Millions of euro for sports clubs – apply right away says TD, Tony McLoughlin

‘Extra €40 million for Sports Capital Programme in 2015’

Sligo News File Online

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael.
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael.

Sligo-Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin has urged Sligo sports clubs to immediately submit applications for funding under the Sports Capital programme.

“There is no time to waste!,” he said.

Speaking following the announcement by Minister for Sport, Michael Ring TD that an extra €40 million has been secured for Sports Capital Programme in 2015, Deputy McLoughlin said it is very welcome that, once again, funding under the programme “will be provided to local clubs and local organisations around the
country in the coming year.”

He said: “The new scheme will be the fourth year in which a sports capital funding scheme will have been put in place by the current Government, further underlining Fine Gael’s commitment to the development of sport and recreational activities throughout the country.

Ladies Gaelic“This is of course good news for sporting clubs and organisations in Co. Sligo, who have been a major recipient of Sports Capital Funding in the past, with almost €1.5 million being allocated to the constituency in 2014.

“Money spent on sport is money saved on healthcare down the road,” he said.

“According to the Department of Sport, 90% of Sports Capital recipients say it has helped them to increase the numbers of people involved in sport.

“The €40 million for 2015 brings to €130 million the total amount available in the Sports Capital Programme since the Government re-opened it.

Reminding sports bodies that “there is a two-step process for any club or organisation wishing to apply for this funding” he said Sligo clubs planning to apply “must register on the online system on before 5pm on Friday, 10th April 2015 (if not already registered). They must then get their applications in online before 5pm on Friday, 24th April 2015.”

Sligo Sports Pic


Higher rate of suicide amongst jobless young people – Senator Kathryn Reilly

‘Those not engaged in education, employment or training three times more likely to attempt suicide than working compatriots’

Sligo News File Online

Senator Kathryn Reilly, Sinn Fein, Cavan
Senator Kathryn Reilly,
Sinn Fein, Cavan

Sinn Féin Senator and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathryn Reilly has stated that a study recently carried in The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine highlights how governmental ineptitude and inactivity in response to the youth crisis is having a detrimental effect on the mental health of young people.  

She said:

“A recent study carried out by the College of Psychiatry of Ireland’s scientific journal The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine has outlined how young people who are not engaged in education, employment or training (NEETs) are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their working compatriots.

“The report recently released which was entitled ‘The association between economic inactivity and mental health among young people’ outlined that the study is very current in terms of the Ireland of 2015.

“The report went on to detail the worrying trend of an increase in suicide ideation among young people in the NEET category. Given that suicide ideation is among the first issues which can eventually lead to suicide attempts, it is vital that the government look at areas where cuts to services and amenities in local areas is having a negative impact on young people obtaining access to education and training services as well as employment opportunities.

“However, we should not lose sight that this is a political issue; community services have been cut under this government, young people have been the victims of ageist social welfare policies perpetrated against them, funding for educational services has been cut, and mental health funding has not been forthcoming, amongst much more.

“The easy thing to do in this instance is to pathologise young people; however, the government needs to empower these people who have a wealth of talent and vision which can contribute to a positive future for Ireland. The only way this can be done is by implementing comprehensively a function Youth Guarantee and by putting funding back into local areas for services and amenities.”

ICSA deplores lack of roundtable progress

‘Too much slippage on the commitments given.’

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA National Beef Committee Chairman, Edmond Phelan
ICSA National Beef Committee Chairman, Edmond Phelan

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan said today that he was
disappointed at the progress of the beef roundtable so far.

“At the November roundtable there was a commitment to a
full review of the QPS scheme by mid-2015 but, so far, we have heard nothing.  Also, there seems to be no urgency to set up the sub-group to look at bull beef production agreed at the January meeting.

“I am concerned that there is too much slippage on the commitments given.  A lot of the issues that caused so many problems in 2013 haven’t gone away.    Many farmers are not happy with the QPS system and the way in which it has been utilised to Irish Cattledeprive farmers of a QAS bonus.   “Farmers must have the option of being paid outside of the grid but still be eligible for the bonus where applicable . This needs to be looked at in the context of the beef roundtable talks,” concluded Mr Phelan.


Government allocates millions of euro to Sligo Leader Partnership

Local action groups will be invited to submit ideas on how funding should be spent

Sligo News File Online.

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael.
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael.

