Kevin Meenan Co-opted onto Louth County Council

Kevin Meenan officially became a Cllr at this evening’s inauguration at Louth County Council offices.

Following glowing tributes and congratulations from all parties towards Ruairí Ó Murchú TD whose seat resulted in the casual vacancy, Kevin Meenan was proposed by Sinn Féin group leader Cllr Pearse McGeough who said “it’s a privilege and an honour for me to propose my friend Kevin Meenan as a councillor for the Dundalk South area.

“Kevin has a long history of community engagement and working for those who are voiceless. He has always been an outstanding advocate for his constituents and when he spoke in the chamber it was obvious that everyone listened and he was respected by all. It is great to see him rejoining our group of Councillors and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank his partner Paula and his daughter Caithlain for supporting him in this decision.”

Cllr Kevin Meenan also paid tribute to Paula and Caithlain and said  “I’ve always had a good working relationship with councillors and officials alike and look forward to getting stuck in again. I feel there is unfinished business for me to do and I am humbled and honoured to be here once again. I feel that I have grown up here, I have spent most of my working life as a councillor and now I’m back.”

Cllr Meenan also thanked those Councillors in the chamber who took time out to attend the event, especially as it was the only order of business.”

New Sinn Féin Line up for Dundalk South

L-R Ruairí O Murchú, Anne Campbell & Cllr Tomás Sharkey

Louth Sinn Féin held a convention this evening to formally nominate two new councillors to replace current Councillors Kevin Meenan and Jennifer Green who are standing down.

Cllr Kevin Meenan who stood down for health reasons will be replaced by Bay Estate man Ruairí O Murchú. Ruairí attended the Gael Scoil in Muirhevnamor and then St. Joseph’s NS where his father Gerry Murphy was principal.

Ruairí is married to Annemarie and is father to two sons and a stepson. He has worked in several positions for Sinn Féin both locally and regionally and is presently with the party’s Election Department.

Although he labels himself a novice, Ruairí is passionate about sports and enjoys boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing, running and mountain walking.

He is committed to the core Sinn Féin principles of Irish unity and creating a more just and equal society for all. He is a dedicated political activist who aims to listen to and serve the community and to continue the work on the ground of Cllr Kevin Meenan.

Jennifer Green also stood down from her role as Councillor to focus on her family.

Anne Campbell and out-going Cllr Jennifer Green

Speaking this evening Jennifer said “since I stood for election in 2014 I have had my third child. I feel I need to focus on and devote more time to my children. I feel I would be doing the people of Dundalk South a disservice if I couldn’t devote my full attention to constituency work. I am delighted to nominate Anne and I know she will be a fantastic asset to the team.”

Jennifer Green will be replaced by Anne Campbell. Anne is originally from Coalisland in Co Tyrone and has been living in Dundalk for over twenty years. She is married to Laurence and they have two sons aged nine and seven. Her parents Mary and Pat Campbell currently reside in Ravensdale.

Anne’s name will be familiar to those in Dundalk as she worked for the Democrat and more recently The Argus.

Through her journalism work Anne has built up a wide range of contacts in many walks of life; business, Gardaí, the public sector, health etc. She has developed an expertise in a number of aspects of the town particularly the criminal justice system in which she has retained a deep interest.

Anne has helped many people over the years sometimes by printing their stories but more often than not, helping them get in touch with those in authority or asking questions on their behalf. It is this aspect of her work that Anne enjoyed and will help her in her constituency work as a councillor.

Anne wants to help build a new Ireland where people without a voice will be heard and it will be an equal society where everyone is included.

Anne Campbell, Imelda Munster TD and Ruairí O Murchú

Louth Sinn Féin want to thank out-going Cllrs Kevin Meenan and Jennifer Green for all their dedication and hard work over the past number of years and we wish them health and happiness for many years to come.

David Saurin co-opted onto Louth County Council

Out-going councillor Alan Cassidy has extended his congratulations to his replacement on the Louth County Council, his long-time friend and comrade, David Saurin.

At this morning’s meeting of the Council, the co-option was confirmed and Cllr Saurin took his seat.

