Category Archives: Celbridge

Council work that has been achieved or is being worked on for the Celbridge Area.

Events/Issues of interest

Additional Resources Needed for Kildare, and Lessons to be learnt following Storm Emma says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has said that lessons can be learned in the aftermath of Storm Emma, as Kildare takes the hit.

“Kildare so far has experienced the brunt of Storm Emma. Great efforts have been made to minimize the effect of the storm and extraordinary commitment has been shown by so many. ”

“We have seen that the motorway network has been kept open to traffic, but the challenge for many residents in Celbridge, Maynooth, Straffan, Rathcoffey, Clane and Prosperous has been to get access to the motorway and key services.”

“I understand that 18 Kildare County Council trucks, 30 tractor powered ploughs a number of JCB’s and other machines have been attempting to clear the regional roads and other strategic routes throughout Kildare and, as I have seen today, they are making progress.”

“Link roads between our North Kildare towns have been badly affected. Having seen at first hand today the power of community effort, in Clane, Maynooth and Kilcock, I believe that we can learn from these events. There has been a great collective effort, between state and voluntary organisations and our community to deal with the challenge head on.”

“It seems incredible only a kilometre from our motorway network, which has been kept open to traffic, we have blocked roads for a number of days. Kildare County Council needs further supports and resources as it was so badly hit. We need to see how best we can address this issue for the future.  However, we cannot but acknowledge the great work of so many in minimising the impact of this extraordinary weather event,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Orbital Route from Naas to Blanchardstown via Clane, Rathcoffey, Maynooth and Leixlip starts on Monday, says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has said that the new bus service, which he has campaigned for, from Naas to Blanchardstown via Clane, Rathcoffey and Maynooth, will commence next Monday.

“The preferred bidder for the Orbital Route from Naas to Blanchardstown, Route 139, has been decided and will come into effect on Monday 12th next. It will service Naas to Blanchardstown via Clane, Rathcoffey, Maynooth and Leixlip.”

“It is going to service Blanchardstown IT and Naas Hospital, with nine services each way, seven days a week, with first departures at 07.15 and last departures at 22.35 and will be run for the NTA (National Transport Authority) by JJ Kavanagh & Sons.”

“As I have said before, this service is an important public transport link, linking significant population centres such as Naas, Maynooth and Blanchardstown, connecting three hospitals and two third level institutions.”

“I am happy for the residents in all towns and villages along this route. Since my election, I have campaigned for an improved public transport services for commuters in North Kildare and we are making progress. I will continue to make representations to have further improvements made,“ concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Loan Sales to Unaccountable Vulture Funds Should Not Go Ahead – O’Rourke

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Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says the proposed sale of a vast swathe of loans by Irish banks to unregulated and unaccountable vulture funds should not proceed.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “It is evident that banks have shown very little willingness to work through their non-performing loan book. Instead of selling their loan book and outsourcing their dirty work to vulture funds, the banks should be providing sustainable and reasonable solutions for customers willing to cooperate with them.

“It is clear now that vulture funds are lining up to buy portfolios of loans from the main banks in Ireland. It is expected that these portfolios will involve SME loans and buy-to-let investment properties. However, the Government has allowed these funds to go completely unregulated in Ireland.

“Recently it has emerged that both AIB and Permanent TSB are taking steps to sell large swathes of their mortgage loan books to unregulated vulture funds. The Government has the power to stop this from occurring considering the Irish State has a majority stake holding in both banks.

“These vulture funds are accountable to nobody and are completely beyond the reach of the Central Bank. There are many families who are in distress with their mortgages who are living in fear of losing their homes as they find it impossible to engage with these firms. Their sole interest is in the property, they take no account of social concerns.

“Fianna Fáil is opposed to the banks selling their loans to unregulated vulture funds. The banks should not be selling Irish loans to unregulated vulture funds. We will be bringing forward legislation to ensure these sales do not take place,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

New Round of Infrastructural Funds confirmed says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has confirmed that a second round of funding to finance critical pieces of infrastructure in counties like Kildare, such as a second bridge in Celbridge, ring roads around Maynooth and Clane, will be available.
 
“Last year, under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF), Round 1, €14m was allocated for the construction of the Maynooth Ring Road linking the Dublin Road to the Celbridge road.”
 
“Since being elected, I have made repeated representations, and met the relevant Minister, to secure funding for the construction of a number of ring roads, including the construction of the Maynooth Ring Road, Clane Ring Road and a second bridge for Celbridge.”
 
