Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Housing Executive must step up

This is me with Billy McDonagh.

Billy lives in a bungalow in the Short Strand.

Before Christmas during the freeze Billy rang me to say he was very concerned about the conditions of the windows in his home. This isn’t the first time Billy has been in touch, on numerous occasions I have had to lobby the Housing Executive and their contractors on his behalf.

The extreme weather exacerbated many of his concerns about the condition of his home and despite numerous visits from contractors, no substantial repair work has been carried out to his property.

Without doubt, the impact on Billy’s health has been negative.

During a meeting Sinn Féin held with the Chief Executive, Chairperson and senior management staff from the Housing Executive, I raised Billy’s case directly with them.

But back to the phone call Billy made to me pre-Christmas; he informed me that despite putting oil in the tank and having the heating on, large clumps of ice were forming around the INSIDE of his window frames. I checked the heating and while not an expert, to me it seemed to be working fine. As for his windows, I had never seen anything like it, the only thing I can think of to describe is similar to the ice that forms around the inside of your freezer door.
It is clear that despite his heating being on, Billy's home is loosing it through the unsuitable windows. Billy has informed me that on some occasions he wakes up in the morning and is able to see his breath.

This gives Billy and I cause for serious concern.
Following the holidays I also contacted the local Housing Executive and urged them to review Billy’s case without delay; they have agreed, but over a week has passed with no one coming to see him. While appreciating the Housing Executive are dealing with a substantial backlog of work, given the serious impact on Billy’s health and wellbeing, it baffles me how so much time would be allowed to lapse without even coming out to asses the condition of his home.

Billy makes the case and I support him in this, that his wooden windows are not up to scratch and it is our view that the Housing Executive should seek to replace them with more appropriate UPVC windows.

Appropriately Billy took a number of photos of the conditions of his windows during the freeze and these can indeed be passed onto the Housing Executive.

For our part, south & east Belfast Sinn Féin will be seeking a meeting with the Housing executive management to discuss this and a number of outstanding issues.

Don’t forget you can get in touch with our office if you need assistance on an issue like this or any other @ sandebelfast@sinn-fein.ie or 02890243194

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Press Release

Press Release issued earlier in relation to the PSNI seizing over £200,000 worth of drugs within Pottinger

Ó Donnghaile welcomes Ravenhill drugs seizure

Sinn Féin Representative for Pottinger Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed today’s seizure of more than £200,000 worth of cannabis in the London Street area of Ravenhill.

Speaking this afternoon Niall said;

“Obviously any move to take illegal drugs off our streets is to be welcomed.

For some time now Sinn Féin have been raising the concerns of residents across the Pottinger area directly with the PSNI about apparent increases in drug dealing in the constituency.

As a community we must all ensure we stand against those who would peddle drugs within our areas.” CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


.....GIVE US HOMES!!!!

Here I am at the junction of Madrid Street while workers continue the work to demolish the former Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks.

At this stage regular readers are more than familiar with Sinn Féin and the Short Strand Community's long campaign to have this Barracks demolished and social, family homes put in it's place.

Images like this certainly highlight the success of our campaign!

I have been in contact with the contractor regarding the timeframe for complete removal of the base and continue to lobby the Department of Social Development on the urgent need for the site to be acquired and utilised for high standard family homes.

More to follow and as always I'll keep you informed.

Beir Bua


Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year

Bliain úr faoi mhaise daoibh uilig

I haven't been blogging as regularly these days, between Christmas, snow and a broken boiler and burst pipe here and there, those of us involved in community activism have been somewhat focused on issues on the ground.

While I hope to blog much more extensively on the issue of the severe weather and the crisis which followed, as well as the negative and difficult experience of many constituents, perhaps this short video will give you at least some insight into what Sinn Féin has been doing in recent weeks.