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 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.”