Cllr Anne Campbell: Works on Dublin Road ‘will reinstate cycle lanes’

Cllr Anne Campbell

“Works, currently causing significant traffic disruption on the Dublin Road in Dundalk, are to reinstate the cycle lanes damaged by pipe and cable laying” Councillor Anne Campbell has revealed.

The Sinn Féin Councillor has been speaking to the contractors, GMC, as well as Irish Water, and has been told the cycle lanes are to be reinstated in the coming days.

Councillor Campbell said, “Hundreds of motorists, as well as residents, hospital patients and students going to DkIT, have been impacted by the traffic delays caused by roadworks currently taking place on the Dublin Road, from the College to Hill Street Bridge.

“I have today (Wednesday) been speaking to the onsite contractors, GMC, who have informed me that the works are being done on behalf of Irish Water, who this winter, carried out a significant pipe laying project in the area.

“As a condition to the council granting permission to lay the pipes, Irish Water promised to reinstate the well-used cycle lane. The works, which started this week, are part of that reinstatement.

“The current phase of work, where a tarmac coursing is being laid, is expected to be completed by Friday evening, June 1st. However, I have to warn people that there will be a further few days of work, probably in the middle of June, to lay the anti-slip top on the cycle lane and then the white lines will also have to be put down.”

The Sinn Féin councillor added, “I understand how frustrating it has been for people on the Dublin Road in the last number of months, with seemingly endless roadworks, but I am happy that the cycle lanes are being reinstated by Irish Water and I would ask cyclists and drivers to bear with the contractors and allow some extra time for journeys until this important contract is completed.”

Louth MIU expansion in Jeopardy – Adams

Sinn Fein TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he is gravely concerned following confirmation from the HSE that commitments to expand the service provided by the Minor Injuries Unit at Louth County Hospital Dundalk are now in jeopardy.

The Louth TD said;

“Simon Harris came to Dundalk in November 2017 and announced that by February 2018 the Minor Injuries Unit at the Louth Hospital would begin seeing additional paediatric patients by reducing the current age threshold of 14 years old to 5 years old.

“In January I submitted a parliamentary question regarding the progress of this development and in response the RCSI Hospital Group, which runs health facilities in Louth, Meath and North Dublin, said: ‘It is envisaged that the Local Injuries Unit at the Louth County Hospital will be in a position to start seeing patients over five years of age with minor injuries in Quarter 2 2018. This change in practice remains dependent on staffing and appropriate staff mix’

“I submitted a further parliamentary question this month and the RCSI Hospital Group now tell me that the agreed start time for this service will be delayed due to ‘unanticipated resignations.’

“Furthermore the response goes on to state that ‘while the Louth Hospitals continue to endeavour to recruit the compliment of staff that is required to establish a safe level of service, they are not in a position to provide an updated time frame at this time.’

Cllr Anne Campbell

“From these responses it is clear to me that there is a real threat that this expanded service for those over 5 years old may never become operational.

“I am shocked that the Minister for Health would make such a grand announcement without any of the necessary ground work being complete.

“I have asked the Minister for Health what recruitment campaign has been undertaken to ensure that the staff are in place to operate this service and I urge him to honour the commitments he has made to Dundalk.

 

“My colleague councillor Anne Campbell will also be raising this matter at the next meeting of the Dublin North East Regional Health Forum, at which representatives of the RCSI Hospital Group will be present.”

SF Councillors Stand with Irish Life Staff

Cllrs Ó Murchú & Campbell with staff from Irish Life

Dundalk councillors Ruairi O Murchu and Anne Campbell have given their support to the striking workers at Irish Life.

A majority of the 180-strong Dundalk workforce at the country’s largest pension provider took part in the one-day stoppage, along with their colleagues in the Irish Life centre in Dublin, in protest at plans by the multi-million euro firm to take employees out of the defined benefit pension scheme and put them into the defined contribution one instead.

The Sinn Fein councillors spent time with the striking workers, who are members of the Unite union, hearing how the proposed changes will affect the employees in Dundalk, some of whom have been with the company since it first opened here nearly 17 years ago.

In a joint statement, Cllrs. O Murchu and Campbell said: ‘We went to the Irish Life picket line today to support the Dundalk workers of the company who are facing a situation where they believe they could lose 30% of their pension entitlements.

‘It was clear to see that the strike was being well-supported by the local community, judging by the sounding of car horns and waves from those driving by on the Inner Relief Road.

‘We spoke to a number of the workers, some of whom joined the company after 2007 and were put into the defined contribution scheme, and they were very supportive of their colleagues who face losing their defined benefit pension.

