Check your Passport in time - O’Mahony

Check your Passport in time - O’Mahony

O’Mahony advises everyone to check their passport is in date well in advance of travel

With many Mayo people planning trips abroad over the coming months, local Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony is encouraging people to save time by renewing their passport online.

“Anybody planning a foreign holiday at this time of year needs to check their passport is in date well in advance of travel.

“Nobody wants to be caught out in the airport with a passport that has expired, and the last thing you need while planning your holiday is to be worrying about a passport application.

“Over 18s who are eligible for a passport can now apply for their passport online in a new fast convenient and secure process.

“You can apply at www.dfa.ie/passportonline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no need for a paper application form, witnesses or printed photos, and processing takes just 2weeks plus postage.

“If you are not eligible to apply online and if you are travelling in more than three weeks you can use the Passport Express service operated in partnership with An Post. For details, visit

www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/passport-express or enquire at your local post office.

“If you’re travelling outside of the EU, it’s important to keep in mind that visa requirements differ from country to country. It’s best to check with the country’s embassy or consulate prior to making your travel arrangements.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides regularly updated travel advice for every country in the world and I strongly encourage you to visit it before making travel plans. This is all available on the website - www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice - and through a special free Smartphone App called TravelWise.

“In the meantime the message is, check your passport and apply online to save time.

“We must remember there is a lot of pressure on the passport application process at this time of year, something that has been exacerbated by Brexit with a significant number of British citizens applying for Irish passports.

Contact 

Conor Cresham

Project Ireland 2040 will deliver real investment and proper planning for Mayo – O’Mahony

Project Ireland 2040 will deliver real investment and proper planning for Mayo – O’Mahony

Mayo is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning as a result of Project Ireland 2040.

Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony said the plan will support families and strengthen communities in Mayo, and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.

Speaking about Project 2040 which was launched by Government today (Friday),  Senator O’Mahony said:

“In the first version of Fine Gael’s Republic of Opportunity document, we said it is time to plan for what Ireland is going to look like in 2040.

“This is our plan for the future of Ireland. For the first time in the history of the State, our spatial planning is backed up with solid investment and it will deliver for our citizens.

“The National Planning Framework which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 sets out how Ireland can grow in a sustainable, balanced fashion over the next twenty years.50% of population growth is planned for our towns, villages and rural communities and 50% for our cities. Project Ireland 2040 is backed and supported up by a €115bn National Development Plan.

“Our population is expected to have increased to 6 million people by 2040 and, without any State intervention, this will result in ongoing shift in population and jobs towards Dublin and the neighbouring counties. This is not in anyone’s interests.

N5 Westport to Turlough

Significant extension of the road network from Westport to east of Castlebar.  The scheme is expected to progress to contract award stage in early-2021.

Belmullet Sewerage Scheme

This €10 million investment by Irish Water will provide new wastewater infrastructure to comply with EU Directives and eliminate the current untreated discharge. This will assist in maintaining Belmullet as a leading tourism area and provide the capacity for future population and economic growth

Killala, Foxford and Charlestown Sewerage Schemes

Irish Water is investing €19.4m in new and upgraded wastewater infrastructure to comply with EU Directives, reduce pollution, eliminate untreated discharge at Killala and produce a wastewater system that will cater for economic growth.

Regional Airports

The Government will continue to support the Regional Airports Programme, which involves financial support to the smaller regional airports including Knock.

Two significant developments over the coming years- an overlay of the main runway and an apron safety extension.

Investment in National Heritage

Project Ireland will see a €285 million investment in our national heritage. This includes Ballycroy National Park and improvements at the Ceide Fields.

Gaeltacht investment

Project Ireland supports Gaeltacht areas across the country, for example by prioritising investment in the development of tourism facilities in the completion of Ionad na hEachleime in County Mayo and increased investment to enable the creation of 1,000 jobs every year in Gaeltacht areas across the country including Mayo.

Rural Regeneration and Development

Investment projects in towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000 in the West will be in a position to benefit from a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will invest €1bn in promoting rural renewal, to help towns, villages and rural areas to grow in a sustainable way.

Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium

Consisting of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Institute of Technology Sligo, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Aspects of Project Ireland 2040 which will benefit the region include:

  • The acceleration of the National Broadband Plan ensuring coverage in villages, rural areas is a key priority.

  • For social housing, the target across the 2016-2021 period is to deliver approximately 3,500 additional social homes under this programme across the West of Ireland region. Over two thirds of this will be through new build with around 900 units completed, on site or progressing through approval stages. For more information, please visit the Rebuilding Ireland website http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/quarter-3-social-housing-construction-status-report/.

