Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed new traffic calming measures being introduced in the village of Kilsaran.
Cllr McGeough said “Over the years there have been a number of fatal accidents on the road and I have been approached by a number of residents in the area concerned at the speed of some vehicles passing through.
“With there being a school in the area, child safety was a worry for parents so these new traffic calming measures were designed around that.
“Work will begin in the next month and we will see four or five ramps or raised platforms on the R132 which is the main road in Kilsaran. This will certainly slow vehicles down around the school and will be beneficial for the village in general.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough informed Louth Chief Executive Joan Martin that “council tenants have rights too” at this month’s Council meeting.
The issue was raised by Cllr McGeough and several other councillors during the manager’s report. Cllr McGeough said “there are council tenants that are waiting for maintenance works to be carried out and many have been waiting for quite some time. Financial constraint is the reason being given as to why these repairs are not being carried out. Repairs are still being prioritised but what M/s Martin fails to recognise is that Council tenants have rights too.”
Cllr McGeough compared the Council to a private landlord and said “if a private landlord said they couldn’t afford to repair a tenant’s home because they didn’t have enough money, can you imagine the furore there would be? Their tenants would be entitled to report them to the Residential Tenancy Board.”
“All landlords have responsibilities including ensuring the property is in good condition and to carry out repairs within a reasonable time. There is an onus on landlords to ‘reimburse the tenants for any repairs they carried out on the structure that they requested with the landlord which the landlord did not carry out within a reasonable time’. Louth County Council is a landlord and they are not adhering to these rules.”
Councillors also raised the issue of ‘voids’ or vacant properties in the county. M/s Martin told the chamber that the only way she could afford to turn these properties around was if the Cllrs present increased the Local Property Tax by a full 15%.
Cllr McGeough said “there is a fund at central government to help with vacant properties and we need to avail of that to the maximum. It is a disgrace that we have over 70 ‘voids’, not to mention the vacant properties boarded up around the county while there are families with children living in B&Bs and hotels and people living on the streets.”
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams attended a packed meeting of the Mid Louth Joint Policing Committee in The Market House, Dunleer on Thursday evening.
The meeting was called to demonstrate solidarity with a local family facing extortion and violence from drug gangs; to discuss the drugs crisis facing families and communities; and to hear from An Garda Síochána about their efforts to address the scourge of drugs.
The Louth TD commended Cllr Pearse McGeough and the JPC for calling the meeting and described the briefing from An Garda Síochána as “very useful, informative and helpful.”
Teachta Adams said:
“Along with Cllr Ó Murchú and Cllr McGeough I met the family who have made a stand against threats from a drug gang. They are being very brave and courageous. In my humble opinion they are not just making a stand for themselves. They’re making a stand for the rest of us.
So the question for us is what are we going to do? It is therefore important that when this meeting is over that we have some clear idea about what we are going to do next.
The most important information we were given this evening on this issue from the Chief Superintendent. He said we don’t have enough Gardaí. He told us that last year he was over budget and this year he will be over his budget. He and his colleagues also elaborated on stations that are only part time and why. It is clear that if you want boots on the street and Gardaí in the stations you can’t do if you don’t have the resources.
The Chief Superintendent also said – and I know this myself from battling with the government – that there are not enough resources for the support services for drug addiction. Talk to any of the people at the coal face of dealing with drug addiction and with families suffering as a result of drug addiction, and they will tell you that they don’t have the resources. We don’t have proper mental health resources and our health service is starved of the means of providing a holistic service.
Another striking point made by the Chief Superintendent is that if we fail to tackle the drug crisis effectively “we will lose a generation of our young people”. There is an old expression in Irish – Mol an óige agus tiochfaid siad – praise the youth and they will flourish – so I would like to suggest that we think of actions that the community can undertake to support An Garda Síochána.
The community alert should be reactivated. We also need to reach out to our young people. And we particularly need to do what this family have called on us to do – give any information whatsoever to An Garda Síochána. The message from here should be very clear – we’re not putting up with this – we’re not putting up with what is happening here to a decent family who are doing their best because someone wants to make a profit on the back of an alleged addiction.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough is seeking clarification from Louth County Council on their procedures to ensure standards have been met when purchasing social housing homes from Developers under Part 5 of the Planning Act.
The issue arose when Cllr McGeough was asked to visit a constituent who was living in one such house.
Cllr McGeough said “what I seen was appalling. The ceiling was damp and there was even damp running down the windows and there was mould. Now, this house isn’t very old and was purchased under Part 5 of the Planning Act which basically means the Council bought it from a Developer for social housing. I want to know what the procedure is when purchasing such a house. Is there a snag list as would be normal within a certain timeframe? Was there an inspection carried out before purchase as would also be the norm?”
Cllr McGeough said “we need social housing very badly in this county but when tax payers money is being used to purchase these homes then we must ensure there is value for money and we are not being left with sub-standard housing. In this particular case, there are children living in the house. Living in these conditions will inevitably lead to health problems.”
Tom giving his acceptance speech
Councillor Tom Cunningham has been selected by Sinn Féin to run in the new constituency of Drogheda Rural leaving his old stomping ground of Mid Louth. thanks to the recent boundary changes.
Tom was proposed by Cllr Pearse McGeough who said “I was alone in Mid-Louth until Tom Cunningham got elected in 2014 and he has been a great addition to the area and I will miss him. When Tom got elected, the first thing he did was opened a clinic in Ardee and that is there every Saturday morning come rain, hail
Pearse McGeough nominates Tom
or shine. He also enabled me to become Cathaoirleach of the district, something that would not have been achieved without him. He has made a difference in Mid-Louth and I am sure he will do as good a job in Drogheda Rural, they are very lucky to be getting him.”
Tom Cunningham thanked Pearse for all his support and guidance and said “it was a pleasure to work with Pearse and the night Pearse became Cathaoirleach was certainly a night to remember. We broke their pact to keep us out of offices.”
Tom especially wanted to thank his three daughters who were all in attendance. “Those poor girls are dragged to events and
Pearse McGeough and Tom with his 3 beautiful daughters
spend most of their Saturdays with me at the Ardee clinic, and never a word of complaint from them. If they didn’t, I would hardly see them at all and that just wouldn’t be fair. They are always supporting me and cheering me on and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have their support.”
The three girls proudly cheered as their Dad sat down with the oldest girl Stephanie looking for a hole in the ground in which to put her head.
Tom’s running mate in the area is still to be confirmed. His nomination was seconded by David Cusack from the Tullyallen Cumann which Tom will be working closely with.
Tom & David Cusack