Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Curraha Juvenile GAA - Table Quiz


Table Quiz

Curraha Juvenile GAA

Are Holding a
 Quiz Night
In
Swans Lounge
Curraha
Fri 23 November @ 8:30pm
Ciaran 0872253778   Tomas  0866078914 Brian   0876275100  Padraic 0874126976 Cecil   0862445247    Denis    0866003334
 Table four      €40               

Taking the next step with education

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement of the Education Open Day on Friday 9th November at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan. “If you are wondering what to do next or thinking about going to college or returning to education, this open day is the ideal opportunity to receive valuable information and advice on the next steps, including guidance on CV/s, careers and rights and entitlements”. All the top Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology will be at this event and on the day attendees will be able to meet and chat with the Colleges and Institutions, find out about all the courses they offer; discover the special HEAR and DARE entry routes for eligible candidates and find out about the CAO application process.

Taking the next step with education

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement of the Education Open Day on Friday 9th November at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan.

“If you are wondering what to do next or thinking about going to college or returning to education, this open day is the ideal opportunity to receive valuable information and advice on the next steps, including guidance on CV/s, careers and rights and entitlements”.

All the top Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology will be at this event and on the day attendees will be able to meet and chat with the Colleges and Institutions, find out about all the courses they offer; discover the special HEAR and DARE entry routes for eligible candidates and find out about the CAO application process.

Friday, October 26, 2012

EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURE WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT: The Bellewstown Bridge

EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURE WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT: The Bellewstown Bridge - Closure is due to structural concerns about Bellewstown Bridge.

Emergency Road Closure: Bellewstown Bridge

The L-56172-0 Road has been closed to through traffic at Bellewstwon bridge. The emergency closure is necessary due to structural concerns regarding Bellewstown Bridge. The road will remain closed as a precautionary measure until further notice.

Meath County Council would like to thank road users for their cooperation.

Alternative Route:

North Bound Traffic – Take the L-5617-10 eastward, at the next crosswords turn left onto the L-1615-0, head north along this road until you reach the R-150-109, this is the end of the diversion

South Bound Traffic – Travel in an eastwardly direction along the R-150-109, at the next junction turn right onto the L-1615-0, heading south along this road until the reach the next crossroads at this point turn right onto the L-5617-0, travelling in a westwardly you will reach the junction of the L-56172-0, this is the end of the diversion.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daly needs to get her facts straight about JobBridge success

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) called on Clare Daly to get her facts straight in relation to the success of the JobBridge programme which has seen over half of those who completed the programme gain paid employment. Deputy Daly’s remarks in the Dáil on Wednesday (October 24th) claiming that ‘not too many people’ had gained employment are wholly inaccurate.

“Deputy Daly should do her homework and get her facts straight about JobBridge and the amount of people who have found gainful employment on completion of the programme. Misleading the public is irresponsible and demonstrates a preference for spouting incorrect information simply to bolster their populist profile.

“The clear facts are that JobBridge has been a highly successful initiative. Since its introduction in July 2011 by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, a total of 11,246 have taken part in JobBridge and there are currently 5,145 people currently participating in the programme. An Indecon report published this week shows that 52% of those that completed JobBridge are currently in paid employment since finishing their internship; 51.6% of non-graduate interns have secured employment; and 89.3% of interns felt that JobBridge had given them new skills. The findings of this report clearly show that JobBridge has achieved its goal of getting people off the live register and into gainful employment.

“These figures clearly show that more than ‘a few hundred’ people have gained employment as claimed by Deputy Daly. I cannot understand where she got her figures from and how she can stand by them when an independent review clearly highlights how successful the programme has been. I hope that Deputy Daly will pay more attention to the facts as they stand in future.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monster energy drinks should be removed from shop shelves immediately

Caffeine-laden drinks should only be available in off licence section of shops

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today (Wednesday) called for an immediate removal of Monster energy drinks from shop shelves, following the death of a 14 year old girl in the US who consumed two 24-ounce cans over a two-day period, containing 480mg of caffeine in total.

