Louth County Council has supported a motion presented by Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú in support of the retention and development of respite services for people with disabilities.
Councillor Ó Murchú stated,
“Parents of disabled children and older parents of disabled adults do this State an enormous service through the dedication and devotion with which they provide 24/7 care for their loved ones.
“The covenant which the State made with them was that they would have access to regular, appropriate respite at a location in their own community. The arbitrary HSE decision in July to close the Dundalk based Sruthán House respite centre displays a clear lack of respect for the people using this service and their families.
“I have met many service users of Sruthán House. Sinn Féin hosted a public meeting on the issue in July and I attended their summer garden party a few weeks ago. All of the people I met have spoken in the highest terms about the service and the staff at Sruthán House.
“It is a community within the community, a model of good practice.
“Sruthán House has service users from Louth, Monaghan and Meath. These people simply cannot be expected to attend alternative respite in Roscommon or Sligo. It is a nonsense.
“In recent years there has been additional respite capacity delivered in County Louth. However supports for people with disabilities and their carers have been decimated by this government.
“The mobility grant and rehabilitative training allowance have been slashed.
“Waiting times for Occupational Therapy and psychology assessment is up to two years.
“The people working to deliver these services are doing their best but the truth is that these services are grossly under resourced.
“The campaign to keep Sruthán House open has my full support and I am delighted that Louth County Council will now convey the support of the entire council to the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that this service is not lost.”
Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has secured the support of councillors on Louth County Council for his motion calling on the government to address dysfunction in the Irish Insurance industry.
Speaking following Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council, the Sinn Féin general election candidate said;
“The insurance industry in this State lacks transparency, accountability and regulation and is in urgent need of intervention. The issues affecting the insurance industry are fraudulent claims, exorbitant levels of award and the exaggeration of the incidence of bogus claims by insurance companies to justify massive hikes in premiums.
“Without urgent government intervention people will continue to be ripped off by unscrupulous providers and increasing numbers of Irish businesses will be unable to secure insurance, particularly in the leisure, entertainment & tourism sector.
“Louth County Council is also a victim of spiralling premiums. Funds which could be used for other vital services within this county must be diverted to service insurance costs.We all know the inflatable hire industry for example is facing obliteration following the decision by the industry’s only public liability insurer to withdraw from the market. The fact that only one company was providing insurance to this sector tells its own tale.
“The Irish market is just too risky and the outworking of this is that inflatable hire businesses with no claims against them risk becoming collateral damage.
“Earlier this week, the Public Participation Network released a survey which indicated that almost half of community and voluntary groups may be forced to close if insurance costs continue to rise. This is affecting Dundalk based businesses, some of which will close, resulting in job losses.
“Insurance providers have evaded scrutiny for too long. This issue must be on the government’s agenda for the upcoming term.
“While I welcome comments by Pascal Donohoe that this issue will be given government priority, we need action not words.”
At last week’s Drogheda Borough Council meeting, Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Cunningham described the junction at Drogheda Road in Clogherhead as ‘badly deteriorated and neglected’.
After the meeting Cllr Cunningham said “This junction at Drogheda Road is in desperate need of refurbishment. The road at the junction needs resurfaced and fresh lines need painted. There has been a number of ‘patch jobs’ done on a temporary basis but the time has come now for a more permanent solution. It is a false economy to keep patching it.”
“I have requested that engineers from the Council visit Clogherhead to do a needs assessment on what is, without doubt, the busiest junction in Clogherhead. Let’s get this junction sorted once and for all.”
Photos taken by Annalynn Cunningham
Sinn Féin Louth councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has attended a demonstration at Leinster House in Dublin this morning to coincide with the meeting of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Speaking from the event Cllr Ó Murchú said,
“It is clear from the words and actions of Boris Johnson that he simply does not care about how Brexit will impact on the people of this island.
“The fact that it has taken Mr Johnson 6 weeks to meet An Taoiseach is further evidence of the distain with which he has treated the Irish people.
“People have attended here this morning in large numbers to register their fears for the hugely negative consequences of any type of Brexit on this country.
“Border Communities Against Brexit have also attended this demonstration and it is clear that for people living, working and raising families in border areas in particular a hard Brexit would be catastrophic.
“The Taoiseach must make it clear to Boris Johnson that the backstop is absolutely essential and furthermore he must urgently begin planing for Irish reunification.”
Toirleach Ó Murchú, Ollie Stevenson & Cllr Ó Murchú
Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú attended the Sruthán House garden party on Saturday. He encouraged service users to engage in the ongoing HSE consultation regarding the future of the service.
Councillor Ó Murchú said;
“The campaign is ongoing to keep Sruthán House respite facility in Dundalk open and available to service users.
“I have been in regular contact with service users since Sinn Féin held a public meeting in July regarding the HSE decision to close the service.
“In late July Gerry Adams TD and I met with CHO8 Disability Manager Jude Ó Neill. We urged him to reconsider the decision to close Sruthán House and to engage with the people using the respite service there.
“Service users have received a letter which states that this consultation will conclude on September 30th.
“At this weekend’s garden party I encouraged the people I met to make their voices heard by contributing to the consultation.
“There was a huge attendance at the garden party by service users, their families and supporters of Sruthán House.
“Everyone I spoke with conveyed their fears and concerns that this vital service could still be withdrawn.
“This further demonstrates the positive impact which Sruthán House and its staff has on people with disabilities. This service must continue.
“At the next meeting of Louth County Council on 16th September I will be tabling a motion calling on the Council to write to the Minister for Health and the HSE on this issue. I hope that all of the councillors in Louth support this motion.”