Speech on the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016

This is not my first time speaking in the House but it is my first time to speak on a Bill and it is an honour to do so. I begin by congratulating the Minister on her appointment. I am not sure if she is aware that she is a constituency neighbour of mine as the steps of Killinarden run up to the hills of Kilteel as Kildare North and Dublin South-West border each other. As such, I extend my best wishes to her on her appointment and wish her continued success in the role.

In terms of the matter before us, Fianna Fáil as an opposition party will freely oppose the Government on issues when merited but equally, as a constructive party and mindful of the minority Government framework which can only work when all sides play their part, agree on areas of common ground. Continue Reading →

Pressure ramped up on new Minister to progress Naas Community College build

I have increased pressure on the new Minister for Education to ensure the tendering process is progressed quickly for the new school build in Millennium Park, Naas. I have asked the Minister to detail the construction timeline for Naas Community College. You can read his reponse here.

It was important to put the new Minister for Education on notice. This is a vital piece of infrastructure for Naas and the wider area. Anymore delays are completely unacceptable. I asked the Minister to detail a timeline for the build.

We need to move to find a tender so construction can be built. This is the next step. I will continue to work with the school, parents, and lobby the Minister and his Department to ensure the project moves to the next stage without delay.

Kildare tourism businesses must receive additional supports in light of VAT increase

kildare-townAdditional funding allocated to the tourism sector must be targeted to support areas of the industry potentially affected by the increase in the VAT rate in Budget 19.

This increase in VAT will be devastating to those small hoteliers in Kildare. Places like Leixlip, Naas, and Johnstownbridge all have fantastically successful hotels who will see a significant increase in their tax bill. However, unlikely the surge in booked up hotel rooms in Dublin this has not extended to Kildare at the same level. The increase in VAT for hotels across the country is unwise. Continue Reading →

Double the car parking capacity for Sallins train station

Artist impression of the new car park.

Artist impression of the new car park.

270 new car park spaces are incoming for a significant extension of the car park at Sallins and Naas train station. The new car park will be located on the Sallins side of the tracks in what is known locally as the parish field.

The extension is badly needed and something I have been seeking for years including many debates with the Minister for Transport. The extension became all the more urgent after I secured an extension of the leap card zone to Sallins along with the Phoenix park tunnel allowing services direct to city centre. These improvements saw a massive increase in usage of the station. A much better service but much greater demand as a result. Continue Reading →

New timetable for Kildare line but further improvements set for December

James Lawless Sallins Train Station Nov 2013A new timetable on the Kildare line will come into use from September 10th. However, it has been confirmed that a new timetable with additional services via the Phoenix Park tunnel to Grand Canal Dock in the mornings and, crucially, in the evenings is incoming.

A new timetable is being rolled out from September 10th. You can see the changes by going onto the website and future dating your search. The changes seem fairly minor for commuters from Sallins, Naas, Celbridge, Hazelhatch but improved services are incoming. Continue Reading →

Crime Prevention Meeting in Kill

With Fianna Fáil Local Area Representative for Kill Brian Larkin

With Fianna Fáil Local Area Representative for Kill Brian Larkin

A huge credit to Kill Community Alert Group who hosted a crime prevention meeting last night.  The presentations on home security and general policing in the area were very informative. The Gardai and the local community are doing their very best with scarce resources.

I personally believe it was a mistake by the government to close over 100 stations at the stroke of a pen in 2013. Five of those stations were in the Kildare and West Wicklow area which has been left exposed since. The total savings across all 100 plus stations only amounted to 2.5 million which is a drop in the ocean of the Justice budget. Continue Reading →