“Following the news that a fourteen year old girl died after consuming two of the high caffeine cans of energy drink Monster, and that a further four cases are being investigated in the US, I am calling for the immediate removal of these drinks from shop shelves across the country so that children and young people do not have easy access to them. They should instead be sold in the off licence section of the shop.

“I have written to the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, and the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, requesting that immediate legislation be drawn up to protect our children from these types of drinks. The rise in consumption of soft drinks and junk food in general in this country is extremely worrying, especially among children, and there is an onus on us, as legislators, to ensure that we are protecting our children from having easy access to these types of drinks.

“A typical can of Monster contains 160mg of caffeine which is an obscene amount of caffeine contained in one drink, and there are many more similar such drinks on the market that young people have easy access to. Not only does excess caffeine pose a serious health risk, the sugar and other ingredients in these drinks are extremely unhealthily. With the ever increasing levels of diabetes, heart disease and obesity in this country, it is imperative that we tackle this problem immediately before it gets any worse.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Doherty welcomes comments from Down Syndrome Ireland on impacts of ‘Yes’ vote in Children’s Referendum

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Monday) welcomed the comments from Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) in relation to the positive impact of a Yes vote in the Children’s Referendum. DSI has launched an easy to read guide on the Referendum, and is encouraging all of its members to get out and vote.

“I was very glad to hear DSI Chief Executive, Pat Clarke, say that there are distinct advantages for children with disabilities and their families if there is a Yes vote in the Children’s Referendum. The Referendum will enshrine children’s rights in the Constitution for the first time. By voting Yes, we will be making a clear statement as a nation that we value all of our children.


“I also welcome the fact that DSI is encouraging all of its members to make their voices heard by voting on November 10th. So far, the public has been responding positively to the proposed changes put forward in this Referendum, with very little opposition emerging. So what is essential at this point is that everyone recognises how important it is to vote. We want this Referendum to pass, and to pass convincingly, to show we are serious about vindicating and protecting the rights of our children.

“A Yes vote on Saturday, November 10th will help to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect, and it will help to support families by underpinning early intervention. It will also address shortfalls in our adoption law, ensuring all children can be treated equally in adoption. I commend DSI for producing this easy to read guide, and for encouraging their members to vote. Political decisions affect us all; so I would encourage everyone to get informed before you cast your vote on Saturday, November 10th.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Action on securing financial redress for pyrite homeowners welcome

Fine Gael Meath East Deputy, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the action taken by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, to ensure that financial redress is secured for the owners of the homes that have been affected by Pyrite.

“Minister Hogan has given the stakeholders involved in the pyrite scandal, that has devastated countless homeowners across the country, ten days to provide a solution which will see financial redress being awarded to the homeowners affected.

“The Minister has given those at the centre of this controversy every chance to bring things to a satisfactory conclusion. By clearly stating that he will impose a levy to deal with the financial fall-out of the situation if the relevant stakeholders do not come together and get things sorted, the Minister is putting the onus on the stakeholder to work things out. And fast.

“The stakeholders, including the developers and quarry owners, have been dragging their feet on this issue for too long now. This comes at the expense of the homeowners, many of whom paid over inflated prices for their houses, buying as they did during the boom.

“It is time to let people get back on with their lives. If in ten days’ time a financial solution to sourcing the necessary funds to carry out remedial works is not resolved, the Minister will take matters into his own hands by impose a levy. This will ensure that a system of redress is properly in place, with or without the agreement of stakeholders.

“Minister Hogan is currently finalising the terms of reference to establish the Resolution Board and to provide the relevant stakeholders with these details. It is in everyone’s interest to come to the table and to bring this sorry saga to an end. The people of Meath and beyond have suffered enough. If adequate redress is not forthcoming, Government sanctions to deal with the matter certainly will.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Yes vote will help bring about a culture that hears the voice of children

Speaking after the shocking story of ‘Maggie’ on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime programme this evening (Thursday), Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, said that the upcoming Children’s Referendum will help bring about a cultural change to ensure children are seen and heard.

