News Entries

O’Donovan welcomes news on 2018 Sports Capital Programme

Added June 13th, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed confirmation he has received that the 2018 Sports Capital Programme is to open early in July.

“I spoke to Minister Brendan Griffin on this issue recently. I was the Minister of Sport who opened the last round of the Sports Capital Programme and I could see at first hand the importance of the programme. I advocated strongly for another round in 2018 and I’m glad now that the decision has been made.”

“Minister Griffin confirmed to me that he expects that a €40million fund will be put in place and he has also confirmed that the application process will be similar to the one I put in place.”

Patrick O’Donovan added that in the last round of grants Co. Limerick had done very well. “We managed to get almost €1.6million for clubs and organisations across the Limerick County Constituency in the last round. I hope that we will be able to achieve a similar amount for clubs and organisations in our area from this round.”

Patrick O’Donovan said that having spoken at length to Minister Brendan Griffin on the matter, and that he expects further details on the scheme to be announced in the coming weeks.


Ministers Donohoe and O’Donovan Publish the Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018

Added June 12th, 2018

Bill sets out legal basis for the sharing of data between public bodies with appropriate safeguards

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., and the Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., today (Tuesday) published the Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018, following recent approval by the Government.

The purpose of this Bill is to provide a generalised legal basis for the sharing of data between public bodies while also setting out appropriate safeguards under which such sharing should take place.

Enactment of this legislation will deliver tangible benefits to the public and to business. Sharing and reusing data will cut down on waste and duplication by ensuring that individuals and businesses should not have to supply the same information more than once to public bodies. More extensive data sharing will also support better policy development and more efficient and effective policy implementation.

The Bill also sets out a series of important governance measures to ensure that personal data is shared by public bodies in a lawful, proportionate and transparent manner in accordance with national and EU data protection law, including the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Development of this legislation has also created an opportunity to provide for more consistent and improved safeguards in relation to public service data management. Accordingly, the scope of the governance provisions in the Bill go beyond the sharing of data and into strengthening how the public service manages its data in respect of how data is collected and processed, how data is kept secure, and how access to data is controlled, monitored and logged.

Minister Donohoe said: ‘This Bill is key to delivering on our public service reform commitments to expand digital delivery of services and make greater use of data. It will also provide for stronger governance and transparency by public service bodies in the way they share and manage data, which will assist public bodies in meeting the more stringent data protection requirements provided for under the GDPR.’

Minister of State O’Donovan added: ‘Significant opportunities are offered by making better use of data. Citizens and businesses can receive better services. Public bodies can operate more effectively and efficiently at a lower cost to the Exchequer. Better access to data will improve decision making and planning in the delivery of services.’

Minister of State O’Donovan went on to say, “The public also has a strong expectation that their data protection rights will be respected and public bodies will use personal data responsibly, proportionately and securely. As the volume of data and our capacity to deliver digital services grow, the opportunities to improve services increase — but so too must our governance of citizens’ data. This Bill will ensure that appropriate safeguards, accountability and transparency are in place to build the public’s trust in public bodies’ usage of their data. Accordingly, this Bill will be a very important stepping stone in helping take forward the Government’s ambition to be an exemplar in the processing of citizen data.”

The Bill is available here, along with its Explanatory Memorandum and a Regulatory Impact Analysis that was conducted when the general scheme of the Bill was being drafted.


Policy background

The introduction of legislation to support the public service in making better use of the data it holds is a key commitment in the Government’s reform programme. Enactment of this Bill is essential to the successful delivery of Action 1: Accelerate Digital Delivery of Services in Our Public Service 2020, the new framework for development and innovation in the public service. It is also one the 10 key actions in the eGovernment Strategy 2017-2020.

Key provisions of the Bill

The Bill provides a generalised legal basis for data sharing between public bodies for specific, legitimate purposes, including:

  • Making public services more seamless by reducing the burden of providing the same information to different public bodies;
  • Facilitating the effective administration, supervision and control of public services;
  • Establishing entitlements to public services;
  • Identifying and correcting erroneous information; and
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of public services.

The Bill also requires that sharing be carried out under a formal written data-sharing agreement that sets out in detail what data will be shared with whom and for what purpose. Data-sharing agreements will be published on the websites of the public bodies concerned in advance of any sharing taking place, and the public will be able to comment on the proposals.

