Month: July 2015

Regulations for single dwelling houses and extensions eased – O’Donovan

Added July 28th, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan has said that new arrangements that will ease regulations on building single dwelling houses and extensions.

“The Minister for Housing, Paudie Coffey, has informed me that he has decided to remove the mandatory requirement for statutory certificates of compliance in respect of a new dwelling on a single unit development or a domestic extension.

“Owners, including self-builders, will be given the choice to opt out of statutory certification and may instead demonstrate by alternative means that they have met their general obligation to build in accordance with the minimum requirements of the building regulations.

“I understand that additional guidance, including a Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan, will be published to assist with this process.

“Last year new building regulations were implemented to ensure that we never had another Priory Hall or poorly built housing estates around the country again. These will remain mandatory for all multi-unit developments in the country.

“These new arrangements will make life easier for individuals and families planning to build or extend their own home. Nobody who invests in their own home would spend money on sub-standard work but people should not have to pay at inflated rates for excessive inspection services.

“This is an issue that I raised many times in the Dáil. I also discussed it directly with Minister Coffey and gave him examples of how the system was impacting on rural communities in particular that have such a high reliance on rural housing.

“The new regulations will come into effect from 1st September 2015.”

 

My week in the Dáil – 19th July

Added July 20th, 2015

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€529,995 in grants for Limerick businesses from Local Enterprise Office – O’Donovan

Added July 20th, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan, has said that grants of €529,955 paid from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in 2014 are providing great support to local businesses in Limerick. The Local Enterprise Offices are supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“The new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were launched last year to deliver an improved system of local enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country.

“The LEOs provide a ‘first-stop-shop’ for all Government supports for small business in easily accessible locations across the country.

“The LEOs form part of the Government’s strategy to spread the recovery to all regions of the country. This comes alongside the Regional Action Plan for Jobs being launched by the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton.

“Previously some businesses were considered too large to access supports from City and County Enterprise Boards or as they were not exporting, they did not qualify for Enterprise Ireland supports and so fell between two stools. All categories of business are now benefitting from services provided by the LEOs.

“Fine Gael is committed to supporting small and medium businesses that are at the heart of rural communities. Fine Gael’s Standing Up for Small Business campaign engaged closely with small, local businesses while the Standing Up for Rural Ireland campaign which has just been launched, calls for continued investment in rural services, particularly broadband.

“The LEOs are a fantastic resource for sole traders, micro businesses and small and medium sized companies seeking information and support on starting or growing a business. The injection of €529,955 into local businesses in this area is a huge boost”.

€1,008,750 extra funding for roads in Limerick – O’Donovan

Added July 17th, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan, has welcomed the allocation of an additional €1,008,750 for local roads in Limerick. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State, Michael Ring TD, have announced an additional €100 million investment in Transport, Tourism and Sport, €1,008,750 of which will go to Limerick. This will bring the overall spend in this area to €1.07 billion.

“Since the economic collapse, there has been underinvestment in roads and public transport. With the economy recovering, there is now scope to increase funding and to reinvest.

“Our roads are vital in attracting investment and in supporting businesses in every part of the country. In order to keep the roads in good condition, €34 million nationally will go towards maintenance and strengthening national, regional and local roads and €1,008,750 of this will go directly to Limerick.

“As part of this €100 million fund €60 million will go towards public transport and €4.2 million will be allocated to tourism related projects, including further development of Ireland’s Ancient East corridor and the Wild Atlantic Way.

“The final €800,000 of this allocation will go towards the National Indoor Arena to accelerate the delivery of this world class facility for our athletes at the National Sports Campus.

“As we build on the progress we have been making in recent years, more people are returning to work and our tourism industries are continuing to grow. This is all very positive. However, these developments are putting a greater demand on our public transport and on our road networks. The €1,008,750 additional funding is very much welcome in ensuring we maintain high quality road networks and transport in Limerick which supports thousands of jobs across the country.”

My week in the Dáil – 12th July

Added July 15th, 2015

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Over 600 extra SNA posts to ensure children with care needs have access to support – O’Donovan

Added July 8th, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan, has said that the decision to over 600 additional Special Needs Assistant posts nationally from September 2015 reflects the Government’s commitment to ensure that every child with an assessed need has access to a SNA.

“Today’s announcement means that 47 additional SNA posts are being created in Limerick. This will bring the total number of SNA posts in Limerick schools to 454 this September.

“As a teacher myself I know that this announcement will be welcome news to parents across the country. When a child is assessed as having a particular care need it is vital that the support needed is delivered. This is essential to help each child reach his or her potential and to help them get the most out of their time in school.

“The Government has also decided to carry out a review of the SNA scheme to ensure that it is meeting its objectives and that best use is being made of the significant resources invested. Among the issues to be examined will be the reasons behind the significant increase in demand evident this year and how the timing of applications and allocations can be better aligned with the school year.

“It is a policy of Fine Gael in Government to increase the number of SNAs in our schools. From September there will be 11,820 whole-time SNA posts available in our primary and post-primary schools. Fine Gael is committed to using the benefit of the economic recovery, which is still very fragile, to ensure that services like providing extra resources in the area of special education is done. I welcome this announcement as a clear demonstration of that commitment.

 

My week in the Dáil – 5th July 2015

Added July 6th, 2015

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€236,372 provided to 909 suckler farmers in Limerick under beef data programme – O’Donovan

Added July 1st, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan, has said that the beef data programme is proving to be beneficial for farmers in Limerick after it was announced by the Minister for Agriculture that €236,372.70 is set to be provided to 909 suckler farmers in the county under the beef data programme. Over 32,000 suckler cow farmers are due to benefit under the 2014 Beef Data Programme.

“I am delighted that suckler farmers in Limerick who are participating in the Beef Data programme are due to receive payments from next week. Payments will be provided in two tranches, firstly an 80% advance payment. The balancing payment will issue when information on autumn born calves has been finalised.

“The programme is going from strength to strength and there has been a 21% increase in the participation level this year with 5,700 new suckler farmers getting on board. This Programme benefits farmers at an individual level and is also hugely important in helping to improve the national herd and our beef industry. It helps farmers improve the genetic quality of their livestock, while maintaining a flow of crucial data to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) that will generate advances in cattle breeding at national level.

“Our suckler herd is vital to the success of our beef industry which involves more than 100,000 farm families and is directly responsible for almost 8,000 more jobs in processing, sales and marketing. Exports from the sector are valued at around €2 billion per annum. The Beef Data Programme in conjunction with the Beef Genomics Scheme is vital in terms of increasing the breeding data available improving efficiency and ultimately profitability at farm level. That’s why this Government is investing in the suckler herd and in our suckler farmers.”

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