"It is essential that we have a Constitution and a culture that hears the voice of children. This Referendum is a key opportunity for Irish people to come out and make a statement in support of children; children who have been abused and children who have been ignored.


"If we vote Yes to this Referendum, we will be making a clear statement that children have Constitutional rights that must be vindicated by the State. A Constitutional change of this nature would be a clear direction to legislators, the judiciary and everyone who works with children on behalf of the state that we must protect and cherish children in Ireland.


“This Referendum alone will not address all of the issues affecting children, and it is just one part of the Government’s Programme for Change for Children. But the provisions set out in the Referendum will help to support families, ensure the safety and welfare of children at risk and ensure child protection services can respond proportionately to child protection concerns.

“For too long, children have gone unheard in this country. We can change this on Saturday November 10th. I am urging people to make sure they come out and vote.”

Fuel poverty and disconnections

Fuel poverty and disconnections were raised in the course of two topical debates, one on fuel allowances (Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th September 2012, 70-72) and the second on ESB disconnections policy (25th September, 61-4). First, Aengus O Snodaigh (SF, Dublin SC) raised the delay to 8th October of the fuel allowance for number of claimants. Already that year, the fuel allowance had been cut 16% in value and the season by six weeks, a cumulative cut of 35%, with electricity and gas allowances cut 25% and 20%. This was a huge cut to a pensioner who lived in poverty – the fact that they got an allowance at all meant that they had been means tested as living in poverty.

This was a huge amount of money for people who did not have disposable money to make up the shortfall and moreover, the Commission for Energy Regulation had just approved a hike in electricity and gas prices on top of these cuts. He asked the minister to reverse this delay, which affected up to 60,000 people.



Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley, told him that 400,000 customers received the allowance at a cost of €214.3m in 2012. What had happened here was that there was an unfortunate erroneous payment, for which he apologized, of one week to jobseeker allowance claimants in April, €20 a client at an overall cost of €1.2m. The department was obliged to recover all overpayments and was doing this by delaying the fuel allowance for this group by one week.



Aengus O Snodaigh told him that his constituents would tell the minister exactly where to shove his apology. It was getting colder and this was about pensioners who did not have the additional €20. People would have planned on having that €20 to pay for fuel. In addition, 120,000 gas and 83,000 electricity consumers were in arrears and that was the scale of fuel poverty and people’s inability to pay.



Regina Doherty (FG, Meath E) raised what she called the ‘shocking statistics’ of disconnections. Last year, 11,733 customers had their electricity cut off, 81% being families. 70,000 customers were more than 60 days in arrears. ESB Networks had told her that on average 300 families in Dublin were being disconnected. To get back on, they had to pay €89 for disconnection and €89 for reconnection. What directives should the minister put in place to show more compassion to struggling families who were being cut off in far too high numbers? she asked. In Britain, energy suppliers were obliged to offer some social energy tariff to give discounted electricity bills to customers in need. The government should step in to ensure that no one was cut off because of a genuine inability to pay. Cutting off energy to families genuinely trying to meet their commitments should not be an option. Pay-as-you-go meters were not available to those already in trouble. Bord Gais had just appointed 90 new debt collectors: we were focussing our energy on the wrong places and we needed to be more compassionate.



Responding, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte expressed his concern about any level of disconnection. The code of practice holds that if consumers install a pay-as-you-go meter or if they enter a payment plan, they will not be disconnected. The meters were available, but we needed to improve the rate of take-up. As for the costs of disconnection and reconnection, instead of the consumer bearing the full cost, these were now shared equally. The regulator was consulting with groups such as MABS and the Society of St Vincent de Paul on the challenges of so-called debt-hopping. In October last year, the regulator introduced a process of debt flagging to address arrears in an upfront manner so as to prevent further debt and reconnection and the pay-as-you-go system was being rolled out throughout the country.



