All posts by Gabrielle McFadden

McFadden welcomes €370,000 in funding to refurbish 33 vacant houses in Westmeath and Longford

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed €370,000 to bring back into use 33 vacant local authority houses in Westmeath and Longford.

The allocations to Westmeath and Longford County Councils, announced today by Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, is part of €15m in funding to refurbish 1008 vacant local houses nationally.

“As Minister O’Sullivan has said, this is a positive programme that increases social housing supply quickly.

“This investment of €220,000 to refurbish 26 houses in Westmeath and €150,000 to bring 7 houses back into use in Longford will also create and sustain many jobs in the construction sector.

“Minister O’Sullivan has said she expects many of the new homes refurbished under this programme to be tenanted in the coming months.

“Today’s announcement will mean that almost 2,000 vacant houses nationally will now be returned to beneficial use.

“This €15m in funding follows on from the same level of funding provided in April to kickstart the refurbishment of 953 vacant local authority houses nationwide.”

€1.08m funding allocation to 33 organisations in Longford and Westmeath under Sports Capital Programme – McFadden

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said 31 sporting organisations in Longford and Westmeath will benefit from this year’s Sports Capital Programme, receiving €1,084,744 in total.

Deputy McFadden was speaking as Minister for Sport, Michael Ring TD, announced a total of €40.5 million in new funding for 880 sports community projects nationwide. This represents a 33% increase on the last round of the Sports Capital Programme and brings the total figure granted since this Government came into office to €85 million.

“23 Westmeath organisations will benefit to the sum of €824,645 while 10 in Longford will be the beneficiary of €362,067 in funding. The largest single allocation has gone to Athlone Regional Sports Centre representing €250,000 in funding.

“This announcement in Sports Capital Programme funding for Longford and Westmeath is really great news. (See list of beneficiaries below).

“The last Government scrapped the Sports Capital Programme. Having reinstated the Programme when we came into office, this Government is demonstrating that despite limited finances, we are determined to invest in local facilities, which are the lifeblood of communities across Ireland.

“The Government understands the importance of the work carried out by sports clubs and organisations in our communities and funding such as this helps them do this vital work. It assists clubs to build or improve their facilities and also enables them to buy much needed sports equipment. This in turn increases their capacity to cater to larger numbers of local people.

“The more people we get involved playing sport, the better for the country’s overall physical and mental health. We particularly want to encourage more young people to get involved in sport, and start the good habits of a lifetime early.

“Aside from promoting good health, sport also has a really valuable community development function. Sport brings local people together in towns and villages across the country, fostering a sense of solidarity in communities.

“Unfortunately, due to the huge demand for the Programme, not all clubs and organisations who applied were successful this year. I encourage any clubs who have been disappointed to reapply for the next round of funding.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Westmeath local grants total – €574,645.00
Athlone Boat Club €115,000.00
Athlone Sub Aqua Club Ltd €15,000.00
Ballinagore GAA Club €28,000.00
Ballinahown FC €17,000.00
Ballynacargy GAA Club €45,345.00
Killucan GAA €20,000.00
Killucan Ladies Football Club €800.00
Lakeside Wheelers Cycling Club €20,000.00
Midland Triathlon Club €10,000.00
Midland Warriors RFC €12,000.00
Moate Boxing Club €8,000.00
Mullingar elite bc €5,000.00
Mullingar Kyokushinkai Karate Club €500.00
Mullingar RFC €110,000.00
Mullingar Sub Aqua Club €17,000.00
Mullingar Tennis & Badminton Club €37,000.00
Multy Community Centre €20,000.00
Raharney GAA €40,000.00
Rosemount Community Committee €18,000.00
Shannonside Stealers €8,000.00
St Marys,Rochfortbridge €10,000.00
Willow Park FC €18,000.00
Westmeath non-local grant – Athlone Regional Sports Centre – €250,000.00

Longford Total – €260,099.00
Abbeyshrule Canoe Club €13,000.00
Ardagh St Patricks GAA €20,000.00
Ballymore GFC €9,000.00
County Longford Golf Club €50,000.00
Emmet óg GFC €30,000.00
Inny Kayakers Association €8,000.00
Longford RFC €21,299.00
Longford Slashers Camogie Club €2,800.00
Longford Tennis Club €6,000.00
St Teresa’s National School €100,000.00

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• A total of 2,036 applications were made under the 2014 Programme, the second highest number ever received under a Sports Capital Programme.
• A total of 825 of the successful allocations go towards local sports clubs and organisations, with the remaining 55 allocated to regional or national projects.
• The allocations announced include funding for:
o Natural grass sports pitches, tracks and courts;
o Floodlighting;
o Artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas;
o Security fencing and ball stop netting;
o Hurling walls / handball alleys;
o Building or refurbishment of dressing rooms, showers and toilets;
o Building or refurbishment of sports halls and gyms;
o Non-personal sports equipment;
o Shared facilities;
o Permanently fixed outdoor gym equipment.

