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.

O’Driscoll Meets with Minister for Education

20181031_135118Last week I met with the new Minister for Education Joe McHugh, at the Department of Education offices in Tullamore.  I requested the meeting to raise a number of issues regarding schools in North Cork.  These included the ongoing work to the extension at Coláiste an Chraoibhín (Fermoy), the need for a new PE Hall in St Colman’s College (Fermoy), and the need for an extension to Coláiste Pobail Naomh Mhuire (Buttevant). Continue reading

Future of Irish Agriculture – Pa O’Driscoll

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

Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, spoke about negotiation for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) going in to 2020.  He stated that CAP has been “a policy capable of responding to challenges of any given time”.  The Irish government have concerns about the budget for CAP in the future.  This concern is shared by 19 other EU states, who are working together to protect the current level of funding.  Minister Creed also referred to the likelihood of further convergence and the level of capping that may be imposed from 2020.  On Brexit Minister Creed said “the deal, no matter how good, will not be as good as the deal that currently exists”. Continue reading