Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dublin to hold annual science festival from 2013 as part of City of Science legacy – Minister Bruton, Minister Sherlock

Over 600,000 people took part in science events across the country during Dublin City of Science 2012

A three-day science “Festival of Curiosity”will be held in Dublin in July 2013, aimed at rivalling international science festivals such as Cheltenham and New York, as part of the legacy of the enormously successful Dublin City of Science 2012, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, announced today.

The festival will build on the success of City of Science 2012 in promoting Ireland’s scientific achievements and encouraging people of all ages to follow their scientific curiosity, through a combination of cultural events, a ‘Curiosity Carnival’, public conferences and lectures from high-profile international speakers. The Festival of Curiosity will also host innovative workshops through an artist in residency programme where science teachers, scientists and members of the public will join forces to create a curious Dublin by collaborating on new ways of engaging people with science.

The festival will be supported by Dublin City Council, Matheson, the RDS and Science Foundation Ireland.
The announcement comes as the Ministers marked the end of the hugely successful Dublin City of Science 2012 which saw over 600,000 people take part in a celebration of science with over 160 events and activities that crossed the worlds of art and culture to entertain the public and bring science to life. The highlight of the year was the international Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) event in July where 4,500 delegates and 400 international journalists from over 70 countries descended on the Convention Centre Dublin over five days to hear 600 speakers, 27 keynote speakers and five Nobel Laureates.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:
“As a country we have a long history of scientific achievement over a number of centuries, and in the past decade we have built on that heritage with dramatic improvements in publicly-funded research. We sometimes forget about these major scientific achievements by Irish people over the years, but Dublin City of Science was remarkably successful in promoting this heritage and capturing the public imagination. This summer we showed the global scientific and business community that we truly are a centre of scientific excellence and I am determined to ensure that we build on this legacy.

“The numbers speak for themselves, and I, along with Minister Sherlock, would like to commend Forfás, the former Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Patrick Cunningham and the entire team for their hard work and success. Thanks are also due to our partners and supporters, particularly the EU Commission and Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

“It is of course crucial that we build on this success and continue to find ways of promoting our scientific heritage and engaging people in science. That is why we are announcing today the establishment of an annual festival of science in Dublin, starting with a three-day event in July 2013, with ambitions to rival the best science festivals in the world. My Department and its agencies will continue to provide strong support for this hugely important initiative as we seek to engage people with science, build our scientific capability and reputation, and ultimately help support the jobs we need”.

Minister Sherlock said:
“ESOF exceeded all expectations in stimulating and provoking public interest, excitement and debate in science and all related disciplines. All of this was greatly complemented by the Dublin City of Science 2012 initiative, which had a remarkable impact in terms of raising science awareness through the many events held all over the country. I am glad that we have partners on board now to build on the legacy of ESOF and Dublin City of Science by embarking on the ‘Festival of Curiosity’due to be held in Dublin in July 2013 – this will help the overall effort to keep science firmly in the public consciousness”, said Minister Sherlock.

Ministers Bruton and Sherlock were joined in closing the year-long science event by Prof. Luke O’Neill, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin and Chairman of the ESOF2012 Programme Committee, Arlene O’Neill, ESOF 2012 ambassador and PhD researcher at CRANN and Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás, who supported the organisation of ESOF and Dublin City of Science 2012.

Martin D. Shanahan commented “2012 has been a significant year for Ireland and science. Dublin City of Science and ESOF 2012 firmly put the spotlight of the international science community on us and we rose to the challenge. Forfás is delighted to have played a central role in the organisation and planning of what has been a hugely successful initiative for the country. We are in an excellent position to build on this success to ensure that science, technology and innovation policy further delivers growth and jobs for Ireland.”
Key events during the year included:

· The St Patrick’s Day Festival Parade in March where participants brought the science theme to life based on questions posed by children.

· The Dublin Mini Maker Faire brought together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, scientists, students and authors of all ages and backgrounds to showcase their work.

· The three month Awakening Curiosity programme at The Ark in Dublin stimulated the curiosity of children in scientific discovery, art and biodiversity and the venue reached record audience figures during the summer.

· Zoo in My Garden was a hugely popular theatre performance that brought some of the animals in the Natural History Museum back to life. The show was a collaboration between Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, the National Museum of Ireland Natural History’s Education Department and Theatre Director Denis Conway of Ouroboros Theatre.

· The week-long science and arts festival CuriousCity took place in Cork in June and Accelerating Science, CERN’s flagship travelling exhibition visited Galway in September.

Report on vaccine damage needs to be taken off the shelf and implemented

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) called for a 2009 Steering Group report on vaccinations, which dealt with the issue of a compensation scheme for vaccine damage, to be taken off the shelf and implemented. Deputy Doherty was speaking after officials from the Department of Health appeared before the Oireachtas Health Committee.

“Speaking before the Oireachtas Health Committee today, Dr Kevin Kelliher from the Department of Health, who contributed to a 2001 report on the issue, said that a vaccine damage scheme should be an essential part of any State immunisation programme. And yet, despite this, the Department of Health has failed to make any significant progress on the implementation of such a scheme.


“In 2009, the Vaccine Damage Steering Group, convened by the Department of Health, published a report on vaccine damage compensation. It recommended that payments should range from €15,000 to €200,000 for those damaged by vaccines. It also said the State has a responsibility to look sympathetically at the very rare cases in which children suffer serious adverse reactions in State vaccine schemes.

“However, at today’s Health Committee, Department of Health officials displayed a complete lack of urgency on dealing with this issue. It is completely unacceptable that three years after the Steering Group report was published, no action has been taken.

“Vaccinations serve as an important plank of our public health system. By their very nature, vaccines are designed to help prevent a range of diseases. However, they are not without their risks, and it is well documented that a small minority of children have been affected by adverse reactions to State vaccination programmes. They should be compensated appropriately.

“This issue does not appear to be very high up the Department of Health’s priority list. We need action on two fronts; first, the recommendations from the 2009 Steering Group report must be implemented. And secondly, the State must ensure that a vaccine damage scheme is part and parcel of any further State vaccination programmes.”

Planning Notice – Part 8 - Planning and Development Act 2000 – 2012 / Planning and Development Regulations 2001 – 2012

Planning Notice – Part 8

Meath County Council

Planning and Development Act 2000 – 2012.

Planning and Development Regulations 2001 – 2012.

In accordance with the above regulations Meath County Council proposes to carry out development along the R135 within Ashbourne town centre. The development will consist of Phase 1 of a total of two phases of development. The works will commence north of Dunnes Stores and will cease south of theCastle StreetandBridge Streetjunction and will have a total length of circa 500 metres.

The development will consist of the following:



Phase 1 – Town centre improvements to include public lighting, footpaths, cycle ways, pedestrian crossings, upgrade to carriage way and provision of parking bays. The works will commence at Dunnes Stores to the north of the town centre along the R135 and continue southwards to a location circa 75 metres south of theCastle Street andBridge Street junction. Works will also include the replacement of overhead ESB cables with underground cables and the decommissioning of sections of the existing watermain and replacement of these with a HDPE watermain. Surface water improvements will be linked into existing networks which outfall to theBroadmeadowRiver.

