Meath had a particular focus at the Aontú Ard Fheis at the weekend as a number of motions relating to the county were considered and passed by some 400 delegates from across the country.
Councillor Emer Tóibín proposed many of the initiatives to the meeting on Saturday and has pledged to continue working with party colleagues to see them brought to fruition in the coming months.
Cllr Tóibín, told delegates,“In many ways, Meath has been the epicentre of the failure of the Government to address crime in recent years. Despite the Minister of Justice being a local TD, delegates at our Ard Fheis have echoed the calls by our Party Leader and representatives in Meath for investment in the Gardaí whose numbers have fallen every year of her tenure.
Delegates unanimously supported a demand that the Minister and the Government support the Bill introduced by Peadar Tóibín TD which would mean an automatic mandatory prison sentence on those who intentionally injure an on-duty Garda, health worker in the public hospital system or staff of the fire service – we need to have the backs of our Gardaí and public servants.
Delegates also backed calls for the Justice Minister to stop focussing on the culture wars and instead give her attention to the recommencement of the Thornton Hall project which would deliver extra spaces in prison and help to reduce re-offending.
Coupled with a focus on calls for the Government increases investment into drug rehabilitation services, mental health services and in community facilities for young people, Aontú want to see action taken on issues that matter to people in Meath and right across the country.
Turning to infrastructure and the health system, delegates supported Meath delegates’ motion for the end to the Government’s 10-year effort to close Our Lady’s Hospital Navan A&E and demanded investment that will make Navan A&E one of best A&E’s in the country in line with growing population in Meath.
The energy at our Ard Fheis amongst delegates from across the country leaves me in no doubt that we can and will deliver on these policy objectives and we will continue to hold the Government to account through our team of elected representatives which I am certain will grow in the coming months.”