McFadden urges Westmeath and Longford voters to help Fine Gael keep the recovery going

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has urged Westmeath and Longford people to help Fine Gael keep the recovery going when they go to vote this Friday , February 26th.

“The economy is heading in the right direction and Fine Gael wants to reward middle income families in this constituency for their hard work during difficult times

“I appeal to people when they go to vote this Friday to help keep the recovery going, a recovery brought about by their hard work. Fine Gael has a plan to keep the recovery going based on three simple steps; more and better jobs, making work pay and investing in better services.

“Over the last five years, this Government has delivered for Westmeath and Longford. When it comes to schools, sports clubs, roads, investing in An Garda Siochana, or supporting major projects like Center Parcs, Fine Gael has prioritised investment in this constituency.

“Since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, the number of people signing on the Live Register in Westmeath and Longford has dropped by 19.5% and 25% respectively. This constituency needs to have its voice continue to be heard from within Government; otherwise the continued investment needed for both counties will be put at risk.

“Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan will help create an additional 200,000 jobs over the next five years, and we want to bring 70,000 emigrants home. It is only by keeping the recovery going and continuing to create jobs that we will be able invest in better services and improve living standards for everyone.”

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New tourist hotel in Ballymahon to create twenty jobs – McFadden

Longford Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed the green light for a tourist hostel in Ballymahon which is set to create up to twenty jobs.

The development was given the planning approval last week by Longford Westmeath County Council.
“I am delighted to support this project, which is the brainchild of well-known businessman, John Nally. This hostel accommodation will certainly benefit from the Center Parcs development
“John, a well-known entrepreneur, is certainly a man with vision. After purchasing a disused school building in the town, he now plans to transform it into a 45-bed hostel accommodation for tourists.

“This facility certainly is a great example of how the local business community is planning ahead in order to benefit from the €233m Center Parcs hotel resort complex. Center Parcs Longford Forest will undoubtedly bring more footfall into the town and this will have spin-offs for the local economy.

“As a Government TD, I have consistently said that, in terms of natural assets, we have so much going for us in this region. We have beautiful lakes, rivers and forests; we have lovely walking and cycling trails and that’s before Center Parcs ever arrives.

“Of course, the friendliness and hospitality of Longford people is also a huge asset and that will be a major plus when more and more tourists visit Ballymahon. I wish John every success with his new venture.”

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McFadden delighted to help secure €3m in funding for Athlone IT’s Innovation and Research Centre

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, is delighted she has helped secure €3m in Enterprise Ireland funding for Athlone Institute of Technology. The funding will go towards doubling the size of the college’s Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC), which will mean even more jobs for this region.

“Securing this €3m is great news for Athlone and the Midlands. As a local Government TD, I have fought very hard for this funding which will help create more jobs for Athlone, Westmeath and the wider region. This funding boost is also hard evidence of the need for a Government TD for Athlone and this constituency.

“This €3m in Enterprise Ireland funding will now double the size of the MIRC incubation centre, which offers a range of supports to entrepreneurs who wish to start a new, export focused, technology based business.

“This major expansion endorses the excellent work that is going on at MIRC in Athlone IT. Increased innovation and start-ups are vital to the future growth of the Midlands and MIRC is an excellent example of how to nurture the very best of our local entrepreneurs where the net result is ultimately jobs.

“Today’s funding announcement dovetails extremely well with the Midlands Jobs Strategy, which has been developed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton. I am very pleased to have made an input into this jobs strategy which, through extensive supports and funding, seeks to increase employment by approximately 15% by 2020, increase start-ups by 25% and IDA investments by 30-40%.

“The construction of two advance factories in Athlone, one of which is complete, is also hard evidence of Fine Gael’s commitment to attracting jobs and investment into this region.
Commenting on the Enterprise Ireland investment, Minister Bruton said: “The incubator at Athlone Institute of Technology is an excellent example of facilities that help grow and nurture young enterprises and create jobs locally.

“An investment of this nature is a central element of our Regional Action Plans for jobs where we are determined to invest in and develop the capacity of the regions, to grow regional centres of strength and to have sustainable job creation over the years to come.”

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McFadden welcomes €95,000 funding allocation for St Hilda’s services to help meet costs of HIQA compliance

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed a funding allocation of €95,000 by the HSE to ensure that St Hilda’s services in Athlone continue to be HIQA compliant.

“St Hilda’s services are fully registered with HIQA but the associated costs have been enormous. In this regard, the funding of €95,000 will alleviate those HIQA costs incurred by the organisation in the last three years.

“The much anticipated HSE Service Improvement Review report of St Hilda’s Services has yet to be published. As we await the report’s publication, which we expected in March 2015, I have been fighting tooth and nail on behalf of St Hilda’s to ensure there will be no further cuts to vital intellectual disability services in Athlone.

“The commitment of St Hilda’s staff and their close work with families ensures that the quality of services and care for people with intellectual disabilities is second to none.

“Of course, costs remain a challenge but helped by considerable political and public pressure, I remain confident that the Service Improvement Review report will find St Hilda’s to be an efficient, low cost organisation, which is giving very good value for money.”

