Category Archives: Clogherinkoe

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

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

home_help

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.

Supports for Older People in 2018 Up – a key requirement under Confidence and Supply Agreement says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the supports for older people that are coming into effect this year as a result of Budget 2018, a key requirement of the supply and confidence agreement with the Government.

“Medical Card holders are charged for prescribed medicines and other items that one get on prescription from pharmacies. From 1 January this year, the prescription charge is €2.00 for each item that is dispensed under the medical card scheme, up to a maximum of €20 per month per person or family.”

“Older people are highly dependent on the State Pension and the vast majority rely on social welfare payments to protect them from poverty. I welcome the proposed €5 increase to the weekly State Pension, from end of March next, and we must continue our campaign to ensure that further improvements are provided.”

“The Fuel Allowance was increased and the Telephone Allowance was partially restored. We campaigned for all these items under the Supply and Confidence Agreement with the Government.”

“Supports for older people are critical. I have highlighted the need for increased resources for Housing Adaption Grants, Fair Deal Scheme, Phone Allowance, Pension, Home Care Packages and Carers. Recent figures show that older people are now fulfilling, in many cases, the role of the State in providing care to those living with illness or disability. Caring for our older people must always be centre stage when considering our social affairs budget,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Funding Available for Food Hub Designation says O’Rourke

food_hubFianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has repeatedly called on the Government to designate Naas and the surrounding area as a Food Hub, given the significant number of food companies based in Kildare. Deputy O’Rourke has now received a reply to a Parliamentary Question indicating that funding is available under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to support such a proposal.

“Kildare is home to many food based companies. It is essential that we sustain the growth in our food export business, given the challenges that Brexit present. The UK alone accounts for more than 40% of Irish food exports and Kildare is home to many companies exporting to the UK.”

 “I have campaigned for the area of North Kildare to be designated as a Food Hub. Kildare County Council’s CEO has also supported calls for the area to be designated as a Food Hub.”

 “As I have mentioned in the Dail on a number of occasions, Naas and the surrounding area is home to many Food related companies, which have strong brands. Examples include, Kerry Food, Dawn Farm Food, Queally Group, Tara Vale Foods, Green Isle, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.”

“The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry which employs over 175,000 people with a turnover of €11bn last year.”

“In the reply I received from the Minister for Enterprise Jobs and Innovation, the Regional Enterprise Development Fund allows us to drive growth in key sectors or geographies across the country. While there is no Government plan to formally designate Naas as a Food Hub, we are backing local and regional stakeholders to drive the future of their own communities by supporting their innovative proposals which will help to deliver job creation and sustainable employment.”

 “This I believe, could provide a window of opportunity if all stakeholders came together and made such a proposal.”

“I believe that promoting Kildare as a hub for food products would enhance the standing of the companies trying to seek new markets, particularly in a Brexit world. I will continue to campaign to have Kildare designated as a Food Hub,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Central Bank Making Progress on Tracker Mortgages – O’Rourke

 – As pressure continues to get fairer variable rates

Investment concept

 

New figures reveal the true scale of the tracker mortgage scandal, with the estimate of affected customers increased by 13,600, bringing the overall total to date to 33,700 according to local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke.

 “New information released by the Central Bank shows that the overall customers affected by the tracker mortgage scandal is now 33,700 an increase of 13,600 on what was previously reported.”

“The real story behind the latest figures is that the Central Bank had to flex its muscles to force the lenders to reveal the latest figures. I welcome the stronger approach being adopted by the Central Bank and together with Michael McGrath, our Finance Spokesperson, I had called for the Central Bank to be more aggressive in its approach with the banks. This approach is paying dividends,” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“We must ensure that priority is given to ensure that all customers affected get the justice they deserve.”

“We must not lose sight of the higher variable rates that are charged in Ireland. The average interest rate on new mortgages in September of this year stood at 3.31%.  This is nearly double the equivalent rate across the euro area, which stood at 1.86%.”

“This means that a borrower with a mortgage of €200,000 is paying around €250 per month more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country.”

“As I have said in the Dail, mortgage rates in Ireland remain dramatically out of line with EU norms and must be addressed. We have pressed, and have had some success, for the extension of mortgage relief for those that bought their homes during the peak of the boom, however, we must now focus on the variable rates that are being charged by Irish banks,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Brexit Negotiations a Relief for Kildare Businesses says O’Rourke

brexit_foodKildare TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the outcome of the Brexit negotiations as a relief for many Kildare exporting businesses.

“Since being elected, I have been conscious of the number of exporting businesses based in Kildare and particularly the number of food related companies based here. Brexit, together with the exchange rate fluctuations, was creating a climate of uncertainty for many businesses and the outcome of these negotiations to-date is a welcome relief for us.”

