Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Government needs to set up Welfare Fraud Bureau with immediate effect

Cllr. Regina Doherty is calling on the government to set up a Welfare Fraud Bureau to tackle the outrageous problem of deception and fraud that prevails within our Social Welfare system. With 100’s of our highly experienced Gardai currently retiring early we should be setting up Special Units with special powers to harness their experience to solve this major issue once and for all.

The Prime Time investigates programme highlighted just how under resourced the Dept. of Social Welfare is; quite simply they are not equipped to handle an issue of this size. I have spoken with department employees and they feel intimidated and threatened when they are asked to carry out investigations. This is not the way to handle a €3billion fraud problem.

A bureau similar to that of CAB, staffed by Gardai and Social Welfare employees, should be based in local units and given special powers of surveillance, They would have access to local knowledge through their existing relationships with local Gardai and could act like pit bull terriers to root our the culprits of this major problem and bring them to justice with such a speed that it would dispel that image that “easy money” can be made from the Irish Welfare System.

It goes with out saying that in the current economic climate that of the government is truly serious about how they spend our taxes then this should be given serious and an immediate priority.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Water Supply in Ratoath and Ashbourne disrupted

Due to a problem at the inlet to Cushinstown pumping station at around midnight last night (15/11/09) no water was delivered to the Windmill Hill reservoir overnight. Caretakers solved the problem circa 8.00am but at that stage the Reservoir was almost empty. This will result in reduced supply to Ratoath today with lower pressure than usual and supply may not reach some of the higher areas. Parts of Ashbourne and Dunshaughlin will also experience lower pressure as MCC try to supply as much of Ratoath as possible.

MCC plan to supply as much water as possible into the area during the day and tonight they will curtail supply to the area to allow the reservoir to recover. The situation tomorrow should be greatly improved on today and by Wednesday normal supply should be fully restored.

Friday, November 13, 2009

FF treating older people like fools

FF treating older people like fools with dishonest statement on Community Support Scheme –

Fine Gael Councillor Regina Doherty, has accused the Fianna Fáil Government of spinning words on the community support scheme for older people which has been effectively closed since 21st October. Cllr. Doherty said Minister of State John Curran is only engaging in spin by claiming the scheme is open.

“The Fianna Fáil Government is treating older people like fools just like they have treated the whole country like fools for over a decade. Minister John Curran can play around with words as much as he likes but the fact remains that applications made to the scheme after the 21st October will not be funded.

“This keeps up his performance on this scheme, which provides security support for older people. It was announced on the 6th April then dropped after the Budget the following day and put under review. That review resulted in it being re-opened for all of 11 working days. Now the scheme is under review again, allegedly for re-introduction in 2010. That’s nothing to look forward to if the result of this review is anything like the last one.

“The truth is that the Government has been shamed into responding to this issue by Fine Gael. Of course because they’re Fianna Fáil their response is spin, not action. I can promise that I’m not giving up until I do get action and that’s the retention of this scheme for older people. The hole in the public finances is not going to be filled by shutting down low-cost supports for older people and it certainly won’t be solved by treating them like fools."

GaelScoil Rathto reaches final hurdles

With over 60 people in attendance at a public meeting last night (Thursday 12th) in the GAA Club, Ratoath, the Establishing Committee of GaelScoil Rathto updated parents on the progress made to date in setting up a new Gaelscoil in Ratoath.

“Based on the 2006 census, Ratoath has the youngest population in the country as a village/town and has seen its population increase approximately ten fold over the last decade said Cllr. Regina Doherty”.

The Department have carried out a study of the country to identify the areas where, due to demographic changes, there maybe a requirement for additional school provisions in primary levels over the coming years. This study indicated that a requirement for additional primary provision was greatest in 43 locations across the country. Ratoath was identified.

The forward planning section of the Department of Education having identified these locations think it prudent to plan for the establishment of new schools to commence operations in September 2010 and have invited all existing patrons to put forward there interest in patroning any new schools. We have applied under the patronship of Foras Patrunachta”

Although we are very close to achieving the establishment of a Gaelscoil in Ratoath we all recognise that we still need the final approval from the Department which we do not expect the hear from for a few weeks yet, but we are very hopeful that all our hard work will be rewarded.”

When we are successful it will see Gaelsoil Rathto added to the already superb providers of education we have in Ratoath; Ratoath Junior & Senior National School, St Pauls National School and Rathbeggan National School.”

Deirdre Donnolly. Avril McCarthy, Sean O Buachalla, Anita She[herd & Cllr. Regina Doherty

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Shameful FF Govt closes older people’s scheme only 11 days after it opened

Fine Gael Cllr Regina Doherty, has condemned the Fianna Fáil Government for setting the closing date for the Community Support for Older People Scheme as just 11 working days after it was re-opened. “They are just trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes by pretending they’re committed to the scheme when its quite clear that they are not”

“This scheme has been messed around with by Fianna Fáil from day one. Further grants under the scheme were announced by the Community Minister on the 6th April only for it to be dropped after the Budget the following day. Then it was under review until Minister Curran announced on the 6th of October he was lifting its suspension. What he failed to say in that statement is that the closing date for applications is just 11 working days later on the 21st October. Who do they think they’re fooling?