The development has been the subject of an Appropriate Assessment screening in accordance with Article 6(3) of the EU Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and the Planning and Development Acts 2000- 2012.

The plans and particulars of the proposed development will be available for inspection for purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy during office hours at the offices of the Local Authority:

(a) Meath County Council, Planning Department, Abbey Mall,Abbey Road, Navan.

(b) Ashbourne Library,1-2 Killegland SquareUpper,Killegland Street, Ashbourne.

from 17th December, 2012 until the 06th February, 2013.

Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated, may be made in writing to the Local Authority : Meath County Council, Planning Department, Abbey Mall, Abbey Road, Navan, Co. Meath or emailed to planning@meathcoco.ie on or before 4pm on 20th February, 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Doherty welcomes Lottery funding for Daughters of Charity

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed Lottery funding for the Daughters of Charity Child and Family Service, which will be used for outings for children living in the asylum seekers centre in Mosney, Co. Meath.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has confirmed that €2,000 in Lottery Grant Funding is being provided.


“The Daughters of Charity Child and Family Service provide invaluable supports to families in Dublin and across the North East region, working in collaboration with the Health Service Executive.

“Minister Fitzgerald has confirmed that €2,000 is being made available as part of Lottery funding.

“This money will be directly provided to bring children living in Mosney on outings; something that is beyond the means of their parents. Children in the asylum process are at the fringes of our society, and this small grant should go a long way in improving the quality of their lives.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

Epilepsy medications should not be substituted by generic drugs

Speaking in the Dáil today (Monday) during the Second Stage Debate on the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012, Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty, called for epilepsy medications to be excluded from generic substitution. Deputy Doherty is supporting the amendment to the Bill being proposed by Brainwave, the Irish Epilepsy Association.

“This legislation is one of a number of Government initiatives aimed at driving down the State’s medicines costs. A three year deal with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association will deliver up to €400 million in savings. Generic substitution and reference pricing is expected to deliver a further €50 million in savings, by allowing pharmacists to prescribe cheaper generic drugs instead of more expensive branded medicines.

“Reform and innovation in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry is very welcome. However, we must consider how these changes can affect the needs of patients with particular conditions. Epilepsy is one such condition that is simply not compatible with generic substitution.

“Professor Norman Delanty, Director of the Epilepsy Programme in Beaumont Hospital, has said that anti-epilepsy medications can’t be substituted with generic drugs without having a profound effect on the well-being of the patient. Doses of epilepsy medications are concentrated carefully for each individual patient, to ensure good control of seizures. Any variation to the dosage could disturb the balance and result in an otherwise avoidable seizure, even if the active ingredient of the drug is not changed.

“In my view, the treatment of epilepsy is too delicate a science to include in generic substitution. The push to exclude anti-epilepsy drugs from this Bill is supported by the entire epilepsy community and the healthcare professionals that treat them. Many other countries, including the UK, Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic do not allow for the generic substitution of epilepsy drugs.

“I am hugely supportive of the contents of this Bill, the significant healthcare reforms it will bring about and the considerable savings it will realise for the Exchequer. But I do hope this exclusion for epilepsy drugs can be seriously considered. The impact on the patient must remain the central concern of every healthcare reform we introduce.”

Doherty welcomes Property Tax waiver for pyrite homes

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) welcomed confirmation that pyrite homes will be granted a waiver from the Local Property Tax. The issue is to be addressed in the context of the Finance Bill by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD.

“I am hugely relieved that a wavier will be granted to people living in homes affected by pyrite, ensuring they won’t have to pay a property tax on homes that are essentially worthless. I expressed concerns last week when the Finance Bill was published, as it did not contain any specific reference to pyrite properties. I suggested that waivers should be granted. The issue has been raised with the Minister for Finance, who has agreed with this approach.


“People living in homes affected by pyrite have been through an awful couple of years. They took out huge mortgages to buy properties either as family homes or sound investments. What they have been left with are properties that are in many cases uninhabitable. Being forced to pay the property tax would have been another blow for these families; thankfully common sense has prevailed.

“I would like to commend Minister Noonan and the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, for their action on this matter.

“There is a long road ahead for pyrite householders. Progress needs to be made on a resolution process set out in the report from the Pyrite Panel, as published by Minister Hogan earlier this year. Action has not been as swift as I would like on the testing and categorisation of homes; a process which is essential before remediation works can be commenced.

“I welcome the commitment from Minister Hogan that he will do what is necessary to ensure responsible stakeholders provide effective solutions for affected homeowners. I will continue to raise this issue with Government to make sure the voices of pyrite householders continue to be represented.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012





Monday, December 10, 2012

Ratoath Cardiac First Response will recycle your old Christmas

Ratoath Cardiac First Response will recycle your old Christmas tree after Christmas

All you have to do is purchase a tag, attach it to your old Christmas tree and leave it out for collection on the 12th of January

They'll collect and shred it for you

Tags are available from 6 local outlets in Ratoath (Centra, Spar, Homeword, The Cottage Garden, Maguiures Christmas tree farm and Brady's Garage Fairyhouse road)

Make sure your area is covered, check the information on the website or in store for details

See www.ratoathCFR.ie for full details

Friday, December 07, 2012

Doherty calls on Minster to clarify whether property tax will be charged on pyrite homes

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) called on the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, to clarify whether homes affected by pyrite will be exempt from the property tax.

“I cannot find anywhere in the Local Property Tax Bill any mention of the thousands of homes across the country that have been affected by pyrite. It is unclear whether these homes will be exempt, whether they can apply for a waiver, or what situation they will be facing.

“Thousands of homes across the country, which were built during the boom years, have been badly affected by pyrite. The people living in these homes have had to deal with raised floors, swollen and cracked walls and jammed doors and windows. This is causing very real stress, strain and upset on the families and individuals involved.

“Earlier this year, the Pyrite Report was published and it detailed a traffic light system to categorise pyrite homes according to how much remediation work they need. The report represented major progress, and it put forward a resolution process aimed at ensuring people’s home are repaired sufficiently.

“It would be unjust to impose the property tax on people who already feel their homes are sub-standard, and in some cases, inhabitable. Simply granting waivers to those living with pyrite homes would ensure that they will not have to pay the property tax until their homes have been fully repaired.

“I will be writing to the Minister seeking clarification on this matter.”

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Report shows improvement in youth mental health services, but further progress is needed

Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty TD, has today (Wednesday) said that the latest HSE report on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) shows more young people are being treated in the community, while admissions to in-patient facilities have fallen considerably. However, Deputy Doherty added that the number of young people presenting with depression shows further progress is needed.


“This HSE report provides a very interesting insight into the level of mental health problems within our youth population, and how they are being treated. The recent focus in the media on cyber bullying and its harmful effects underlines the need to ensure that adequate services are in place to support and treat young people with depression and other mental health issues.


“Considerable progress has been made; there was a 10% increase in the number of new cases seen by CAMHS between October 2011 and September 2012, and there has been a dramatic reduction in the numbers of children being admitted to in-patient units. In 2008, 65% of child and adolescent admissions were to adult units; this has now fallen to 25%. It is still too much, but the considerable reduction is welcome and the Government is determined to make further progress on this area.


