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Noel Coonan TD Welcomes HSE Service Plan for Tipperary

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Tipperary TD Noel Coonan has welcomed the HSE Service Plan published this morning Thursday. The Fine Gael TD outlined the capital infrastructure due to take place in Tipperary in 2015 as a result of the plan.

“The extension of Borrisokane Primary Care Centre is expected to be fully Operational in Q1 2016. Included in the plan is the provision of two new theatres at Nenagh General Hospital adjacent to the existing theatre department in Q1 2015,” explained Deputy Coonan.

“Meanwhile South Tipperary General Hospital will benefit from an extension of radiology department to accommodate a CT and future MRI in Q4 2015. HIQA Compliance will take place in Our Lady’s Hospital in Q3 2015.”

“I want to thank my Fine Gael colleague Health Minister Leo Varadkar for prioritising Tipperary projects and acknowledging my representations for the advancement of each facility. In particular, I have been pushing for the development and opening of Borrisokane Primary Care Centre since I was a member of the Regional Health Board in 2009. I never gave up the fight for the centre and have been working in the background for this to come to fruition. “

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“The Service Plan acknowledges that after many years of significant reductions, there is a modest increase in funding in 2015. It will allow for Programme for Government commitments to be met including extension of BreastCheck and GP Care without fees for the oldest and youngest in society, the under 6s and over 70s.

“This plan is based on maintaining the existing level of service plus some targeted improvements. It sets out how we intend to address the issue of delayed discharges, to which the Government has allocated €25 million. It has been possible to increase the budget for Fair Deal, with an extra €10 million available. Some €35 million has also been provided for mental health in 2015 bringing to €125 million the amount of funding prioritised for mental health since 2012,” concluded Deputy Coonan.

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Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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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.

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Drivers continuing to receive mixed messages about NCT testing inspections

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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.

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Improved pay and conditions for childcare workers is a priority for FF – Goldsboro

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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.

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