Cllr Joanna Byrne: Recruitment & Retention of Retained Firefighter’s of Huge Importance

Louth’s Chief Fire Officer Eamonn Woulfe attended the most recent sitting of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) last Monday at the request of the Chairperson Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne.

Mr. Woulfe gave an informative presentation to the SPC on the recently published report reviewing Fire Safety in Ireland giving Councillors, PPN reps and Union delegates the opportunity to discuss the changes and recommendations suggested.

The report, comprised in the aftermath of Grenfell, initiated a broader review of fire safety legislation and policy, with many recommendations including a focus on high-rise buildings, multi-unit social housing blocks, Community Fire Safety, Integrated Risk Management and legislative responsibility among others.

A major area of concern highlighted by Cllr Byrne is the current issue of Recruitment and Job Retention among the retained ranks of Firefighters in Louth and the impact on the implementation of the recommendations in the Report given that the numbers, especially in Drogheda, is depleting at an alarming rate.

Cllr Byrne said “The retained crew in Drogheda is massively under-resourced, by a third in fact and deteriorating by the week. A major investment needs to be put into recruitment for this particular area and incentives made available to retain current firefighters. We cannot continue to stand idly by and watch these deeply valued public servants leave the service, in particular from the retained ranks who are a solid support to the full-time crew.”

Cllr Byrne called on the Chief Fire Officer to review a multitude of things which she believes are essential and of the upmost importance;

  • a major recruitment drive supported by a Social Media campaign
  • an overall review of the retained/full-time structures within the county
  • work with the Director of Services for Housing to establish suitable housing structures in the vicinity of the Fire Station to accommodate retained firefighters.

Cllr Joanna Byrne said “it is no longer enough expressing our appreciation of this valuable frontline service, it’s time to support them properly and put investment where it is needed.”

Munster Shocked At Nash’s Ignoring of Drogheda

Minister for Jobs Ged Nash ignores hometown as Drogheda Left Out of 150 Million Investment in National Enterprise Policy 2015-2025

Imelda Munster at deskSinn Fein Cllr Imelda Munster has expressed shock at the government’s failure to include Drogheda in the National Enterprise Policy for the roll out of a 5 year 150 million capital investment programme to help attract more foreign investment and jobs into each region.

Speaking today Imelda Munster said “This programme will include investments over the coming years in building, advanced manufacturing and office facilities in Dundalk, Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford. I am shocked at this news given firstly that Drogheda is Ireland’s largest town but more importantly because it has been pointed out by Padraig White from the Louth Economic Forum, that the reason Drogheda is continuously passed over for IDA investment is because of the lack of suitable office and manufacturing facilities in the town”.

Cllr Munster pointed out the need for just this type of investment in Drogheda.

“It is incredible to think that given that Drogheda with all of its potential and its enviable location in proximity to the airport and motorway has once again has been ignored by this government when it comes to investment in the infrastructure needed to encourage foreign direct investment to stimulate job creation in Drogheda”.

Imelda Munster said that “the government and in particular local government TDs Ged Nash and Fergus O Dowd had a golden opportunity here to insist that Drogheda be included in this 5 year roll out of €150 million capital investment programme in building the advanced manufacturing and office facilities that Drogheda desperately needs for them to compete fairly within the county and even within the country and they have failed, once again, to deliver and stand up for Drogheda”.

The Sinn Fein Cllr said “we need to stimulate job creation, to restore jobs lost, to create quality jobs and build a recovery that benefits all and one that most definitely includes Drogheda, the largest town in Ireland.”