“The hole in the public finances is one thing but it is certainly not going to be filled by messing around with the Community Support Scheme for Older People which costs very little but can mean a lot to older people who often feel unsafe in their own homes. This scheme improved their security in a number of ways including monitored alarms and panic buttons.

“Yet again this jaded government this its ok to target the vulnerable in our communities, well we have had enough and I am calling on the Minister to reopen this scheme immediately in order to protect the elderly across Ireland.”

Chairperson for Meath Joint Policing Committee calls for suggestions and input into coming years Work Program

At the first committee meeting of Meath’s Joint Policing Committee Fine Gael Cllr. Regina Doherty was appointed as Chairperson. “Its is a great honor for me to Chair the first Joint Policing Committee for Meath.” The JPC’s were established by the Minister of Justice as part of The Garda Síochána Act 2005.

The Minister is strongly of the view that that policing our society is best achieved through a partnership process involving the Garda Síochána and the democratically elected representatives of the communities which the Garda Síochána serves and with the participation of the community and voluntary sector.

Each of these partners has its own distinct perspective and inputs to offer, and each has its responsibilities in ensuring that our society’s policing needs are effectively met – the local authorities as much as the Garda Síochána – so as to ensure safe and secure communities.

“We are currently compiling our Work Programme for the coming year and I would ask that anybody who would like to make a contribution or has any input to please contact me at my constituency office at 2 Glebe Park, Ratoath Co Meath or on my mobile on 087 2680 182.”

Monday, October 12, 2009

Official launch of Meals on Wheels for Ratoath

I am delighted to announce the launch of Meals on Wheels today for Ratoath. Meals on Wheels is an incredible service offered by a group of volunteers to people who are in need in their own community.
“It came about whilst having a conversation with Freda, my mother-in-law about Meals on Wheels. She has been heavily involved in Meals on Wheels in Ashbourne. I discovered that there were no Meals on Wheels service in Ratoath and we set about changing that. With a growing list of volunteers and a great deal of support and help from Meals on Wheels Ashbourne we started our service today.”
“Hot Meals are delivered to clients’ homes 3 days a week by our volunteers. Frequently the volunteer may be the only person the client sees all day, providing human contact and a safety net, particularly for those people living alone. We are committed to reducing the isolation experienced by so many elderly.”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Freda and her team from Ashbourne for all their support in getting our service off the ground.
If there are any people out there who would like to volunteer their services for Meals on Wheels please contact Regina on 087 2680 182.

Pictured in the photo are Cllr. Regina Doherty (Chair of Meals on Wheels Ratoath), Freda Doherty (Chair of Meals on Wheels Ashbourne), Marcus Flanagan (Head Chef) and Jim Flaherty (Volunteer Ratoath)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Major Anger and Frustration at Dental Clinics Suspension

Dental Services in South Meath have all but ceased for the towns of Dunshaughlin, Ratoath and Ashbourne in recent weeks and quite frankly its not acceptable. The HSE through Brendan Drumm and Health Minister Mary Harney have made empty promises about frontline services not being affected by any future cuts. Well our frontline services have definitely been cut

We currently have no Dental services in this district and if I am to be honest Occupational Therapy services and Speech & Language Services have an average of a 2.5 years waiting list. This is not a service that this government could be proud of.

I am calling on the Minister to immediately lift the ban on recruitment for the dental positions needed to restore Dental services to South Meath.

I find it so disconcerting that his government is far more concerned about mortgaging our children’s future to the tune of €54 billion to bail out their developer and banking buddies rather then offer our children the frontline Health Services they not only deserve but require.

This is not the end of this matter and I will ne raising this at our Council Meeting on Monday to seek further action.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Doherty calls for Road Safety Audit for Ratoath

Cllr. Regina Doherty has asked Meath County Council for a road safety audit to be carried out on the new major roundabouts in Ratoath and the new junction between the new Inner Relief Road and the Fairyhouse Road.

Since these new developments were brought into action residents have experienced some very near mishaps. Most recently, a lady with her child in a buggy was very near run over at the roundabout at Tescos due to a large truck turning on the roundabout which quite frankly is too small for the truck to be using. The wheels of her buggy got caught in grass kerb which has been damaged due to the trucks and lorries coming up on to the verge due to lack of “swing” to get around the roundabout.

We have no traffic weight restrictions in Ratoath, therefore all size of trucks and lorries travel through Ratoath every day using roundabouts which could not have been designed for them as they are far too small.

