Category Archives: Latest News

Government Neglects Kildare in Town and Village Renewal Scheme says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has stated that the Government has neglected Kildare in its Town and Village Renewal Scheme, as it has only secured a fraction of the funding available.

“The Government announced over €21 million in funding under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, but Kildare has only secured €416k, the third lowest allocation in the country.”

“As I said in April when this scheme was advertised, counties like Kildare are often left out of the debate about the challenges that rural Ireland experience.  As I know from my clinics, in Johnstownbridge, Derrinturn, Carbury, Newtown, Prosperous, Clane, Ardclough and Kilcock, Kildare has rural Ireland challenges as well. We must fight for increased resources for our rural communities in Kildare.”

“The recession had a severe impact on many smaller towns in Kildare. As we recover, it is important that Kildare secures its fair share of resources under schemes, such as the Town and Village Renewal scheme.”

“Ardclough is only village in Kildare North that has received funding. Ardclough Multicultural and Craft educational centre will receive €76,680.00, and this is a welcome development.”

“However, many other towns in North Kildare merits consideration for funding under this scheme. This Government has totally neglected these towns.”

“In recent years, I have worked with many community and business groups in relation to Shop Front / Town Centre Improvement Grant Scheme with Kildare Co Co. We have seen the benefits of this scheme for many towns in the county and Kildare deserved better treatment from this Government under the town and Village Renewal scheme,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Frank O’Rourke supporting the Fast-Tracking of Residential Units

Supporting the Fast-Tracking of Residential Units

Tonight I supported the Vacant Housing Refurbishment Bill 2017 brought forward by my colleagues Barry Cowen TD and Pat Casey TD. This bill promotes a collaborative approach to deliver units to the people who are in desperate need of housing.

More details in the video attached

Restore Phone Allowance For The Elderly says O’Rourke

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Kildare North Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has called on the Government to restore the phone allowance for elderly people in the forthcoming budget. 

“Budget 2018 should restore the phone allowance for elderly people. I know from my weekly clinics that older people, on fixed incomes, are experiencing rising living costs and we need to capture these concerns in the forthcoming budget.” 

“In the Dáil I continue to raise the concerns of elderly people. We need more resources for Housing Adaptation Grants.  A Housing Adaptation Grant is available where changes need to be made to a home to make it suitable for older people or people with a disability to live in, thereby allowing them to continue living independently in their own homes. There is an increased demand for Home Care Packages, which needs to be factored into Budget 2018, as these packages not only benefit older people that require care at home but also alleviate pressure on our hospitals.” 

“We have seen recently, that some telephone providers have increased their monthly phone line rental charge. The Government must understand that older people who are on fixed incomes, in many cases, are not in a position to absorb these increased costs.” 

“The rises in phone line rental effectively eat into any increase in the pension. As I have said in the Dáil on a number of occasions, we must focus on reducing the cost of living as opposed to singularly looking at reducing income taxes. Restoring the phone allowance for the elderly would be a first step in this direction,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke

Primary Care Psychologist Appointed To Kildare North – O’Rourke

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Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has welcomed the appointment of a primary care psychologist to Kildare.

Deputy O’Rourke previously raised concerns about the lack of a primary care psychologist in the Dáil with Minister for Health Simon Harris and pressed the need for an appointment to be made without delay.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “Kildare was left without a primary care psychologist for a number of months which had a detrimental impact on mental health services in the region. I raised this issue with Minister Harris on a number of occasions and pointed out that the absence of a psychologist in the county was at odds with his Government’s claim that they are pulling out all the stops to strengthen mental health services.

“Minister Harris recently wrote to me to confirm that “
a new Primary Care Psychologist has recently taken up her post in North Kildare.”

“This is a positive development. The need for a properly staffed mental health service has never been greater. Primary care psychologists play a vital role in assisting people in managing their mental health and promoting psychological wellbeing within communities.

“Fianna Fáil is pushing for additional investment in mental health services in Budget 2018 and I will be working to ensure Kildare gets the resources it needs. There has been significant under investment in mental health services in recent years and a change in approach is clearly needed.

“The ‘Vision for Change’ policy document set out a roadmap for developing our mental health services. It was first published in 2006 yet many of its recommendations remain to be addressed. The Government urgently needs to refocus its efforts to ensure our mental health services are fit for purpose.”

Kilcock GAA — LIP🎤SYNC Battle

Congratulations to Kilcock GAA on organising a fantastic LIP🎤SYNC fundraiser last night (Saturday 30th) in Kilcock GAA club. I was delighted to be invited to be a judge along side Deirbhle Mulvihill and Kenny Cribbin. It was a truly enjoyable night with a fantastic atmosphere supported by a tremendous crowd from Kilcock and the surrounding area. Well done to all the contestants 👏🏻👏🏻 and MC Kenny Davy. A “BIG” well done and “SHOUT” out to the organising committee, club chairman, committee and all involved in a super night to remember 🎉👍🏻😃.

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Lack of Drug Treatment Services in Kildare

Once again, I raised the urgent need for a Drug Treatment Centre in Kildare with the Minister of State responsible for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy. The Government must make good on its commitment to provide a specialized treatment centre in Kildare, and to reduce waiting lists for individuals with high support needs.

RECRUITING ÓGRA MEMBERS- DCU

Today I had the privilege of been invited to attend the Padraig Pearse Cumann (DCU) recruitment day. This is a great initiative that third level institutions have provided for students to enable them to become involved in politics and much more to have their opinions heard. It was a very enjoyable afternoon meeting and engaging with all the students and our Ógra Fianna Fáil recruiting team. Well done

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O’Rourke Presses For Extra Funding For Bord Bia To Open New Markets Post-Brexit

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Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has raised the requirement for extra resources for Bord Bia, the agency tasked with promoting Irish food at home and abroad, to enable it to adequately market Irish foods abroad in a post-Brexit scenario.

“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 accounts for more than 40% of Irish food exports, and Kildare is home to much of that business.”

 “Despite the outcome of the Brexit referendum last year, the Government has only allocated €2m in additional funding to Bord Bia in its 2017 budget. Bord Bia is responsible for promoting and marketing Irish food products, both here in Ireland, and right across the globe.”

 “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.”

 “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, the Queally Group, Tara Vale Foods, Green Isle Group, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.”

 “Since my election, 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. 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.”

“Bord Bia has 13 international offices, but only 5 of them are located outside of the EU.  The EU-Japan trade deal now allows access of Irish dairy and meat product into Japan. However, there is no Bord Bia bureau in Japan,” stated Deputy O’Rourke having raised the issue with his colleague, Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food, Charlie McConalogue TD.