Cllr David Saurin Welcomes Funding for Tullyallen Road Layout

Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has welcomed funding to purchase Coillte lands at King William’s Glen in Tullyallen.

Speaking today Cllr Saurin said “the purchase of this land will facilitate Louth County Council to construct a staggered junction at the bottom of the Glen onto the Slane Road.”

There have been two fatalities in the last twelve months on this particular stretch of road. Cllr Saurin said “with the increase in visitors and tourists to Oldbridge House and the increase in population in the local area, this road has become even busier in recent years and so the realignment of the junction will enhance safety for road users.”

Cllr Saurin called on Louth County Council to commence the works as soon as possible and “this project, along with the recent resurfacing works and cleaning of the culvert on the Glen are measures which will be greatly appreciated by people from the area and by those who use these busy roads on a daily basis.”

 

Imelda Munster TD Welcomes Reports of Ardee Bypass Funding

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today welcomed media reports that funding has been made available for the construction of the Ardee bypass.

Deputy Munster said:

“I am happy to hear that Transport Minister Shane Ross has allocated funding for the Ardee bypass. The project was excluded from the capital investment programme originally, and so it is certainly good news for the people of Ardee that funding has been secured.

“I have raised the matter of bypass with both the Minister for Transport on several occasions and with officials from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). A commitment was given by TII at a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee last November to include the project in the midterm review of the Capital Plan, and I am glad to see that the Ardee bypass has been allocated funding as part of that process.

“I have written to the Minister seeking further information regarding how much funding is to be made available and seeking a start date and a timeline for the project.

“The local community has been campaigning for the construction of the bypass for many years, with many disappointments and delays along the way. The area has been neglected in terms of investment for too long, and so it is to be welcomed that this project is finally progressing.”

Pearse McGeough Welcomes Works at Drumcar Bridge

Pearse at Drumcar bridgeSinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed funding from the Council to improve safety at Drumcar Bridge.

Cllr McGeough said “I have been highlighting the safety concerns around this bridge for quite some time now and am relieved and pleased that the matter is going to be addressed.”

” As well as the bridge needing improvement safety, with massive HGV’s crossing it I was equally concerned about the surrounds which have a protected structure close by. Hopefully the planned works will resolve the issue. I am waiting for clarification from the Council as to the details of the works planned but am pleased that my persistence on this matter is finally paying dividends.”

Pictured: Pearse McGeough at Drumcar Bridge

Adams welcomes WALK PEER funding commitment

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has welcomed the news that funding for the Ardee based WALK PEER project has been confirmed until July 2017.

Gerry Adams said,

“I have been intensively lobbying Minister Finian McGrath to save WALK PEER for the past six months and I commend him for his delivery on his commitments. I’m delighted that those participating and working on the project have at last had some good news.

“WALK PEER will be funded by the Department of Social Protection until the end of July 2017.

“At this point the project will be eligible to apply to the €2 million pre activation support scheme as outlined in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy.

“WALK Peer is an exemplary programme which has dramatically changed the lives of young people with disabilities in my constituency.

“Last year 119 young people availed of the programme and they achieved very positive outcomes.

“WALK Peer has proven to be successful in ensuring that young people with disabilities are afforded equal access to employment, education and training.

“The dedicated staff, peer mentors, young people and local community in Louth have fought to ensure this programme has been available for young people with disabilities, despite facing threat of closure since last summer.

“In 2015 the Government took the disastrous decision to close the Disability Activation Scheme (DACT) which supported people in receipt of disability or illness welfare payments.

“In light of this, and the lack of Government commitments on future activation schemes, I will again urge that the Minister ring-fences funding to ensure the long-term provision of supports for this group of citizens with disabilities.”

No funding for WALK PEER – Minister should resign: Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth Gerry Adams TD, today (Wednesday) raised the difficulties faced by citizens with disabilities and in particular the future of the Louth based WALK PEER project with the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions.

The Louth TD revealed that he had met with Minister McGrath on Tuesday to discuss funding for WALK PEER. Teachta Adams told the Dáil that “if Minister McGrath can’t find the funding he should resign.”

Gerry Adams also urged the Taoiseach to ensure that Budget 2017 is “fair to citizens with disabilities, their families and carers.  A person with a disability should have the same rights as everyone else.”

The text of the statement:

“The Programme for Government commits that ‘persons with disabilities should be supported to maximise their potential, by removing barriers which impact on access to services, education, work and healthcare’. 

“That’s the rhetoric. The reality is different. In 2011, the Taoiseach said disability services would not be cut, but then savagely cut these supports.

“In my own constituency of Louth and east Meath, the impact of those cuts is evident, particularly for the 5,000 citizens of Louth with an intellectual disability.  The WALK PEER project enables young people with a disability to access opportunities in mainstream education, training and employment within their communities.

“It was one of the fourteen Disability Activation Schemes jointly funded by the Department of Social Protection and the European Social Fund, until funding was withdrawn in a move that made no sense whatsoever.

“Only one project has survived – it is based in Louth. After intense lobbying by parents, carers and the young people it received temporary funding until Christmas.

“WALKPEER has undertaken fantastic work in fostering vital links between young citizens and employers, educators and the wider community. It is fully in line with the government’s strategy, as set out in the Disability Act 2004, the National Disability Strategy 2015-2020, the EPSEN Act and the ‘Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities’.

“WALKPEER would cost €300,000 annually, provided from across six Departments. It makes economic sense, especially in the context of the almost 600,000 people who are living with a disability in the State; over half of whom are of working age, and many of whom want a pathway to employment. The WALKPEER model provides that pathway.

“The ‘Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities’ has been on a shelf for ten years now without funding allocated to it. A committee was set up in October 2015 to examine the benefits and future of Disability Activation Schemes. Thus far, the committee hasn’t issued a report. This is hardly surprising. It has only met twice.

“One of the participants in WALKPEER – a young woman – has recently gained a place in college. A young man wants to be an usher here in Leinster House. A young woman who was suicidal is now training to be a make-up artist.

“These citizens and their families have the right to the modest support that is required. I met Minister Finian McGrath on this issue on Tuesday. I wish him well, but in my view, if he can’t get funding for this project he should resign from the government.

“This year’s budget is an opportunity to correct some of these injustices and the government should outline the steps it is going to take in this year’s budget to address the urgent need for real support for citizens with disabilities, their families and carers.”