Securinh additional train times on Sallins/Naas and Hazelhatch/Celbridge routes

James Lawless Sallins Train Station Nov 2013I am delighted to confirm that increased frequency of trains will serve the Sallins/Naas and Hazelhatch/Celbridge Rail Line via the Phoenix Park tunnel into the city centre. Whilst the tunnel opening brought trains into stations like Pearse, Connolly and Grand Canal Dock, the initial service was really just based around rush hour. As a regular commuter myself I find the new service into the city centre very useful but it is frustrating that the return service in the evening falls off after about 6pm. This means commuters based in the city centre and D2/D4 work areas, have to get back across to Heuston to get the train home from a different station. Continue Reading →

Traders meeting organised by held in Naas & Maynooth regarding Rates

4281141b-ae54-4c24-92a7-aeb094595c1aI was keen to host a number of traders meeting in Naas and Maynooth following increases in rates as set out by the Valuations Office. The meeting were addressed  by Declan Lavelle of the Valuations Office, Charted Valuations Surveyor Eamonn Halpin and chaired by Allan Shine of Kildare Chamber of Commerce. In Maynooth Declan Kennedy of the Maynooth Business Association chair that meeting.

It was extremely important I organised this meeting to allow traders the opportunity to speak directly with the Valuations Office. In some cases businesses have seen their rates rise by 300%. This is clearly unmanageable for many businesses who I represent in Naas.  When this matter first broke I hosted 30 traders in my office to discuss their immediate concerns. Following on from this I decided to invite Declan Lavelle to Naas to engage with them.

Last night’s meeting consisted of Lavelle explaining the rationale behind the how the valuations office came to these decisions and most importantly, how to appeal. I would urge businesses who feel their valuation is off to appeal before the April 18th deadline. I also want to thank the contribution of Allan Shine and the Kildare Chamber of Commerce for hosting the meeting.

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

Securing Significant Savings for Train Commuters in Kilcock, Sallins and Naas

Cllr. Carmel Kelly and I at Sallins Train Station Recently.

Cllr. Carmel Kelly and I at Sallins Train Station Recently.

I am delighted that Sallins, Naas and Kilcock train stations will be moved into the ‘short hop zone’ and fares will be reduced by up to 50% following a series of meetings I held with the National Transport Authority (NTA) on the matter.

After a prolonged engagement with the NTA, including meetings in Leinster House, and sustained lobbying with both them and Irish Rail, on the disparity of train fares for commuters in Kilcock, Naas, and Sallins they now have revised the zoning model and are making significant changes for the betterment of commuters in these areas. Continue Reading →