Added November 19th, 2019
Limerick TD and Minister Patrick O’Donovan has announced that the Government is to invest €84m to deliver high-speed broadband to County Limerick.
Minister O’Donovan was speaking as the Government announced the biggest initiative for rural Ireland since electrification.
“This is a landmark day for County Limerick and for rural Ireland generally. The Government has today (Tue) signed a contract for the National Broadband Plan, which will see investment of €84m to bring high-speed broadband to 21,024 homes across County Limerick.”
The National Broadband Plan is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises nationally, including 100,000 businesses and farms, and over 600 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.
Patrick continued: “The work will start immediately, with roll-out of broadband within eight weeks of today’s contract signing. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within four years.
“This means rural communities in County Limerick will not be left behind. All of rural Ireland will get the same access to opportunities offered by high-speed broadband as those in urban areas.
“Fine Gael is delivering on transforming the country for the better and providing more opportunities to all. We have prioritised rural broadband. As an initial step, the Government has published a list of approximately 300 community centres, schools, library hubs and local GAA halls in every county that will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband.
In County Limerick these locations are: Angelsboro National School, Caherline Community Centre, Coolcappa National School, Gerald Griffin National School, Glenmore Community Centre, Knocknadea National School, Knockadea, Limerick East Educate Together National School, Lough Gur Interpretive Centre, Mountcollins National School and Tinnatarriff National School.
“The ultimate goal here is to deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses all across the country. The delivery of high-speed broadband will be hugely beneficial to economic development and job creation in County Limerick. It will open up a whole range of possibilities including: flexible and remote working; smart health with online GP and nursing services and medical monitoring; cloud-based services and connected devices; smart farming opportunities; digital learning; and reliable electronic payments and bookings for businesses.
“We want to ensure that people who wish to live and work in County Limerick are supported in doing so. It is so crucial for balanced regional and rural development.
Added November 15th, 2019
Limerick TD and Minister Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed the delivery of €1.2million to 38 clubs and organisations across Co. Limerick.
“As the local Minister here in Limerick in the Department of Public Expenditure which funds the Sports Capital Scheme I’m delighted to see so much money being delivered across Co. Limerick.”
Patrick O’Donovan said that the allocations were being made to clubs and organisations across the County that are run by volunteers who put the interests of their clubs and communities first.
“I’ve worked closely with most of the clubs across the County during the application phase of the process so to see so much money being allocated is fantastic.”
The Sports Capital Scheme is funded under Project Ireland 2040 by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and was reintroduced by Patrick O’Donovan when he was Minister for Sport.
These grants will be used in a range of projects across the County and can be drawn down from the Department once the clubs receive their confirmation letters.
Patrick O’Donovan added “These grants will be a major boost, particularly in small rural communities. In many cases the clubs would not be able to raise the funds that have been awarded and that makes these grants even more positive. I look forward to seeing the work now progressing and to see more money of this nature being invested in communities across Limerick by Fine Gael in Government.”
|Abbeyfeale Rugby Football Club||€48,975|
|Adare United A.F.C.||€14,994|
|ARDAGH District Recreational & Sporting Company LTD||€20,782|
|Athea GAA Club||€30,289|
|Breska Rovers AFC||€45,900|
|Caherline GAA Club||€32,150|
|Cappamore development association||€4,520|
|castle rovers F.C.||€29,027|
|Castletown/Ballyagran GAA CLUB||€35,162|
|Croom GAA Club||€64,300|
|Oola GAA Club||€64,613|
|Courtenay Boys NS NCW||€15,135|
|Dromcollogher Broadford GAA Club||€15,008|
|Dromin Athlacca GAA||€34,173|
|Fr Casey’s GAA Club||€22,634|
|Galtee Gaels GAA Club||€14,372|
|Garryspillane GAA Club||€39,897|
|Glin Rover Soccer Club||€55,786|
|Glin Tennis Club||€16,560|
|Granagh Ballingarry Camogie Club||€3,556|
|Kilmallock Utd AFC||€38,343|
|Kilteely Dromkeen GAA Club||€33,661|
|Community Sports Centre Rathkeale||€86,623|
|Limerick Scout County Campsite, Curraghchase.||€9,074|
|Monagea Gaa Club||€32,597|
|Newcastle West Golf Club||€58,680|
|Patrickswell GAA Club||€90,260|
|St Kieran’s GAA Club||€45,630|
|St Senan’s GAA Club||€10,059|
Added October 31st, 2019
Limerick TD and Minister Patrick O’Donovan has expressed his delight with the news that County Limerick is to receive €585,100 in Government funding from Minister Michael Ring’s Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development under the 2019 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Projects in Askeaton, Ballingarry, Broadford, Dromcollogher, Kilteely and Murroe Boher are all to benefit from the scheme.