Sligo has been granted a multi-million euro funding package for Leader elements of the government’s Rural Development Programme.

The allocation, amounting to €7,655, 647.81, has been welcomed by Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin.

The fund will be used to support sustainable economic development projects for rural communities of the county ranging from tourism, agri-food and various other business activities.

Social inclusion, rural isolation as well as increasing the capacity of rural communities to participate in economic development are
key priorities the programme is designed to tackle.

Tubbercurry TrailCommenting on today’s government announcement, Deputy McLoughlin said he had seen first-hand “the brilliant work which
Chris Connolly and his team in Sligo Leader Partnership have done throughout the years in many different rural areas of County

“For those who do not know, the Leader programme is all about community led projects and it is focused on making the economic
recovery local.

“Once approval for the programme has been given the green light by the European Commission, local cction groups in the county will
be invited to submit ideas for how funding should be spent. In fact, I have already met with a number of these local groups, where funding is needed to advance their local community projects and I have arranged meetings with Sligo LEADER to begin advanced discussions in preparation for this funding announcement.” 

Waterpoint Leisure Centre

He said: “Fine Gael is committed to empowering rural Ireland, to giving the local people of County Sligo the opportunity to identify where the LEADER programme funding should go and in controlling the allocation at a local level.

“Due to the new Local Government Reform Act 2014, this money will be controlled at a local level and therefore the allocation of resources will be much more targeted, cost effective and efficient. Streamlining operations at a local level should maximise the funding available to support important projects and the local communities in the county.

“Employment is growing in every region in Ireland. We plan to continue the progress by enabling businesses to create 40,000 jobs this year and aim to restore full employment by 2018. This LEADER funding is a further commitment in our goal of securing the recovery in all areas of Ireland” concluded McLoughlin.

Sligo Innovation Centre





The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny has announced that Mayo is
to receive €11 million in Leader funding between now and 2020.

Under the programme, €350,000 is earmarked for the ongoing development of a greenway from Killala to Moyne Abbey, and
€200,000 for a project at Belleek Castle, Ballina.

Killala-based W.M. Carr & Sons has been approved for grant aid
of €82,800.














Sligo fails in bid to stage next year’s Fleadh Cheoil

Ennis selected as venue for 2016 event

Sligo News File Online

Fleadh Cheoil 2Sligo has lost out in its bid to host next year’s Fleadh Cheoil.

Three places in the race were Sligo, Ennis and Drogheda, with
Ennis emerging as the preferred location following a vote at the headquarters of Comhaltas in Dublin this afternoon.

It would have been a three in a row for Sligo had it beenFleadh Cheoil 2015
selected as the venue for the 2016 festival.

 Sligo will host the more than week long 2015 event, which will take place between the 9th and 16th of August.


The Back to Work Family Dividend edges closer, as it passes Second Stage.

‘Will help to promote the uptake of new employment’

‘Family with one child will receive additional €2,324’

Sligo News File Online

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael.
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael.

Fine Gael TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin, spoke in the Dáil this week on the Second Stage of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015.

“The new legislation, which contains provisions which are aimed at making work pay and making it more appealing for the many families who are reliant on social welfare in 2015, is due to be enacted fully by June 2015”, stated Deputy McLoughlin.

“During the debate, I spoke on the importance of its provisions which amongst other things, will help to promote the uptake of new employment, give increased support to lone parents who find work, whilst also helping to protect the Irish taxpayer from increased fraudulent social welfare claims from occurring in the future.

“The main component of the Bill, is the Back to Work Family Dividend Scheme’ which was announced first in the 2015 Budget. This scheme, is designed to assist families who are job seekers or lone parents or reliant on welfare in making the transition back to employment or into to self-employment.

“In the new scheme, over two years, a family with one child will receive additional support of €2,324 from this new scheme. Families with 2 children will receive €4,649, whilst families with 3 children will receive €6,973. If you qualify for the scheme, you will be paid the equivalent of any Increases for Qualified Children that were being paid on your jobseeker or one-parent family payment for the first year in employment. Half of that amount will be paid for the second year. You can combine time on a jobseeker’s payment with time spent on education, training or employment schemes to meet the eligibility requirements.