“A key commitment in the Programme for Government is to deliver more health care in the community, so patients can be treated locally and be kept out of hospital. Multi-disciplinary community mental health teams are being boosted with the recruitment of 150 extra mental health professionals. At least one of each mental health profession is represented on each team, which will help to ensure young people are getting the help they need.


“Just under 1.5% of young people and children in Ireland are accessing CAMHS, which means the vast majority of young people here are happy and healthy. However, the profile of those young people who do need to access CAMHS illustrates the pressures and concerns with which a minority of our teenagers are coping. Anxiety accounted for almost 20% of cases. More worryingly, deliberate self-harm or suicidal ideation was the reason for 28% of new referrals. Depressive disorders increase with age, accounting for almost 22% of problems experienced by those aged 15 and over.


“About 1 in 10 children and adolescents suffer from mental health disorders. The Government is committed to improving services in the community, despite our economic constraints. There are currently 63 multi-disciplinary child and adolescent teams in place, and a number of new adolescent in-patient units are being provided, including several in the Greater Dublin Area. We must ensure that despite increasing demands, we continue to work hard to deliver better services and positive outcomes.”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Message from Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

 
I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on the progress being made at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
This Government inherited an economy where public expenditure was running 50% ahead of revenue, and the jobs market was in freefall. Over 300,000 jobs were lost in the three years before we took office. Our task is to undertake an economic transition from the old, failed economy based on property, banking and debt, to a new, sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. This is at the core the Taoiseach’s ambition to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business in by 2016.
This year we introduced the first annual Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at getting the whole of government and all of its agencies to focus on job creation. It has an ambition to create an extra 100,000 jobs in the Irish economy by 2016. The Plan contains 270 actions and we have delivered 95% of them on time.
The actions have been focussed on:
- Improving Access to Finance
- Developing strong exports from indigenous and foreign businesses
- Improving the competitiveness of all businesses
- Developing the sectors that will drive Ireland’s economic prosperity in the years ahead
The journey of transformation has still a long way to go. However, we are making progress and our plan is reaching its key milestones. We can have confidence that we are on the right track.
International confidence has returned, and the past 18 months have been the best period for job creation by the IDA for a decade. Irish owned business achieved an export growth of over 10% in each of the last two years and are now expanding employment. Overall, in the last 18 months, employment in export orientated sectors grew by 20,000, whereas these sectors had shed 70,000 jobs in the three years before we entered office.
We have also been working to improve the effectiveness of our Department and its agencies as part of the wider challenge of public service reform. We have several projects underway which are designed to deliver a better service from slimmed down structures:
- A plan to radically overhaul the five employment rights bodies (cutting the number of bodies from five to two) will deliver a better service for workers and employers, and savings for the taxpayer
- A plan to reform our support for small business through the creation of a new division in Enterprise Ireland to specifically support the small business sector, with new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) operating out of local authorities and working to an Enterprise Ireland policy agenda, and the dissolution of the 35 city and county enterprise boards
- The merger of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency
- The strengthening of our policy making capability by integrating Forfás into the Department and driving key policy processes like the Action Plan for Jobs
Below are some highlights of the past 18 months. I am currently preparing the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs on behalf of the Government and will be exploring further measures which can be taken to transform the economy and support job creation. I would welcome any input from Fine Gael members. An online submission form is available here: http://www.djei.ie/publications/2013APJ_Proposal_form.pdf
Working together, I am certain we can succeed in creating a strong, sustainable economy that creates jobs and opportunities for our young people.
Kind regards.
Yours sincerely,
Richard Bruton TD
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Job Creation
  • The IDA has had a record 18 months in terms of jobs - 20, 000 gross new jobs, with key investments in Dundalk (Paypal -1,000 jobs), Limerick (Northern Trust - 400 jobs), Galway (EA Games - 300 jobs), and Cork (Apple – 500 jobs).
  • Enterprise Ireland companies have increased exports by 25% in the past two years, reachingthe highest level ever. A total of 14,000 gross new jobs were secured in the past 18 months including in Kildare (Kerry Group – 800 jobs and 400 construction jobs), and Waterford (Eistech – 250 jobs)
  • Almost 145 new High Potential Start Ups will create 2,500 jobs over the next three years across a range of sectors.
Access to Finance
  • A new €90 million micro-enterprise loan scheme will provide loans of up to €25,000 to micro enterprise to help create 7,700 jobs over ten years
  • A new €450 million temporary partial loan guarantee scheme will encourage additional lending to SMEs.
  • Schemes worth €270 million will provide development capital for growth companies.
Improving Competitiveness
  • Ireland has improved its competitiveness ranking by 4 places and is now back in the top the 20 most competitive economies in the world.
  • The Research Prioritisation Plan targets the State’s core €500million annual research budget to turn good ideas into jobs.
  • Cut the administrative burden on business within my own Department’s area of responsibility by over 25% so far, yielding potential savings of €207 million per annum for business.
  • Improve company law and make it easier for business – we will allow companies of a certain size to apply to the circuit court for Examinership rather than the High Court, which will reduce costs considerably as a result.
  • Encouraging Local Authorities to freeze or reduce commercial rates. All but one Local Authority has frozen or reduced their rates for this year.
  • Reduce the cost of Government imposed red tape (an audit of licences is underway).
  • We are reducing the number of the Joint Labour Committees by half and making them more responsive to our modern economy by reducing to three the number of pay rates that can be set and removing from JLCs the setting of a Sunday premium
Winning new markets
  • Succeed in Ireland provides direct incentives to members of the diaspora and others across the world to create jobs in Ireland.
  • The new Potential Exporters Division gives supports to indigenous Irish exporters.
  • The foreign Earnings Deduction is a new tax relief to assist companies seeking to expand into emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Establish joint IDA/EI group to open up new opportunities for getting Irish companies access to global supply chains and make Ireland a location of choice for international start-ups.
Sectoral Opportunities
  • The Female Entrepreneurship Competitive Feasibility Fund of €500,000 will help 20 female entrepreneurs get started.
  • A new Health innovation hub will drive collaboration between the health system and enterprise leading to the development and commercialisation of new healthcare technologies
  • Research and Development Tax Credit:The first €100,000 of all qualifying R&D expenditure will benefit from the full 25% R&D tax credit from 2012.
  • An ICT Skills Action Plan has been introduced to re-skill and up-skill people for job opportunities in the ICT sector
  • Manufacturing Development Forum established to progress a transformation agenda for manufacturing enterprises

Very positive first meeting for Constitutional Convention

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has described the first meeting of the Constitutional Convention as a very positive beginning to what will be an innovative and exciting project over the next 12 months. The first meeting of the Convention was held on Saturday, December 1st, in Dublin Castle. Deputy Doherty added that she intends to write to local secondary schools in Meath to encourage pupils to have an input into to the Convention.

“Saturday was an extremely interesting and positive experience, when 66 members of the public joined politicians from all parties to take part in the first session of the Constitutional Convention.

