Category Archives: Johnstown

Leap Card for Kilcock Set to Start says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the introduction of the Leap Card for Kilcock Rail users which comes into effect from 1st June. “This was an issue I worked to deliver on and one which was raised with me at my weekly clinics in Kilcock.”

“As detailed under the National Transport Authority’s  fare determination last December, Kilcock will be included in the Short Hop Zone from 1st June.  From that date, the Leap Card will be valid, and the reader will be operational. “

“This will result in significant savings for Kilcock commuters.”

“Over the last year or so, I have campaigned for increased public transport services for Kilcock commuters. We are making progress, we have a better bus service, proposals for an additional bus stop adjacent to the Summerhill  Road are in place and funds were provided for a Park & Ride facility.”

“We now have a fairer fare structure for Kilcock and Naas rail commuters following the inclusion of both locations in the Short Hop Zone. I have also been campaigning for an orbital bus service linking Naas, Clane, Rathcoffey, Maynooth and Blanchardstown and this will hopefully go out to tender shortly. Only this week, I have received confirmation that the NTA will shortly seek tenders for this service.“

“I am hopeful that we will see further improved bus services for Kilcock commuters and I will continue to make representations on behalf of commuters to ensure that we secure a regular and reliable bus service for Kilcock” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

O’Rourke Receives Assurance on Broadband Coverage for Rural Parts of County Kildare.

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has received an assurance from Kildare County Council that it is committed to securing a 100% broadband coverage for the county in the coming months. Deputy O’Rourke received the assurance having raised the issue with Kildare County Council.

“Ms Evelyn Wright, Senior Executive for Kildare County Council has informed me that Kildare County Council is committed to engaging and facilitating the rollout of high speed broadband over the coming months, to ensure 100% coverage in the county to meet existing and future demand.”

“Over the last 18 months, on behalf of residents in areas like Newtown, I have pressed all relevant authorities to ensure that rural areas in Kildare receive high speed broadband coverage.”

“As I have said before, broadband is not a luxury commodity – it’s an essential service.  Kildare County Council now has a senior official appointed as a Broadband Officer. This will be of benefit in bringing focus to the rollout of high speed broadband across the county.”

“I continue to make representations to Eir, to the Minister for Communications and his Department, in relation to securing adequate broadband coverage for areas such as; Newtown, Broadford, Timahoe, Eadestown and Kilteel. This commitment from Kildare County Council is another important step in delivering the broadband coverage in the county,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Waiting List for Spinal Surgery Services Deteriorates Further – O’Rourke

 

spine-surgery

Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says he is growing increasingly concerned by the deterioration in waiting lists for spinal surgery services at Tallaght Hospital.

Patients from across the country are referred to Tallaght Hospital for spinal treatment surgeries and new figures obtained by Deputy O’Rourke show that the number of people waiting for treatment has climbed considerably in recent months.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “Tallaght Hospital currently provides spinal surgery services for a number of hospitals, including Naas. There is a significant demand for such services but the Government has failed to set aside the necessary investment in recent years to ensure the hospital is able to cope with this demand.

“Last October there were 412 people on the spinal surgery outpatient waiting list at Tallaght Hospital. However the number of people stuck on the waiting list has increased by over 32% since then, as there are now 545 patients waiting for spinal surgery services. 130 patients who urgently require treatment have been stuck on the waiting list for up to 18 months while a further 203 patients are waiting up to 30 months. To make matters worse, 212 patients are currently waiting longer than 33 months for surgery.

“These figures clearly show that the waiting lists at Tallaght Hospital are rapidly deteriorating. It’s simply unacceptable that patients, who have been told that they urgently require treatment by their doctor, are expected to wait up to 18 months to receive the life altering surgery that they require. It’s expected that demand for such services is set to increase significantly in the years ahead so the waiting lists are likely to get even longer unless the Government takes action.

“I have previously called for a targeted investment programme to boost spinal surgery services at Tallaght Hospital. The latest waiting list figures show that such an investment programme is needed now more than ever,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

O’Rourke Supports Proposal for Free Parking at Naas Hospital

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Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says he supports the efforts underway to secure free car parking for cancer patients accessing services at Naas General Hospital.Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after Kildare County Council passed a motion calling for parking facilities at the hospital to be made free for cancer patients.

