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Colreavy: Give broadband blackspots investment priority

‘Essential areas that have poorest level of broadband coverage receive priority in roll out of high speed broadband’

Sligo News File Online.

Michael Colreavy, TD,  Sinn Fein
Michael Colreavy, TD,
Sinn Fein

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has called for internet blackspots to be “prioritised in the mapping process.”

Speaking on the issue, he said:

“Sinn Féin representatives from around the country have made representations to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources as part of the broadband mapping programme initiated last year.

Public consultation is essential in determining what areas are most in need of government intervention, he said.

“The Minister should strongly consider a means of developing a forum where he can receive communication from the public on the level of their broadband access.

 “It is essential that areas that have the poorest level of broadband coverage receive priority in the roll out of high speed broadband throughout the country.

“The publication of the broadband map on where the state must intervene is a positive step.

“Quality, high speed, broadband is essential for almost every facet of modern life.

“In order to develop a sustainable economy, especially in rural areas, access to high speed broadband is needed.

The Minister, he said, “should focus his attention on areas with the poorest broadband coverage for priority attention and investment.”

Fianna Fail plugging hard for success of Coalition’s same sex marriage referendum.

Collins to hold public meetings ’round the country.

Sligo News File Online.

Niall Collins TD, Fianna Fail.
Niall Collins TD,
Fianna Fail.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Niall Collins has said his party ‘will actively participate and campaign’ for the passage of the Coalition referendum on same sex marriage.

The announcement comes three months after Pope Francis told an interreligious conference on traditional marriage that preserving the family as an institution based on marriage between a man and a woman is not a political cause but a matter of “human ecology,” since “children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”

In a statement, Collins has said he will be holding a number of public meetings around the country to facilitate debate and discussion on ‘the question people are being asked to vote on.

‘The Government has created a difficult backdrop in which the referendum is being held but there is an extremely important message of progress and equality that those on the yes side support and encourage.’

Collins has also called for the referendum to be held in May ‘to limit the impact on turnout from students and to avoid clashing with exams as much as possible…’

 

Too old to be counted: Toibin.

‘Almost 8,000 over 65s on jobseekers allowance excluded from live register figures’

Sligo News File Online.

Peader Toibin TD, Sinn Fein.
Peader Toibin TD,
Sinn Fein.

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has criticised the Government for excluding 7,550 unemployed persons aged 65 or over in receipt of a jobseekers payment or credit from the live register figures.

 The Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson said:

“It will come as news to many people that there are 7,550 people aged 65 or over who are unemployed, not in receipt of a state pension but are excluded from the live register figures.

“This is a significant figure. To put it into context these jobseekers make up 12% of the net new jobs created by this government over the last 4 years.

“There are currently 2,373 people aged 65 or over in receipt of jobseekers allowance, 2,365 on jobseekers benefit and a further 2,812 with a jobseekers benefit credit only, increasing the numbers on the live register to 367,750.

“The exclusion of those who are unemployed and aged 65 or over is wrong on two fronts.

“Massaging the live register figures is not helpful to those tasked with developing the necessary policies to address the state’s high rate of unemployment, and excluding this particular age group of citizens tells them they are just too old to be counted.

“Fine Gael and Labour have increased the working life of citizens yet it appears they are not really interested in the outworking of this decision.”

ICSA objects to proposed Dublin-Galway greenway.

‘Route neither the most efficient nor the most scenic.’

Sligo News File Online.

Pat Loughnane, Chairman, Galway ICSA
Pat Loughnane,
Chairman,
Galway ICSA

ICSA Galway chairman Pat Loughnane has said that the route of the proposed Dublin-Galway Greenway is not acceptable to Galway farmers.

“The proposed route is neither the most efficient nor the most scenic. If the plan is to get tourists to Galway quickly, the most straightforward route would be to follow the old N6. Alternatively, if the focus is to be on scenery, then the route should include part of the river Shannon and the NHA bogs in Galway, a far more scenic path than what is currently proposed,” said Mr. Loughnane.

“Farmers have raised a number of major issues with the proposed development, and so far, these seem to have fallen on deaf ears. This is a typical example of top-down, bureaucratic decision making and there has been a serious lack of consultation with some of the main stakeholders in this project.”

“Let me state quite categorically that compulsory purchase orders are completely unacceptable to farmers and will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Nothing can compensate for the potential damage to farm businesses, and why should farmers have to suffer the negative consequences of a project like this?”

“We have already seen a situation where Fingal County Council has had to install gates to prevent the dangerous misuse of the stretch of the Greenway which comes under its jurisdiction, which does nothing to ease farmers’ concerns,” he continued. “What guarantees
do our members have that their livelihoods will not be negatively affected by this proposed project?”