€825,000 in sports capital funding for Westmeath – McFadden

• Athlone Regional Sports Centre to receive €250,000

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has warmly welcomed the €824,645 in sports capital funding allocated to clubs and organisations across Westmeath. The allocation is part of the €40.5 million in new funding for 880 sports community projects nationwide, announced by Minister for Sport, Michael Ring TD.

“I am delighted that 23 clubs and organisations across Westmeath have been rewarded for their efforts in promoting the benefits of sport in their local communities.

“Given my strong connections with both, I am especially pleased that Athlone Regional Sports Centre is to benefit from €250,000, the county’s single biggest allocation, and Athlone Boat Club is to receive €115,000.

“The McFadden family has long associations with the boat club, of which my late father had been a long-standing member. Similarly, I continue to have a successful working relationship with the Regional Sports Centre where both my late sister Nicky and I were Board members at different stages.

“The Sports Capital Programme is the main channel of Government support for developing sports facilities and purchasing sports equipment for sports clubs and organisations across the country.

“All of this isn’t just good for local sports, but it is also good for job creation, particularly in the construction sector.

“The last Government scrapped the Sports Capital Programme. Having reinstated the Programme when we came into office, this Government is demonstrating that despite limited finances, we are determined to invest in local facilities, which are the lifeblood of communities across Ireland.

“Unfortunately, due to the huge demand for the Programme, not all clubs and organisations who applied were successful this year but I encourage any clubs who have been disappointed to reapply for the next round of funding.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Westmeath local grants total – €574,645.00
Athlone Boat Club €115,000.00
Athlone Sub Aqua Club Ltd €15,000.00
Ballinagore GAA Club €28,000.00
Ballinahown FC €17,000.00
Ballynacargy GAA Club €45,345.00
Killucan GAA €20,000.00
Killucan Ladies Football Club €800.00
Lakeside Wheelers Cycling Club €20,000.00
Midland Triathlon Club €10,000.00
Midland Warriors RFC €12,000.00
Moate Boxing Club €8,000.00
Mullingar elite bc €5,000.00
Mullingar Kyokushinkai Karate Club €500.00
Mullingar RFC €110,000.00
Mullingar Sub Aqua Club €17,000.00
Mullingar Tennis & Badminton Club €37,000.00
Multy Community Centre €20,000.00
Raharney GAA €40,000.00
Rosemount Community Committee €18,000.00
Shannonside Stealers €8,000.00
St Marys,Rochfortbridge €10,000.00
Willow Park FC €18,000.00
Westmeath non-local grant – Athlone Regional Sports Centre – €250,000.00

—————————–

• A total of 2,036 applications were made under the 2014 Programme, the second highest number ever received under a Sports Capital Programme.
• A total of 825 of the successful allocations go towards local sports clubs and organisations, with the remaining 55 allocated to regional or national projects.
• The allocations announced include funding for:
o Natural grass sports pitches, tracks and courts;
o Floodlighting;
o Artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas;
o Security fencing and ball stop netting;
o Hurling walls / handball alleys;

Athlone, Mullingar and Longford to benefit from ESB/Vodafone high speed broadband investment – McFadden

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that homes and businesses in the towns of Athlone, Mullingar and Longford are set to benefit as a result of a joint ESB and Vodafone venture to upgrade broadband facilities. A total of 50 towns nationwide will benefit as a result of the €450 million investment.

“As a result of this major investment plan announced by the ESB and Vodafone, homes and businesses in the three towns will be able to access high speed broadband. This will help to both attract new investment and sustain existing businesses, as well as improving the quality of broadband available in people’s homes.

“Upgrading our broadband network is crucial to our economic recovery. The Government is determined to improve the access, quality and capacity of the broadband infrastructure in the State. We have seen this with the plan to roll out high speed broadband in every secondary school in the country which will be completed by this September.

“In May, the Government announced an implementation strategy to deliver State led broadband investment in rural areas under the National Broadband Plan. The initial phase of this plan will involve a fibre build out to more than 1,100 villages. The deployment of fibre will be as close as possible to strategic locations such as schools, business hubs, health facilities and Garda Stations.

“The State is doing its part to upgrade the broadband network, and it is very positive that the private sector is also setting up to the mark, as evidenced in today’s announcement by the ESB and Vodafone.

“The Government recognises that we need to be ambitious by future proofing our broadband network, with the objective of solving the connectivity challenge in rural areas for the long term.

“Improving broadband access in rural Ireland will help ensure that our economic recovery is being felt in every town and village across the country.”

More than €512,00 in payments to Longford and Westmeath suckler farmers under the Beef Data Programme – McFadden

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed the announcement of €10m in payments to suckler farmers by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney.

“The Minister today (Wednesday) announced the commencement of payment to almost 26,000 suckler farmers under the 2013 Beef Data Programme. Payments will start this week to farmers taking part in the programme.

“In Longford, just over 660 herds and 14,700 animals will benefit from a total allocation of more than €276,300. In Westmeath, more than 700 herds and more than 12,000 individual animals will benefit from over €236,300 worth of investment.

