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“Minister must convene emergency meeting of Beef Roundtable,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release

“Minister must convene emergency meeting of Beef Roundtable,” Mattie McGrath

31-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to take immediate steps toward convening a meeting of the Beef Roundtable forum. Deputy McGrath was speaking as protests by the Beef Plan Movement continue apace as part of efforts across the sector to highlight the unprecedented threat to the beef and sucker market:

“The Minister last Chaired a meeting of the Beef Roundtable last October. Since then the threats to the industry and the financial contagion risk that these represent for the entirety of rural Ireland have escalated with alarming rapidity.

We need an immediate, high level meeting of all stakeholders right across the farming community to try and navigate a way forward; one that will save the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families.

When he spoke last October, Minister Creed urged processors to engage positively with their farmer suppliers to build the sustainability of the sector as a whole and to ensure a reasonable return for the farmers upon whom the sector relies for its development.

Yet absolutely nothing of the kind has occurred. They have simply ignored him because they see that this government really does not mean what it says.

By and large the producers and the supermarket multiples continue to impose disgraceful losses on to the back of beef farmers and indeed other parts of agri-food sector.

We cannot allow that to continue.

Between Brexit and Mercosur, and the vicious unfairness being perpetrated by the factories, beef farmers and farmers in general do not stand a hope of being able to sustain a living unless we rebalance the scales to allow fair conditions and pricing to emerge,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

ENDS

Categories
Community Economic Activity Rural Ireland Social Issues

“Clonmel Arms re-development must not be subjected to further delays,” Mattie McGrath

30-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he strongly welcomes the decision by Tipperary County Council to grant planning permission for a new 114-bedroom hotel on the site of the former Clonmel Arms Hotel. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the developers were finally given the go-ahead following detailed requirements from An Taisce that the original site design be revisited:

“This is excellent news for Clonmel and the broader regeneration of the town centre. We can only hope at this stage that bodies like An Taisce have had their strict requirements satisfied and they will not return at a later point to throw a further spanner in the works.

In its heyday, the old Clonmel Arms Hotel was a fantastic, centrally located resource for the town.

I have no doubt that the new development will be just as popular and beneficial for the entire town centre area.

Clonmel has had to wait 14 years before this redevelopment eventually got off the ground.

That is far too long. It is also one of the main reasons why work on bringing the site to life and creating much needed employment has to happen as a matter of urgency.

As I say, the last thing we need are bodies like An Taisce or An Bord Pleanala coming back and asking for some relatively minor point to be addressed, especially given the lengthy delays this would cause.

We have gone through an exhaustive re-evaluation and design process. It is time now to get the work done,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

Categories
Community Gardai Local Issues Rural Ireland Social Issues

“More Garda Stations closed in Tipperary than whole of Dublin combined,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release

25-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is calling on the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, to outline his plans to substantially increase the number and availability of Gardaí in the Tipperary Division. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed to him in a parliamentary reply that Tipperary has seen the closure of 7 Garda Stations under the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme, while closures across the Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin South, Dublin South Central, Dublin East and Dublin West Garda areas amounted to just 6:

“What these figures clearly show is that rural counties like Tipperary have borne a disproportionate part of the burden when it came to the closing down of garda stations.

The Minister has confirmed to me that the purpose of these closures was to allow front line Gardaí to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion, particularly with regard to targeted police operations.

That has not happened. Instead we find ourselves in a situation where Tipperary where there has been an almost two thirds reduction in the number of Probationer Garda for Co. Tipperary from 2017-2018.

Indeed, I find it absolutely astonishing that from 2015 to 2018, Tipperary was allocated only 48 Probationer Garda from a total of 2146.

When you out these two things together then the situation does not bode well in terms of the sheer availability of garda numbers to police and protect our communities.

What is even more galling is that at the end of his reply to me on the Garda Station closures, the Minister said; “It should be noted that the number of Garda stations in Ireland compares favourably with similar jurisdictions including Scotland.”

This is cold comfort to those farms and families who still feel under siege in their own villages and homes,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

END

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 23/07/2019
Question Number(s): 910 Question Reference(s): 33413/19
Department: Justice and Equality
Asked by: Mattie McGrath T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda stations that have been closed in each Garda division since 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. The allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion and significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána including €342 million being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 and €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations. As Minister, I have no direct role in such matters. Indeed the Deputy may recall that as recently as December 2018, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate in its report “Policing with Local Communities” confirmed that it is appropriate that the Commissioner should continue to hold this responsibility.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme, developed and implemented in 2012 and 2013, resulted in the closure of 139 Garda stations nationwide. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the closures implemented nationally under this programme allowed front line Gardaí to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion, particularly with regard to targeted police operations.

