Edel Corrigan Visit to USA Women Building The Nation Conference

Edel in USA 2 Sinn Féin was represented in Los Angeles by Louth Councillor Edel Corrigan at a conference to encourage women into taking up apprenticeships in the building industry.

The Women In The Building Trades Conference was held on May 1st and was hosted by the American Building Trades Unions who hope also to have those same women participate fully in the relevant union.

Councillor Corrigan explained how she had been asked to attend. “I was invited by Patti Devlin, one of the organisers of the Labourers International Union of North America. She invited me because of my background and experience in construction as an on-site Health and Safety officer. I was delighted to be one of over 1,000 delegates from all over America and abroad”.

The Louth Councillor continued “America has always been very interested in Irish Republicanism and our struggle for equality and were eager to hear about what life was like in Ireland for workers and their rights in these times of austerity that are being imposed upon us”.

Edel received a great welcome and there was quite a bit of interest as she pointed to “the common causes shared by workers worldwide, particularly women, which include a living wage, equal pay and the right to join a union”.

“Many of the difficulties women workers face here are no different than in America. Women are generally found doing low paid work, forced to accept zero or low hours contracts which only emphasise the need for strong union rights and representation. There was a lot of interest in Sinn Féin in general and our vision Ireland”.

Edel in USA 3


Corrigan Hits Out At ‘Junket Culture’ In Dundalk Carlingford

Cllr Edel CorriganLouth County Councillor Edel Corrigan has hit out at the ‘junket culture’ which is prevalent in councils across Ireland. Sinn Féin candidate for the Dundalk Carlingford area Corrigan broke the figures down for her own area.

“Fine Gael Councillors Martin Murnaghan who was co-opted in 2010 and Terry Brennan who stood down at that time claimed € 6,482.71 between them on junkets.”

Corrigan reminded us that “this is public money and these junkets are needless trips and courses where you are put up in the best of hotels. Fine Gael weren’t the worst offenders it should be said.”

“Independent candidate Jim Ryan racked up a shocking € 13,156.88 which is greater than all the other councillors in the area combined. “

In addition to these ‘junkets’, councillors who chair a Strategic Policies Committee (SPC) which meet only 4 times per year can get an annual tax-free payment of € 6,000.

Corrigan went on to say “Sinn Féin have consistently spoken out on the issue of ‘junkets’ and I have previously proposed that the four chairs of the SPCs no longer accept their € 6,000 tax free payment as it is an insult to those who continue to suffer at the hands of the current Government’s austerity measures. This money could be put to better use.”

Councillor Edel Corrigan is asking that “all councillors elected on May 23rd put a stop once and for all to this ‘junket culture’ and start giving people value for money.”

Adams & Carthy Address Omeath Meeting On Threats To Rural Ireland

SF Omeath meeting Mar 4Sinn Féin Louth TD and party leader Gerry Adams and EU party candidate Matt Carthy last night addressed a meeting in the Granvue Hotel in Omeath. The event focused on the crisis in rural areas and the threats posed to rural communities by rural crime, the threat to the post offices, Narrow Water Bridge and future European funding.

Teachta Adams urged those present to support Matt Cathy who is standing for Sinn Fein in the European elections. “Matt is an enthusiastic and energetic public representative. He will make an excellent MEP representing the needs of this area in Europe.”

The Sinn Féin leader warned that “at a time when rural Ireland is under attack and thousands of citizens, mainly young people, have been forced to emigrate, we need an MEP and a strong team of Sinn Féin local councillors who will defend rural Ireland and prioritize its needs.

The policies of Fine Gael and Labour; including the property tax, septic tank charges, water charges later this year and other stealth taxes are impoverishing families and hurting rural communities.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The recent report from the Irish Postmasters Union warns that the postal network will have declined by 48% by 2017 without a proper government plan. This would be devastating for rural communities and must be opposed.

Sinn Féin is for equality of access to services, and greater investment in infrastructure and facilities outside of urban centres.”

Speaking on rural crime Gerry Adams said:

One of the biggest issues now facing rural communities is crime and the fear that crime generates, especially among vulnerable citizens. Many elderly people in rural Ireland feel that they have been abandoned.

The closure of Garda stations has put the safety of communities at risk as criminals and anti-social elements receive a boost of confidence in the absence of nearby Garda stations.

The Irish Farmers’ Association, the Garda Representatives Association, political representatives from across rural Ireland and the vast majority of Gardaí, have rejected Garda station closures as they know the value of community policing.

County Louth ranks fourth among the 26 counties for crime levels.

Recently myself and Councillors Edel Corrigan and Jim Loughran met An Garda Siochána on the issues of policing, crime levels and cross-border crime. I have also met senior PSNI officers.

Gardaí have acknowledged that the limited resources under which they have operated for many years, have now been cut further and that this is having a negative impact on policing.

In recent responses to my PQs the Minister for Justice revealed that Garda numbers in Louth have fallen from a high in 2010 of 314 Gardaí to a low in 2013 of 286.

Falling Garda resources will do nothing to reassure the community. What we need to see is a fully-resourced Garda plan for Louth which includes greater Garda visibility and an increase in community-based Gardaí.

The Louth TD called for greater emphasis on partnership policing between communities and the Garda. He said;We need effective partnership between the police and local communities. The Department of Justice and Equality must give proper recognition and resourcing to such groups.

Sinn Fein will continue to lobby the Minister for Justice on concluding the review of the Joint Policing Committees and will seek to ensure that the recommendations are effective and implemented.

Sinn Fein will also lobby the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to be more pro-active in conjunction with the IFA in relation to security on the farm. In the north, Sinn Fein Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has made this a priority.

The issue of crime and anti-social behaviour in this region cannot be separated from the general economic well-being and development of the county.”

Teachta Adams has called for a proper funding package to be put in  place by government to deliver the Narrow water Bridge. He said: “The failure of the Government to ensure that the Narrow Water Bridge was built is an opportunity missed. It has been a bad blow to County Louth.

Money from Europe became available through Special European U Programmes Body because of an under-spend and Sinn Fein Cllr Jim Loughran asserting a judicial challenge. The money offered was not enough to cover the costs and the project promoters were not in a position to raise the extra capital to cover the shortfall.

The government needed to provide a relatively small €6 million funding package from the Taoiseach and the Department of Transport.

When I raised this issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil, Enda Kenny said that he was in support of the project. I am disappointed that the Taoiseach’s actions did not match his words.

The bridge will be not be built on promises. A proper funding strategy needs to be put in place.

The Narrow water Bridge project can still go ahead in the future if the political will exists.”

Finally Gerry Adams called for the creation by local councils on both sides of the border of a European Union Funding Unit that would service the region of Louth, Armagh and Down.

This would allow councils to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the European programmes, in particular the 2014-2020 INTERREG budget.

This has been done to great effect in Belfast where millions of additional funding has been drawn down as a result.

If parties are serious about investment, infrastructure, job creation, energy efficiency and tourism, they should back Sinn Fein’s proposal for a more professional approach to drawing down funding from the EU and promoting the County Louth Border region in Brussels.”