An Post Community Local Issues Press Releases

“Confirmation that Newcastle Post Office to remain open is fantastic news,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release


“Confirmation that Newcastle Post Office to remain open is fantastic news,” Mattie McGrath




Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said there is significant relief and happiness at the news that the Post Office in Newcastle Village, Clonmel, is to stay open despite previous announcements by An Post that it would cease operations on January 31st.


Deputy McGrath was speaking this evening after a public meeting on the future of the Post Office that was organised by the Newcastle Save Our Post Office Committee:


“At the outset, I want to warmly welcome this fantastic news. It is a great result for the entire community.


I also want to salute the hard work and dedication of the local Save Our Post Office Committee who never gave up despite a near total lack of engagement by management in An Post and the Independent Assessor who made the decision to formally close our Post Office in November.


I also want to acknowledge the public spirited decision of the Post Mistress Catherine McCarra to stay in place and to continue her many years of service.


This decision marks an important need for the wider community to get behind our Post Office and to embrace a real and meaningful ‘use it or lose it’ approach.


We have shown in this instance that when a community comes together to protect its services, great results can follow.


In the meantime I will continue to make every effort to have the Department of Communications and the Department of Social Protection direct as much as government support and services in to our Post Offices  as possible to in order to guarantee long term viability.


For now however, we can all celebrate this marvellous news as a significant step in our efforts to rejuvenate and revive our community,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Banks Community Health Housing Local Issues Press Releases

“Occupation of KBC Bank will not end until commitments are received,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release


“Occupation of KBC Bank will not end until commitments are received,” Mattie McGrath




Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is taking part in the occupation of KBC Bank premises in Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, in order to highlight what he has called the distressing and persistent lack of engagement by the bank with customers experiencing mortgage difficulties. Deputy McGrath, along with Deputy Michael Collins and Deputy Carol Nolan have said they will not leave until they have received written assurances from the CEO, Wim Verbraeken, that he will meet with them to discuss their concerns:


“We are taking this drastic action to highlight the appalling treatment that customers in distress are receiving at the hands of KBC Bank.


We must not forget that this is a bank that reported net profit of €33.6 million for Q3 in 2018 alone.


Many of the customers we are dealing with really feel like they are being driven to the brink in terms of the aggressive and relentless debt collection strategies being employed.


These are ordinary people who listen to the reassuring words spoken at Oireachtas Committees and elsewhere by the banks but who know that the reality on the ground is extremely different.


We want absolute guarantees that this disconnect will be addressed and we will be remaining here in occupation until we have that in writing,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



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




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.



Dail Debates Health Press Releases

“Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Labour all ignored warnings on National Children’s Hospital Costs,”




Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to accept that his original assessment regarding the potential cost of the new National Children’s Hospital (NCH) will now lead to widespread delays of other vital healthcare projects. Deputy McGrath was speaking as concerns continue to mount regarding the exponential increase in the funding required to bring the project to completion:


“We are now close to €1.4 billion in costs from an original assessment of just over €404 million. That is absolutely outrageous and cannot be accounted for by construction related inflation as the Minister said earlier this week.


The facts of the matter are these: on Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017, I and my colleagues in the Rural Independent Group brought forward a Motion demanding that the government call a halt to its proposal to build the NCH at the St James site.


Along with the Connolly for Kids Group and the Jack & Jill Foundation we highlighted that the cost of construction of the National Children’s Hospital had already increased from €404 million in 2012, to approximately €1.1 billion and rising in 2017.


We informed the Dáil during that debate that the same differential would apply to the St. James’s Hospital site as it did to the then recent doubling of the estimated cost of building the National Maternity Hospital on a brownfield as opposed to a greenfield site, at St. Vincent’s University Hospital.


We were also very clear that due to the restricted nature of the proposed St. James’s Hospital site, parking provision for the National Children’s Hospital would be dramatically lower and hugely more expensive than that of international comparator hospitals.


Indeed the Independent Review of the National Children’s Hospital project (2011) and the Review Group on the National Children’s Hospital (2012) stated that it would be 25 per cent less expensive to build on a greenfield site than on an urban site.


All of these concerns were ignored by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and the Labour Party. So it is a bit rich for them to start complaining now when the damage has been done.