“I am particularly looking forward to the next session in January, which will focus on small round table discussions. I hope this will help to ensure that the ordinary citizens who are taking the time to participate in the Convention will have maximum input. Making your voice heard can be a daunting prospect for people who are not accustomed to public meetings, committees and politics in general. So it’s up to us all to ensure we make the discussions and conversations as accessible and effective as possible.

“I was extremely impressed with the role played by Tom Arnold, who I have no doubt will be a fair, impartial and effective Chairman. Speaking on Saturday, Tom made the point that we need to make sure we reach out to those who may not be represented on the Convention. With this in mind, I intend to write to the principals of secondary schools across Meath to outline what we will be discussing over the next 12 months. I will encourage schools to discuss the Convention during CSPE class, and if any students would like to make a submission they can send them on to me, or directly to the Convention.

“I am delighted to be involved in this process. As the Taoiseach said at the weekend, Saturday’s meeting was an historic event in the political and democratic life of this country. By working together, I am confident that the Convention can compile a comprehensive set of proposals on Constitutional reform.

“At our next meeting, we will get the chance to get our teeth into the first two matters before us; voting age and the Presidential term. I look forward to working with my Oireachtas colleagues and members of the public on the Convention throughout 2013 and I hope that in particular we can get young people involved and interested, and allow them to have an input into this extremely important and worthwhile process.”

Friday, November 30, 2012

Government targets €80billion opportunity for Irish businesses – Minister Bruton

5% increase in global sourcing by multinationals from Irish business would lead to €500million annual boost to Irish economy

Global supply chain of multinational companies in Ireland among initiatives targeted by new Enterprise Ireland/IDA joint team


30 November 2012

The Government is targeting the €80billion global supply chain of multinational companies in Ireland in an effort to help Irish companies win new business, grow exports and ultimately create new jobs, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today [Friday]. This is one of a series of initiatives driven by a new Enterprise Ireland/IDA senior management team established by Minister Bruton under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.

Today’s announcement took place in Accenture, an IDA client company, which provides an example of the benefits that can be derived by Irish companies from engagement with multinationals. To date, Accenture has engaged with more than 17 Irish companies and a number have won new contracts from this engagement, including Daon, a leading Irish software biometric identity management company.


Multinational companies based in Ireland currently source approximately €80billion in goods and services globally, of which over €11billion currently comes from Irish businesses. The joint team is targeting an increase in this figure in 2013 through measures including:

·
Identify 65 multinational companies, which offer particular potential for Irish companies;
· Develop a Joint Strategy by Enterprise Ireland and IDA to target these companies;
· Increased participation by EI clients on inward itineraries by IDA companies;
· Enhanced programmes to support EI clients capability to meet needs of global corporations;
· Additional engagements targeted with key procurement decision-makers within 65 companies.
Aside from global supply chains, the other two major areas targeted are attracting international start-ups and mentoring (see below).
Making today’s announcement, Minister Bruton said:


“A key part of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is ensuring that we derive more benefit, as an economy, from the amazing group of world-leading multinational companies that have located operations in Ireland.


“Targeting increased links between these multinationals and our innovative Irish exporting companies can achieve two important goals: firstly, it will open major opportunities for Irish companies to secure more business and exports as part of an €80billion global supply chain; and, secondly, it will help us attract more investment from multinationals, by making the capabilities of Irish companies into a key selling point. Even a 5% increase in global sourcing by multinationals from Irish companies would lead to annual benefits of over €500million for Irish companies. I am determined to ensure that ambitious targets are set and met for this important initiative.


“In the short time that this joint team has been in existence it has made significant progress. Necessary research has been done, plans have been concluded and initial actions have been developed, with major benefits to both Irish companies and multinationals as we can see here today in Accenture. The next step now is to build on this progress with a comprehensive strategy to target growth, which is what will happen in 2013. I commend Barry, Frank and all at IDA, Enterprise Ireland and participating companies for their major work on this initiative. I am determined to ensure that in 2013 and subsequent years we will see increasing benefits for the Irish economy and in particular the jobs and growth we need”.


IDA CEO Barry O’Leary said: “IDA client companies work with a range of Irish suppliers and sub-suppliers across a range of sectors. IDA Ireland is committed to acting as an intermediary to create even more of these sourcing partnerships in the future. We are confident that as Foreign Direct Investment grows in Ireland, there will be significant opportunities to increase sourcing relationships between foreign multinationals and indigenous supply companies’’

Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan said: “Enterprise Ireland would encourage more Multinational Companies as we have seen here today with Accenture, to engage with world class Irish companies and get a sense of the fantastic products and services that can add significant value to their operations both here and globally.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. Global supply chains:

The Global Sourcing project has been a major area of focus for the EI-IDA Senior Management team since its establishment in early 2012. In seeking to address the objectives of the Action Plan for Jobs, the Team has focused on an in-depth strategic assessment of the opportunities presented by Global Sourcing, and the development of a joint agency strategy to outline the core actions required by EI and IDA to advance this agenda.


Research was conducted by holding in-depth interviews with MNCs. This process, jointly conducted by EI and IDA, has provided strong evidence to support conclusions regarding the best supply opportunities, which will be addressed in the joint strategy document. Research has also been undertaken across EI client companies and this has highlighted the potential to enhance EI’s offer with client companies to help address capability requirements to win or sustain sales with MNCs.

Extensive third party research and interviews with leading supply chain experts has helped validate our conclusions. IDA has identified 65 operations from its circa 1,000 client companies that will be targeted in the first phase of the drive to secure additional sourcing opportunities from MNCs. Both organisations are finalising a joint strategy paper on Global Sourcing. This joint strategy paper will identify the core actions to be progressed during 2013.

2. Attracting inward entrepreneurs:

The Minister believes there is substantial benefit to be derived from enhanced cooperation between Enterprise Ireland’s activities in seeking to attract mobile international entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in Ireland, and IDA’s activities in targeting high-growth emerging businesses which have already established operations overseas but are looking to internationalise.


An initial aspect of the work undertaken by the EI-IDA Senior Management Team was to drive effective collaboration between respective teams in EI and IDA working on the inward entrepreneurs and emerging businesses agenda. This entailed:

·
Developing a common understanding of both agencies’ respective target markets, and putting in place a robust mechanism to ensure that enquiries relevant to the other organisation could be passed on effectively;
· Common messaging and leveraging of marketing collateral to deliver the message overseas that Ireland is an excellent location for early stage companies;
· Sharing of pipelines and referral of potential clients between teams in the EI and IDA.
In order to maximise the impact of both agencies’in this space, joint participation in two events overseas was progressed during 2012. The first such event was Tech Crunch Disrupt, hosted in San Francisco in September. Additionally, plans are well advanced for an EI/IDA presence at the Le Web event in Paris in December.

Plans are currently being progressed between EI and IDA teams as to the focus of marketing efforts and the potential for joint participation at impactful events during 2013.

3. Mentoring, informal adoption and peer-to-peer learning:

Accenture is an exemplar as to how a leading multinational can engage with Irish companies to develop supplier capability and to augment the product offering of the MNC to mutual advantage.

Activities to date:

The client engagement programme with Accenture is making traction for clients in international markets. To-date, over 17 EI clients have engaged with Accenture and it is expected additional companies in other sectors will be identified to engage with the process.


