Category Archives: Uncategorized

Extended Maternity Leave for Mothers of Premature Babies a great success – O’Rourke

I very much welcome the introduction of extended maternity leave for mothers of premature babies. Given myself & my wife were parents of a premature baby, I fully understand what this will mean to so many parents. I fully supported this proposal earlier this year in the Dail, as you can see from the video below.

 

Prescribed Drug Entitlement for Children in Receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance

I am delighted that, as part of our Confidence & Supply Agreement, the entitlement to a Medical Card was extended to all children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance. However, a review of the prescribed drug entitlement under the scheme is needed, as some drugs, including Melatonin, are not included.

O’Rourke Calls For Speedy Implementation Of Motor Insurance Review Group

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Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, says that the recommendations of the Oireachtas Report on Motor Insurance should be acted on as a matter of urgency. Mr O’Rourke was speaking after reviewing the Oireachtas Report on Motor Insurance with Fianna Fail’s Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath.

‘The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, which was charged with investigating the spiralling costs of motor insurance, has published 71 recommendations to make the motor insurance process more transparent. The committee, in its report, also accused the insurance industry of cartel like behaviour.’

‘I’ve been contacted by many people in recent months at my clinics who are experiencing unprecedented rise in motor insurance costs. I know from my weekly clinics that the cost of motor insurance is placing an increasing financial burden on families and individuals,’ stated Deputy O’Rourke.

‘As I said again recently in the Dail, there is little point in reducing Universal Social Charge (USC), if motor insurance premiums go up by a multiple of the reduction in USC. It is no wonder that many people are looking for increased wages.’

‘Up to July 2016, motor insurance costs had increased by 38% year-on-year. Even more startling, the CSO figures over a three year cycle showed increases in the order of 70%.’

“This is a hard hitting report and I sense that Minister of State Murphy is committed to its implementation. The report calls into question the behaviour of insurance companies over the last number of years.

“In addition, the report calls on the Central Bank to take a more hands-on role in regulating the insurance sector to ensure greater transparency. It’s unfair that customers have been left in the dark over rising premiums and just expected to pay out.

“It is important that consumers are at the centre of this debate. It is important that the Oireachtas protect the consumers against these rip-off motor insurance costs. I will continue to push for the speedy implementation of these measures in the report so that drivers and businesses can finally avail of affordable insurance premiums,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

€100k Allocated To Prosperous Under Town and Village Renewal Scheme says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O Rourke, has welcomed the announcement that Prosperous will benefit to the tune of €100,000 under the €10m Town and Village Renewal Scheme which was launched earlier this year by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD.

‘On Friday last, Minister Humphreys gave the go ahead for projects in 6 towns in County Kildare, mostly in South Kildare, but Prosperous has secured nearly 1/3 of the overall allocation for Kildare.’

‘As I said in July when the scheme was launched, many smaller towns in Kildare suffered significantly during the economic downturn and are still suffering from the aftermath. I know from discussing with Business and Community groups in towns like Kilcock, Clane, Prosperous and Johnstownbridge, that this scheme has the potential to bring benefits to the towns, and I want the scheme to be renewed next year, and other towns to be considered.’

‘This scheme, taken together with schemes like the Shop Front/Town Centre Improvement Grant Scheme which financially assists and supports business owners to improve the appearance of their shop fronts/commercial properties, are key to revitalising our towns and villages.’

‘The €100,000 allocated for Prosperous out of a total of €380,000 for Kildare, has been allocated for landscape enhancement, playground and car park in Prosperous,’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Special Fund Needed for Food Exports says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O Rourke, has called on the Minister for Enterprise Jobs and Innovation, and Enterprise Ireland to allocate a special fund for marketing Irish Food products, given the challenge presented by the UK voting to exit the EU.

‘We have seen in recent months that the devaluation of the sterling and the potential for a hard border between UK and Ireland has the potential to negatively affect Irish food exporting companies. These companies are now vulnerable given their heavy reliance on the UK market. Over 40% of the Irish Food exports are exported to the UK.’

