News & Views, Thoughts & Analysis

SUSI are still accepting third level grant applciations/ SUSI fós ag glacadh le hiarratais cúrsaí tríú leibhéil

This is a reminder for all third level students commencing studies in 2016-2017 that SUSI are still accepting grant applications. Students can apply online at I would advise students to apply as soon as possible. If you require any assistance or further information, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (091)562846. I wish you continued success in your future studies. Ba mhaith liom meabhrú do mhicléinn a bheidh ag freastal ar chúrsaí tríú leibhéil go bhfuil SUSI fós ag glacadh le hiarratais do dheontais tríú leibhéal don scoilbhliain 2016-2017. Ba chóir do mhicléinn dul ar suíomh idirlín SUSI ag chun iarratas a dhéanamh. Mholfainn duit iarratas a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir má tá tú ag dul i mbun staidéir. Má tá aon chúnamh nó eolas breise ag teastáil uait, ná bíodh drogall ar bith ort teagmháil a dhéanamh le m’oifig ag (091)562846. Guím chuile rath agus ádh ort i do chuid oideachas sna blianta atá amach romhat. Éamon... read more

Public Meeting Notice/ Fógra Cruinniú Poiblí

I will be hosting a public meeting regarding refuse charges and the collection process in the Station House Hotel, Clifden on Monday the 25th July 2016 at 8:30pm. A representative from Barna will be in attendance. This is an excellent opportunity for the community to outline their concerns and to get further clarity on this issue. Other public representatives are welcome to attend this meeting. Tá cruinniú eagraithe agam maidir leis na táillí bruscair agus an próiseas bailliúcháin in Óstán Teach an Stáisiún ar an gClochán, Dé Luain, 25ú Iúil 2016 ag 8:30i.n. Beidh ionadaí ó Barna Waste i láthair ag an gcruinniú ar an oíche. Is deis iontach atá anseo don phobal tuilleadh eolais agus ceisteanna a chur maidir leis an gcóras dramhaíola. Tugtar cuireadh d’ionadaithe poiblí eile a bheith i láthair ar an... read more

I have tried once again yesterday to get the Dáil to reject the proposal of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, to down-grade Galway Port from a Nati…onal Port, when the Report Stage of the Harbours Bill 2015 was discussed in the Dáil on yesterday. It is proposed in this Bill to reduce the status of Galway Port from a National Port to a Port of regional significance, which will not be in the in the interest of the development of the Port. However I put down an amendment to the bill to delete this section but it was defeated- The Minister has been adamant that he is going to proceed with this section of the Bill. However the Minister in response to Deputy John O’Mahony did state that he would not commence this section for 18 months. I welcome this very much as it will give the people of Galway a chance to voice their opinion on this proposal in the forthcoming election and to reject outright the denial of national port status to Galway. Galway Port Company has major plans for the development of the port, but it would be absolutely vital for the success of these plans, that the status of the Port would be retained as a National Port. “If the Minister’s proposals goes through and if the status of Galway Port is changed, there will be no National Port from south of Limerick around the very long western coast to Derry. This would leave all of the national ports in the country between Dublin and Foynes, with the west coast left bereft of... read more

Fianna Fáil hosts public meeting on Crime Prevention in Our Community

Fianna Fáil General Election candidates in Galway West John Connolly, Cllr. Mary Hoade and Éamon Ó Cuív TD will host a public meeting on crime prevention next Monday 30th November in the Galway Bay Hotel. The party’s Community Affairs Spokesperson Bobby Aylward will chair the meeting and keynote speakers include Sergeant Pat Flanagan from An Garda Síochána Crime Prevention Unit and Bernard Kearney from Múintir na Tíre. “Every community across Co. Galway has felt the effects of this crime wave that is sweeping across the country. Garda numbers have decreased significantly over the past five years under this Government, and despite commitments on Garda recruitment, it will take years before we see more boots on the ground. The fact of the matter is that the Gardai need more resources now, not in a few years’ time. Not a week goes by without media reports about the latest burglary or robbery and people are becoming increasingly fearful in their own homes, especially those who are elderly or living on their own”, said Mr. Connolly. Cllr. Hoade added, “People are really worried about their security, in both rural and urban communities. There is real concern about burglaries and many feel a greater sense of isolation than they did a number of years ago. Since 2013, ten Garda stations in Galway have closed leaving communities across the county more exposed and vulnerable. Garda numbers have also been slashed, from 601 in 2010 to 564 in February this year. Criminals are taking advantage of these depleted resources and we have had a number of high profile robberies, being carried out by organised gangs.... read more

Reorganisation of Local Authorities in Co. Galway – Ó Cuív

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív has been informed by the Minister for the Environment, in Parliamentary Reply of the 17th of November, 2015, that despite the instruction given in relation to the report regarding the re-organisation of the local authorities in Co. Galway, that he has not yet received this report. It is of urgent importance now that this report would be provided in the near further and that it would be published before any decision would be made on it or any recommendation made either in this regard.   Furthermore, I believe that no change should take place in relation to the local authorities in Galway, without a plebiscite of the people of Galway taking place. I once again call on the Minister to expedite this affair and bring certainly to the running of the local authorities in Galway.  ... read more

