Pearse McGeough Selected for 2019 Council Elections

Louth Sinn Féin have formally selected seven candidates for the Dundalk and Mid-Louth areas for the 2019 Local Council Elections.

In Dundalk South, the three current Councillors were selected, Tomás Sharkey, Anne Campbell and Ruairí Ó Murchú, the latter two facing election for the first time having been co-opted within the last 14 months.

In Dundalk Carlingford, the two sitting Councillors Edel Corrigan and Antóin Watters were selected together with a new face, Eugene Garvey, an activist from the St Nicholas’ area of Dundalk.

In Mid-Louth Pearse McGeough was selected to re-run with his running mate not yet determined.

Pearse was nominated by the Geeney McGeough Cumann, of which he is a founder member, based in Mid-Louth. Séan Geeney proposed Cllr McGeough and activist Hugh Finegan seconded him.

Pearse has been a Republican all his life and is heavily involved in the community in many projects. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Mid-Louth and further afield.  He has shown leadership by being involved in the setting up of the local Community Alert Group which works to ensure that residents, particularly the elderly, are safe in their communities.

He is a proud member of the O’Connells GFC and an enthusiastic supporter

A native of Kilsaran, Pearse was first elected to Louth County Council in 2004 topping the poll with 1,425 first preference votes for the Ardee Electoral Area.  In 2009 he was re-elected to Louth County Council and elected to Ardee Town Council. He topped the poll again in 2014.

Pearse was elected Chair of the Ardee Municipal District this year for the first time together with being Chair of the Joint Policing Committee for Mid-Louth. The community in Mid-Louth have faced a challenging time this year which hasn’t been helped by cuts to Garda resources. Pearse is a great believer in Community involvement in all aspects of life and especially policing.

Speaking after the convention, McGeough said “I am humbled and honoured to have been put forward and subsequently selected and look forward to continuing to represent the people in Mid-Louth to the best of my ability.”

 

Pearse with the other candidates selected and our 2 TDs

 

Cllr Pearse McGeough: JPC Public Meeting Useful and Progressive

At a public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) for Mid-Louth, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough described the meeting as “very useful” and “a progressive way for the public to have their issues heard.”

The meeting was held at the Grove Hotel in Dunleer at the request of Cllr McGeough who is also Chair of the JPC. There was an attendance of around 40 and the proceedings got underway with a minute’s silence for Cameron Reilly who was from the town and was murdered on 26th May this year.

There were presentations from Louth County Council, An Garda Siochána (crime statistics) and on Cyber Crime.

Cllr McGeough said “I wanted to ensure that the public were heard first and foremost, and all those who attended were able to air their views on issues in the area and had the ear of Chief Superintendent Chris Mangan who I feel listened and took it all on board.”

Various issues were raised from drug taking, drug dealing, car parking, unmanned rural Garda stations to general anti-social behaviour.

Cllr McGeough said “there is a huge deficit in resources needed for the Gardaí to carry out their work effectively. Chief Superintendent Mangan was very forthright on that point. For example, if a murder occurs in the County, that is 20% of his budget gone. That is how much resources go into a murder. Now bear in mind, we have had three murders in County Louth this year and as CS Mangan pointed out, we now have the highest murder rate outside of Dublin, not something we can be proud of.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough & Imelda Munster TD

Also present was Imelda Munster TD who towards the end of the meeting told of her frustrations with the Minister as she was fighting for additional Garda resources in the Dáil. Those frustrations were mirrored by CS Mangan who has to justify his ‘overspending’ on a budget that was insufficient to meet the needs of the County.

Cllr McGeough said “people need to feel safe and in order for us all to live in a community where that can happen we need to be pro-active in looking out for each other and work closely with the Gardaí in reporting crimes and encourage our Community Garda to become integrated into our communities. I want to commend the Community Gardaí that we currently have throughout the county, they do great work and their local knowledge is invaluable in investigating local crimes. We need more of them but again, we are back to a resources issue.”

“In short, if we want to live peacefully and safely in our communities we all need to work together, the public, An Garda Siochana, Louth County Council, business owners and anyone who has an interest in where they live or work. I feel that the public took an active role at the meeting and were listened to, I want to thank everyone who attended.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham: Ardee Watermain To Be Upgraded

Following the latest water outage on Dublin Road, Ardee, Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham  sought assurances from Irish Water that they would fix the problem permanently and not just do ‘another patch job’.

