December 18, 2019
Gerry Adams TD leads Delegation to meet Insurance Minister D’Arcy

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams led a delegation on Wednesday to meet with the Minister for Insurance Michael D’Arcy.

The meeting was attended by Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, and Mandy Fee and Shane McBride from Dundalk based leisure business Pelican Promotions. Its purpose was to discuss the crisis caused by the huge rise in insurance costs.

The meeting also discussed a business proposal produced by Mandy Fee and Shane McBride for the funding of the ‘Irish Leisure Industry Standards Association (Social Enterprise CLG)’ which would regulate the industry.

Speaking after the meeting which Gerry Adams TD described as “very constructive”.

He said:

“The meeting with Minister D’Arcy was a follow-up to an initial meeting that took place in August. In the interval the crisis in the leisure sector over significant hikes in insurance costs has worsened. Businesses, big and small, including many family owned enterprises are at imminent risk of closure because of insurance bills that are driving them out of business.

“In the last six years many of the insurance underwriters providing public liability insurance have withdrawn from the market. The impact of this is significant. Community groups, local festivals, men’s groups, Tidy Towns Groups, mother and toddler groups, sports groups, youth services and classes covering everything from yoga to face painters, pet farms and swim clubs are all at risk because of the current crisis.

“The proposal from Pelican Promotions is for the establishment of an Industry Standards Association which would maintain accredited standards in the leisure industry. It would work in co-operation with insurance underwriters, the leisure industry and community groups. Its objective is to reverse the withdrawal of insurance underwriters by getting rid of fly-by-night organisations and achieving a recognised standard for leisure service providers.

“The Minister indicated his support for the proposal and has agreed to meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the proposal further. I also urged the Minister to ensure that Pearse Doherty’s Insurance Contracts Bill is passed speedily by the Dáil.”

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú spoke to the Minister about the related crisis for childcare providers as a result of substantial increases in their liability. Cllr Ó Murchú said:

“I raised with Minister D’Arcy the insurance crisis for childcare providers, many of whom are based in Louth.

“I was contacted on Tuesday by a pre-school based in north Louth which received an insurance quote for 2020 which was 500% higher than last year’s premium. The consequence of this is that either the provider will be forced to close or the additional costs will have to be passed on to parents.

“The Minister agreed to my request that individual insurance issues be communicated with his office. I am asking any effected to contact me on [email protected] with any queries which I will pass on.”

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