“Currently, patients accessing cancer treatment services at Naas General Hospital have to pay extortionate parking fees on a regular basis. Many patients have to travel to the hospital on a daily basis for treatment and over the course of a few months they end up having to pay hundreds of euro in parking fees,” explained Deputy O’Rourke.

“I think it’s inherently unfair to place such a large financial burden on cancer patients at a time when they are trying to focus on their recovery. The last thing patients and their families need to be worried about is parking charges during such a challenging time in their lives. Accordingly, I believe the HSE should do the decent thing and waive such fees.

“People in large urban areas such as Dublin are able to rely on public transport to access hospital. They don’t have to worry about paying extortionate parking fees. However many cancer patients travelling to Naas General Hospital simply don’t have an alternative form of transport to rely on. They have to rely on the car parking facilities at the hospital if they are to receive the treatment they need.

“I have raised this matter with the Minister for Health Simon Harris and have pressed the need for free parking facilities to be provided for patients availing of cancer treatment services. I am awaiting a reply from the Minister but this is something which I will continue to follow-up on. I fully support the position taken by the Council,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Full Time Youth Officer Will Assist In Delivering Service For Kildare Youths says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Children, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, that her Department has given approval to Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) to appoint a full time Youth Officer for County Kildare.

“Up to now, County Kildare was one of the few counties that did not have a dedicated Youth Officer. Currently, we share one with County Wicklow. Given the rise in our population in Kildare and the fact that we have a higher proportion of young people aged 17 and under than the average, having a dedicated Youth Officer, in my view, is essential to assist in developing services for our young people” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“In 2016, over €500,000 was allocated for the projects and services under Kildare Youth Services. The Department of Children provides funding to Kildare Youth Services, under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, for six Kildare youth projects; in Athy, Naas, Leixlip, Newbridge, the Curragh, Kildare town and a Youth Information Centre in Naas.”

“Funding from the Department is used for programmes that target disadvantaged young people and to assist national youth organisations in their work to support local voluntary youth services.”

“Given the high proportion of young people in Kildare, we must ensure that we highlight the need for increased resources for our Youth Service in Kildare,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke who urged Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board to fill this post as soon as possible and assist the youth organisations throughout the county.

Construction of New Maynooth Community Colleges To Commence Shortly states O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke has been informed by the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD, that construction is due to begin shortly on the new Maynooth Education Campus, following a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy O’Rourke in recent weeks.

“The Minister for Education informed me that the contractor responded to the Letter of Intent on the 21st March last. The response is currently being examined by the Education and Training Board’s Design Team” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“The minister has stated that assuming the contractor has complied with the requirements of the Letter of Intent, it is envisaged that construction of the new school will commence on site shortly.”

“This is the final step before the formal award of the Contract and I want to compliment all those involved, from the Board of Managements, Principals, and parents who have fought hard to secure this project for Maynooth and surrounding areas,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Ends

Information for Editors

QUESTION NO: 269

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton)

by Deputy Frank O’Rourke

for WRITTEN ANSWER on 04/04/2017

 

 

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a letter of intent; if it been issued to the preferred bidder for the contracts for tender in respect of a school (details supplied); when construction is scheduled to begin; the anticipated completion date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) New Community School, Maynooth, Co Kildare

 

REPLY.

 

 

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the contractor responded to the Letter of Intent on the 21st March last.  The response is currently being examined by the ETB’s Design Team.

 

Assuming that the contractor has complied with the requirements of the Letter of Intent, it is envisaged that construction will commence on site shortly

O’Rourke Increases Pressure For Clane Ring Road as Maynooth and Naas make progress

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has increased pressure on the Department of Housing together with Kildare County Council to provide funding for the 400m Clane Ring Road linking Capdoo with the Kilcock Road, as progress is made on Maynooth and Naas Ring Road.

“I am delighted that we have made progress on the Maynooth Ring Road. I met with Kildare County Council and officials with the Department of Housing last year and I repeatedly highlighted the requirement for the provision of ring roads in Maynooth, Clane and Naas. Maynooth and Naas have received funding, but Clane has not.”

“The Minister has given an assurance that he will seek additional funding for Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) under the Capital Review 2016-2021. It is important now that Clane is put to the top of the list in connection with funding for future projects in County Kildare.”

