Fred Bassett’s Manifesto.
Election Saturday 8th February 2020
People of Drogheda march together, to reclaim their Town back, from the Thugs and the Drugs
Addressing those gathered on West Street today, Mr Bell said the people of Drogheda have turned out to say to those involved they are about “the business of taking back the town” from where criminals have brought it too.
He said the residents of Drogheda are “terror fatigued”.
Mr Bell said history has recorded that “no siege and no force can defeat the spirit of what makes Drogheda citizens so special and he added that the people “will not fail in ridding the communities of those who are convinced they are untouchable and free to do as they please”.
The rally was organised following the murder, less than two weeks ago, of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods, the third victim of this bitter feud.
Mr Bell appealed to those involved in the “hideous act” to identify the location of Keane’s remains, some of which have not yet been recovered, to allow his family lay their loved one to rest.
He said the issues faced in Drogheda are shared by many citizens living all over the country and urged legislators to support communities.
“Many children and young people in our communities have become somewhat socialised in an environment which permits violence, drug selling as a means to achieve status, power and wealth,” he said.
“This reality for young people which we are duty bound to protect, must be duty bound to protect, must be challenged in the state investing in the communities impacted by a sense of despair, a lack of hope and ambition,” he added.
He urged politicians to revisit legislation and give powers to the gardaí to prosecute and convict those involved in drug trafficking and distribution.
He also said legislators should review the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau with a view to resourcing gardaí to deal with those generating wealth from the selling of drugs on our streets.
Mr Bell also hit out at those who engage in so called recreational drug-taking, saying these people “contribute to the misery and pain felt in communities impacted by the serious criminality which accompanies the illicit drug trade”.
Among those in attendance were Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Labour leader Brendan Howlin and Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín.
Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar shook hands on the Bridge of Peace as they met and were joined the other political leaders.
Mr Varadkar said he attended the rally to show solidarity with people in the town and again have an assurance that gardaí will have all resources needed to tackle criminal gangs in Drogheda.
Mr Martin said the march was about “the people saying stop” and said they do not want criminals to win out, while Ms McDonald said there is fear and anger in the community and something needs to be done to make them feel safe.
Louise Mahoney of the Red Door Project, an addiction service in Drogheda, said people of the town say “enough is enough, enough under-resourcing, enough short-term quick fixes, enough being treated like second class citizens”.
The Garda Chief Superintendent of Louth, Christy Mangan, and the Superintendent of Drogheda, Andy Watters, were in attendance.
Former minister for justice Dermot Ahern was also at the rally.
An innocent taxi driver who was shot on the Bridge of Peace almost two weeks also attended the rally.
John Myles said he was there to show the people involved in the feud that they cannot be allowed continue.
Among the crowd was Joe Maughan, whose son Willie and girlfriend Anna Varslavane were murdered in April 2015.
They were last seen in Gormanston, Co Meath and their remains were never found.
Mayor of Drogheda appeals to killers of Keane Mulready-Woods (17) as thousands gather to protest feud
THOUSANDS of people have taken part in a rally in Drogheda to voice opposition to drug-related violence in the town.
The demonstration was organised in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods earlier in January.
The teenager was murdered and dismembered and parts of his body were dumped in different locations in Dublin.
His killing was the third linked to an ongoing feud between rival gangs.
It sent shock-waves throughout the country, while representatives from Drogheda say people in the community are living in fear as the escalating feud continues with threats, intimidation and assaults targeting those both directly and indirectly involved.
The rally saw thousands of people including political and religious leaders march from the town’s historic Bridge of Peace to St Peter’s Church in the town centre.
Many carried placards calling for an end to the violence and imploring the Government to fund addiction and community services. They say the move is essential in tackling the issue, which is mainly centred on the sale and use of cocaine.
A number of youth and addiction support workers spoke on the steps of the church about the struggle to keep community services open on “shoe-string” budgets, while trying to keep vulnerable young people away from drugs and crime.
‘REAL SENSE OF FEAR’
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald and Labour leader Brendan Howlin all participated in the march.
Imelda Munster, the former Sinn Fein TD for the area, said: “There’s a real sense of fear and apprehension around the town.
“I was out in two separate estates that were directly affected by the feud, and it was the most eerie feeling I had ever gotten, three weeks after Christmas and there wasn’t one child in the street out riding a bike or kicking a ball, and that’s the sense of fear.
“People are prisoners in their own home so this opportunity was for people to come together and send a message that whoever is in the next government, that this feud needs tackling.”
The brutal killing of Keane has made law and order a key issue in the General Election campaign.
Mr Varadkar promised the public that his government would tackle the issue head-on.
He said: “We need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Drogheda.
“This is a great town, I’ve seen the town at it’s best, there are so many opportunities here, it’s a great place to live.”
Sunday 26 January 2020
Sex abuse of women is at the centre of gang culture
Ruthless drug gangs are exploiting young women by forcing them into sex to settle their debts or the debts of their children. It is shocking that this Abuse of women is linked to this Drogheda Feud and others across the Island of Ireland.
When Pio Smith was asked to help a young woman who had run up a drug debt to dealers, he encountered a familiar story of an impressionable youngster drawn into the growing drug culture and who fast became in over her head. Buried in her story of addiction and intimidation was another damaging account of dealers’ demands for sex to settle her debt.
In the past two weeks we have seen the real and horrific extent that the feuding drug gangs in Dublin and Louth are willing to go in their continuing bloody war. They think nothing of kidnapping a 17-year-old, torturing him, and then dismembering him in order to intimidate their rivals. But there are other extremely concerning punishments being handed out.
Wrapped up in the Drogheda feuding drugs gangs is a story of sexual exploitation and abuse of young women that is rarely heard, according to Smith, a counsellor with Red Door and also a Labour Party councillor.
There is nothing much more to say here but that the Gardai now must stand up, and tackle the drug dealing and addiction head on. They need to identify theseDrug Murdering Thugs, and get them before the Courts of Ireland. Fred.