Brexit chaos threat to Louth – Adams

Commenting on the current crisis arising from Brexit withdrawal agreement Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams

” Brexit is a deadly serious issue. It poses a significant threat to the economy of County Louth, to jobs and infrastructure. It threatens the two economies on this island, will undermine social cohesion, and directly attacks the Good Friday Agreement. The crisis within the British government, the chaos within Westminster, and the fallout between the DUP and the Tory leader Theresa May highlights the stupidity, insanity, absurdity and ludicrousness of Brexit.

“In the referendum in 2016 the clear majority of voters in the North voted to remain within the EU. The DUP and the British government continue to disrespect that democratic vote.

“Sinn Féin has consistently campaigned for the North to be designated a special status within the EU in order to ensure there is no hard border and that communities and businesses, especially along the border corridor, are protected. Our MEPS led this effort in the European Parliament. In Ireland, North and South and in Westminster we consistently pressed this proposal.  The draft withdrawal agreement, and in particular the backstop arrangement, if implemented would go some way to achieving this objective.

“However we should not lose sight of the fact that the current draft withdrawal agreement will not stop Brexit. The British Conservative Government remains committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act that is the foundation stone on which the equality and human rights elements of the Good Friday Agreement are based. Moreover, the British Prime Minister repeated her intention in recent days to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the Common Agricultural Policy.

“The reality is that the agreement reached between the EU and the British can only moderate some of the worst aspects of Brexit. As one of the four remain parties in the north, which represent the majority view, Sinn Féin is determined to ensure that our economy, communities, the rights of citizens and the Good Friday Agreement are protected.”

Louth faces environmental threats – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called for urgent action from the government to “end the environmental and health threat that faces thousands of citizens in Louth at risk from the discharge of raw sewage and the non-compliance of EU regulations in the treatment of urban waste water”.

Teachta Adams said:

“The recently published Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2017 report by the Environmental Protection Agency makes depressing reading.

The government and Irish Water are failing to meet their commitments on investment in water treatment. 13 years after the final deadline to meet treatment standards there are still 28 towns and cities in this state, one of which is Omeath, discharging inadequately treated sewage. The EPA warned that this is “putting our health at risk and is having an impact on our rivers, lakes and coastal waters.” This amounts to raw sewage from the equivalent of 88,000 people in 38 towns and villages flowing into the environment.

According to the EPA report there are 132 urban areas where improvements are needed to resolve environmental priorities. Seven of these are in Louth at Ardee, Blackrock, Castlebellingham, Dundalk, Dunleer, Omeath and Tallanstown.

In addition, there are 28 large urban areas that have failed to meet the EU’s legally binding standards for the treatment of urban waste water. Ardee and Blackrock failed the secondary treatment requirements, while Dundalk failed the more stringent treatment requirements.

The EPA also identified 57 areas across the state where waste water discharges are the sole significant pressure on water bodies at risk of pollution and not meeting their environmental objectives. Five such areas are impacted in Louth. These are Inner Dundalk Bay, Gldye, Castletown Estuary, White at Dunleer and the Glyde at Tallanstown.

The fact is that the government’s short and long term strategies for providing a safe environment and clean water is failing to deliver for many citizens.

More resources are urgently needed to target those areas which are currently not meeting basic environmental standards.

Progress requires increased investment in and delivery of major capital infrastructure. There also needs to be a substantial improvement in how the existing treatment systems are managed and maintained. This is a government that must do better for the people of Louth and of the state.”

Ebay Threat Real – Adams

DSC_3254_6510The Minister confirmed to me that eBay is looking at new locations. She told me, and I quote, ‘IDA Ireland are working with eBay to find suitable premises and my concern, and it is a concern, is that eBay stays in Ireland. And I have asked IDA Ireland to work with the company to facilitate this.’

This is a very serious development.”

Teachta Adams said:

“I have urged the Minister to ensure that her department and the IDA do all they can to ensure the continuation of eBay in the Dundalk area.”

The Louth TD raised eBay with the Minister this afternoon following speculation in Dundalk that the company might be moving.

Gerry Adams said:

“PayPal set up business in Dundalk in 2011 and was followed two years later by eBay. Currently eBay employs 200 people, many of them from the locality, at its site in Dundalk’s Xerox Technology Park.

It shares this site with PayPal from whom it parted ways one year ago. It is a hugely successful international business. Its revenue this year is expected to be in the region of 2.2 billion dollars.

It appears that PayPal wants to expand its premises to employ additional staff.

While this is very welcome there is also a responsibility on the government to ensure that eBay also stays in the locality.”

Adams – Credit Unions Under threat

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams recently met Norman McDonnell, Louth Constituency co-ordinator of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ICLU). Teachta Adams’ office was also represented at the ICLU’s breakfast briefing on October 14th for Oireachtas members.

The central issue of concern for the 352 credit unions that make up the ICLU is the threat of increasing regulation arising from the Central bank’s Consultation Paper 88 (CP88).  These will come into effect if the Minister for Finance signs a commencement order for sections of the enabling legislation.

The Louth TD raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil on Wednesday and described Enda Kenny’s response as “woefully inadequate”.

Gerry Adams said:

“The credit union movement is one of the most important social movements on this island.  It was established to assist lower income families to access credit and it has grown to be one of the largest voluntary organisations in the country.

Its ethos of volunteerism and its commitment to community make it unique. Credit unions are an integral part of every single community in every single part of our country. They have a distinct ethos that is based on values of community, of volunteerism, and of solidarity.  It has a not for profit ethos that needs protected and encouraged. On November 27th last year the Central Bank published a consultation paper on new regulations for credit unions (CP88). The imposition of these regulations is dependent on the Minister for Finance signing a commencement order for the appropriate sections of the enabling legislation – which are in the Credit Unions and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012. He is expected to do this next month.

The credit unions believe that these regulations will impose serious restrictions on the ability of credit unions to fulfil their role. Numerous individual Credit Unions and the Irish League of Credit Unions have all raised serious concerns with the enactment of these sections.

Specifically representatives of the Credit Union Movement have raised with me their concerns about the capacity of the credit unions to continue to contribute socially and economically to their communities. They have told me of their worries that more and more families and small businesses will be denied access to credit and will fall into the clutches of moneylenders.

I asked the Taoiseach if the government will commit to reassessing the commencement orders that the Minister for Finance is to sign and in the meantime pause the signing of these orders. The Taoiseach’s non response provided no certainty for the credit union movement”.