[Sinn Fein]

4th March 2002

Time for change - Establishment parties have failed County Meath

Sinn Fein Councillor Joe Reilly was this evening joined by party President Gerry Adams MP for the launch of his election campaign in Navan, Co. Meath.  Speaking at the meeting Cllr Reilly said:

``If you look at the legacy of this government, it is one of missed opportunities. The ordinary people of this state created enormous wealth but the reality is that it has not benefited all equally.  This is true nationally and locally here in Meath.

Housing: Since FF/PDs came into power the housing list has risen every year. There are over 1900 on Meath Co. Council Housing waiting list, 850 in Navan alone. The result is that many young couples are priced out of the housing market.

Health: Our Lady's Hospital in Navan is unable to meet the needs of the day never mind our future needs and morale is at an all time low. Everyday I am approached by individuals and families who are experiencing difficulties in the health system whether it is in terms of queuing for operations or seeking a medical card.

Education.  There are parents in Navan and all over the county who have to send their children to schools some distance from their homes because their schools locally are booked out for years to come.

Transport: Our roads and towns are grid locked. Despite the obvious need there is still no political will to provide a Dublin to Navan train line. I have proposed at council that the Kingscourt to Drogheda line be open for passengers to help the development of tourism in the Boyne Valley and North Meath.

Incineration: Noel Dempsey will be remembered as the Minister who removed powers from local councillors in order to have his waste management plans pushed through. He has allowed big business to take charge of our environmentI voted against the Waste Management Plan in July of last year because it proposed incineration and a large landfill and ignores the need for re-cycling.

Sinn Fein is the only real alternative. We have worked side by side with communities to bring about real change. We have spoken up when necessary and have provided positive alternatives where possible. We have tried to make the councils accountable and accessible We have fought to defend and give voice to the weakest in our communities. Sinn Fein will continue to expand and grow in Co. Meath because we are the only party capable of providing an alternative vision. As the only credible alternative candidate in this constituency I believe that Sinn Fein is on the verge of a breakthrough in Meath.''

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