  • Regional International connectivity will be imperative for Ireland post-Brexit. Actions include sustained investment in Knock and Donegal airports.

  • Investment in schools includes a nation-wide school building programme to respond to demographic changes, as well as the Prefab Replacement Programme, Summer Works Schemes and Minor Works Schemes to support the ongoing school maintenance and upgrade programmes. For pre 2008 schools, a deep energy retrofit programme will be commenced and progressed.

  • The Digital Strategy for Schools rollout is a priority for Government, and will further embed technology and digital learning in primary and post-primary schools throughout the region.

  • Increased investment will also support new Physical Education facilities in post-primary schools, to ensure that students have access to the appropriate facilities to support PE provisions, particularly in the context of the roll-out of PE as a Leaving Certificate subject.

  • To help support employment and enterprise, new Regional Sectoral Clusters will be developed. Led by industry, these Clusters will involve regional SMEs and multinationals collaborating with research centres and third-level institutions, with the aim of scaling and internationalising enterprise in all regions.

  • 2018 will also see the launch of the second phase of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund involving €30m, under Project Ireland 2040.

  • As part of the Government’s priority efforts to support and equip SMEs for the challenges of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices are supporting exposed enterprises with targeted programmes to improve their competitiveness and innovation performance, and to diversity trade from the UK to new markets. 

  • A €300m loan fund is also open to businesses of less than 500 employees, nation-wide, which are exposed to the impact of Brexit.

  • Rural and community development in the West of Ireland will be supported by, for example, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, LEADER, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the CLÁR Programme, the RAPID Programme and further libraries investment.

  • On farm Investment - Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme - support for on-farm facilities and equipment in the West of Ireland to enhance growth and competiveness, address climate and environmental issues, improve animal welfare and farm safety. Targets young farmers to address the age profile of the sector.

  • Forestry Programme - Funding for Afforestation grants, forestry development supports as well as premia for existing forestry. In addition to their valuable economic contribution to the rural economy forests play an essential role in helping with climate change mitigation, through carbon sequestration in forests and the provision of renewable fuels and raw materials.

  • National Food Innovation Hub - Funding to create a supportive environment for research and innovation involving food companies and research institutes with a focus on food, health and nutrition.

  • Prepared Consumer Food Innovation Centre - Funding  to improve the competitiveness and innovation capacity of  the PCF sector

  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund  Programme - Support for investment in productive capacity in aquaculture and for investment in seafood processing equipment and facilities to assist SME seafood enterprises to scale up and invest in the technology to move up the value chain and to diversify their exports.

  • The multi-annual funding framework for the Rural Water Programme is comprised of a range of measures to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of rural water services infrastructure, including group water schemes and group sewerage schemes.  The aim of this Programme is to strengthen rural economies and communities.

  • Continued investment in our national transport networks will help ensure high levels of service quality, accessibility and connectivity. This includes for example, a National Train Control Centre to improve rail traffic management, and increased investment in rural transport programmes.

  • The Arts and Cultural Capital Scheme will be expanded to improve access to and participation in arts and culture in all parts of the country

  • Health investment projects in the West include the development of primary care centres and the upgrading and replacement of community nursing units across the western region. 

Some specific examples outlined in Project Ireland 2040 for the West include:

  • A new emergency department to be built at Galway University Hospital. 

  • Replacement and further radiation oncology facilities to be developed at Galway.

  • New dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities to be introduced in Galway.

  • New rehabilitation unit to be provided at Roscommon Hospital

  • New Central Sterile Services Department to be provided at Roscommon Hospital

 

IDA

IDA property solutions, strategic sites and grants in all regions will deliver new Foreign Direct Investment and high-quality jobs.

Since it is more challenging to win new investment outside metropolitan areas, advanced planning and provision of property solutions will be expanded in all regions with a particular focus in the near term on the Border and Midland Regions. Ireland’s ability to secure significant new large-scale capital investment in all regions is partly dependent on the ready availability of serviced sites of scale with appropriate zoning and capacity for required utilities to match the needs of large capital intensive projects.

The IDA’s investment in strategic sites to date has yielded significant projects that would not have been possible unless such sites were available for investors. It is also evidenced by the clustering of companies in locations such as Ringaskiddy in Cork and Parkmore in Galway.

This action will build on IDA’s current €150 million regional property investment programme that has delivered new advanced buildings in Athlone, Castlebar, Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Waterford, among other locations. The property programme will be complemented with IDA Grants programmes across the regions. 

