Elected Vice Chair of the Communications Committee

CaptureI am very pleased to be appointed to this role, particularly given the support from colleagues from different parties and independents. During my time on the Committee we have held to account various bodies and debated some very important issues such as media ownership, climate change, and items we affect everyday life such as the price of stamps with the then incoming Chair of An Post.

One issue which is of tremendous importance is broadband. Both at a national level and locally in our homes in Kildare North. Continue Reading →

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

State Must Ratify UN Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities

I have called on the Minister for Health to ratify the UN Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities. Currently Ireland is the only European country to have not ratified the convention.

I had the pleasure of meeting a most amazing, passionate and articulate young woman last week, Niamh Herbert from Sallins, who attended the House with me to request Members of the House to advance the passing of this Bill as expeditiously as possible and, indeed, to ratify the convention. Niamh is a student in Trinity College Dublin and she represents herself, the students’ union in the college and a group called Disability and I”. Continue Reading →

Action on Vacant Properties Key to Stemming Rise in Homelessness

imageThe Government needs to prioritise refurbishing vacant units to boost the supply of available accommodation to help tackle the homeless crisis in Kildare.

The publication of latest available figures which reveal a 50% increase in the number of people who are homeless between December 2015 and December 2016. There are currently 4,643 adults registered as homeless along with 1,205 homeless families including 2,505 children.

Kildare is one of the highest county’s in the East on the list, excluding Dublin, with 107 people presenting as homeless in the week before Christmas. Continue Reading →