Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has urged the Government to live up to its Programme for Government commitments to people living in disadvantaged areas across Dundalk.
Deputy Adams said;
“This afternoon in the Dáil, I pressed Minister Simon Coveney on the government’s pledge to improve the ‘quality of life for our younger and older people in the most disadvantaged communities’.
“In Dundalk, the communities of Oldbridge, Fatima, Cox’s Demesne and Muirhevnamor have been identified in Pobal’s Deprivation Index as areas of significant disadvantage.
“In many communities, deprivation has worsened since 2011.
“Life has gotten harder for people in these areas since Fine Gael came into office.
“Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú and I have met many times with the people working in The Redeemer Centre in Cox’s Demesne, in Muirhevnamor Community Centre and in other community groups located in the heart of these communities.
“They work hard to support people and to bring opportunities into areas facing high levels of crime, unemployment, drug misuse, poverty and social isolation.
“We all know that these communities are made up of wonderful people who are under huge social and economic pressures and we also know that suicide is a big issue in our society at this time.
“There is a particular cluster of suicide in Dundalk, in Cox’s Demense and Murihevnamor.
“The Manager of the Redeemer Centre, in Cox’s Demesne, Colin Roche, has asked Pobal to fund a ‘community audit’ across north Louth, to properly identify these issues.
“Today, I asked the government to support this request for a community audit to identify the gaps in the current allocation of resources in Dundalk and options for the future.
“Minister Coveney’s reply acknowledged the seriousness of the issues I raised and he has committed to make enquiries in the relevant Government departments.
“I have followed up today’s remarks by writing to Pobal urging them to support the community audit request.”