Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has expressed his disappointment and frustration with Louth County Council over its failure to implement many of the promised measures to combat anti-social behaviour in Rathmullan and Finian’s park.
Cllr Saurin said “at last month’s County Council meeting I asked for an update on the Cross Directive Initiative for Rathmullan which was launched by the Council last summer to combat the ongoing anti-social behaviour in the area. The response I received revealed a lack of urgency on behalf of the Council regarding the implementation of the necessary measures required to deal with the ongoing situation in these areas.”
Cllr Saurin feels this “highlights a complete lack of understanding by the Council of the impact that this behaviour has on the quality of life for the majority of law abiding citizens living in these estates.”
There were several measures promised by the Council such as the installation of extra speed ramps in both estates, repairs to public lighting in the back alleys, infill housing and the installation of CCTV cameras.
According to Cllr Saurin, “some bollards were installed earlier in the year in Rathmullan but there has been no further measures implemented.” While acknowledging that some of the planned solutions such as infill housing and CCTV cameras are long term and will require a bigger investment, Cllr Saurin said that “speed ramps and lighting are relatively low cost and should be installed promptly.”
“The residents of Rathmullen and Finian’s Park expect their concerns to be addressed by the Council and sooner rather than later.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has met with the Operations Department of Louth County Council to request that special attention is paid to tackling illegal dumping on the Cord Road area of Drogheda.
Cllr Flood said “Recently Cllr Joanna Byrne and I, along with community volunteers that deal with rough sleepers, walked the length of Drogheda between the hours of Midnight and 3am to carry out our own rough sleeper count. However, when we reached the Cord Road and started to check the series of steps leading to North Strand we were stopped in our tracks by the amount of illegal dumping we met. Not only was the rubbish filthy but it was also dangerous as there was a large amount of broken glass and other hazards to health scattered everywhere.”
“I raised the issue at the January Borough District of Drogheda Meeting and to ensure that the matter would be vigorously tackled, I then met with LCC’s Operations Department to highlight the specific areas where people are dumping.” Following this meeting, Cllr Flood and Imelda Munster TD followed up in the same area and according to Cllr Flood “we were happy that the waste we had reported had indeed been removed. We all need to be vigilant in order to tackle this scourge of illegal dumping.
“My message to the dumpers is, stop it now. You will be caught and fined.” The number for reporting littering to Louth County Council is Lo-call 1890 20 23 03 and anyone found littering can face fines on conviction of between €150 – €3,000.
TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams has said that the opening of a new unit dedicated to the investigation of domestic abuse, sexual crime, online child exploitation, prostitution and human trafficking is a very welcome step for the protection of women and children in Louth.
Gerry Adams said; “This new premises in Castlebellingham will be staffed by two sergeants and ten detectives and I commend Chief Superintendent for Louth Christopher Mangan and all those who worked on delivering this facility.
“I was delighted to meet representatives of Women’s Aid Dundalk and Drogheda, Rape Crisis North East and Ruhama at today’s launch as well as speaking with some of the Gardaí who will be working in the new Protective Services Unit.
“I understand that the Gardaí working in this unit have undergone a specialist training programme and that is welcome. However I did raise concerns at the opening with the level of training provided for all rank and file Gardaí regarding recently introduced Domestic Violence Act.
“The opening of Louth Protective Services Unit is likely to result in an increase in
presentations from people affected at other local garda stations. “For this reason I urged that private areas be provided in other stations where victims can give details of their experience in a therapeutic and private setting. “I am due to meet with Chief Superintendent Mangan later this month and I hope to discuss these matters further then.”
The 32 parking spaces on the North Strand have been reduced to just 9 spaces by Louth County Council and according to Sinn Fein Cllr Kenneth Flood, this was done without consultation with Councillors nor consideration for residents in the area.
In November last year Cllr. Flood had a motion passed that requested the restoration of the parking spaces or that the council provide alternative parking arrangements. Cllr Flood said “The council will not move on restoring the parking spaces nor have they done anything to examine alternative parking arrangements. At the time I gave a commitment that I would personally follow up with a comprehensive survey of the area to assess the parking needs of residents. This should be have done before any decision was taken to remove any parking spaces.”
“Recently, Deputy Imelda Munster and I canvassed the North Strand to ask the residents if they were happy with the current parking arrangements.”
“The residents were all able to tell us of the inconvenience they were experiencing at not being able to park near their homes. Several had received parking fines with one resident telling us he no option but to sell his car because of continuously getting parking tickets.” Cllr Flood feels that a solution to the problem could be if parking were made available on North Strand adjacent to the Drogheda Port Company warehouses. This would provide parking while not interfering with traffic flow. “I will be raising this issue again, as I have several times previously at the Borough District of Drogheda, requesting Louth County Council and the Drogheda Port Company agree to provide spaces there. After all, it was Drogheda Port Company that requested the removal of the on street parking in the first place so they have a responsibility to help address the problem.”
Cllr Flood feels that a solution to the problem could be if parking were made available on North Strand adjacent to the Drogheda Port Company warehouses. This would provide parking while not interfering with traffic flow.
“I will be raising this issue again, as I have several times previously at the Borough District of Drogheda, requesting Louth County Council and the Drogheda Port Company agree to provide spaces there. After all, it was Drogheda Port Company that requested the removal of the on street parking in the first place so they have a responsibility to help address the problem.”
Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has warned that “failure by the government to address glaring fialings in its healthcare policies will only make the crisis in the health service and the impact of the nurses strike even greater.” The Louth TD said: “The onus is on the government to resolve this worsening crisis within the health service.
“The announcement on Monday by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that its 40,000 members will hold a 24 hour work stoppage on 30th January is a direct consequence of bad government policy.
“The Union has also stated that if necessary further work stoppages will occur on February 5th, 7th , 12th, 13th and 14th. “The working conditions for our nursing staff have become increasingly stressful and difficult due directly to Government’s wilful neglect of the public healthcare system, including its failure to retain existing staff and recruit new staff..
“Sinn Fein is also worried about the effect any strike will have on the provision of health cover in Louth. “Currently there are thousands of patients across this constituency who are already on long waiting lists for medical appointments, procedures and therapies at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and The Louth Hospital, Dundalk.
“Both I and Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú spoke to the INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheagahda and north east representative David Miskell shortly before Christmas.
“They indicated to us that in the event of strike action all non-life-saving services will be withdrawn for 24 hour periods, there would be no normal ward services, all outpatient appointments and elective surgeries would be cancelled and there would be no respite services.”
Councillor Ó Murchú added; “The Minister for Health and the Minister for Public Expenditure must meet with the INMO to avoid this devastating industrial action.
“In addition the Minister for Health should immediately implement the recommendations of the recently published ‘Taskforce on Nurse Staffing’ which demonstrated, through a pilot project in Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, that patient mortality levels in the hospital decreased by 50%.”