“The UK is Ireland’s largest market for food and drink, accounting for 37% of all food and drink exports in 2016, or over €4.1bn. Kildare is home to many food related companies, which have strong brands. The agreement reached lays the foundation for further negotiations to minimise the risk for businesses exporting to the UK.”

“Agreement has been reached on the important Phase 1 of the Brexit talks, especially the fact that language has been agreed on there being no hard border on the island of Ireland going forward.”

“The Phase 2 of the process will deal with our economically critical east/west trading relationship. This is where the most difficult issues of trade and future relationships will be tackled and it is important that as a country we maintain a close and coherent focus and use the same political template that we used on thus occasion. Our party leader Michael Martin and our Brexit spokesperson, Stephen Donnelly, have been very supportive of the Government in the negotiations.”

“The UK has committed to avoiding a hard border as an underlying principle and there will be no physical infrastructure or related border checks or control.”

“Kildare is home to many food exporting companies and we need to ensure that we continue to support these businesses to sustain their level of employment in the area. As we enter into Phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations, we need to remain vigilant and protect the interests of all on the island of Ireland,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Additional Early Morning Bus Eireann 120 Service for Celbridge says O’Rourke

120_busLocal Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has highlighted that the new morning Bus Eireann 120 is providing an earlier service for Celbridge commuters. A new additional morning service on Route 120, commenced on Monday 27th of November last.

“Over the last number of months, I have made representations to Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority to improve the service on the 120 Bus Eireann. This new service from Clane is providing an earlier morning departure from Celbridge into the City.”

“Previously, the first Bus Éireann service from Celbridge was 07:45hrs. This new service will operate via Celbridge at 07:20hrs. This new service also serves Straffan. It arrives into the city city at 8.10.”

“I welcome this news and I will campaign to have this service and other services, including Route 67, improved in the coming months. We need to increase the morning capacity of Route 67 outbound, as the number of passengers using the service between Celbridge and Maynooth increases. Route 67 provides a link for people living in Celbridge that are working or studying in Maynooth.” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

‘Under 5s Free’ Welcomed by O’Rourke – as further improvements needed

bus_under5Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the announcement by the National Transport Authority (NTA), that free travel for all under-fives on subsidised public transport services, on Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas, Dart and Dublin Bus, becomes a reality from today.

“Last year I called on the NTA to consider introducing free travel for children to make the cost of public transport for families more attractive. I am delighted now that the Authority has introduced this concept and I feel that we could expand this in the future to cover older children, particularly at weekends.”

“I do want to acknowledge the work of the NTA in this area. The child fare eligibility has been extended to a person’s 19th birthday and during the summer a “Kids go Free” promotion was launched.”

“I continue to press for improved public transport services. More frequent Dublin Bus Routes 66 and 67 are required, improved services on Route 120, while acknowledging the new morning service from Clane at 7.00am and more frequent service on Route 115 serving Kilcock.”

“We need additional services on the Kildare route servicing Sallins and Hazelhatch in Celbridge. Some commuters have been in touch with me in relation to improving the services between 9 and 10 in the morning as some parents start work later to facilitate family life.”

“We are making progress, but as it becomes more difficult to navigate traffic in the city centre by car, more people will use public transport once we have a regular and reliable service,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Cork Food Hub Model Should be Replicated in Kildare says O’Rourke

food_hub

Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has called on the Government to replicate the National Food Innovation Hub, recently established in Cork, in Kildare, given the significant number of food companies based in Kildare.

“Kildare is home to many food based companies. It is essential that we sustain the growth in our food export business, given the challenges that Brexit present. UK, alone, accounts for more than 40% of Irish food exports and Kildare is home to many companies exporting to the UK.”

“I have campaigned for the area of North Kildare to be designated as a Food Hub. Kildare County Council’s CEO has also supported calls for the area to be designated as a Food Hub.”

“Recently, the National Food Innovation Hub was established to create a business innovation network at Moorepark involving dairy companies, Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL), incubator companies and public-private partnership based R&D programmes with a research focus on food processing, quality and nutrition.”

“As I have mentioned in the Dail on a number of occasions, Naas and the surrounding area is home to many food related companies, which have strong brands. Examples include, Kerry Food, Dawn Farm Food, Queally Group, Tara Vale Foods, Green Isle, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.”

“The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry which employs over 175,000 people with a turnover of €11bn last year.”

“The industry is facing a very serious challenge following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, and we need to ensure that new markets and opportunities are explored to ensure that we protect the many jobs that are associated with this important Industry.”

“I believe that promoting Kildare as a Hub for Food Products would enhance the standing of the companies trying to seek new markets, particularly in a Brexit world. That is why I tabled a question to the Minister for Agriculture in relation to this matter. I will continue to campaign to have Kildare designated as a Food Hub,”concluded Deputy O’Rourke.