Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has sought information from Louth County Council regarding the future of Carlingford’s Tourist Office.
The tourist Office in the village closed recently leaving the area with nowhere for tourists to visit for information.
Cllr Watters said “Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula are bustling with visitors and tourists from all over the world who come to see the stunning scenery and to experience the wealth of history in the area going back 800 years. In 2008 we received Europe’s Destination of Excellence Award and quite deservedly so. We have grown from strength to strength and yet, we no longer have a Tourist Office.”
Cllr Watters said “no matter where tourists go, their first port of call is always to the local tourist office to pick up maps and find out where the local areas of interest are or to get information on where to stay etc. It is essential that Carlingford, being a tourist hub for the North East, provides that service. It is unacceptable that we are left without one and this needs to be redressed as soon as possible.”
“Following the abrupt closure of Carlingford Tourist Office, I have received numerous calls from parties who would be interested in leasing the building itself. It is essential that this building, which is in a prime location in Carlingford Village, remains in use and I have no doubt that there are many local businesses and groups who will be interested in leasing it.”
“In the meantime I will be contacting the Tourism Board to find out the reasons behind the sudden closure and to ascertain any plans for re-opening it albeit at a different location.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hailed last Friday’s Outdoor Movie Show a ‘great success’.
The Aston Village Residents Association put on an Outdoor Movie Show in the grounds of the Aston Village Educate Together National School, showing the Hugh Jackman and Zack Efron film, The Greatest Showman.
Cllr. Flood who was in attendance with his family and who helped organise the event said ” We wanted to do a free event, something that the kids would remember and enjoy, to mark the end of Summer and have a laugh before they headed back to school. It was great to have a night like this that the whole family can enjoy. There were between 250 to 300 people there and it was great to see people singing along and small children dancing away. It was evident from the smiles that a good time was had by all. Hopefully this is something that can be repeated.”
Cllr Ruairi, Maria Maguire and Cllr Anne Campbell
Dundalk South Councillors Ruairi O Murchu and Anne Campbell met with the newly-elected president of Dundalk IT’s students’ union, Maria Maguire, earlier this week.
In a joint statement, the Sinn Féin representatives said they were “very pleased to listen to and speak with Maria, a mature student, and vice president Aaron Geagan at the meeting at DkIT.”
The councillors said: “Very shortly after Maria’s election, we were in touch with her to set up a meeting to hear about some of the concerns the students at Dundalk IT have. We were very pleased with the positivity from Maria and Aaron and we spoke about a number of issues, not least the pressing issue of the lack of suitable accommodation for students and how this means that some of them are commuting from 7am to make it in time for lectures.”
Among the other matters discussed included the college’s application, made in 2017, for around €16 million in capital funding from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), as well as canteen facilities and parking for students on or near the campus.
The councillors said: “It was a good meeting for us to hear directly about students’ concerns and we will remain in touch with Maria and Aaron over the coming academic year to assist as much as we can.
“They have some great ideas for improving and enhancing student life at the college and we are supportive of their efforts to make DklT a great place for students from Dundalk and further afield.”
Louth Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the allocation of €83 million to alleviate flooding in the county must be targeted to protect those most vulnerable.
Following a presentation in Louth County Council offices by Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran at which Sinn Féin Councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú, Anne Campbell and Pearse McGeough were in attendance, Cllr Ó Murchú said;
“The CFRAM project has long been in the pipeline so I welcome the progress which was outlined to Councillors in the presentation. It is welcome news that a steering committee has been established to oversee the delivery of these flood defences and that the committee will formally meet in October.
“What is lacking at the moment, however, is the detail about what schemes are to be progressed and in what order. I accept that this is a major project which will necessitate detailed plans and specialist input. However, the success of the project can only be measured by delivery.
“We simply cannot countenance areas of repeat flooding such as Mounthamilton, Red Barnes Road and the Flurry River area. I am heartened at the Minister’s commitment to return to Louth in the coming weeks and visit some of the places which regularly flood and I will be sending him a list of suggested areas.
“I look forward to working with the local CFRAM committee to protect homes and businesses across Louth. It is estimated that 2,300 properties will be protected on completion of the works.”
Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has said that it is unacceptable that 66 assessments of need in County Louth have not been completed within the 3 month time frame set out in the Disability Act 2005.
Deputy Adams was speaking following confirmation to him in a parliamentary question response (attached) which states that in Louth there are currently 66 assessments which were commenced more than three months ago and are still not complete.
Gerry Adams said,
“The Disability Act 2005 provides that any parent of a child born after 1st June 2002 who feels their child may have a disability can apply for an assessment of need.
“This assessment is designed to ascertain what additional needs a child may have and it helps identify services required to meet those needs.
“There is a statutory requirement for assessments to be started within 3 months of the completed application form being received by the HSE. Thankfully the response to my parliamentary question indicates that there are no assessments breaching this timeline.
“Once an assessment is initiated the legislation states that it must be completed within a further 3 months. In Louth there are currently 66 assessments in breach of this requirement.
“This delay is extremely serious as the completed assessment of need is used by the HSE to prepare a Service Statement which indicates what supports and services will be offered to the child.
“Any delay in the preparation of the service statement means a delay in services being allocated to the child and a subsequent delay in the child experiencing the benefits of any therapy recommended.
“I have met with parents of a child with additional needs who’s assessment of need was commenced in September 2017. Almost a full year later this process is yet to be completed. This is unfair on parents and vulnerable children and I have written to the Health Minister to request urgent additional resources to address these delays in County Louth.”