It should be noted that the number of Garda stations in Ireland compares favourably with similar jurisdictions including Scotland.

The table below sets out the locations of the Garda stations that were closed in that programme.

Division Number of Stations Closed
DMR North 2
DMR North Central 0
DMR South 0
DMR South Central 1
DMR East 3
DMR West 0
Cavan/Monaghan 9
Donegal 8
Louth 0
Sligo/Leitrim 12
Cork City 4
Cork North 1
Cork West 9
Kerry 12
Limerick 8
Kilkenny/Carlow 4
Tipperary 7
Waterford 2
Wexford 3
Kildare 3
Meath 2
Westmeath 4
Wicklow 2
Laois/Offaly 4
Clare 9
Galway 11
Mayo 10
Roscommon/Longford 9
Total 139

 

 

Categories
Local Issues Roads Rural Ireland

“Work on Clonbeg Bridge to be delayed until at least 2020,” Mattie McGrath

23-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said there is significant disappointment at the news that works on the Clonbeg Bridge in Aherlow are being held back until at least 2020. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Tipperary County Council District Engineer confirmed that the consultant engineering firm appointed by Tipperary County Council to provide the design of the replacement bridge at the Clonbeg site has confirmed a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) was required for the works before it could proceed:

“We know that the Department of Transport recently allocated €235,000 towards the replacement of Clonbeg Bridge. It was hoped that this would have allowed the works to begin this month.

It is now the case however that an application to An Board Pleanala is being required.

Under section 177AE of the Planning and Development Act 2000, an application of this kind means it is similar to other planning applications in that a planning notice must be published in the print media and a site notice erected.

The plans will go on public display and statutory bodies need to be notified.

As I understand it; in the coming weeks a planning application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala, however it is currently taking up to six months for An Bord Pleanala to provide a decision on applications.

The District Engineer has concluded therefore that it will be at least 2020 before the Clonbeg Bridge works are even started,” said Deputy McGrath.

ENDS

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Uncategorized

“Urgent clarification needed on proposed HSE restructuring,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on HSE Chief Executive, Paul Reid, to provide greater clarification on the proposal to group South Tipperary with parts of South Dublin under the new HSE restructuring plan. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it emerged that under the new model, South Tipperary will be grouped with Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow and part of South Dublin, under what will be called Area C:

“I have been calling for the dismantling of the HSE for several years now. It was always an unwieldy and overly bureaucratic model of care that simply did not work.

So, to that extent I welcome the plans to reorganise along a more local and regional model.

However, the plans to group South Tipperary with parts of Wicklow and South Dublin would seem to work against making that a reality.

The Minister and the HSE are saying the new model is laid out in SláinteCare and is population based; although as of yet it is extremely unclear what that effectively means.

What we need is a model that will deliver accountability, effective organisational alignment and good governance.

These are some of the fundamental principles of the SláinteCare Report and I support that approach wholeheartedly.

However, the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare proposed the geographic alignment of Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations (CHOs).

Just how is South Tipperary geographically aligned with South Dublin or Wicklow? That is a question I want an answer to from the HSE Chief Executive.

We cannot simply replace one unworkable model of healthcare delivery with another.

We need change that will deliver the greatest possible outcomes for people at a local level where their needs are best understood,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

ENDS

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Uncategorized

“Farm Safety Week highlights the need for constant vigilance,” Mattie McGrath

16-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has urged all farming families in Co. Tipperary to place a renewed emphasis on the prevention of farm accidents. Deputy McGrath was speaking at the beginning of the seventh annual Farm Safety Week:

“This year’s campaign is centred around the phrase: ‘Save Lives. Think Safety – Farm Safely.’ That is a vital message that we must keep to the fore of our minds, not just during this week but all year round.

While the vast majority of farmers are very conscious of their safety and those of their workers, we still have to remember that last year, 15 people tragically lost their lives in farm accidents.

As I understand it, 12 more people have also died so far this year.

Those of us who farm and are familiar with the work know how easy it is for complacency to kick in. We can begin to think that we have taken sufficient precautions and that accidents are what happen to other people.

Unfortunately, the evidence is there that even the most experienced farmer or farm worker can be liable to make easily preventable mistakes.

That is why weeks such as these are so important. They remind us that when it comes to farm safety we can never be too careful,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

ENDS

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Uncategorized

“HSE to remove the rehabilitative training allowance for young disabled,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, to seek an immediate suspension of HSE plans to remove the rehabilitative training (RT) allowance to disabled school leavers. Deputy McGrath was speaking after a number of Disability and Voluntary sector groups expressed their anger at the decision of the HSE to scrap the allowance, worth €31.80 a week per students who go on to participate in training schemes:

“This is clearly a case of the HSE picking on a vulnerable minority of school leavers in order to make up for its own spectacular budgetary incompetence.
I share the sense of frustration and bewilderment that the disability sector is feeling after this shock announcement.
It simply beggar’s belief that disabled young people who are trying their best to go on and fully participate in the training and employment sector should be targeted in this way.

