Dundalk Primary Care Centre Needed Now – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has described information regarding the delivery of a Primary Care Centre (PCC) in Dundalk as ‘slow progress.’

Cllr Ó Murchú said;

“The issue of a PCC, with adequate floor space to accommodate community mental health services, has long been requested both by practitioners and by my colleagues Gerry Adams TD and Cllr Anne Campbell.

“Deputy Adams visited the local mental health service at Ladywell and he has written many times to the Health Minister on this issue. Responses indicate that the service will be delivered but there is no timeframe on its delivery. This is unacceptable.

“At The latest meeting of the Regional Health Forum my colleague Cllr Anne Campbell again requested an update.

“The HSE stated that it has received and reviewed Expressions of Interest for the provision of the Primary Care Centre accommodation.

“ It has further been confirmed that a preferred provider and site has been selected and the HSE’s Property Review Group and has approved both.

“The project will then need to go through the planning process so delivery is still many months away at best.

“Citizens in Dundalk deserve to have a Primary Care Centre with a full range of healthcare services on their doorstep and I am going to continue campaigning on this issue until it becomes a reality.

 

MEPs & Anti-Brexit Border Group to meet with Louth County Council

L-R Emma Rogan MLA, Lynn Boylan MEP, Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú and Martina Anderson MEP

“Brexit and its impact on the people of the border area must remain front and centre of political discourse both in Louth and in Europe” Dundalk councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said.

The Sinn Féin representative was speaking after making a proposal to invite MEPs and the Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) group to a special meeting of Louth County Council in the coming months. This future event was approved by members at the recent council meeting.

Council CEO Joan Martin advised it could take until September before schedules are fixed but Councillors pressed for it to take place in June, before the crunch EU Council meeting.

Cllr. Ó Murchú said, “At the council meeting, I stated that while welcoming the recent

Cllr Antoin Watters, Edel Corrigan, Megan Fearon MLA, Ruairí Ó Murchú and Anne Campbell at a recent BCAB event

event in DKIT, attended by EU negotiator Michel Barnier, this invitation to the MEPs and the BCAB, is about keeping the border issue and this area especially, front and centre of the Brexit discussion.

“We would like to see the meeting sooner rather than later but unfortunately, it is very likely that even if it did happen as late as September, the detail from the British government would still be lacking.

“While the EU Commission and Council deal with majority of the business end in relation to Brexit negotiations, there will be an EU parliamentary vote on the final deal. Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Michel Barnier have stated many times that detail is necessary in June from the British government in relation to the backstop or any alternative Brexit deal.

“Unfortunately negotiations are hampered as the Tory Party can’t agree amongst themselves. It is unacceptable for the people of County Louth and across Ireland to be pawns in these British political games.

“Theresa May’s new position of seeking an extra transition period that could extend until 2023 is unworkable. The north remaining aligned with EU customs regulations and procedures is to be welcomed, but needs to be permanent without the danger of any future border infrastructure.

“This uncertainty and the attempt at kicking the can down the road is offensive to the people of this area.

“We welcome the actions of BCAB taking their protest to the streets of London on Friday 1st June. University College London is hosting a conference, Introducing the Irish Border: Conflict, creativity & Customs posts. BCAB are taking part in the conference

Louth Cllrs Edel Corrigan, Tom Cunningham and Pearse McGeough with Imelda Munster TD at a recent BCAB event

and then at 10:30am assembling outside the university to show support for maintaining the north’s position within the EU.

“Apart from a United Ireland which makes economic sense, the only sensible solution is that the north remains within the Single Market and the Customs Union; in other words, Special Designated Status for the North.”

 

Ó Murchú Praises Fire Crews Tending Fire At Local School

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has praised the efforts of fire crews from Dundalk and Ardee who attended a serious fire at Dun Lughaidh (St Louis’s) Secondary School overnight.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “I went to Dun Lughaidh School to see the damage for myself this morning. One building, which I believe was a technology block, separate from the main school building, has been completely destroyed. I have been told the building also contained a lot of the students’ coursework which has unfortunately been lost.”

Cllr Ó Murchú said “My heart goes out to the pupils and staff of the school as I know this will be a very stressful time for them especially with exam time looming.”

