Adams ‘emotional’ at stepping back as TD for Louth

Former Louth TD Gerry Adams has confessed to being “emotional” at the prospect of stepping back as a TD for Louth.

Gerry Adams was addressing a party meeting in Dundalk where he briefed activists on the successful negotiation to restore the political institutions in the North.

Gerry Adams said:

“As my term as a TD for Louth comes to an end I have to confess to being emotional about departing after serving the people of this constituency for nine years.

I am deeply indebted to the citizens who elected me in 2011 and again in 2016 with Imelda Munster. I want to thank all of them and also my comrades in Sinn Fein.

Throughout my nine years in Louth my endeavour was to keep a national focus while delivering locally.

This included developing alternatives to Brexit, advancing the national cause, co-operating with neighbouring border counties and campaigning for projects like Narrow Water Bridge which as recently as last week we succeeded in getting into the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ agreement which enabled the re-establishment of the power sharing government at Stormont.

Locally we concentrated on improving the provision of public services – particularly the provision of a Primary Care Centre in Dundalk, Mental Health services, housing provision, a new county ground for the GAA, and much more.

Sinn Féin, along with civil society and organisations like Border Communities Against Brexit have worked hard to ensure that there will be no physical infrastructure reinforcing the border dividing Ireland.

But there is much more work to been done to protect our economies North and South and to oppose the efforts by the British to dilute the rights agenda in the North.

I have mixed feelings about Leinster House. Obviously Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have a common agenda of outright hostility to Sinn Fein because we are United Irelanders and because of our commitment to equality, fairness and our core republican values. But in the last term they took this to the extreme of turning Leinster House into a Do Nothing Dáil.

The partnership between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael smothered and limited the potential for real solutions to the crises in housing and the health service. It also undermined the potential for advancing the search for Irish Unity in line with the Good Friday Agreement.

Votes against the government were rendered meaningless as they were ignored by the Taoiseach with the active support of the Fianna Fáil leader.

I also want to thank everyone who works in Teach Laighean to provide services and support for Oireachtas members.

The catering staff, the ushers, the civil servants and cleaners, the librarians and research staff, An Garda Síochána and everyone else who ensure that the place functions, have been wonderful to work with.

So too have my comrades in Sinn Féin’s Oireachtas team led by Mary Lou. I wish them well.

I welcome the calling of the election and the opportunity for Sinn Féin to persuade voters to elect an even stronger Sinn Féin team. Sinn Fein has strong, costed policies to end the crisis in housing and health, provide childcare, tackle climate change and poverty, and give families and workers a break. We also have a clear strategy to win support for Irish Unity. This has been enhanced by the establishment of the power sharing government in the North and I am pleased to have been part of that endeavour.

If we had listened to the propaganda from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil the durable basis for the Assembly would not have been secured.

So there is a lot to be done. In Louth Sinn Féin is standing two excellent candidates – Imelda Munster and Ruairí Ó Murchú – who in their time on Louth County Council, and in Imelda’s time in the Dáil, have proven to be very effective public representatives. I appeal to voters of Louth to return them both.

I appeal to voters across the state to return an even stronger Sinn Féin team.

On 8 February the electorate will have the opportunity to vote for fairness and decency and for Irish Unity and to end the tweedledee and tweedledum politics of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.”

Government obstructing measures to tackle scandal of sky rocketing rents – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams, commenting on the successful passing at second stage in the Dáil of the Sinn Féin Rent Freeze (Fair Rent) Bill 2019, has called on the government to “stop obstructing the implementation of meaningful measures to tackle the scandal of sky rocketing rents.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The passing of the Bill, by a resounding majority, is a welcome first step and I want to commend Teachta Eoin O’Broin and Teachta Mark Ward for their diligence and resolve in pushing this Bill forward. If it passes all stages and becomes law the Bill would freeze all rents on existing and new tenancies for a period of three years. The legislation also calls on the Minister for Finance to introduce a refundable tax credit for renters, equivalent to one month’s rent.

Having been resoundingly defeated today the refusal by the government to allow the Bill to go to committee stage is a slap in the face to the Dáil.

The reality for many working families is that they have been confronted over recent years with significant pressures from cost of living increases, including rents. Daft.ie recently reported that rents in Louth and Meath have doubled in the last ten years. Currently the average rent in Louth is €1,236 which is a 3.6% increase on last year.

 

Some households are paying up to half their income on rent. Tens of thousands are trapped in rent despair as a result of government policy.

Very clearly the government’s housing policy, including the system of rent control zones, is not working.