What I want to know is; is this the HSE’s way of clawing back the €2 million it gave to Rehab recently?
Certainly, we need clarity as to why such a small allowance, paid as I understand it to just several hundred young disabled persons, was selected.
I will be writing to Minister of State McGrath asking him fully engage with the concerns of the various disability groups and the service users themselves in order to see if there is not a more appropriate way forward in terms of cost savings within the HSE,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
ENDS

Categories
An Post

“An Post ignoring Councils Thurles Shopping Centre Enforcement Letter,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that An Post are displaying an unacceptable disregard for county planning laws after it emerged that a warning and Enforcement Letter (attached) was issued against Thurles Shopping Centre development over its non-compliance with a number of conditions related to its planning permission. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the matter was raised at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing and Planning, of which he is a member:

“This matter was brought to the attention of the Committee in order to highlight the fact that An Post, as a semi state body are continuing to develop their new premises at the Thurles Shopping Centre despite the serious planning breaches that have been identified at that development by Tipperary County Council.
These breaches are very serious, and they include the restricting of access for emergency vehicles.

It is totally and utterly unacceptable for An Post to simply ignore this warning letter from the County Council and the Director of Services.
At the very least, given An Post’s position, it should have ceased or suspended all work until the unauthorised developments at the Thurles Shopping Centre have been regularised.

What does it say about An Post’s respect for the statutory role that the local authority has to play with respect to planning laws if it just ignores letters of this kind and carries on regardless?

I am calling on An Post to immediately cease all work at the Thurles Shopping Centre and to show some respect for the planning laws that every other small business in Thurles and the rest of the county have to comply with,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
ENDS

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Uncategorized

Scale of Job losses at Cashel’s Amneal is deeply concerning,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the announcement of 61 job losses at the Amneal Ireland Ltd in Cashel is alarming and profoundly upsetting for all the workers and families who have been affected. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Amneal confirmed that the company’s operation in Cashel, Co Tipperary will reduce the site’s workforce from 91 to approximately 30:

“This is huge blow to the town of Cashel and for all concerned who have given time and dedication to Amenal.

As I understand it, a 30-day consultation with employee representatives will commence shortly to determine the roles involved in the reduction which is due to take effect from September.

I also understand that the company expect that Cashel will return to growth from 2021-2022 onwards as pipeline products complete various development stages and start to be supplied from the site.

That will provide little comfort however to the families who are set to lose their employment in the short term.

It is important that we now do all we that we can to provide a comprehensive system of support for those affected and to seek immediate intervention in order to analyse if a more productive way forward can be brought about,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

END

Categories
Local Issues

“HSE confirm no funding approval as of yet for Clonmel Mental Health Crisis House,” Mattie McGrath

09-07-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is deeply concerned about the fact that funding approval for the upgraded Grenville Mental Health Crisis House in Clonmel is still waiting to be signed off by the HSE.  Deputy McGrath was speaking after the HSE’s Head of Estates, Jim Curran, confirmed to him in a parliamentary reply that while the new design for the proposed upgrade is undergoing a review, the tender process for the project cannot proceed because funding has yet to be confirmed under the HSE Capital Plan for 2019. The HSE also confirmed as part of the reply that the review of the design will not complete until at least Quarter 3 of this year:

“Confirmation that funding to allow the tender process to go ahead has yet to be approved is extremely worrying; particularly in light of the fact that we now know the HSE will have a deficit this year of at least €116 million even before this service is given the green light.

We must have tender approval for an upgraded Mental Health Crisis House as a matter of urgency.

I made this explicitly clear to the Minister of State for Mental Health the last time we met.

On that occasion there was a clear recognition on all sides that the situation which currently exists simply cannot go on.

Indeed, there was also recognition that in psychiatric bed terms, the South-East has gone from being “bed rich and resource poor to bed poor and resource poor.”

That is why the idea of expanding the service at Granville was raised as an interim solution to the crisis in mental health services we are experiencing in Tipperary.

Outside of extending the Clonmel Crisis House, we had the appalling vista of having to wait at least 6-7 years for any kind of restructuring of psychiatric services in our health area, CHO 5; a timeframe that was confirmed by the HSE representatives at that meeting.

This should make it clear that we simply cannot accept any further delays in terms of funding approval,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

END