Some initial results:

·
Daon –Accenture worked with Daon and its unique technology in biometrics to win deals in India, the US, the EU and Ireland in the border management and public safety space.
·
Brite:Bill– Accenture has partnered with Brite:Bill to introduce its innovative bill and document presentation solutions to Accenture clients in postal, mobile operator and government entities globally.
·
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Govt commits to protecting free pre-school year and youth club grants

Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health and Children Committee, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) welcomed a commitment from the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald TD, to maintain the free pre-school year. Speaking before the Committee today, Minister Fitzgerald also said funding would not be cut for local voluntary youth club grants.

“The Department of Children, like every other Government department, is facing serious challenges ahead of next week’s Budget. The Department must make savings of over €16 million next year, but despite this, the Minister has committed to protecting some significant areas from cutbacks.

“The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, which provides children with a free pre-school year, is a hugely beneficial initiative. It not only provides a helping hand to parents in terms of childcare, it is also a very important tool in early educational intervention. Outcomes for children are greatly improved by early stage education. I am very pleased that the Minister has seen fit to protect the scheme, especially at a time when demand is increasing and budgets are falling.

“Funding for local voluntary youth club grants, which was cut last year, will not be cut in 2013, a move which is very welcome indeed. Ensuring adequate supports are in place for our young people in local communities is extremely important, and this is greatly enhanced by the work carried out by voluntary youth clubs.

“The decision to ring fence this funding is an implicit recognition from the Government that investing in youth services paid off. A study, released by the National Youth Council earlier this month, showed that investing in youth work makes sound economic sense. It showed that for every €1 the State spends on youth work, it saves more than double that in the long run. It also found that a quarter of young people here participate in a youth club or organisation.

“Despite severe economic constraints, the Government is committed to the importance of youth services. Extra funding will be made available next year for youth cafés, recreation facilities and other youth projects. For example, €1.75 million will be made available for play and recreation facilities next year, which will be of significant benefit to families.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Help make 'Tiny Dancer' Ireland's Christmas No. 1 for the Sunni-Mae Trust

Many of you will have already heard of The Sunni- Mae Trust set up to assist Lily-Mae Morrison, a 4 year old Galway girl who is suffering from a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma, which often requires treatment outside of Ireland. To date, the campaign has raised ■120,000. We now need your help to raise more money to help other families affected by Neuroblastoma and to research possible treatments and cures.

Lily-Mae is the daughter of dancers Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison who are best known for their work with Chrysalis Dance and Youth Ballet West.

Recently a group of Ireland's most popular music stars gathered to record the Elton John song 'Tiny Dancer'. Paddy Casey, Declan O'Rourke, Mary Black, Mundy and Camille O'Sullivan are just a few of the musicians involved along with a choir of over 200 voices drawn from the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) choirs across the country.

To help our ‘Christmas No. 1’ campaign, many of the music stars on the single will join me and Minister for the Arts, Jimmy Deenihan TD for a photocall outside Leinster House on Thursday, November 29th at 11.30am. I would be grateful if you could spare a moment to come out and express your support for this worthy cause.

See Tiny Dancer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pnZBjcBFgg and purchase it on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/album/tiny-dancer/id576441815?i=576441894

Shocking domestic violence figures reveal what is going on behind closed doors

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) said that the domestic violence figures released by Safe Ireland reveal with devastating clarity what is happening to women and children in homes across the country. The figures show that the number of women receiving support from domestic violence charities has more than doubled in the last five years.

“These are devastating figures, which paint a very bleak picture of the reality facing thousands of women and children in homes right across Ireland. Every day, domestic violence is ripping lives apart. Even for those women who get help for themselves and their children, there is a long term impact that can take years to reverse. Long after the physical scars have faded, victims of domestic abuse deal with emotional and developmental trauma that cannot be easily erased.

“There has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of women and children seeking help over the last five years. One can only presume that the pressure on families due to the economic crisis is having a significant impact. People can act completely out of character when faced with incredible stress; however there can never be an excuse for perpetrating physical or emotional abuse, regardless of the personal circumstances.

“The high level of phone calls received by support services, with many repeat callers, underlines the need for on-going support. It is a credit to the agencies involved that the number of women receiving face-to-face supports has increased by 68% since 2007.

“Breaking the silence is key to tackling domestic violence. We need to consider how we address this problem as a society. It cannot be simply attributed to a negative knock-on effect of our challenging economic situation; when the country was awash with money women and children were still being abused in their own homes. We should all ask ourselves; would I offer a neighbour who I believed to be at risk at helping hand, or would I turn a blind eye? This isn’t someone else’s problem, it is everyone’s problem.

“As a Government, we must strive to make choices that do not penalise those in need of support services. But as well as this, we must also reform the system. The new Child and Family Support Agency, which will be up and running in the New Year, will allow for intervention at an early stage to deal with issues like domestic violence. New models of delivery will also ensure full integration between State services and voluntary resources.

“Introducing a more transparent family court system, as flagged by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter TD, will also help to lift the lid on domestic violence. We need to know what is happening in families in crisis if we are to bring about a change in how we tackle this problem. Victims of domestic violence must be given the courage to come forward, and the knowledge that they will be responded to with support and compassion.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Doherty looking forward to playing her part on the Constitutional Convention



Women’s issues to be considered by Convention

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) said that she is looking forward to playing her part on the Constitutional Convention. Deputy Doherty was speaking after the Fine Gael delegation on the Convention was announced yesterday evening. 

“It is very exciting to be included in our first ever Constitutional Convention, which will bring together politicians and citizens to consider possible changes to the Constitution like never before. It is a great privilege to be asked by An Taoiseach to serve as one of the Fine Gael members on the Convention. 

“We all have a duty to ensure we get the most out of this process. In the run up to its formation it has been criticised for being nothing more than a talking shop. That is an insult to the 66 members of the public who are being selected at random to take part. Politicians from every political party will also be involved, ensuring we have a wide variety of views, opinions and experience to add to the process. 

“The Constitutional Convention is one of the many methods this Government is employing to introduce significant reform. The Convention will first consider reducing the voting age and shortening the Presidential term. I think it is a very good idea that we begin the process with two topics that are relatively uncontroversial. In this way, if there are any teething problems with the way the Convention is being conducted, we can address them at an early stage. 

“The Convention will report on these first two issues within two months, and over the next year or so it will consider a number of other Constitutional issues. 

“I am very glad that a number of the issues listed for consideration under the Convention have particular relevance to women. Ensuring that women are fully represented and respected in public and private life in Ireland remains a constant challenge. The Convention will consider amending the clause on the role of women in the home, encouraging greater participation of women in public life and increasing the participation of women in politics.

“The Constitutional Convention can bridge the gap between politics and the people. We are embarking on an innovative process that aims to equip the Constitution for the challenges of the 21st Century. I am delighted to be taking part.”