 

There is a crisis in housing. There is a crisis in the rental market. Strong and effective measures are needed. Sinn Féin believes that the Rent Freeze (Fair Rent) Bill 2019 would be one effective measure and we will continue to press for it to be advanced through the Oireachtas.”

Govt refusal to provide County homeless statistics unacceptable – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has condemned the refusal by the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to provide a County by County breakdown on the number of homeless families and children. Teachta Adams described the failure to provide this statistic as “symptomatic of a government which seeks to evade its responsibilities to provide housing by refusing to provide the extent of the problem county by county across the state.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The official figures produced by the Department of Housing cover regions. Louth is part of the North East region which includes Louth, Monaghan and Cavan. The most recent report for October revealed there are 144 adults and 47 children living in homeless accommodation in the North East. The report also states that 131 homeless adults are from Louth, 3 are from Monaghan and 10 from Cavan. There are 27 families and 47 homeless children in the North East region.

The statistics do not tell us how many homeless families there are in Louth or any of the counties or how many of the 47 homeless children are in Louth.

I wrote to the Minister asking for this information and in a PQ response he simply emailed me the most recent October report on Homelessness from the Department which does not answer the questions I asked.

This is a serious gap of information which means we do not have a complete picture of the homeless crisis as it impacts on counties. We know there are over 10,500 homeless citizens,  almost four thousand of whom are children. As we try to understand the impact of this on people and seek to provide solutions to this crisis the more information available the better.

I intend writing again to the Minister for Housing asking that the department provide this information which must already be in their possession.

Minister Murphy has failed in his responsibility as Housing Minister to provide a coherent strategy to tackle the homelessness and rent crisis, as well as producing a credible public housing built programme.

Adams raises Sruthán House in Dáil

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised the future of Sruthán House in the Dáil with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today.

The Louth TD said:

“In February, the Minister of State with responsibility for disability issues, Deputy Finian McGrath, stated that the Government was committed to providing a range of accessible respite care supports for people with a disability and their families. 

He also stated that respite care was crucial in helping to reduce family stress, preserve the family unit and provide stability.

In direct contradiction of those words, the HSE unilaterally decided to close Sruthán House, a respite facility in Dundalk.

I have met the users of this facility. They and their families feel very strongly about this closure and I support them.

Will the Taoiseach ask the Minister of State, Deputy McGrath, to ensure that Sruthán House is protected and that the excellent service it provides will continue?”

In his response the Taoiseach said:

“An extra €10 million was provided in the budget for this year to provide additional respite care which is so important for families and carers. It allowed an additional respite house to be opened in each community healthcare region. I do not know the circumstances of the particular closure to which the Deputy referred, but I will ask the Minister of State, Deputy McGrath, to engage with him on it”.

Gerry Adams TD leads delegation to meet DKIT President and Staff

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has praised the work of DkIT President Dr Michael Mulvey, staff and students following a visit to the campus on 21st June 2019. 
 
Gerry Adams said,
 
“I met with Dr Mulvey in March and at that time we discussed outreach by DKIT to prospective students in the North and from underrepresented communities in Dundalk. 
 
“On Friday I was delighted to lead a cross border delegation including Sinn Féin representatives Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, Chris Hazzard MP, Emma Rogan MLA, Megan Fearon MLA and Cllr Oonagh Hanlon. 
 
“The Coordinator of Muirhevnamor Local Training Initiative, Gerry Bradley, Emma Maguire and Donna Conroy From the International Fund for Ireland project in Cox’s Demesne and Manager of the Redeemer Family Resource Centre, Colin Roche, also attended. 
 
“DKIT has a student population of over 5000, yet only 250 of these come from the north of Ireland. 
 
“In fact there are currently more international students at DKIT than northern students. 
 
“I am delighted to learn of the outreach work that DKIT is doing to promote the Institute across the north. The staff have converted all BTEC and A Level qualifications into the relevant Leaving Cert points equivalents so potential northern students can easily check appropriate courses. 
 
“I encourage Students from across the north to consider DKIT for further and higher education.”
 
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú who also attended stated;
 
“I thank all of the staff at DKIT who took time on Friday afternoon to present to the delegation.  
 
“I was particularly interested in work of the Regional Development Centre, through which DKIT supports indigenous business start ups. This work is essential to ensure high value jobs are created in this region. 
 
“I also commend the College Connect project which is involved in outreach to underrepresented groups and communities and offers alternative pathways to accessing third level education.  
 
“I will continue to liaise with DKIT staff and communities across Louth to ensure that this world class facility is fully supported and utilised.”