The junction at Fairyhouse Road and the new Inner Relief Road needs to be realigned. The turn right only lane onto Fairyhouse Road from the Inner Relief Road is to close to the junction and needs to be pulled back in order for large trucks and busses to be able to take that turn safely. I see children standing at the traffic lights in their way to school having to stand right back at the wall in order to remain safe.

The safety of pedestrians and road users must be central to any road improvement or realignments plans and we needs these revisited.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ashbourne Technology Campus

To all of the people who contacted me in the past few days regarding lands on the Ballybin Road due for rezoning to E2 status I would like to thank you for your representations and to let you know that after taking into account your views I changed my opinion on the zoning and voted accordingly today.

When we try to make decisions on behalf of the "common good" of the public it helps if we take your opinions into account. As there were no opinions expressed by the residents of the Ballybin area during my initial deliberations I had to assume that there were no real objections and therefore acting in the common good of Ashbourne - Ratoath was to bring high end employment to our area.

I consider your opinion extremely valuable and would encourage you to regularly view the Meath Co. Council website ( ) to keep informed of things in our area. If at any stage you wish me to act on your behalf please do not hesitate to contact me.

I, have to my end, made representation to council officials to ask them to consider using other newspapers (possibly MeathEcho) as well as the Meath Chronicle to advertise changes and amendments to zoning and planning applications that could potentially have a serious effect on residents homes & lives. I will keep you informed of any progress that I make on this issue.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doherty calls for suspension of ALL non essential conference attendance by County & City Councillors

Fine Gael Cllr. Regina Doherty, has called for the immediate suspension of attendance to all non essential conferences by County & City Councillors across the country.

“The attendance of conferences is designed to equip Councillors with knowledge that would assist them carry out their duties as a Councillor. However, in the current economic climate we all must take responsibility for every penny of taxpayer’s money we spend and be guaranteed that firstly, the spend is essential and secondly that we get value for the money we spend.”

“To that end I do not believe that attending conferences (at a considerable cost to the taxpayer) is critical to the effectiveness of my role as a County Councillor and believe that the practice should be suspended with immediate effect.”

“As a nation we are being told that we all need to “share the pain”, but in real terms this is not happening. Pensioners up and down the country, having worked hard all their lives are having their pensions taxed, while the practice of spending taxpayers money without consideration carries on as normal.”

“If Minister Brian Lenihan needs to know where to look to save money in order to avoid taxing pensioners, or taxing children’s allowances then a good start would be in his own back yard. Its no wonder this government has difficulty in bringing the mass population “along” with its recovery plans; the endless talk of reducing salaries, expenses, government committees, the talk of removing the practice of TDs receiving pensions while still holding down a very well paid full time jobs; Lots of talk but the only action we have seen since they woke up to the fact that the country is in dire straits is increased levies on the ordinary tax payer.”

“An immediate motion should be passed that all non essential expenditure by every TD, Councillor, Senator, every government department, every County Council must stop with immediate effect, As public leaders, if we can at least lead by example, then we truly might be all sharing the pain together.”

Did you know

Each Meath County Councilor has an annual fund of €4000 to provide for travel, accommodation and subsistence for attendance at conferences. This varies from council to council with some in receipt of more.

Some of the conferences available are as follow: Judge for yourself how essential some of them are.

Conference Details Conference Cost

The 8th Benedict Kiely Literary Weekend – 10/09/09 – 13/09/09 €80 (Omagh)

From the Canvass to the Council Chamber – 18/09/09 – 20/09/09 €245 (Clifton)

Remembrance & Conference Weekend – 25/09/09- 27/09/09 €180 (Tipperary)

Councillors Co-operation North & South – The Challenges 09/10/09 – 10/10-/09 €95 (Castlebellingham)

Health & Safety Issues in Local Government 30/10/09 – 01/11/09 €245 (Carrick-on-Suir)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Irresponsible Employers Adding to the Hardship of the Unemployed - Fine

January 23, 2009 - Employers who don't follow redundancy procedures are

causing additional hardship for unemployed people across south Meath,
according to Fine Gael local area representative Regina Doherty.

"I've dealt with cases where people have waited more than four weeks for
their P45 document from their former employer," said Doherty. "The
authorities need to come down hard on these employers who are causing
hardship to former employees and delaying the process of re-training and

"People are determined to work and often aren't aware of their entitlements
to subsistence, rent and retraining payments as they seek new employment,"
said Doherty. "From what I've seen in recent months, the young and
non-national residents suffer most from this shoddy treatment."

People who have specific queries about their social welfare entitlements
should visit their social welfare office, or call 1890662244.

The delays from non-compliant employers are compounded by the figures from
the Department of Social and Family Affairs which show that people are
waiting nearly 12 weeks for Jobseekers Allowance in Trim and Navan. The
Finglas office - where many Meath people have to sign on - has a waiting
time of more than 3 weeks for Jobseekers Allowance.