“I must also mention that persons getting Jobseekers or One Parent Family Allowance are also entitled to keep their current medical card for three years after they return to work. This acts as a separate incentive to job seekers to take up offers of employment
because they will not lose the safety net of having a medical card and it also ensures that people accepting jobs will have income supports during a time of transition from unemployment to work.

“I do not believe that it is acceptable, as was the case with the last Action Plan for Jobsnumber of Governments, that people were encouraged to languishing on the live register without being given real  opportunities and real supports with their attempts to find work, which will ultimately have so many benefits for their families’ lives.”



‘Income volatility in dairying carries serious risk for new generation of dairy farmers’

Sligo News File Online

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and President of the ICSA at the official opening of the new Glanbia Belview facility
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and President of the ICSA Patrick Kent at the official opening of the new Glanbia Belview facility

ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that the removal of milk quotas was undoubtedly one of the most significant moments in Irish agriculture since EU entry in 1973.  Speaking at the official opening of the Glanbia nutritional ingredients facility at Belview, Mr. Kent added that the ending of milk quotas represented a huge challenge to Irish agriculture, with opportunities emerging for many farmers but also a number of potential threats.

“The fortunes of Irish farmers have been inextricably linked to milk quotas for as long as I can remember.  Possession of a large quota generally meant prosperity for a farmer, but those with smaller quotas and those frozen out were condemned to a huge struggle to maintain viability, he said.

“ICSA was the first farm organisation to call for a freeing-up of the milk quota system almost ten years ago, when we argued that it was no longer acceptable that the sons and daughters of cattle and sheep farmers could not aspire to entering dairying.  Milk quotas represented the single greatest source of inequality in Irish
agriculture and certainly drove a whole generation of young farmers away from full time farming.

“The ending of quotas means a levelling of the playing field, which will provide opportunities for expansion and new entrants into dairying.  This will be a positive thing for many but there are also risks.  Income volatility in dairying carries a serious risk for the new generation of dairy farmers, especially those with high levels of borrowing, the ICSA president warned.

“There will also be opportunities and threats for the vast majority of farmers in the cattle and sheep sectors for whom dairying is not an option. All drystock farmers should re-examine their future plans.  We have seen how meat factories and retailers have consistently failed to deliver a viable living for cattle and sheep farmers.

“Now is the time for drystock farmers to take stock.  Should they continue with loss-making enterprises or should they look at collaborating with dairy farms through partnerships or contract rearing?  Every farmer will have to make their own assessment.

“There is also a need to consider the knock on implications for the beef sector.  What will be the impact of a few hundred thousand extra dairy bull calves coming onto the market?   If the suckler herd remains constant then there is a risk that the extra dairy calves will cause beef price collapse, unless they are all exported to veal
units on the continent. Expanding dairy farms are already having a huge impact on the land rental market in some areas and prices being paid are economically insane in cases,” concluded Mr Kent.  

Film role wins critical acclaim for North Sligo’s Aileen Henry

Scene from the Cannes Film Festival premiered Jimmy’s Hall, a film based on the life of Irish political firebrand, Jimmy Gralton, starring north Sligo-based retired farmer and trade unionist, Aileen Henry.
Aileen Henry Gralton 1

 Sligo News File Online

A fearless campaigner for rights of rural families, and one of the
leading lights in a Sligo agri organisation that vigorously challenged
the local political establishment on the contentious issue of farm water charges, Aileen, who had no previous film or stage experience, has won critical acclaim for her role as Gralton’s quiet but indomitable mother, Alice.

Written by Paul Laverty, and produced by Rebecca O’Brien, Jimmy’s
Hall was shot in Sligo and Gralton’s native Leitrim. The production
was directed by the celebrated British filmmaker Ken Loach, who
received the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2006 for the movie The Wind
That Shakes The Barley – one of his upwards of thirty cinema and
television movies and stage productions.

With Aileen, the cast includes stars of stage, screen and television:
Barry Ward (James Gralton), Simone Kirby (Oonagh), Andrew Scott
(Father Seamus), Jim Norton (Father Sheridan) and Brian F. O’Byrne

Chris MacManus landed a part as Taighe, a short speaking role.

Born in Effernagh, Gowel,  the de Valera government, in

James Gralton
James Gralton

1933, under pressure from the Catholic Church, ordered Gralton to be deported as an “undesirable alien,” the only Irish person ever expelled from their own country.  He died in New York in 1945, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetary

The film was released in late 2014.

Aileen is pictured fourth from right.