• Sport Capital Programme- Over €100 million in capital funding has been allocated for the Sport Capital Programme (SCP) for the coming four years. The SCP is the primary means of providing Government support to sports clubs and organisations for sports capital works. The most recent allocations under the Programme were made at the end of 2017, with €60 million allocated to sporting clubs and organisations throughout the country. The SCP is primarily designed for smaller scale projects with the maximum grant provided under the most recent round being €150,000. Outside of the SCP, in recent times state support has also been provided for significant sporting infrastructure including the Croke Park redevelopment, the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park. At present, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is administering the Government grants towards the redevelopment of Páirc Ui Chaoimh, (total contribution €30 million), and the Kerry Sports Academy, (total contribution €7.5 million). In the longer term, funding of sports facilities is being considered as part of the Sports Policy Review which is expected to be finalised in early 2018. It is clear, however, that a number of the Sport National Governing Bodies have ambitious plans for large scale sport developments in the coming years.

Accordingly, a new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund of €100 million is being established for larger sports projects where the proposed Government contribution exceeds amounts available under the SCP.

“Mayo is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning thanks to Project Ireland 2040.

“This sustainable planning for Mayo, backed by real investment, will support families and strengthen communities here. With Project Ireland 2040, Fine Gael is ensuring sustainable growth for the future of Mayo  What’s good for Mayo  is also good for the surrounding region,” Senator John O’Mahony  said.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion. This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future.”

Emergency fund for roads needed to deal with adverse weather - O’Mahony

Emergency fund for roads needed to deal with adverse weather - O’Mahony

Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony has called for no cuts in road maintenance funding for the North West, particularly given the extreme weather conditions faced this winter.

The Mayo Senator has asked the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross to establish an emergency fund to ensure that harsh weather does not impact on road maintenance.

Senator O’Mahony said: “The allocation for road maintenance was cut this year by 16%, which in my view was the incorrect decision.

“If current levels of maintenance funding are not increased, there is a prospect of sharp deterioration in the condition of our roads and thus the capital value of the national roads network.

“If routine upkeep is not adequately funded, we will see vital roads used by local businesses and families deteriorating very quickly. 

“We need an emergency road maintenance fund to deal with the havoc resulting from the winter weather conditions.

“I firmly believe that a balance between ordinary maintenance and capital expenditure is essential.”

ENDS
 

GMIT Castlebar report to be published in the coming days - O’Mahony

Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony, has welcomed news that the report from the GMIT working group on the Castlebar campus is to be published in the coming days.

Senator O’Mahony received the confirmation in the Seanad from Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Education Minister Richard Bruton established a working group in March to formulate a plan and a pathway for a sustainable future for the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar.

Senator O’Mahony said: “I was delighted to hear of the Department’s commitment to implementing a viable development plan for the future of the Castlebar campus of GMIT.

“The Minister has confirmed to me that the report will be published before years end. This will provide a pathway to certainty for the campus.

“She has told me that there will be some certainty in place for the Castlebar campus before the CAO deadline in January.

“The campus was opened in 1994 and specialises in nursing and outdoor education, as well as offering courses in business, technology and health sciences courses.

“I am hopeful now that this commitment from Government will ensure that Castlebar campus is maintained and enhanced. This is great news for the community and indeed the whole North West,” Senator O’Mahony said.

 

SENATOR O’MAHONY WELCOMES SPORTS
 CAPITAL FUNDING OF €1.6million
 FOR MAYO

SENATOR O’MAHONY WELCOMES SPORTS
 CAPITAL FUNDING OF €1.6million
 FOR MAYO

Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony welcomes the announcement of the Sports Capital Grant’s funding to the Mayo region in excess of €1.6million to benefit 68 local clubs with the goal of improving the quality and quantity of sporting facilities in the locality.

“I am absolutely delighted to see our local clubs and organisations benefit from this funding. This grant will assist with the building and much necessary refurbishment of dressing room facilities, sports halls and gyms. This will certainly increase participation in sport as well as contributing to the improvement of current sporting performances”. 

This is good news not just for the clubs but for the local people. This additional funding can further transform young lives locally, build community and increase the standards of our local clubs.

“The Sports Capital Programme was re-instated by the last Fine Gael government in 2012, after it had been cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. Fine Gael in Government is using our economic progress to invest in communities around the country and ensure that everyone can benefit. Sport is just one important element of this”.