Cllr Cunningham said “there have been numerous incidences of water disruption as a result of a particular watermain bursting on the Dublin Road in Ardee. Many households are affected each time. I contacted Irish Water asking that they sort this problem once and for all and look into replacing or upgrading this stretch of pipe as it is obviously no longer fit for purpose.”

Cllr Cunningham welcomed the response from Irish Water. “They said funding has been approved to replace the problematic pipe and over the next 6-12 months, Irish Water and Louth County Council will follow the process of a site investigation, design, construction and commissioning. Hopefully between then and now we will have no more problems with this pipe but at least there is an end in sight to the uncertainty that face residents of the area regarding their water supply.”

Adams supports Community call for amendment to N52 Ardee by-pass scheme

Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams attended a Dáil briefing on Tuesday given by a Working Group of Residents who will be significantly impacted by the N52 Ardee by-pass. The briefing was attended by the Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

The families live on the Mullanstown Road, Townspark Road and Silverhill Road, two of which will become cul-de-sacs if the current N52 plans go ahead unchanged. The presentation was made by Fergal Finn and Anne Lennon.

Teachta Adams met several of the Working Group two weeks ago when they brought him and Councillor Pearse McGeough along the affected roads and explained the community concerns and the environmental impact of the proposals.

Gerry Adams said:

“I asked Minister Ross, who attended the Dáil briefing to listen carefully to the briefing by the local community representatives and to look closely at their reasonable and thoughtful alternative proposals to the currents plan.

Like everyone else in and around Ardee the families welcome the decision to finally move ahead with the Ardee by-pass. However, they correctly point out that the N52 Realignment project was granted permission 12 years ago in 2006. Since then there have been community, demographic, sporting and environmental changes which the plan fails to take account of.

As a result of the current proposal the Townspark Road and the Mullanstown Road will become cul-de-sacs and the Silverhill Road will have a staggered ghost island junction. The Silverhill Road is essentially a narrow country lane which is inadequate for the substantially increased traffic it will now be expected to take, including school buses servicing the Tallanstown National School, Ardee Community Secondary School and the Ardee Day Care. The road is also prone to flooding.

The imposition of the current plans will in some instances double the physical length that residents have to walk or drive and will increase the time it takes for residents to reach Ardee. It will also present safety concerns for people travelling to the Ardee Celtic grounds.
The bogland between the Townspark Road and Silverhill Road is now a National Heritage area which seeks to protect our natural fauna, bird life and other wildlife. The current plans pre-date this development and no environmental impact assessment has been carried out.
The residents’ proposals outline a number of common sense, practical solutions to resolve the difficulties arising from the current plans. These include the use of over-pass and under-pass arrangements, as well as traffic lights. I asked the Minister to support these proposals.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough New Chair for Ardee MD

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has been elected the new Chair for the Ardee Municipal District Council.

Speaking after tonight’s AGM, Cllr McGeough said “I want to thank my fellow Sinn Féin councillor Tom Cunningham for nominating me and also want to thank Independent Cllr Jim Tenanty for his vote. For years there was a pact to keep Sinn Féin out but it’s good to see that pact has been broken tonight.”

“I have been proud to serve the good people of Ardee and Mid-Louth Municipal District for over fourteen years and this is the first time that I will have the opportunity of doing so as Chair. I will serve and represent all the people of the area and look forward to what will no doubt be a challenging but very rewarding time.”

“This coming year is an important one as we are facing into an election next year and Brexit with all the uncertainty that brings with it, is looming. Over the last years we have seen the powers in our municipal Districts stripped and diluted, obviously we need to reverse that trend if we want to affect real change in Mid-Louth. We, as councillors, are accountable to the people so it is up to us to represent those people and help Ardee and Mid-Louth to realise its full potential.”

“There are a few challenges that need to be prioritised this year. We need to appreciate the area’s potential for jobs and enterprise. Sometimes we tend to be overlooked in favour of Drogheda or Dundalk but we have a lot to offer too. I would like to see the Ardee By-pass well underway and to tackle the drugs and alcohol usage and addiction in the area especially among young people. These are projects that will require all of us and multi-agencies working together but if we have the will, it can be done.”

“I also look forward to working with Dolores Minogue as Leas Cathaoirleach in the year ahead.”