Govt responsible for ‘rent despair’ – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has accused Fine Gael of failing working families and young people through its disastrous housing policies. Government policy is contributing to “rent despair” as rents continue to escalate.

On Tuesday the latest Daft.ie report was published which revealed that for the 14th Quarter in a row rents have increased.

Teachta Gerry Adams said:

“Working families and those on low incomes are facing increasing pressures from cost of living increases, including rents. Daft.ie reported that rents in Louth and Meath have doubled in the last ten years. Currently the average rent in Louth is €1,236 which is a 3.6% increase on last year.

Rental increases are impacting on families across the state and forcing increasing numbers into homelessness. Tens of thousands are trapped in rent despair as a result of government policy. In addition many others are being forced out of the rental market and out of the possibility of ever having a permanent home of their own.

The reality is that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, their partners in government, have done nothing to reduce rental costs. Micheál Martin’s adoption of Sinn Féin’s demand for a rent freeze rings hollow given that this government only survives with Fianna Fáil support.

Very clearly the government’s housing policy, including the system of rent control zones, is not working.

There is a crisis in housing. There is a crisis in the rental market. Strong and effective measures are needed. Sinn Féin believes that there should be a three-year rent freeze and a tax break equal to one month’s rent.

These are two crucial measures that would make a real, substantial difference for those struggling with sky-high rents.”

DkIT and TUI must meet to discuss strategic future of the Institute – Adams

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams and Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú have called for talks between DkIT and the TUI. 

Deputy Adams commented following recent media coverage which suggests possible industrial action by TUI members at DkIT.

Gerry Adams said;

“I have met with the President of DkIT Michael Mulvey many times.

“We have discussed a range of issues relating to the Institute, including the future status of DkIT.

“I understand that DkIT is currently involved in a strategic planning process which will explore possible future designations for the Institute.

“I know that staff have indicated their overwhelming support for the pursuance of Technological University status.

“I have written to Michael Mulvey and the TUI to request that they meet as soon as possible to find a resolution to current difficulties.”

Councillor Ó Murchú added;

“Sinn Féin supports the development of Technological University status for DkIT alongside the deepening of ties to other educational institutions across the region, including in the north. 

 

“We have written to Michael Mulvey on this matter and I will meet with him this week to discuss further.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne: Windmill Road Residents Deserve Better

                         Cllr Joanna Byrne & Windmill Rd Residents

 

Last week’s Municipal District meeting of Drogheda saw a furious Joanna Byrne take the council officials to task over the delay of implementing ‘Resident’s Only’ parking on the Windmill Rd. 

Demanding answers on the delay, the Sinn Féin councillor also slammed Louth County Council for failing to engage with the residents of the area at any stage throughout the process.

Cllr Byrne said, “Following a long , hard-fought campaign by the residents of the Windmill Road area, the committee were here on 2nd September to witness the passing of the amended Bye-Laws which would see the introduction of Resident’s Only parking on the West Side of the street and an increased rate of parking fees on the rest of the street. This increase would reflect the rates of the Hospital car-park to encourage visitors to utilise that facility and therefore relieve congestion on the Windmill Road. This was given a commencement date of October 10th.

“Over a month later, no such Residents Only parking has been introduced. Ironically though, the increased parking rates have.”

Cllr Byrne was advised by a Council Engineer present at the municipal meeting, that the delay was due to the signage not arriving on time although it had been ordered, and the Residents Parking Only would be implemented in due course when it arrives.

Cllr Byrne said “Delays happen with orders, that I understand, but here we are a month later and not one level of engagement or communication has been fed down to the residents to inform them of this. We are now entering the winter season which unfortunately always leads to a busier hospital, all the residents here can see is congestion building, increased parking rates and no sign of their parking being introduced. After the hard work and perseverance they put into this campaign, frankly they deserve a lot better from Louth County Council.”

Cllr Byrne who worked closely with the residents of Windmill Road on this campaign urged the Council to follow up on the signage as a matter of urgency and to “not let this drag into another month before any work commences.”

Launch of Pat Finucane Booklet in Dundalk

The son of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane was in Dundalk on Saturday to launch a booklet written by Louth TD Gerry Adams about the lawyer.

