There was positive engagement from participants in a consultation event on ‘Building Resilient Rural Economies and Communities’, hosted by the Department of Rural and Community Development in Mallow recently. The event was organised to provide a forum for communities to have an input in the formation of a new five-year policy for rural development.
Minister Michael Ring has announced funding of €143,000 for Tidy Towns groups in County Cork. This is the third year that Minister Ring has allocated money to support the work of Tidy Towns groups. There is a total fund of €1.4 million, of which €143,000 will be provided to towns and villages in County Cork.
Towns and villages across North Cork benefit greatly from the work of Tidy Towns groups. These volunteers improve the environment of our towns and villages. It is appropriate that Minister Ring is providing financial support for these organisations to assist in their work.
€36,000 will be shared by 26 communities across North Cork. Large Towns have been allocated €3,000; small towns €2,000; and villages are allocated €1,000. The Department of Rural and Community Development will be writing to eligible Tidy Towns groups shortly to outline how they can avail of the funding.
I welcome the decision of Joe McHugh, the Minister for Education and Skills, to designate history as a core subject for the junior cycle. In the context of the Decade of Centenaries, it was perplexing that the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment) would reduce history to the point where students may not study the subject after they enter post-primary school at the age of 12 or 13. We are commemorating events in Ireland, including the participation of Irish people in World War I, the Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. These were complex events, and the causes and consequences are not simple. A knowledge of history is important for people to understand this complexity. Continue reading
The latest Fáilte Ireland showed that Doneraile Park was the 7th most visited free attraction in Ireland, with 490,000 people visiting in 2018. This shows the enormous potential for tourism to grow in North Cork.
The official opening of Doneraile Court last month will only add to the attraction of Doneraile Park for visitors.
The restoration of Annesgrove Gardens and the future development of Mallow Castle and the neighbouring grounds show that there are attractions in North Cork that can be used for the marketing or North Cork as a tourist destination. Continue reading
The announcement from Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, of an investment of €84 million in Affordable Housing schemes across the country is a welcome development. This initial investment will allow 25 projects to progress and deliver 1,770 affordable houses.
The delivery of affordable housing is essential if we are to relieve the pressure on middle income earners of affording a home. This announcement will lead to the building of 1,770 affordable homes, with three sites progressing in the Cork East constituency. Minister Murphy has committed that over 6,000 affordable homes will be funded by 2021.
I welcome the clarification from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government on short-term letting. O’Driscoll had raised the potential impact on tourist accommodation of the Fermoy Local Electoral Area (LEA) being designated a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) by Minister Eoghan Murphy.
The purpose of an RPZ is to limit rent increases to a maximum of 4% per year. This is a good thing as it provides a level of stability for renters. Fermoy has seen substantial rent increases over the last two years, so this will help to reduce high rent inflation. A second element of an RPZ is the effective banning of short-term letting in houses that are not a person’s principal residence. Continue reading
The announcement that 100 extra work permits for the dairy industry are being made available for non-EU workers is welcome news. There is a critical labour shortage in the agricultural sector. Several dairy farmers have raised the issue with me, outlining how they cannot get access to labour for their farms. The decision by Minister Heather Humphreys will go some way towards relieving the pressure on the dairy industry. Continue reading