Sinn Féin Visit Staleen Water Treatment Plant & Pipeline Project

Sinn Féin Councillors Kenneth Flood and Joanna Byrne accompanied Imelda Munster TD to take a tour of the construction site of the Staleen Water Treatment Plant and Pipeline Project last Friday.

The visit was to show progress of the works on the pipe laying element of the project.

The new pipeline will help to ensure the delivery of a safe, secure and reliable water supply to Drogheda, South Louth and East Meath. Once complete, the old pipeline which has experienced two significant bursts in the past year can be decommissioned. The new treatment plant will ensure that the water supply is removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Remedial Action List (RAL) for exceedances of THMs (trihalomethanes).

However, during a Q&A session following a briefing from Irish Water Management, in answer to the Sinn Féin team’s questions it was exposed that although the project will bring the outdated infrastructure up to modern standards and will immensely improve the quality of the water delivered, the plant itself will not be fit for purpose to supply the increasing demand that will be expected of it by then.

The plant currently exports 30,000 sq cubes of water per day, 1,250 per hr, and it was confirmed to the SF team that the new pipeline will not export much more than that.

With 5,000 houses planned for construction in the Northern Environs area of Drogheda alone, leading to a population increase of approximately 15,000 people it is obvious that the water demand will dramatically increase in that area alone in years to come, let alone expansion in any other area added to that.

The question has to be asked as to why, when Irish Water planned this project, none of this was taken into consideration? Will the lack of water supply stop the growth of Drogheda?

The Drogheda Sinn Féin Team said, “we will be raising this at forthcoming council meetings and with central government. The council, as the local planning authority, have a responsibility to ensure the infrastructure is in place to serve the houses that they have granted planning permission for. Also, if Drogheda is to attract Foreign Direct Investment, especially anything in the manufacturing sector, including pharmaceuticals, Drogheda must be able to ensure that we can deliver the massive water supply that such industries need. The new pipeline cannot be the end of the water infrastructure investment in Drogheda. The government must commit to a water delivery plan to ensure Drogheda can fulfil its potential and become this states next City.”

Cllr Flood: 40+ Trolleys in the Boyne, but only 10 fines issued.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has vowed to continue to tackle the problem of shopping trolleys being dumped in the Boyne.

Cllr. Flood said “In June, during their last clean up, members of the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service took out over 40 shopping trolleys, bikes and other hazards from the Boyne ahead of the Irish Maritime Festival. These trolleys are a serious underwater hazard for swimmers in the river and can also destroy the propellers
on passing boats.”

It is estimated that over 1,000 trolleys have been removed from the river over the past six years.

Underwater Hazzard

Cllr Flood said “Ahead of that clean up I had contacted Louth County Council Litter Warden to ask that he attend so he could photograph the dumped trolleys and issue fines. I recently received confirmation from the Litter Warden that 10 Fines were issued on the back of that clean up, although over 40 trolleys were removed from the Boyne.
But the problem is continuing. Only today I saw trolleys dumped on Shop Street, The North Quay and on the Termonfeckin Road. I intend to raise this issue again at the next Borough District of Drogheda Meeting to request the council again write to supermarket operators to ensure they recover their property before it is dumped and to ensure that any fines issued match the number of trolleys recovered.”

British advice on future cross border trade deeply insulting – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin Louth councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that advice given to businesses in the North by British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday 23rd August is deeply insulting and displays the complete lack of concern for Irish interests.

Councillor Ó Murchú said:

“It is breath-taking that Dominic Raab had the audacity to advise businesses in the North in his technical papers to consult the Irish Government if they need guidance on cross border trade post Brexit.

“Brexit is a mess of the British Government’s making. For too long the Tories have pandered to Brexiteers within their own party and now to the DUP which is propping up their government.

“It is blatantly obvious that they are not worried about the people of the North, who voted to Remain, and they are not acting in their best interests whatsoever. Any economic uncertainty for business in the North will have a detrimental impact on business here in the South, of that there is no doubt.

“If it proves too difficult for businesses here to trade with the North or vice versa then we will see businesses close. During the past weeks we have heard of the possible catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit on the electricity market in the North. We have also learned that Ireland’s medicine and blood stocks could be in jeopardy in the event of a hard Brexit.

