Government needs to address issues that forced nurses and midwives to strike – Munster

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has praised INMO nurses who braved the cold on Wednesday to stand on picket lines seeking improvements in pay and standards for nurses and midwives. Pickets were held at hospitals across the state.

Deputy Munster stood in solidarity with nurses and midwives at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Deputy Munster said: “I was proud to stand on the picket line with nurses and midwives. The atmosphere of determination and solidarity was palpable. It was obvious that the public is standing firmly with the nurses. Every passing car was beeping and there was an outpouring of support from members of the public.”

“The problems with recruitment and retention have been ongoing for years, and the government has done little to encourage nurses working abroad to come back home. Wednesday was another example, where nurses were forced to take to the picket line in order to ensure safe working conditions and safety for patients.” “Until such time as the government addresses the issues of nurses and midwives pay and conditions the problems of recruitment and retention are going to linger on. Nurses did not want to strike. This was a last resort. This is only their second time ever taking to the picket lines.”

“The safety of patients is being put at risk due to understaffing. Unless the government acknowledges the work these frontline workers do, in stressful conditions, we’re going to end up with a situation where every newly qualified nurse or midwife will leave these shores to find work in hospitals across the world where they are treated with respect, proper pay and proper conditions.”

“Instead of addressing these problems, government Ministers are now threatening pay and pension deductions from nurses and midwives. The government needs to stop issuing threats and instead deal with the issues that led to this week’s strike.”

Cllr Flood: Vigilance Needed to Tackle Illegal Dumping Scourge

Imelda Munster Td & Cllr Kenneth Flood at Cord Road after the clean up

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has met with the Operations Department of Louth County Council to request that special attention is paid to tackling illegal dumping on the Cord Road area of Drogheda.

Cllr Flood said “Recently Cllr Joanna Byrne and I, along with community volunteers that deal with rough sleepers, walked the length of Drogheda between the hours of Midnight and 3am to carry out our own rough sleeper count. However, when we reached the Cord Road and started to check the series of steps leading to North Strand we were stopped in our tracks by the amount of illegal dumping we met. Not only was the rubbish filthy but it was also dangerous as there was a large amount of broken glass and other hazards to health scattered everywhere.”

“I raised the issue at the January Borough District of Drogheda Meeting and to ensure that the matter would be vigorously tackled, I then met with LCC’s Operations Department to highlight the specific areas where people are dumping.” Following this meeting, Cllr Flood and Imelda Munster TD followed up in the same area and according to Cllr Flood “we were happy that the waste we had reported had indeed been removed. We all need to be vigilant in order to tackle this scourge of illegal dumping.

“My message to the dumpers is, stop it now. You will be caught and fined.” The number for reporting littering to Louth County Council is Lo-call 1890 20 23 03 and anyone found littering can face fines on conviction of between €150 – €3,000.

Community needs to stand together – Munster

Deputy Imelda Munster has again met with Chief Superintendent Christopher Mangan as a follow up to discuss progress to date in dealing with the feud related criminal behaviour and intimidation in Drogheda.

Deputy Munster said:

“Whilst welcoming the addition of 18 new recruits which has greatly boosted Garda presence on the streets of the town as well as the increased patrols and checkpoints on a daily basis, we discussed the overall requirement for ongoing and permanent visibility to ensure that the community continues to feel safe.

“There is also an urgent need for investment in CCTV throughout the town which needs a total upgrade.

“We discussed the significant progress made in recent weeks by An Garda Síochána in dealing with this issue, and the need for this to continue long term. There is an urgent need for increased Garda resources so that this lawlessness can be stamped out for good. The people of this town shouldn’t have to live in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has also written to Chief Superintendent Mangan requesting that two additional public JPC meetings be held in Drogheda in locations close to the communities most affected. In addition to this Louth County Council and the Gardaí need to liaise closely in these matters.

