Adams raises BCG Vaccine concerns with Minister

SF Jennifer & GerrySinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “serious concern at the failure of the Department of Health to make adequate provision for a supply of the BCG vaccine which provides effective protection against tuberculosis (TB).”

The Louth TD raised this issue with the Minister after Louth County Councillor Jennifer Green who “is due to give birth in three weeks informed me that she had been told that her baby would not be getting the BCG shortly after birth, as recommended by the HSE. Councillor Green and other expectant mothers she has spoken to is worried by this.”

In a PQ response to the Louth TD the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar detailed difficulties that have arisen with the Danish supplier for the vaccine for the HSE. According to the Minister the supplier “has been supplying BCG vaccine with significant delays due to issues in their production. The last shipment of BCG vaccine due to arrive at the end of October 2014 arrived at the end of December 2014. The delay in delivery meant that two months shelf life was lost and this expired at the end of April 2015. The HSE had sufficient BCG vaccine in Ireland until it expired at the end of April 2015.”

The Minister also revealed that “delivery of BCG vaccine produced in 2014 was suspended pending an extensive investigation regarding possible problems with the capping of the vials.”

This issue has now been resolved but this has added to the delay in production of new batches of the vaccine.

The conclusion of all of this, according to Minister Varadkar, is “that production of new product will not commence until August 2015 and due to a lengthy analysis and release procedure, vaccine from this production will not become available until the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016…The supplier does not expect that the delivery situation will be resolved until the first quarter of 2016 at the earliest.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The difficulties in supply of the BCG vaccine have been known by the Department of Health since last year. Despite this it has failed to identify an alternative supplier to provide vaccine in the short term until the Danish company sorts issues in their production.

“As a result at least 50,000 babies, and potentially many more, will not receive their BCG when appropriate. This is a matter of real concern given the dangers posed to humans from TB.

“Many grandparents will remember the time when to have TB was a life threatening experience which required long periods of isolation and convalescence. The development of the BCG vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) in France at the beginning of the last century provided an effective inoculation against this disease and consequently there has been a sustained decline in cases.

“This state has one of the lowest incidences in Europe. Last year there were 328 cases of TB.

“Notwithstanding this there can be no room for complacency. TB is a serious illness. 1,000 people develop it each day across Europe and it kills one and a half million people every year around the world.

“The Minister and Department of Health need to reassure the public that they are making every effort to secure alternative quantities of the vaccine and that when the Department and HSE procure a vaccine supply that measures will be put in place speedily to ensure that babies are vaccinated”.

Jennifer Green Hits Out At Those Responsible For Ard Dealgan Fire

P1030519Sinn Féin Councillor has hit out at those responsible for setting a fire on the third floor of the Ard Dealgan flats complex in the early hours of this morning.

Cllr Green who has been tirelessly working to find a resolution to the complex said “Once again, fire crews were called because anti-social elements within the apartment complex decided to set a fire. The residents have been calling for something to be done and yet again, their peace has been destroyed. Louth County Council have said they were exploring options to convert the complex into livable accommodation, that can’t happen quick enough.”

There have been a number of fires over the years at the apartment complex on Quay Street. Cllr Green said “someone is going to be killed at this complex. The council issued a derelict site notice some time ago and there has been no response from any of the ‘interested’ parties. Who has responsibility for this nightmare building? Beltary Properties hold the mortgage and haven’t responded to the Council. McFeeley, the developer who built the complex appears to be off the scene now totally. Who is responsible? Who is paying these call out charges to the fire brigade”

Councillor Green, who organised a picket last month and has organised another one for next Friday 26th June said she intends to provide a platform “to let the community have their say. They have had enough. It’s time the residents took back their area. They have a right to live in peace and in safety. They won’t have that as long as Ard Dealgan remains in the state it is in. We will continue with these pickets until someone stands up and takes responsibility before someone is hurt or killed.”

Fire crews attended the fire in the early hours of Friday morning and extinguished the fire in a third floor apartment using a hydraulic platform to gain access.

 

Green Welcome Comments on Ard Dealgan

Jennifer GreenSinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green has welcomed comments by the head of the Housing Department at today’s Louth County Council meeting.