Cllr Ó Murchú praised the fire crews who “tended the fire in the early hours of the morning and managed to contain the blaze. They did a fantastic job.”

Cllr Ó Murchú Welcomes CAB Role in Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has warmly welcomed the clarification about the role of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) at Monday’s joint meeting of the Louth Policing Committees.

Speaking after a private meeting with representatives of CAB, Cllr. Ó Murchú said he was pleased with the accessibility of the bureau outlined at the meeting by Chief Superintendent Patrick Clavin.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “We have a serious problem with organised drug gangs across this county and in particular, Dundalk and Drogheda. The community suffers terribly from the drug dealing, intimidation, arson and the violence of these gangs.  Their extortionate means of drug debt recovery from the families of addicts, backed up with brutality and terror is a huge issue. CAB has operated over the years as a serious tool against organised crime and I welcome any measures that can be taken.

He said: “I was particularly pleased to note that the threshold of assets that can be seized by CAB has been lowered to €5,000 which means that so-called ‘small-time drug dealers’ can also be targeted.”

Councillor Ó Murchú was also concerned “about the figures presented which revealed that Louth has the third highest number of CAB targets in the state after the greater Dublin area and Limerick, which obviously has serious implications for Garda resources in the county.

“To hear Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan frankly admit that he told the Justice Minister as recently as Monday that the budget he has this year is ‘grossly insufficient’ to do what he has to do, is truly shocking and is something that I have already raised with the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House.

“I would hope that we could see the Criminal Assets Bureau operating locally in co-operation with the Gardaí. Successful Garda arrest operations can be difficult in a ‘subcontracted criminal enterprise’ where main players use vulnerable people as their ‘cut outs’ and keep themselves ‘clean’. Many drug dealers are living cash rich and many without intricate money laundering systems and so we would hope this weak point could be used by CAB to disrupt, impact and possibly shut down some of their operations.

“I am also encouraged by the fact the CAB was able to give several reassurances that not only will they take the information they receive seriously but that no-one will have to go to court to give evidence.”

CAB can be contacted on email at ino@cab.ie or at 01 6663266

Ó Murchú welcomes Criminal Assets Bureau Presentation to Dundalk

The Criminal Assets Bureau will make a presentation at Louth County Council offices on Monday 30th April at 5.30pm at a combined meeting of the Ardee, Drogheda and Dundalk Joint Policing Committees. (JPCs). JPCs consist of senior Gardaí, elected representatives, the local authority and some community representatives. They deal with crime and policing issues in the particular area.

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí O Murchú stated that “Sinn Féin have a very positive engagement with JPCs. We would like there to be an extension of their powers and greater community involvement.”

“It is a very encouraging move to see the Criminal Assets Bureau make this presentation in Dundalk. They have operated over the years as a serious tool against organised crime. They were introduced following the murder of Veronica Guerin in 1996. In the last period we have seen them in operation against criminals involved in the Kinahan Hutch feud and recently witnessed a major operation across Louth, Meath and Dublin.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “We have a serious problem with organised drug gangs across this county and in particular, Dundalk and Drogheda. The community suffers terribly from the drug dealing, intimidation, arson and the violence of these gangs.  Their extortionate means of drug debt recovery from the families of addicts, backed up with brutality and terror is a huge issue. The public want to see action. We welcome measures taken by the Gardaí and the local authority in the last period against these gangs. We call on greater resources to allow for the deployment of the promised Drugs and Organised Crime Unit and a strategy to deal with these criminal elements. This unit for the County was talked about at the last Dundalk JPC meeting.”

Cllr Ó Murchú said “I would hope that we could see the Criminal Assets Bureau operating local operations in tandem with the Gardaí. Successful arrest operations can be difficult in a ‘subcontracted criminal enterprise’, where main players use vulnerable people as their ‘cut outs’ and keep themselves ‘clean’. Many drug dealers are living cash rich and many without intricate money laundering systems and so we would hope this weak point could be used by CAB to disrupt, impact and possibly shut down some of their operations.

“I will be calling for CAB to become more involved across Louth and in Dundalk and Drogheda.”