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 →

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who has returned me as a member of the 32nd Dáil. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, everyone who campaigned for me, to my family, my workplace, my council colleagues and everyone who made it possible for me to represent you in our national parliament.  I’m absolutely delighted to have received 7,461 first preference votes on the first count which won me the second seat in the constituency. Thanks so much everyone for all the support shown, I’m honoured and thrilled. Thursday March 3rd was my first day of official duty in Dáil Éireann and I look forward to representing Kildare North with pride, industry and dedication.

“Action Plan for Jobs” Ignores Long Terms Problems in Economy

James Lawless Ard Fheis 300 x 300Earlier this week we witnessed the Government (re)announce their much lauded “Action Plan for Jobs” in Naas, Co. Kildare. While on the face of it we’re made to believe that this is something we should be grateful for, once you start to examine the detail of the plan you can see that it lacks long term vision for the economy and it is very poor deal for local small and medium sized businesses. In fact, many independent commentators have criticised the plan for having very little detail on specifics at all. The bulk of the Government’s economic policy has been geared towards attracting multi-national corporates (who are now currently under fire for paying very little tax).
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Kildare Bottom of the Table on IDA Visits

idaRecent figures I obtained have revealed Kildare has some of the lowest numbers of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits​ over the last four years. The IDA visits, which can le​a​d to direct investment and employment opportunities in the ​county, have been severely lacking in Kildare since the current government took office. I have highlighted the lack of strong representation from the incumbent Kildare government T​.​D​.​’s on this issue for some time. Kildare has only received five IDA visits over the past four years. For ​the fourth largest​ county ​in Ireland ​with a sufficient motorway links, infrastructure, and a willing workforce it is disappointing more visits have not been made.

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Submission on Maighne Wind Farm


Submission receipt from An Bord Pleanalá

Yesterday was the closing date for submissions on the Maighne Wind Farm. The proposal here is for 47 x 167m tall turbines  dotted right across the rural landscape from south Meath across North West Kildare. I attended many of the meetings organised on this and listened to community concerns. I also met with Weston Aerodrome last week and was alarmed to discover they had not even been notified, despite the impact on light aircraft in the vicinity. Following our meeting they are also lodging a serious submission. I have inspected turbines up close at Mount Lucas and elsewhere and dealt with a wind turbine planning application before in Eadestown last year. In short I think they are over-rated in terms of energy production and under-regulated in terms of design and operation. There is a place for them as part of a wider energy package and in clustered locations well away from housing, but dotted across a scenic rural landscape in close proximity to houses and natural amenity all the way around is not it.

My submission re Maighne Wind Farm was made to An Bord Pleanála yesterday, and is as below: Continue Reading →