Munster requests Housing Minister to meet Louth Council on Northern Cross Route

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has called for the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, or officials from his department, to meet with officials from Louth County Council in order to progress funding for the Northern Cross route, after his department rejected the council’s appeal for funding for the project under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund. His department originally rejected the application earlier this year.

Deputy Munster said:

“I wrote to the Minister this week asking him to meet with officials from the council to address the issues that affecting the funding application, as it is vitally important that this project gets the go ahead as quickly as possible.

“I raised this matter in the Dáil twice in the last two weeks, to ensure that this government is aware of the importance of this road and the fact that it is central to the Northern Environs Plan.

“Under the Northern Environs Plan, Louth County Council would open up lands for housing development, something this government is constantly advocating.

“Without this road Drogheda will continue to face daily gridlock with HGV traffic coming into the town centre.

“We can’t plan for the development of thousands of houses without having the infrastructure in place. This route is central to the Northern Environs Plan, which the people of Drogheda have been waiting for since 2006.

“This government and the last government have failed to deliver this project for Drogheda. I would hope that the Minister will listen to my proposal and take the initiative to work constructively with the council to secure funding for the project.

“We’ve been waiting over thirteen years at this stage. In that time gridlock has worsened in the town and the housing crisis has escalated. It’s time we got moving on the Port Access Northern Cross Route.”

Sinn Féin Selects Two to Contest General Election for Louth & East Meath

Former TD Arthur Morgan, Gerry Adams TD, Imelda Munster TD & Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú

 

Imelda Munster TD and Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú have been selected by Sinn Féin members to contest next year’s general election on behalf of the Party.

The selection convention was held in the Grove Hotel in Dunleer and was attended by Sinn Féin members from across the constituency of Louth and East Meath, as well as Gerry Adams TD and former Louth TD Arthur Morgan.

Imelda Munster TD said:

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to stand for election on behalf of Sinn Féin again. I am proud that the people of the Louth and East Meath constituency elected me to represent them in Leinster House in 2016, and I have worked tirelessly on their behalf in that time.

“If elected next year I will continue to work hard for my constituents, standing up for the people of Louth and East Meath and holding those in power to account.

“This constituency has been left behind in many ways, for example in terms of infrastructure with the government not delivering on the Northern Cross Route for Drogheda, the Julianstown Bypass and the delay of the Ardee Bypass.

“I’ve consistently raised the issue of nursing homes double-charging residents, and I have legislation tabled to end that scandal.

“I will also continue to fight the government on the scandalous housing crisis and lack of affordable homes in Louth and across the state, hospital appointment waiting lists and other health issues, such as cancer patients having to fight to get medical cards.

“I stand up for Drogheda and East Meath in addressing the ongoing drugs gang feud and the horrific violence we’ve seen in our communities as a result of that.

“I have a reputation of never being afraid to speak up for the people I represent and if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected I will continue this work.”

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has been a formidable force on Louth County Council since 2017. During this time he has used his position to highlight many of the issues affecting the people of Louth.

Ruairí is currently campaigning for a Primary Care Centre and a CAMHS facility in Dundalk.

Ruairí is the Chairperson of Louth Drug and Alcohol Forum and is very active on community safety and works with the Gardaí and other agencies to tackle drug abuse.

Speaking after the convention, Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said:

“I am ambitious for Louth, I believe that different choices should be made and that’s why I want to retain two Sinn Féin TDs for this constituency. 

“I do not want to live in a country where children are forced to eat, sleep and live on the streets, where people wait years for medical procedures, where families cannot access respite and other essential supports.

“I want to live in a United Ireland with an equitable health system, where people have the right to a home, where the economy serves the people rather than the other way around.”

Imelda Munster: Gardai budget in Drogheda runs out as drug feud escalates

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath has condemned the murder of a man in Bettystown yesterday evening, and has called on the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to commit to secure the continuation of funding, which has run out as of November 4th.

Deputy Munster said:

“This is the latest in a series of violent attacks in Drogheda and East Meath in the last year or so.

“What is crystal clear is that this feud is ongoing, and is nowhere near being stamped out.

“It was another night of heightened fear and terror for people living locally.

“Just yesterday I attended the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee meeting, where serious concerns were raised about the fact that the funding for the ongoing Garda operations to tackle this feud has run out.

“We are in the height of a drug gang feud and the budget is gone.

“The Gardaí desperately need the continuation of this funding if they are to bring an end to the drug dealing, attacks and shootings that are continuing to plague the area.

“The Gardaí have made inroads, but without the funding and additional specialised units in Drogheda this feud is set to continue, with the potential of it escalating, and all of the investigative work done thus far will be for nothing.

