New Action Plan To Tackle School Bullying

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Government’s new Action Plan on Bullying will help to tackle the scourge of bullying in schools across the Dublin area and the entire country.

€500,000 has been ring-fenced to support the implementation of the plan this year, which will include a campaign on cyber bullying and the development of national anti-bullying procedures for all schools.

Bullying, whether is it online or in the school corridor, can have a very serious impact on children and young people. This can have a lasting impact well into adulthood and it is something that we should all be working together to address.


Connolly Hospital Fails Hygiene Audit

Doctors bribed with parking permits to do basic hygiene training.

The Health Information and Quality Authority Hygiene audit found Connolly Hospital to be only partially compliant with the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated
Poor hygiene and hand washing practices cause infections and deaths in our hospitals. One of our fears going into hospital is becoming infected with deadly Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA and clostridium difficile. While the HIQA auditors found that there was a proactive infection prevention and control programme at Connolly Hospital they also had a number of very serious concerns.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Reminder: 1st February 2013 is the deadline to register your septic tank/domestic waste water system

You will not be able to register after that
If you do not register your system before 1st February 2013 you will not be able to apply for the remediation grant
By protecting our water, we protect our environment, our health and our jobs.

The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 introduces a new registration and inspection system for septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems.

Am I liable? If you own a property connected to a septic tank or other treatment system you need to register your system by 1st February 2013. The one-off registration fee is €50. You will not receive an invoice.
When will I be inspected? The risk-based inspections will commence during the year, you will be notified in writing by your Council in advance of an inspection. Fines of up to €5,000 may apply for systems not registered.
How do I pay?

Online: You can pay by credit/debit card at 
By Post: Application forms are available from City/County Councils, libraries and Citizen Information Centres or by calling LoCall1890 800 800. Your cheque/postal order/bank draft should be made payable to ‘Protect Our Water’ and posted with your form to: Protect Our Water, P.O. Box 12204, Dublin 7.
Local Authority: In your City/County Council Offices by cash/cheque/postal order/bank draft (no administration fee applies).
Are there remediation grants available if my system fails the inspection?
Yes, however, if you do not register your system before 1st February 2013 you will not be able to apply for financial assistance. For more details: or LoCall: 1890 800 800


Computerisation to Slash €32M a Year in Red Tape for Irish Businesses

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More than 300,000 Irish businesses and sole traders will see the cost of compliance with transport regulation cut as new Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport and Road Safety Authority computer systems go live later this year. The total projected annual savings to business will be €32 million.
This followed a detailed review by Minister Leo Varadkar's Transport Department, in conjunction with Sira Consultants, of the impact on business of the following regulations:


Extension of Community Employment programme - Additional 2,000 Places

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Department for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. has published details of the allocation of 2,000 additional places on the Community Employment programme.

This will bring the total number of Community Employment places this year to 25,300 as part of the Department’s wider efforts to help jobseekers to become employment-ready and find a job, training or educational opportunity. 

The Community Employment Schemes plays a vital role for both jobseekers and their communities. It provides work experience, including appropriate training, for jobseekers which helps them to take up work on the open labour market by developing their skills, experience and confidence. It is also of immense benefit to the local communities.


Horse Meat in Beef Burgers

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I welcome the fact that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland  has moved quickly to clarify that the results of the survey on beef burgers does not pose a public health risk and this is not a food safety issue. 


Closure of Rathoath Road

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It is proposed to temporarily close Ratoath Road from its junction with the Hollystown Roundabout (R121) to its junction with Bay Lane from Monday 14th January 2013 to Friday 1st February 2013 to facilitate the carrying out of essential construction works associated with the Tyrellstown to Cherryhound Link Road Project.

Update: Fingal County Council has made an order extending the period of the temporary closure of Ratoath Road (Part of) due to inclement weather conditions for a further week until 8th February 2013.

For eastbound traffic from Hollystown Roundabout the alternative route available is via Church Road, Cruiserath Road, Corduff Road, Ratoath Road (Part of), Kilshane Way and Cappagh Road.
For westbound traffic the alternative route is via Cappagh Road, Kilshane Way, Ratoath Road (Part of), Corduff Road, Cruiserath Road and Church Road to Hollystown Roundabout.

Local access will be maintained.


HSE National Service Plan for 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The HSE today, (Thursday, 10th January 2013), published its National Service Plan 2013 following approval by the Minister for Health; Dr James Reilly T.D. The Service Plan sets out the type and volume of services the Health Service Executive (HSE) will provide directly, and through a range of funded agencies, during 2013. These health and social care services must be delivered within the €13.404 billion funding provided by Government and within the stipulated employment levels.

                Health Minister James Reilly with Councillors Anthony Lavin, Kieran Dennison and Eithne Loftus


Cost of Opening St. Francis Hospice Blanchardstown

Monday, January 7, 2013

Below are questions I raised at the Health Forum meeting in relation to the cost of opening the 24 inpatient beds at the St. Francis Hospice Blanchardstown. The €22 million Hospice was built on a site donated by the state in the grounds of Connolly Hospital.

Through extraordinary effort by the community this capital debt has now been reduced to less than €10 million. The HSE provided a €1.5 million grant in 2011 for fit-out of the Community Palliative Care offices, Hospice Day Care and Outpatients services.  

The 24 inpatient beds remain closed pending agreement with the HSE to make funding available. The economic downturn and the problems with the health budget have been blamed for the delay. However, I understand that there is also serious concern within the HSE at the proposed costs of staffing and fitting out the inpatient beds (see links below). One senior HSE source informs me that the cost per bed is higher than that for an intensive care unit bed in any of our major hospitals. For those of us who want to see this important facility opened there needs to be a more realistic proposal that reflects the times we live in and die in.


Christmas Tree Recycling in Dublin 15

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mellenium Park is now the only location for Christmas Tree Disposal in Dublin 15 Area. The Park is open between 10am and 5pm. I have asked for the opening hours to be extended so that trees can be left there later in the evenings. The Park will be open this Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th January until 8pm.


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