Government must plan for Irish Unity – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, needs a reality check on the issue of Irish Unity.

Teachta Ó Murchú said;

“The first parliamentary question which I submitted to the 33rd Dáil was on the subject of Irish Unity. 

“In his reply to me the Tánaiste Simon Coveney says that he is aware of the raft of recent polls, all of which indicate overwhelming and growing support for Irish Unity.

“If this is the case, Minister Coveney has a responsibility to act on this information and begin the process of planning for reunification. 

“However the Minister, in his response, states that he does not believe that the majority of people in the North of Ireland are in favour of constitutional change.

“I challenge his opinion, and the most up to date polling results support my claim. 

“Simon Coveney goes on to say that he thinks a unity referendum  “would only increase uncertainty and division at an already difficult and sensitive time.”

“What evidence does he have that this would be the case?

“What the Minister is really looking for is an excuse to do nothing, to allow the status quo to persist.

“This is not good enough.

“The Minister also states that for the last year the Irish Government has been focussed on securing the ratification and implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

“While I commend the outgoing government on the Brexit negotiations, the truth is that Boris Johnson has already indicated that he intends to ‘get around’ some of the provisions contained within the Withdrawal Agreement.

“The caretaker Minister must know that there is only one permanent solution to Brexit and that is Irish Unity.

“It is imperative that the incoming government, which will hopefully be led by Sinn Féin, is proactive on this issue and that a Green Paper is produced as quickly as possible.

“At this time the only people not talking about Irish Unity is the Irish Government.  This cannot continue, it is negligent and foolhardy of the government not to plan for the future and for Irish Unity.”

 

Recent Poll Details:

46.8% to remain in UK / 45.4% for a United Ireland / 7.8% Don’t know – The Detail/Lucid Talk, 2020

80% of people in the south support Irish unity – The Sunday Times / Panelbase, 2020

77% of people in the south support Irish unity – RTÉ/TG4/RED-C exit poll, 2019

57% of people in the south want a referendum on Irish unity in the next five years – IPSOS-MRBI exit poll, 2020

75% of young people want a referendum on Irish unity in the next five years! – IPSOS-MRBI exit poll, 2020

51% of people in the north support Irish unity – Ashcroft poll, 2019

Louth County Council to hold Voter Registration Clinics – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin general election candidate Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú has encouraged people to check if they are registered to vote in the upcoming election on 8th February.

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“I welcome the fact that Louth County Council will host registration clinics at County Hall, Dundalk and Fair Street, Drogheda this coming Saturday 18th January from 10.00am – 4.00pm.

“People can attend and check to see if they are on the voter register.  If they are not they can complete the necessary paperwork there and then.

“Anyone who wishes to get on the register must bring a standard photo ID and proof of address to the clinic on the day.

“Alternatively people can visit www.checktheregister.ie to check if they are included.

“If they are not listed on this website, people should contact Louth County Council on 1890 202303 or register@louthcoco.ie to check if they are on the supplementary register.

“If this is not the case people can complete form RFA2 which is available on www.louthcoco.ie website and return it to Louth County Council by 5pm on Wednesday 22nd January.” 

Ó Murchú puts forward motion on domestic violence paid leave

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has introduced a motion at Louth County Council’s December meeting calling for up to 10 days paid leave for people suffering domestic abuse.

Speaking following the meeting, Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“Sinn Féin recently introduced legislation to provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.

“This time off is necessary so that people can access legal, medical and court services

“It also provides time to source alternative accommodation – which is increasingly difficult in the current housing crisis.

“A recent study carried out by Tusla and homeless charity Good Shepherd Cork found that women who left their homes because of violence were often unable to find alternative accommodation, and were forced to return to violent abusers.

“Domestic violence continues to be under-reported due to stigma, shame and fear.

“One in five women will experience violence in their own home, and forty-one per cent of Irish women know someone in their circle of family or friends who have experienced intimate partner violence.

“Domestic violence also follows victims into the workplace. Co-workers may be aware that a colleague is being abused, but without a workplace policy, are unsure how best to support them.

“Managers need guidance on how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and how to respond to a staff member’s disclosure.

“Domestic Abuse is a problem across our community and the solutions will involve the whole of our society.

“This legislation is one significant move in the right direction and we need to ensure it becomes law as soon as possible.”

Ó Murchú seeks update on Halliday Mills, Quay Street

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has sought an update from Louth County Council officials regarding the development of the Halliday Mills, formerly Ard Dealgan, complex on Quay Street.

The Dundalk councillor made queries on the project during the recent meeting of Dundalk Municipal District.

Cllr Ó Murchú said,

“Louth County Council officials have informed me that the redevelopment of the site is a complicated process.

“There have been many false dawns regarding the delivery of the 60 plus social housing units which it could yield.

“I am informed that currently a planning application from the proposed developer is going through a validation process and that Louth County Council are in support of the proposal, in principle.

“Although there may still be a long wait before families are actually living in Halliday Mills it is a crucial piece of infrastructure for Dundalk.

“The realisation of these homes will ensure that Louth County Council continues to achieve the targets set by Government in as part of Rebuilding Ireland. 

“More importantly it will mean that over 60 families will have a home of their own in which they are not subject to the whim of a landlord solely concerned with profit making.

“In addition the completion of this project will ensure that there is no scope for the serious anti-social behaviour which was a feature of this site for many years.” 

Councillor Ó Murchú concluded by saying that Louth County Council would update him over the coming weeks.

 

“I asked officials at the Dundalk Municipal District meeting for an update regarding the timeline for delivery of these homes.

 

“Officials have said that they will revert to me in due course.

 

“I will continue to press Louth County Council to ensure no time is lost in the delivery of Halliday Mills.”

Council to examine better interaction with Community Groups – Ó Murchú

During this month’s meeting of Dundalk Municipal District, Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú had proposed that Louth County Council would look at ways of improving the means of signposting groups to grants and funding streams.

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“There are some very positive interactions between Louth County Council and the community and voluntary sector however I have met with so many groups and the first point they raise is access to funding.

“I understand that it is not always the remit of the council to signpost groups to funding opportunities but I think that a few simple actions could result in enhanced opportunities for groups.

“We discussed that Louth County Council could conduct an audit of how it interacts with community groups.

“I have also requested that Louth County Council look at creating a web page or portal for funding.

 

“This page, which would be updated each week, could operate on a sectoral basis and should include links to information from all potential funders and information regarding deadlines for application.”