In addition, the Bill includes a number of provisions to ensure better data governance across the public service through:

  • The establishment of a Data Governance Board to advise the Minister on data management policy in the public service;
  • Ministerial power to issue standards, codes and guidelines (some of which will be legally binding) in respect of data management across the public service; and
  • Quality assessments of draft Data Sharing Agreements by the Data Governance Board.

The Bill also seeks to significantly enhance transparency by providing a legal basis for the creation of a personal data access portal that will provide a single point of access for people to see what data is held about them by public bodies, how that data is used and who is using it.

Other key provisions in the Bill include powers to:

  • Establish base registries that will provide an authentic, authoritative and complete source of basic data about people, businesses and locations for use across the public service;
  • Issue a Unique Business Identifier Number (UBIN) for the purpose of uniquely identifying any undertaking that has a transaction with a public body and for the specification of a business information dataset that can be shared by public bodies in the performance of their functions.
  • Direct data sharing between public bodies where it is in the public interest and in compliance with data protection law; and
  • Collect and process public service data to support the administration of public service pension schemes (in particular the new single pension scheme) and to facilitate better analysis and evaluation of public service staffing, pay and pensions.

Over €278,000 in capital grants for Limerick childcare providers – O’Donovan

Added June 1st, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed the announcement from his ministerial colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, that Limerick childcare providers are to receive over €278,000 in capital grants.

Minister Zappone has today announced a total of €6.87m in Capital funding which will be awarded to providers of Early Years and School Age Childcare across Ireland.

“Today’s announcement follows on from the childcare measures we introduced last September, giving up to 70,000 children extra supports. This funding will contribute towards the creation of new childcare places, natural outdoor play areas and the essential maintenance and repair of services here in County Limerick.

“The approved Early Years and School Age Capital funding for 2018 has been made available to the following childcare providers here in County Limerick:

Gaelscoil Ó Doghair Childcare Service Newcastle West, TreeTops Pallasgreen, Killmallock Pre School Ltd, Clever Clogs Croom, Herbertstown Community Childcare, The Beehive Rathkeale, Ballingarry Preschool, Glengurt National School Tournafulla, My Time Afterschools Service Knockainey, Cappamore Afterschool

“This is very good news for the County and I am delighted that Minister Zappone has been able to make this allocation, and shows that Fine Gael delivering on its commitment to support families and to help ease the financial cost of childcare”.

O’Donovan welcomes Government detail on €4 billion investment fund

Added May 30th, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed details from Government on how it is proposed to spend €4billion under funding announced as part of the National Development Plan, Project Ireland 2040. The funds which cover Rural Development, Urban Regeneration, Climate Action and Innovation will be allocated to projects that can show a positive impact in communities across the country under a number of different assessments.

“These funds were announced as part of the launch of Project Ireland 2040 and I am particularly happy that the Rural Development Fund, which is important for Limerick, will be administered by Minister Michael Ring and will be aimed at ensuring that rural communities are able to access increased levels of funding over a ten year period. This is aimed at improving the quality of life for those that live in our rural areas and also to make them attractive places for people to invest in and create jobs in. I believe that Minister Ring will invite applications to be submitted to his Department shortly, and having worked very closely with him over the last seven years in my work as a TD for County Limerick I know he is committed to ensuring the greatest spread possible of this funding. I have already met the Minister in his Department in Dublin to discuss this fund and made a number of suggestions as to how the funding can be distributed and I am delighted he has taken my points into account.”

Patrick O’Donovan said that the recent experience that Limerick City and Council have gained in working with institutions like the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development bank will be invaluable in accessing the funds being made available by the Government under the Urban Regeneration and Rural Development headings. “I met with both banks recently and I know that given the work that the Council have already underway that they are best placed to drive the applications to secure the greatest amount of money from these funds for Limerick.”

“When project Ireland 2040 was being developed I was very anxious as a rural TD to ensure that there was a fair balance of funding and attention given by Government to rural areas. I am glad that that has been done by this Fine Gael-led Government. The projects that have already been announced for Limerick under the plan together with these details prove that Limerick is and will continue to do very well from Government investment funds. If we in Limerick are to lead the development of the wider Mid-West region, which has to be our ambition, then we must be to the fore in the region in applying for these funds from Government.”

