Progress on the N73 and Mallow Relief Road welcome

img_e2207Progress is being made on works for the N73 and the Mallow Relief Road. The work on the N73 near Shanballymore will alleviate one of the major bottlenecks on the road. This stretch of the N73 is notoriously narrow, and the scheme to widen the road will make it safer for all who use it. The final documents are being prepared by the consultants to put the works out to tender. This is welcome news for those who have been advocating for this work over the last number of years. Continue reading

Real affordable housing must become part of the solution

IMG-20190808-WA0001Real affordable housing must become part of the solution

I am calling on the Minister for Housing to consider a new housing scheme for those who are unable to access social housing, affordable housing or private housing.  There is a steady increase in the number of social houses being built or purchased by the Local Authorities.  In Fermoy alone there are three schemes, the smallest of which has been built (6 units), while the Duntaheen site (46 units) and Crann Ard site (52 units) are progressing.  This is welcome news for those who are currently on the social housing waiting list. Continue reading

Fermoy as a Rent Pressure Zone

DSC_0422 RT MVX NEWThe inclusion of the Fermoy Electoral Area as a Rent Pressure Zone is a welcome announcement for those renting in the area.  The main aim of Rent Pressure Zones (RPT) is to give certainty to those who are renting, as rent increases are capped at 4% per year.  For those who have experienced large increases in rent over the last few years, this would bring some long-term stability to rent prices and allow them to plan for the future.

A second element of RPTs is the effective banning of short-term letting.  This was a particular problem in large urban areas such as Dublin, where landlords were moving their properties from long-term renting to short-term letting. Continue reading

Mercosur and Ireland

resized-4.jpgThe Mercosur deal has potential benefits for some areas of the Irish economy.  This should not be to the detriment of other sectors, especially where there is an obvious environmental impact in addition to the economic impact.

The recent publication of the Climate Action Plan brought the challenge facing Ireland into sharp focus.  By 2020 we were meant to have de-carbonised by 20%.  Current projections suggest we will only have achieved 1%, which means we will need to reduce our emissions by up to 30% in the next 11 years. Continue reading

Shortage of Farm Labour

IMG_8287[1]As I continue my canvass across North Cork I regularly meet farmers who raise the issue of a shortage in the availability of labour for the agricultural sector.

Dairy farmers in particular have raised the issue with me, outlining how they find it difficult get access to both regular and relief labour for their farms. They have placed adverts for vacancies, and in some cases have received no replies.

 

In May 2018 a pilot scheme was introduced for the horticulture, meat processing, and diary sectors, allowing workers from non-EU countries to access employment in these sectors. 

Continue reading

Future of History

IMG_2613The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, will soon have to decide on the future of history in the secondary school system. For many people, history was a core subject when completing their Junior Certificate. The experience was no doubt mixed but talking to people there seems to be a general agreement that the study of history is important. A study of history gives people a sense of their place in the world, and an appreciation that our country (indeed all countries) have a past that holds as much hope as grief and has as much to celebrate as to be questioning of. The basic skill of history is to question. Considering the recent experience of the two countries on either side of us, it surely is clear that providing access to historical knowledge and a questioning mind is integral to life in the 21st century. Continue reading