Minister McGrath told culture of unaccountability needs to be stamped out once and for all

Imelda Munster white coatSinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today called for the Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath TD to stamp out the culture of non-accountability, saying that unless he does so, the Commission of Investigation will not be worth the paper it is written on.

Deputy Munster said:

“Up to now the practice of holding people to account is the one thing that is always missing, scandal after scandal.”

“The series of appalling failures that Grace fell victim to is rife with a lack of accountability on the part of those who were entrusted with Grace’s care.”

“For 20 years Grace endured abuse and neglect and despite concerns being reported by whistle-blowers the HSE neglected to investigate allegations  of abuse that allegedly occurred in the foster home.”

“This wasn’t just a systems failure. It was a failure of individuals. We need to know who is responsible, who knew this was happening at the top levels of management, we need to investigate allegations of a cover up and if files were destroyed, but the most glaring question of all is why was nobody disciplined, sacked or charged with a criminal offence?”

“Minister McGrath needs to realise that a Commission of Investigation needs to include other children who went through this foster home, needs to implement the recommendations contained in the Dignam report, but above all else, it needs to find those who are responsible, and ensure that they are brought to account.”

“What people want to see from this Commission of Investigation is this culture of non-accountability stamped out once and for all.”

Congratulations Drogheda on winning bid to hold Fleadh Cheoil 2018

Adams-and-MunsterSinn Féin Louth TDs Gerry Adams and Imelda Munster have welcomed today’s decision by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to hold the 2018 Fheadh Cheoil in Drogheda.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to commend the efforts of the Drogheda Fleadh Bid Committee, Drogheda Comhaltas, County Council representatives, Members of the Emergency Services, and local volunteers who all worked hard to successfully win the bid to hold Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda”

Teachta Munster said:

“The Fleadh Cheoil is one of the most important events in the cultural life of this island. Holding it in Drogheda will be an enormous boost to the local economy, especially tourism. It will also enhance the local traditional Irish music, dance, and language sectors.

“Drogheda is perfectly placed to hold the Fleadh and I am very confident that the people of the town will embrace this opportunity to showcase Drogheda.”

Munster Welcomes Meeting Re Cross Border Infrastructure

imelda-munster-tdToday in the Dáil Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD welcomed a commitment from Minister for Transport Shane Ross to meet with Minister for Infrastructure in the North, Chris Hazzard MLA.

Deputy Munster:

“This is an important development in light of the challenges that Brexit will present on all parts of this island. There exists a number of serious cross border issues that need a united approach, including infrastructure, the possibility of a hard border and problems posed if access is constricted.  It’ll create problems for all sectors of the transport industry, ports, airports, road and rail throughout the island if these matters are not addressed, north and south.”

“We also need reassurance that a hard border will never return to this country. It’s hugely important that government Ministers are working to ensure that the people of Ireland’s voices are heard in negotiations between Britain and Europe. Cross-border Ministerial cooperation is a huge part of this process.“

Minister Chris Hassard MLA

                            Minister Chris Hazzard MLA

 

Munster Hits Out At Community Safety Cuts

imelda photo orangeLouth TD Imelda Munster has raised Drogheda District’s community safety concerns at the Dáil with the Minister.

Drogheda district forms part of the Louth division which includes Drogheda, Dunleer and Clogherhead area and Garda stations.

Imelda Munster TD said “In 2010 there were 109 Gardaí assigned to the area however, using an answer I received from the minister, I found that there are now only 95 assigned to the area, 14 less than 2010.

“This week there was an armed robbery at the Post Office in Clogherhead. Despite ringing and pressing the panic button it took 40 mins for Garda to respond, yet the Garda station  is only one minute away. Finding a Garda present in Clogherhead Garda station has become pot luck as there are no official opening times. The same can be said about Dunleer station”.

The Louth TD explained that Drogheda is a large urban town with the same general problems as everywhere else but “it has now come to the stage where some people have completely given up on reporting crime as there appears to be very little in regards to the following up of these complaints”.

“Furthermore, community Gardaí are becoming disengaged and disenfranchised from communities because they’ve been required to perform other duties. You try to reach them by phone, and not unlike the more rural stations in the Drogheda area, its pot luck if you get them”.

“Neighbourhood watch schemes have been shelved. There are current schemes that have been enacted over a year ago, but not implemented. I’m aware of three applications from three estates that haven’t received as much as a phone call, which is worrying to say the least as the implementation of these schemes, would make for a more efficient network”.

Speaking on recent crime in the area, Imelda Munster TD said  “recently, there have been six burglaries carried out in one estate. The culprit was stashing his wares in an adjoining field and returning later to collect them. Despite being filmed doing this, the guards were called and arrested him, but he was never charged.

“This disengagement with communities and community Gardaí is due to a lack of resources and manpower, not the will of the Gardaí who do great work, and who are consistently overstretched and over worked for minimal financial reward.

“It’s common knowledge in Drogheda that there is frequently only one marked car on duty to respond to calls. The Gardaí no longer work in a proactive manner, but rather a reactive one. Morale is now at an all-time low, with many crimes going unreported and unsolved. This needs to change. The Gardaí need both further recruitment and resources to do their job effectively. Turning a blind eye to resourcing community policing has compounded the problems for communities across this state”.

Imelda Munster TD has asked the Minister directly for concrete plans on how he intends to address these issues.

Imelda Munster Initiates Historic Change In Louth

Imelda & EmearAt yesterday’s Louth County Council Budget meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster put forward a proposal to transfer all allowances of the Chairpersons, vice chairs and SPC chairs of Dundalk, Drogheda, Ardee and Louth councils into Housing Adaptations for our elderly citizens in Louth.

A delighted Cllr Munster said “the total amount for the top up allownces total €78,000 and now this money can be put to better use in providing adaptations such as stair lifts, ramps and downstairs washrooms for our elderly citizens in Louth as this service has been grossly under-funded over the last number of years with many applications for adaptations refused due to lack of funding.”

There was controversy earlier this year when the Chairpersons of the three municipal districts were awarded top up allowances despite only attending 12 meetings a year.

Sinn Féin have consistently put this proposal to the Louth County Council but have always been out voted. When it was passed Cllr Munster said “this is a good day for change in Louth, we promised people a new era of local government and this is the start. We as Councillors already get paid to be councillors. There really is no justification for these top up payments for chairpersons especially when Louth Local Authorities have been and continue to be starved of funding for the provision of the most basic services that taxpayers have every right to expect from their local council.”

Cllr Munster ended by thanking all those who supported her proposal and hoped that other County Councils will follow suit.