Occupied Territories vote important step forward – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has warmly welcomed the passing of the Occupied Territories Bill in the Seanad.
 
The Bill which has been introduced by Seanadóir Frances Black and was supported by Sinn Féin and others seeks to ban the importation of Israeli goods that are produced on Palestinian land illegally occupied by Israeli settlers. The Bill now moves to the committee stage.
 
Gerry Adams said:
“One of my abiding memories from my visits to the Middle East in recent years and especially to the west Bank, has been the enormous scale of the Israeli settlements. Almost all occupy the high ground like Crusader forts of an earlier conflict.
 
There are over 200 settlements with an estimated 600,000 Israeli citizens. These are all built illegally on Palestinian land. These settlements are serviced by roads which are for the exclusive use of Israeli citizens. Large swathes of the countryside are off limits to the Palestinian people who own the land. The wire fences of the Israeli Army stretch for kilometres across the landscape. And water rights are stolen by the Israeli authorities. In addition permanent Israeli road blocks, similar to those which used to blight the border corridor here, prevent Palestinian citizens from travelling freely between Palestinian towns and villages.
 
The result is that an estimated sixty per cent of the west Bank, which should be the core of a Palestinian state, is off limits to Palestinians.
 
At the same time farm produce and other material produced by the illegal settlements is exported to Europe, the USA and other places.
 
Trading in goods that are the product of stolen property is wrong. The Bill which has been produced by Seanadóir Frances Black seeks to right this dreadful wrong by blocking Israeli product produced in the settlements from being sold in this state.
 
On Tuesday Imelda Munster TD, Councillor Pearse McGeough and I met with Fayez and Muna al-Taneeb who farm 3.2 hectares of land in the northern west Bank. When Israel built its huge separation which runs for hundreds of kilometres it took the opportunity to steal more Palestinian land. In the case of Fayez and Muna they stole 60% of their farm.
 
It is right that the Irish state gives leadership on this issue and bans settlement goods.”

Louth Sinn Féin Condemn Attacks on Belfast Leadership

Louth Sinn Féin has condemned last night’s attack on the homes of Gerry Adams TD and Northern Chairperson and activist, Bobby Storey. Explosive devices were thrown at both houses.

Speaking on behalf of the Party, Councillor Pearse McGeough said “these attacks are reprehensible. I understand that Gerry’s grandchildren were in front of his house a short time before the device was thrown. There is no excuse for these kinds of attacks which are clearly directed at the leadership. Those that carried them out are obviously getting desperate as they become more irrelevant in the community but they will not deter Gerry or Bobby or indeed the wider Sinn Féin party from carrying on their work.

“These criminals, because that’s all they are, have no place in any community and are not wanted in any shape or form. I would appeal for everyone to remain calm and not be baited into retaliating. That’s what these thugs want.”

Earlier in the evening, Party leader Mary-Lou McDonald described the dissidents who are believed to be behind the recent rioting in Derry as “warped, negative, regressive, dangerous people.”

 

Cllr Pearse McGeough New Chair for Ardee MD

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has been elected the new Chair for the Ardee Municipal District Council.

Speaking after tonight’s AGM, Cllr McGeough said “I want to thank my fellow Sinn Féin councillor Tom Cunningham for nominating me and also want to thank Independent Cllr Jim Tenanty for his vote. For years there was a pact to keep Sinn Féin out but it’s good to see that pact has been broken tonight.”

“I have been proud to serve the good people of Ardee and Mid-Louth Municipal District for over fourteen years and this is the first time that I will have the opportunity of doing so as Chair. I will serve and represent all the people of the area and look forward to what will no doubt be a challenging but very rewarding time.”

“This coming year is an important one as we are facing into an election next year and Brexit with all the uncertainty that brings with it, is looming. Over the last years we have seen the powers in our municipal Districts stripped and diluted, obviously we need to reverse that trend if we want to affect real change in Mid-Louth. We, as councillors, are accountable to the people so it is up to us to represent those people and help Ardee and Mid-Louth to realise its full potential.”

“There are a few challenges that need to be prioritised this year. We need to appreciate the area’s potential for jobs and enterprise. Sometimes we tend to be overlooked in favour of Drogheda or Dundalk but we have a lot to offer too. I would like to see the Ardee By-pass well underway and to tackle the drugs and alcohol usage and addiction in the area especially among young people. These are projects that will require all of us and multi-agencies working together but if we have the will, it can be done.”

“I also look forward to working with Dolores Minogue as Leas Cathaoirleach in the year ahead.”

Pearse McGeough: Annagassan Silt Build-up an accident waiting to happen

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has called on Louth County Council to address the build-up of silt at Annagassan Harbour once and for all following an incident on Saturday.

Councillor McGeough said “Saturday was the first decent day that we have had this year weather wise and I was sickened to hear that a young child who was walking along the sand at the Harbour accidently walked onto the silt and got stuck. The person who was with the child managed to get them free with much difficulty but not before the child had sunk into the silt almost to their shoulders.”

Councillor McGeough has been calling on Louth County Council to address the issue of silt build up for a number of years. “The silt was so bad in 2012 that four berths at the end of the Harbour were reduced to three and that remains the case even today.”

Cllr McGeough said “this is a health and safety issue. If we are lucky enough to get a decent summer this year, you are going to have children playing or pets being walked. If they go into the water at all there is a chance they could get stuck and not come out of the water. Louth County Council needs to take what happened on Saturday as a warning and address the build-up of silt as a matter of urgency.”

Where the sand meets the silt. Children or animals wouldn’t notice the difference

Councillor McGeough contacted the Council this morning and asked for additional signage to be erected immediately. “That won’t stop young children or dogs going into the silt accidently or unknowingly but at least adults will be more aware of the danger until such times as the issue is addressed.”

“Despite remedial work being done at the Harbour since 2012, the silt is back with vengeance and needs to be dredged on an on-going basis, not just when it gets dangerously built up. Although there is no actual policy on harbours, Drogheda Port is dredged regularly to allow ships to get up the Boyne. Surely there should be a certain amount of maintenance work done on other harbours where the public are visiting or people are working. It is basic health and safety.”

Concluding, Pearse McGeough said “we should not be waiting for a tragedy to happen to act. We have had a warning of what could possibly happen if this silt is not dredged. It is not good enough to say there is no money or no funds. The Chief Executive was able to come up with €300,000 to cover an ‘administrative error’ over the Drogheda parking shambles, I’m sure if she tried hard enough she could come up with the funds needed to address this silt build up as it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Pearse McGeough: Littering is a Disgrace

Councillor Pearse McGeough called those who discarded mattresses along the N33 Ardee Link Road “a disgrace.”

Cllr McGeough who visited the site this morning said “someone just decided not to dispose of these mattresses responsibly. There are several of them so they had to be brought here by a van or lorry of some kind. If anyone has any knowledge on those who are responsible for this disgraceful dumping then please let Louth County Council know.”

Councillor McGeough also commended Louth County Council for their quick response in getting the mattresses removed. “It should not be up to Louth Council or indeed anyone else to clean up after someone else. I for one, am sick of paying to clean up someone else’s

Several mattresses at the site

filth. There seems to be an increase in the instances of dumping and that needs to stop.”

“When I arrived this morning the Council were here in the rain clearing the mattresses when they could have been doing something else. Well done to them.”

If you want to report littering or have information on who is responsible for this then please phone the Council’s litter hotline on 1890 202303 or (042) 9335457

Fines for littering can range from €150 – €3,000