Ó Cuív condemns changes to GLAS scheme

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív has condemned recent changes to the GLAS 2 Scheme, which will see payments to farmers significantly reduced.  New restrictions will have a major impact on average payments, with many farmers predicting that they will only qualify for grants of around €3,000. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “The roll out of this scheme has been extremely disappointing, with the number of applications well below the targets set out by Minister Coveney.  The changes, which are being introduced as part of the second tranche of this programme will impact negatively on family farms and payments are expected to be substantially below the €5,000 average per farmer which has been budgeted for.  In fact it’s thought that payments will only average around €3,000 under round 2 of the programme.   “This is a major blow to farmers who rely on this payment to maintain their business.  Not only will they see significant reductions in their payments, some farmers will no longer qualify for the payments as a result of the new restrictions being brought in.  Farmers across the country are unhappy with the current GLAS scheme, which is evidenced in the low take up numbers. “The whole programme is in urgent need of a serious review to establish how it can be improved and made more attractive for farmers.  Minister Coveney has a track record of underspending and I have serious concerns that the €1250m designated for the scheme will not be fully expended.  It is essential that all funding earmarked for agriculture and rural schemes is utilised to improve the environment and provide financial... read more

Minister forced into u-turn on Knowledge Transfer Programme – Ó Cuív

Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has welcomed the u-turn by Minister Simon Coveney about the rules governing the Knowledge Transfer Programme. The Minister had originally stated that farmers must attend the knowledge transfer sessions and would not be able to nominate someone to go in their place. However he has now reviewed this situation following staunch opposition from the farming community and has decided that a named nominee will now be able to attend in cases where the farmer is otherwise engaged. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív explained, “I am glad that Minister Coveney has seen the light and has decided to adopt a common sense approach to this issue. The Knowledge Transfer Programme is a valuable asset, however due the huge demands and workloads, farmers are not always available to attend every session and have sent nominees in their place in the past. The Minister’s lack of understanding of agricultural matters has been exposed in his pursuit to change the workings of this programme but I am glad that he has now finally seen sense. “This will allow spouses, siblings or children, who have an interest in or work on the farm, to part-take in the Knowledge Transfer sessions and bring back the information they learn to the farmer and farm... read more

Ó Cuív calls on Minister to clarify future of Rural Social Scheme

Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has called on the Minister for State at the Department of Social Protection Kevin Humphreys to outline whether the Rural Social Scheme will continue to exist in its current form.  Officials from the Department recently indicated that the programme could be amalgamated with the TÚS Scheme, the CE Scheme and the Gateway Scheme. Following questions from Deputy Ó Cuív in the Dáil earlier this month, Minister Humphreys said that while no plans are in place to amalgamate the Rural Social Scheme with others, however he conceded that this could change in line with rationalisation and resource commitments. Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “Minster Humphreys needs to make it clear that he understands that the Rural Social Scheme is not an “activation scheme”.  It is a support programme for low income farmers, who are willing to give a valuable contribution to their communities, in return for a modest payment. Its flexibility is conducive to farm work and has been key to the success of the scheme, providing long-term financial and social stability for recipients. “However, it would appear that the Minister and his Department do not fully understand to workings of the scheme, which they appear to categorise as a training programme for people to get back into full-time employment.  Farmers who qualify for the Rural Social Scheme are already employed on their farms and are not seeking another full-time job. I am urging the Minister to protect this scheme and ensure that it remains as a stand-alone programme, which will continue to operate under the values on which it was founded.... read more

Minister Coveney leaves farmers behind with long delays in direct payments – Minister Coveney leaves farmers behind with long delays in direct payments – Éamon Ó Cuív

- October returns show Minister’s department €100m behind target – - 75% increase in delay issuing direct payments is another hit on farmers – Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has slammed Minister Simon Coveney for the huge drop off in expenditure in his Department this year.  He has also hit out at the increased delays in CAP payments for farmers. Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “The monthly exchequer returns for October show that gross expenditure in the Department of Agriculture is nearly €100 million behind target for the first 10 months of 2015. €75 million of this is current expenditure is as a result of the significant delays in direct CAP payments due to farmers under the basic payment scheme. The Capital Allocation is also running €20 million behind target for the first 10 months of year. “The Minister’s failure to follow up on the applications processes for various schemes under his remit has resulted in €200m in delayed payments.  Reports today reveal that over the past year there has been a 75% increase in outstanding basic payments to farmers.  This is being compounded by the fact that there are 15,000 payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints scheme still outstanding. “I am now calling on the Minister to expedite these payments to ensure that farmers can manage cash-flow and income volatility issues.  Every day I and other colleagues receive calls from frustrated farmers, wondering when they will get their payments, informing us that they have not been told to-date of any difficulty with their payment.  Many of them are under serious financial strain and are dependent on... read more


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