Regina Doherty questioned whether the code of practice was actually working, granted that 300 families were being cut off in Dublin every week, which seemed to be suggesting that 300 families chose to be cut off rather than use a meter. This made no sense. She suggested that it was not working. She asked were they genuinely offered meters or the opportunity to pay their debt over a longer period. Would the government ask the regulator to reconsider the figure of €89 for the luxury of being cut off and the €89 charge to have it restored? It was outrageous for those already in considerable distress. There was no family in the country having its electricity turned off that was not in distress. The minister told her that the supply company was supposed to offer such a person the option of a meter rather than disconnection.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tattersalls Ireland presents Drive in Movies at Halloween Horror nights

Haunted stables, live actors, Halloween props, grave yards, spooky characters, and a spine chilling selection of classic horror movies
Meath’s newest Halloween haunt, Halloween Horror Nights, drives in to action from October 25th at one of Ireland’s premier country house locations, Tattersalls Country House, Ratoath, Co. Meath.

Guaranteed to scare even the most dedicated Trick-or-Treaters, Halloween Horror Nights promises a truly frightening experience for people of all ages.
Get to grips with Hollywood’s iconic horror movies, while sitting in the comfort of your own car at Drive-In Movies. Park yourself in the best seats of the house for just €20 per car, and hand pick your fright factor with 2 screenings per night to choose from. Wrapping yourself in the sights and sounds of this spooky spectacle, tune the movie audio broadcast on a special radio frequency to drown out the cries of other cinema-goers!
Offering frighteningly good food and some spine tingling scares, the Halloween Horror nights haunted stables is set to be a favourite Halloween destination this October. As darkness falls, witness the Haunted Stables waken the dead with live actors, festoon lighting and spooky happenings to keep you on your toes!
But it’s not just for all you horror addicts; weekend daytime screenings offer a great family day out with family favourite movies on show- all in the unique setting of Tattersalls Country House.
So if you’re looking to get all your scares under your car roof, Drive in Movies at Halloween Horror nights, Tattersalls Country House, Ratoath Co. Meath is the place for you. But Lock your car doors, one of our spooky characters may just want to sit on your back seat!
Tickets are available from the Tattersalls House on 01-8864300 or visit www.tattersalls.ie/movies for more information.
Are you brave enough to Drive-in with us this Halloween?

Monday, October 15, 2012

New drug deal worth €400 million over three years

The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has today (15th October, 2012) announced that intensive negotiations involving the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), the HSE and the Department of Health have reached a successful conclusion with a major new deal on the cost of drugs in the State. The deal is an important step in reducing the cost base of the health system.
The new deal, with a value in excess of €400 million over the next three years, will mean

Ø
significant reductions for patients in the cost of drugs,
Ø
a lowering of the drugs bill to the State,
Ø
greater access to new cutting-edge drugs for certain conditions, and
Ø
an easing of financial pressure on the health services into the future.

The deal is beneficial in two broad ways,

Ø
about half the financial value is related to reductions in the cost of patent and off-patent drugs
Ø
the other half is related to the State securing the provision of new and innovative drugs for the duration of the agreement in an exceptionally difficult economic climate.
Dr Reilly congratulated all parties to the complicated, protracted negotiations for concluding a deal of such benefit to patients and the health services and he said “given the scale of the financial challenges in Health over the next few years, this agreement is vital progress after much hard work”.


The new deal, combined with the IPHA agreement reached earlier this year, means that €16 million in drug savings will be made this year with much greater savings to be achieved in 2013/14/15. It is estimated that the deal will generate savings of up to €116m gross in 2013.


Alex White, Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care has welcomed the deal. “The current cost of drugs in our health system at over €2bn per year represents a major challenge to the State. However the value of life-saving life-enhancing drugs to patients is incalculable. This importance of this new deal to the State and to patients alike will be felt well into the future”.


This landmark deal comes as legislation aimed at reducing the cost of generic drugs makes its way through the Oireachtas. The Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012, which will introduce a system of reference pricing and generic substitution, is a priority for the Government. The Minister expects that this Bill will be enacted before the end of the year and will deliver further savings in the costs of medicines for the health service and private patient.


