Sligo County Council road and traffic report

Week commencing 29 February 2016.

Sligo News File Online.

Sligo Image
MAJOR WORKS:

TUBBERCURRY AREA:

 Strengthening works will commence on the R293 at Ardree, Ballymote 2016. Traffic control will be in operation with significant delays expected. 50km/hr speed limit will apply within work zone. Work will last 3 days.

ENNISCRONE AREA:

 Pavement surfacing works associated with the N17 Realignment Thornhill Bridge & Cloonacurra Overlay Contract 2015 will continue on the N17 National Primary Road between Ballynacarrow North and Cloonacurra townland. Traffic Management will be in place with Major Delays expected. Works are expected to last for 24 weeks

 Drainage works will be carried out on the N59 between Templeboy and Dromore West. Traffic management will be in place. Some delays are expected.

SLIGO AREA:

 Road signage works will continue on the R284 from Carrowroe to the County boundary. Works will also be ongoing on The R293 from Ballymote to Gorteen and on to the county boundary. Works will be ongoing for a number of weeks.

 Site Investigation works for Sligo Town Water Conservation Project commencing on Ash Lane, Duck Street and Rosses Point Road on Monday 29th February. Traffic Management will be in place and some delays are expected. Works will also take place on the R296 and R295.

MINOR WORKS:

SLIGO CITY AREA:

 A Scaffolding licence has been granted for Peter Martin Buildings, corner of Teeling Street and Chapel Street. Works are expected to last several weeks. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 A Scaffolding licence has been granted for 17 Connolly Street. Works are expected to last 1 week. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 A Scaffolding licence has been granted for 2 Union Place. Works are expected to last 2 weeks. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 A Scaffolding licence has been granted for 2 John F. Kennedy Parade. Works are expected to last 2 weeks. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 Hoarding has been erected at the corner of Lord Edward Street and Union Street. Provision has been made for pedestrian access and works are expected to last several weeks. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 A Hoarding licence has been granted for Argento, 32 Market Street. Provision has been made for pedestrian access and works are expected to last six weeks. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 Ongoing Road Openings to take place at various locations over the coming weeks due to broadband upgrade. Minimal traffic disruption expected.

 Footpath refurbishment works will commence on the south side of Wine Street this coming week and are expected to last approximately ten weeks. Traffic disruption can be expected. A traffic management plan will be in place

TUBBERCURRY AREA:

 Pothole repair works will continue in the Tubbercurry area. Traffic control will be in operation but no delays are expected

BALLYMOTE AREA:

 Drainage works will commence on Local Rd L-1403 at Drumderry. Traffic control will be in operation and works are expected to last 1 week.

 Pothole repair works will be carried out in the Ballymote area. Traffic control will be in operation but no delays are expected.

ENNISCRONE AREA:

 Pothole repair works will be carried out in the Enniscrone area. Traffic control will be in operation but no delays are expected.

 Drainage works will be carried out in the Enniscrone area. Traffic control will be in operation but no delays are expected.

Martin says ‘Ireland needs to be brought in a new direction’

Former Health Minister pledges ‘Fianna Fail will ‘breathe life back into…communities.’

Sligo News File Online

Fianna Fail is promising to appoint a full cabinet minister to look after rural Ireland.

Leader Fianna Fail, Micheal Martin
Leader Fianna Fail, Micheal Martin

Party leader Micheal Martin says Fine Gael and Labour have decimated it over the last five years.

Towns like Ballyshannon, Ballymote, Manorhamilton and Ballyconnell he said, “are still reeling from the cuts they imposed.”

Punishments rural areas suffered under successive Fianna Fail-led governments aren’t mentioned in the statement.

Neither is there any reflection of regret that cancer services at what was then Sligo General Hospital were killed off by a Fianna-Fail led government.

He likely has forgotten how the thousands of protesters – among them cancer patients – were treated by Fianna Fail ministers when they rallied in vain to have the service retained in the North West.

Ignored by Fianna Fail-led Government; some of the thousands who campaigned against closure of the cancer services at Sligo General.
Ignored by Fianna Fail-led Government;
some of the thousands who campaigned against closure of the cancer services at Sligo General.

