Community Local Issues Roads Rural Ireland

“Tipperary Anti-Illegal Dumping projects set to receive €56,800,” Mattie McGrath


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed confirmation by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, that five projects in Co. Tipperary have been approved for funding under his Department’s 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI). The projects that were selected to share in the total allocation of €56,800 are the Mountain View makeover, Ballylynch Community Garden, Burges Beauty Spot, Grangemockler Action Group and the Mill Road Monakeeba Way Pedestrian Walkway:

“This is great news for the communities and projects that have been selected.

We all know that the problem of illegal dumping is fast becoming a scourge that is destroying areas of natural beauty throughout the county.

It is the kind of action that displays a reprehensible disregard not only for our heritage and environment but also for the communities and families who have to put up with it.

The fact that the Anti-Dumping Initiative has been rolled out for another year is, in all fairness, a sign that the Minister is taking this problem seriously.

Illegal dumping can create significant health concerns and can also seriously undermine the capacity of areas to build up and sustain their tourist infrastructure.

There is simply no excuse for this type of action given the wide-spread availability of recycling centres and other disposal methods,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Health Local Issues Press Releases

“Families need guarantees and clarity on the future of St Patricks Rehab Unit,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release

“Families need guarantees and clarity on the future of St Patricks Rehab Unit,” Mattie McGrath


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has asked the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to immediately investigate what is the exact status of the Rehabilitation Unit at St Patrick’s Hospital, Cashel. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Minister Harris confirmed to him during the Dáil Order of Business that he was unaware of any plans to close the unit despite claims by Deputy Michael Lowry that the Unit was set to transfer 18 of its elderly patients to South Tipperary General Hospital this coming Friday:

“This is an absurd situation. The families of the elderly residents at St Patrick’s are having to put up with claims and counter claims regarding the future of the Unit and it is causing significant distress to all concerned.

They, and the wider community that the Unit serves deserve to know what substance, if any, there is to these rumours.

If the Unit is set to transfer 18 vulnerable patients to STGH, then that surely would represent a blatant failure of care given the chronic lack of capacity at the Hospital.

If there are other underlying issues around recruitment and retention then they need to be addressed as a matter of priority.

The excellent staff at St Patrick’s are managing to maintain the very highest standard of care during this period of confusion; but they to need to know what is going on internally within the HSE especially In terms of any proposals to close or reduce the functions or capacity of the Unit,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


Community Economic Activity Local Issues

“Irish Water displaying a billion euro error of judgement on Shannon Pipeline project,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, and the Head of Irish Water, Jerry Grant, to immediately suspend plans to proceed with the controversial €1.2 billion Shannon-Dublin Pipeline Project. Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a two hour Oireachtas briefing on the matter that he has organised to take place tomorrow at 3pm in Leinster House. The briefing will be given by Emma Kennedy of Kennedy Analysis following her appearance before the Joint Committee on Housing and Planning earlier in the morning: 

“I cannot over emphasise the scale of the institutional arrogance that is being displayed by Irish Water in terms of its commitment to proceed with this utterly reckless and wasteful project.

Emma Kennedy has produced several forensic deconstructions of this project that have demonstrably removed any justification for proceeding with it; yet Irish Water and indeed the Minister, have completely failed to engage with these findings.

What is astounding to me is that tomorrow morning I and the other members of the Committee will sit and question Irish Water on the project while at the same time knowing that it is has already made up its mind.

This kind of scrutiny after the fact displays a breath taking disregard not only for hundreds of millions of euros of public monies; but also for the functions of the Oireachtas.

At the very least the Minister and Irish Water should have waited until all of the evidence was thoroughly examined before it rushed to judgement on the advisability of this completely redundant pipeline,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



An Post Banks Community

“Post Office deal must not become Trojan Horse for pillar banks,” Mattie McGrath


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that serious question remain about the long term implications of the proposed deal between An Post and the Irish Postmasters Union (IPU). Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a potentially transformative vote on the matter when IPU members meet today to discuss the planned agreement:

“There are many aspects of this agreement that reflect the successful Dáil motion on the future of the post office network that was initiated by my colleagues and I in the Rural Independent Group in November of 2016.

It is only a pity that it took this long for others to see the necessity of what we proposed two years ago.

I specifically welcome the decision by An Post to invest €50 million in modernising the network

I also welcome the commitment by An Post to have a post office available for every community
of over 500 people.

As I understand it however, the deal proposes to establish community banking platforms within post offices where they will work in “close association” with the pillar banks.

The detail of what that means must be made absolutely clear. After all, the banks are not exactly renowned for their commitment to supporting potential competitors.

Therefore we must work to ensure that we avoid a situation whereby the dominance of the banks does not eventually lead to a fatal undermining of the community banking model itself.

I sincerely hope that questions on this matter will be raised at the IPU meeting ahead of the vote,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Crime Pro-Life Social Issues

“Taoiseach’s message is clear: Ministers are free to support those who break the law,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to reconsider his support for the decision of the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to campaign with Amnesty International Ireland, despite the organisations open declaration that it will not comply with an adverse ruling made against it by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO):

“Yesterday I challenged the Taoiseach to accept the manifest impropriety of a Minister actively campaigning with an organisation that has illegally accepted financial support for its abortion campaign.

