Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan to place an immediate moratorium on the recommendations of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee. Deputy McGrath was speaking as frustration and anger continues to mount among local representatives within the county following the decision to significantly alter the current Municipal District and electoral area framework:
“The decision that has been made to fundamentally redraw the local electoral area in Tipperary, particularly with respect to Clonmel and Cahir is nothing short of bizarre and must be revisited.
Indeed the perception is already growing that the real motivation around these changes is to maximise the electoral opportunities for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and to hell with the damage it does to local democracy.
Under both this and the previous government we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on the capacity of people to engage with local democratic structures. This has to stop.
I directly challenged both Minister of State Phelan and the Minister Eoghan Murphy on this matter yesterday and I put it to them that the Boundary Committee has over-steeped its authority; I did not get much in the way of disagreement.
In light of that we need to slow down and rethink the long term damage that moves like these will bring about to local democracy,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations
I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.
Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.
Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000
Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000
Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000
PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000
Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000
The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000
Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.
Drivers continuing to receive mixed messages about NCT testing inspections
Independent TD and General Election candidate Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and the head of the NCT Test service, to seek immediate clarification around the suspension by the NCTS of its vehicle lift inspections. Deputy McGrath was speaking after reports were made that several NCT Centres have resumed full service; a claim that is contradicted on the NCT national website which says that the suspension remains in place across the NCT network:
“There is huge confusion around this issue and drivers are getting extremely frustrated by the mixed messages that they are receiving.
The NCTS are also saying that those drivers who have presented already and who have ‘failed’ their test due to an inability to access the underbody of the vehicle should hold on to their report to present to Gardai if challenged for a not having a valid NCT Cert.
I have spoken to a number of gardai however and they have assured me that they have received no instruction in this matter in terms of applying discretion to drivers.
Drivers need to know if they are going to have penalty points applied or not.
There is also the question of why these faults were not identified as part of routine reviews at each individual testing centre. Was there any need to suspend the inspections across the entire network?
We need answers to these questions so that confidence can be maintained in the NCT service and so that drivers can be free of the concern that they are going to be penalised for faults in the system outside their control,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
Improved pay and conditions for childcare workers is a priority for FF – Goldsboro
Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Tipperary Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro says her party will address the current inequality faced by childcare workers if elected to government.
Cllr. Goldsboro made the comments as thousands of childcare workers travelled to Dublin yesterday to protest against their pay and conditions.
“Early childhood care and education is one of the most important parts of any society and the people charged with taking care of our children should not have to march on our capital to have their voices heard”, said Cllr. Goldsboro.
“Many of these workers have third level qualifications but their pay simply does not reflect that. Fianna Fáil is committed to securing a Sectoral Employment Order for staff in the early years sector to ensure better pay and conditions.
“We will also bring forward measures to make childcare more affordable for families across Tipperary and right around the country. There are simply not enough childcare places, and the creches and early childhood centres are being swamped with additional paperwork and increased costs.
“Insurance is a huge issue for the majority of childcare providers and we have situations now that creches are closing because they can’t afford to stay in business.
“Fianna Fáil is pledging to tackle these issues head on. We will establish a new €10 million commercial rates relief fund, which will provide important support to creches who are crippled by commercial rates. We will also increase the National Childcare Scheme subsidy for ordinary workers with an investment of an additional €81 million to increase the universal childcare subsidy from €20 per week to €80 per week.
“Yesterday’s rally led by the Early Year’s Alliance should not be ignored by any public representatives or those seeking public office. It is paramount the next government tackle this crisis head on. It is something my Fianna Fáil colleagues and I are committed too,” concluded Cllr. Goldsboro.