Cllr Green said “I welcome the fact that Louth council are now going to explore a residential option for these flats. There are 73 units there that could have housed 73 families and we have a housing crisis in Louth with 4,652 people on the housing list.”

Councillor Green has worked tirelessly on this issue and intends to “follow these developments very closely” and has called for the Council to waste no time in this and to “help bring an end to this nightmare. The residents in the area have had enough. Let’s hope we can find a resolution in this.”

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Cllr Green addressing Protesters at last month's picket

Cllr Green addressing Protesters at last month’s picket

 

 

 

Jennifer Green Holds Ard Dealgan Protest

Jennifer talking to the residentsThe wind and rain on Friday afternoon didn’t deter around 50 residents joining Sinn Féin councillor Jennifer Green at a picket at the Ard Dealgan complex on Quay Street.

Ard Dealgan was built by controversial developer Tom McFeely. The complex has remained unoccupied since 2009 due to health and safety concerns and has deteriorated ever since into the dilapidated eyesore they are now.

Councillor Green said “This development has become a nightmare for the residents of the area as it is attracting anti-social elements from all over. We have had a number of fires in the complex, the place has been stripped and wrecked and residents are afraid to let their children out because it is just dangerous. As a mother of two boys, I know how curious they can be and how adventurous but the complex is not secured in any way to keep anyone out despite Dundalk Town Council putting money into it a few years ago to do just that. I really dread to think what could happen.”

A ‘Derelict Site’ notice was issued last November to developer McFeely and also to the Beltary Property Finance Ltd Company who currently hold the mortgage. There has been no communication received from either.

Jennifer Green explained “Between development fees, securing the property, fire services and ambulance call-out charges and the derelict site levies, the Council are owed the guts of €1,000,000 so I can’t understand why they are not aggressively seeking to find out who has responsibility for the complex and attempt to recoup this money”.

“We want someone to take responsibility for this building. The complex needs to be demolished as it can’t be restored at this point. There were 73 apartments in the complex, that is 73 families which could have been housed. We have a shortage of social housing in this county, demolish Ard Dealgan and build proper social and affordable homes in its place. The people of the Quay are entitled to live in a safe environment without fear of letting their children out to play or without fear of abuse when they are walking to the shop.

“Today’s picket shows the anger and determination of this community who came out in their numbers in the wind and rain, to show that they are sick of being ignored and being held to ransom by Ard Dealgan. We need this issue resolved as a matter of urgency”

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Top Up Payments To ‘Chairs’

Sinn Fein LogoWe feel we need to clarify the position on the exorbitant top up payments to chairs of the municipal councils. There has been a bit of mud-slinging as our opponents try and muddy the waters as they attempt to cover their sheer greed and cronyism.

In 2010, Councillor Jennifer Green was the Chair of Dundalk Town Council and as such, was expected to carry out duties as the first citizen which she did on a weekly, if not almost daily basis. For that extra responsibility, there was a provision in the budget for an extra allowance of which she availed.

Fast forward to 2014 and Dundalk Town Council has been abolished and we all fall under Louth County Council. Local Government was to be reformed. This was to be a whole new era of politics.

There are three municipal districts: Ardee, Drogheda and Dundalk. Each district has a chair whose job is to ensure the 11 meetings per year are run on time. They each last between 60-90 minutes. There are no extra responsibilities with that role now and as such, there is no provision in the budget for extra payments. Unfortunately, cronyism is alive and well in Louth.

Last month, the municipal districts awarded their chairs €30,000 in total despite their being no added responsibilities or provision in the budget for this. Sinn Féin opposed this, along with a couple of others but was voted down by the cronies in FF/FG/LAB.

There is only one Chair of the Council who will be asked to carry out this role as first citizen and that is the Chair of Louth County Council, Oliver Tully.

This is a total waste of taxpayers money and we have yet to have an answer from the cronies as to where this money is coming from. Will it come from the roads, disability grants, housing? Who knows?

This year €30,000 of your money is going on brass necks, maybe we should have a provision for that in next years budget.