Drogheda rural election candidate Leanne Saurin has written to Louth County Council urging them to take action over concerns for pedestrians’ safety on the old Slane road in Mell.
Saurin, who is standing for Sinn Féin in the area said “following a number of representations from residents from the Tullybrook estate I have written to Louth County Council asking if there are any plans to extend the footpath from Boyne Meadows to the Tullybrook estate?”
M/s Saurin said “I’m reasonably confident no such plans exist. Therefore I am calling on the council to carry out a safety audit and implement something tangible as soon as possible. Presently, the footpath stops suddenly and pedestrians have to step out on to the road to walk 50 or 60 yards before re-joining a section of path leading into Tullybrook.”
M/s Saurin explained that the situation is further exacerbated by a lack of adequate street lighting and “this is putting people at unnecessary risk not to mention parents walking their children to school on dark winter mornings.”
M/s Saurin concluded by reminding the Council that this path should be in place before phase two of the Tullybrook is completed. People in the area deserve basic decent infrastructure.
Sinn Féin Election candidate Brendan McKenna has promised to follow up on what his colleague Cllr Tom Cunningham called ‘the worst road in Louth and possibly the island.’
Mr McKenna said “Cllr Cunningham raised Everrit’s Lane, which is the road that links the Kells Road and Oriel Road in Collon, with the Ardee Municipal council meeting in February. He advised me to visit the road and see it for myself, which I have done.”
Mr McKenna agreed that “the road has obviously been neglected for many years and needs upgraded as a matter of urgency and I will certainly be following up with the Council on this issue.”
The bad weather is causing further deterioration to the road and according to Mr McKenna “when it rains, the potholes fill up quickly with rain water so you can’t see them until you hit them with your wheels.”
That is not the only problem. “Because the drainage at the side of the road is so overgrown there is nowhere for the excess surface water to go so the road quickly becomes like a fast flowing river which cuts away further at the road each time it rains and carries some of the surface away making the road even worse.”
Mr McKenna reiterated Cllr Cunningham’s concerns about the emergency services having to use this road. “It doesn’t bear thinking about if there is a fire or someone takes ill along the road, with no local knowledge of the road the emergency services would certainly be at a disadvantage.”
Concluding, Mr McKenna said “Cllr Cunningham asked in February that this road be resurfaced and that the drainage receives immediate attention to maintain the surface and I will be pursuing this matter until it has been resolved to my satisfaction and the satisfaction of the residents.”
Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the recent action by An Garda Síochána against “drug related intimidation behaviours.”
Gerry Adams said; “Two weeks ago I met a family in mid Louth that was living under constant threat of violence following their refusal to hand money over to drugs gangs.
“Following this meeting I raised the issue of drug related intimidation with the Justice Minister and I demanded that Gardaí in Louth be provided with the resources to protect this family and address the drugs epidemic in the county.
“I wish to commend the work of An Garda Síochána in Louth. “I again call on the Justice Minister to allocate the appropriate resources to deal with this.
“I have also asked him to introduce or support legislation to ensure proof of identity will be required in the purchase of mobile phones as this is the method of communication used in this intimidation.
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú added: “I have been liaising with the Gardaí in Louth on the issue of intimidation of families by drugs criminals for some time now. “These gangs are targeting the family members of people they deem to owe drug debts.
“I have dealt with numerous families across Mid Louth and Dundalk who have endured intimidation and attack.
“In some cases families have feared for their lives due to a consistent campaign of intimidation by gang members.
“An Garda Síochána have stated that today’s operation occurred as part of an ongoing investigation into drug related intimidation in the Drogheda and mid-Louth area.
“I welcome this and I hope that those involved in drugs crime face the full rigours of the justice system.
“I also want to condemn the actions of criminals who set fire to cars belonging to off duty gardaí in Knockbridge yesterday. This type of intimidation of members of An Garda Síochána is not acceptable.”
Under the Louth County Development Plan 2015-2021 Development Zone 6 aims to preserve and protect the heritage and cultural environment of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Brú na Bóinne, Monasterboice and the Battle of the Boyne.
However, local election candidate Leanne Saurin has been contacted by a number of residents, land owners and those eligible under local needs expressing their concern at the extent of Zone 6.
The Sinn Fein candidate said “While I’m not disputing the need to preserve and protect the heritage sites in the area I am, however, contesting the extent of the zone. It is preventing families who have lived in the area their entire lives from building a house of their own. It also blocks famers pursuing agricultural developments such as extensions on their farms.”
M/s Saurin said “I know of families and friends who have resided in Tullyallen, Sheepgrange and Hill of Rath to name but a few, all their lives and who now find themselves being refused planning permission on the grounds of local needs because of the Zone 6 plan. As a result the impact on families in rural parishes is one where children are forced to leave an area they have lived in all their lives and quite often elderly parents are left without family support. Again while the preservation of our heritage sites is of the utmost importance, in many cases the area covered under these zones are quite extensive and the protected structures are not visible from large sections of the zone. Therefore there would be no visual impact on the heritage sites themselves by one off rural dwellings.
“This control zone was introduced into the Louth Development Plan 2015-2021 and that plan is due to be opened again for review and consultation in the near future and I will be seeking a reduction on the extent of the Zone area which will benefit local families while at the same time protecting these precious heritage sites. I will be encouraging the local communities to do likewise.”
Speaking in the Dáil debate this evening on Neutrality former Sinn Féin leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams called on TDs to support the call for an amendment to the Constitution which would enshrine neutrality into the Constitution. It would also require that this and future governments maintain a policy of non-membership of military alliances.
Gerry Adams said: “At a time when there are clear moves toward the creation of a European Army this assertion of Irish neutrality is needed more than ever. EU leaders, including Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, have openly called for the creation of an EU army. Last December the European Parliament voted to establish a European Defence Fund. When it is established it will receive thirteen billion euro of public money towards research and development into new weapons systems.
This will include direct funding of arms programmes. This money should be invested in public services, including health and education and agriculture and to confront climate change. We must also be mindful that currently European Arms manufacturers are already selling weapons to states, including Saudi Arabia, which are using these against civilians in Yemen, and elsewhere.
Regrettably, successive Irish governments have incrementally moved to a position of supporting the security agenda of former colonial states and the great powers. The policy of allowing US troops to use Shannon is a shameful example of this. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the Independent Alliance have all voted against this Bill in their time in office.
The disgraceful refusal to recognise the state of Palestine is another example. This government has no anti-colonial instinct, no sense of Ireland’s proper place in world affairs. It has committed this state to PESCO, the Permanent Structured Cooperation, which is a part of the European Union’s security and defence policy. Joining PESCO means that the Government has committed to increases in military spending and implementing a defence policy that will be aligned with NATO’s strategic aims. Instead of abandoning Neutrality we should be adopting a policy of positive neutrality, and enshrine it in the Irish Constitution.
This state should be pursuing an independent foreign policy. That means not joining any military alliances. We should refuse to condone policies or military groupings which maintain nuclear weapons and any weapons of mass destruction.
This means refusing to facilitate international conflict in any way. It means working for international cooperation and conflict negotiation, democratic social change and respect for human rights. It means working for universal demilitarisation and nuclear disarmament.
The peace process, notwithstanding the difficulties within the institutions, has enhanced our international standing. Our role in the United Nations, our status as a small state and former colony, mean that we are respected. That status is a key part of the government’s efforts to win support for a place on the UN Security Council. I would urge all TDs to support this Bill and defend our Neutrality”.