The Department and the HSE will shortly finalise discussions with the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Ireland, which represents the generic drugs industry, to deliver further savings in the cost of generic drugs.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ratoath BMX Halloween fancy dress

Meath County Development Plan 2007-2013


Meath County Council has commenced the review of the Meath County Development Plan 2007-2013 and preparation of a new County Development Plan. For further information on the review process, please click on the following link to view the project website: Meath County Development Plan 2013 - 2019

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Doherty welcomes commitment on delivery of national bowel cancer screening programme

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, that the national bowel cancer screening programme will be introduced on a phased basis from the end of this year. Deputy Doherty raised the issue in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister.

“Bowel cancer poses a significant threat to public health and accounts for almost 1,000 deaths in Ireland every year. The introduction of a national screening programme will help with early detection, and in some cases will help to prevent the cancer from developing in the first place. In other words, it will save lives and should reduce pressures on our hospital system.

“The national screening programme has been delayed on a number of occasions, but I am glad to receive confirmation from the Minister for Health that roll-out will begin in the final quarter of this year, delivering on a Government commitment to introduce bowel cancer screening in 2012. Screening for bowel cancer has proven to be effective on two fronts; it provides early detection and therefore earlier and more effective treatment, and it helps to prevent cancer in the first place by detecting pre-cancerous growths such as polyps.

“It is planned that under the programme, free screening will be offered to men and women aged 55-74 every two years. Fifty per cent of cancers within this age group are found in people aged 60-69, so the programme will focus on this age group first. This accounts for about half a million people. The programme will also be the first to include screening for men.

“Fifteen candidate colonoscopy units have been identified around the country to support the screening programme and an academic partner has been identified to provide training to clinical nurse specialists.
I understand that planning is also well underway within the HSE’s National Cancer Screening Service to ensure the right services are in place to support the introduction and expansion of the screening programme.

“Minister Reilly should be commended for successfully delivering on this programme, despite severe cutbacks to the health service. Early detection and prevention are vital tools in our fight against cancer. I am confident that this new screening programme will lead to a reduction in cases of bowel cancer and an increase in survival rates over the coming years.”

Friday, October 05, 2012

Tolls on N2 would only worsen traffic problems in local villages

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) said that tolls must not be introduced on the N2 as they would only lead to an increase in HGVs passing through small towns and villages, such as Curragha, Ratoath and Ashbourne.

Deputy Doherty was speaking after the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, issued the National Roads Authority (NRA) with a report outlining a number of alternatives to the Slane bypass.

“Since the proposed Slane bypass was refused permission by An Bord Pleanála earlier this year, local residents have been left in limbo and continue to suffer as a result of the huge volume of trucks and lorries that pass through the village every day. The status quo is putting lives at risk, and it is essential that a long term solution is found that doesn’t just force Slane’s problems onto other villages in Meath.

“The NRA is now considering three options; covering the cost of M1 tolls for HGVs, tolling the N2 at Slane or Ashbourne or implementing the Traffic Management Plan for the village, the final draft of which lies with Meath County Council.

“Surely the most feasible option – and the only option in my view - is for Meath County Council to immediately implement the Traffic Management Plan. Tolling the N2 would be a disaster for the residents of other villages in Meath which will suffer as a result. We all know that installing tolls on the road would simply push more toll-dodging HGVs into Ratoath, Ashbourne and Curragha.

“Lives are already being put at risk in Slane and the quality of life of residents is being negatively impacted due to HGV traffic. We need to get HGVs off the N2 and out of Slane, rather than charging them to use the road and creating problems elsewhere.

“A sustainable alternative to the bypass that will prevent accidents and improve the lives of those living in Slane and elsewhere must be adopted. Meath County Council must liaise with the NRA to ensure the best solution becomes a reality by implementing the Traffic Management Plan without delay.”

AIB must explain what it did with taxpayers’ money

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) welcomed the decision from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to seek an explanation on how AIB has used the billions of euro in taxpayers’ money, which they received specifically to support distressed mortgage holders.

