Funding for Addiction Services lower in 2019 than 2007 – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin Councillor and Chairperson of Louth Drug and Alcohol Forum, Ruairí Ó Murchú, has written to the Minister of State for Drugs, Catherine Byrne, to request a meeting with her and also with the Ministers for Health and Justice.

Councillor Ó Murchú said,

“Across Louth there are a huge number of families and individuals whose lives are being destroyed by drugs.

“At the last meeting of Louth Drug and Alcohol Forum a number of associated groups stated serious shortfalls in funding and that this is having a negative impact on service delivery.  Forum members decided that we need to meet with the Minister to put these points directly to her.

“At a meeting of the North East Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, I learned that in 2007 funding was approximately €1.4 million.  In the past year only €900,000 was allocated.  This is despite an exponential growth in demand for these services, coupled with increases in rent and other operational costs.

“I have written to the Minister of State Catherine Byrne, to outline how any further reduction in addiction services will have severe negative impacts on communities across Louth.

“The prevalence of drugs in our communities is at a higher level than ever before, however government policy and funding has not kept pace with the needs of addiction services.

“At a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting in Dundalk, the Garda Chief Superintendent for Louth Christopher Mangan, stated that there is a decreasing government focus on demand reduction and a severe lack of drug treatment rehabilitation services for people who want to kick their addictions.

 

“In Louth we have a very successful drugs court in operation.  However a key component of its success is the availability of services to those who come before this court.

“The inability of service providers to deliver services will have a hugely negative impact on communities in terms of crime levels, antisocial behaviour and intimidation by drugs gangs.

“A recent report from the EU Drugs Agency and Europol found that violence and intimidation by drug gangs has severely affected communities in Ireland and had major impacts on individuals, families, communities and the functioning of local services and agencies.

“It is not enough for the Government to register huge concern when report after report indicates that this is a worsening problem.  It is time that serious focus and resources were allocated to counteract the vast resources of the drugs gangs.

“On behalf of Louth Drug and Alcohol Forum I have written to the Minister to request that she provide a date to meet with me and the other members of the Forum and I hope that the Minister will respond positively and that we can make the case for additional funding for groups across Louth involved in this essential work.”

Success of CFRAM project will be measured by delivery – Cllr Ó Murchú

Louth Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the allocation of €83 million to alleviate flooding in the county must be targeted to protect those most vulnerable.

Following a presentation in Louth County Council offices by Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran at which Sinn Féin Councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú, Anne Campbell and Pearse McGeough were in attendance, Cllr Ó Murchú said;

“The CFRAM project has long been in the pipeline so I welcome the progress which was outlined to Councillors in the presentation. It is welcome news that a steering committee has been established to oversee the delivery of these flood defences and that the committee will formally meet in October.

“What is lacking at the moment, however, is the detail about what schemes are to be progressed and in what order. I accept that this is a major project which will necessitate detailed plans and specialist input. However, the success of the project can only be measured by delivery.

“We simply cannot countenance areas of repeat flooding such as Mounthamilton, Red Barnes Road and the Flurry River area. I am heartened at the Minister’s commitment to return to Louth in the coming weeks and visit some of the places which regularly flood and I will be sending him a list of suggested areas.

“I look forward to working with the local CFRAM committee to protect homes and businesses across Louth. It is estimated that 2,300 properties will be protected on completion of the works.”

 

Cllr Corrigan Encourages Groups to Seek Funding for Energy Upgrades Projects

Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan is encouraging groups who may be interested in initiating an energy upgrade project to consider applying for up to 50% Better Energy Community Funding.

Councillor Corrigan said “Louth County Council are facilitating community applications to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who provide funding for community groups, sports groups, private businesses and even public sector groups who wish to explore or develop an energy upgrade project.”

“Louth County Council at the minute are taking applications but the closing date for the final application is 26th January 2018. This means that the Council would need to finalise the beneficiaries for the funding by 15th January at the latest.”

Councillor Edel Corrigan is encouraging those interested or who may represent anyone in this field to “consider putting an application forward. Contact the Council’s Sustainable Energy Team directly on  HYPERLINK “mailto:Padraig.ohora@louthcoco.ie” Padraig.ohora@louthcoco.ie for more details or to submit your application.”

“We are always seeking new ways to be more energy efficient and to reduce our carbon footprint and Louth County Council and SEAI recognise that and want to encourage it.”

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.”