The former Health Minister probably also doesn’t remember that Fianna Fail ministers, TDs and senators voted down a Fine Gael bid to have the proposed closure reversed when the issue came up for debate in the Oireachtas.

Martin is no stranger to Sligo, he has been around a few times during the last few months. One of his more recent sojourns was to Tubbercurry. Did he speak to the community there about the pending closure of the long established butter processing operation at Achonry? This is the butter packing facility Aurivo are moving to Cork, Martin’s home county. Did he drop round to chat with the more than 20 workers in Achonry whose jobs are set to be impacted by the decision?

He is saying that Fianna Fail protected small schools. He recently visited one in West Sligo where parents had to fight tooth and nail to keep it open in the face of Fianna Fail government attempts to close it. It’s imagined there were many other small schools where the efforts of parents to keep them open weren’t as successful.

They are reluctant to accept that, in government, they presided over the greatest economic and social catastrophe ever to befall the State; blaming it instead on conditions in the global economy.

They will now argue that this is all in the past, and indeed, it is hard to think other than this is what Martin’s statement is framed to convey. He says now that “Ireland needs to be brought in a new direction” – quite where he doesn’t explain. In government again, Fianna Fail, he says, will give rural Ireland a brand new cabinet minister of its own to promote “community support and development.”

He says Fianna Fail will give us fibre broadband, and they will also ensure there’s universal 4G mobile coverage. He pledges as well that services in rural areas “will be equivalent to those in our towns and cities.”

Fianna Fail, Martin says, will “breathe life back into…communities” and offer “focused proposals” to strengthen the hand of rural Ireland.

“We want to reverse that trend” of Fine Gael and Labour decimated rural services.

There are, he says “large parts of the North West that have felt no recovery whatsoever. Boarded up shop fronts and closed vacant units remain a common feature of many of our rural towns.”

He seems to believe that the disastrous management of the economy during the last Fianna Fail government is in no way responsible for any of this.

Finally and confidently, he declares that Fianna Fail is now “fully committed to an Ireland for all – a balanced and fair recovery, delivering jobs and growth to all communities; ensuring every citizen has the same opportunity to prosper irrespective of geographic location.”

Despite their accusations and finger-wagging in the direction of the outgoing Coalition, it is widely thought that Fianna Fail will eagerly hitch their party wagon to Fine Gael to help form the next government. After all, they are virtually the same politically. The draconian measures with which Fine Gael and Labour have been hammering the people in the last five years were among those the previous Fianna Fail government signed the country up to in the agreement with The Troika.

The agreement contained binding commitments, including the setting up of a national water utility, Irish Water; water charges and the imposition of taxes on the family home. The Fine Gael and Labour Coalition ran with this, while adding several new taxes and charges of their own, as well as demolishing welfare benefits, destroying crucial public services, closing rural garda stations and reducing garda numbers, the latter begun by Fianna Fail with the shutdown of the Templemore Garda Training Centre.

Fianna Fail has stated that they are committed to charges for water once the the existing Irish Water body has been restructured. They also remain wedded to the property tax on the homes of families. At the local level, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members of Sligo County Council have repeatedly blocked moves aimed at reducing the tax on homes in the county.

Polling stations open tomorrow at 7 am and will stay open until 10 pm

Mammography service on course for Sligo

‘Letter of offer’ has issued to the successful bidder.

Sligo News File.

Sligo University Hospital
Sligo University Hospital

It has been officially confirmed that the tender process for a provider of mammography services at Sligo University Hospital has been completed.

“A letter of offer” has been issued to the winning bidder, the HSE has said in a statement to Sligo News File this evening.

The Executive added that it is now awaiting “a letter of confirmation of acceptance” from the successful provider.

Fianna Fail Senator’s fears about future of Sligo Hospital emergency services ‘scaremongering,’ claims McLoughlin

University Health Care Group confirms services in region’s hospitals have been reviewed.

Sligo News File Online.