Water Notice - Disruption to the Water Supply - Dunshaughlin Village


Water Notice - Disruption to the Water Supply - Dunshaughlin Village - Monday November 26th from 11:00pm until 5:00 am Tuesday morning

Date Released: 23 November 2012

Disruption to the Water Supply - Dunshaughlin Village

Meath County Council wish to advise consumers in Dunshaughlin Village and surrounding areas, they may experience disruption to the water supply on Monday November 26th from 11:00pm until 5:00 am Tuesday morning.

This is due to essential maintenance works.

Meath County Council regret any inconvenience caused

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Government spends more than €2.7 million on flood relief efforts for Meath

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) said that more than €2.7 million has been allocated this year to Meath County Council for flood prevention works. Deputy Doherty received the information in response to a Parliamentary Question she tabled to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD.



“This year alone, more than €2.7 million is being allocated to Meath County Council to help with flood risk management. Since 2009, almost €16 million has spent on flood prevention works in Co. Meath. Much of this money has been spent on the Mornington Flood Relief Scheme, which is now substantially complete. Other works have also been undertaken on the River Tolka and at Northlands in Mornington.



“We know how damaging flooding can be in Co. Meath. Just two months ago, a housing estate in Bettystown was flooded after very heavy rainfall. Last year the county was also hit by flooding after severe downpours caused terrible damage across the east coast.



“Between now and 2016, the Government will spend a quarter of a billion euro on flood relief measures, which is more than the total spent on such measures in the previous ten years. Considering our difficult economic circumstances, this substantial investment in flood prevention shows the Government recognises the serious personal impact flooding can have.



“While we cannot plan for every natural eventuality, I hope the alleviation and flood relief works being carried out in Co. Meath will help to prevent flooding from having a devastating impact on householders in the future.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Government approves drafting of legislation to dissolve CEBs and create new and enhanced support model for small business

Ministers Bruton and Perry launch 4 week public consultation on reforms, seek views of small business

The Government this week gave the go-ahead to begin drafting primary legislation to dissolve the existing County & City Enterprise Boards and create an enhanced national micro enterprise support model, delivered through Local Enterprise Offices to be established in each Local Authority office, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today (Wednesday).
Minister Bruton together with the Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry TD, also today launched a four week public consultation on the Government’s reforms of supports for the micro-enterprise and small business sector, and sought the views of all stakeholders, in particular small businesspeople and small business representative groups, to the plans.
The key elements included in this reform programme are:
·
Establish a Centre of Excellence for micro and small business supports within Enterprise Ireland
·
Establish a network of Local Enterprise Offices in Local Authorities incorporating the enterprise-centric focus of the City & County Enterprise Boards following their dissolution. These Offices will operate under a robust Service Level Agreement with Enterprise Ireland
·
Create the best possible local environment for small business by combining enterprise support for business at local level with the business support service and expertise of Local Authorities
·
Develop a strong network for entrepreneurship by working with local business and the wider community
Specific targets will be set for the new structures to deliver, including on:

·
Increasing the number of and 5-year survival of new start-ups
·
Increasing the number of start-ups by women
·
Increasing exports from microbusiness and small business
·
Increasing job-creation and innovation in the sector
The structure of the new service was laid out by the Government decision of early 2012, based on proposals developed by Minister Bruton and Minister Hogan. The consultation paper sets out further detail on the reform process and Ministers Bruton and Perry are keen to receive the opinions from the micro & small business sector across Ireland on how the changes to be brought about can best provide support to the right people, at the right time and at the right level. Views are also sought on the details of the implementation as well as any innovative ideas for better supports to the sector and better customer service delivery.


Responses to the consultation process will be considered by the Implementation Working Group, which will report to Minister Bruton after the end of the consultation process. Other measures due to be delivered in the coming months include:

·
Early December– establishment of Micro and Small Business Division in Enterprise Ireland to develop a Centre of Excellence
·
January 2013– launch advance Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)
·
April 2013– establish all LEOs on an administrative basis
·
Summer 2013– enact enabling legislation
Minister Bruton said:

“Micro and small businesses are the backbone of the Irish economy, and employ over a third of all people working in Ireland today. If we are going to create the jobs and growth we need we must provide better supports to this sector so that more of these businesses can start-up, grow, export, and create the jobs we need. That is why as part of the Action Plan for Jobs we have introduced a range of new measures aimed at micro and small businesses, including the ■90million microfinance scheme and the ■450million credit guarantee scheme.

“A key part of this plan is ensuring that micro and small businesses throughout the country have access to the best possible range of supports at all stages of their developments. That is why the Government decided earlier this year on a package of reforms which will ensure that this can be delivered, by creating a Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland to develop best practice in small business support, and a network of Local Enterprise Offices in Local Authorities responsible for delivering these supports across the country.


“Today I am happy to announce that, after substantial work by my Department, Minister Hogan’s Department and all other stakeholders, I have secured Government approval to draft legislation to give effect to these changes. It is also important that all affected parties have the opportunity to have their voices heard on these changes, and I urge people to participate in the consultation process”.


Minister Perry said:

“As Minister for Small Business I am acutely aware, along with my Government colleagues, how important the small business sector is to Ireland and the country’s economic recovery. Government does not create jobs, people and businesses do. The role of Government, and the centrepiece of our plan, is to make it easier for businesses to start-up, expand, succeed, and create jobs.
“This is why as part of the Action Plan for Jobs we are restructuring enterprise supports for the micro and small business sector and more closely aligning the services currently provided by the CEBs and Local Authorities. The new Local Enterprise Offices will act as a first-stop-shop facility for small business at local level and will incorporate the successful CEB model of supporting enterprise, but will also allow the provision of an enhanced role by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities for the wider small business sector.
“It is important that the Government hear directly from people in the small business sector and I would ask people to engage in this important consultative process.”
Written submissions should be submitted by19th December 2012 to mepu@djei.ie.

Health Committee to meet with Irish Premature Babies Organisation and Comhairle na nÓg

Representatives from the Irish Premature Babies Organisation will attend the meeting of the Committee on Health and Children tomorrow, Thursday 22nd November, 2012 to mark
World Prematurity Day

Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and now the number two cause of child mortality globally. To mark World Prematurity Day, we will meet with representatives from the Irish Premature Babies Organisation to discuss the international campaign to raise awareness of the 15 million babies who are born too soon each year and consider what measures are necessary to improve the health of mothers and premature babies here and abroad.”

The meeting takes place tomorrow, Thursday, 22nd November, 2012 at 9.30am in Committee Room 2, LH 2000.

Following its meeting with the Irish Premature Babies Organisation, the Committee will discuss youth issues with Comhairle na nÓg.

“Comhairle na nÓg are local youth councils which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies. Given the on-going developments in the area of children and young people, it is an opportune time to meet with Comhairle na nÓg to discuss matters regarding children and youth issues.”

Committee proceedings can be followed live at: http://bit.ly/24YmPI

Monday, November 19, 2012

Slane Traffic Management Study Public Consultation

Info session on the Slane Traffic Management Study Stage 1 report at the Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane on Wednesday 21st November between 3.00pm and 8.00pm

Slane Traffic Management Study
Public Consultation

 
Meath County Council invites residents of Slane and surrounding areas, members of the public and interested parties to participate in an information session on the Slane Traffic Management Study Stage 1 report at the Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane on Wednesday 21st November between 3.00pm and 8.00pm

Details of the study will be on display, and staff from Meath County Council & the consultants who undertook the study, Aecom, will be on hand to discuss and
take questions on the findings of the report.