John Finucane, who is mayor of Belfast, took time out from canvassing in the Westminster election, to join Mr Adams at the County Library in Dundalk for the event, which was chaired by Cllr. Ruairí Ó Murchú.

The booklet includes speeches from John Finucane and his sister, Katherine, along with a contribution from Mr Adams, and an introduction by Joe Austin, which were part of an event in Belfast marking the 30th anniversary of the murder, marked earlier this year.

It sets out in detail the political context of Pat Finucane’s murder, the role of the RUC and RUC Special Branch, the British Army’s Force Reconnaissance Unit and British agents operating within the unionist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association.

The Sinn Féin TD, who compiled ‘Pat Finucane 30th Anniversary – A Community Reflects’, told the large audience at the library about how the solicitor represented hunger striker Bobby Sands and how the Finucane family’s quest for justice is now entering its fourth decade.

John, who is running in North Belfast in the upcoming British general election, spoke powerfully about how his father was murdered while the family sat eating their dinner at their kitchen table on February 12 1989.

He praised his mother, Geraldine, who was also shot during the attack, for her tenacity in raising three children and leading the family’s campaign for justice. John gave an outline of the path the family’s quest for answers has taken and how it continues.

Mr Finucane and Mr Adams spent almost an hour signing copies of the booklet for audience members.

Government should implement Barron report and end trauma for Ludlow family – Adams

This week, 14 years ago, (3 November 2005) the Interim Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow was published. The following March 2006 the final report by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights was published.

That report recommended that the government establish two Commissions of Investigation into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow. The government has refused. The family took their case to the High Court seeking a Judicial Review of the Minister’s decision which they lost. Their appeal will be heard in the New Year.

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today called again on the Government to establish the two Commissions of Investigation recommended by the Final Report on the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow.

Gerry Adams said:

“The family of Seamus Ludlow have been campaigning for truth about his murder for over 40 years. They have been frustrated in this by the British government and its state agencies who colluded in the murder. They have also been blocked by the failure of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments that have refused to honour the recommendations of the Barron report and the Joint Oireachtas Committee.

      Members of the Ludlow Family on a recent visit to Leinster House

 

Seamus Ludlow was shot dead by a UVF/Red Hand Commando/UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment) gang in May 1976. He was aged 47. His body was thrown into a ditch near his Thistle Cross, Dundalk home. 

In 1979 the RUC identified four suspects it believed were responsible for the killing. Nineteen years later, in February 1998, the four were finally arrested. Two confessed to killing Seamus Ludlow during interviews with the RUC. They were released without charge. The North’s then Director of Public Prosecutions decided in 1999 not to prosecute the four. Among the four men were two serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment.

The Gardaí never interviewed the four men and never told the family. The first the family heard of the four suspects was in a newspaper report.

The Ludlow family earlier this year went to the Belfast High Court and successfully challenged the decision not to prosecute and the failure to provide reasons for this.

The Irish government should now move to establish the two outstanding Commissions of Investigation – which it has thus far refused to do – which were recommended by the Final Report on the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights in March 2006. That report expressed its “disappointment at the lack of co-operation from the British authorities … the role collusion played in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.”

Note to Editor:

The Sub-Committee recommends that a commission of investigation be established to investigate the following:

  • Whether the evidence collected at the scene of the murder of Seamus Ludlow in 1976 was available in 1979 and if not, why not?
  • Why were credible leads given to the Gardaí by the Northern Ireland police force not followed up?
  • Why were the four named suspects not interviewed?
  • Was there a policy in existence not to interview suspects in Northern Ireland for crimes committed in this jurisdiction?
  • Was a decision taken not to actively pursue the investigation of the murder of Seamus Ludlow and if so, who took that decision and why?

 

The Sub-Committee recommends that a commission of investigation be established to investigate the following:

  • What documents were created or maintained by An Garda Siochana including security intelligence C3 Section in relation to the murder of Seamus Ludlow?
  • Where are those documents?
  • If those documents are not available for inspection what is the reason for this?
  • What documents were created or maintained by the Department of Justice (and Departments of An Taoiseach, Foreign Affairs and Defence, in respectof the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Security), in relation to the murder of Seamus Ludlow?
  • Where are those documents?
  • If those documents are not available for inspection what is the reason for this?