Cllr Flood Welcomes Joint Submission in Drogheda Port Public Consultation Process

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the passing of his council motion which will see the Borough District of Drogheda Councillors make a joint submission to the forthcoming public consultation process on Drogheda Port.

Cllr Flood said “At the Oireachtas Transport Committee, Imelda Munster TD sought answers from the incoming Chairman of Drogheda Port, Dr Joseph Hiney. The questions centred around on the Port Company’s future and on the issues surrounding it in Drogheda. The answer to each question was that there would be a master plan and a public consultation process in the near future.”

Cllr Flood then explained that “The Port Company have now confirmed they are finalising an ‘Issues Paper’ for circulation to all the stakeholders of Drogheda Port and a public consultation process will follow early next year.”

Cllr Flood & Imelda Munster TD at Drogheda Port

The Drogheda Councillor who has been outspoken on this issue said “I have not seen many of the Councillors as animated in the past when we’ve discussed important issues for Drogheda. There is universal agreement that as Louth County Council is now a shareholder in the Port Company we must use this opportunity to try and resolve some of the serious and long-standing issues surround the Port in Drogheda: the car parking regime: the neglect of Donors Green and the buildings on the North Strand: the lack of a formal system of consultation with local representatives. These must all be addressed. We have not had this opportunity before and we must speak with a unified voice for Drogheda to resolve these issues.”

Cllr Kenneth Flood then thanked the Drogheda Councillors for supporting his Council motion and looks forward to “bringing the energy from the debate into the consultation process itself.”

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú: Hard Border Brexit would be like the Germans rebuilding the Berlin Wall

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has called on DUP voters, Unionist farmers and businesses to challenge and confront the DUP on their Brexit stance following the debacle on Monday which seen the Brexit negotiations deteriorate into a farce.

There appeared to be agreement to move forward but following a phone call between DUP leader Arlene Foster and British Prime Minister Teresa May, those plans were scuppered.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “The DUP are being reckless in their quest to copper fasten their Britishness. The north should not be removed from the Customs Union and the Single Market. It is hard to see a solution which works for the people of the border region and across Ireland other than the North remaining within the EU. Sinn Féin has consistently sought a Designated Special Status for the north within the European Union and this makes the most sense economically.”

The Louth Councillor went on to say “People will not accept the return of border installations to this part of Ireland. There can be no removal of the rights and protections contained within the Good Friday Agreement. Trade, healthcare and communities would be greatly impacted by a return of border checks and stops. Economic devastation to Co. Louth is the only guarantee of a Hard Border Brexit. A Hard Border Brexit would be as absurd as the Germans rebuilding the Berlin Wall.”

Cllr Ó Murchú called on the Irish government to remain firm on the issue of the border and is encouraging all those who live in Co Louth and beyond to attend a ‘go-slow’ protest at the border at Carrickarnon (just past the Carrickdale) on Saturday morning at 11am. There will be a mock customs post erected and people can see for themselves the absurdity and effects of a hard border.

Everyone is welcome.

 

Cllr Joanna Byrne: Lets Work Together to bring Rough Sleeper Count to Zero

At Monday’s meeting of the Drogheda Municipal District, Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne expressed her shock at the results of this years Rough Sleeper Count.

This count took place unannounced by Louth County Council at 2.30am on Wednesday 15th November in both Dundalk and Drogheda and no persons were found to be sleeping rough.

Following Cllr Byrne raising this issue at the start of the meeting and asking questions regarding the zero count, which sparked wide debate, Senior Executive Officer Aoife Lawlor confirmed to the meeting that she herself had participated in this Rough Sleeper count and she could categorically say that there was not one person sleeping rough on these streets between the hours of 2.30am and 5.30am.

Rough Sleepers in Drogheda earlier this year

Cllr Byrne says ” To be honest I am shocked at this result returning at a count of zero, most people in this room knows of somebody somewhere sleeping rough in this town, a small number of people it may be, but is still a number.

“My understanding of this rough sleeper count taking place in the first place is to get a clear assessment of the problem, understand the magnitude of it, and allow the local authority to make provisions to provide effective and safe accommodation to these people to help deal with the issue.

“A zero count on the night, in my view, does not portray a clear image of the situation.”

Cllr Byrne stressed that whilst she was shocked by the result she did not doubt the merits of it, but made the suggestion that perhaps the local authority should liaise with the public reps in each area in advance of future rough sleeper counts to be aware of the hotspots known to the members and to include them on their route going forward.

“Let us all share our knowledge and work together to try bring that number down from the handful it probably is, to a realistic zero.

Martin Ferris TD To Launch ‘Ireland’s Hunger For Justice’ Book in Louth

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris will be in Dundalk and Drogheda on Saturday 9th December to launch ‘Ireland’s Hunger For Justice’ the story of Ireland’s 22 hunger strikers.

The book was compiled in County Kerry by the Tomás Aghas (Ashe) Centenary Memorial Committee consisting of Martin Ferris TD, John Buckley, Pól Ó Clúbháin, Seán Ó Braoin, Éamonn deBairéad, Seán Ó Luing and Tadhg Ó Duinneacha.

The purpose of the Committee was to commemorate the centenary of Tomás Ashe whose death occurred on 25th September 1917.

Deputy Martin Ferris said “What we set out to do was to honour the memory of Tomás Ashe and while we discussed Ashe’s life and death we realised that there were 21 others who also gave their lives on hunger strike from 1917 to 1981. We decided to write a short book detailing as much as possible, the story of each of these brave men. Some died in British jails but others too died in Irish jails and have almost been written out of history.”

“I am honoured to have played a small role in bringing this book to print, hunger strike was sometimes the only option republican prisoners had to use, the suffering and sacrifice of these 22 brave men should never be forgotten.”

“This is the first time that their stories will all be told in the one book and I am looking forward to launching it in County Louth on Saturday.

Martin Ferris TD will be in Muirhevna Mór Community Centre on Saturday at 12noon and then Barlow House, Narrow West Street in Drogheda at 2.30pm.

Cllr Ó Murchú Welcomes 300+ new Jobs to Dundalk

Martin Tedham,(Wasdell CEO) Cllr Ó Murchú & Mark Daly (Wasdell Project Manager)

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has welcomed 300 new jobs to Dundalk. Cllr Ó Murchú who attended the IDA announcement in Crowne Plaza said:

“This is a welcome boost for Dundalk from Wasdell, a pharmaceutical packaging company. There will be a wide variety of jobs available at all levels: IT, management, Human Resources, production etc. They will be seeking suppliers to make contact immediately and are wasting no time in seeing this project get underway.”

The timescale for the company to begin will be quite soon. Cllr Ó Murchú said “They will start building in March and should be ready by October and then these initial 300 jobs will commence with a possibility of expanding later to 500 jobs.”

“With the upcoming challenges of Brexit we know the border areas will be detrimentally affected so this news today is very welcome.”