“This week the Gardaí will be sending in an application seeking a commitment from the Garda Commissioner to secure the continuation of this funding.

“The ramifications of not securing this funding are obvious.

“The Minister for Justice also needs to ensure that the Garda Commissioner recognises that without this funding the violence will be ongoing, and ordinary people going about their daily business will continue to have their rights to live without fear denied.

“There is an onus on the government and the Garda Commissioner to ensure this funding is secured as a matter of urgency.”

 

Home help allocation in budget is “disgraceful” – Munster

Imelda Munster, Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath has branded the government’s failure to make a sufficient allocation for home care packages in the budget as “disgraceful”, given the current crisis in home care, which currently has a waiting list of 7,300 people, many of whom are lying in hospital beds, unable to return to their own homes for an indefinite period of time due to lack of resources at the HSE.

Deputy Munster said:

“The government and Fianna Fáil are trying to convince us that the budget allocation of 1million extra home care hours is a step forward, when in reality it won’t even clear the current waiting list. In fact it will only reduce it by 40%.

“In order to clear the waiting list an additional 2.5million hours are required. Sinn Féin allocated €59million euro in our Alternative Budget for this purpose. The government and Fianna Fáil’s meagre allocation won’t even address the current backlog, never mind additional demand that will present this winter and in 2020.

“Every budget it about choices. And Fine Gael will always choose to under-fund services in order to protect businesses and the super-rich. For years they hid behind the financial crisis, and used that as an excuse to neglect public services. This year they’re hiding behind Brexit. We can prepare for Brexit and fund the health service. They are choosing not to do both.

“I have several cases in my constituency office of people who are languishing in hospital beds, for months on end, because the government isn’t funding home care packages.

“I have raised the case of a local 18 year old girl who has been waiting to leave hospital since March 2018. She is desperate to live at home with her family, but the government isn’t funding her home care package so she remains in hospital. This is despite the fact that her doctors have recommended that her own home is the best place for her.

“I have another constituent who is a patient in her 80s. She suffers from cancer and early dementia. She remains in hospital, despite having her home care package approved. She was advised that all resources have already been allocated, and that she has been put on a waiting list. The letter also said that it could not indicated when the HSE would fund her home help package, so she has no idea when she might expect to be going home.

“This government talks rubbish about prudence, and being responsible with the public finances. The home care fiasco is proof that they are not fit to manage public services or public finances.

“A day in a hospital bed is 10 times more expensive than a day’s home help in terms of financial cost.

“It costs €5,964 per week to care for someone in a hospital bed whereas the cost of a 26 hours a week home care package would cost approximately €546 per week.”

Sinn Féin Alternative Budget 2020 gives families and workers a break

Sinn Féin has this week published its Alternative Budget 2020, with Louth TD Imelda Munster saying ‘it’s time to end the rip-off and give local families and workers a break’.

The party’s alternative budget proposals include a provision for two free GP visits for every person without a medical card, a rent freeze and a relief worth one month’s rent, free travel on public transport for five to eighteen-year-olds and a reduction in the cost of childcare by an average of €100 a month per child.

Deputy Munster said: ‘The upcoming budget needs to do two things: end the rip off and give workers and families a break and secure Ireland’s future if there is a crash out Brexit.  

‘There is something seriously wrong when the vast majority of people have less money in their pockets now than they did when Fine Gael, supported by Fianna Fáil, came into power three years ago.  

‘The reasons for this are obvious – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are making bad, short term decisions that are costing the taxpayer billions and they are failing to intervene to deal with out of control costs in childcare, rents and essential household bills like insurance and mortgage interest payments.

‘The consequence is that insurance companies, banks and landlords are making billions while workers and families are being ripped off’.

The Drogheda TD says her party’s Alternative Budget offers ‘clear, realisable solutions to the impossible living costs faced by countless families – sky-high insurance premiums, extortionate rents, and eye-watering childcare costs. Together, these ensure that Ireland’s cost of living is among the most unaffordable in the developed world.

 

‘The budget cannot be just about survival, it must be about ensuring people can have a decent life and enjoy their time with family and friends’.

The Alternative Budget from Sinn Féin includes

  • Helping renters by introducing an emergency freeze on rents and bringing in rent relief which would save them the equivalent of one month’s rent each year.
  • Help families by reducing the cost of childcare by an average of €100 a month per child.
  • Provide two free GP visits for every person without a medical card – so nobody delays going to the doctor because they are worried about the cost.
  • Ensure there is No carbon tax increase in Budget 2020.
  • End the insurance rip-off – first we’re going after the government take and then we are coming after the industry.
  • Invest an additional €300 million to give people with disabilities and their families a break.
  • Introduce free travel for 5 to 18-year-olds on public transport.