Funding for Education Welcome, but Procedures Must Change

IMG_2613I welcome the commitment of the Minister for Education Joe McHugh, that the extension to Coláiste an Chraoibhín will be open for the new school year.

There are flaws in the tendering process that led to this debacle.  I was a member of the Board of Management of Coláiste an Chraoibhín when the contract for the extension was awarded in 2015.  I did not expect that we would be waiting four years for the extension to be finished.  These four years has been a testing time for everyone involved in Coláiste an Chraoibhín.  It is good that the commitment has been made, but lessons must be learned by the Department of Education. Continue reading

O’Driscoll welcomes investment in rural Ireland

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John Coughlan IFA, Minister Michael Creed, Pa O’Driscoll and Jim Wolfe Dairygold CEO

I welcome the announcements of different streams of funding for projects in North Cork. There has been a series of announcements from government ministers of funding for local organisations, to help them develop and provide facilities for local people.  These are welcome as they allow local groups and organisations to improve on their facilities as well as expand the services they offer to local communities. Continue reading

O’Driscoll Welcomes Investment for Mallow

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I welcome the announcements by Minister Michael Ring of funding for projects in Mallow.  Two separate streams of funding were announced in the last week, with three Mallow organisations benefiting from the Community Enhancement Programme, and the continuing development of Mallow Castle receiving support under the Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme. Continue reading

O’Driscoll meets Minister to Discuss Army Pay

IMG-20181118-WA0003Members of the Permanent Defence Forces and their families have been campaigning for better pay and conditions for the work they undertake in protecting the State.  Over the last few weeks I have met several members of the army and navy who have outlined to me the hardship that many families face, as they struggle to meet the costs of providing for themselves.  Like all of the public sector, members of the Defence Forces received cuts to their pay during the economic crisis.  The Fine Gael led government has made efforts to restore pay cuts (see letter), but it is clear that special consideration needs to be made for the Defence Forces, particularly those at private level.

I took the opportunity at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis to raise this with Paul Kehoe, Minister with Responsibility for Defence, and Gabrielle McFadden, Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Defence.  I raised the issue during a motion on security and defence, and afterwards met with Minister Kehoe and Senator McFadden to explain in more detail the issues that have been raised with me by members of the Defence Forces.