“Funding from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF), which I proposed in my Dail contribution, is an ideal way to ensure that we have a source of funding for critical projects. As more housing units are being developed in the area, we have to provide matching infrastructure, such as roads, public transport and schools.”
 
“Following a Parliamentary Question, I received confirmation that the Government will launch the second round of the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF), before the end of March, and this will give Kildare County Council an opportunity to seek funding for critical projects.”
 
“We must learn from the mistakes of the past. We must provide adequate infrastructure in line with development, rather than trying to retrofit the infrastructure subsequent to the development, as happened in the past.”
 
“I continue to raise the requirement for infrastructure of this nature, with the Department and Kildare County Council, for projects in Maynooth, Celbridge and Clane and I welcome the announcement of Round 2 funding under the (LIHAF),” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

O’Rourke Arranges Meeting with Education Minister to Press for School Buildings for Celbridge

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has arranged a meeting with the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD, his officials, and Kildare County Council to press for permanent school buildings for Celbridge.

“In recent years, we are seeing the requirement for school accommodation grow in Celbridge. At the moment, we have temporary school accommodation for both St Patricks Primary School and Celbridge Community School. We need to put in place a plan to provide permanent school accommodation for both schools.”

“There is no good business case to have temporary accommodation as our school buildings. Our children and teachers deserve permanent structures, with supporting facilities, to cater for the long-term requirement of Celbridge.”

“I have organised a meeting with Kildare County Council and the Minister for Education to press for permanent school buildings for both Celbridge Community School and St Patricks School. All four TDs have been invited, and I want to ensure that the template used can be rolled out to other parts of the constituency.”

“We need to plan for our school buildings, and the more co-ordination, and focus, we have between the Department of Education and Kildare County Council the better. Too often, we see different organs of the state working in different directions. I want the Department and Kildare County Council to have a co-ordinated approach to cater for our school building requirements.”

“I am hopeful that once this meeting takes place today (14th February) we will have a course of action to enable the planning and construction of these two permanent school buildings in Celbridge on the most suitable and available site to commence as quickly as possible,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Grants of €10,000 Available to Employers to Hire Over 50’s says O’Rourke, but Scheme Needs Co-ordination

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the government’s move to provide an incentive to employers to hire people over-50, but said that the revised JobsPlus Acheme needs better marketing and co-ordination.
“Under the JobsPlus Scheme, from the 1st of January 2018, grants of €10,000 will be available to employers if they employ people who are over 50 years of age, that have been on the live register, and unemployed for at least 312 days in the previous 18 months.”
“There are barriers for older people returning to work and we must reduce these barriers. The JobsPlus Scheme has been refocussed, and now employers are entitled to a subsidy of €10,000 when hire people over 50 years of age.”
“JobsPlus is a cash incentive to employers who offer full-time jobs to the long-term unemployed. We must incentivise employers to hire people who are over 50. Older people can be discriminated against, however, the skills and knowledge that they possess can be very beneficial for businesses and younger generations that are working alongside them.”
“We must start to promote a positive image of older people in the workforce. This change to the JobsPlus Scheme is a step in the right direction. However, I believe that the Department of Social and Employment needs to bring more co-ordination to the scheme and match those looking for work to employers who are seeking employees.”
“As our population ages, we must start to refocus our benefits and supports to ensure that older people are valued in both the work environment and in our community. I will continue to raise the importance of these types of supports for older people,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Commitment to Additional Rail Fleet which is Needed to Improve Rail Service says O’Rourke.

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has been informed that the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Irish Rail have agreed to review their Rail Fleet capacity in light of the increased demand on our rail services at peak times.

“Since being elected, I have made repeated representations to have the level of service improved on both our rail and bus routes for commuters in North Kildare.”

“While we have received a commitment that there will be an increase off peak services on both the Maynooth and Kildare Lines, we need increased capacity at peak times. However Irish Rail’s fleet is now at maximum capacity at peak times.”

“Following my representations, I have been informed that the NTA and Irish Rail will review their fleet capacity with a view to seeking investment in additional new fleet. I am hopeful that the procurement of the new fleet, which will increase the train capacity at peak times, will commence this year.”

“We are making progress in relation to our public transport; better bus services are on the way, a Park & Ride is to be provided in Kilcock and an orbital bus route from Naas to Blanchardstown servicing Clane, Rathcoffey and Maynooth will be in place by the end of March.”

