150 New Jobs for Naas via Dawn Farms

I was delighted to be present at Dawn Farms this morning for the announcement of 150 new jobs in the food innovation sector. I know the Queally family well and many other local people involved in the operation.

I had a very positive discussion with Julie Cinnamon of Enterprise Ireland whom I deal with in my role as Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Innovation and of course the Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor. The company are to be congratulated for their success and hard work in taking this enterprise from 8 employees in the early 80s to over 1,000 employed with them today.

The investment in R&D capability is very welcome and is the kind of sustainable jobs that will help keep Ireland competitive despite changing trends in the international economy. This is also a very welcome piece of good news for Naas town and surrounds and hopefully will help to grow confidence in the area and general business environment

Kildare’s Small Firms Making Big Waves in Business

With Fiona Craul & Susan Dempsey of Sweetspot Sourcing (Naas), and Sue O'Neill (Sallins) of the Small Firms Assoication.

With Fiona Craul & Susan Dempsey of Sweetspot Sourcing (Naas), and Sue O’Neill (Sallins) of the Small Firms Assoication.

As Fianna Fáil Technology spokesperson I met with a number of Kildare firms in the RDS this week inculding Ventac, Sweetspot Sourcing and Sea Change who were all showcasing their businesses with the Small Firms Association.

It is very encouraging to see such talented businesses all based in Kildare, including two from Naas. These businesses are all models of innovation, entrepreneurship and making things happen. It was a pleasure to listen to them and take away their ideas for any further policy initiatives.

I was delighted to speak with Fiona Craul and Susan Dempsey of Sweetspot Sourcing, a manufacturing company. With offices in Naas & China their business is a shining example of the success small firms in Kildare can have. Continue Reading →

BT Young Scientist

15895193_10154727764261047_8746479730821990537_nGreat day at the Young Scientist exhibition with Micheál Martin. Saw lots of great projects from Kildare schools including St. Mary’s Naas, St. Wolstans Celbridge, Scoil Mhuire Clane, Maynooth Education Campus and Gaelcholaiste Cill Dara. Some inspiring exhibits from around the country and all the key teaching, STEM and science agencies present including the Institute of Physics (where I bumped into a former lecturer of mine!). It’s a great exhibition with a great history and really showcases the talent in our schools.

EU Conference on Energy, Security and Union

14671169_10154417252951047_8736232268506444956_nI spent the weekend at the EU conference on energy security and union in Copenhagen.

As part of my role on the Oireachtas committee on energy and climate change, it is vital to understand what is being done elsewhere and how they have transitioned off fossil fuels and become more energy efficient. “The most efficient energy is the one we don’t use” and reducing consumption is one step we can take.

Lots of progressive ideas from across Europe which highlighted how much we could do without even making wholesale changes. Just one example is the amount of heat lost from all our factories out into the ether, which could be easily captured and harnessed with no extra outputs.

Continue Reading →