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Wicklow TD Watch: 20/12/2019

PAT CASEY – FIANNA FÁIL

Casey expresses sympathy on the death of Nadine Lott

Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow, Pat Casey, has expressed his deep sadness at the death of Nadine Lott, a young mother who died following a violent assault in Arklow.

He said, “My deepest sympathies go out to Nadine’s family, her child, and her wide circle of friends. The people of Arklow are horrified by this brutal assault and I know they stand in solidarity with Nadine’s family.

“Nadine’s death makes her the 6th woman to have died violently so far in 2019, the fifth to be killed in her own home.

“Her death serves as a stark reminder that every day in Ireland women are experiencing physical violence, psychological turmoil or financial abuse and in some horrific circumstances this ends in a violent death.

“I want to extend my sincerest condolences to her family again, my thoughts are with them,” he concluded.

ANDREW DOYLE – FINE GAEL

Constructive engagement with NTA on Wicklow commuter issues – Doyle

Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle has welcomed the proposals from Wicklow Town Team to improve public transport between Dublin and the south east and has emphasised the need to explore all possibilities which will help to alleviate the daily congestion issues in and out of the city for Wicklow commuters.

“At a recent meeting between the NTA and the Wicklow Town Team and Wicklow Co. Council officials, options to improve public transport between Dublin and the south east were discussed with the Town Team providing their suggestions of providing a Park and Ride facility to serve Wicklow town, Rathnew, Ashford, Glenealy and Rathdrum.

“The Wicklow Town Team by securing the existing Park and Ride at the Beehive have helped daily commuters and continue to highlight related issues with the emphasis now to possibly expand further Park and Ride services with a bus corridor along the N11 route. Park and Ride provides the obvious benefits of attracting more commuters to use public transport, reduces car volumes, is environmentally friendly and reduces commuter times.

“To be effective, and for these transport options to work with existing commuter levels, there needs to be a bus corridor and express bus service to allow the buses not get caught up in the commuter traffic. Creative thinking is needed in this regard and significantly in the context of the current considerations about improving the traffic flow along the N11.

“The N11 Improvement Scheme is hugely important. It is currently at a crucial stage in terms of design and will hopefully deliver a significant and satisfactory improvement in traffic flow on this busy route.

“I am hopeful in the meantime and in the shorter term that some solutions will derive such as Park and Ride facilities located along the N11 and that the meeting with the NTA has facilitated positive and constructive engagement and will result in some tangible suggestions towards improving the transport experience for commuters.”

SIMON HARRIS – FINE GAEL

Education and Training Board is Patron for new Greystones Second Level

Minister Simon Harris TD has this morning announced that the Education and Training Board will be the patron of the new secondary school to be established in Greystones.

Speaking as he confirmed the news, Minister Harris said:

“I am delighted to announce that the Education and Training Board has been selected to be patron of the new Secondary School in Greystones. I would like to thank all the families who participated in the patronage selection process. Over 800 families participated and more than 50% of these indicated the Education and Training Board as their first preference”.

Minister Harris continued:

“Greystones has seen a surge in school enrolments not only due to more families living in our community but also more parents choosing to enrol their children in local schools. This announcement will provide peace of mind for many families who have struggled to find a second level place for their child. The new school will have a capacity of 800 and will open in Autumn 2020.”

“This is another significant investment in Greystones with the announcement last week that St David’s has been given the green light to proceed with their new buildings. 

STEPHEN DONNELLY – FIANNA FÁIL

Patient advocates deserve better treatment from Government – Donnelly

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly has said the treatment of patient advocates has been nothing short of appalling.

Deputy Donnelly was commenting as patient representatives Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh came before the health committee and raised a number of issues with how they have been treated by both the Minister for Health and the HSE.

Deputy Donnelly said, “The exploitation of patient advocates like Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh has got to end. The Minister has gone past taking advantage of their goodwill and is now treating them with disdain.

“Lorraine Walsh, a woman who has gone through hell, spoke of being bullied and marginalised. When she bravely raised a red flag about the review which was undertaken into CervicalCheck she was shut down for doing so.

“She talked of not being listened to, being placated and going around in circles – the common denominator in everything she said was that there is no meaningful progress and no support.

“Stephen Teap talked of being disappointed at the lack of recommendations which have been completed and the lack of oversight to ensure they were implemented. He referred to the recommendations being treated as little more than box ticking exercises.

“He has requested on numerous occasions, that patient advocates be given a structured platform with acknowledgement that they are taking time out of their lives, away from their families, for no renumeration whatsoever.

“Concerningly he talked about having to continuously follow up and chase for information. If this is how the Minister and HSE treats patient advocates then there is something very very wrong with the system.

“Ireland is a better place because of Stephen Teap, Vicky Phelan, Lorraine Walsh and others. They are not only shining a light on a broken system, they are trying to fix it,” he concluded.

JOHN BRADY – SINN FÉIN

Government urged to provide funding to allow the Community Pool in West Wicklow progress – Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that a community swimming pool for West Wicklow must be a priority and that funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport must be made available to allow the project advance to the next stage. He made his comments after a very positive meeting he held with the Community Pool for West Wicklow campaign group.

Deputy Brady said “It was great to meet the fantastic team from the Community Pool for West Wicklow group in the Dáil this week. They gave me an update on the project to get the badly need swimming pool. An application for funding has been made to Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport through the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund. The closing date for applications was last April and it was hoped that a decision would be made before now. The funding is needed to allow the project move to the next stage.”

“West Wicklow has unfortunately been forgotten about and it’s the only district in Wicklow that has no swimming pool, it has essentially been discriminated against. The campaign group have put forward all the reasons why we need a pool in West Wicklow and they have the full support of the full community in the west.”

“To move the project to the next stage government funding is critical, I have been in contact with the Minister and the department to support the application which I hope to hear a positive response soon.”

“I have met the CEO of Wicklow County Council on this project and I know the council are committed to it. I believe that West Wicklow should have not just a first-class swimming pool but other amenities such a community gym. Shoreline in Bray and Greystones are both fantastic public facilities and provide a good template for what should be provided in West Wicklow.”

Deputy Brady concluded “I Commend the group for all their hard work and will continue to support them until the discrimination of the west ends and a pool is delivered. I also thank the children that took the time out to make Christmas cards which were delivered to me when I met the group.” 


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