“This is great news for rural Co. Limerick. These projects have been developed in conjunction with Limerick City and County Council and the local communities. I know from working with volunteers across Co Limerick what funding like this means to the areas concerned. This injection is just one of a number we have made as a Government into rural Limerick.”
“As the local Minister and TD I am committed to getting our fair share for Co Limerick and today’s investment is just another example of that.”
Grants have been awarded to the following projects in County Limerick:
Kilteely – Develop a Community Wildlife area in the village €48,308.55
Askeaton – Create a pedestrian friendly Town Centre in the centre of Askeaton €200,000.00
Murroe Boher – Complete the second phase of multi-access walkway at Murroe Town Park and install public lighting along the new section of the track €70,879.20
Broadford – Refurbish existing Parish Hall built in 1870 to develop a Community Centre in the village €99,911.20
Dromcollogher – Create a village heritage trail and carry out improvements to the Town Park €86,397.60
Ballingarry – First phase of the reimaging and branding of Ballingarry as ‘The Garden Town’ €79,604.00
Added October 30th, 2019
Limerick’s Minister Patrick O’Donovan has said that he expects the Government to give the green light to the next stage of the new Limerick to Foynes road, which includes a bypass of Adare, at today’s Cabinet Meeting.
“As Minister in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which is the key Department in the delivery of large-scale projects of this nature, I have been pushing for progress on this road. I insisted that it should be included, and it was included, in Project Ireland 2040 when my Department published the National Development Plan, together with the list of projects that would be going ahead.”
“I have been working on this as a Government TD for Co. Limerick since 2011 when I was first elected to the Dáil. In that time, I brought former Transport Ministers, Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe to Limerick to show them the need for the road project to be advanced. Since then I’ve used my position as a Minister in both the Departments of Transport and Public Expenditure to push this forward, and this decision is another big step.”
Patrick O’Donovan thanked both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Public Expenditure, who he said have been critical to moving the process forward to this stage.
Limerick City and County Council will receive approval from the Government to go ahead and lodge the planning application to An Bord Pleannála, which Minister O’Donovan pointed out is an independent statutory process.
“Agreeing to move the project to this stage is hugely important as it sends a very clear signal that once the planning process is concluded, this Government led by Fine Gael, is committed to the project. We are the first Government that have clearly laid out the importance of linking the deep-water port at Foynes to the national motorway network, while also providing a bypass of Adare are clear national priorities for us, so moving it forward is very significant.”
Minister O’Donovan sounded a note of caution when he said that opposition parties had criticised and opposed Project Ireland 2040 which included this road. “The National Development Plan and the list of projects which this Government want to advance has been heavily criticised by the Opposition. My priority is to get this project, and others in the Mid-West which have been criticised by the Opposition, advanced.
“Getting this project to this step is a very important milestone for me and getting the Government to this stage is vital. I look forward now to the Limerick to Foynes project progressing to enter the independent planning process, which I hope will give clarity, and when completed we will finally see a start on this road.”
Added October 14th, 2019
After years of waiting and several disappointments, the Athea wastewater treatment plant has been finally officially opened by local Minister, Patrick O’Donovan TD.
“For years the need for an upgrade of the Athea sewage plant was the dominant issue in the area. I remember as a Councillor attending meetings where the local community spelt out that they wanted this upgrade provided. So, on being elected as a TD I made this one of my priorities. I engaged with former Minister, now EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan and others, to try to get this project advanced. I succeeded in getting it approved and put out to tender and now it’s completed.”