The Taoiseach, as usual, chose to deflect from the issue and completely avoided engaging with the substance of the matter.

I find it absolutely extraordinary, that regardless of the issue, the Taoiseach still sees absolutely no problem with a key minister fully and publicly aligning himself with those who openly flout the law of the land.

We see at the moment how the government is convulsed in allegations that another senior minister allegedly acted improperly when it came to potentially conferring strategic advantage to a private company.

Here however, we have an open and shut case of a national organisation who have not only broken electoral law, with no intention of amending that situation, and yet the Minister for Health is been given free rein to support them in any way possible.

It is as despicable and transparent an application of political double standards as you are likely to see.

If Simon Harris or the Taoiseach had an ounce of genuine respect for our electoral law they would publicly disassociate themselves from Amnesty Ireland.

At present, by endorsing the Minister’s support of Amnesty, the Taoiseach is effectively denigrating the integrity of the Standards in Public Office Commission, and that is dangerous territory for any political leader ,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


Community Parking Rural Ireland

“Council must urgently revise Carrick-on-Suir parking plans,” Mattie McGrath TD

Press Release


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Carrick-on-Suir Municipal Council to immediately suspend plans to revise the current parking arrangements in the town. Deputy McGrath was speaking as frustration continues to develop among retailers and business owners over proposals to remove or reconfigure a significant number of parking spaces within the town:

“Proposals to change the existing parking plan within the town appear to be very detached from commercial realities.

We must work instead to ensure that Carrick does not remain on the back foot in terms of economic rejuvenation.

In light of that there is an urgent need to clarify the rationale behind this plan given the anger it is causing in the town.

We must also remember that the total income for the county from Parking Fines and Charges was over €11 million for the period 2014-2017.

What’s this highlights is that there is ample leeway to apply for a redistribution of some of that income stream to revitalising Carrick’s town centre instead of allowing for the introduction of parking policies that will have an adverse impact.

I and the people and businesses of Carrick would therefore like to see some kind of impact analysis from the Council in terms of why these changes are being permitted,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


Community Local Issues

“Tipperary set to receive €52,129 in additional Local Youth Club Grants,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release

“Tipperary set to receive €52,129 in additional Local Youth Club Grants,” Mattie McGrath


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, that 2018 will see an increase of 13% in funding for the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme in 2018. The increase will bring the allocation to €1.79m and will provide small volunteer-led youth clubs with greater capacity to reach more young people during the coming year:

“I want to commend the Minister for seeking approval for the increased allocation of funding toward smaller volunteer youth clubs.

This is an issue that all of us can support regardless of political affiliation given the enormously valuable contribution that these groups provide to communities right across the country.

I am particularly delighted to see that Tipperary is set to receive an increase of €52,129 for the youth clubs in our own county who do heroic work, often with limited resources.

As I understand it, the scheme, which is open to new entrants, will be advertised locally and applications for funding are currently being invited by the Tipperary Educational Training Board.

I would encourage all small volunteer youth clubs in the county to immediately apply to the Tipperary ETB for a grant under the Scheme,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Local Issues Social Issues

“Urgent need to prioritise resident Irish passport applications,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release 04-04-2018

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, to urgently prioritise passport applications from Irish citizens who are resident within the state. Deputy McGrath was speaking as frustration continues to mount at the severe processing backlog within the passport system:

“While I accept that there has been higher than usual demand for passports and that the adverse weather conditions have slowed things down, the fact remains that thousands of Irish families are being left seriously inconvenienced and out of pocket due to the delays within the system.

As I understand it there have already been almost 22 thousand passport applications from the UK, which is a direct result of Brexit and next year’s deadline for full UK withdrawal from the EU.

A knock on consequence of this is that families here are having entire holiday and travel plans up-ended because there is no system in place to classify differing levels of priority.

Many of the families and individuals who are inundating my office simply cannot understand why their applications are not being granted when a short turnaround time is desperately needed.

Brexit is still some way off so it only makes sense to reduce the urgency in processing those applications and concentrate our resources on the passports that are required in the short term.

I am appealing to the Minister to direct the passport service to at least consider taking these actions before the summer rush is upon us and the backlog increases exponentially,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


Community Farming Rural Ireland

“Prolonged wet and cold weather means a full blown fodder crisis is in effect,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release 03-04-2018

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to urgently clarify what additional measures he is taking in order to offset the crippling fodder crisis that is afflicting the farming sector. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he called on the Minister to provide details about the effectiveness of the fodder transport subsidy scheme that was announced in January of this year:

“While I accept that the Minister does not want to interfere in local fodder market supply, he must offer firm guarantees that everything that can be done will be done to ensure that fodder is available in adequate amounts to farmers who are struggling under the wet and cold weather conditions.

We know from information provided to the Dáil that his Department underspent almost €80 million last year.

That amount would be more than sufficient to fund the introduction of transport reimbursement scheme or the meal voucher scheme that has been requested by so many including the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA). We need to see action on these fronts immediately.

The unfortunate reality at this stage is that the only thing the prolonged bad weather has helped to flourish and grow is the levels of anxiety that farmers and farming families are experiencing.

The Minister must clarify what exactly is being done and then get that information out to the farmers on the ground as soon as humanly possible,” concluded Deputy McGrath.