Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Climate changing times

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Talk of the weather is never far from farmers’ lips but into the future climate will dominate conversations across the community as the world tackles climate change and agriculture is asked to play its part, writes Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
Agriculture, forestry and land use is responsible for 24pc of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), second only to the energy sector which accounts for 35pc of emissions linked to climate change.
The good news is that emissions from agriculture, forestry and land use are under control according to Dr. Rajebdra Pachauri, chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has just issued its fifth assessment of the state of global climate change. However, this does not mean that agriculture and land use will be exempted from actions to address climate change.
We know from the IPCC report that climate change is real and actions are urgently needed to tackle it. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The scientists believe we can address the threat of rising global temperatures – provided we do the right things now.
The IPCC pulls together the scientific information and proposes options for policy makers. It does not prescribe what countries should do but rather proposes what measures would work.

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MEP SUCCEEDS IN ESTABLISHING PRINCIPLE THAT SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS RETAIN ALLOWANCES WHILE STUDYING ABROAD

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament has received clarification from the European Commission that students with disabilities who travel abroad to study for a period under the Erasmus+ programme are entitled to retain allowances they may have at their home college before going abroad.

The MEP said she had received representations in relation to disability allowance being discontinued in the case of students who went abroad to other EU countries, as part of the EU funded Erasmus+ programme. Disability allowance had been withdrawn on the basis that they were no longer resident in Ireland.

Arising from the MEP’s questioning the Commission has now established beyond doubt that students with disabilities should be entitled to hold onto their allowances when travelling abroad to study under the Erasmus+ programme.

“Students with disabilities cannot be discriminated against,” the MEP said. “In the past many with special needs may not have taken up such opportunities arising from fears around losing existing entitlements. It is very important that this issue has now been clarified by the Commission. It is to be hoped that no other student will have to endure the loss of disability payments or indeed the loss of opportunity through fear of vital payments being withdrawn,” Ms McGuinness said.

And she said the whole focus of the Erasmus+ programme is to be inclusive and to open up opportunities.

The Erasmus+ is an EU funded programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport.

“The clarification from the Commission is clear – disability allowances cannot be stopped simply because a student travels abroad to complete a university course which forms an obligatory part of their overall college programme,” Ms McGuinness said.

And she said the Erasmus programme provides for students from across the EU to live and study in another member state with huge benefits for their learning and future prospects.


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O’Reilly Welcomes 30 New Jobs For Kingscourt

Category : Joe O'Reilly

Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly, has welcomed the news this morning (25th March) that 30 new jobs are to come on stream for Lagan Brick in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan.

Commenting on this, after he was informed of this news by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton TD, the Deputy said ‘I was truly delighted to hear this news from Minister Bruton last night, it is a welcome and much needed jobs boost for the people and community of Kingscourt and its surrounding area. Following on from last month’s significant jobs announcement for Bailieborough, it is clear to see that this Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is working.’

“I understand that this development is being supported by the Department of Jobs and through Enterprise Ireland and today’s good news has been made possible by a recent upturn in the Irish and UK markets. The Kingscourt facility will be one of a kind in Ireland and following on from today’s news, the company will commission one kiln in the first phase of its new operation, producing 12 million bricks per annum. The company’s long term aim is to have two Kiln lines fully operational, with a further eight million bricks potentially being produced.”

“I understand that 20 of the jobs will come on line immediately with the 10 remaining positions to be phased in when the second kiln is in operation. I also understand that a further 10 to 20 spin-off jobs will be created and sustained immediately in the area as a result of the investment. The positions will be advertised in open competition in local media, with recruitment completed by the end of April and brick manufacturing expected to begin in the new facility in June.”

“This is a great day for Lagan Brick and the people of Kinsgcourt and I would like to congratulate the Company and wish them every success with their new venture.”

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O’Reilly Welcomes Funding For Safety Measures Outside St. Feilim’s National School

Category : Joe O'Reilly

Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly has welcomed the news that St Felim’s National School (The Vale), Leiter, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, has recently received an allocation from Cavan County Council, towards the introduction of road safety measures.

Commenting on the news, the Deputy said “Last year, on behalf of St Felim’s National School, Cavan County Council submitted an application to the Road Design Section, in the Department of Transport. This application was for the introduction of safety measures outside the school. I was pleased to have been informed, by the Council, that the application was successful and received an allocation of €20,000, towards the cost of the works. Now that the funding was officially approved, the works can now be scheduled and it is estimated that they will commence during the summer school break” explained the Deputy.

“I would like to congratulate Ms Cathriona Meegan, Principal of St Felim’s and the school’s Board of Management on an application well done. Once completed, these new safety measures will ensure that pupils are able to access their school in a safe environment. Teachers and pupils at St Felim’s National School have an excellent road safety record however, children are a vulnerable road user group and it is important to ensure that there is special recognition of this fact”, concluded the Deputy.

