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”.
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.”
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.”
Cllr Antóin Watters
Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has called on the Government to commence specific research to identify the impact that Brexit will have in the border regions.
Cllr Watters said “In the Government’s ‘Action Plan on Rural Development’ it was proposed that specific research be done to identify the impact of Brexit on rural areas across the State but in particular, the border areas which will be impact most negatively of all.”
“Brexit is getting ever closer and we have MEPs like Guy Verhofstad visiting us from Belguim and a taskforce of MEPs from various countries trying to get an idea of the border area and trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Yet, this vital piece of research has yet to commence. MEPs from other countries are showing more interest than the Irish Government in the border areas.”
Cllr Watters said “We need to start this research without delay so we can have a clear understanding of what the impact will be and more importantly what contingency plans can be put in place to mitigate the consequences.”
For full details of our Alternative Budget 2018 please go to www.sinnfein.ie
Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has congratulated the pupils of his former school on their Junior Certificate results.
Councillor Watters said:
“Firstly I would like to congratulate every student in Bush post Primary School who sat the Junior Certificate. I would also like to congratulate their teachers and other staff in the school. Having attended Bush I know how hard everyone works to ensure that all young people reach their full potential.”
“We are very fortunate to have such a good school in the community. It caters for all the young people in the area and provides a very broad curriculum with high standards for all whilst recognising individual interests.
“Bush has provided opportunities for thousands of young people to access careers in their chosen fields and signposted them to universities and further education colleges to study the sciences, medicine, agriculture, arts and finance, to apprenticeships, jobs in local businesses, construction and agriculture.
“It has grown in numbers every year and works very closely with its local primary schools to ease the transition to 2nd Level education.
“Students who completed the Junior Cert have now moved into their new school term and are either doing transition year, leaving certificate course or LCA. This is a very important time in their lives and I wish them all the best.”