They all had ample opportunity to listen to the genuine fears around the escalation of costs and the impact that this would have.


Unfortunately they chose to band together and defeat the Rural Independent Group’s Motion which is what has contributed to the absurd situation we are in today.


As I said at the time; the people who will lose most on this project will be the families and the sickest children in the state. That is now the overwhelming shame that all of the major parties will have to live with,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Press Releases

“Tipperary jobs announcement highlights the talent pool within the county,” Mattie McGrath 


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the creation of over forty new jobs that are to be spread across the north and south of the county. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed that Mack Engineering, in Nenagh, Horizon Offsite in Cahir and Phil Purcell Engineering in Thurles are all set to grow employment opportunities with the assistance of the Tipperary Local Enterprise Office (LEO):

“This is fantastic news for the county but it will be especially welcomed at the local level where the real impact is felt in terms of economic gains.

I also want to salute the work that in this instance was co-ordinated and advanced by the Tipperary LEO; we need all hands working together to make Tipperary thrive and to reach the potential that we all know it has.

In light of that I am calling on the government to renew the policy it has adopted over the last number of years toward the LEADER Programme and the Local Action Groups.

We have known for some time now that cuts to the funding for the LEADER programme in Tipperary were the second highest in the Country for 2015-2020.

There was a dramatic reduction from €25.3 million for the 2007-2013 period to €10.1 million over the following five years.

This represented a staggering loss of €15.2 million for the county.

Think of what could have been achieved in terms of job creation if that funding had still been available.

As I have said; we need all hands on deck if we are going to see the kind of positive future employment announcements like those confirmed over the weekend,” concluded Deputy McGrat


Community Disability Local Issues Press Releases

Clonmel Borough District’s decision to progress with plans to prevent vehicular access to St. Patrick’s Cemetery is a disgrace,” McGrath.

Clonmel Borough District’s decision to progress with plans to prevent vehicular access to St. Patrick’s Cemetery is a disgrace,” McGrath

The decision by Clonmel Borough District to progress with plans to prevent vehicular access to St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Clonmel has been described as a disgrace and flies in the face of public opinion according to Tipperary Independent TD, Mattie McGrath.  

Commenting on the news Deputy McGrath said, “This issue raised its head back in 2015 and at that time, thanks to a major campaign by members of the community and indeed those who have loved ones interred in St. Patricks, the decision was reversed.  

At that time assurances were also given that the prevention of vehicles entering into the Cemetery would not be revisited.

However, it now seems that the Borough District have decided to use its Executive Function to push through these plans without even giving the locally elected Councillors for the Area a say on the matter. I find this totally outrageous; it displays an abhorrent disregard for the elderly and those with a physical disability who want to be able to visit and pay their respect to their loved ones and is just wrong.

It is unfortunate that, what we see here is the continued erosion of local democracy and decision making. I remain vehemently opposed to these plans as I did in 2015 and have called on the powers that be to reassess the situation as they did in 2015 and to desist implementing this draconian measure on the people of Clonmel and surrounding areas. Our burial grounds are a place of reflection and peace for everyone and should remain accessible by all,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Local Issues Press Releases

“Bullyboy tactics by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may force GP’s to resign from the Illness and Injury Benefit Schemes” McGrath

“Bullyboy tactics by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may force GP’s to resign from the Illness and Injury Benefit Schemes” McGrath

Independent TD for Tipperary, Mattie McGrath has described as bullyboy tactics efforts by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to introduce new claim forms called “IB1” and a new medical certificate called “MED1” to replace the old MC1 and MC2 forms for certification of the Department’s Illness and Injury Benefit Schemes on General Practitioners.

Commenting on the introduction of the altered schemes Deputy McGrath said;

“Since introducing the new process, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has failed to provide General Practitioners with any more illness certificates which they need and are in fact the only documents that GP’s have a contract for, to provide to their patients.

The Department has unilaterally altered all documentation required for Social Welfare certification, is refusing to issue GP’s with the former MC1 and MC2 forms and as a consequence GP’s will be no longer able to issue certificates from the end of August. This will inevitably cause problems with patient’s payments and cause further strain on vulnerable patients who are in need of these payments to live.

