Joanna Byrne Selected for Drogheda Urban in 2019 Elections

Sitting Councillor Joanna Byrne has been selected to run in the 2019 Local Government Elections for the constituency of Drogheda Urban.

Joanna was nominated by the Chair of the Bobby Sands Cumann Hughie McShane who said “I am very proud to stand here in front of you all to nominate Joanna. The Cumann has come a long way and we now have Imelda Munster as a TD who we are very proud of and Joanna who has been an outstanding councilor and we know she will continue to be just that. Joanna brought a fresh approach and a new enthusiasm to the Cumann when she joined it and is always ready for a challenge. She is a strong defender of the rights for all, following in the footsteps of Imelda. I am very proud of them both.”

Joanna accepted the nomination and paid tribute to Hughie who she described as the “driving force behind the cumann. The last 2 years have been a whirlwind and there

The team with Hughie McShane far right

have been plenty of highs and lows and challenges but it has been a great experience and I couldn’t have done it without Kenneth (Flood) and Imelda and more recently David (Saurin). Imelda keeps us a very tight team and her precedence on the Council is so appreciated. She taught us that we can debate an issue but we go into the chamber as a unit and we stand as one.”

Joanna also paid tribute to her Mam Martina “she is always by my side and the support

Joanna and her Mam, Martina

I get from her and my siblings is unbelievable. She is doing work that no-one else sees, out in all weathers leafleting and supporting me and guiding me. I appreciate that Mam and of course, she looks after me which can be the biggest job of all.”

Joanna also welcomed Tom Cunningham to the Drogheda team from Mid-Louth.

Imelda Munster TD rounded the evening off by thanking the “grassroots members who a the ones that have helped the party grow from strength to strength by talking to people and communities and relaying that back to the reps. I have always said that if we lead, people will follow but we have to provide that leadership. We need to stay true to who we are, we hold officials to account for the betterment of our communities, we are always pushing for the best interests of the people. We can’t fail if we speak for the people. Despite the challenges thrown at us, the attempted isolation of us by other parties and large sections of the media, just look at what we have achieved. People aren’t stupid, they see through all their dirty tricks. We started with 5 Cumann members and we worked hard over the years and people see that.

“People will be proud to vote Sinn Féin, they know we are not afraid to speak out, they know that their voice will be heard through us. The hard work starts now though. We are a unit on Louth County Council, we are committed and true and we will build and build and continue to build after that.”

The new line up so far in Drogheda

 

Kenneth Flood Selected to Run in 2019 Elections for Drogheda Urban

Kenneth Flood with his wife Jenny and son.

Sitting councilor Kenneth Flood has been selected by Sinn Féin to run in the 2019 local elections for the Party.

Imelda Munster TD proposed Kenneth and said “Ken is always in touch with and communicating with people on the ground. He is diligent and hard working so I have no problem standing here to propose him. Kenneth is meticulous in his research of an issue, to the point of being a nerd, which is a good thing and stands to him. The Drogheda team have always

Kenneth with his proposer Imelda Munster TD

worked well together and Kenneth is not afraid to hold management of any organization to account and he’s not afraid to take on officials. He always represents the people and has never forgot that is what he is there for.”

Kenneth Flood then accepted the nomination and thanked “the Bobby Sands Cumann who have been a great support. We work hard in communities because that’s where we are from and we want to better them for everyone. The Cumann and I do the work where and when it needs done, that’s what we do and that’s what I hope to continue to do after next year.”

The new line up so far in Drogheda

David Saurin Selected to Run in Drogheda Urban in 2019

David and daughter Leanne

Sitting Councillor David Saurin was selected last night to run for the Drogheda Urban constituency for the Party.

David was proposed by Nikki Gavin from his Cumann in Drogheda who commended him on the work he has done until now and wished him well for the future.

David was seconded by his daughter Leanne who assured the room she was in no way biased. “I am very proud of you Dad. Dad works hard for his constituents since taking over from former Cllr Alan Cassidy who had to stand down for health reasons. On top of all this Councillor work, Dad also does shift work and he does it all without complaint. I am so proud of him and everything he has achieved and how hard he works and I look forward to campaigning for him when the elections are called.”