“Investing in Sport and Health is critical to the living standards of our population. An indirect impact of this investment in sport is the tackling of obesity which is on the rise both in Ireland and in the EU. This investment is a healthy and economically sound choice for the future of our nation. “

Senator John O’Mahony

Allocation Mayo Sports Grant 2017.png

 

Contact:
Conor Cresham

0863988180

O’MAHONY CALLS FOR NATIONAL PLAN TO DEAL  WITH JAPANESE KNOTWEED

O’MAHONY CALLS FOR NATIONAL PLAN TO DEAL WITH JAPANESE KNOTWEED

As present initiatives not adequate

Senator John O’Mahony, raised the issue in the Seanad today , as this highly invasive plant has become a major problem rapidly spreading across Ireland, along watercourses, transport routes and unmaintained land.   He called on different agencies like the OPW, Waterways Ireland , Iarnrod Eireann to work together .  All state land within each agency needs to be surveyed for the presence of invasive plants  - especially land that might be required for building in the next ten years and state property that will be sold like old HSE  buildings or closed down Garda stations

Speaking in the Seanad he said  “This plant is one of the worst invasive species because its root system and rapid growth can damage concrete foundations and buildings.

My own county of Mayo has a huge problem with this species.  I am aware of a scheme to deal with some national routes – but other areas affected are not being treated – so overall – its not effective.   The National Park  in Ballycroy in Mayo will be overrun with Japanese knotweed if there is not an overall strategy.

 I believe that the Transport Infrastructure Ireland and  each county  council needs to start a full treatment program of all roads but I am told that its piece meal at present and a piece meal approach  will not work “ we need a NATIONAL STRATEGY to deal with this problem . 

In her reply Minister Humpreys stated that while “there is no national eradication plan in place at present there are a number of initiatives in place across Government departments and agencies, and local authorities that support measures  to tackle invasive alien species”.

Senator O’Mahony acknowledged that but said in his response to the Minister that it was not good enough and “ was like trying to keep the tide out with a hayfork”.

9 November 2017

Publication of Moran Report poses more questions than answers - O’Mahony

Publication of Moran Report poses more questions than answers - O’Mahony

The publication of the Moran Report poses more questions than answers a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Mayo Senator, John O’Mahony, said: “the Moran Report which was stablished to investigate alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympic Games, confirms that corporate governance and democracy was non-existent in Olympic Council of Ireland.

“It seems that the OCI was driven by commercial considerations rather than  needs of athletes. We need to remember that the Olympic Games are an opportunity for our athletes to represent Ireland on the world’s biggest stage. Their needs should be the paramount concern of the OCI, not buying or selling tickets.

No applications were made by OCI for tickets in sports that Ireland was  expected to do well in, such as Boxing and Sailing. This beggars belief, and sums up what was wrong with this fiasco. The ticket seller appointed by the OCI as the report rightly says was 'not fit for purpose'.

In relation to the reporting process itself, Senator O’Mahony felt that greater  efforts need to be made to comply with Judge Moran’s requests for information.

He said, “Non-cooperation of many stakeholders with the notable exception of the OCI is highly regrettable.

“Reform of OCI is welcome; no sporting body in receipt of public funding  should be run in a ‘presidential style’. We need an OCI that is focused on developing our elite athletes and making sure that the conditions are in place for them to thrive at their respective sports. This must take place in an environment that is open and transparent,” the Mayo Senator said.


ENDS

Contact:
Conor Cresham

0863988180

Save time and renew your passport online

Save time and renew your passport online

O’Mahony advises everyone to check their passport is in date well in advance of travel

With many Mayo people planning trips abroad over the coming months, local Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony is encouraging people to save time by renewing their passport online.

“Anybody planning a foreign holiday at this time of year needs to check their passport is in date well in advance of travel.

“Nobody wants to be caught out in the airport with a passport that has expired, and the last thing you need while planning your holiday is to be worrying about a passport application.

“Over 18s who are eligible for a passport can now apply for their passport online in a new fast convenient and secure process.

“You can apply at www.dfa.ie/passportonline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no need for a paper application form, witnesses or printed photos, and processing takes just 2 weeks plus postage.

“If you are not eligible to apply online and if you are travelling in more than three weeks you can use the Passport Express service operated in partnership with An Post. For details, visit

www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/passport-express or enquire at your local post office.

“If you’re travelling outside of the EU, it’s important to keep in mind that visa requirements differ from country to country. It’s best to check with the country’s embassy or consulate prior to making your travel arrangements.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides regularly updated travel advice for every country in the world and I strongly encourage you to visit it before making travel plans. This is all available on the website - www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice - and through a special free Smartphone App called TravelWise.

