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.”

Antoin Watters: Commence Research on Brexit Impact

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

Cllr Watters congratulates students & staff at Bush Post Primary School

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.”

 

Cllr Antóin Watters: End to Waste Plant Proposals on Carlingford Lough ‘a Huge Relief’

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has welcomed the withdrawal of the application for a waste plant for hazardous waste which would have been sited on the shores of Carlingford Lough.

Concerns were raised when the application was submitted for Warrenpoint Harbour and last week Cllr Watters had asked that the plans be made available in Dundalk so that concerned residents and stakeholders on this side of the Lough would have access to them and be able to submit any concerns they may have had.

Cllr Watters said “it is a huge relief that following pressure from community groups and environmental activists and concerns raised by Chris Hazzard MP and myself, Warrenpoint Harbour took the decision not to allow the waste facility on its site.”

“Regen Waste then later confirmed that they were withdrawing the application and are ‘no longer advancing plans for such a facility in Warrenpoint Harbour.’ This is a huge relief to all those who value the delicate ecosystem in and around Carlingford Lough.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Seeks Warrenpoint Waste Facility Application to be made available in Louth

Plans to put a hazardous waste facility in Warrenpoint, Co Down on the shores of Carlingford Lough has caused concern on both sides of Carlingford Lough.

ReGen Waste plans to develop a new waste management facility in Warrenpoint Harbour but given the delicate ecosystem in Carlingford Lough, unprecedented interest has understandably been sparked.

Cllr Antóin Watters who represents the Dundalk Carlingford area said “I have been approached by a number of constituents who have expressed concern that the plans for this facility were being advanced behind closed doors and away from public eyes. Following contact with our newly elected MP for the South Down area, Chris Hazzard, ReGen Waste representatives assured him that there will be a comprehensive community consultation process taking place over the summer ‘to ensure full transparency around this project and to give stakeholders an opportunity to have any concerns around this proposal addressed.’ I welcome that confirmation.”

“Chris Hazzard MP has called on the people in his area to scrutinize these plans and I am calling on people from North Louth to do the same. In order to help facilitate that scrutiny, I have today asked ReGen Waste to make a copy of the application available to Louth County Council so they can make it available for viewing in Dundalk.”

Chris Hazzard MP

“Given the delicate environmental setting of Warrenpoint Harbour on Carlingford Lough, we need to be very careful and wary of the development of anything that would be detrimental to that.”

Cllr Watters welcomed the fact that the “licence application for this project has been made available to the public in Warrenpoint Town Hall from Monday 10th July. I hope to update the public in Louth as to when it will be available in Dundalk. I would urge as many as possible from North Louth to study this application and I also call on Louth County Council to be very familiar with it as well.”

“We expect that as time goes on this project will attract interest from environmental campaigners from further afield but it is of the utmost importance that local people on both sides of the Lough are familiar with the project and any concerns they have are addressed.”