“The British ‘Border Security Bill’ would see the creation of a one-mile border zone where members of the public could be stopped, searched and detained. This would also be the case at train stations. We could be facing the unacceptable vista of id and passport checks for travel from Dundalk to South Armagh or Newry.

“It is almost September. The British government has admitted this week that the October deadline may be missed. We still have no detail regarding the backstop agreement which comes into effect in the event of a hard Brexit. The Taoiseach and his government cannot allow this to stand.

“The people of this border region, as well as businesses that operate across the border need certainty and clarity on this issue. I call on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs to press home this point.

“It shows once again that we need a special meeting in September between Britain and the EU to deal exclusively with the arrangements for the north. This needs to happen as a matter of urgency.”

Stephanie Cunningham Donates Hair to Rapunzel Foundation

14 year old Stephanie Cunningham was getting her hair cut for returning to school but decided to start her new school year off by doing something selfless for a child she has never even met nor is likely to meet.

Stephanie, daughter of Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham, donated her long hair to the Rapunzel Foundation after reading about it online two weeks ago.

Her father Tom said “She only told me and her mother what she had decided to do the night before and that was only because she had a list of instructions in her hand and we asked her what they were.”

To donate your hair to the Rapunzel Foundations you have to give your local hairdresser and list of steps to follow.

  • Hair has to be at least 14” when straightened
  • You have to wash, condition your hair the night before and the salon should straighten it on arrival
  • Salon should tie the hair with bobbins along the 14” and then cut above it ensuring hair has bobbins at either end to ensure it stays together
  • Place in a plastic sandwich bag and send to Rapunzel Foundation

14″ Ponytail will be sent to Rapunzel Foundation

Stephanie’s father said “she had it all worked out. Her hair was almost down to her waist so we weren’t sure if she would go through with it as it would be a major change for her but she was determined and her mother and I could not be more proud of her. It is not every teenage girl that could to do something like this especially for someone anonymous but Stephanie did.”

Tom said “Stephanie is a selfless young woman and very determined when she feels something is the right thing to do.  She wouldn’t stand by if someone needed something she had, even her hair. I shouldn’t have been surprised at her doing something like this but she can just leave me speechless sometimes. I’m so proud.”

Before the hair cut

The Rapunzel Foundation helps children suffering from alopecia, a condition that leaves them bald and unable to grow hair. To have wigs made from real hair gives them more confidence in their appearance than synthetic wigs and it is especially important for young people to have wigs that are as realistic as possible, in terms of self-confidence and self-esteem.

The Rapunzel Foundation is located in New Ross County Wexford.

Louth Hungerstrike Details 2018

Louth Sinn Féin will hold its annual Hungerstrike Commemoration in Drogheda next saturday September 1st.

The Commemoration will assemble at Bolton Square at 2.30pm and will march to the monument at Grove Hill.

In attendance this year, as in previous years, will be the Rising Phoenix Republican Flute band from Dublin and the Louth Republican Colour parties.

As in past commemorations held in Drogheda, the main speech will be given by a former Republican prisoner. This year the speech will be given by Fra McCann. Fra who was himself interned on the Maidstone prison ship, the cages of Long Kesh and later imprisoned in both Crumlin Road and Long Kesh. He spent three years on the blanket protest and on release from  prison in 1979 became active in the anti H Block/Armagh Committee. In 1987 continuing in community activism Fra was elected to Belfast City Council representing Sinn Féin and from there was elected to The Northern Assembly in 2003 and has held his seat there ever since.

Local Councillor Joanna Byrne who will chair the event on the day is delighted to welcome Fra to Drogheda, ” It will be a great honour for me to introduce Fra to the Republican Community here locally. I have listened to Fra speak at events over the years in Belfast and his past experiences and memories of tougher times I have no doubt will captivate the crowd on the day. He is a stalwart republican who has inspired many younger generations , including myself. 37 years after the Hunger Strike and the Republican Struggle is at it’s strongest, all the time striving towards our primary political objective in bringing about a United Ireland. This is solely down to the resolve our Republican Prisoners, the bravery of all our 22 Hungerstrikers and the widespread support for them and their demands. County Louth has always played a big role in support of the Hungerstrikes and I think the selection of Fra to give the main oration this year is very fitting. It’s always a proud day for Drogheda to continue this tradition and i’m particularly looking forward to it, hope to see you all there “.