The Slane Traffic Management Study Stage 1 report will be available for inspection at Meath County Council’s offices at County Hall, Navan, at Duleek Civic Offices

& the National Road Design Office at Navan Enterprise Centre from 14th November 2012 to 19th December 2012.
Also a copy of the report can be downloaded from following Link:
Slane Traffic Management Study Stage 1 Report October 2012
Written submissions or observations on the Traffic Management Study Stage 1 report can be submitted to

Meath County Council,
National Road Design Office,
Navan Enterprise Centre,
Trim Road,
Navan,

Co Meath

Voluntary organisations will not be charged for vetting application

Fine Gael Meath East Deputy and Chair of the Fine Gael Committee on Health, Regina Doherty, has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, that there is no plan to charge voluntary organisations for vetting applications under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012.

Deputy Doherty received notification from the Justice Minister following on from a letter the Meath Deputy sent to the Minister to make enquiries about the issue.

“Despite the fact that Section 31 of the Act allows for fees for vetting applications to be charged for certain categories of employment, I welcome the Minister’s assurance that voluntary organisations will not be subject to this. Ensuring that we have adequate vetting procedures in place is essential to protecting our children. The last thing we want is for cost considerations to prevent organisations from playing their part in making sure all children are being cared for in a safe and secure environment.

“Minister Shatter conceded that there may be some consideration given to charging commercial or semi-commercial organisations for vetting in the future. It will come as a welcome relief to voluntary organisations that there is currently no mention of these charges being extended to them.
“It is expected that the Bill will come into effect early in the New Year, requiring those who commence working with children or vulnerable persons on an on-going basis to be vetted. Where retrospective vetting is concerned, there is a provision in the Act to deal with staff who were hired before the Act came into force. It is estimated that, due to existing resources, retrospective vetting will take about two years and that once this issue has been adequately dealt with, it will not need to be revisited. Re-vetting of staff will take place, however, around every 5 years or but this provision will not come into effect until the retrospective vetting process has been properly completed.

“This legislation, together with the Withholding of Information Bill, the placing of the Children’s First Guidelines on a statutory footing and the ratification by the Irish people of the Children’s Referendum, will enable us to ensure that the utmost care and consideration is given to our children’s safety and welfare.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Doherty & Buttimer welcome radical reform document for the health sector

Patients to be placed at the centre of decision making, ensuring faster, fairer service delivery

Fine Gael Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Jerry Buttimer TD, and the Party’s Internal Health Committee Chair, Regina Doherty TD, have welcomed the publication today (Thursday) of the radical healthcare reform document by the Department of Health.

The document, entitled Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015, sets out the roadmap for the overhaul of our healthcare services so that value for money and appropriate service delivery can be achieved.

Speaking following the launch Deputy Doherty said: ‘As the document states, the healthcare system in this country is currently unfair to patients, does not deliver value for money and is in dire need of reform. We are facing major challenges in terms of dealing with the budget deficit, getting the trolley numbers completely under control and dealing with increased activity, year on year. All of this in the context of Ireland having an ageing population’.

“However, this document charts the way forward by outlining the steps to be taken on the basis of the best possible evidence. A full collaborative approach is to be taken which will make full use of the Regional Health Forums who will consult with the relevant stakeholders to ensure best service delivery. The patient will be front and centre in the reform process which will seek to have patients treated at the lowest level of complexity that is safe, timely and that is delivered as close to home as possible.

Deputy Buttimer said: ‘The radical reform agenda being carried out by Minister Reilly will not happen overnight. This Government was handed a health service that was creaking at the seams and which had money thrown at it as the solution to all its problems. The Irish people, quite frankly, deserve better’.

“It is the Government’s intention to create a single-tier health service which is supported by Universal Health Insurance and where no distinction between public and private patients exists. Outcomes for patients will be improved, free access to GPs will be available, as is the case in other countries, and there will be better management of chronic illnesses.

“We have no choice but to do more with less, but that aside, it is high time we had a healthcare system that worked for, instead of against, us. Healthcare staff, consultants and, most of all, the patient, who should always have been at the heart of the system, deserve it. I have no doubt that this intention can and will become a reality under Dr. James Reilly TD.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Education Grants for County Meath Community/Voluntary Groups

Available November 2012


  • Applications are invited from community and voluntary groups who have not received funding from Co. Meath VEC’s Community Education Programme in the past.
  • Co. Meath VEC’s Community Education Service provides tuition hours to community or voluntary organisations that wish to run learning programmes in their own areas.
  • “Programmes should aim to develop the individual’s self confidence and educational skills base in order to enable and facilitate their development and participation in the life of their community”

In line with Government guidelines for usage of funding, priority will be given to courses/programmes which:

  • ØSpecifically target educational disadvantage
  • ØAddress self development, confidence building and skills enhancement for group members
  • ØFacilitate and encourage participation in educational activity from all sectors of our community
  • ØPromote social inclusion

The latest date for receipt of completed applications is Friday 30th November at 4pm. Application forms are downloadable from www.meathvec.ie or are available by contacting:

Jackie BreenCommunity Education ServiceThe Alpha Learning CentreCo. Meath VECAbbey Road, Navan, Co. MeathTel. 046-9068285 E-mail: jbreen@meathvec.ie

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Doherty welcomes funding to facilitate reopening of Bellewstown Bridge

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) welcomed confirmation that €92,000 in funding is being made available to ensure Bellewstown Bridge can be reopened as soon as possible.
“I am glad to hear that the National Roads Authority has agreed to transfer €92,000 to Meath County Council for works on the bridge, following a request from the local authority. This money will be used to pay for remedial works on the bridge, so it can reopen as soon as possible.


“The bridge has been closed for almost three weeks now, and it has been causing some considerable disruption to local people and other motorists who travel this route on a daily basis. It was closed in the first place due to structural concerns, so it is welcome that these concerns will now be addressed with remedial works.


“I would urge Meath County Council to ensure work is carried out on the bridge as quickly as possible, so any further disruption can be kept to a minimum. Bellewstown Bridge is an historic structure, which has been used by local people for centuries. I hope that the repair works will ensure it can be preserved into the future.


“The sooner these works are completed and people can begin to use this route as normal, the better.”

County Council unites citizens of Meath in Christmas jobs drive - Meath County Council is bringing together individuals, businesses and students in a drive to attract new business into the county.

Its ‘Whatever your business…Make it Meath ’ campaign invites everybody in the county to promote the benefits of setting up a business in Meath among their friends and contacts throughout the world.

Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Niamh McGowan, said that Meath County Council had put together support programmes to assist the local community to attract new business to Meath.

“With many of our emigrant citizens returning to Meath for Christmas, we are asking everybody to make sure that our visitors are invited to promote Meath as an ideal location to set up a new business or open a European office.

“We have a comprehensive promotional brochure available from our offices or at any library in the county. It highlights the benefits of working and living in Meath and provides information on a number of individual towns in the county.