“The number of vehicles passing through the town is now, in my view, unacceptable. We need to take the high level of traffic out of the town centre and allow the town to function.”

“We need a 400m section connecting Capdoo Road with Kilcock Road which would significantly alleviate the situation in Clane,’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke, who has raised the matter with Kildare County Council and Department Officials in recent days again.

O’Rourke welcomes the addition of Maynooth, Kilcock & Clane to the Rent Pressure Zones List

rent_pressureKildare North Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has welcomed the signing of an order, by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, to designate Maynooth as a rent pressure zone.

“When the rent pressure zones were announced last year, I highlighted the need for Maynooth and local areas to be added to the list of rent pressure zones. The Minister’s order takes effect from 30 March 2017 and I am delighted that Maynooth, Clane and Kilcock have now been added to the list, following a quarterly report from the Residential Tenancies Board” said Deputy O’Rourke

“Kildare towns already included in the rent pressure zones include, Naas,  Sallins, Celbridge,  Leixlip, Kildare, Rathangan and Newbridge.” 

“The inclusion of Maynooth, and extending also to Clane and Kilcock, in the rent pressure zones means that rent cannot rise by more than 4 percent a year.” 

“Nationally, rents rose by almost 8 percent in the last quarter of 2016, compared to the previous year and the national average rent of €986  per month is almost the same as it was at the peak in 2006/7 period.” 

“ I know from my weekly clinics the pressure tenants are under when rents rise and we must ensure that political pressure is maintained to secure sustainable and affordable rents,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke 

Fair Deal Applicants Should Capture Home Care Packages – O’Rourke

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Home Care Packages should be added as an option as part of the Fair Deal Scheme according to Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, after meeting a couple in Kilcock seeking such a measure.

“Earlier this year, Fianna Fail introduced the Nursing Home Support Scheme (amendment Bill) 2016, which will facilitate the use of the Fair Deal Scheme model for Home Care Packages. The Bill  passed through to the second stage of the legislative process and is now scheduled to come before the Dail again in July” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“My experience with my constituents who attend my weekly clinic in relation to care for their elderly parents or relations, is that many families are choosing care at home rather than residential care. On average, it costs three times as much to care for someone in a nursing home than in their own home.”

“Our ageing population means that the demand for home care services and residential care will continue to increase in the years ahead.  The Fair Deal Scheme currently only caters for residential care and our Bill aims to change that.  We want to see Home Care Packages offered to people who qualify for Residential Care under the Fair Deal Scheme which would allow more people be cared for in their own homes.”

“The Fianna Fáil Bill will allow for the provision of a Home Care Package to people who have applied for the Fair Deal Scheme as long as the cost is equal to or less than the cost of long term residential care.”

“From my understanding there is general public support for this measure and I hope that all parties will agree with this proposal. I welcome the consultation process which Minister McEntee has recently commissioned into the sustainability and cost-measures associated with home care, ”concluded Deputy O’Rourke

Put ‘Tracker’ mortgage customers on correct rate now – says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD and Deputy Finance Spokesperson, Frank O’Rourke, has called on banks to put Tracker mortgage customers on the correct tracker rate now.

“Thousands of mortgage customers continue to be denied the correct tracker rate to which they are contractually entitled, and I am calling on banks to put tracker mortgage customers on the correct rate now.”

“A family with a mortgage of €200,000 which is wrongly paying a variable rate of around 4% and should be paying a tracker rate of 1%, is paying about €500 every single month in interest more than it should be paying” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“This is simple unfair both to the mortgage customer, who has much demands on their income, but also on the economy. This money could be available for increasing consumer demand and stimulating local economies.”

“I know from my colleague, Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath, that 11,700 mortgage customers have been either denied their tracker rate or have been charged the incorrect rate.”

“Incredibly, the Central Bank has not imposed any deadline on the banks for customers to be put on the correct tracker rate.

“The Central Bank says that banks are required to reinstate customers on to the correct rate as soon as they have been identified. This pace of progress is not acceptable. The number one priority for the Central Bank has to be to ensure that customers who are being wrongly denied a tracker rate or who are being charged the wrong tracker rate are put on the correct rate without any further delay,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.