"I have once again contacted NI Railways and requested that they inspect the bridge and put in place procedures to ensure the dangers are managed and negated. With numerous bridges along this mainline I enquired whether regular inspections were carried out to maintain safety standards. Staff assured me that inspections were often, rigorous and extensive. They pointed out that the construction method for this bridge was not replicated at all bridges along the line and that they would act upon my report. Contractors will be on site this week to remove the sheets and inspect those remaining. In the meantime, I would ask that road users are aware of the situation until the possible danger is removed."
Slieve Gullion Area Sinn Féin Councillor Roisin Mulgrew has said that the recent decision by Newry Mourne & Down Council to remove the Bus Shelter in Cloughreagh has left many in the Cloughreagh and John F Kennedy Park areas very angry.
The local Councillor who on behalf of residents made the request for a Bus Shelter almost two years ago said that she like those who had contacted her were both angry and bewildered.
Councillor Mulgrew stated,
"This, as Translink can confirm is a particularly busy and well used service. As an elected representative for the area, I was asked almost two years ago to have a bus shelter erected to serve the Cloughreagh and Kennedy Park estates. All procedures were properly followed. It was only after the shelter had started to be installed that a petition was received raising concerns of anti-social behaviour. A number of meetings were held with different agencies including the PSNI who at these meetings confirmed that they were unaware of any such incidents at the Shelter"
The elected representative continued,
"On several occasions, I have recommended that Bus Shelter be completed. I also felt that my request to monitor the area for any increase in anti-social activities was very reasonable and would be seen as doing my best to be fair to anyone who had doubts about the erection of the much needed facility.
Over the last week, the local youth group carried out an independent survey of 123 homes with 108 in favour of retaining the shelter. The Councillors who decided to deny this Bus Shelter have completely ignored the work by these local young people and also letters of support from older residents with mobility issues and the parents of young children whose only access to travel is by Public Transport.
The service is now a stop and hail service and Translink again stated that they were happy with the shelter location and anyone using the shelter would be picked up by the bus. Although it has been suggested that a new location will be sought, Council officials have clearly stated that this could prove difficult and will not cater for the majority of residents whereas the current location was central.
Those who voted to deny the Cloughreagh community of the use of this Bus Shelter have denied the vast majority of the people that I represent the very Services which they fight for in their own communities. This area has suffered much deprivation for many generations, however, over recent years people from within this community have stepped forward and shown great leadership and commitment to encourage a new sense of pride and ownership of the area. To deny our most vulnerable, the old and young families, access to protection from inclement weather whilst they wait for a public service with unfounded claims of anti-social activities is nothing short of a disgrace"
Unique Cross Border Conference Welcomes Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney
At a unique conference, the first of its kind, attended by almost 400 people, Minister for Foreign Affairs and keynote speaker, Simon Coveney was heartened to see the continuing close working relationships enjoyed by Louth County Council, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, the Newry and Dundalk Chambers of Commerce, InterTradeIreland and Local Enterprise Offices in Newry and Louth.
During his keynote address, Minister Coveney provided reassurance on the European Council agreement in December and commented on the priorities in the next phase of negotiations emphasising that any type of border North-South or East-West would have disastrous effects economically, politically and socially. He also underlined the importance of ensuring that we are all “Brexit-Ready".
Attendees also heard from a wide range of speakers providing very comprehensive advice on issues such as taxation, customs and movement of people. It was clear that the scale of this challenge was unprecedented and pleas were made from businesses for good sense to prevail to protect the future of Ireland and Britain.
Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Cllr. Colm Markey said "Brexit is one of the most significant challenges facing business and our community in recent generations. Because of its potential impact, it is critically important businesses start preparing for Brexit. I’m delighted that Louth County Council is co-hosting this informative event with our cross-border partners which will help businesses start their preparations.
Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council were delighted to co-host this conference with key local and cross-border partners in an area which will be most impacted by Brexit. The conference reinforced that businesses need to start planning now to prepare for all eventualities in order to mitigate future risks and minimise the impact of Brexit’."
President of Newry Chamber of Commerce, Paul Convery said “The scale of this event is a clear indication of the importance of Brexit dialogue and engagement on all levels. It was an unrivalled platform for our members to see and fully understand the support that the Chambers and our cross-border partners are providing”.
President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, Michael Gaynor said “We are delighted with the huge turnout of attendees and the success of the event. The collective nature of engagement was unprecedented and further validates the importance of this issue for all of our members”.
Photo 1: L-R: Frank Pentony, Director of Services at Louth County Council, CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Liam Hannaway, Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce, Paul Convery, Chair of Louth County Council Cllr Colm Markey, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, President of Dundalk Chamber, Michael Gaynor and CEO of Newry Chamber, Mary Meehan
Police in Belfast are becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of 47-year-old Mr Fei Lin from Belfast.
Sinn Féin’s Newry & Armagh MP, Mickey Brady, has said Israeli military occupation, rights abuses and the imprisonment of children must end immediately.
No Surprise that Mothers in Part-Time Jobs being Hit by 'Pay Penalty' - Fearon