“In the meantime the message is, check your passport and apply online to save time.

“We must remember there is a lot of pressure on the passport application process at this time of year, something that has been exacerbated by Brexit with a significant number of British citizens applying for Irish passports.

“I remind all Mayo families heading off on holiday this year to check the expiry date of your passport and those of your children.”

 

ENDS

Contact

Conor Cresham

0863988180

Three strikes and you’re out with free legal aid - O’Mahony

Three strikes and you’re out with free legal aid - O’Mahony

Our free legal aid system needs to be reformed urgently, Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony has said.

Mayo Senator, John O’Mahony, speaking in the Seanad, brought attention to the fact that the state has spent €428 million on free legal aid since 2009.

Senator O’Mahony said, “I firmly believe that everybody deserves a fair trial however I am worried that our system is open to exploitation. Criminals who have committed multiple crimes have been granted free legal aid on each occasion even though in some cases they have multiple assets. 

“In Ireland If you have been charged with a criminal offence and are due to appear in court, you can apply to the judge for legal aid on the day. 

“You will have to fill in a financial means form. If the judge says that you are eligible, you will be assigned a solicitor there and then.

“I believe there needs to be a thorough investigation of this process. There have recently been high profile cases of people who are on high wages and others who have substantial assets seem to qualify for free legal aid.

“In the UK legal aid is means tested and the assets of the accused person are then realised as part of it. Some US States also have a system whereby people get three uses of free legal aid and after that they have to make a financial contribution.

“I believe measures like these should be explored as they would result in considerable savings to the exchequer,” Senator O’Mahony said.


ENDS

Contact:
Conor Cresham

0863988180

€1.1 million in funding for Knock Airport – O’Mahony

€1.1 million in funding for Knock Airport – O’Mahony

“New Government funding of €1.1 million will help Ireland West Airport, Knock (IWAK) to develop further, and is good news for local enterprise and tourism”. That’s according to Senator John O’Mahony

This funding is part of is part of a €1.94 million Government allocation to regional airports, announced today (Friday).

“I welcome this funding allocation for Ireland West  Airport  Knock under the Government’s Regional Airports Programme. The grant is for safety and security related projects at the airport.

“As our most westerly airport, Knock is crucial for developing our tourism market in the region and is a key gateway for visitors to the very successful Wild Atlantic Way.

“I was also pleased to hear confirmation from Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, that further capital and operational supports, will be announced for Knock Airport at a later date this year.”

 

ENDS

CONTACT

Conor Cresham

0863988180

New crime legislation will tackle repeat offenders – O’Mahony

New crime legislation will tackle repeat offenders – O’Mahony

“The passage of the Criminal Justice Bill through the Oireachtas is a major boost to crime fighting in Mayo”. That’s according to John O’Mahony Fine Gael Senator

“This Bill gives the Courts more powers in imposing bail conditions, including prohibiting an accused from contacting victims, prohibiting him or her from driving when charged with a serious road traffic offence, and the imposition of a night-time curfew.

“Courts will also be required to take additional factors into account when considering whether to refuse bail to serious offenders including the nature and frequency of previous offending.

“The Bill allows for people on bail to be monitored electronically to demonstrate compliance with bail conditions when requested by the prosecutor.

“This Bill also helps the victims of crime allowing for victim evidence at bail proceedings and the Bill also makes it a requirement that the court give reasons for bail decisions.

I am delighted to see these common sense measures being introduced; they will enhance the powers of our Justice System and should act as a deterrent to repeat offenders, thereby protecting <county> communities.

Commenting on the passage of the Bill, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said:

“This Bill is an important piece of legislation which will strengthen the powers of the Courts, and of the Gardaí, in dealing with persistent serious offenders and persons on bail who pose an ongoing threat to the public. 

"The Bill places a greater emphasis on the rights and the safety of victims, and of the public, in bail decisions, while continuing to safeguard the rights of the accused. It provides increased guidance for the courts and greater transparency in the bail process.”

Fine Gael in Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. 2017 will see 900 trainees become members of An Garda Síochána.

This will bring Garda numbers to about 13,500 by year end, real progress towards the target of 15,000. Furthermore funding has been provided to recruit 500 civilians during 2017 to support the wide ranging reform plan in An Garda Síochána.

In 2016, some €10m was invested in new vehicles for the Garda fleet with 597 vehicles being allocated to the fleet.

