Cllr Kenneth Flood Welcomes Graffiti Database

In July of last year Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood had a motion passed calling for the proliferation of graffiti and ‘tagging’ throughout Drogheda to be tackled.

In September 2016, the council carried out a graffiti survey and have been updating this database ever since.

Cllr. Flood has been following up on this initiative and at April’s Drogheda Municipal District Meeting, Cllr. Flood had another motion on including an update and report on graffiti removal and notices sent to third parties to remove graffiti in the operations report every month.

Commenting Cllr. Flood said,

“I welcome this first report on graffiti removal in The Drogheda Municipal District and I welcome the removal of such a large amount of graffiti. However, I am more than annoyed that semi-state bodies such as Eir, Bord Gáis and The ESB have not replied to the Council’s correspondence regarding graffiti on their property, even if there has been some graffiti removed from their property to date.

“No building, be it public or private, is exempt from legislation covering graffiti and I am happy to see notices go out to owners to remove graffiti that in many places has been there for years.

“Now that we have the graffiti data base and will receive monthly updates, a focus will be on tackling graffiti in Drogheda like never before and I look forward, with the public’s help, to getting this problem under control, once and for all”.

 

Imelda Munster TD: Commuter Price Costs Not Value for Money

With a growing population in the Laytown/Bettystown/Mornington area of the commuter belt, the more uncomfortable the daily journey into the capital becomes. Commuters heading to work in early morning rush or even worse, heading home in the evenings are airtight packed in standing room only carriages for the larger part of their journey, with the added insult being that they have to pay through the nose for it too.

Whereas last November those travelling to the city centre from Naas/Sallins and Kilcock stations were brought into the Short Hop Zone (SHZ), Laytown, Gormanston and Drogheda on the Northern line were once again left within the intercity fare structure.

‘It’s way past time for the boundaries between intercity and commuter areas on the railway network to be reviewed,’ says Deputy Imelda Munster TD for Louth and East Meath, areas that have seen big increases in population as legions of Dubliners have moved out of the city because of high priced housing to areas which offer more affordable housing over the last thirteen or fourteen years.

The current boundary for Short Hop Zones is 35km which means that a monthly ticket for an adult from Laytown to Dublin costs €222 whereas commuters travelling from Balbriggan only pay €152. That is a big difference for two stops and approximately 10km along the tracks. Furthermore, a student travelling to NUI Maynooth from Laytown will pay a weekly fare of €92.60 while their peers in Balbriggan can get a weekly ticket for €45.30…less than half the cost

‘My constituents are extremely angry about this difference in outgoings for travel between them and their near neighbours. They feel that it’s extortionate. Perhaps the commuter boundary of 35km was correct up to the year 2000. However, just as the population has spread out massively from Dublin into the surrounding counties in the years since then, thus that 35km boundary needs to be extended to realistically reflect that increase and I have written to Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority asking them to look into this grossly unfair system as a matter of urgency.’

Martin McGuinness Remembered at Easter Commemoration

Welcoming the crowd to the republican monument on the Marsh Rd Sinn Féin member Joanne Thompson said

“You are all very welcome here today to join us for our 2017 Easter commeration. We are not only honouring our fallen heroes of the Easter rising of 1916 but all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. Here on this monument as most you know we have the names of Sean Moran and alderman John Halplin members of Sinn Féin who were brutally murdered at this spot in 192. Captain Tim Flannigan who was murdered in 1922 while on active duty”.

Remembering martin McGuinness and local longstanding member of Sinn Féin Maureen O’Neill, Joanne said

Joanne Thompson

“This year as a party Sinn Fein lost not only a leader but a personal hero of mine and many of yours here today. On the 21st of March our comrade Martin McGuinness passed away after a short battle with illness. His death hit us all very hard and while we process his death and the loss to the party we are very lucky as we know that his legacy will live on.
Locally this year we also lost one of our own. In mid-March Maureen O’Neill passed away. Maureen a lifelong member helped organise the formation of the local Bobby Sands cumman in the early 80s. She played a major role in highlighting the plight of protesting prisoners in Long Kesh when in 1981 she walked across West St in a blanket in support of the hunger strikers”.

