Categories
Community Environment Health Housing Local Issues Social Issues

“Rural Ireland must not be hit in scramble to find cash for Children’s Hospital over-run,” Mattie McGrath

12-02-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, to clarify what rural projects will be being scaled back or delayed following reports in today’s Irish Independent that his department will be asked to slash its budget in order for government to make up the €100 million funding gap that has emerged following the enormous cost over-runs at the National Children’s Hospital. Deputy McGrath went on to say that this would represent a double betrayal for the children of rural Ireland in light of the well documented challenges that already exist for rural families in terms of accessing the site of the NCH at St. James Hospital:

 

“It is absolutely unacceptable for the government to even contemplate raiding the budget for projects in rural Ireland in order to cover up its disastrous oversight of the NCH.

 

We are hearing this morning that funds announced as part of Project Ireland 2040, including the Rural Development Fund, will also be temporarily delayed, in addition to cuts in housing and education.

 

It is also being reported that the extra €9m allocated to the OPW for flood schemes this year is also likely to be reduced by €3m.

 

What’s next-abandoning rural broadband in order to cover the blushes of Leo’s Ministers?

 

Rural Ireland has taken hit after hit in the last six years; not least in the area of health where it remains nearly impossible for us to retain or recruit rural GP’s.

 

Proportionally speaking, rural Ireland is still playing catch up in terms of the huge economic imbalance between it and the city and county of Dublin where over 50% of Ireland’s GDP – the total value of everything produced in the country – is generated.

 

This is despite the fact that an estimated 60% of the population live outside Dublin County.

 

These facts must be taken into consideration before the government takes the budgetary knife to badly needed projects in rural Ireland,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

END

Categories
Community Environment

“Massive boost for Tipperary outdoor projects as funding of €756,000 is provided,” Mattie McGrath

08-01-2019

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is delighted at confirmation that four outdoor recreation projects in County Tipperary are set to benefit by grants totalling over €750,000.

 

Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, and Failte Ireland announced the funding which includes €156,000 for the River Suir Blueway Canoe Trail and €200,000 for the development of walkways along the River Ara in Tipperary Town.

 

Also included was €200,000 for the construction of a circulatory pedestrian walkway from the Rock of Cashel to Hore Abbey and a further €200,000 for improvements to Templemore Town Park:

 

“Tipperary has fantastic natural resources and amenities that deserve our full support. I am delighted therefore to see these excellent projects receive the funding that they so thoroughly deserve.

 

This proves yet again that we have a vibrant and energetic tourism sector that is capable of delivering and making strong and persuasive cases for support and development.

 

We need to move on from here now and continue the work that will build up and nurture these pathways for growth and expansion,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

 

ENDS

 

 

Categories
Community Environment Local Issues Press Releases

“Tipp Town Traffic Light decision typically ill-timed,” Mattie McGrath

 

Press Release

 

“Tipp Town Traffic Light decision typically ill-timed,” Mattie McGrath

 

19-12-2018

 

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Tipperary County Council to immediately review the procedures it has in place for determining when traffic works take place, particularly in larger urban centres. Deputy McGrath was speaking after frustration continues to mount in Tipperary Town regarding the significant delays caused by the introduction the new traffic lights in the town:

 

“I think most people would share the common sense view that when it comes to traffic works, unless it is a genuine emergency, then the works should be done at off-peak times.

 

In light of that it is inconceivable how works in Tipp Town could have been signed off just when the town is gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year.

 

The whole sorry spectacle is a slap in the face for Tipperary Town and demands an urgent review of how and when the timing of these works are determined.

 

We should be trying to avoid the imposition of obstacles to trade and visitors and not increasing them. I would have thought that was a fairly obvious and sensible position to take for Tipperary County Council also,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

 

END

Categories
Community Environment Farming Local Issues Rural Ireland

“Serious questions remain about Minister’s fodder deficit statistics,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed to clarify how the estimated national level of fodder deficits are being calculated.

Deputy McGrath was speaking after he challenged the Minister on the matter this morning during the course of Dáil Priority Questions:

“The Minister is being, at best, very disingenuous with respect to the continuing crisis in the levels of fodder supply.

He highlighted to me this morning how Teagasc now estimate the deficit to be down to 11% nationally, from a previous figure of 20%.

Yet not two days ago, on Teagasc’s own website it acknowledged that the most recent survey of winter feed supplies on beef and dairy farms identified typical shortages of around 20-24% in south/eastern counties and 10-15% in north/western areas.

