News Entries

Minister officially opens €2million Athea wastewater treatment plant

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.”

O’Donovan announces Tournafulla Playground Funding

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.”

Major Extension for Scoil Pól – O’Donovan

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”.

O’Donovan welcomes extension to Scoil Mhuire agus Íde

Added August 6th, 2019

Limerick TD and Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan has today announced that Scoil Mhuire agus Íde in Newcastle West has been approved an extension to the school by the Department of Education. Minister O’Donovan was informed of the decision this morning by the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh TD.

“Over the last number of months, I’ve been working with the school and the Minister to get this extension approved. The extension will allow the school to deliver to students that reflects the expanding numbers and subject choices.”

The extension is to be made up of sixteen classrooms to include a Multimedia, Home Economics and Art rooms alongside two science labs and a common room.

“This is fantastic news for the management and teachers in the school but more importantly for the students. These facilities will also compliment the facilities and resources that are in other secondary school in the town, the Desmond College”

“Over the last number of years, we as a Government have been able to deliver to schools across the County and I intend on continuing to work for improved facilities for our students here in Co Limerick.”

Ryder Cup to benefit tourism and the economy in Limerick, the Mid West and Ireland

Added July 25th, 2019

The Minster of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan said the confirmation that Adare Manor will host the 2026 Ryder Cup is great news not just for Limerick but Ireland as a whole.

Minister O’Donovan said, “An event like the Ryder Cup means that a world audience will be focused on Ireland, Limerick, and Adare in 2026, the years running up to the Ryder Cup and for a long time after the last ball is putted in the competition.

“With a television audience of close to a billion people, the Ryder Cup gives Limerick and Ireland a platform to showcase what is great about our county and country, and an opportunity for us to show the world the unique tourism offerings of the mid-west of Ireland.”

Minister O’Donovan added, “The Ryder Cup in Adare will be a huge occasion for Irish golf, Irish tourism and Irish sport. It will be a special honour for the people of Limerick and Munster, a county and province steeped in sporting culture, to host this great event, and I can assure the hundreds of thousands of visitors from more than 90 countries who will be in attendance, a huge céad míle fáilte in 2026.”

Paying tribute to the McManus family for securing the prestigious event for Limerick, Minister O’Donovan confirmed that the Government will support the huge undertaking of hosting the Ryder Cup.

“It is a testimony to the golf course at the Adare Manor and the hard work of the organising committee, that Adare was successful is seeing off competition from other courses all over Europe, to secure this highly regarded competition,” added the Minister of State from Limerick.

“The Ryder Cup will attract more than a quarter of a million of visitors to Adare during the event, surpassing the numbers that attended the British Open in Portrush last week. It is important therefor that we prepare for the expected crowds well in advance of 2026. I am delighted that the Government is offering its support, and look forward to providing whatever assistance I can over the coming weeks, months and years to ensure that Ryder Cup held in Limerick is on par with previous competitions all over Europe and the USA.”

O’Donovan welcomes appointment of engineers for upgrade of Newcastle West Garda Station

Added July 17th, 2019

Limerick TD and Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan has said he believes that the appointment of D Fallon Consulting Engineers is another important step forward in the delivery of a new Garda Station in Newcastle West.

Minister O’Donovan was speaking after meeting Minister Kevin Boxer Moran in Croom.

“Minister Moran committed to us when he visited Newcastle West and saw the condition of the Station that he would progress the project. He told me together with representatives of the Gardai that he would advance the project and provide regular updates on progress and he is doing that.

“At each one of the regular meetings that we have had to discuss several projects in Limerick, Newcastle West Garda Station is always on the agenda.

“The appointment of D Fallon Consulting Engineers is another important step in the process to deliver this project. I will continue to work with Minister Moran to push this forward.

€1.75 Million Investment in Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum to benefit Tourism in Foynes and Limerick – Minister Patrick O’Donovan

Added July 2nd, 2019

Minster of State at the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan has announced a €1.75 million capital investment for the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, which will pave the way for an extension to the popular tourist attraction.

Minister O’Donovan said, “This funding of €1.75 million from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under Project 2040 shows the Government’s ongoing commitment to preserving and promoting our heritage while supporting Limerick’s tourism industry.

“The Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, along with the many other aspects of Foynes including its shops and the port, have become a huge attraction to visitors traveling the Wild Atlantic Way. It has also become a necessary stop off on the Shannon Estuary Way for day trippers and international visitors alike.”

“This €1.75 million investment will not only allow for the museum to expand to cater for its growing number of visitors, it will also provide a home to display the prized possessions and memorabilia of Hollywood legend and former patron of the museum – Maureen O’Hara,” added the County Limerick Minister of State.

“It took a lot of time and work to secure this funding and I would like to thank my colleague Minister Josepha Madigan for her support. I would also like to pay tribute to the museum and its management for their determination and dedication to making the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum a major tourist attraction in Limerick.”

This funding comes just one week after €128,000 was allocated towards Coastal and Flood Protection Works that will protect Foynes Yacht Club from erosion.

“Foynes continues to be among the most popular tourist attractions in Limerick for both national and international visitors. Investing in Foynes and protecting it from further flooding is therefore economically beneficial not just to the village but the surrounding area,” said Minister O’Donovan.

“I believe that the best way to achieve flood prevention is for all state agencies responsible for Foynes to continue to work together. I was happy to facilitate the first meeting of all of these bodies with members of the community, and this has already resulted in a cohesive approach to water infrastructure maintenance.”

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