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Empathy, Equality, Economy

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Speech by Mairead McGuinness MEP at the Young Fine Gael Conference, Limerick, 7th March 2015.

Good Afternoon delegates and thank you for inviting me to be part of this annual conference.
Your theme of “Empathy, Equality, Economy” is apt and a fundamental starting point for social and economic development.
The three “E’s” being debated today cannot be debated one removed from the other.
If we focus only on empathy while ignoring economic fundamentals, then we will achieve nothing.
Equally an economy that evolves in isolation from the needs of society – without the essence of empathy is a cold and uncaring place.
Equality on the other hand is a key driver of political activity…equality of opportunity is a corner stone of the social market economy – the driving theme of the European Peoples Party (EPP) of which our party Fine Gael is a longstanding member.
So how do we make these concepts real in today’s post crisis European Union and here at home in Ireland.
The Lisbon Treaty commits member states to work towards a “competitive social market economy” – that process was severely disrupted when the banking and economic crisis hit. This also resulted in a social crisis and indeed a political crisis too, which we are still emerging from.

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WATER QUALITY – SIGNIFICANT WORK BEING DONE – MCGUINNESS TELLS TEAGASC CONFERENCE

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Mairead McGuinness Fine Gael MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament has said Ireland must lead the way in scientific endeavor around sustainable intensification of agriculture through sound science and advisory services at farm level.

“The work of Teagasc in the Agricultural Catchments Programme, funded by the Department of Agriculture, in evaluating the environmental and economic effects of the measures implemented under the Nitrates Directive, is critical to increasing our knowledge of the science and the practical measures that can contribute to improving water quality.

Speaking at a Teagasc ‘Science into Policy’ conference in Portlaoise on Friday (13th March), she said there is good news on water quality with improvements being reported but there is still significant work to be done across the EU.

McGuinness complimented the 300 farmers involved in the six catchment area programmes. Their engagement with the research programme is vital for all farmers and for our growing knowledge of environmental sustainability, she said.

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Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Category : Joe O'Reilly

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh an Aire Stáit, an Teachta McHugh, agus ba mhaith liom a rá go bhfuil sé ag saothrú go díograiseach ar son na teanga. Tréaslaím leis as an dea-obair sin.

Tá áthas orm a bheith ábalta páirt a ghlacadh sa díospóireacht thábhachtach seo. Tá an straitéis don Ghaeilge bunaithe ar thuairimí gach páirtí san Oireachtas. Is í an chéad aidhm atá ag an straitéis ná an méid daoine a úsáideann an Ghaeilge de gnáth a ardú, ó 83,000 go 250,000; an méid daoine a labhraíonn Gaeilge sna Gaeltachtaí a ardú 25%; agus na daoine a úsáideann seirbhísí trí mheán na Gaeilge a ardú. Sa gcomhthéacs sin, ba mhaith liom a rá go bhfuil Teilifís na Gaeilge agus Raidió na Gaeltachta ag déanamh sár iarrachta agus ag cur cláracha den chéad scoth ar fáil. Molaim sin.

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The Weekly Cavan Voice, 34th Electronic Edition

Category : Joe O'Reilly

Welcome to 34th edition of the Cavan Voice. I hope that you are continuing to enjoy my weekly updates.

Kindest Regards,
Joe O’Reilly TD

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NEW FIGURES SHOW FARMERS DECLINING SHARE OF PRICE CONSUMERS PAY FOR FOOD

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Mairead McGuinness Calls For EU Legislative Action

What has been suspected for some time, that the share farmers receive of the final price consumers pay for food has been declining, has now been confirmed in dramatic new figures provided by the European Commission to Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament following questioning.
The figures show that the producer’s share dropped from 31pc in 1995 to 24pc in the ten years to 2005 and had further declined to 21pc by 2011.
“The 2011 figures compiled by Eurostat show that farmers receive 21pc, the food industry gets 28pc and the remainder, 51pc, goes to food retail and food services.
“Receiving slightly more than one-fifth of the price consumers pay for food is an insufficient share for those who provide the lion’s share of the input,” she said. “Farmers invest the greatest effort and time of all stakeholders in the food chain and also carry the greatest risks, including weather impacts.
“What is really worrying is that the trend in the producer share is moving in the wrong direction,” she said in Brussels this morning.
“At the same time we are demanding that farmers invest in more sustainable food production systems sensitive to concerns about the environment and use of scarce national resources.

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The Weekly Cavan Voice, 33rd Electronic Edition

Welcome to 33rd edition of the Cavan Voice. I hope that you are continuing to enjoy my weekly updates.

This has been a bit of a good news this week for the County.

Kindest Regards,
Joe O’Reilly TD

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