If we all stand together as a community we can rid our town of this feud related violence, criminal and anti-social behaviour.

Munster: Reverse Cruel Withdrawal of Versatis Patches

Munster calls on Taoiseach to reverse cruel withdrawal of Versatis (Lidocaine) painrelief patches

Speaking in the Dáil this week Sinn Féin TD for Louth Imelda Munster urged the Taoiseach to reverse the blatant cost cutting exercise of restricting access to the pain relief patches Versatis(Lidocaine) for people who are suffering from severe and chronic pain.

Deputy Munster said:

“According to the Chairman of the National Association of General Practitioners the system introduced by the Government has seen 86% of GP applications for the drug on behalf of their patients turned down.

“These patches are a lifeline for patients who are in chronic pain to ensure some sort of quality of life. Many who cannot afford to buy the patches suffer daily and are confined to their their homes as a result.

“One such patient in my own constituency who is almost doubled over such is the severity of his pain, has said he is regularly housebound because he cannot pay for the patches and that he no longer has any quality of life.

“General Practitioners have stated that the Taoiseach’s claim that the ‘withdrawal was based on patient safety’ is utter nonsense and I have called on him to listen to the medical professionals and patients and reverse this callous cost cutting exercise.”

It is clear that this decision was made as a cost cutting exercise taking no account whatsoever of the effect this would have on the quality of life for people who suffer daily with chronic pain.

Deputy Munster said:

I have also written to the Minister for Health asking him to reverse this cruel cost saving measure.

Joanna Byrne Selected for Drogheda Urban in 2019 Elections

Sitting Councillor Joanna Byrne has been selected to run in the 2019 Local Government Elections for the constituency of Drogheda Urban.

Joanna was nominated by the Chair of the Bobby Sands Cumann Hughie McShane who said “I am very proud to stand here in front of you all to nominate Joanna. The Cumann has come a long way and we now have Imelda Munster as a TD who we are very proud of and Joanna who has been an outstanding councilor and we know she will continue to be just that. Joanna brought a fresh approach and a new enthusiasm to the Cumann when she joined it and is always ready for a challenge. She is a strong defender of the rights for all, following in the footsteps of Imelda. I am very proud of them both.”

Joanna accepted the nomination and paid tribute to Hughie who she described as the “driving force behind the cumann. The last 2 years have been a whirlwind and there

The team with Hughie McShane far right

have been plenty of highs and lows and challenges but it has been a great experience and I couldn’t have done it without Kenneth (Flood) and Imelda and more recently David (Saurin). Imelda keeps us a very tight team and her precedence on the Council is so appreciated. She taught us that we can debate an issue but we go into the chamber as a unit and we stand as one.”

Joanna also paid tribute to her Mam Martina “she is always by my side and the support

Joanna and her Mam, Martina

I get from her and my siblings is unbelievable. She is doing work that no-one else sees, out in all weathers leafleting and supporting me and guiding me. I appreciate that Mam and of course, she looks after me which can be the biggest job of all.”

Joanna also welcomed Tom Cunningham to the Drogheda team from Mid-Louth.

Imelda Munster TD rounded the evening off by thanking the “grassroots members who a the ones that have helped the party grow from strength to strength by talking to people and communities and relaying that back to the reps. I have always said that if we lead, people will follow but we have to provide that leadership. We need to stay true to who we are, we hold officials to account for the betterment of our communities, we are always pushing for the best interests of the people. We can’t fail if we speak for the people. Despite the challenges thrown at us, the attempted isolation of us by other parties and large sections of the media, just look at what we have achieved. People aren’t stupid, they see through all their dirty tricks. We started with 5 Cumann members and we worked hard over the years and people see that.

“People will be proud to vote Sinn Féin, they know we are not afraid to speak out, they know that their voice will be heard through us. The hard work starts now though. We are a unit on Louth County Council, we are committed and true and we will build and build and continue to build after that.”

The new line up so far in Drogheda