A Fianna Fail Senator, who spoke of his worry about a possible reduction in the Emergency Services at Sligo University Hospital has been accused of “scaremongering.”

Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail

Senator Marc MacSharry said he had “grave concerns” following news that the Saolta Hospital Group had embarked on a review of hospital services in the region.

He said, “I am extremely concerned about the review…and I am particularly worried about the implications for Sligo University Hospital.”

However, a local Fine Gael TD has attacked the senator’s concerns, describing his comments as “scaremongering.”

Tony McLoughlin, a general election candidate, said he “was astounded that Marc MacSharry was given the opportunity to spread a complete falsehood.

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim

“…It was a deliberate attempt to scaremonger the electorate on the eve of the most important election for this country in decades,” he said.

However, the University Health Care Group has since officially confirmed that it has reviewed services in the group’s regional hospitals.

In a statement issued on its behalf, the Group states, “Saolta University Health Care Group has already undertaken reviews in respect of cardiology, urology and orthopaedic services and a review of the Emergency Care Units across the Group…”

These, the statement says, “have now been completed.”

Saolta

 

The statement adds that the Group’s Executive Council, in collaboration with the local hospitals’ management and clinical teams and the HSE’s National Acute Hospitals senior management team, have now considered the report’s recommendations, “as has the Board of the Saolta Group.

“Work is underway by the Group’s Executive Council on developing plans, for further consideration by the Saolta board, that will look at both the implementation and impact of the recommendations.”

Although the statement goes on to advise that “recommendations in relation to the Emergency Department at Sligo University Hospital did not include a possible reduction of opening hours”,  it is not apparent at this stage that the recommendations of the report won’t have implications for services in Sligo.

Responding to McLoughlin’s claims, Senator MacSharry said the “facts are that plans are constantly afoot within the secret echelons of the HSE and/or Government, and it is the duty of all public representatives to ensure that the people are made aware of any potential threat to services in time so that citizens can have their say in any ill-conceived plans to undermine their rights to equal access to acute services.”

He said people in recent years would recall “my exposing and ultimately releasing the report reviewing maternity services within the Solta Hospital Group which clearly outlined that proposals being considered included the potential closure of some maternity services and the potential downgrading of others to midwife-led services rather than consultant led services.

“This grew into a national controversy involving then Minister Reilly and ultimately led to the abandonment of such recommendations at least for now.”

He said sources that had told him of the proposals for the maternity services had also now informed him of “a review of A&E services within the Saolta hospitals group, and that the self- same review may be considering options that included the potential closure of some A&Es and the potential reduction to a 12 hour per day service in others.

Sligo University Hospital
Sligo University Hospital

“This is a reality that anyone in our region could scarcely countenance but we all learned the harsh reality of initial complacency in threats to our cancer services.

“Prudence demands immediate intervention in any plans or reviews that may threaten the services to Sligo University Services.”

He said he welcomed the Saolta statement that Sligo University is not under threat of downgrading to a 12-hour service

“Other hospitals can quite rightly now seek their own assurances on other A&Es in other hospitals in the region.

“The legacy issues in downgrading of hospital services in our region demand constant vigilance to ensure we lose no more.

“For this reason, I am delighted that I exposed the current review and will remain vigilant on behalf of the people of our region when it comes to any potential threat to our services.

Meanwhile, it does not appear that the contract for the promised No Cancer Service No Voteinstallation of a mammography service at the Sligo University Hospital has yet been finalised. McLoughlin issued a statement 8 days ago, stating the contract would be signed within a week.

Below is the headline of press statement issued by or on behalf of Deputy Tony McLoughlin  on 12 February 2015.

Contract for a Follow-Up Mammography Service at Sligo University Hospital Will be Signed Next Week. – McLoughlin.

 

Paths to Freedom Roadshow Tubbercurry and Sligo later this month

TV and radio presenters joining team of authors and key academics in events to Remember 1916.

Sligo News File Online.

Paths To Freedom, the history roadshow from Pegasus Consulting, starts a major 2016 tour this month.

