Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has hit out at the government for their practice of leaving elderly people and those with disabilities to languish as prisoners in their own home.
Highlighting figures that show that the total budget allocation for Housing Adaptation Grants for Louth is down almost half a million euro on last year Deputy Munster raised the matter in the Dáil today.
Deputy Munster said:
‘We’re halfway through 2018 and there are already 267 applications so far plus 95 carried over from 2017 making a total of 362. The allocated budget will only cover 123 of these which means that Louth County Council will need extra funding of €1,840,004 to clear the remaining applications.
Despite claims in their Programme for a Partnership Government that they value and will facilitate the continued independent living in their own homes for the elderly and People with a Disability they are slow to release the necessary funds. Instead they leave hundreds of people to struggle for survival in their substandard homes.
This is reflected in almost daily representations being made in my Drogheda constituency office as in constituency offices all over the country by elderly and disabled people, or their families on their behalf, for downstairs bathrooms, stair-lifts, bedrooms or wet rooms to enable them to continue living in their own homes.
Additional funding needs to be released immediately to Louth County Council to clear these remaining applications.’
Louth Sinn Féin have organised a protest for Wednesday afternoon at 4pm at the Market Square in Dundalk to highlight the plight of Palestinian prisoners.
1,500 Palestinian political prisoners launched a mass hunger strike on 17th April and say they are determined to fast until the death or until they get basic demands as conditions in the Israeli prisons deteriorate to a new low.
There are currently 6,500 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel including more than 500 ‘administrative detainees’. These are detainees that have been arrested on ‘secret evidence’ and are not aware of what they are accused of and are not allowed to even defend themselves in court.
A spokesperson for Louth Sinn Féin said “we are concerned and want to highlight the contravention of International Humanitarian Law, which says that prisoners from
file photo from Dundalk 2014
occupied territories must be held in that occupied territory. That law is being broken here, these prisoners are being held in Israel and their families are regularly being denied entry into Israel, so the prisoners are further isolated from family and support.”
The spokesperson continued “as we approach the 36th anniversary of Bobby Sands, I would ask everyone to attend the protest on Wednesday at 4pm and show your support for the Palestinian prisoners and highlight the injustice of their situation. We went through it before in 1981, show your solidarity for these hunger strikers in 2017.”
Their demands include:
- Installation of a public telephone to allow communication with their families
- To resume bi-monthly family visits
- To increase the duration of the visits
- Allow prisoners to take photographs with their families
- To end deliberate ‘medical negligence’ (more than 50 prisoners have died owing to medical negligence inside Israeli jails)
Wednesday, 26th April, Market Square, Dundalk at 4pm – Everyone Welcome