Cathal Boylan MLA

 

Wreaths were laid on behalf of Oglaigh Na hÉireann, (Peter O’Neill), Bobby Sands Cumann Sinn Féin, (Imelda Munster, Cpt Tim Flanagan Cumann Sinn Féin, (Danny Churchill) and Colonel Leonard Sinn Féin Cumann, (David Cusack).

After a minute silence the proclamation was read by Donna Lawless and the main speech was delivered by Cathal Boylan MLA Newry & South Armagh.

Cllr Tom Cunningham Delighted with New Beach Wheelchair in Clogherhead

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has welcomed the launch of the new Hippocampe Beach Wheelchair at Clogherhead Beach.

Speaking today, Cllr Cunningham, who secured funding for the project, praised Sinn Féin Deputy Imelda Munster who was responsible for bringing the Beach Wheelchair to the County. “The last thing Imelda Munster did before she left Louth County Council to become a TD was to bring forward a motion calling for disabled persons to be able to go to a beach and to enter the sea like their able-bodied counterparts, something most of us take for granted. The motion received unanimous support across the Council and today we have our Beach Wheelchair. I can’t tell you how proud I feel today.”

The Beach Wheelchair will be managed by Celtic Adventures who are based at the beach in Clogherhead.

Cllr Cunningham said “I know County Wexford has one and as far as I am aware, Louth is the second County in the State to have one so we are very lucky. The Chair can be used on land and also in the sea and can accommodate adults and children alike. Can you imagine the freedom it would give a disabled person, young or old, to be able to go into the sea without having to be helped or carried, something they would not have been able to do before. And also the fact that it can go across the sand, parents or carers can now wheel their child across the sand instead of sitting on the sidelines.”

Cllr Cunningham also pointed out that “this can only benefit tourism in Louth as families with someone who is disabled are very limited in their choice if they want to visit a beach. Louth and Clogherhead is only too happy to welcome them.”

The Hippocampe All Terrain Chair

Imelda Munster TD said at the time “there is an onus on local authorities to ensure equal access to services and amenities for every citizen.”

The Beach Wheelchair is available from today at Clogherhead Beach. Celtic Adventures anticipate a demand for its use and have asked that people who are interested in using the chair, which will be free of charge, pre-book to avoid disappointment.

To book the chair please call Dave on 085 875 2767

Joanna Byrne Welcomes Choice Based Letting for Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne, Chairperson of The Housing Strategic Policy Committee for Louth welcomes the implementation of Choice Based Lettings for the County. Currently the Choice Based Lettings system is used in Louth for the allocating of some Social Housing mainly those with high refusal rates but this is now being extended to the full county for all allocations in May 2017.

The scheme is an online service that allows applicants to express interest in advertised council properties on a weekly basis. All allocations from May 9th will be made through this system, except those based on medical needs, specially adapted, elderly units or homelessness. All Local Authority Housing list applicants will receive letters next week outlining the changes in the allocation procedure and log on details of how each one of them can access the CBL system.

Every Tuesday morning available properties for that week will be added to the system and will remain open until the following Monday night at midnight. Throughout this period any applicant can express their interest in a property ‘suitable’ to them. A suitable property is one that you have chosen that matches your housing needs and in your areas of choice..

The successful applicant is then chosen based on:

* Your waiting time on Louth County Councils waiting list

* Your family size

* The type of property you are approved for

* Your category under the scheme of allocations

* Estate Management

There will also be advertisements in the local papers and a publicity campaign launched by Louth County Council this week to create awareness on these changes.

Cllr Byrne said: “I welcome the implementation of the Choice Based Lettings process in Louth. I believe it will give local authority housing list applicants ownership over their own housing needs. They only have to apply for a house they choose and can see themselves and their families settling in long-term.

“This in turn will reduce the high rate of refusals we have in the county and speed up the turnaround time for allocations. I am also delighted to see the local authority invest in the resources of computers in each of the four council buildings in the county, and fully trained customer service staff to assist with those who aren’t computer literate or have literacy issues, as this was initially a huge concern of mine.

“Like all new systems being implemented it will be a learning curve for both us as Public Representatives and the constituents themselves, but from leasing with colleagues on other councils, South Dublin County Council in particular who piloted this project four years ago, I have only heard positive feedback.

“This process will not have a dramatic impact on reducing the numbers on waiting lists, the government still need to invest in the supply of more social housing, it will however speed up the allocation process for any stock that becomes available.”