Louth Sinn Féin will hold its annual Hungerstrike Commemoration in Drogheda next saturday September 1st.
The Commemoration will assemble at Bolton Square at 2.30pm and will march to the monument at Grove Hill.
In attendance this year, as in previous years, will be the Rising Phoenix Republican Flute band from Dublin and the Louth Republican Colour parties.
As in past commemorations held in Drogheda, the main speech will be given by a former Republican prisoner. This year the speech will be given by Fra McCann. Fra who was himself interned on the Maidstone prison ship, the cages of Long Kesh and later imprisoned in both Crumlin Road and Long Kesh. He spent three years on the blanket protest and on release from prison in 1979 became active in the anti H Block/Armagh Committee. In 1987 continuing in community activism Fra was elected to Belfast City Council representing Sinn Féin and from there was elected to The Northern Assembly in 2003 and has held his seat there ever since.
Local Councillor Joanna Byrne who will chair the event on the day is delighted to welcome Fra to Drogheda, ” It will be a great honour for me to introduce Fra to the Republican Community here locally. I have listened to Fra speak at events over the years in Belfast and his past experiences and memories of tougher times I have no doubt will captivate the crowd on the day. He is a stalwart republican who has inspired many younger generations , including myself. 37 years after the Hunger Strike and the Republican Struggle is at it’s strongest, all the time striving towards our primary political objective in bringing about a United Ireland. This is solely down to the resolve our Republican Prisoners, the bravery of all our 22 Hungerstrikers and the widespread support for them and their demands. County Louth has always played a big role in support of the Hungerstrikes and I think the selection of Fra to give the main oration this year is very fitting. It’s always a proud day for Drogheda to continue this tradition and i’m particularly looking forward to it, hope to see you all there “.
Cllrs Tom Cunningham, Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne & Ruairi Ó Murchú with Gerry Adams TD & Imelda Munster TD at Fleadh
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has extended his warmest congratulations to all of those involved in making Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda such a huge success.
Teachta Adams said:
“I want to commend the amazing efforts of the Drogheda Fleadh Committee, Drogheda Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Louth County Council, An Garda Síochána and the members of the Emergency Services, and the 1000 local volunteers who all worked hard to ensure that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda was a huge success. I also want to thank all of the sponsors who make events like this possible.
The Fleadh Cheoil is the biggest musical event on this island and is one of the most important in the cultural life of this island.
It was expected that around 400,000 local people and others from across the island and internationally would travel to Drogheda for a week of great music, dance and culture.
The atmosphere was electric with musicians and dancers performing wherever an audience was prepared to stand and listen. The decision to pedestrianise the town worked very well and made it much easier for the huge crowds to move about from the various events.
The Fleadh has also been an enormous boost to the local economy with tens of thousands of visitors coming to Drogheda to enjoy the music and craic.
Drogheda with its rich culture and heritage is perfectly placed to hold the Fleadh and I have no doubt that next year it will be even bigger and better.”
Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the provision of a 50% increase in Housing Adaptation Grants (HAGs) in Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget for 2018.
In June of this year, Cllr McGeough asked Louth County Council to apply for extra funding for this Grant scheme after it was announced that the Scheme was to be kept open all year round. Each year a budget is allocated to this scheme which will adapt houses for the disabled or elderly.
Cllr McGeough said “Each year, the scheme opened, was flooded with applications and then closed again after a few short weeks. However, this year saw an extension to the submission period with the Scheme remaining open all year round. That has had the effect of citizens being left frustrated with the long periods of waiting time for these adaptations to take place.”
He said “I have a lady who is in her late 80’s who made a submission for a small but essential adaptation to her bathroom in 2016. She was marked ‘Priority 1’ which is categorising her as ‘urgent’. 2016 has gone, 2017 applications are in and this lady has now been informed that her work should be carried out in 2018.”
“There is no point in opening the Scheme all year round, processing and passing applications only to leave them sitting in a pile somewhere because there is no budget to carry out the works.”
“The applications for this particular Scheme are from some of the most vulnerable in our community. The scheme is intended to make daily life better for those who need a bit of extra help with their physical needs. This could be anything from a downstairs bathroom to a more major refurbishment of their home. These adaptations need to be carried out in a timely manner and waiting two years is wholly unacceptable by anyone’s standards.”
“I welcome Sinn Féin’s proposal that the allocation for this Grant Scheme be an extra 50%. We could perhaps clear the backlog and not leave our vulnerable citizens trapped in unsuitable accommodation.
For our full Alternative Budget please go to sinnfein.ie