Sinn Féin Councillor for Ardee Tom Cunningham has welcomed funding that has been made available for the Ardee Bypass.
Cllr Cunningham said “this is very welcome news for the people of Ardee and has been a long time coming. Ardee was forgotten about when it came to the Capital Investment Programme so this is good news to have it included in the midterm review of the Capital Plan.”
“All we need now is a date and timeline for the project.”
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today welcomed media reports that funding has been made available for the construction of the Ardee bypass.
Deputy Munster said:
“I am happy to hear that Transport Minister Shane Ross has allocated funding for the Ardee bypass. The project was excluded from the capital investment programme originally, and so it is certainly good news for the people of Ardee that funding has been secured.
“I have raised the matter of bypass with both the Minister for Transport on several occasions and with officials from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). A commitment was given by TII at a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee last November to include the project in the midterm review of the Capital Plan, and I am glad to see that the Ardee bypass has been allocated funding as part of that process.
“I have written to the Minister seeking further information regarding how much funding is to be made available and seeking a start date and a timeline for the project.
“The local community has been campaigning for the construction of the bypass for many years, with many disappointments and delays along the way. The area has been neglected in terms of investment for too long, and so it is to be welcomed that this project is finally progressing.”
Following the request from Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne to reinstate the collection of plastics from the Bring banks, Louth County Council has confirmed they will reinstate the service on a temporary basis. This is due to the increased volume of plastic bottles and containers used over the past week in Drogheda during the Irish Water crisis which saw tens of thousands of people left without running water for a prolonged time.
Cllr Byrne said “While I welcome the Council’s decision to temporarily reinstate this service following last week’s Water Crisis, I would like to reiterate my request that the decision should be made permanent and the full collection service of plastics resumed.”
Joanna Byrne went on to say, “In the short period of time since this service was axed there has been a significant rise in the levels of illegal dumping. The attached picture is one I took at the site of the bring banks on the intersection of Platin Road and The
Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision
Industrial Estate last Sunday afternoon. I reported this to Louth County Council and requested that it be tidied up immediately. This is only one example of what is happening right across the county.
“Whilst I commend the co-operation of the Local Authority with this temporary’ move, I have also written directly to Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council and requested that now that this service is back in operation, that it stay that way permanently.”
If the Chief Executive continues to defy the wishes and needs of the constituents of Co Louth, and indeed the public representatives of this county who unanimously supported a motion to keep the collection of plastics from the bring banks, Cllr Byrne has vowed she will continue to “pursue this request at any and every given opportunity”.
The Drogheda Sinn Féin Team, Deputy Imelda Munster, Cllr Joanna Byrne, Cllr David Saurin and Cllr Kenneth Flood have slammed Irish Water and central government for their handling of the water crisis that has engulfed South Louth and East Meath since a water-main burst at the Slateen Water Treatment Plant on Friday 21st of July.
Deputy Munster said “The attitude of central government has been shameful. Hands off, aloof and distant. Despite the crocodile tears of their representative in Drogheda they have not treated this emergency with anywhere near the urgency it requires. We’ve been given false hope after false hope and there is still no definite end to this crisis”.
Cllr. Joanna Byrne said, “As elected representatives we have been reacting to every situation as it arises as best and as fast as we can. In the four days of this crisis I have liaised with Louth County Council to ensure tankers of water have fed businesses and residential areas throughout Drogheda. This has meant that tankers of water have come from as far away as Thurles, Carlow and Kilkenny. At my request there have been additional water resources made available for the Fire Brigade in Drogheda too with back-up tankers being deployed from Dundalk to ensure the Drogheda Fire Service have sufficient water to tackle any call out they may get.
“What is most vexing is that The Rosehall Water Treatment plant, that I am informed could serve 40 to 80 percent of the Northside of Drogheda, was decommissioned only two months ago. We need to find out why this happened and why was Irelands 6th largest urban centre left to be fed from only a single source?”
Cllr. Kenneth Flood said “I have been on the record from the very start stating that Irish Water was not fit for purpose. Instead of fixing the out of date water network their first priority was metering. For years we experienced water outages when the North Quay water-main burst and even after the funding was allocated to replace it, Irish Water still took years to finally get on with the job. Irish Water must be questioned as to why they have not run a temporary pipe between parts of that main are not damaged as they did during the North Quay water-main replacement works to ensure a continuous supply of water? This crisis has shone a glaring light on Irish Water’s inadequacies and they can not be allowed to continue as they are”.
Cllr. David Saurin has paid tribute to the people affected by the water crisis. Cllr Saurin said, “from The Order of Malta to The Scouts among others, there have been volunteer groups distributing water to the elderly and those without transport who are unable to access the Council Water Stations or to get water from the shops. In this heat it would be understandable if tempers were to begin to fray but at the water stations neighbours have been helping each other out, carrying heavy containers and keeping each others spirits up.”
Finally, Deputy Munster said “the Sinn Fein team in Drogheda will continue to respond to residents needs and requests over the coming days and will assist those in need in any way we can”.
Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Meenan has announced his resignation as a member of Louth County Council.
Mr Meenan was first elected to Dundalk Town Council in 1999.
Speaking today, the Sinn Féin group leader Councillor Tomás Sharkey said “Kevin has stood down on health grounds and we wish him and his family all the best. He will be missed on the Council team. Kevin is a very wise and fair man. He has an easy manner and his openness and honesty won him many friends across the chamber and among the officials in the Council. He worked hard for everyone in his constituency and has set the bar high for all public representatives in Louth.”
Kevin Meenan has been an active member of Sinn Féin for almost twenty five years holding various positions in his local Cumann. In the past he has held the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair within Dundalk Town Council and has been on numerous committees including housing, planning, education and infrastructure.
The Party will be holding a convention in the last week of August to nominate a replacement for Kevin Meenan. Tomás Sharkey said “Kevin’s shoes are big ones to fill.”