“This week, AIB raised their variable mortgage interest rate in an attempt to become commercially viable again. This move takes no account of the thousands of people who are barley managing to make ends meet, and in reality it will push more and more people into arrears. There is a distinct lack of clarity around the money given to AIB, by the taxpayer, to assist distressed mortgage holders. These families and individuals deserve an explanation. Where is that money, was it used to assist distressed mortgage holders, and if so, how many were helped and by how much?

“The PAC agreed today to write to the Department of Finance requesting a full breakdown on how this money was spent and whether or not the full amount has been used to help distressed mortgage holders.

“I look forward to a comprehensive response to these issues being given to the Public Accounts Committee. We need clarity and transparency on this issue."

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Let's get in gear for The Gathering

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) called on communities across Co. Meath to start getting ready for The Gathering, the nationwide tourism initiative that is aiming to attract 325,000 extra visitors to Ireland next year.

“We’ve just three months left in the year, so now is the time for communities and organisations across Co. Meath to get in gear for The Gathering. It will be the biggest tourism event ever planned for Ireland and it will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our communities and attract as many visitors as possible.

“The Minister for Tranport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, has been busy in recent months promoting The Gathering overseas. Just last week, Minister Varadkar was on a whistle-stop trip of four cities in the United States to drum up interest in all of the events that will be taking place here next year.

“The US and Canada are two of Ireland’s most important tourism markets, and were worth a combined €696 million to the Irish economy in 2011. There were more than a million trips to Ireland from the US and Canada last year. I believe that through The Gathering we can boost this number even further, and there’s every reason for Meath to benefit.

“The importance of the British market should not be underestimated. The UK is the single most important market for tourism here. Last year, 45% of all visitors to Ireland were from Britain. A major focus of The Gathering is to encourage our diaspora to come back home. So let’s reach out to our families and friends in the UK and further afield and encourage them to take a trip back home.

“There will be a large number of festivals running through next year. But The Gathering isn’t just about big events; it’s also about communities coming together and holding their own gigs. Whether it’s through your local sports club or community organisation, I’m encouraging people in towns and villages across Co. Meath to get involved.

“Tourism has a hugely positive impact on our economy. The tourism sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. An increase in visitors will help small local cafes and family run hotels, as well as major visitor attractions. In other words, we all stand to benefit from making The Gathering a major success.”

Minister Frances Fitzgerald T.D. launches information website for Children’s Referendum

Public urged to read Referendum wording and guide at www.childrensreferendum.ie


The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D. today launched www.childrensreferendum.ie, which is the dedicated information website for the Children’s Referendum.
Minster Fitzgerald was joined by children to officially launch the website at an event in Merrion Square, Dublin.

The website, which has been developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, is provided in both Irish-language and English-language versions. The website includes the Referendum wording as well as a guide to the proposed changes, factsheets on topics such as adoption and foster care and answers to frequently asked questions about the Referendum.

At the launch, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “The debate on this Referendum must not belong solely to constitutional lawyers or politicians. This is a debate for all of us.  That is why the Government has committed to running a major information campaign for the Referendum which includes this website www.childrensreferendum.ie as well as the distribution of an information booklet to every home in the state”.
The website launch took place the day after the Thirty-first Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012 completed all stages of debate in the Oireachtas, with the full support of TDs and Senators.

Commenting on the wording agreed by the Oireachtas, Minster Fitzgerald stated:  “I would encourage everybody to read the wording on the information website www.childrensreferendum.ie. If you do, you will see that it is very clear in its objective. It’s about treating all children equally, in particular by removing inequalities in adoption. It’s about protecting children from abuse and neglect. It’s about supporting families; and it’s about recognising children in their own right”

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Microfinance Scheme will help Meath businesses succeed

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) said the new Microfinance Scheme, launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will help small businesses in Meath to succeed. The Scheme, which is open for business, will provide funding to businesses who have been refused credit by the banks. 

“The Government recognises that access to credit remains one of the biggest challenges facing small and medium businesses. Without sufficient access to credit, growth potential is stifled and in some cases businesses are forced to close. The Microfinance Fund is the latest initiative from Government to tackle this problem. 