The new measures were introduced without prior consultation with the NAGP representative body of GP’s, gave them only a week’s notice of the change and will introduce a further workload on already stretched practices. I am extremely fearful that it may force individual GP’s who have contracts with the Department, to resign from the Scheme.

This will undoubtedly become a crisis in the coming weeks, and I have called on Minister Regina Doherty to immediately reinstate the former MC1 and MC2 schemes pending further consultation with the GP representative body, the NAGP,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Press Releases

“Dozens of opportunities for Tipperary tourism during this year’s Heritage Week,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has encouraged all those who can to take part in some of the free events that are being organised in County Tipperary to celebrate National Heritage Week which takes place from the 18th to 26th August. Deputy McGrath was speaking as historical, cultural and family days are being planned in towns and villages in order to create a deep and rich appreciation of our national heritage:

“I would encourage everyone who can to go and take the time out to visit one of the many events being organised again this year.

Right across the county heritage themed events will be held in Silverdagh, Portumna, Cabragh, Roscrea, Nenagh, Tipperary Town, Roscrea, Clonmel, Fethard, Lorrha and Dorrha, Cloughjordan, Thurles, Burncourt and Ballyporeen to name but a few.

A full list of the huge number of celebrations is available on the National Heritage website where you will find a county by county breakdown of everything that is being organised.

Within our own county there are over 50 events listed ranging from Walking Tours to Medieval History and Audio displays demonstrating the hidden treasures of the premier county.

The week is a golden opportunity to celebrate the great cultural wealth that still exists right across the Country.

I encourage everyone to go out and support the local events and to make Heritage Week a thriving success for Tipperary,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Farming Health Local Issues Press Releases Rural Ireland

“Commitments on Fair Deal welcome, but urgent clarity still required,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that while he welcomes the government’s decision to introduce greater flexibility and fairness to the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal Scheme), urgent clarification on important aspects of the changes remain. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Minister of State for Older People, Jim Daly, announced that he had brought a detailed memo to Cabinet requesting the introduction of a cap on the maximum charge that can be applied to farm assets:

“The Rural Independent Group has been working on this issue since the Programme for Government when we insisted that urgent action was required.

We followed that up in May of last year when we placed a Motion before the Dáil that was accepted by a majority of the House.

At that point we expected immediate action. However, we accept that progress is being made.

That being said we are deeply concerned that a significant minority of farmers, especially those who farm alone, will not benefit from this change and will have to endure under the current discriminatory model.

In particular we need urgent clarification on the whether the government intends to reduce the time an asset needs to be transferred prior to entering a nursing home from five to three years.

We also need immediate clarification both on the definition of ‘sudden illness or disability’, which provides for a three year cap to be applied to non-residential assets, and a broadened interpretation of ‘sudden illness or disability’ to include those who have been cared for at home for a period of time prior to seeking nursing home care.

If these issues are addressed then I and my colleagues in the Rural Independent Group will be happy to work with the government in progressing the required legislation as soon as possible after the summer recess,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



Community Health Local Issues Press Releases

“National Carers Week is an opportunity to express our profound gratitude,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release

“National Carers Week is an opportunity to express our profound gratitude,” Mattie McGrath


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his deep admiration and respect for the over 7000 Carers who provide regular unpaid personal help for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem or disability in Co. Tipperary. Deputy McGrath was speaking at the start of National Carers Week, which runs until June 17th:

“If we remember that the Carers in our county provide a staggering 256,120 hours of care per week, we will have a very clear sense of the daily heroism that these people perform in what are very often extremely challenging circumstances.

This breaks down to an average of 42.1 hours per carer per week:

I want to commend and salute people like Cllr Richie Molloy and all the team at Family Carers Ireland for the advocacy work they perform not just this week, but every week of the year.

I will also be taking the opportunity this week to engage again with the Taoiseach and the various government ministers about the ways in which we can increase and strengthen supports for our Carers.

I will also be asking the Minister for Social Protection and indeed the Minister for Health just what they intend to do to address the stark fact that there are at least 138 carers aged under 15 years in Co. Tipperary alone. This is a situation that demands immediate examination.

When you have a sector of our society providing over a quarter of a million of hours of care every week then it is very clear that the work they are doing is of fundamental importance.

That must be reflected in the governments approach to Carers and their families,” concluded Deputy McGrath.