Patrick O’Donovan committed himself as Limerick’s Minister to working with colleagues in Government to drive projects for the County. Over the last few years I have been able to secure the advancement of a number of projects for Limerick and under this latest fund that is what I want to continue doing.


O’Donovan welcomes funding of over €3m for Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People with a disability

Added May 4th, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Patrick O’Donovan welcomed confirmation that €3,243,814 in funding is to be made available for Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People with a disability in Limerick.

Patrick O’Donovan said that “the Minister of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD and his Minister of State, Damien English TD have both confirmed to me this morning that funding of €3,243,814 will be announced later today for the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People with a disability scheme which is administered through Limerick City and County Council. This includes a 4% increase on last years funding and the Local Authority’s contribution.

“These grants are essential to assist people to make their homes more suitable to their needs, works that are covered under the grant are downstairs toilet facilities, accessible showers, adaptions to facilitate wheelchair access and extensions.

Green light for Athea Sewerage Scheme – O’Donovan

Added May 3rd, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has said he is delighted that Irish Water have signed contracts and approved €1.5million for the sewerage scheme in Athea and that works are to commence.

Patrick O’Donovan said that he had received the confirmation from Irish Water as part of regular engagement he has with the company in relation to works on Co. Limerick schemes.

“This is great news for the people of Athea. When I became a Minister I prioritised this issue with Irish Water. I asked that a special case would be made for Athea given how long the process had been from the time the scheme was first discussed by Limerick County Council. I have watched this move through consultation with the local community, to planning with the Council and to a situation where we now have the green light to construct.”

“In that time I have attended countless meetings in Athea, Limerick and Dublin on the matter to convince people of the merits of this project and of the need for a separate plan. I am delighted today that we have arrived at this point where money has been allocated and the approval has been given to construct.”

Patrick O’Donovan added that he was very impressed by the manner in which Irish Water had dealt with the project since they came into existence and in that time a number of hurdles have been crossed.

“In 2015 I received a commitment that the upgrade would be completed, and it was estimated at the time that €728,000 would be the cost of the project. However today after all of the phases have been complete contracts have been signed for €1.5million and we are ready to go with a contractor. It’s a great day for the community who have worked with throughout the whole time and we now have achieved the result we set out to reach.”

Limerick will benefit from Ten-Year €1 billion Programme of Investment in Flood Relief Measures – O’Donovan

Added May 3rd, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan, has welcomed the announcement this morning that Limerick will benefit from a ten-year €1 billion Programme of Investment in Flood Relief Measures.

The first tranche of €257m in funding for 50 new flood relief schemes to proceed to detailed design and construction phase was announced in Athlone by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran today (Thursday).

The Flood Risk Management Plans published allows the Government to build on significant investment on previous flood defence schemes around the country.

These schemes successfully provide protection to 9,500 properties and the economic benefit to the State in damage and losses avoided are estimated at €1.9 billion.

There are currently also nine major schemes under construction and a further 24 at design/development which together will provide protection to a further 12,000 properties.

Patrick O’Donovan said: “This is great news for people in County Limerick and in particular for the communities in Athea and Rathkeale. I’m delighted the Government has listened to the people here in County Limerick. This significant investment will benefit our communities for many years to come.

“We all know the devastating impact flooding has on families and through these state of the art flood defences we will be able to give people some piece of mind.”

As part of the initial phase of projects the following schemes have been selected – Limerick City & Environs, Athea, Castleconnell and Rathkeale.

“A new website, has been launched where people can view the community risk, measures in place and those proposed to tackle flood risk in these 300 areas.”

This map and plan viewer website is another important resource that supports planning, emergency response planning, and empowers people and communities to plan and respond to flood risk.

Patrick added that “I have been working closely with my colleague and Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD and his predecessor Sean Canney TD to advance funding in relation to the Athea and Rathkeale Schemes for some time now and I am delighted that funding has now been put in place for the scheme.”



€411,000 for Limerick to benefit from upgrade of rural roads- O’Donovan

Added April 23rd, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed the announcement that nine roads in Limerick County are to be upgraded under the Local Improvement Scheme.

The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) is about improving small roads and laneways in rural Ireland which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities.

