta Adams said:

“I have urged the Minister to ensure that her department and the IDA do all they can to ensure the continuation of eBay in the Dundalk area.”

The Louth TD raised eBay with the Minister this afternoon following speculation in Dundalk that the company might be moving.

Gerry Adams said:

“PayPal set up business in Dundalk in 2011 and was followed two years later by eBay. Currently eBay employs 200 people, many of them from the locality, at its site in Dundalk’s Xerox Technology Park.

It shares this site with PayPal from whom it parted ways one year ago. It is a hugely successful international business. Its revenue this year is expected to be in the region of 2.2 billion dollars.

It appears that PayPal wants to expand its premises to employ additional staff.

While this is very welcome there is also a responsibility on the government to ensure that eBay also stays in the locality.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Tells LCC to Stop Playing Cat & Mouse

Joanna Byrne Council PicFollowing Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne’s queries last month at both the Municipal District and Louth County Council meetings, she noted that nothing has changed at this month’s meeting. Cllr Byrne had drawn attention to discrepancies and conflicting information in the housing report at the June meeting and then at the July meeting this morning, she again noticed it was a copy and paste effort that had not been updated.

Cllr Byrne said “I noted to the chamber that it was not only on paper the communication was lacking. I attempted to bring to their attention an extremely sensitive and traumatic case which exposed a total lack of communication between the Director of Services (DOS) for Housing and the senior Executive Officer (SEO) for Housing. “

While Cllr Byrne tried to bring this to the Chamber, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Louth County Council, Joan Martin attempted to prevent her from speaking.

Joan Martin slammed her for bringing this up at a public meeting and advised her if she had an issue then she should go to her directly. Determined not to be silenced, Joanna Byrne stood her ground and said “My point in raising this here this morning, if you would let me finish, is because I am calling for a commitment from the DOS for Housing that there will be more transparency and communication between him and the senior officials on his Housing Team. I don’t and won’t accept people playing cat and mouse with information, especially when it has such a significant impact on people’s lives”

There was no response from the D.O.S in relation to this commitment for transparency but the SEO has since sent written confirmation of the updated data that was originally omitted from the housing report printed on the agenda.

Cllr Byrne said “The reason I am pushing for this data to be accurate every month is because  it is our guide as public representatives as to where we stand on a month by month basis with regards to social housing applicant numbers, up to date information on projects under construction and so on. It is imperative that is given to us correctly so that we are passing out the right information to our constituents. This morning’s outburst from the CEO and her attempt to prevent me raising my concerns just proves the lack of accountability within the organisation.”

Cllr Flood Pride at Rainbow Flag

Kenneth FloodCouncillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the decision from Drogheda municipal council to have the rainbow flag fly over the council building in celebration of the town’s very first Pride Festival.

The Sinn Féin councillor said “I requested the flying of the rainbow flag and the Council agreed. I am so pleased. It may seem such a small thing but to the LGBTQ community it can mean so much. It shows that they are an important part of our community and they are accepted and wanted and appreciated and have an important part to play within the community.”

The festival opens on 12th August at 12 noon in Drogheda Town Centre Shopping Centre with ‘family fun’ in Rockin’ Joes Diner at 1pm.

At 7pm there is a welcome party at Odd Mollies

On Saturday 13th August at 9am there is breakfast at Stockwell Artisan Café with more family fun in the Barbican Centre at 1pm

At 3pm there will be entertainment in McHugh’s which will continue until late.

On Sunday 14th there will be a BBQ at Odd Mollies.

Full details are on Drogheda.ie

Cllr Flood said “I hope everyone will join in the festivities and this is the first year of many which promises to be a colourful, happy and inclusive weekend of fun for all.”

Change of British PM presents challenge for Taoiseach

DSC_3254_6510Gerry Adams TD speaking at the Dáil today said that the Brexit vote and the change of leadership in Britain presents difficulties and challenges for the Taoiseach.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to congratulate Theresa May on becoming the leader of the British Conservative Party.

Tomorrow evening, she will succeed David Cameron as British Prime Minister.