“As travelling to Dublin City Centre is becoming more challenging by car, we need to provide additional public transport services. I will continue to make representations to have further improvements put in place,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Additional Home Care Supports Needed to Resolve Overcrowding Crises – O’Rourke

– Older people stuck in hospital due to lack of home care supports –

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Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke TD says the Government needs to focus on making additional home care packages available to older people in order to resolve the hospital overcrowding crisis.

Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after receiving new information which shows that 589 people over the age of 75 were stuck on trolleys in Naas General Hospital in 2017.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “One of the key problems in hospitals right across the country is the lack of home care supports to help older people to return to their own homes. Many older people are stuck in hospital wards and are unable to return home after receiving the all-clear from their consultants due to the delays in sanctioning home care packages. This is a serious problem which is exacerbating the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals.

“The Programme for Government has a commitment to increase home care packages and home help hours, but Fine Gael have failed to set out how they are actually going about achieving this. The HSE’s Service Plan for 2017 failed to put in place any additional home help hours and this put severe pressure on families and led to increased level of overcrowding in hospitals.

“Fianna Fáil raised this in the Dáil before Christmas and highlighted the need for additional home care supports to be put in place for older people. Demand for home help hours is projected to increase by between 38% and 54% by 2030. Additional investment will be required in home help care to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and ageing population.

“There is also a problem with the processing of Home Adaptation Grants. Many older people who are ready to leave hospital are unable to do so as their home is not suitable for them to live in. Often works need to be carried out to make their home safe for them to return to, such as putting in place ramps and handrails to make the home more accessible along with bathroom changes to make them safe to use. The current delay in processing grants for these adaptation works need to be resolved.

“Fine Gael need to get to grips with the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals. It’s clear that additional home care supports are needed to help people return to their own homes. Fine Gael need to put in place a plan to achieve the rollout of additional home care packages,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Progress for Pedestrians over Liffey Bridge in Celbridge says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O Rourke, has been informed that a consultant has been appointed to carry out a feasibility study on the options available for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Liffey Bridge and to select one.  “The National Transport Authority (NTA) have informed me that a consultant, Clifton Scannell and  Emerson Associates have been appointed to undertake a feasibility study which will identify the potential options to address the issues for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the Liffey Bridge and recommend a preferred option.”

“I believe that the consultant will have their work completed by the end of Quarter 1 this year. I have made representations to provide a safer option for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge and I am delighted that we are now seeing progress.”

“I am confident that a preferred option will be identified by April 2018 and there will be a public consultation process undertaken in relation to whatever proposal emerges from this study.”

“I will keep in touch with all stakeholders to ensure that we get a solution implemented as soon as possible. A safer route is needed for pedestrians and cyclists.”

“I will also keep the pressure on to secure funding for a second bridge in Celbridge. Last month, I was informed that Kildare County Council is to appoint a consultant, following the tender process, whose function will be to carry out a capital appraisal assessment for the construction of a new bridge in Celbridge,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

NTA Letter

New off-peak Services on the Kildare Line Through the Phoenix Park Tunnel for 2018 says O’Rourke – as pressure mounts for further improvements

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New off- peak services on the Kildare Line will be provided during 2018 according to Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke.

“The National Transport Authority have confirmed that new off-peak services will be provided on the Kildare Line during 2018. This is welcome news and ensures that we continue to improve the local the services on the line servicing Hazelhatch in Celbridge and Naas.”

“Travelling by car into the city centre is becoming almost impossible. We must provide an alternative by improving our public transport services. We know that service improvements are on the way for Kilcock bus commuters, a new orbital bus route linking Naas to Blanchardstown via Clane, Rathcoffey and Maynooth will come into service shortly and additional off-peak services on the Maynooth line will be provided this year. I have also pressed for improved services on Bus Routes 66 and 67 and for improved services on the Kilcock rail line as the Kilcock Park & Ride comes into use this year.”

“Overall growth rates of 7% in public transport users between 2016 and 2017. This trend will continue. We are seeing increased population in Maynooth, Celbridge, Clane and Kilcock which will increase the demand on public transport.”

“As I have said in the Dail, we must provide services in line with development rather than trying to retro fit services post development. We must see continued improvement in public transport for North Kildare users. Once we have a regular and reliable public transport service, we will attract more users of the services,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.