“Any business or sole trader employing up to ten people and with a turnover of less than €2 million who have been refused by the banks for loans of up to €25,000 can apply to the Scheme. It is expected to lend over €90 million over its ten-year timeframe, supporting 5,500 small businesses and creating up to 7,700 jobs. 


“Small businesses are a vital source of local jobs, and helping and supporting this sector will be essential in tackling our unemployment crisis. Through the Microfinance Scheme we are directly targeting small businesses and traders who want to grow their business and create jobs, but who are struggling to do so due to a lack of credit. 


“The Microfinance Scheme will help existing businesses succeed and it will help start-ups to get off the ground. If we want entrepreneurs and business leaders to play a pivotal role in our recovery, we must ensure the right supports are in place. This new Scheme will provide loans primarily to newly established and growing microenterprises across all industry sectors. This is a significant change, as previous enterprise supports have been focused on the exporting sectors. 


“The first port of call for anyone interested in the new Scheme should be their local County Enterprise Board, which can help applicants put business cases together. The Scheme is being run by Microfinance Ireland, and further details can be found at 
www.microfinanceireland.ie.

“Through the Microfinance Scheme, and a range of other supports introduced under the Action Plan for Jobs including the Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and the Innovation Fund, the Government is committed to giving viable businesses the support they need to succeed and create jobs.” 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Annual Children’s Book Festival will be launched at a public event in Ashbourne Library on Saturday 6th October by author Eoin Colfer


The annual Children’s Book Festival takes place this October and is organised by Meath County Council’s Library Service.  All through October school children will visit Meath Libraries to see authors, illustrators, storytellers, and take part in drama and circus workshops throughout the county.
The festival will be launched at a public event in Ashbourne Library on Saturday 6th October by author Eoin Colfer
Download our full brochure from the link below, for details on all events.

The Children’s Referendum will take place on Saturday 10th November 2012 - Supplement Register of Electors 2012/2013


Important Notice 
Supplement Register of Electors 2012/2013
The Children’s Referendum will take place on Saturday 10th November 2012.  You must be an Irish citizen, ordinarily resident in the constituency, and 18 years or over on polling day to vote in the referendum. All electors are advised to check the current Register to ensure that they are registered to vote.  If you are not on this Register and you wish to vote in the forthcoming Referendum, you need to apply to Meath Co. Council to be included in the Supplement Register of Electors 2012/2013.
Completed forms for entry on the Supplement Register of Electors should be submitted to Corporate Services, Meath County Council, Co Hall, Railway Street, Navan, immediately, or no later than close of business on Tuesday 23rd October 2012.

The 2012/2013 Register of Electors may be viewed at:
Application forms for entry on the Supplement Register of Electors are available at the above locations.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Health Committee calls for ‘Sale of Alcohol’ Bill to be brought forward


The Joint Committee on Health and Children today called on the Government to bring the ‘Sale of Alcohol’ bill before the Oireachtas as quickly as possible.

There was unanimous cross-party support for the motion moved by Deputy Robert Dowds.

Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “The motion was timely, not only because this is a day being hijacked as a marketing gimmick by a major drinks company, but also given the important body of work done in this area by former Minister of State Roisín Shortall. Members of the Committee from all parties paid tribute to Deputy Shortall’s achievements and commitment during her relatively short time in the Department of Health and wished her well for the future.”
 Committee Membership:

Deputies

Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael
Catherine Byrne, Fine Gael 
Michael Colreavy, Sinn Fein 
Ciara Conway, Labour Party 
Regina Doherty, Fine Gael 
Robert Dowds, Labour Party 
Peter Fitzpatrick, Fine Gael 
Seamus Healy, Independent 
Derek Keating, Fine Gael 
Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil 
Eamonn Maloney, Labour Party
Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fail 
Mattie McGrath, Independent 
Denis Naughten, Independent
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Fein 

Senators

Colm Burke, Fine Gael 
John Crown, Independent
David Cullinane, Sine Fein 
John Gilroy, Labour Party 
Imelda Henry, Fine Gael 
Marc Mac Sharry, Fine Fail 
Jillian Van Turnhout, Independent