At September’s Louth County Council Meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough welcomed the inspection of multi-storey buildings by the Fire and Emergency Services. Buildings of seven storeys and over have been inspected following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London with additional fire safety assessments requested of external wall cladding.
Cllr McGeough said “the Fire Prevention section has also requested fire safety assessments of all two storey properties owned by Housing Agencies where council tenants are accommodated and I welcome that. The Fire Prevention Section has also contacted management companies or owners of all buildings in Louth where Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) tenants are living.”
Cllr McGeough raised the issue of private tenants and private landlords. “I asked if their properties were being inspected but was told that is the responsibility of the landlords themselves. I would now urge all landlords to check their properties periodically and ensure there are fire safety precautions in place. With an average of 60-70 house fires a year we need to be doing everything we can to avoid tragedies.”
Pearse McGeough went on to explain that “there are basic things you can ensure the property has: Smoke detectors, heat detectors and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors. The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 requires every house to have a fire blanket and a mains wired smoke alarm or two 10 year self-contained battery operated alarms. These are a few basics that can be done but could be enough to save a life or prevent extensive damage to a property.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has called on the Irish Government to ensure the rights of the Irish fishing industry are protected in the aftermath of Brexit.
Cllr Cunningham said Irish fishermen were in danger of becoming “the meat in the sandwich between the EU and Britain during any talks on Brexit.”
Cllr Cunningham who hails from the fishing village of Clogherhead said “Our government needs to make it absolutely clear to the EU negotiating team how important our fishing industry is to this island. You can be sure that the French, Dutch and other EU countries will do everything to protect their fishing industries and we must not be any different.”
At present, Ireland catches half its quota in British Waters. The London Convention of 1964 allowed Irish fishing vessels to fish in British waters before their entry into the EU. Britain has expressed that they are seeking to exit that agreement. After Brexit Ireland will have 30% of Europe’s viable fishing water and 40% of its fishing stocks yet Irish fishermen are restricted to landing just 5% or less of the overall catch putting tremendous pressure on the industry.
Cllrs Tom Cunningham & Imelda Munster TD at Clogherhead Harbour
Cllr Tom Cunningham asked “what will happen to the EU vessels that are currently fishing in British waters? They will be displaced and the obvious place for them to go to is Ireland’s waters. Stakeholders estimate Brexit will cause the loss of between 500-600 Irish vessels and as our industry is comprised of small fishing vessels, in real terms, that means thousands of families losing their primary source of income and the decimation of coastal communities right around Ireland.”
Cllr Cunningham called on the Irish Government to “demand that the non-Irish vessels that are displaced from British waters are not redirected into increasingly crowded Irish waters.”
The British decided in July of this year to withdraw from the London Convention of 1964, however, Cllr Cunningham said he would give a cautious welcome to “remarks from the British Minister Michael Gove in August on allowing EU vessels to use British waters post-Brexit” but warned “these comments will cause as much confusion as relief. The Irish fishing industry needs certainty, it needs to know what is coming down the line so they can make adequate preparations, they don’t need this flip-flop approach from the British Government. The onus is on the Irish Government to represent the fishing industry and fishing communities.”
Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has welcomed the news that the contract has been signed to expand and upgrade the Staleen Water Plant in Drogheda.
Commenting Deputy Munster said “following on from the mayhem caused during July when 200,000 people were left without water for six days it is good news to hear that the water plant at Staleen is finally to be upgraded and modernised to make it fit for purpose.
“It should have been invested in and upgraded over the years instead of waiting for a crisis of this magnitude to happen. The contract will include the replacement of the rising main which contributed greatly to the cause of the water shortage crisis. With the contract signed for the expansion and upgrade of the plant work is expected to begin before the end of this year”.
Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has congratulated the pupils of his former school on their Junior Certificate results.
Councillor Watters said:
“Firstly I would like to congratulate every student in Bush post Primary School who sat the Junior Certificate. I would also like to congratulate their teachers and other staff in the school. Having attended Bush I know how hard everyone works to ensure that all young people reach their full potential.”
“We are very fortunate to have such a good school in the community. It caters for all the young people in the area and provides a very broad curriculum with high standards for all whilst recognising individual interests.
“Bush has provided opportunities for thousands of young people to access careers in their chosen fields and signposted them to universities and further education colleges to study the sciences, medicine, agriculture, arts and finance, to apprenticeships, jobs in local businesses, construction and agriculture.
“It has grown in numbers every year and works very closely with its local primary schools to ease the transition to 2nd Level education.
“Students who completed the Junior Cert have now moved into their new school term and are either doing transition year, leaving certificate course or LCA. This is a very important time in their lives and I wish them all the best.”
Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has condemned the recent criminal behaviour in Drogheda’s Tredagh View which culminated in a petrol bomb attack on a house in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Cllr Saurin said “This behaviour is totally unacceptable and those who carried it out have no regard for the damage or injury they could have caused. Thankfully on this occasion no-one was seriously hurt but we could have been waking up to a tragedy this morning. These actions have to stop. They are not wanted in the community.”
David Saurin urged anyone who had any information to contact the Gardaí.
He also urged residents of the area and indeed, other parts of Drogheda, to attend an upcoming public meeting being held by the Joint Policing Committee.
“The meeting will be held in the Westcourt Hotel on 9th October at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend. This anti-social behaviour is not what Drogheda is about and I would encourage everyone to attend and learn about neighbourhood watch and other initiatives that communities can take to help get on top of crime. Residents, Gardaí and local authorities must all work together to combat crime.”