Cllr McGeough Stands Against Racism

Sinn Fein Councillor has welcomed the passing of his motion at last month’s County Council meeting on racism.

In a reply to the Councillor’s motion, the Council told him that there was an imminent launch of a new Louth Meath Migrant Strategy 2019-22 which would hopefully address some of Cllr McGeough’s concerns about the rise of racism in the county particularly in the form of graffiti.

Cllr McGeough said “Thank you for the response and I look forward to the launch of the new Louth Meath Migrant Integration Strategy 2019-22 due later this month. I just hope it is strong enough to deal with the ignorance of a small number of people in this county.

“Since May this year there have been 4 incidents of racist graffiti in Ardee and in July the Gardaí said they was an indication of ‘extreme right-wing groups or persons resident in the locality’ and they have stepped up patrols in the area.

“I myself was targeted by these ring-wing groups and faced a campaign of online abuse by supporters of this right wing extremist Party including a video naming me by their so-called party leader. It wasn’t nice.

After the second graffiti incident which took place on a privately owned fence I took a paintbrush myself and went out and painted over it because I didn’t want the home owners to put themselves at risk after what happened to me.

“The latest incident took place just over a week ago and again, it fell to the decent people of Ardee to scrub it off including 2 young lads from Direct Provision emergency accommodation. They are a credit to the community in Ardee.

“Racism needs to be challenged at every level and it needs to be stamped out before it gets a hold. That lack of education can be challenged by diversity programmes/work-shops that will promote awareness of the problem and equip people with the tools to deal with it or address it as it happens.

“The Irish people are a good people, what we are talking about here is a small minority but they are like a cancer, if it isn’t dealt with it will spread.

“There is an excellent project on facebook at the minute called ‘Black and Irish’ which highlights and celebrates the identity of Black Irish people and seeks to tell people of their experiences, struggles and successes. Some of their stories are heart breaking and very upsetting to hear, the level of racism they have had to put up with.

“Our hate crime legislation needs to be strengthened. We need to send a strong message to the country that we have a zero tolerance for racism and those who carry out a hate crime will be dealt with and punished accordingly. This Council needs to send a strong message to our legislators from all Parties that our current hate crime laws are too weak and need to be rectified as soon as possible before it’s too late and the issue is out of control. We need to be pro-active instead of re-active on issues that we can see coming down the road.”

At this week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr McGeough again raised the issue with teh Gardaí seeking an update. They assured him that it was on their radar but so far there had been no arrests although they were aware of the rise in the issue and had stepped up patrols in the area.


Flood Puts Graffiti Back On Council Agenda

Following a campaign of persistence, Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has got Graffiti in Drogheda firmly back on the local Council’s Agenda.

Cllr Flood said “Since July 2016 I have been calling for a new protocol to deal with Graffiti in Drogheda. A survey of all of the graffiti in the area was subsequently compiled in September 2016 and a number of
actions taken.”

A year later “in July 2017, we received our first report which detailed the removal of a large amount of the graffiti throughout Drogheda which was very welcome. This pro-active approach was a visible example of how we can improve our streetscape with the correct protocol and focus. But it was clear that we needed to remain focused.”

No further updates or reports were available despite numerous requests from Cllr Flood who noticed an increase in Graffiti once more. “For several months I requested that Graffiti Protocol be followed and that
we should receive a report.”

“Finally, I can report that the Graffiti Protocol is back on our agenda and Drogheda will be surveyed in throughout December and an updated database will be compiled. There will be a focus on tackling graffiti in Drogheda like never before and I look forward, with the public’s help, to getting this problem under control, once and for all. We must not allow this to fall by the wayside again. This is an on-going problem that we must keep on top of. The protocols in place do work as we have seen in the past but they will only work if they are followed and we do not lose focus. People in Drogheda deserve a cleaner town.”

Cllr Kenneth Flood Welcomes Graffiti Database

In July of last year Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood had a motion passed calling for the proliferation of graffiti and ‘tagging’ throughout Drogheda to be tackled.

In September 2016, the council carried out a graffiti survey and have been updating this database ever since.

Cllr. Flood has been following up on this initiative and at April’s Drogheda Municipal District Meeting, Cllr. Flood had another motion on including an update and report on graffiti removal and notices sent to third parties to remove graffiti in the operations report every month.

Commenting Cllr. Flood said,

“I welcome this first report on graffiti removal in The Drogheda Municipal District and I welcome the removal of such a large amount of graffiti. However, I am more than annoyed that semi-state bodies such as Eir, Bord Gáis and The ESB have not replied to the Council’s correspondence regarding graffiti on their property, even if there has been some graffiti removed from their property to date.

“No building, be it public or private, is exempt from legislation covering graffiti and I am happy to see notices go out to owners to remove graffiti that in many places has been there for years.

“Now that we have the graffiti data base and will receive monthly updates, a focus will be on tackling graffiti in Drogheda like never before and I look forward, with the public’s help, to getting this problem under control, once and for all”.


Cllr Flood Seeks a Graffiti Free Drogheda for 2017

Kenneth Flood GrafittiSome call it art, others say it’s pure vandalism. Whatever your opinion, there’s an abundance of graffiti in Drogheda with almost every wall in the town “tagged” by someone or other and, judging by the quality, not many of them are artists.

Despite the occasional “something must be done” style utterances from councillors, some of these tags have been in place for many years and, nothing is ever done. Councillor Kenneth Flood though, is getting tough and is looking forward to the town being graffiti-free in 2017.

Following Flood’s motion at the July 2016 Municipal District of Drogheda Meeting calling on Louth County Council to tackle the Graffiti problem in Drogheda, the Council embarked on a clean-up of council owned properties in the town and a comprehensive survey was carried out by Louth County Council’s Community Warden of all areas vandalised with graffiti.

Throughout 2016 Cllr. Flood has been following up this initiative with Louth County Council and at December’s Municipal District meeting it was confirmed that notices had been sent out and Louth County Council would be following up to ensure that the graffiti throughout the town is finally cleared.

Cllr Flood said: “I am hopeful that the work done after my motion and with the news that LCC  have given the commitment to follow through on the survey, that we may finally see, Drogheda, graffiti free in 2017.”  (Taken from Drogheda Life)

Cllr Flood Calls For Graffiti and Tagging To Be Tackled

Kenneth FloodSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has called for the proliferation of graffiti and ‘tagging’ throughout Drogheda to be tackled.

The Drogheda councillor had a motion on the issue passed at last night’s Municipal District council meeting. Speaking after the meeting  Cllr. Flood commented,  “While I note the council’s response that a ‘comprehensive survey will be undertaken by Louth County Council to identify properties and street furniture in Drogheda vandalised by graffiti, and property owners whose property is found to be defaced, including the ESB and Irish Rail, will be contacted in accordance with the Act in order to have the graffiti removed’ and I welcome my council colleagues support for my motion, I will not let the matter rest there”.

Councillor Flood acknowledged the work undertaken by the Council on the issue of graffiti but said “this has proven to be insufficient as some of the vandals have taken to dating their work and these dates can go back several years”.

Some councillors advocated a Gardaí orientated enforcement approach to arrest and prosecute graffiti artists and taggers while others called for designated areas for graffiti in order to stop public and private property being defaced. Cllr Flood noted “there is no all-encompassing council policy to deal with graffiti and tagging. This needs to be addressed.”

“It was agreed to bring this issue to the next South Louth Joint Policing Committee Meeting, of which I am chairperson, to develop a long term council strategy to tackle graffiti and tagging in South Louth.”