This change presents considerable difficulties and challenges for our government, for the relationships within this island, within the North, and between this island and Britain.

Theresa May has expressed her determination to act on the Brexit vote.

She also takes over from David Cameron who has been remiss in fulfilling his obligations under the Good Friday Agreement, under the Stormont House Agreement, and under the Fresh Start agreement.

The Taoiseach and the government needs to have a consistent strategic programme of working with the British government on all of these matters, as well as drawing upon the broad international support we enjoy.

Unfortunately, that focus has not been there as much as it needs to be. So, the upcoming period is going to be particularly difficult and particularly challenging.”

Speaking on the issue of a referendum on Irish Unity Gerry Adams said:

“We want to see a referendum on Irish unity. Had there been no referendum on Brexit we would still want to see that. It is part of the Good Friday Agreement. I am pleased that there is more debate than there has been for some time.

I believe the destination for the people of this island has to be within a united Ireland, however that manifests itself. It is a democratic issue for people. It is the only way to go.”

The Sinn Féin leader added:

“There are two main legs to this. One is the primacy of the Good Friday Agreement and the broad political and peace processes, and the second the social and economic consequences of Brexit.

We need in the first case make sure that the imperative of the Good Friday Agreement prevails, and in the second case to minimise the potential negative consequences of the exit of one part of this island from the European Union while the other part stays.

It is important to understand that Theresa May is against the European Convention on Human Rights and that is a cornerstone of the Good Friday Agreement. Any attempt to tamper with that in the time ahead is bad. The Taoiseach needs to be on his game.”

Asked about the future for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach Gerry Adams said:

“It is entirely a matter for Fine Gael who leads Fine Gael. It is of course our business who leads the government. We have a government without authority. We have a government that does not have a mandate to government except in that which was put together with the indulgence of Fianna Fáil. And of course, Fianna Fáil’s interest is entirely self-interest and party political. A government without authority and distracted by internal issues is not what is needed at this time.”

Cllr Flood – Estates not ‘Taken In Charge’ disadvantaged

Kenneth FloodSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has said “it beggars belief that Louth County Council have not referred several estates, numbering hundreds of homes, to Irish Water to progress the ‘taking in charge’ process, despite repeated assurances throughout the year that they have done so.”

In December 2015 Cllr Flood gave a report to Louth County Council on the ‘taking in charge’ of Aston Village and Termon Abbey. Cllr Flood was told that “the developments would be referred to Irish Water to assess and report on their water services prior to commencing the statutory process of taking in charge. During the year I contacted more than one council official on more than one occasion asking for an update on the ‘taking in charge’ process relating to these developments, only to be told that the matter was with Irish Water and no further information could be given.”

Cllr Flood also contacted the Council on behalf of Forest Park and Beaulieu View regarding their taking in charge status only to be given a similar answer.

Cllr Flood said “When no updates were forthcoming I contacted Irish Water directly who informed me that they had received no notification from Louth County Council regarding taking in charge any of these developments.”

“Because this information contradicted that we had been told in the council chamber, via email and over the phone, I put a question to the meeting of the Borough District of Drogheda where LCC confirmed they hadn’t in fact referred the developments to Irish Water, stating that outstanding clarifications were needed before referral. No specific details were given and still have not been given.”

Cllr Flood explained “The home-owners in these developments are obliged by the government to pay local property tax, but because the developments are not ‘taken in charge’ they cannot access all the services and protections that these taxes pay for. In 2014 the Liscorrie estate in Drogheda had all of its street lights turned off for several weeks by the ESB because the developer had not paid its electricity bills. This would not have happened if the estate was ‘taken in charge’ by the council”.

“Last month council officials stated that these matters would be dealt with and an update was expected at yesterday’s Municipal District Meeting. Those clarifications were not forthcoming and we are none the wiser as to when the ‘taking in charge’ process, and the protections and services that tax payers are already paying for that comes with it, will be finalised.”

Cllr Flood said “This is an unacceptable situation and I will be following up on these matters until they are fully and finally resolved”.