Tús and Community Employment Scheme to be Reviewed

Raising the Tús Scheme in the Dáil

Raising the Tús Scheme in the Dáil

In the Chamber yesterday I queried the operation of Tús and Community Employment schemes. Too often a worker is willing and able to remain placed with the same institution (usually a charitable or community organisation like Tidy Towns or McAuley Place) but is forced by “job-path” to spend a year in limbo and seeking alternate work.

This sees both the organisation and the individual losing out on an arrangement that gives the the individual a job they enjoy and the organisation an extra staff member.

This all stems from changes made to the scheme last August when it was outsourced to private providers. Following my question Minister Varadakar has agreed to review the operation of the scheme.

Parnell Summer School

Parnell_SchoolI was delighted to attend the Parnell Summer School recently. At the Summer School I gave a speech on the echoes of 1916 and patriotism in the modern era. Below is a transcript of that speech.

Nationalism cannot become the sole preserve of an exclusionary, closed borders rhetoric. A positive force for national self-confidence and assertion of fraternity; a recognition that between the models of material individualism and xenophobic supremacy lies a third way.

Communitarian, egalitarian and continually evolving, true patriotism embraces diversity and recognises the nation as a state of mind and cultural connections as much as a physical entity bound by borders and barriers.

The progressive and open nationalism of the Catalans, the Scottish and indeed the Irish must be championed and distinguished from the narrow and often false flag patriotism of the new cheer leaders and charlatans of the 21st century. Continue Reading →

Broadband Coverage Increased in North West Kildare

Map of new broadband coverage in North West Kildare

Map of new broadband coverage in North West Kildare

I am delighted to unveil the coverage map of areas which will receive fibre speed broadband where previously there has been slow or inconsistent broadband coverage. Working with Imagine, we have brought the service to the north west of the county following meetings with residents and hearing their concerns around the lack of coverage in the area.

As a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, and someone who is passionate about improving our broadband services I am delighted to be able to let residents know of the service rollout which is live and taking applications now. A huge issue when I met with residents in the area was the lack of coverage in places like Newtown, Johnstownbridge, Carbury, Broadford, and Timahoe. All these areas will now have access to fibre speed broadband. As people can see from the coverage map there is now comprehensive coverage across north west Kildare.

It has been said time and again how important broadband is for the local community in terms of education and business. It is a credit to Imagine for working with me and appreciating the concern and demand from residents in the area.

Supervalu Kilcock Open For Business

James Lawless T.D. with Cllr Paul Ward at the opening of Supervalu, Kilcock.

James Lawless T.D. with Cllr Paul Ward at the opening of Supervalu, Kilcock.

I was delighted to attend the opening of the Supervalu in Kilcock this morning. This is a huge economic boost for the town with over 70 new jobs delivered to the area.

Big congratulations to all at Supervalu and to Cllr Paul Ward and former Cllr Liam Doyle who put many hours into making this happen. I look forward to continuing to work with all to progress on issues for Kilcock.

Arts and the need for a full Minister

James Lawless T.D. with Celbridge Soprano Sharon McCarthy

James Lawless T.D. with Celbridge Soprano Sharon McCarthy

This week in my Maynooth Constituency Office I met with talented Soprano Sharon McCarthy to discuss the need for a full Minister for the Arts. This is a issue Fianna Fáil have put a motion down on and raised extensively in the Dáil.

Celbridge based Soprano Sharon McCarthy explained to me her involvement with the National Campaign for the Arts and her own career as a performer. It was a fasintating discussion and many of the points will be raised in the Dáil.

If you wish to listen to some of Sharon’s work it can be found here.