 

ENDS

Conor Cresham

0863988180

€3 million in housing grants for older people and people with a disability in Mayo - O'Mahony

€3 million in housing grants for older people and people with a disability in Mayo - O'Mahony

Mayo Fine Gael Senator, John O'Mahony, said that over €3 million in funding has been made available in Mayo for housing adaptations form older people and people with a disability living in private houses.

Senator O'Mahony said: "I am delighted that this funding has been made available. It is great to see funding going to those who need it. This investment will allow extensions to be built for people with a disability. It will also allow for adaptations to be made to homes to help people get around the house more easily, with improvements like access ramps and stair lifts.

" Mobility is something that so many of us take for granted. It is important that everyone in our community is afforded dignity and respect, which is why funding to allow older people and people with disabilities the opportunity to continue independent living is so important.

"These grants are 80% funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. The remaining 20% of the funding, some €606,546, will come from Mayo County Council.

" Grants of up to €30,000 are available for an adaptation, up to €8,000 for housing aid for older people and up to €6,000 for mobility aids.

"Over €59.8 million has been made available nationally and in addition to helping improve mobility the funding should have a knock on effect, providing a boost to the construction sector nationally, with the benefits being spread to local economies across the country."

Contact: 

Conor Cresham

0863988180

O’Mahony welcomes GMIT Castlebar Campus Working Group

O’Mahony welcomes GMIT Castlebar Campus Working Group

Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony, has welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, of a GMIT Working Group Plan to secure the future of the GMIT Campus in Castlebar.

“I met with Minister Bruton two weeks ago on this matter and again last week. I was able to impress on Minister Bruton the importance of the Castlebar campus to County Mayo. This announcement by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton is most welcome".

“This Working Group will formulate a plan for a sustainable future of the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar and it will progress the options identified by the Higher Education Authority in relation to funding issues associated with GMIT and particularly the Mayo Campus". Its report will be due in approximately six months.

“GMIT has engaged Mr Michael O’Connell, former Secretary-Financial Controller at Limerick Institute of Technology to assist them in reviewing and addressing the financial challenges. 

“The report prepared by Mr. O’Connell has recommended a number of measures to reduce costs and generate income for GMIT and minimise its operating deficit in a timely manner.

“There are underlying issues as regards how the Institutes of Technology in general are funded compared to universities which sees them obtain a smaller portion from the government funding pot.

“I know that there has been much discussion on this issue locally, I hope this move will go some way towards allaying people’s fears and to remind them that Fine Gael is 100% behind the campus in Castlebar.”

ENDS

Contact:

Conor Cresham

0863988180

Self-employed people in Mayo to benefit from free dental and optical exams for the first time – O’Mahony

Self-employed people in Mayo to benefit from free dental and optical exams for the first time – O’Mahony

Self-employed people in Mayo can now benefit from free dental and optical exams through the Treatment Benefit Scheme for the first time ever.

That’s according to Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony who has welcomed the move by Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar to extend these PRSI benefits to 450,000 self-employed people and their spouses across the State.

“Thanks to our recovering economy, the Treatment Benefit Scheme covering free dental and optical exams has been restored to employees, and crucially is now also being extended to self-employed people for the first time ever".

O’Mahony welcomes launch of new on-line renewal for Passports

O’Mahony welcomes launch of new on-line renewal for Passports

Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony had welcomed from this Thursday onward you will be able to renew your passport online. 

 The new service will allow adult Irish citizens around the world to apply to renew their passports via the Department’s website using their PC’s, tablets or smartphones.  

The facility is for adults who are over 18 only - first-time applicants and children will not be able to apply online.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the service will be convenient, secure and will offer faster and more predictable turnaround times. 

Irish Citizens can apply from Thursday 30th March 2017 onward via the Department of Foreign Affairs website www.dfa.ie using their desired electronic device. 

The initiative is part of the government's passport reform programme which aims to modernise Ireland’s passport systems and controls something which I have raised on many occasions in the past number of years.

Senator O’Mahony said it will bring further benefits to Irish citizens at home and abroad in the coming years.

 

Contact

Conor Cresham

0863988180

Increase in payments to Mayo social welfare recipients begin this week- O’Mahony

Increase in payments to Mayo social welfare recipients begin this week- O’Mahony

“The economic progress has been hard won over the last 6 years and we cannot afford to throw it all away on other parties who would risk our recovery. As your Local Fine Gael Senator, I am working day and night to ensure that every single family in Mayo sees the benefits of an economy that is growing strongly once again.” O'Mahony