Sharkey – Report Needed on Road Repairs

Tomas Sharkey PhotoCouncillor Tomás Sharkey wants the management of Louth County Council to compile a report on the condition of Louth’s 3rd Class roads in order to make a case to central government for funding to repair them.

“There are approximately 380 kilometres of 3rd class roads in Louth. Throughout the economic crisis these roads have not received maintenance never mind improvement. Thousands of families live on these smaller and often cul de sac roads. I have met with residents across Louth who are fed up avoiding potholes on their way in and out of their homes. Farmers have been notified that dairy lorries will not travel substandard roads. Children are unable to walk for school buses in some instances because the road surface is so bad.
“I have asked council officials to prepare a dossier of our roads. I want us to be in a position to make the case with central government for additional funding in 2017.
“The onus is on the Fine Gael minority government and their Fianna Fáil masters to formulate a budget that guarantees our roads are in an acceptable condition.”

Sharkey – Democratic Deficit in Louth Council

Tomas Sharkey PhotoSinn Féin group leader on Louth County Council Tomás Sharkey has hit out at what he has called a “democratic deficit” in the local authority.

Councillor Sharkey was reacting to the election of labour’s Paul Bell with the support of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Green and some Independent Councillors.
Councillor Sharkey said:
“There is no point in the other parties complaining about the reduction of powers for local government when we face the annual farce of them excluding the largest party from the chair of Louth County Council. Sinn Féin has 10 County Councillors of the 29 total. we have the popular support of 30% of the electorate of Louth. The pact between these parties is a blatant act of exclusion.
“I would like to thank Independent Councillor Maeve Yore for her support in my nomination for the role of Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council. We in Sinn Féin want a fully inclusive council where nobody is excluded.”

Sharkey – Staffing Level Concerns As Varadkar Visits Louth Hospital

Tomas Sharkey PhotoCouncillor Tomás Sharkey has raised his concerns about the staffing levels for a new medical ward in Louth county Hospital which Minister Leo Varadkar is visiting tomorrow Wednesday 20th January 2016.

“In recent years more than 70 medical beds were closed in Louth County Hospital. we saw a trolley and chair crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital as a direct result.
“This week a ward of 10 medical beds is being opened by Minister Varadkar in Dundalk. There is irony in the fact that he will praise himself on the opening of 10 beds where 70 were closed.
“I have been contacted with staff concerns about the recruitment of nursing staff for this ward. It would take 17 whole time equivalent nurses to staff the full roster and nowhere near this has been achieved.
“Minister Vardkar needs to take a long hard look at what is happening under his watch. Wards are being opened with inadequate staff numbers. All the while, money is being spent repainting and parts of the hospital for his special visit.
“Tomorrow’s visit must be about a better, safer service for patients. We want doctors in our hospitals and not spin doctors.”

Sharkey Asks Varadkar to Listen During Visit

SF Tomas Sharkey 3Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey has called on Minister varadkar to use his coming visit to Louth County Hospital to learn how and why services need to be restored to that hospital. Councillor Sharkey has learned that Minister varadkar will be in Louth County Hospital on Wednesday 20th. he has requested that, as a member of the HSE’s Regional Health Forum, he and other local representatives be afforded the opportunity to meet the minister.
“Minister Varadkar is welcome to visit Louth County Hospital. As Minister for Health he should make himself aware first hand of all issues in the hospital service. He will visit a newly opened ward of medical beds. I welcomed the plans for this ward some months ago.
“However, Minister Varadkar needs to educate himself of the fact that Louth County Hospital housed an A&E, Intensive Care Unit and Acute Medical wards less than six years ago. He must learn that the crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes is a direct result of the closure of services in Dundalk.
“I want to explain to Minister Varadkar that the small medical ward he will see is no comparison to the 100+ beds that are no longer there. As one of Louth’s representatives on the Regional Health Forum, I want to explain that our Minor Injuries Unit can go to a full 24/7 service and also support a Medical Assessment Unit. These measures will help us plan the reinstatement of full services in Dundalk and bring an end to the crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes.
“The RCSI Hospital Group has informed me that there is not enough space in he hospital building for me, as a public representative on the HSE Forum to attend the Minister’s visit. That is an outrageous cop-out and snub to the public in Louth and especially Dundalk.
“We know that hospital staff are being asked to have their dinner breaks by mid-day to allow for a reception of the Minister in the hospital canteen. I wonder does Minister Varadkar realise that nurses on long shifts will have their daily routine and tat of patients disturbed? I also challenge Minister Varadkar to instruct the RCSI Hospital Group to invite myself and the other Louth representatives on the HSE Regional Health Forum to this event.

Sharkey says Families In The Dark Over School Bus Services

Tomas Sharkey PhotoCouncillor Tomás Sharkey is concerned that families in the Sheelagh and Hackballscross area are being left in the dark about school bus services in September.

“The N53 will be upgraded over the coming months. I am working to convince officials to reverse their decision to close the road during works. In the course of my discussions with council officials I have realised that Bus Éireann and the council have not come to an arrangement as to how school children will travel to and from school during the works.
“I have spoken to a number of families who do not know what to do when it comes to buying bus passes. If the bus cannot run, there is no point buying a pass. If the bus has to take a detour, this may cause children to be late for school or even to have to travel by car to get the bus.
“This is yet another example of how the decision by officials to close the N53 has been badly thought out. Once again, I am calling for a rethink of this bad decision.