Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he welcomes the reopening to the Traveller community of the refurbished Woodland Park halting site in Dundalk.
Teachta Adams said,
“I hope that those families moving in to Woodland Park are happy there and I commend those who worked hard to ensure that the refurbishment was completed.
“The eviction of traveller families, including infants only days old, last January, took place on one of the coldest days of 2016.
“Many of the evictees had nowhere to go but the side of the road without any facilities or services. This should not have happened.
“I have liaised consistently with Louth County Council, the Department of Housing and the travelling families in the intervening period and, almost a year later, it is good to see that Woodland Park is again operational and available to the travelling community.
“During the week I raised the issue of formal recognition by the State of Traveller Ethnicity with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“In his response, the Taoiseach outlined a pathway to recognition of Traveller Ethnicity.
“He stated that the issue was discussed with Minister for Equality David Stanton, that the four representative NGOs working on Traveller issues will come before the Committee in January; if issues can be addressed and agreement reached that there will be all-party support for ethnicity and that he expects to report to the Dáil at the end of January.
“There is no legislative or constitutional bar on the government recognising Traveller ethnicity immediately. We now need to see progress on this issue.”
Following a motion from Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood, Irish Cement officials are to attend a special meeting of LCC on 21st December to take questions from Louth’s Councillors on the planned extension of their plant and the increased use of “alternative fuels”, what-ever they may be, in their incinerators.
Commenting, Cllr Flood said,
“The Sinn Féin Team in Drogheda have listened to members of the public and environmental groups in South Louth who have expressed concerns over the extension to this plant. Some have expressed concerns over what they see as the lack of clear and verifiable information regarding this development and what will potentially be used as fuel in Irish Cements Incinerators. Others have expressed their concerns over how the emissions from the incinerators may impact on the air quality in the region.
We ourselves have concerns over the increased industrial traffic volume in the region as this extension would mean a fourfold increase in what is burned to 600,000 tons.
“I am still hopeful that the EPA will confirm their attendance at this meeting to answer queries on air and water quality monitoring in the region. However, I will be following up with them either way.”
If any members of the public would like to see their queries raised you can contact the SF Office on Narrow West Street, 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Sinn Féin Councillor and Chair of The South Louth Joint Policing Committee Kenneth Flood has asked the public to be vigilant and report any unusual activity around Drogheda’s Heritage treasures.
Commenting Cllr. Flood said “I was contacted several weeks ago by concerned residents asking why the lights were out on The Magdalene Tower again, so soon after they were recently fixed. I contacted Louth County Council who informed me that the lights that illuminate the historic tower were vandalised and that they would be repaired soon. However, weeks later the lights are still not working. I raised the issue at the December’s Municipal District of Drogheda Meeting, asking once again, why the tower was still in darkness. The council informed me that they were sourcing new guards for the lights and that it would be illuminated again soon. I will follow up on this to ensure it happens as soon as possible.
“Vandalism of any kind anywhere is unacceptable. Vandalism of a heritage treasure, especially one as historically significant to Drogheda as The Magdalene Tower is quite simply unfathomable to me and I am as upset as I am angry that someone would seek to damage any aspect of The Tower.
“I would once again urge the public to be vigilant and to report any unusual activity or suspected anti-social behavior to Drogheda Garda Station and working together we can ensure that The Magdalene Tower is on view at all times for everyone to enjoy.”
The Magdalene Tower illuminated
Today in the Dáil Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD welcomed a commitment from Minister for Transport Shane Ross to meet with Minister for Infrastructure in the North, Chris Hazzard MLA.
“This is an important development in light of the challenges that Brexit will present on all parts of this island. There exists a number of serious cross border issues that need a united approach, including infrastructure, the possibility of a hard border and problems posed if access is constricted. It’ll create problems for all sectors of the transport industry, ports, airports, road and rail throughout the island if these matters are not addressed, north and south.”
“We also need reassurance that a hard border will never return to this country. It’s hugely important that government Ministers are working to ensure that the people of Ireland’s voices are heard in negotiations between Britain and Europe. Cross-border Ministerial cooperation is a huge part of this process.“
Minister Chris Hazzard MLA
Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has welcomed the passing of his motion on Thursday evening calling for a footpath to be constructed from the Village store in Clogherhead, down to Strand Hill housing estate and onto Pairc Dreadnot.
Cllr Cunningham said “Strand Hill housing estate is cut off from the village for pedestrians. It is a dark road with bends and with it being the main route into Clogherhead from Drogheda, it is an extremely busy road. We have young people walking from the estate into the village who at times are taking their lives in their hands, especially at this time of year.”
Cllr Cunningham also asked that the footpath be extended to Pairc Dreadnot. “Many of our young players and supporters would walk to the Pairc along this road and really, it’s just not safe.”
After the council meeting, Tom Cunningham said “like everything else, these projects are dependent on the availability of funding and I would hope this funding will be found sooner rather than later.”