“This €10 million in funding has been provided from Single Farm Payment Scheme (SPS) unused funds for the Beef Data Programme (BDP). Money will be allocated to animals born during 2013 and 2014.

“The Beef Data Programme helps farmers to improve the genetic quality of livestock, while maintaining a flow of crucial data to Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

“Beef farming is extremely important in Counties Longford and Westmeath and the beef suckler cow herd is our best asset. I am delighted that this support has been provided as I know that it has been a challenging start to the year for suckler farmers in the area. This announcement is definitely welcome at this time.

“More than 100,000 farm families are involved in suckler farming in Ireland, almost 8,000 people are employed in processing, sales and marketing, and exports are valued at approximately €1.8 billion per annum.

“The Beef Data Programme is supporting suckler farmers in improving the quality of livestock, in harnessing technology to make this type of farming more efficient and ultimately more profitable at farm level.

“Beef farming is a major contributor to the agriculture sector and indeed to the Irish economy. New markets are opening up all the time for this industry and it is very positive to see supports such as the suckler farmer payment in place to make the sector robust and ready for growth.”

Working group’s report on making air ambulance service permanent expected to be with Minister shortly – McFadden

* Air ambulance carries out 652 time critical missions since its launch two years ago

Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has been informed by the Department of Health that the working group looking at the establishment of a permanent air ambulance service at Custume Barracks has virtually finished its deliberations and that a report will go to the Health Minister in the next few weeks.

“During his visit to Athlone last month, Minister Reilly confirmed that plans are in place to retain this important service along with developing an additional cross-border service to extend the scope of the service.

“A review of this Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) already carried out last year confirmed the need for a permanent service and this special group is now almost ready to submit its report to Minister Reilly with proposals on how this helicopter service will operate on a permanent footing.

“Recent EAS data, recorded up to May 2014, also reveals that the helicopter carried out 652 time critical missions since its launch in the summer of 2012. This equates to one life-saving task a week since its launch in Custume Barracks two years ago.

“Significantly, almost a half of the taskings completed (316) have been for STEMIs, a type of serious heart attack where a coronary artery is completely blocked. Forty of the missions also involved emergency incidents involving children.

“Since the EAS’ launch, the service has operated 7 days a week, responding quickly to emergencies where patients needing rapid access to acute services in larger hospitals will be transported quickly to receive the appropriate medical care.

“Clearly, the service has been a tremendous success since its inception and I hope that the service will be made permanent as soon as possible.”

McFadden welcomes funding approval for works at St. Aloysius College

Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed funding approval for structural improvement works to be carried out at St Aloysius College.

“I am delighted that St Aloysius College is the beneficiary of this funding to enable the school to proceed with the necessary works which will commence after the required tender process.

“This grant-aid has been sanctioned by the School Building Unit at the Department of Education.

“Projects such as this also help to stimulate economic activity by supporting construction jobs and their spin-offs for the local economy.”

McFadden welcomes news three schools succeed in retaining EAL teacher

Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed the news that Athlone primary schools St Paul’s and Cornamaddy along with St Marys NS in Edgeworthstown have retained English as an Additional language(EAL) teachers following successful appeals.

“I am delighted the respective appeals of these three schools were deemed successful by the Primary Staffing Appeals Board which met recently to review the cases of many schools around the country. This is great news for teachers, parents and the local communities who had been waiting anxiously for good news.

“I also understand that there is a further meeting scheduled for the Primary Staffing Appeals Board, so any school who can provide evidence they should be granted additional teaching posts, under any of the published criteria, can submit appeals.

“The staffing arrangements for all primary schools for the coming school year, 2014/15 are available on the Department’s website: http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0007_2014.pdf.”

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance application process now open – McFadden

Fine Gael Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, is highlighting to eligible families that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) scheme is now open for applications

“The BSCFA online application system for this payment has just opened and I encourage all those who may need it to apply.

“This allowance is a crucial support for families, helping them to meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for their school-going children.

“I also welcome the fact that the allowance will again be automatically approved for low income families who have qualified previously and meet the criteria again this year.

“If you qualify automatically for the allowance you will get a letter telling you when and how your allowance will be paid.

“This cuts down on bureaucracy in the system, and also removes unnecessary stress on parents by avoiding the need for them to reapply.

“Application forms are available online at www.welfare.ie. You can also get an application form in your local social welfare office or Intreo centre; via SMS (text “Form BTSCFA” followed by your name and address to 51909) or you may email the Department at BSCFA@welfare.ie.”

McFadden welcomes €2,500 funding for Athlone Literary Festival

Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has warmly welcomed €2,500 in Arts Council funding for the Athlone Literary Festival.

The funding was allocated under round 2 of the Arts Council’s 2014 Festivals and Events scheme.

“Since its inception more than 10 years ago, Athlone Literary Festival has become a key date on the cultural calendar, attracting visitors from all corners of the country.

“I would like to pay tribute to the festival organisers for their great work to ensure the success of the event every year.”