Cllr Tom Cunningham Congratulates Clogherhead Bloom Winner Dunne

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has congratulated the 2018 Show Garden winner at Bord Bia’s Bloom.

Andrew Christopher Dunne won the competition for his ‘Sustainable Seafood Garden’ last week.

Seafood Garden Winner (pic via Agriland)

Cllr Cunningham said “well done Andrew. You have done Clogherhead proud. Andrew’s garden tells the story of coastal communities and their way of life and the importance of fish. At a time when coastal communities are under pressure economically and the fishing industry here is facing decimation, Andrew has reminded us of the sustainability of fish and the way of life of these areas. Clogherhead is a very proud fishing village and Andrew has made a beautiful garden feature which reflects the beauty of the area in which we live. A very deserving winner.”

Seafood Garden winner (pic via press reader)

The winning entry was an elaborate water feature with shimmering fish sculptures and an ‘upcycled’ fishing boat which doubles as a kitchen.

Cllr Cunningham: Stay Focussed on Facts in Cameron Case

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has asked the public to stay focussed on the facts in the Cameron Reilly investigation and to assist Gardaí in whatever way they can. This follows false reports that Cameron’s phone had been found.

Cllr Cunningham said “It has NOT been found. I would ask that members of the public in the surrounding areas of Dunleer and further afield if necessary, to please remain vigilant and to check in and around their property, especially gardens, bins or skips, in case it has been thrown there. It is an Apple iPhone 8x with a green hard back cover although that may have been removed.  Gardaí are very anxious to retrieve the phone.”

Cllr Cunningham also criticised a report in today’s Irish Mirror online in relation to the tragic case. He said “according to reports in the Irish Mirror, a ‘source’ told them that one of the groups that were present on Saturday night were ‘hardcore’ and ‘fancied themselves as republicans.’ This is a sinister attempt by that media outlet to use the case of Cameron Reilly to score some sort of political point and to further demonise those who happen to have a political goal that differs from theirs.”

Cllr Cunningham encouraged people to “ignore stories like this, this only serves to distract the public from the real issue which is to find out what happened to Cameron and to catch those responsible so they can be brought to justice and hopefully give his family some kind of peace of mind during this awful time.”

Cllr Cunningham also said “I would call on the Irish Mirror to hand over to the Gardaí, whatever information they have on this case, and they seem to have information that no-one else has.”

Councillors Pearse McGeough and Ruairí Ó Murchú attended a vigil held for Cameron along with Imelda Munster TD. “It was a very moving experience to see the outpouring of grief, disbelief and the support for the family. Dunleer was and is a great place to live and this awful tragedy in no way reflects the sense of community of the area.”

“I want to ask the public once again, if you know anything no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, please contact the Gardaí in Drogheda on 041-987 4200 or you can ring the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

“We need to find out what happened to this young man who had his whole life ahead of him. Any information you have could be vital to the investigation. Do not get distracted by those who seek to use this for their own ends. Let’s keep focussed on Cameron and justice.”

Tomás Sharkey: Ardee to get Ambulance Service they Deserve

Sinn Féin County Councillor Tomás Sharkey raised the issue of the Ardee Ambulance Station with the HSE.

Councillor Sharkey said “Over recent months my colleague Cllr Tom Cunningham has received local concerns at the condition of the building that ambulance staff use in Ardee. The building is in poor condition and is not suitable for staff or equipment. It is important that a proper facility is put in place so staff and equipment are in the right location at the right time to help save lives.
“I raised the issue with the HSE and received a written response. Officials tell us that a design team is to be assembled and the process of providing a proper service will continue from there. It is important that no delay should take place in the proposed works and that the staff and public get the Ambulance service we deserve.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham: FF & FG have Failed Rural Ireland on Wind Turbine protection.

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has said he is “disappointed that Fianna Fáil and their cohorts in Government Fine Gael have voted to reject the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2016 which would have afforded legal protection to rural communities across the state.”

The Bill was voted down on Thursday in the Dáil.

Cllr Cunningham said “Wind farms have been a bone of contention in communities for some years now and this Bill sought to have addressed the issue. It would have regulated wind farms and ensured that while this industry developed it would do so with community engagement and provide legal protection for the rural communities.”

“This has been an area that has been neglected by the last two Governments simply because it is a contentious issue and because of this lack of legislation in terms of planning regulations for wind turbines, many rural communities have suffered greatly.”

Cllr Cunningham said “these wind farms and turbines continue to get planning permission in locations that are obviously too close to people’s homes. Our Bill would have required a setback distance of 10 times the height of the turbine. The Bill also had guidelines for noise and shadow flicker as well as optional community ownership. It also provided for greater consultation with communities and for the turbines to be sited in areas designated by County Councillors in the county development plan.”

“Rural Ireland has been abandoned by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael who have refused rural dwellers any legal protections around this issue. It is disingenuous for either of these parties to cite the upcoming ‘Wind Turbine Guidelines’ which we have been waiting for 5 years for as the Minister for Environment just this week said they would not be legally binding anyway.”

Cllr Cunningham said “Rural Ireland needs legal protection as we look for alternative diverse forms of energy and Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have failed to grasp this opportunity and they have failed to deliver.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham Calls for Cross-Party Support for Wind Turbine Regulation Bill

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has called on all Parties to support the Sinn Féin Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2016 which will be voted on next Thursday (28th September) in the Dáil.

Cllr Cunningham said “Wind farms have been a bone of contention in communities for some years now and this Bill seeks to address the issue. It seeks to regulate wind farms and to ensure that while this industry develops that it does so with community engagement and also provides legal protection for the rural communities.”

“This has been an area that has been neglected by the last two Governments simply because it is a contentious issue and because of this lack of legislation in terms of planning regulations for wind turbines, many rural communities have suffered greatly.”

“This Bill has various provisions in terms of creating a legal framework for wind farm development, for example, to protect rural dwellers the Bill proposes a setback of 10 times the height of the turbine, along with provisions to protect against noise and shadow flicker.

“Turbines should only be located in areas designated by County Councillors in the county development plan. We also allow for both optional community ownership and greater consultation.”

Sinn Féin is the first Party to put forward legislation giving firm legal protections for rural communities across the State in relation to where the wind farms are sited.

Cllr Cunningham continued “No-one is denying that harnessing wind to generate power could go a long way to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and renewable energy development is urgently needed but it is essential that we create other renewable energy sources; off-shore wind, biomass and biogas are seriously underdeveloped.”

“Clean green forms of indigenous energy can be further harnessed but we must ensure it is done with the involvement of local communities.”

Tom Cunningham called on all Parties to support Sinn Féin’s Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2016 and he urged “the public to contact your local TD and encourage them to support regulation of the Wind Farms and turbines. This Bill is about legal protection for rural communities. It’s your community, make sure you are heard.”