“I’m delighted to be able to officially open the plant, which is a huge investment by the Government in Athea. This plant will allow new houses to be constructed in the village, something the residents and voluntary groups, including the Community Council, all wanted. For the future development of the village to be assisted, this plant had to go ahead, and that’s why I’m delighted to have been able to deliver it.”
Minister O’Donovan thanked the local community, the contractors, Irish Water and everyone associated with the delivery of the plant. He said it represented a major investment by the Government in Athea, and together with schemes like the Sports Capital Programme, Town and Village Renewal and other funds, showed Fine Gael’s commitment to the area.
“I’m often criticised by some outside Limerick for using my position in Government to deliver locally. I’m going to continue to do that, regardless of criticism and I’ll use every avenue available to me to get projects like this one in Athea over the line.”
Health Minister to make a Second Unannounced Visit to Limerick Hospital, while also considering New Options to Cut Waiting List for MRI Scans – Minister Patrick O’Donovan
Added October 8th, 2019
Health Minister to make a Second Unannounced Visit to Limerick Hospital, while also considering New Options to Cut Waiting List for MRI Scans – Minister Patrick O’Donovan.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he will make another unannounced visit to the University Hospital Limerick in the coming weeks.
The Minister has also agreed to meet with all Oireachtas members from the Mid-West to discuss current problems facing the Limerick hospital, following a meeting the Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan.
In the course of their discussions on the hospital, the Minster of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, also raised serious concerns about high trolley numbers at the hospitals ED, delayed discharges and the unacceptable waiting list for MRI scans, with the health minister.
Following their meeting Minister O’Donovan said, “Minister Harris agreed to examine options relating to the wait for MRI scans including options such as using equipment in private hospitals; a mobile unit that can be brought in temporarily, and the long-term option of purchasing and installing a second scanner for the hospital.”
“One of the biggest issues facing University Hospital Limerick is the unacceptably high number of trolleys in the Emergency Department, and the sustained upward growth of delayed transfer of care which of course is unacceptable for patients and adding to the trolley issue,” said the County Limerick minister of state.
“In my opinion there is a growing demand for community social care measures such as long-term residential care, home support and transitional care to support discharge from Limerick Hospital.
“The Minister of Health has agreed to examine the current use of Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s hospitals to ensure they are being used to maximum potential, while also taking on board the need for extra funding for Mid-West social care – to include home help, transitional funding, and fair deal. He said this is one of his budget priorities and I remain hopeful of positive news,” added Minister O’Donovan.
“Frontline staff are of course key to a good health service, and we discussed the need for extra nurses. The HSE have recruited over 40 student nurses in last five weeks, which is progress in the area of staffing needs.
“The minister is to meet with all Oireachtas members and has also agreed to meet the clinical team from UHL with me at a time to be agreed. In the meantime, Minister Harris plans to carry out another unannounced visit to the hospital in coming weeks to see first-hand how the hospital is working and where improvements still need to be made,” he said.
“Meanwhile progress is been made on the Modular Unit. The main contractor is commencing work on the modular 60-bed inpatient ward block at the hospital. The enabling works are complete on the project and a capital budget of €19.5 million has been approved for the work, of which €10 million has been allocated this year. An additional 25 beds have also opened since 2017 at UHL, including eight as part of the 2018/2019 Winter Plan.”
Minister Patrick O’Donovan compares Fianna Fáil’s promises of reckless spending to an out of control taxi metre, clocking up a million euros an hour
Added October 1st, 2019
Minister Patrick O’Donovan compares Fianna Fáil’s promises of reckless spending to an out of control taxi metre, clocking up a million euros an hour.
The Minster of State at the. Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan has compared Fianna Fáil’s “reckless expenditure promises” to an “out of control taxi metre, clocking up a million euros an hour.”
Minister O’Donovan said, “Fianna Fáil continues to make calls for more spending without any plan on how to foot the bill. My Fine Gael colleague Deputy Peter Burke, a chartered accountant by trade, compiled a report into spending calls from Fianna Fáil during the first half of 2019. His findings showed promises and demands by Fianna Fáil totalling a massive €4.35 billion in the first six month alone.
