Sinn Féin president visits Dundalk to thank local community for Covid-19 efforts

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald visited Dundalk today to thank groups for their support of communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. She also met with a number of families whose loved ones died at Dealgan House.

The party leader was joined by local TD Ruairí Ó Murchú and met a number of groups at Muirhevna Mór FC before going to the community centre where she heard about insurance and childcare issues.

The Dundalk TD said the meetings had come about because of Deputy McDonald’s ‘determination to not only show leadership in Leinster House in holding the government to account, but also to come to communities to say thank you to them for their outstanding work during the pandemic’.

He said: “She also got the opportunity to hear from groups in Dundalk who are affected by State-wide issues such as insurance and healthcare.”

Gerry McGee, Ruairí Ó Murchú TD, Dave Norman, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Damien Bellew and Gavin McGee at Muirhevna Mór FC during the Sinn Féin president’s visit to Dundalk

Muirhevna Mór FC were thanked for their work, along with volunteering with other sports clubs, during Covid-19 which ensured vulnerable people in the area were looked after, while Ms McDonald also heard about the work being carried out by Cuidigh Linn.

Muirhevna Mór FC also raised more than €10,000 for charity by hosting a socially-distanced 24 hour run that was attended by Ireland manager, Stephen Kenny, Dundalk FC manager Vinny Perth and players from the League of Ireland side.

The ‘Unite the Parish’ event, which was ruin by Bay FC, Na Piarsaigh and Pearse Óg, raised almost €4,500 for the Maria Goretti Foundation.

The Sinn Féin leader met with Mandy Fee from Pelican and Muirhevnamor Community Centre manager, Susan O’Neill and heard how the centre had been turned down for public liability insurance before Ms Fee helped to facilitate a policy thanks to her previous work in this area.

Mr Ó Murchú said: “Mary Lou heard first-hand how the fiasco that is the insurance industry is affecting the lives of people in communities across the State. I had raised the issue this week in Leinster House and I am following up with Minister Seán Fleming.”

Ms McDonald also heard from Clodagh O’Mahony about the possibility of childcare services, provided to children in disadvantaged areas of Louth, are under threat of closure.

Her final meeting was a private one with some of the families whose loved ones died in Dealgan House during the pandemic. Ms McDonald said she supported their calls for answers about what had happened.

Pictured above main: Ruairí Ó Murchú TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Ciaran Bond, Colin Thompson, Martin Gill and Cllr Kevin Meenan at Muirhevna Mór FC during the Sinn Féin president’s visit to Dundalk.