Sinn Féin Selects Two to Contest General Election for Louth & East Meath

Former TD Arthur Morgan, Gerry Adams TD, Imelda Munster TD & Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú

 

Imelda Munster TD and Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú have been selected by Sinn Féin members to contest next year’s general election on behalf of the Party.

The selection convention was held in the Grove Hotel in Dunleer and was attended by Sinn Féin members from across the constituency of Louth and East Meath, as well as Gerry Adams TD and former Louth TD Arthur Morgan.

Imelda Munster TD said:

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to stand for election on behalf of Sinn Féin again. I am proud that the people of the Louth and East Meath constituency elected me to represent them in Leinster House in 2016, and I have worked tirelessly on their behalf in that time.

“If elected next year I will continue to work hard for my constituents, standing up for the people of Louth and East Meath and holding those in power to account.

“This constituency has been left behind in many ways, for example in terms of infrastructure with the government not delivering on the Northern Cross Route for Drogheda, the Julianstown Bypass and the delay of the Ardee Bypass.

“I’ve consistently raised the issue of nursing homes double-charging residents, and I have legislation tabled to end that scandal.

“I will also continue to fight the government on the scandalous housing crisis and lack of affordable homes in Louth and across the state, hospital appointment waiting lists and other health issues, such as cancer patients having to fight to get medical cards.

“I stand up for Drogheda and East Meath in addressing the ongoing drugs gang feud and the horrific violence we’ve seen in our communities as a result of that.

“I have a reputation of never being afraid to speak up for the people I represent and if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected I will continue this work.”

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has been a formidable force on Louth County Council since 2017. During this time he has used his position to highlight many of the issues affecting the people of Louth.

Ruairí is currently campaigning for a Primary Care Centre and a CAMHS facility in Dundalk.

Ruairí is the Chairperson of Louth Drug and Alcohol Forum and is very active on community safety and works with the Gardaí and other agencies to tackle drug abuse.

Speaking after the convention, Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said:

“I am ambitious for Louth, I believe that different choices should be made and that’s why I want to retain two Sinn Féin TDs for this constituency. 

“I do not want to live in a country where children are forced to eat, sleep and live on the streets, where people wait years for medical procedures, where families cannot access respite and other essential supports.

“I want to live in a United Ireland with an equitable health system, where people have the right to a home, where the economy serves the people rather than the other way around.”

Minister’s commitments to Sruthán House welcome – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin general election candidate Ruairí Ó Murchú has attended a visit to Sruthán House by Minister of State for Disabilities, Finian McGrath. 
 
During the Ministerial visit, which took place earlier today, Minister McGrath voiced his commitment to keeping Sruthán House open. 
 
Councillor Ó Murchú said,
 
“I have fully supported the campaign for the retention of respite services at Sruthán House. 
 
“The people who stay in Sruthán House and their families are a community and since closure was threatened they have voiced their overwhelming support for the facility. 
 
“Last month I attended a specially convened meeting during which the HSE confirmed that, following a period of consultation, the decision had been made to keep Sruthán House open. 
 
“The Minister’s visit and comments today have further demonstrated the success of the campaign mounted by service users when faced with the possibility of closure. 
 
“I understand that there are a number of actions which the HSE will now undertake to ensure that Sruthán House will provide the optimum service and value for money. 
 
“I will do everything I can to ensure the excellent service provided by staff at Sruthán House is maintained and enhanced.”

Government and Louth County Council must resolve Louth Landbanks

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú raised the issue of the cost of landbanks purchased during the Celtic Tiger with Minister of State Damien English.

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“I had the opportunity to speak with Minister English at a recent training event on the Planning Process, which was organised by the Association of Irish Local Government.

“During the event I made the point to the Minister that Louth County Council had purchased €52 million worth of land during the housing boom.

“This was done under the instruction of the then Government and was funded by loans secured by Louth County Council.

“The interest payment on these loans is €1 million per year.

“This is money which could be diverted to pay for so many other important initiatives such as maintenance of housing stock, house adaptations, community projects, events and festivals.

“The fact is that the cost of purchasing this land was so great that Louth County Council will never recoup it through building houses on the land, they would be completely unaffordable to buyers.

“Minister English indicated to me that he would be open to discussions on landbanks with Louth County Council.

“Yesterday, during the monthly meeting of Louth County Council, I proposed that the Council Executive request a meeting with Minister Eoghan Murphy and Minister of State Damien English and departmental officials to discuss this.

 

“Both the Government and Louth Council Council need to work together to address this issue.

 

“During a nationwide housing and homeless emergency, Louth County Council is sitting on vast swathes of development land which is zoned for housing.

 

“This land must be brought into use and I wish to thank the other members of the Council who supported my request.

Louth County Council supports Sruthán House respite retention

Louth County Council has supported a motion presented by Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú in support of the retention and development of respite services for people with disabilities.

Councillor Ó Murchú stated,

“Parents of disabled children and older parents of disabled adults do this State an enormous service through the dedication and devotion with which they provide 24/7 care for their loved ones.

“The covenant which the State made with them was that they would have access to regular, appropriate respite at a location in their own community. The arbitrary HSE decision in July to close the Dundalk based Sruthán House respite centre displays a clear lack of respect for the people using this service and their families.

“I have met many service users of Sruthán House. Sinn Féin hosted a public meeting on the issue in July and I attended their summer garden party a few weeks ago. All of the people I met have spoken in the highest terms about the service and the staff at Sruthán House.

“It is a community within the community, a model of good practice.

“Sruthán House has service users from Louth, Monaghan and Meath.   These people simply cannot be expected to attend alternative respite in Roscommon or Sligo. It is a nonsense.

“In recent years there has been additional respite capacity delivered in County Louth. However supports for people with disabilities and their carers have been decimated by this government.

“The mobility grant and rehabilitative training allowance have been slashed.

“Waiting times for Occupational Therapy and psychology assessment is up to two years.

“The people working to deliver these services are doing their best but the truth is that these services are grossly under resourced.

“The campaign to keep Sruthán House open has my full support and I am delighted that Louth County Council will now convey the support of the entire council to the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that this service is not lost.”

Government must address insurance industry dysfunction: Ó Murchú

 

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has secured the support of councillors on Louth County Council for his motion calling on the government to address dysfunction in the Irish Insurance industry.

Speaking following Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council, the Sinn Féin general election candidate said;

“The insurance industry in this State lacks transparency, accountability and regulation and is in urgent need of intervention. The issues affecting the insurance industry are fraudulent claims, exorbitant levels of award and the exaggeration of the incidence of bogus claims by insurance companies to justify massive hikes in premiums.

“Without urgent government intervention people will continue to be ripped off by unscrupulous providers and increasing numbers of Irish businesses will be unable to secure insurance, particularly in the leisure, entertainment & tourism sector.

“Louth County Council is also a victim of spiralling premiums. Funds which could be used for other vital services within this county must be diverted to service insurance costs.We all know the inflatable hire industry for example is facing obliteration following the decision by the industry’s only public liability insurer to withdraw from the market. The fact that only one company was providing insurance to this sector tells its own tale.

“The Irish market is just too risky and the outworking of this is that inflatable hire businesses with no claims against them risk becoming collateral damage.

“Earlier this week, the Public Participation Network released a survey which indicated that almost half of community and voluntary groups may be forced to close if insurance costs continue to rise. This is affecting Dundalk based businesses, some of which will close, resulting in job losses.

“Insurance providers have evaded scrutiny for too long. This issue must be on the government’s agenda for the upcoming term.

“While I welcome comments by Pascal Donohoe that this issue will be given government priority, we need action not words.”