“With just €700 million available for extra spending next year, I would strongly urge Deputy Michéal Martin and his party to explain where they plan to find the extra funding to finance their fantasy budget.”
“It seems they either cannot or will not explain how they plan to fund the €24 million extra they promised to pay out every day,” said the County Limerick Minister of State.
Minister O’Donovan asked, “Are they going to increase taxes? Are they going to cut spending in other areas, and if so which particular service is to pay the price of their electioneering? Or are they to return to old form and borrow more money on top of the debt from the last time they were in Government? There is certainly no plan in place for debt reduction if these series of unvouched promises are to be taken at their word.”
“Fianna Fáil has one plan it seems and one plan only. To run up our national debt at a million euro an hour, like an out of control taxi metre. And if this is not the case, then I for one would like to know how they plan to fund €4.35 billion in extra spending over six months – or is that €9 billion over one year? Who knows – the Fianna Fáil maths don’t add up.”
Minister Patrick O’Donovan said recent criticism of rural schemes only serves to undermine the value of the work of the communities that depend on them for funding
Added September 24th, 2019
The Minster of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan said criticism of rural schemes only serves to undermine their value, and the work of the people in the community dedicated to completing vital rural projects.
The Minister of State from County Limerick was responding to criticism on key rural schemes and the time required by some groups to be in a position to draw down allocated funding.
Minister O’Donovan said, “First of all it is probably worth noting that in the course of the recent report, it was acknowledged that the multi-million-euro, Department of Rural and Community Development programmes’, are “vitally important rural schemes”, and I couldn’t agree more. That is why this Government reintroduced those cancelled by the previous Fianna Fáil led Government and introduced new schemes suitable for a new modern rural Ireland.”
“In fact this Fine Gael led Government was the first to introduce a plan for rural Ireland in the form of Action Plan for Rural Development. A key element of this plan was to provide financial support to local communities and organisations who are developing essential public facilities and services within rural communities.
“These volunteers and community groups are working tirelessly to ensure all local funding, planning, design work and other preparations are in place before they draw down the millions of euro ring-fenced for their project by the Department of Rural and Community Development,” he said.
“To criticise the time, it might take for such hard-working groups to be in a position to draw down all their funding, is to undermine their hard work and dedication. I would suggest that instead of subverting the great work being done in communities with the support of such schemes as the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure scheme; Town and Village Renewal scheme; CLÁR, the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), the Rural Regeneration fund and LEADER, Fianna Fail would be better advised to look at each project in depth and see where they may be able to assist in moving the projects along.”
“I would like to advise any community group in Limerick who may have a difficulty in drawing down their allocated funding, that I am available to assist in any way I can. Rather than being the hurler on the ditch I work to get maximum amount for Limerick. I have been successful so far and will work to continue to do so.”
Added September 4th, 2019
Minister Patrick O’Donovan has said that the allocation of €50,000 to Tournafulla for the provision of a new playground is fantastic news for the community. The funding has been allocated by the Government under the CLÁR Programme
“I’m delighted that Minister Michael Ring TD has made this allocation. It is fantastic news for a voluntary community organisation that want to improve the facilities for local children in the area.”
“As the local Minister I was delighted to work with the local community to deliver this under the CLÁR Programme and it is yet another project that we’ve been able to deliver. I am confident that working with community groups that we will be able to deliver further projects like this in Co. Limerick.”
Added September 3rd, 2019
Limerick TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has announced the approval by the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD of a major extension to Scoil Pól in Kilfinane.
The Project involves a ten-room extension to the school that includes; general classrooms, a science lab, an Art room, music room, construction room, preparation rooms and other shared spaces.
“I am delighted to be able to see this project move forward. Over the last few months I have worked with the school and the Minister of Education and Skills to make sure that this project can move forward. This is yet another major capital project that we have secured for County Limerick and as a Minister in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, I am glad the see money like this under Project Ireland 2040 being spent in Limerick”.
The school authorities in Scoil Pól will now move forward with the Project after a tendering process has been concluded.
Patrick O’Donovan congratulated the school and wished them well saying “this is a great announcement and I know that the wider community of Kilfinane and surrounding areas will also welcome this major investment in the area”.