Cllr David Saurin (48) hails from Tullyallen and is married to Anne and they have three children.

Speaking this morning, Cllr Saurin said “it is a great honour to be representing the people of South Louth and I am proud to be sitting on Louth County Council with nine other Sinn Féin councillors supported by two TDs and an MEP.  I have been a member of Sinn Féin for almost twenty years now and have been a republican all my life.”

“I have been part of more elections than I care to remember, the most recent being the election of a former councillor here, Imelda Munster who made history by becoming the first female TD for Louth and East Meath.”

“Both sides of my family have republican history stretching back to the 1916 Rising and the Tan War so our house was a Republican house but I think for me, the greatest influence and what had the biggest impact on me was the 1980 and 1981 hungerstrikes. The commitment, dedication and dignity with which those young men stood up to the might of the British empire has never left me.”

“The prison struggle since the removal of political status in 1976 and what the blanket men and the women in Armagh went through has inspired me to carry on the fight for equality and justice. Bobby Sands said ‘Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no-one is too old or too young to do something.’”

Joanna Byrne To Be Co-Opted Onto Louth County Council

Imelda & Joanna 1A convention at the Westcourt Hotel last Thursday evening seen Sinn Féin select Drogheda woman Joanna Byrne as the replacement for Imelda Munster on Louth County Council.

Imelda Munster TD made history last month when she became the first female TD for Louth leaving her seat on Louth County cCuncil vacant.

30 year old Joanna was selected to replace her. Joanna Bryne is a retail manager but has resigned her position in order to pursue being a full-time councillor as her predecessor did in 2004. Joanna has been a member of the Bobby Sands Cumann in Drogheda for a number of years and was very active throughout the Local Government elections in 2014 and in Imelda Munster’s recent General Election campaign.

Speaking on Thursday night, the new councillor said “Deputy Munster was an exemplary Councillor and will be a hard act to follow but I believe with her guidance and advice and the support of my fellow 9 councillors in Louth, I can carry on the good work that the party are doing here in the county.”

When asked if she had received any advice from Deputy Munster, Cllr Byrne said “she told me to always remember that we are there to represent the people, leave no person behind, make sure everyone has the same rights as everyone else and we are all treated equally as it is written in the Proclamation and you won’t go far wrong.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne will attend her first County Council meeting on Monday morning


Joanna’s acceptance speech from Thursday night.

It is a huge honour and privilege for me to accept this nomination to take a SF seat on Louth County Council.

I would like to thank Hugh McShane and Ronan Caffrey for nominating me and the members of the Bobby Sands SF Cumann here in Drogheda for supporting it. Also to all of you for coming here tonight and putting your faith in me to represent this constituency. We have just come from an exciting few weeks with an extremely successful election campaign, nationwide but particularly here in Louth.
We vowed to make history , we took it on and we done it by electing Imelda Munster as the first ever female TD for Louth and East Meath. We now also for the first time ever, have two Sinn Féin TDs, the other of course being our party president Gerry Adams.

Deputy Munster was an exemplary Councillor and will be a hard act to follow, but I believe with her guidance and advice , and the support of my nine fellow SF councillors in Louth , which I’m told is the tighest-knit group of councillors in the country , I am looking forward to my new role! It is no secret that the country has been failed by the catastrophe that was the FG/LAB government, and it is no secret that Louth and indeed Drogheda were hit hard by the broken promises and crippling austerity cuts implemented by said government, but we in SF need to persevere in reminding people there is a fairer way. And I think the election results last week show that people are putting their faith in us.

We are progressing all the time with now 23 TD’s representing us today in Leinster House at the start of the 32nd Dáil term – 6 of them women might I add. 2 TD’s out of those 23 are now representing Louth with Imelda being the additional voice for the county alongside Gerry – which leaves me the additional voice for Drogheda which I am proud to be.

We have a number of events coming up over the Easter period and beyond to commemorate this being our centenary year and I would urge everyone to get involved in the new Rising be it locally or nationally. I look forward to seeing you at some of them.

Go raibh Míle Maith agaibh