‘The Irish Food product is a quality brand that has potential in many markets outside the UK. While the UK will remain an important market for us, we need to put in place a marketing strategy that promotes our food products more globally.’

‘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, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.’

‘I have seen first hand the investment that these companies, have made, and continue to make, in terms of product development, technology, human resources and infrastructure. The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry which employs over 175,000 people with a turnover of €11bn last year. We must support this Industry given the challenges presented by Brexit,’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke after raising the matter in the Dail.

Appointment to Spokesperson For Financial Services, eGovernment & Procurement

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I was delighted to be appointed spokesperson by Fianna Fáil Leader Michèal Martin for the above portfolio. I look forward to working with my front bench colleagues and bringing forward policies and proposals to help and assist in these areas. Please feel free to contact me at any of my weekly clinics or my constituency offices.

Government Considers O’Rourke’s Proposal on Child Benefit for 18 & 19 year olds

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The Government is considering a proposal put forward in the Dail by Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, in connection with extending child benefit to 18 and 19 year olds who are in full time education.

‘At the moment, when a child in full time education reaches the age of 18, they lose their entitlement to Child Benefit. However, as many families know, the costs associated with keeping children in full time education continues and there is a gap in the supports available for families for the 18-19 year age bracket that are in secondary school education.’

‘The cost of extending child benefit to 18 year olds in second level education is estimated at €62.5 million’ stated Deputy O’Rourke.

‘Last week, by way of oral parliamentary question, I asked the Minister for Social Protection to review the age criteria under the Child Benefit Scheme and asked him to link this payment to children who are still in full time education.’

‘Nowadays, given the 6 year duration of secondary school, many pupils are now aged 18 and 19 when sitting the leaving certificate.’

‘Child Benefit is an important source of income for families and we must support families that are keeping their children in education.’

‘The Minister has said that he would consider my proposal. I have raised the issue with our Social Protection spokesperson, Willie O’Dea TD, and I intend on bringing forward a private members motion to ensure that my proposal is kept on the Government’s agenda.’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Celbridge Camera Club

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It was a privilege and honour for me to formally open the Celbridge Camera Club Annual Photographic Exhibition on Friday the 27th May. The exhibition will be for two weeks and it’s been held in Castletown House. The photographs are absolutely brilliant. Celbridge Camera Club is extremely active and is in existence for over 30 years with 100 members approx.

Well done to the committee and all their members for having such a wonderful club and organising such a great exhibition. Congratulations to all those that received prizes on the 27th in the different categories. Congrats to Rebecca, Damien and Michael who were successful with their distinction applications in Mullingar on May 14th. The opening and launch of the exhibition was a brilliant occasion. I fully recommend everyone to drop in and view the great photos on display.

Additional Kilcock Bus Services approved says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O Rourke, has been informed by Bus Eireann that two additional morning Bus Services for Kilcock commuters have been formally approved.

‘From 26th of June next, additional morning services for Kilcock Bus Commuters, on Route 115, will be added to the Bus Timetable. The new services, which are a 6.30am and an 8.00am departure, will provide important extra services for Kilcock.’

‘For some time now, I have been campaigning for an improved Bus service for Kilcock commuters. Earlier this year, following my representations, Bus Éireann introduced some new state-of-the-art 82 seater Double Deck coaches on the Kilcock/Dublin corridor. An additional service was also added in the morning.’

‘Now the two new Kilcock departures, 6:30am and 08:00am in morning peak, to Dublin via Maynooth, will provide more capacity for commuters.’

‘This is a further incremental improvement to the Bus service for Kilcock and I will continue to make representations on behalf of the commuters of Kilcock and other areas,’ stated Deputy O Rourke.

‘The National Transport Authority (NTA) has assured me that it is committed to easing the current Fare Structure for Kilcock Rail Commuters. Recently, the NTA allocated €100,000 to Kildare Co Co to carry out a study to examine the need for a park and ride facility along the M4 corridor between Kilcock and Leixlip.’

‘As a user of public transport myself, I know that once we provide a regular and reliable service, we will attract more and more people to use the public transport.’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke.