Cllr Pearse McGeough: Time for Action over Dunleer Bank Closure

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has said the time has come for action over the Bank of Ireland’s decision to close 103 branches in Ireland including the one in Dunleer.

He was speaking after he hosted an online public meeting with Imelda Munster TD.

Cllr McGeough said “the meeting was well attended and included Independent Cllr Hugh Conlon, members of the business community and the Community Sector as well as other customers of the bank. The debate was lively and everyone had their say and we now have a plan to forge ahead to oppose the closure.”

At the meeting, Cllr McGeough pointed out that although Sinn Fein was holding a series of these meetings across the island, this was NOT a party political issue and indeed in other counties concerned Fianna Fáil Cllrs and independents had attended the meetings.

According to Cllr McGeough, “we were unable to do anything when Ulster Bank made the decision to pull out all their branches but it’s different with Bank of Ireland as they were bailed out to the tune of €4.7 billion and the Minister for Finance, on behalf of the Irish people holds a 14% shareholding in the Bank so that is the leverage we have and we need to focus on that leverage.”

He also pointed out that “Instead of having 103 small campaigns we must consolidate our efforts into a bigger campaign. There is no guarantee that we can save all 103 branches but perhaps we can save some. Pearse Doherty TD is leading the campaign but is depending on local people to get behind it. Louth will not be found wanting.”

When asked about how people can help, Cllr McGeough said “there were a number of good ideas that came from the public meeting and the time has come to forge ahead with them.

  • Email the Minister of finance to get a moratorium on the decision until the end of 2022 minister@finance.gov.ie
  • Sign the uplift petition – (consolidation of signatures rather than individual petitions throughout the country)

Petition: https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/keep-our-bank-branch-open?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1614717394&utm_campaign&utm_medium=myuplift&utm_source=fb-share&share=535c9548-89b7-46d0-aade-3feac6e5e09f&fbclid=IwAR33YPOSpdL6925tWaTT84_qqW-5WjI_wLhISOHAxnBfhBf1U2kBgJSMwGE

  • Send emails to your TDs – Imelda Munster TD, Ruairí Ó Murchú TD & Ged Nash TD are on record opposing the closure. We have 5 TDs in Louth:

Imelda.Munster@Oireachtas.ie

Ruairi.omurchu@oireachtas.ie

gerald.nash@oireachtas.ie

Fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie

Peter.fitzpatrick@oireachtas.ie

  • Contact Dunleer branch telling them how valuable the branch is to the area (Telephone 041 6851108, David Duffy is the manager)
  • Banks rely on customer loyalty and traditionally people remain with the same bank regardless of what happens – tell Bank of Ireland, If you leave Dunleer, we are leaving you!

A moratorium on the decision until the end of 2022 will allow us to get through this Pandemic and give us time to make a case for Dunleer branch to remain open.

Carlingford Can’t Be Without A Tourist Office – Cllr Watters

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has sought information from Louth County Council regarding the future of Carlingford’s Tourist Office.

The tourist Office in the village closed recently leaving the area with nowhere for tourists to visit for information.

Cllr Watters said “Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula are bustling with visitors and tourists from all over the world who come to see the stunning scenery and to experience the wealth of history in the area going back 800 years. In 2008 we received Europe’s Destination of Excellence Award and quite deservedly so. We have grown from strength to strength and yet, we no longer have a Tourist Office.”

Cllr Watters said “no matter where tourists go, their first port of call is always to the local tourist office to pick up maps and find out where the local areas of interest are or to get information on where to stay etc. It is essential that Carlingford, being a tourist hub for the North East, provides that service. It is unacceptable that we are left without one and this needs to be redressed as soon as possible.”

“Following the abrupt closure of Carlingford Tourist Office, I have received numerous calls from parties who would be interested in leasing the building itself. It is essential that this building, which is in a prime location in Carlingford Village, remains in use and I have no doubt that there are many local businesses and groups who will be interested in leasing it.”

“In the meantime I will be contacting the Tourism Board to find out the reasons behind the sudden closure and to ascertain any plans for re-opening it albeit at a different location.”

Adams calls on Government to demand closure of Sellafield

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called on the government to “demand the complete closure of the Cumbria Sellafield nuclear plant.”

His call follows a BBC Panorama report which revealed that radioactive materials have been stored in degrading plastic bottles, that too few staff operate the site, and that there is a real fear of a fire that would create “a plume of radiological waste that will go across western Europe.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Louth is in the front line of any threat posed by Sellafield. Sinn Féin has repeatedly called on the Irish government to mount a campaign to have it closed and to oppose the construction of other nuclear plants across the Irish Sea.

While Sellafield may no longer generate energy it is a major nuclear installation with huge amounts of nuclear materials stored on site.

In 2011 this was the first issue I raised in Leaders Questions with Taoiseach Enda Kenny following the general election. In the previous months there had been another in a long list of contamination incidents at the British plant and two earthquakes had occurred in the north of England, including a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in Cumbria. 

The BBC report revealed that between July 2012 and July 2013 there were 97 incidents where there too few workers available.

These and the concerns raised in the BBC programme show that Sellafield presents a direct threat to the health and safety of staff and of communities, including the people of Louth.

The government should now publish in full its 2011 report which concluded there was no health risk from Sellafield but that a severe incident would have an impact on tourism and exports of Irish food.

It should also mount a vigorous campaign to demand that Sellafield be closed.”

 

Corrigan Proposes Motion Of No Confidence In Government Directive

waCllr Edel Corrigan has today called for a special meeting of Louth County
Council to tackle the issue of the announced closure of the Women’s Aid Refuge
in Dundalk.

Cllr Corrigan is calling for a meeting under Section 5 of
Standing Orders and has submitted her petition today, which had joint support from a number of other county Councillors, to propose of the following
motion:

“That Louth County Council have no confidence in the directive from the government which has led to the reduction of funding and the forced closure of Dundalk Women’s Aid refuge. That Louth County Council Petition National Government to provide additional funding for the provision of services at Women’s Aid refuge Dundalk with immediate effect.”

Commenting on the proposed closure, Edel Corrigan said “It is tragic to think that such a vital service like the Women’s Aid Refuge will be removed from Dundalk. I am dumbfounded by the recklessness and disregard the government have for the needs of the people they claim to represent. It takes a lot for someone in an abusive situation to remove themselves from such a dangerous environment and now these women will have nowhere to turn to.”

Councillor Corrigan continued, “Housing policies already work against those who leave the family home. Criteria for being accepted to the local authority housing list exempt you if you have a financial interest in the property. The facilities at the Women’s Aid Refuge are second to none. What are these women and children expected to do now? It’s bad enough that such a high demand for these services and lack of funding has
previously led to hundreds women and children being turned away from the Women’s Aid refuge in Dundalk as there are no resources to accommodate them.”

Corrigan concluded “we need to be preventing Domestic Violence by educating people of its effects and supporting those who need help to get out of harmful situations, not abandoning them when they are most in need of support.”