Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has issued a warning about fraudsters in the Drogheda area who are targeting the elderly and vulnerable people.
Cllr Flood who is also Chairperson of the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee was contacted by an elderly man’s concerned neighbours on Drogheda’s Northside after he was targeted.
Cllr Flood said “On Tuesday 22nd of August, three men in a white van called to this gentleman’s door claiming he needed his gutters cleared. They demanded an exorbitant €250 for the job which he paid because he felt coerced into doing so and after pretending to do the work they left without doing anything”.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story. Cllr Flood then related that “the next day two different men in a white transit van called to the same gentleman’s home and claimed he needed work done to his roof. Luckily, on this occasion, they were challenged by the elderly man’s neighbours who were aware of what had happened the previous day and they quickly left the area”.
Cllr Flood was concerned at the very deliberate targeting of this elderly man. “I am advised by his neighbours that he is now terrified that he will be targeted again.”
The Drogheda Councillor urged residents “not to agree to anything on the doorstep and to keep a particular eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours who may be having work done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, genuine tradesmen will be happy enough to answer any queries and identify themselves.”
Following a presentation by Chief Superintendent Sean Ward in The Grove Hotel in Dunleer, Chairperson of the South Louth Joint Policing Committee, Kenneth Flood, has welcomed the new community policing initiatives for Louth.
Cllr Flood said “I have long been an advocate for community policing and initiatives that can better connect the public with the Gardaí. The new sectoral policing initiative means that every area in Drogheda will have a Garda dedicated to that area. A Garda who will identify with and get to know the area, connect with the residents there and then use their knowledge on the ground to link in with the other Garda Units if and when a crime is reported”.
“This is a pilot project so if it is successful, it should be rolled out to our rural areas as well. The rural areas have suffered cuts to Garda and policing through the Government’s austerity so this is a step in the right direction to bring security and peace of mind back to our rural communities. It is in everybody’s interest to ensure its success.”
“I am hopeful that this initiative will create a new level of cooperation and personal interaction within our communities”.
Pictured at the recent policing meeting Sinn Fein Councillors Antóin Watters, Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne, Pearse McGeough along with TD Imelda Munster.
Following the request from Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne to reinstate the collection of plastics from the Bring banks, Louth County Council has confirmed they will reinstate the service on a temporary basis. This is due to the increased volume of plastic bottles and containers used over the past week in Drogheda during the Irish Water crisis which saw tens of thousands of people left without running water for a prolonged time.
Cllr Byrne said “While I welcome the Council’s decision to temporarily reinstate this service following last week’s Water Crisis, I would like to reiterate my request that the decision should be made permanent and the full collection service of plastics resumed.”
Joanna Byrne went on to say, “In the short period of time since this service was axed there has been a significant rise in the levels of illegal dumping. The attached picture is one I took at the site of the bring banks on the intersection of Platin Road and The
Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision
Industrial Estate last Sunday afternoon. I reported this to Louth County Council and requested that it be tidied up immediately. This is only one example of what is happening right across the county.
“Whilst I commend the co-operation of the Local Authority with this temporary’ move, I have also written directly to Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council and requested that now that this service is back in operation, that it stay that way permanently.”
If the Chief Executive continues to defy the wishes and needs of the constituents of Co Louth, and indeed the public representatives of this county who unanimously supported a motion to keep the collection of plastics from the bring banks, Cllr Byrne has vowed she will continue to “pursue this request at any and every given opportunity”.
The Drogheda Sinn Féin Team, Deputy Imelda Munster, Cllr Joanna Byrne, Cllr David Saurin and Cllr Kenneth Flood have slammed Irish Water and central government for their handling of the water crisis that has engulfed South Louth and East Meath since a water-main burst at the Slateen Water Treatment Plant on Friday 21st of July.
Deputy Munster said “The attitude of central government has been shameful. Hands off, aloof and distant. Despite the crocodile tears of their representative in Drogheda they have not treated this emergency with anywhere near the urgency it requires. We’ve been given false hope after false hope and there is still no definite end to this crisis”.
Cllr. Joanna Byrne said, “As elected representatives we have been reacting to every situation as it arises as best and as fast as we can. In the four days of this crisis I have liaised with Louth County Council to ensure tankers of water have fed businesses and residential areas throughout Drogheda. This has meant that tankers of water have come from as far away as Thurles, Carlow and Kilkenny. At my request there have been additional water resources made available for the Fire Brigade in Drogheda too with back-up tankers being deployed from Dundalk to ensure the Drogheda Fire Service have sufficient water to tackle any call out they may get.
“What is most vexing is that The Rosehall Water Treatment plant, that I am informed could serve 40 to 80 percent of the Northside of Drogheda, was decommissioned only two months ago. We need to find out why this happened and why was Irelands 6th largest urban centre left to be fed from only a single source?”
Cllr. Kenneth Flood said “I have been on the record from the very start stating that Irish Water was not fit for purpose. Instead of fixing the out of date water network their first priority was metering. For years we experienced water outages when the North Quay water-main burst and even after the funding was allocated to replace it, Irish Water still took years to finally get on with the job. Irish Water must be questioned as to why they have not run a temporary pipe between parts of that main are not damaged as they did during the North Quay water-main replacement works to ensure a continuous supply of water? This crisis has shone a glaring light on Irish Water’s inadequacies and they can not be allowed to continue as they are”.
Cllr. David Saurin has paid tribute to the people affected by the water crisis. Cllr Saurin said, “from The Order of Malta to The Scouts among others, there have been volunteer groups distributing water to the elderly and those without transport who are unable to access the Council Water Stations or to get water from the shops. In this heat it would be understandable if tempers were to begin to fray but at the water stations neighbours have been helping each other out, carrying heavy containers and keeping each others spirits up.”
Finally, Deputy Munster said “the Sinn Fein team in Drogheda will continue to respond to residents needs and requests over the coming days and will assist those in need in any way we can”.
Speaking after the quarterly Local Policing Forum Meeting in Drogheda, Chairperson and Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood said that confirmation that the CCTV of the RAPID areas was ‘inoperable’ was a major cause for concern.
Cllr Flood said “The CCTV outside of the town centre is a vital tool in fighting anti-social behaviour, wider criminality and illegal dumping. In recent weeks I have been in touch with the council asking for them to review the CCTV to help fight dumping/fly-tipping. This evening, it was confirmed to me that it was in fact ‘inoperable'”.
“Although we were assured that the system was under review we have not been given a date for the conclusion of that review nor indeed when the CCTV will be operable again”.
“This is simply not acceptable and I will be pursuing the council to finish their review in a timely manner, repair and reactivate the CCTV in Drogheda.”