Louth TD Gerry Adams is urging the people of north Louth and the border region to support next Thursday’s anti-Brexit protest in Dundalk.
The protest will take place in Dundalk square at 3pm on Thursday 28 June.
Gerry Adams TD said:
“Next Thursday the EU leaders will hold a critical summit which will be dominated by Brexit. Tension over Brexit has increased in recent days with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar accusing the British government of trying to stall progress in the Brexit negotiations and Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator warning that “serious divergences” remain on how to resolve the threat of a hard border and hard Brexit.
“Last December the Irish people were told that the so-called backstop arrangement was a guarantee that there would be no hard border and that the interests of citizens in the north, the majority of whom voted against Brexit, would be protected. We were also told that this agreement would be enshrined in a legal text in March and that the British had to produce firm proposals for the June summit. The Irish government said it wanted “sufficient progress” at next week’s summit.
“None of this has happened. Instead the British government has stalled and prevaricated and failed to produce realistic proposals.
“This is not acceptable. It is also dangerous. The backstop agreement must be written into any withdrawal treaty. The Irish government should be demanding real progress at next week’s summit. The EU must put Ireland – all of Ireland – first and insist that the British present their proposals on time.
“The objective is clear. The north must remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market and the rights of citizens contained in the Good Friday Agreement must be protected. Next week’s EU summit must deliver significant progress. The onus for this falls on the Irish government. It cannot allow the current reckless negotiation process to continue.
“I would appeal to everyone concerned about the dangers posed by Brexit to join Thursday’s protest in Dundalk.
Dundalk Sinn Féin will hold an awareness/solidarity protest at the Market Square in Dundalk on Saturday 17th February at 1pm to highlight the plight of Palestinian child prisoners that are being held in Israeli detention.
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú said “every year there are approximately 500-700 Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Some of these children are as young as twelve and the most common charge levied against them is stone throwing and three out of every four children experience physical violence through their arrest, transfer or interrogation. For a child convicted of stone throwing, the potential maximum sentence they face is 10 – 20 years depending on their age.”
Cllr Ó Murchú is asking everyone to attend the protest on Saturday 17th February and show their support for these children.
As of December 2017 there were 350 Palestinian children in detention and interestingly, not one Israeli child has ever come before this military court system.
16 year old Ahed Tamimi under arrest
Cllr Ó Murchú said “among these 350 Palestinian children that are currently being held is a young lady called Ahed Tamimi. Just before Christmas Ahed’s cousin 15 year old Mohammed Tamimi was shot at close range with a plastic bullet fired by an Israeli
15 year old Mohammed Tamimi
soldier. The bullet entered his skull leaving Mohammed in an induced coma and facing a seven hour operation. About an hour later a very brave 16 year old Ahed Tamimi challenged heavily armed Israeli troops that were on her family’s land and slapped one of them. Ahed Tamimi was arrested and is in custody awaiting a military trial. If convicted she faces between 10 – 14 years in an Israeli prison. Ahed turned 17 a couple of weeks ago.”
“We are asking everyone to look at their own children, imagine if that was happening here in Dundalk. Imagine you had no voice to cry out against the injustice of it. Come to the Market Square on Saturday 17th February and show your support for Ahed and all the children that are being held. We need to be their voice.”
Cllr Ó Murchú also called on the Irish Government to “implement the Oireachtas decision taken in 2014 to recognise the State of Palestine and to upgrade the Palestinian Mission in Dublin to that of a full Embassy. If we are to make a meaningful change to what is happening in the Middle East then Governments need to speak up as do the international community.
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has called on DUP voters, Unionist farmers and businesses to challenge and confront the DUP on their Brexit stance following the debacle on Monday which seen the Brexit negotiations deteriorate into a farce.
There appeared to be agreement to move forward but following a phone call between DUP leader Arlene Foster and British Prime Minister Teresa May, those plans were scuppered.
Cllr Ó Murchú said “The DUP are being reckless in their quest to copper fasten their Britishness. The north should not be removed from the Customs Union and the Single Market. It is hard to see a solution which works for the people of the border region and across Ireland other than the North remaining within the EU. Sinn Féin has consistently sought a Designated Special Status for the north within the European Union and this makes the most sense economically.”
The Louth Councillor went on to say “People will not accept the return of border installations to this part of Ireland. There can be no removal of the rights and protections contained within the Good Friday Agreement. Trade, healthcare and communities would be greatly impacted by a return of border checks and stops. Economic devastation to Co. Louth is the only guarantee of a Hard Border Brexit. A Hard Border Brexit would be as absurd as the Germans rebuilding the Berlin Wall.”
Cllr Ó Murchú called on the Irish government to remain firm on the issue of the border and is encouraging all those who live in Co Louth and beyond to attend a ‘go-slow’ protest at the border at Carrickarnon (just past the Carrickdale) on Saturday morning at 11am. There will be a mock customs post erected and people can see for themselves the absurdity and effects of a hard border.
Everyone is welcome.
Speaking in Dundalk today at the Water Rally Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today said: “Sinn Féin stopped the imposition of Water Charges in the North and in government in this state we will scrap them here also.”
Gerry Adams today addressed the Right2Water march and rally in Dundalk. The Sinn Féin leader said:
“Fine Gael and Labour continue to underestimate the level of public anger over this issue. They have failed to heed the clear and unmistakable message of the people.
Sinn Féin stopped the imposition of Water Charges in the North and in government in this state we will scrap them here also. Sinn Féin will dismantle Irish Water and replace it with a new model of governance, funding and delivery that is accountable to the Oireachtas.
We will end the metering project and redirect the remaining monies to direct investment in water infrastructure.
We will establish an independent Commission on Water Services to examine the most appropriate public ownership model to report back to Government within nine months.
Sinn Féin will also oppose any attempt to privatise water services. In Government, we will hold a referendum to enshrine public ownership of Ireland’s water services in the Constitution.
We will also roll out a major water conservation programme in conjunction with local authorities.
A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for scrapping domestic Water Charges.”
The Louth TD added: “Today’s demonstration is an expression, not just of opposition to domestic water charges but to the government’s whole austerity agenda. Decision after decision taken by this Government has caused chaos in the lives of working families.
As we approach the centenary of 1916, we again must decide what kind of future we want for our country and for our children.
Sinn Féin wants a society based on equality and fairness. We want to deliver a fair recovery for all. That means a new, fairer taxation system and an end to unfair taxes that penalise working families and vulnerable citizens.
For the first time in the history of this State, there is a clear and present alternative to the stale politics of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
The Right2Change platform is bringing progressive parties and individuals together in a way not previously seen.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green has welcomed comments by the head of the Housing Department at today’s Louth County Council meeting.
Cllr Green said “I welcome the fact that Louth council are now going to explore a residential option for these flats. There are 73 units there that could have housed 73 families and we have a housing crisis in Louth with 4,652 people on the housing list.”
Councillor Green has worked tirelessly on this issue and intends to “follow these developments very closely” and has called for the Council to waste no time in this and to “help bring an end to this nightmare. The residents in the area have had enough. Let’s hope we can find a resolution in this.”
Cllr Green addressing Protesters at last month’s picket