“While the Greenway might prove to be beneficial to the towns along the route, it is vital that farmers are brought on board and their concerns must be heard and heeded.”

 

 

Heightened prospect of funding for Rosses Point erosion containment following visit of minister.

Harris to work closely with Sligo County Council on the issue.

Sligo News File Online.

Simon Harris TD, Minister of State, Department of Finance.
Simon Harris TD,
Minister of State,
Department of Finance.

The prospect of major funding to combat coastal erosion
at Rosses Point has been bolstered following the visit
of Minister for Public Works, Simon Harris to the area
earlier today.

During the visit, which was arranged by Fine Gael
constituency TD, Tony McLoughlin, the Minister met with a delegation of chamber of commerce and local Sligo business interests, as well as councillors and TDs.

Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.
Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.

Coastal erosion is affecting essential amenities of the
area, including the Sligo Golf Club, which, with the beach,
is pivitol to the economy of the region.

The Minister has indicated that he proposes to work closely with Sligo County Council in seeking to resolve the issues and provide funding for remedial works.

Deputy McLoughlin earlier this week also succeeded in securing government funding of €50,000 towards the Yeats 150 Festival and has also been instrumental in procuring investment in industrial infrastructure which the IDA has said could yield upwards of 200 jobs for Sligo.

 

O’Cuiv says Dáil debate on dairy crisis long overdue.

‘Debate coming too late as farmers facing super levy fine of up to €100 million in April’

Sligo News File Online.

Eamon O'Cuiv, TD, Fianna Fail.
Eamon O’Cuiv, TD,
Fianna Fail.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Community Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív TD has said that the government’s decision to hold a debate on March 5th to discuss the ongoing dairy crisis engulfing Irish farmers is long overdue.

However Deputy Ó Cuív has said “the debate is coming too late as farmers are facing a super levy fine of up to €100 million on 1st April 2015.

Speaking on the matter Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “The government’s decision to hold a debate on the dairy crisis is long overdue. However Irish dairy farmers are already at crisis point due to the €100 million super levy that is due to be imposed on them. Minister Coveney has displayed a total inability to get any reduction of this fine despite calls from across the farming sector to do so. It is staggering to think that Irish farmers face such a crippling levy despite the fact that the total quota for across Europe is way under target.

“Since coming to office Minister Coveney has been encouraging Irish farmers to increase production and invest heavily in dairy production. Throughout last year I warned the Minister of the consequences that would occur if people got involved in high cost expansions on borrowed money. Unfortunately the Minister was bullish in his certainty that milk prices would remain high and he insisted that there were no downside risks to his plans.

“Unfortunately the concerns that I raised have materialised sooner than I expected. The collapse in milk prices means that it is even more imperative that dairy farmers are spared the imposition of a €100 million super levy on valuable milk production. I call on the Minister to act decisively to ensure that this fine does not come to pass” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

Dunnes Stores approach to staff concerns ‘disappoints’ Mayo TD

‘No reason why the situation … needs to descend into a full blown crisis threatening jobs’

Sligo News File Online. 

Mayo Fianna Fail TD, Dara Calleary has said he’s disappointed
Dunnes Stores is unwilling to engage with workers in an effort to
resolve a dispute over pay and contracts.

He said “The rights of Dunnes Stores as a company is not in question here but there is a recommendation from the Labour Court that both sides in this dispute work together to resolve their differences and I believe that recommendation should be respected.

“The Labour Court is a cornerstone in our industrial relations machinery and has been hugely effective in resolving disputes similar to this in a satisfactory manner.  Its experience should be respected and utilised in order to avoid the relations between management and its workforce further deteriorating.

“There is no reason why the situation at Dunnes Stores needs to descend into a full blown crisis threatening jobs.”

McLoughlin welcomes government €50,000 funding for Yeats Festival.

Grant part of €320,000 government allocation for 11 key national events.

Sligo News File Online.

Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.
Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.

Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe that Bord Failte Ireland has approved funding of €50,000 for the Yeats 2015 International Festival in Sligo.

The allocation, sanctioned under the organisation’s National Festivals and Events Programme, is part of a €320,000 government injection for 11 key national festivals and events planned for later in the year, and follows the provision last November of nearly two million euro for larger events scheduled for the first six months of
2015.

Welcoming the funding, Deputy McLoughlin said the extra provision
is welcome news for the festival organisers.

He said the allocation for the 2015 Yeats International Festival is in fact the largest of the sums announced for the 11 festivals today.

“It is great to see that as the country continues to recover, extra funding allocations such as those announced today by the Government can materialize.”

“I have no doubt that any money spent by the Government on festivals such as the Yeats International Festival will be repaid in full due to the increased revenue created by the event”, he added.