Lack of Progress on CAMHS Waiting Lists in Kildare

The waiting lists being experienced by patients trying to access the Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Kildare has been criticised. Information released to me following a Parliamentary Question revealed that the average wait time for a non urgent routine appointment is anywhere between 3 and 6 months.

This can sometimes be longer depending on the demand for emergency or urgent appointments. This is despite an extra CAMHS community team being established in the Kildare area since 2017 to deal with population growth.

The continuing difficulties with the CAMHS service represent a real failure by the Government and the HSE to get to grips with the problem. Nationally the service has scarcely over half the required staff and until that is resolved, long waiting lists will remain.

It is frustrating that mental health services for children in Kildare are making little to no progress. Time is of the essence when dealing with vulnerable young people and they are being failed by a Government which has shown an inability to make the necessary improvements to youth mental health services.

Meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

I had the opportunity to meet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his visit to Dublin. I discussed my Online Advertising and Social Media Transparency Bill to address electoral integrity issues as well as how to moderate harmful content to make the internet a safer place.

Facebook have recently introduced new regulations seeking to provide greater transparency in political advertising, which is welcome in the run up to the EU elections but myself and Mr Zuckerberg agreed that Governments need to set the agenda here.

I also raised my concerns in relation to Facebook’s recent appeal against their fine in the UK for data breaches and the 1.5 billion data sets which left Ireland on the eve of the GDPR. It was a very useful exchange which I hope to continue when attending the international parliamentary committee on disinformation in Canada in May.

Eircode process must be sped up for new homes

I have called on the Government to instruct their providers to speed up the issuing of Eircodes to new homes. I am aware of some residents who have put effort into building a new home only to have to wait months before being active on the Eircode system. This delay has concerning consequences for the home owner.

The time it takes to be issued with a new Eircode means they are months without access to telephone lines or broadband services. More concerning is in the event an ambulance or other emergency services are needed to the home there is no identifying code to be provided. 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.