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

 

Pearse McGeough Welcomes Proposed 50% for Housing Adaptations in SF Alternative Budget

Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the provision of a 50% increase in Housing Adaptation Grants (HAGs) in Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget for 2018.

In June of this year, Cllr McGeough asked Louth County Council to apply for extra funding for this Grant scheme after it was announced that the Scheme was to be kept open all year round.  Each year a budget is allocated to this scheme which will adapt houses for the disabled or elderly.

Cllr McGeough said “Each year, the scheme opened, was flooded with applications and then closed again after a few short weeks. However, this year saw an extension to the submission period with the Scheme remaining open all year round. That has had the effect of citizens being left frustrated with the long periods of waiting time for these adaptations to take place.”

He said “I have a lady who is in her late 80’s who made a submission for a small but essential adaptation to her bathroom in 2016. She was marked ‘Priority 1’ which is categorising her as ‘urgent’. 2016 has gone, 2017 applications are in and this lady has now been informed that her work should be carried out in 2018.”

“There is no point in opening the Scheme all year round, processing and passing applications only to leave them sitting in a pile somewhere because there is no budget to carry out the works.”

“The applications for this particular Scheme are from some of the most vulnerable in our community. The scheme is intended to make daily life better for those who need a bit of extra help with their physical needs. This could be anything from a downstairs bathroom to a more major refurbishment of their home. These adaptations need to be carried out in a timely manner and waiting two years is wholly unacceptable by anyone’s standards.”

“I welcome Sinn Féin’s proposal that the allocation for this Grant Scheme be an extra 50%. We could perhaps clear the backlog and not leave our vulnerable citizens trapped in unsuitable accommodation.

For our full Alternative Budget please go to sinnfein.ie

Cllr Pearse McGeough Urges Private Landlords to Be Responsible/Aware following Grenfell Tower Fire

At September’s Louth County Council Meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough welcomed the inspection of multi-storey buildings by the Fire and Emergency Services. Buildings of seven storeys and over have been inspected following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London with additional fire safety assessments requested of external wall cladding.

Cllr McGeough said “the Fire Prevention section has also requested fire safety assessments of all two storey properties owned by Housing Agencies where council tenants are accommodated and I welcome that. The Fire Prevention Section has also contacted management companies or owners of all buildings in Louth where Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) tenants are living.”

Cllr McGeough raised the issue of private tenants and private landlords. “I asked if their properties were being inspected but was told that is the responsibility of the landlords themselves. I would now urge all landlords to check their properties periodically and ensure there are fire safety precautions in place. With an average of 60-70 house fires a year we need to be doing everything we can to avoid tragedies.”

Pearse McGeough went on to explain that “there are basic things you can ensure the property has: Smoke detectors, heat detectors and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors. The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 requires every house to have a fire blanket and a mains wired smoke alarm or two 10 year self-contained battery operated alarms. These are a few basics that can be done but could be enough to save a life or prevent extensive damage to a property.”

Pearse McGeough Seeks Budget Increase in Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme

At the end of last year, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough welcomed the opening of the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme (HAGS) for 2017. Each year a budget is allocated to this scheme which will adapt houses for the disabled or elderly.

Each year, the scheme opened, was flooded with applications and then closed again after a few short weeks. However, this year saw an extension to the submission period with the Scheme remaining open all year round.

Although welcoming the extension at the time, Cllr McGeough has since been left frustrated with the long periods of waiting time some of his constituents have been facing for these adaptations to take place.

He said “I have a lady who is in her late 80’s who made a submission for a small but essential adaptation to her bathroom in 2016. She was marked ‘Priority 1’ which is categorising her as ‘urgent’. 2016 has gone, 2017 applications are in and this lady has now been informed that her work should be carried out in 2018.”

“I raised it at the Ardee Municipal meeting and I reiterated my call at the Louth County Council this week, to apply to the Department for extra funding for this Scheme as there is not enough to meet the needs of Priority 1 cases and that is unacceptable. The Council have agreed to do so.”

“There is no point in opening the Scheme all year round, processing and passing applications only to leave them sitting in a pile somewhere because there is no budget to carry out the works.”

“The applications for this particular Scheme are from some of the most vulnerable in our community. The scheme is intended to make daily life better for those who need a bit of extra help with their physical needs. This could be anything from a downstairs bathroom to a more major refurbishment of their home. These adaptations need to be carried out in a timely manner and waiting two years is wholly unacceptable by anyone’s standards.”