TV and radio presenters Myles Dungan, Joe Duffy, Turtle Bunbury and Catriona Crowe will join a team of authors and key academics to offer Ireland’s libraries, exhibitions and festivals a unique package of lectures, presentations and entertainment events to remember the 1916 Rising, 100 years on.

Paths To Freedom is a special two-part commemoration, comprising… A day-long programme of talks and presentations on 1916 and its legacy, an evening performance of the songs and music of the era, showcasing the songs of John, Count McCormack.

The roadshow will open with two events in Sligo this month, then move on to Dublin, Athlone, Roscommon, Cavan and Leitrim. Further events will be announced soon.

February Events:

Community Library, Tubbercurry
Community Library,
Tubbercurry

Monday, 22 February – 10. 30 am

Tubbercurry Community Library : Oliver Fallon, Ian Kenneally, Turtle Bunbury.

Monday, 22 February – 7 pm 

Sligo Central Library: Myles Dungan, Maurice O’Keeffe.

Saturday, 27 February – 10 am

The Conference Room, Tallaght Stadium, Dublin:  Myles Dungan, Joe Duffy, Catriona Crowe, Turtle Bunbury, Liz Gillis

EVENING SHOW. In 2016, Pegasus will also tour a complementary musical show – The Count, The Countess & The Tommy – featuring songs and stories from the era of the Rising, centering on the music of the celebrated Irish tenor Count John McCormack. This show is written by Myles Dungan and will feature headline acts, including… Simon Morgan: A world-renowned baritone, Simon has performed in venues across Ireland, the UK, Argentina, Chile, Barbados, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Monaco, Florence and Verona.

Lisa Lambe: A singer and actress, Lisa is best known for her work at the Abbey and the Gate, and as a member of international singing sensation Celtic Woman. Brendan MacQuaile: Brendan is a classically trained baritone who performs widely in Ireland and internationally, and features regularly on TV and radio.

The show is scheduled for the Civic Theatre, Tallaght in Autumn, 2016, and will also visit King House, Boyle, in May, Cavan Town Hall in August and The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, in September.

“The ‘long decade’ of 1912-1923 encompassed massive political change in Ireland, Britain and the wider world. These years saw the militarisation of the Irish question, culminating in the violence of 1916 and of 1919-1923, and also the Great War in which many thousands of Irishmen lost their lives. These developments had profound effects, not only on active participants in military and political affairs in Ireland and internationally, but on the people of Ireland as a whole.”

Decade of Commemoration, Trinity College Dublin The Paths To Freedom programme is produced by Pegasus Consulting, the company behind the hugely successful history projects The Fighting Irish (2010) and The Great War Roadshow (2014-15).

Terror in the Capital

‘Gangs warning vulnerable families to pay drug debts of children ‘or see loved one shot dead or seriously injured.’

‘There is little gardai can do to protect home, property or loved ones.’

‘Power lies with the criminals.’

Sligo News File Online.

A member of a Dublin drugs task force has spoken of the terror being faced by communities in the Capital.

Deputy Sean Crowe said,

Sean Crowe, TD, Sinn Fein
Sean Crowe, TD,
Sinn Fein

“The CityWide report on intimidation is timely and the information that some drug dealers are pursuing parents for drug debts will come as a shock…, but is an accurate account of what is happening in many communities right across Dublin.”

“Unfortunately, it is becoming all too familiar in some areas with debts of thousands of euros being demanded off hard pressed families.

“Vulnerable families are told in some cases to ‘pay up or see your loved shot dead or seriously injured.’

The Sinn Fein TD said the study revealed that “two-thirds of drug users who are intimidated or attacked by gangs do not report the incidents to the Gardaí. But many have said to me that they are between a rock and a hard place and there is very little that the Garda Authorities can do to protect their home, property or more importantly loved ones.

“The power lies with the criminals.

“The Garda don’t have the resources for round the clock surveillance, but can and do offer advice.

He said the “CityWide report suggests that half of the attacks that they were aware of involved physical violence and family members of drug users being intimidated.

