Cllr Antóin Watters: Good Weather Attracts Bad Habits

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has asked people to take care of the beach and leave it as you find it. This request comes after the councillor received numerous complaints from local people around Templetown Beach as people have flocked to it with the good weather.

Cllr Watters said “No one wants to ruin anyone’s fun in this weather but I’m asking people to respect the beach and clean up after yourself. There has been an increase in the number of BBQ sets and plastic containers left on the beach. You wouldn’t dream of leaving these lying around if your BBQ was in your back garden so why leave them behind somewhere else? We are all aware of the danger of plastic to the seas and oceans.”

Horse fouling on beach

Cllr Watters has also received several complaints about horses on the beach. “There are strict bye-laws regarding horses on blue flag beaches and that includes Templetown Beach. Horses are not allowed on the beach between 10:00 – 18:00 during the summer months according to the Control of Horses Act.  The reasons for these bye-laws are obvious, especially if we are enjoying the kind of weather we have had lately. When a beach is busy, as Templetown has been recently, it becomes dangerous to have horses on the beach. These horses are putting people at risk of serious injury, not to mention the fouling that is taking place which isn’t fair on other beach users.”

Take your BBQ and rubbish home with you

The fixed penalty for breach of these bye-laws is €63 and Councillor Watters has been in contact with Council officials and Gardaí this morning. “I have requested additional signage to be erected at Templetown Beach to inform people of the restrictions and asked the Gardaí to be extra vigilant for enforcement. Members of the Public should also notify the Gardaí of any breaches. Let’s keep the beach safe for everyone to enjoy.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Calls For Pro-Active Approach to Dumping

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has requested that Louth County Council to explore the option of installing height restriction barriers at litter hot spots in North Louth.

Cllr Watters made the request at this month’s Municipal meeting in Dundalk following and escalation in dumping incidents around North Louth since Christmas.

Councillor Watters said “since Christmas we have had tyres and building rubble dumped which are very costly to remove. While I welcome the funding for the County from the Government’s Dept of Climate Action and Environment through their Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI), it is not going to solve the problem.”

In April Minister Denis Naughtan TD announced Louth would receive €76,300.

Antóin Watters explained that this sum was to cover the whole county and included Carrickarnon Laneway, Ravensdale. “I spent last weekend helping in the annual spring clean at Rathcor. The spirit and pride of the community in their area was evident as it is in other areas. People who are dumping rubbish are not wanted in the area. They do not care about the people or the area.”

Antoin Watters at Rathcor Clean up

“This money from the ADI will be used up just cleaning up after these people. We need to think more long-term and be more pro-active in tackling this issue once and for all. This is a war on dumping. We need to fund initiatives like amnesties for tyres and larger items like mattresses or suites of furniture. We need to make it difficult for dumpers to drive their vans to these hotspots and that’s where the height restriction barriers would help. We could use CCTV at these spots and even drone technology.”

Councillor Watters has been liaising with Louth County Council and Coillte on an on-going basis since Christmas on this issue and said “Coillte removed a further 260 tyres from its land last week and that is eating into their already tight budget. They shouldn’t have to spend their budget or their time on cleaning up rubbish, they were established for forestry works and illegal dumping is taking them away from that.”

Councillor Watters also said “the greatest resource that we have against these people are the communities themselves. I would again appeal to people to remain vigilant. If they see anyone dumping or if they see strange vehicles acting suspiciously around litter hotspots take note of them and report them to Louth County Council.”

“This is our county, our area, our community and we are proud of it. We are not going to let people treat it like their own personal rubbish tip. The money spent on cleaning up after these despicable people could be better spent elsewhere.”

Sinn Féin Councillors meet disABILITY Louth

A Sinn Féin delegation met with the local umbrella group disABILITY Louth Forum . The delegation included Cllrs Ruairí Ó Murchú and Antóin Watters, who welcomed the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing people with disabilities in County Louth.

DisABILITY Louth was launched in June 2017 in response to the challenges faced by people with disabilities in County Louth and now enjoys the support of over thirty local disability groups and is working to raise awareness, and bring about meaningful changes for people in the county.

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú welcomed the opportunity to meet the group saying, “Disability is a societal issue affecting people of all ages and their families, directly and indirectly. Sinn Féin have, through the Dáil and at County Council level, consistently highlighted the lack of adequate services, funding, supports and future planning to meet the needs of people with disabilities. We are looking forward to working closely with disABILITY Louth to further this work in Louth and would encourage other local politicians to get on board”.

Cllr Ántoin Watters made a presentation to the group setting out Sinn Féin priorities for people with disabilities. He outlined the need for the recent ratification of the UNCRPD (the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) to be followed up by necessary laws, funding and swift action from Louth County Council to implement it. Cllr Watters said “Sinn Féin put a motion to the council to support this long awaited convention. We all welcome its ratification but without the necessary laws, funding and guidelines for local councils it means little to people with disabilities. The Sinn Féin team in Louth will continue to press the government to follow through on these measures without delay”.

Cllr Antóin Watters: A Despicable Act by Despicable People

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has described a second incident of tyre dumping at Edentubber as a ‘despicable act carried out by despicable people’.

Cllr Watters who visited the site on Sunday said “tyre dumping is threatening to spiral out of control.”

Following on from the dumping of tyres over the Christmas period in Edentubber there has now been another spate of dumping over the weekend.

Cllr Watters said “I visited the site again on Sunday and there has been another load of tyres dumped. Last week at the Dundalk Municipal District meeting I raised the issue of the tyre dumping and requested extra boulders to be placed to stop the perpetrators been able to access the site so easily. This needs to be done as a matter of urgency now.”

“This situation needs to be addressed immediately with a cross community and agency approach to tackle this. In the meantime I would appeal for the community to be vigilant and report anything they see that is suspicious.”

Watters takes Coffey to task over hard border claim

Sinn Fein Louth County Councillor Antóin Watters has described Fianna Fail Councillor Emma Coffey’s call for a “hard border” after Brexit as “short sighted and a surrender to the threat posed by the British government’s Brexit plans.”

Councillor Watters said:

“The consensus position among parties in the Dáil, and in the North, is for the minimum disruption possible to the two economies on the island of Ireland, and especially to the border counties, as a result of Brexit. Most support the north being designated a special status within the EU to facilitate this.

“The Fianna Fáil Councillor appears to have accepted that the efforts of her own party and of the rest of us will fail. Her stance reflects a recent call by Fianna Fáil for an electronic border similar to the toll system operating on the M50. In the event of the border becoming an EU international border this proposal has already been rubbished as insufficient.

“Her approach is also hugely contradictory. Having pointed out the difficulty in monitoring 500 km of border and hundreds of roads, and acknowledged the thousands who cross the border every day as workers or tourists or to visit family, Councillor Coffey demands that we should accept the need for a hard border.

“Any EU frontier on the island of Ireland would be a backward step and no self-respecting politician who claims to want a united Ireland or to be called a republican should be advocating such an outcome.

“What is required is a political and not an electronic solution to Brexit and certainly not a hard border.”