“The improvements to the roads in Limerick County selected under this year’s LIS will make a huge difference to the people who use those roads. Some €411,388 funding has been allocated to Limerick City & County Council by my colleague Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.”

The areas that will benefit from this funding are Ardagh, Athea, Bruree, Kilbehenny, Knocklong, Old Pallas and Tournafulla.

“I have been in constant communication with Minister Ring and my Ministerial colleagues on the importance of the Local Improvement Scheme for people who live in rural Limerick. For people who live in rural areas, road connectivity is hugely important. These roads provide vital access to homes and farms. The Local Improvement Scheme is therefore a very valuable support for rural families and businesses that use these roads on a daily basis.”

“The Action Plan for Rural Development prioritises improving rural infrastructure and connectivity, and continuing to support an LIS scheme is just one of the measures we are taking in that regard.”

LIS 2018 – Roads List
Name of Road Townland/ Description of Location i.e. from x to y Length of road (m’s) Grant Amount 
N/A Foxgrove, Ballynagally, Old Pallas 1500 Metres €23,288
N/A Dunganville, Ardagh 900mx3.2m €56,635
N/A Knocknascrow, Kilbehenny 2,000m (&250m crash barrier) €62,100
N/A Loughananna, Kilbehenny 400mx3.5m €31,050
N/A Knocknadiha, Tournafulla 230mx5m €3,150
N/A Ballinahinch, Knocklong 1,000mx4m €20,700
N/A Toorendonnell, Athea 530mx3.5m(&replace culvert) €41,621
N/A Knockfenora, Bruree 950m €90,045
N/A Knocknadiha, Tournafulla (Phase I) 1,300mx4.5m €82,800
TOTAL  9   €411,388



O’Donovan to represent Ireland in Canada for St. Patrick’s Day

Added March 13th, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State at the Departments’ of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan will represent Ireland in Canada as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day engagements. Patrick O’Donovan will travel to Montreal and Quebec in Canada for a number of different functions.

Minister O’Donovan said “The annual St. Patrick’s Day visits by Ministers in the Government provide us with an annual opportunity to meet with Government representatives in other countries and also to be able to promote Ireland through our agencies. The IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland Bord Bia and our Embassy Network are involved regularly in promoting our Country, and this week global series of events being led by Ministers gives Ireland an opportunity to showcase opportunities for trade and investment across a number of areas.”

“We have a long standing and deep relationship with Canada and in particular the Province of Quebec over many generations. This part of Canada has welcomed tens of thousands of people over many years from Ireland and the strength of the relationship between Quebec and Ireland, and the opportunities for both is clear to be seen when you look at the many influences that Ireland has had, and continues to have in Canada.”

“Montreal is one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in North America and the City is planning a series of events around our National Day to celebrate the heritage of the Irish people who made Quebec and Montreal their home, and also to look to the future of the new relationship being led by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

Patrick O’Donovan will meet Irish business representatives operating in Canada and Canadian business leaders with investments in Ireland. He will also meet with member of the large Canadian-Irish community in Quebec as well as taking part in a number of events organised by both Governments through the Irish Embassy in Canada as part of his visit for St. Patrick’s Day.


€411,000 in funding for Limerick roads under Local Improvement Scheme – O’Donovan

Added February 27th, 2018

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan has welcome the €411,000 in funding has been secured for Local Improvement Schemes in Limerick.

Minister Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, has approved over €10 million in funding for Local Authorities under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) to support the improvement of non-public rural roads.

The funding will allow for the repair and improvement of small roads and laneways leading to local people’s homes and businesses that are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities.

“I am delighted that €411,000 in funding has been secured for Local Improvement Schemes here in County Limerick. I have been in constant communication with Minister Ring and my Ministerial colleagues on the importance of the Local Improvement Scheme for people who live in rural Limerick. For people who live in rural areas, road connectivity is hugely important. These roads provide vital access to homes and farms.

“The Department of Rural and Community Development will provide up to 90% of the funding through the Local Authorities, with the remaining contribution coming from local residents, or Local Authorities in the case of roads leading to public amenities.

“Local Authorities will be be informed of allocation today and will be asked to revert with details of their improvement projects to the Department of Rural and Community Development by the 23rd of March”


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