Individual cases have also reported greater deficits exceeding 40%.

This raises very serious questions about the kind of information that Minister Creed is receiving especially since this information is essentially dictating his response.

I have said it previously and it must be said again; the minister is not only absolutely removed from the true scale of this ongoing crisis but he also seems totally unwilling to accept factual feedback from farmers who are still struggling.

We know how this government has a particular fondness for spin and how it manipulates statistics to mask its own inaction.

I want the Minister to fully accept that the fodder crisis is far from over and to listen and act on the reality of what is occurring rather than how he imagines it is going,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

END

 

Categories
Environment Farming Local Issues Rural Ireland

McGrath welcomes extension to the deadlines for spreading of fertiliser’s and Slurry

Independent TD for Tipperary, Mattie McGrath has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, TD that an extension to the deadlines for spreading fertiliser and slurry on farms has been granted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Commenting on the news Deputy McGrath said, “I have been inundated by members of the farming community asking that the deadlines for the spreading of fertiliser and slurry be extended, particularly due to the ongoing drought conditions and fodder crisis.

I have been asking the Minister on flexibility on an extension to the closed period for spreading of chemical and organic fertilisers, in order to capitalise on autumn grass growth for fodder production.
It is extremely important that we give the farming community and those most affected by the drought and fodder crisis the opportunity to maximise the growing season and to conserve additional fodder as we approach the Autumn and Winter periods.

The deadline has been extended for chemical fertiliser from mid September until the end of September, and the deadline for the application of organic manures from mid October to the end of October.”
Concluding Deputy McGrath added, “While I welcome this announcement, we need to see a practicable, targeted and workable solution to the ongoing fodder crisis from the Minister and his Department including the importation of fodder where necessary to assist farmers who are at crisis point. Imports of fodder will have to have a key role to play in the range of options available.”

***ENDS***

 

Categories
Community Environment Farming Local Issues Roads Rural Ireland

“Rural anger as Hedge-Cutting Regulations will not be in place before 2019,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said there is massive anger and frustration within rural communities over confirmation that regulations permitting the commencement of certain provisions of the Heritage Act will not be in place for at least another year. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed to him that although Section 7 of the Heritage Bill 2016 provides for managed hedge cutting on roadsides and burning these provisions cannot come into force until Regulations are made as provided for under the Heritage Act 2018: 

“To say that there is huge disappointment around this news is an understatement. It was understood by almost everyone involved in this issue that once the Heritage Act 2018 was signed into law, which it was in mid-July, then the provisions allowing for hedge-cutting at the start of this August would be in force.

We now understand that the Minister and her Department had no intention of facilitating this change and have instead told us that it will be at least 2019 before draft regulations are in place.

This demonstrates yet again that Minister Madigan has absolutely zero sense of the urgency surrounding this matter for rural Ireland and indeed for local authorities.

People’s lives are being put at risk for every day in which there is a delay in allowing the cutting of overgrown and dangerous hedges or vegetation.

Some of the roads I have travelled on recently are places where the hedges are almost meeting each other in the middle of the road and where Stop signs are completely obscured.

How the Minister and her officials have utterly failed to grasp that this is an immediate public health risk is beyond me.

The Act has been signed and it must be allowed to be used as a legal basis for rural communities and contractors to get on with the vital work that needs to be done. Further delays are totally unacceptable,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

 

Categories
Community Environment

“Almost 60 Tipperary projects to share in €35 thousand in Environmental Funding,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed confirmation that a total of 57 community and school environmental projects in Co. Tipperary will share in funding allocations worth €35,510. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, informed him that the successful projects will receive funding from the 2018 Local Agenda 21 (LA21) Environmental Partnership Fund:

“I am delighted that so many of the local projects here in Tipperary have received some level of funding.

Most of them relate to community gardens, allotments, tidy-towns groups, compost schemes, rainwater harvesting schemes and other educational initiatives.

The funding allocations under LA21 are being provided by the Department and are being matched by local authorities, and that must be welcomed.

Most of the funding allocations are for several hundred euros while some like those given to Colaiste Dun Iascaigh in Cahir will receive €1400 for its Biodiversity Walkway.

Others situated in Mount Bruis, Upperchurch, Bansha, Carrick-on-Suir, Newtown, Cloughjordan, Ballingarry and Kilshelan and Rearcross will get €600-€800 for their projects.

I want to salute all of those involved for their creativity, imagination as well as their commitment to looking after the wonderful heritage we have in the beautiful environment of Tipperary,” concluded Deputy McGrath.