David commended former Cllr Alan Cassidy and admitted he “didn’t realise just how much work was involved when he took it on. I didn’t appreciate just how hard the council team actually worked but I certainly do now. It is 24/7 and I am grateful for the team around me. Kenneth Flood and Joanna Byrne have been a great support and help to me here in Drogheda and together we do trojan work. It’s all about bringing the Republican agenda to the people and I, along with the Colonel Leonard Cumann strive to do that on an on-going basis. We have to continue to build up the vote, we can see how it has increased over the years but that doesn’t happen easily. it is hard work and I am prepared to continue to give it 100%”

The new line up so far in Drogheda

Tom Cunningham Selected for Drogheda Rural

Tom giving his acceptance speech

Councillor Tom Cunningham has been selected by Sinn Féin to run in the new constituency of Drogheda Rural leaving his old stomping ground of Mid Louth. thanks to the recent boundary changes.

Tom was proposed by Cllr Pearse McGeough who said “I was alone in Mid-Louth until Tom Cunningham got elected in 2014 and he has been a great addition to the area and I will miss him. When Tom got elected, the first thing he did was opened a clinic in Ardee and that is there every Saturday morning come rain, hail

Pearse McGeough nominates Tom

or shine. He also enabled me to become Cathaoirleach of the district, something that would not have been achieved without him. He has made a difference in Mid-Louth and I am sure he will do as good a job in Drogheda Rural, they are very lucky to be getting him.”

Tom Cunningham thanked Pearse for all his support and guidance and said “it was a pleasure to work with Pearse and the night Pearse became Cathaoirleach was certainly a night to remember. We broke their pact to keep us out of offices.”

Tom especially wanted to thank his three daughters who were all in attendance. “Those poor girls are dragged to events and

Pearse McGeough and Tom with his 3 beautiful daughters

spend most of their Saturdays with me at the Ardee clinic, and never a word of complaint from them. If they didn’t, I would hardly see them at all and that just wouldn’t be fair. They are always supporting me and cheering me on and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have their support.”

The three girls proudly cheered as their Dad sat down with the oldest girl Stephanie looking for a hole in the ground in which to put her head.

Tom’s running mate in the area is still to be confirmed. His nomination was seconded by David Cusack from the Tullyallen Cumann which Tom will be working closely with.

Tom & David Cusack

Better no border at all – Adams

Speaking in tonight’s Dáil debate on the draft Withdrawal Agreement relating to Brexit the Louth TD Gerry Adams expressed his concern at the failure of the draft Agreement to protect the rights of Irish/EU citizens living in the North and of the dangers Brexit poses to the Good Friday Agreement.

The Louth TD reminded the Taoiseach that last December he said that citizens in the North “will never again be left behind by an Irish Government”. Last December’s Joint Report by the ERU and British government stated that there would be “no diminution of rights” and that “Irish citizens will continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens, including where they reside in Northern Ireland”

However, this has now been deleted. That is a significant backward step. While the draft Agreement does contain a clause on rights it is not legally binding. The government should be very aware that Irish citizens in the North are very conscious of that. Recently one thousand leaders of civic nationalism reminded the Taoiseach of his commitments”.

Teachta Adams raised the fact that Irish and EU citizens in the North will not be able to elect an MEP. He asked the Taoiseach if in light of the additional two seats being allocated to the state for the European Parliament, if the government has “considered allocating them to the North?”

The Louth TD pointed out that the draft Withdrawal Agreement means that the European Charter of Fundamental Rights will no longer apply in the north, which means that certain rights will be undermined. These include “a range of social and economic rights, including workers’ rights, which people currently enjoy in the EU which will now be left to the British government’s discretion”.

The Louth TD also raised the threat posed by Brexit to the Good Friday Agreement, and in particular the failure of the British government to exercise its power in the North with rigorous impartiality. Gerry Adams said: “The British refusal to defend the rights of Irish language speakers; to protect equality and human rights for gay and lesbian citizens; to implement agreements on legacy; or to honour outstanding Agreement commitments, on establishing a Bill of Rights, and create a Civic Forum, are all evidence of the absence of ‘rigorous impartiality’.

Moreover, following Brexit the British Conservatives remain wedded to ending the role of the European Court of Justice and getting rid of the Human Rights Act which protects the equality and human rights principles of the Agreement. Brexit is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement.”

Concluding Gerry Adams proposed that in the context of Brexit Irish unity takes on a greater significance and imperative.

He said: “This is a logical, common sense outcome to the political, social and economic fractures imposed by partition but it also makes sense in the current Brexit provoked crisis. Apart from any other consideration reunification will allow for the North to again become part of the EU. Hard border? Soft border? Better to have no border at all. That’s what the government and the Oireachtas should be working for.”