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€21,000 in fodder compensation paid out to date to Longford farmers affected by floods – McFadden

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael Deputy, Gabrielle McFadden, has confirmed that €21,000 in compensation has been paid out to date to Longford farmers who lost fodder in the floods.

“Currently, a total of €21,000 has been paid to 11 Longford farmers under the fodder aid scheme.

“Many people were badly affected by the floods, none more so than the farming community.

“I pushed very hard with Minister Coveney to set up this compensation scheme in response to flood damage to fodder supplies.

“I also made sure the Minister introduced a special hardship scheme for farmers who were most severely affected financially by the flooding.”

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McFadden targets jobs as the biggest priority for Longford and Westmeath

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has targetted jobs as the biggest priority for Longford and Westmeath.

“Jobs are our biggest priority in the Midlands and I hope people will vote with their heads in this election.

“In creating and sustaining jobs, small and medium enterprises are playing a huge part in the recovery of our economy.

“We know that SMEs are the lifeblood of towns and villages the length and breadth of Longford and Westmeath and that is why Fine Gael is committed to supporting local businesses through a range of measures, including:

• Ending the tax discrimination of the self-employed by 2018
• Targeting a €1 billion reduction in the cost of red tape
• Boosting by €1bn annually in new sources of finance for SMEs

“The last five years have proven that with the right support by Government, such as our Action Plan for Jobs, Irish businesses can emerge from the recession with renewed confidence for the future.”

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Local Garda Stations and Courthouse upgrades will boost local economies – McFadden

Fine Gael TD for Longford/ Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that planned refurbishments of Athlone, Longford and Mullingar Garda stations, along with the current upgrade of Mullingar Courthouse, will boost local economies.

“Having worked closely with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, on these four projects for a long time, I am very pleased thay they will provide significant benefits for local economies in Athlone, Longford and Mullingar.

“Work is well underway on Mullingar Courthouse and I now look forward to the refurbishment works starting in the near future on Athlone, Longford and Mullingar Garda stations.

“Athlone is a major capital project involving an investment of €9m and I expect work to start this summer on the new station. I was delighted to secure this funding along with the monies for the other three projects.

“I want to again commend Minister Fitzgerald for prioritising this investment for the Midlands. Fine Gael has a clear plan to keep the economic recovery going which will allow us to continue to invest in public services in this way.”

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Fine Gael has increased the mental health budget by 20% over the last four years despite the economic crisis – McFadden

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that it is essential we continue to invest in providing care for people affected by mental health issues.

“Despite the economic crisis, Fine Gael has increased the budget for mental health by €160m over the last four years, a total increase of 20%.

“We will continue to provide further resources to ensure services reach people directly and community mental health teams are central to Fine Gael’s vision for mental health.

“Ireland ranks 4th highest in the EU for deaths by suicide for 15-19 year olds and Fine Gael is very committed to tackling this major issue affecting Irish society.”

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€120,000 in fodder compensation paid out to date to Westmeath and Longford farmers affected by floods – McFadden

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael Deputy, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that almost €120,000 in compensation has been paid out to date to Westmeath and Longford farmers who lost fodder in the floods.

“Currently, €99,000 has been paid out to date to 30 farmers in Westmeath while a total of €21,000 has been paid out to 11 Longford farmers.

“Many people were badly affected by the floods, none more so than the farming community. Those affected need help more than ever and I have been working every day on these issues to make sure people get the financial support they deserve.

“I pushed very hard with Minister Coveney to set up this compensation scheme in response to flood damage to fodder supplies. I also made sure the Minister introduced a special hardship scheme for farmers who were most severely affected financially by the flooding.

“Additionally, families in flood affected areas in Westmeath have received on average up to €1,000 under the Department of Social Protection’s Humanitarian Assistance Scheme.
“As a local Government TD on the ground, I also made sure Minister Coveney extended the Irish Red Cross emergency funding scheme to local businesses in non-rateable areas who are tax compliant.
“The water levels have receded but the work goes on to support families, farmers and the business community to make sure payments are being issued under the various Government schemes.
“Unfortunately, it was said at a recent public meeting that no-body will get ‘a red cent’ from the Government and as a hard-working and straight talking politician, I want to put the record straight again that this is simply not the case.”

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Fine Gael will continue to put in place measures to support rural communities in Westmeath – McFadden

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael Deputy, Gabrielle McFadden, said Fine Gael will continue to put in place measures to revitalise rural Ireland during a second term of government so that the recovery is felt inside every doorstep, in every community across Westmeath.

“Rural Ireland is alive but is changing. Fine Gael will ensure that rural Ireland is supported, so that it can achieve its full potential.

“We will continue to invest in agriculture, jobs and broadband right across Westmeath. We will work with local authorities and local action groups to ensure that total LEADER funding of almost €7.4m delivers the maximum possible benefit for communities throughout the country.

“Almost €60m in payments has been delivered to Westmeath farmers under various schemes between 2014 and 2015 while €78m has been invested in regional and local roads in the county since 2011.

“We are determined to spread the recovery throughout Westmeath and Fine Gael is backing this up with a plan to deliver high-speed broadband to every home and business in Ireland.

“Fine Gael is also very committed to keeping post offices at the heart of rural Ireland and recommendations from the business review group will support local post offices right across Westmeath into the future.”

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