“The report claims that in one-third of it cases, the mothers of drug users were targeted, and also, in a third of cases damage was done to homes and property.

“It went on to say that the excuse for the attacks was alleged drug debts of between €500 and €5,000, but this can be a lot higher.”

In my experience, he said, “the intimidation is not just confined to parents.

“Grandmothers and grandfathers have also been approached and forced to pay out under the very real threat of seeing their grandchild shot dead or seriously injured.”

He said the CityWide anti-drugs campaign “also revealed that in many cases the debt did not go away even when it was supposed to have been paid off.

“I have been made aware of a number of cases where after paying the so-called debt, another group of criminals call and say that they own the debt and the cycle of intimidation continues for the family involved.

Welcoming the report, he said, “it is timely and requires a societal and justice response.

“It suggests targeting local criminals’ money and an extension of the Criminal Assets Bureau to localised Garda districts.

“This move would be wholeheartedly supported by any drug activists and take the fight directly to the drug dealers and their finances.”

He urged anyone trapped in the situation to contact the Garda Authorities and seek help. “It is a confidential service and no pressure will be put on the family that is seeking advice.”

‘Serious concerns’ about future of emergency services at Sligo University Hospital.

Health Minister ‘must make a statement immediately.’

Sligo News File Online

Judging from a statement issued by Fianna Fail, it looks that emergency services at the renamed Sligo University Hospital could be in jeopardy.

Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail.
Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail.

Sligo-based Senator, Marc MacSharry says he has “grave concerns” following news that the Saolta Hospital Group has embarked on a review of emergency department services across the region.

“I am extremely concerned about the review…and I am particularly worried about the implications for Sligo University Hospital,” he said.

“I understand that one of the options being considered is the possibility of reducing ED services to a 12 hour period.”

Pointing out that the hospital serves a population of 260,000, he said curtailing the services “would be disastrous for Sligo.”

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar
Minister for Health,
Leo Varadkar

It would also “put an even bigger strain on other hospitals in the region which would have to shore up capacity.”

He said Health Minister Leo Varadkar “must make a statement immediately on the matter so that the people of Sligo and the North West can go to the polls in the full knowledge of what is happening down the line.

Sligo County Council expected to announce more job losses

Council payroll function to be moved to Portlaoise.

Sligo News File Online.

Sligo County Council is believed to be planning for yet another reduction in the authority’s staffing levels.

SCC OfficesAs many as 20 workers could be affected, according to sources. If confirmed, it would mean that more than 200 staff will have either left or been redeployed to other statutory bodies or duties in the last few years.

On top of this, the debt-ridden authority has recently announced that it is winding up its entire payroll function and transferring the facility to the centralised Shared Services Centre in Portlaoise.

The move is scheduled to take effect from 22 April 2016.

As far as is known, councillors have not been informed of the transfer.

Richie Carrothers of the Impact Trade Union, which represents local government workers, said today that there would be no “compulsory” redundancies in the existing county council workforce. He was not aware, he said, of staff proposing to leave the authority

The Impact Union members’ 2015 e-bulletin said a financial plan developed by the council that year “included plans for staff redeployment, to suppress posts, abolish acting positions, as well as proposals for the closure and reduction of some services.”

It also stated at the time, “trade unions representing staff have been excluded from the workforce plan discussions entirely.”

ElancoJob losses in the Sligo area have spiralled with, among other worrying trends, the recently announced closure of the locally long established Elanco global animal health company in Finisklin and the lay-off of more than 100 workers at the plant. Some 30 jobs were also impacted with the transfer of the Aurivo, formerly Connacht Gold, milk processing plant from Barnasraghy to Killygordon, Donegal.

In Tubbercurry, the government has closed two State offices and Tubbercurry Government Officesrelocated the staff to Mayo and other areas. Aurivo has moved its headquarters from the town to Sligo and announced it also plans to close its 24- job butter packing plant at Achonry and transfer the operation to Mitchelstown in Cork.

In all, the south Sligo town has already lost over 200 jobs. According to a local councillor, “not a single new job has been created in Tubbercurry in the last 5 years.”