Cllr Pearse McGeough: JPC Public Meeting Useful and Progressive

At a public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) for Mid-Louth, Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough described the meeting as “very useful” and “a progressive way for the public to have their issues heard.”

The meeting was held at the Grove Hotel in Dunleer at the request of Cllr McGeough who is also Chair of the JPC. There was an attendance of around 40 and the proceedings got underway with a minute’s silence for Cameron Reilly who was from the town and was murdered on 26th May this year.

There were presentations from Louth County Council, An Garda Siochána (crime statistics) and on Cyber Crime.

Cllr McGeough said “I wanted to ensure that the public were heard first and foremost, and all those who attended were able to air their views on issues in the area and had the ear of Chief Superintendent Chris Mangan who I feel listened and took it all on board.”

Various issues were raised from drug taking, drug dealing, car parking, unmanned rural Garda stations to general anti-social behaviour.

Cllr McGeough said “there is a huge deficit in resources needed for the Gardaí to carry out their work effectively. Chief Superintendent Mangan was very forthright on that point. For example, if a murder occurs in the County, that is 20% of his budget gone. That is how much resources go into a murder. Now bear in mind, we have had three murders in County Louth this year and as CS Mangan pointed out, we now have the highest murder rate outside of Dublin, not something we can be proud of.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough & Imelda Munster TD

Also present was Imelda Munster TD who towards the end of the meeting told of her frustrations with the Minister as she was fighting for additional Garda resources in the Dáil. Those frustrations were mirrored by CS Mangan who has to justify his ‘overspending’ on a budget that was insufficient to meet the needs of the County.

Cllr McGeough said “people need to feel safe and in order for us all to live in a community where that can happen we need to be pro-active in looking out for each other and work closely with the Gardaí in reporting crimes and encourage our Community Garda to become integrated into our communities. I want to commend the Community Gardaí that we currently have throughout the county, they do great work and their local knowledge is invaluable in investigating local crimes. We need more of them but again, we are back to a resources issue.”

“In short, if we want to live peacefully and safely in our communities we all need to work together, the public, An Garda Siochana, Louth County Council, business owners and anyone who has an interest in where they live or work. I feel that the public took an active role at the meeting and were listened to, I want to thank everyone who attended.”

Ó Murchú: Gov Need to Get Realistic over Garda Resources

The lack of resources for policing Dundalk and North Louth, while Gardaí should be preparing for Brexit in less than six months’ time, was “laid bare in a frank and shocking fashion” at the public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in Carlingford, according to Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú.

“Louth Garda’s Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan was “very forthright” in his assessment of the resources available to Gardaí in this area” Cllr. Ó Murchú said, “and highlighted, a number of times, the ‘deplorable’ state of Dromad Garda station on the border.”

The meeting, which was held in the Four Seasons Hotel, heard from CS Mangan about how he has been ‘forceful’ in his pleas to the Assistant Commissioner for more resources, including better Garda stations, and for more cars, particularly for the community policing units in Dundalk and Drogheda, which currently have none.

Cllr. Ó Murchú said; “CS Mangan was articulate and very forthright in his assessment of the resources needed immediately for policing in Dundalk and North Louth. It was shocking to hear how he has been asking repeatedly for an upgrade for Dromad station, which he said is in a ‘deplorable’ state. In addition, he revealed that he has been involved in planning for policing post-Brexit, which he admitted will take a huge amount of resources.

“And on top of this, this is one of the busiest districts in policing terms in the State.”

Cllr Ó Murchú said “It is clear there are serious problems in this area and Garda management have to listen to what CS Mangan is saying. And more importantly, the government, who are framing the budget next week, have to give proper and realistic regard to the additional resources needed, not only for everyday policing – which is clearly suffering – but also to prepare adequately for Brexit.

“In the wider context, the government needs to ensure there is no intensification of customs and security checks at the border and for this to happen, the experts now widely agree, means the North has to stay within the customs union and the single market.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Welcomes Additional Garda Numbers

Following the latest meeting of the Dundalk Local Policing Forum, Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has welcomed plans for additional Garda resources to the Omeath/Carlingford area.

Cllr Watters said “I have been concerned at the reduced numbers for some time now. Over the past six years we have seen the Garda resources, especially in rural areas, cut to the bone.  Omeath and Carlingford are busy tourist areas as well as being a large residential area and they are just as entitled as other citizens to a Garda presence and decent resources. Locals have consistently raised their concerns with me and hopefully this will go some way to alleviating those worries.”

‘Atlantic’ will make your blood boil – Tom Cunningham

SF Tom Cunningham council picSinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has invited every citizen in Louth to attend and watch the film ‘Atlantic’ being shown in Clogherhead Community Centre on Friday 6th May at 7pm.

Cllr Cunningham who hails from Clogherhead said “this is not just for the fishing community to watch. We all need to be informed as to what has happened to our natural resources in this country. The film compares the three coastal communities of Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland and it would make your blood boil to see how we fare in the film compared to the others.”

Cllr Cunningham has been liaising closely with Matt Carthy MEP on the issue of the Dutch ‘super trawlers’ which “basically can fish in our waters and drain our stocks while the Irish fishermen can do nothing but look on because they have such small quotas. This is wrong. This film will show how the shrinking quotas and the mismanagement of our natural resources have had an effect in Ireland on the fishing industry and how Norway did it all so different.”

“They looked after their natural resources and fought for their communities and you will see a very different outcome.”

Councillor Tom Cunningham was appalled “at the waste and greed when I saw how tonnes of dead fish were simply discarded back into the ocean because they weren’t big enough and would cost more to process than larger fish. All the while, the Irish fishermen can’t fish at all. It really made my blood boil.”

Atlantic was filmed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill and is narrated by Brendan Gleeson and will be shown in coastal communities around the state.

Louth showings are:

Friday 6th May – Clogherhead Community Centre 7pm

Friday 13th May 2016 – Order of Malta Hall, Mill Street Dundalk 7pm

 

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