‘Some of them told us that the defined benefit pension promise was one of the reasons they had remained at the company for so long.

‘Sinn Fein stands with the Irish Life workers and we call on the company, which made around €200 million profit last year and which is, ironically, Ireland’s biggest pension provider, to engage with the Dundalk and Dublin workers immediately in a bid to come to a properly-negotiated and fair settlement’.

 

Cllr Anne Campbell: Delay on MIU Unacceptable

Sinn Féin Councillor Anne Campbell has revealed that the planned reduction in the age limit for treatment at the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the Louth Hospital is already behind schedule.

In November 2017, Health Minister Simon Harris was visiting Louth and told Fine Gael politicians, that the reduction in age at the MIU, from 14 to 5 years, would happen in February this year.

Councillor Campbell, who is a member of the Regional Health Forum, pointed out this week, “that deadline is now well past. Minister Harris, during a visit to Louth, announced to great fanfare, his confidence that the MIU in Dundalk would see this reduction by February. The latest information I have received is that the age reduction will not now happen until some time in the second quarter of this year. This information was given to Gerry Adams TD following a Parliamentary Question.”

The response, from the RCSI Hospital Group which runs health facilities in Louth, Meath and North Dublin, says: ‘It is envisaged that the Local Injuries Unit at the Louth County Hospital will be in a position to start seeing patients over five years of age with minor injuries in Quarter 2 2018. This change in practice remains dependent on staffing and appropriate staff mix’.

Cllr Campbell said: “I am very concerned at this delay and the fact that the RSCI have not even set a proper date for the age reduction despite the February deadline having already been missed.”

Cllr Campbell also pointed out that “with over-crowding an almost daily occurrence at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, this age reduction will give parents, like myself with children under 14, the ability to get their minor injuries treated in the first-class MIU in Dundalk. The longer the age reduction is delayed, the more pressure is being heaped on an already overstretched A & E in Drogheda not to mention the stress for parents worried about having to take their child to Drogheda with a minor injury.”

Cllr Campbell has called for the “RSCI to now make the age reduction their top priority in this area and to get the staffing they say they need in place – they have already had plenty of time. We want to see Minister Harris follow through on his promise albeit late in the day.”

Cllr Anne Campbell Welcomes End to Ard Dealgan Nightmare

Sinn Féin Councillor Anne Campbell has welcomed the signing of a contract between Louth County Council and Tuath Housing Association which marks the beginning of new work to provide social housing in the complex on Quay Street.

Councillor Anne Campbell said “this marks a new beginning for the people of the Quay Street, Peter Street and Barrack Street areas. Dundalk Sinn Féin and former councillor Jennifer Green have campaigned on this issue for a number of years and at last we can look forward to an end to the nightmare.”

The Ard Dealgan complex which was abandoned in 2009 following health and safety concerns has been a magnet for anti-social activity in the form of drug dealing, parties into the night

Cllr Campbell inside Ard Dealgan

especially in the summertime and a regular number of fires taking place endangering the lives of the front line services that sometimes needed specialist equipment to reach the fire.

Councillor Campbell said “we can now look to the future. The residents in the surrounding areas don’t need to fear and dread the summertime coming this year, work should be well underway by then as it is expected that the 68 units should be completed by the end of 2019.”

“The residents will be taken from the housing list and a care-taker should be living on site. There will be 68 units in total on completion:

  • 46 x two bed homes
  • 10 x one bed homes
  • 7 x three bed apartments
  • 3 x two bed duplexes
  • 2 x four bed duplexes

This will provide a good mixture and I look forward to seeing people and families who have been waiting for years on the housing list, settled into their new homes by the end of next year.”

Councillor Campbell also gave an outline of the work involved. “The apartments will have a turnkey finish as they will be fully furnished with new electrical and plumbing works to the highest standard. There will also be landscaped gardens and around 70 underground car parking spaces.”

Cllr Campbell was also pleased that “the Council have given a commitment to improve the public road outside the new complex. That part of the road in Quay Street has become quite dangerous with the amount of pot-holes and cars can often be seen swerving around them and it can look like they are driving erratically.”

Cllr Anne Campbell also said “the council will allocate the housing mainly through the Choice Based Letting system and accommodation will be provided for those with disability or experiencing homelessness.”

In addressing the issue of anti-Social behavior “Tuath don’t anticipate any problems with anti-social behaviour at the new complex as they have experience of running large apartment buildings around the country and are confident that this one will be a place where people want to live.”