For individuals or companies who wish to have the information posted to a contact abroad please contact us on 046- 909 7000 or email: edi@meathcoco.ie

“Those who have businesses in the county are asked to promote Meath among their high level business contacts, especially those abroad. Indeed successful business people who are now retired may wish to support the campaign by sharing their international business contacts abroad. By working together we can attract new companies to the county and generate jobs,” she said.

Research by Meath County Council’s Economic Development and Innovation Unit has identified that each and every member of the community has a wealth of contacts in Ireland and throughout the world.

They include business executives either working in or from Meath who regularly travel overseas, solicitors and accountants with clients who may be in a position to invest in Meath, local clergy whose parishioners are now working abroad and local schools who can identify high profile former students who could help bring businesses to the county.

Mr Frank Harrington, President, Navan Chamber of Commerce welcomed the initiative from Meath County Council and has urged all Chambers of Commerce in the county to come together to make sure that all their contacts receive the promotional brochure.

“This united approach will bear fruits in terms of attracting industry and commerce to Meath. The support of all the Chambers of Commerce and the advice and assistance of the key state agencies in the county will make sure that directors and their families of those companies coming here have access to the best advice and assistance available in the county,” he said.


Mr Kevin Stewart said that if the county was to attract new business, then it’s up to each and every one of us working and living here to get out there and sell the benefits.

“These benefits include a high quality of life, access to quality education as well as excellent infrastructure, premier business locations, easy access to major towns and cities and a wealth of skills currently available in Meath. Our workforce has a wealth of skills in the majority of industry sectors and fluency in a wide variety of languages.

“We are of the view that if you don’t ask companies to consider Meath as a location, they won’t. We need everybody working together to ask international business people to set up in Meath. And we have had a great response from every section of the community in Meath and we are confident that if we all promote Meath abroad, we will attract new business. We also have the support of the State agencies in the county to help companies to set up in Meath,” he said.

Meath County Council’s Economic Development and Innovation brochure, ‘Whatever your business… Make it Meath”, showcases the economic case for locating a start up in Meath. It provides an overview of the county with an economic profile insert for 7 key locations in the county.

Further information and a copy of the brochure is available from www.meath.ie/business

Friday, November 09, 2012

Health Committee to seek information from HSE on pregnancy counselling services allegations

At its meeting today, the Joint Committee on Health and Children considered the matter of recent allegations printed in a national newspaper concerning services at HSE funded pregnancy counselling services.

Following the meeting the Joint Committee decided to write to the HSE requesting the following information as a matter of urgency;


    · Has a formal investigation been commenced by the Health Service Executive in respect of the alleged advice given by counsellors at the clinics referred to?
    · If an investigation has commenced, what will be the terms of reference and scope of the investigation? What will be the timescale involved in such an investigation to complete to report stage? In particular, will the investigation examine the actions of the service providers only or will it also look at the role of the HSE in this matter? And who will be carrying out the investigation?
    · If an investigation has commenced, what is the basis or authority for such an investigation? Further, what procedures will be adopted in respect of the investigation?
    · Is the HSE aware of any investigation by An Garda Síochána into the alleged incidents?
    · Is the HSE aware of any internal review being carried out by any of the organisations referred to into the alleged incidents?
    · What actions were carried out by the HSE in the period of weeks before these articles were printed, during which time the HSE was in possession of the transcripts referred to in the article?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

video on state intervention

Staff from Louth Meath Hospitals to host information events to mark World Diabetes Day 2012

World Diabetes Day takes place on Wednesday 14 November 2012. To mark the occasion the diabetes department in Louth/Meath Hospital Group are inviting members of the public to attend free diabetes information events in Louth County Hospital, Dundalk and Our lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, or people at risk of developing diabetes are encouraged to visit the Outpatients Department in Louth County Hospital or the health promotion corner on the ground floor of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital between 10am and 4pm on the day. Staff from the diabetes department will be on hand to provide advice and information on managing diabetes, in relation to food, foot-care, and pre-pregnancy planning for women with diabetes or a history of gestational diabetes.

Diabetes is now recognised as one of the most chronic diseases of the 21st century. It is estimated that 366 million people worldwide have diabetes, with the number expected to reach some 380 million by 2025. In Ireland, it is estimated 240,000 people have diabetes – half of which are unaware of it.

Speaking in advance of the diabetes information events, Pauline O’ Hanlon diabetes nurse specialist Louth Meath Hospital Group said, “Many people could have type 2 diabetes for over seven years without realising it. It's very important to be aware of the risk factors, which include being overweight, having a family history of the illness, and in relation to women, if they have a history of gestational diabetes or have had large babies (over 10lb). However, both type 2 and type 1 diabetes can be managed effectively by incorporating a healthy diet and physical activity, monitoring blood glucose, medication and attending for regular follow up with their GP or diabetes hospital clinic."

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic, potentially debilitating and often fatal disease. The disease occurs as a result of problems with the production and supply of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps ‘sugar’ (glucose) to leave the blood and enter the cells of the body to be converted into energy.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes (previously referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes) occurs when the body does not produce insulin. It can affect people of any age, but usually occurs in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood.
In Type 2 diabetes (previously called non-insulin dependent diabetes or mature-onset diabetes) the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively. The onset of type 2 diabetes is linked to genetic factors but obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet increase the risks of it occurring. In the past, it was thought of as a disease of the elderly. However, due to the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children and young adults.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. Worldwide, many millions of people have type 2 diabetes without even knowing it.
Gestational Diabetes
Some women develop a third, usually temporary, type of diabetes called ‘gestational diabetes’ when they are pregnant. Gestational diabetes develops in 2-5% of all pregnancies, but usually disappears when the pregnancy is over. Women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.
Recognizing diabetes
The onset of type 1 diabetes is often sudden and dramatic and can include symptoms such as:
Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth
Frequent urination
Extreme tiredness/lack of energy
Constant hunger
Sudden weight loss
Slow-healing wounds
Recurrent infections
Blurred vision

The same symptoms that are listed above can also affect people with type 2 diabetes, but usually the symptoms are less obvious. The onset of type 2 diabetes is gradual and therefore hard to detect. Indeed, some people with type 2 diabetes show no obvious symptoms early on. These people are often diagnosed several years later, when various complications are already present.

Risk Factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes
Being overweight
Family history of Type 2 Diabetes
History of Gestational Diabetes (Women)
Women who had large babies (over 10lb)

Life-threatening complications
Poorly controlled blood-glucose can result in short and long-term complications, many of which, if not prevented and left untreated, can be fatal.Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of disability, resulting in life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, lower limb amputations, kidney failure and blindness.All have the potential to reduce the quality of life of people with diabetes and their families.

Diabetes can be prevented
Early detection and the adoption of proven measures to prevent diabetes can significantly lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, delay its onset or at least reduce its impact. People with type 2 diabetes can usually control the level of glucose in their blood by following a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, and oral medication (tablets).
For people with type 1 diabetes, it is not yet possible to prevent the condition. However, much can be done to prevent or delay diabetes complications by healthy eating, regular physical activity, medication and regular follow-up with the GP or diabetes clinic.