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.”

Cllr Tomás Sharkey new Chair of Louth Meath Education & Training Board

Tomás Sharkey & Jenny Darcy (outgoing Chair)

Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey has been elected the chairman of Louth & Meath Education and Training Board.

Councillor Sharkey is a teacher and school principal and has been involved in the board and Louth VEC since the 2004 local elections.
Speaking after his appointment, Cllr Sharkey said “LMETB is a proud organisation. We lead the way in education in our two counties. Learners attend our 18 Post Primary schools and one Primary school. We are also responsible responsible for an extensive range of Adult Services throughout both counties, including Adult Learning Services, Community Education, Back to Education Initiative, VTOS and Adult Guidance.  There are 8 Youthreach centres spread across the two counties. Since July 1st 2014 Dundalk Regional Skills & Training Centre is under the governance of LMETB, having been transferred from SOLAS on that date. LMETB is patron to 6 Community Schools.
 
“It is an honour to held lead this organisation in partnership with all board members and staff. Education and training are vital for the future promotion of economic and social development in the region.”

New Chair for Louth Sinn Féin Comhairle Ceantair

Jane Martin pictured with Cllr Pearse McGeough & Imelda Munster TD

Jane Martin pictured with Cllr Pearse McGeough & Imelda Munster TD

Louth Sinn Féin held their AGM last night and a new Chairperson was elected. Jane martin is from Dundalk and has been an enthusiastic party worker and activist since the 1980’s. More recently Jane has been working for the Party across the 15 counties of the ‘Midlands-North West’ area.  Jane was instrumental in the election campaigns of the local elections in 2014, Matt Carthy’s campaign for Europe in 2014 and the Dáil General Election in 2016.

Speaking after her appointment Jane Martin said “I am honoured to be given this opportunity in Louth, we have a great team here in the county. We are the biggest party on Louth County Council with ten councillors, we have two TDs, one of them being our party president Gerry Adams and the other being Imelda Munster, the first woman elected as TD in Louth and our MEP Matt Carthy. I look forward to continuing our great work and moving us on to even greater things.”

The packed meeting sent congratulations and support to the North’s new leader Jane Martin 2Michelle O’Neill MLA who took over the reins from Martin McGuinness this week. Discussions revolved around issues and challenges in the county.

Jane Martin said “some of the issues discussed were the housing shortage, the homeless epidemic and the lack of funding in the county for our roads. The most pressing issue was BREXIT which is of serious concern for the people of Ireland especially those living along the border. BREXIT will be bad for our border communities, bad for the economy and bad for workers. There has never been a better time to talk about building a new, fairer and united Ireland and I look forward to working with our activists in working towards building an Ireland we can all be proud to live in.”

Jane Martin also called for the young people of the county to get involved. “If you want to make a change, if you want to continue the struggle for a United Ireland then join Sinn Féin and make a difference. Just call into our office in Dundalk or Drogheda or go to www.sinnfein.ie and sign up.”

Sharkey – Democratic Deficit in Louth Council

Tomas Sharkey PhotoSinn Féin group leader on Louth County Council Tomás Sharkey has hit out at what he has called a “democratic deficit” in the local authority.

Councillor Sharkey was reacting to the election of labour’s Paul Bell with the support of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Green and some Independent Councillors.
Councillor Sharkey said:
“There is no point in the other parties complaining about the reduction of powers for local government when we face the annual farce of them excluding the largest party from the chair of Louth County Council. Sinn Féin has 10 County Councillors of the 29 total. we have the popular support of 30% of the electorate of Louth. The pact between these parties is a blatant act of exclusion.
“I would like to thank Independent Councillor Maeve Yore for her support in my nomination for the role of Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council. We in Sinn Féin want a fully inclusive council where nobody is excluded.”

Joint Policing Forum Chair Hits Out Over Cancellation of Public Meeting

Kenneth FloodSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out over the cancellation of the first public meeting of the Joint Policing Forum which was scheduled for Tuesday evening 1st December. The meeting was to have been held in the Westcourt Hotel and was cancelled because ‘no Garda were available to attend.’

Cllr Flood, who is the chair of the Forum was incensed as he said “We have not had a public meeting since November 2013. This meeting was hailed as a vital link between the public, the Gardaí and public servants. It was organised and advertised by Louth County Council but they apparently forgot to confirm the Gardaí’s availability for the meeting.”

Councillor Flood contacted the Superintendent following notification of the reason for the cancellation and reported “after speaking to the Superintendent for Drogheda and South Louth I was told he only knew of the date of the meeting when he read it in the media after the public notice was published. He contacted the Council several times to inform them the date was unsuitable as that night Drogheda Gardaí had other commitments. Any other date would suffice.”

The Dundalk based official responsible for organising the meeting was unavailable to take the calls which resulted in the last minute cancellation of the meeting.

Cllr Flood made no bones about where the blame lay. “The blames lies squarely with Louth County Council officials in Dundalk who treat Drogheda as an after-thought. I am furious about this lack of respect for the people of Drogheda. We are now down to three community Gardaí from ten a few years ago. Local reps and Gardaí are trying to improve our town and make citizens feel a bit safer in their areas and then something like this happens which only helps to widen the perceived disconnect between the public and the Gardaí. We need to get down to business and stop messing about.”