Wednesday, February 27, 2013


NATIONAL TREE WEEK 2013 - "Seachtain Náisiúnta na gCrann” “A Feast of Trees” “Féile Na gCrann” National Tree Week will take place from 3rd to 9th March 2013.

Meath County Council will be distributing bare root saplings to community groups, voluntary groups, schools, etc.(not suitable for most housing estates). to mark the occasion. These include beech, rowan, alder and oak.

If you would like some of these saplings, please contact Peter Brady, Environmental Awareness Officer in Meath County Council at to register your interest.

The saplings will be distributed on Tuesday March 5th 2013 at Kells Recycling Centre, Lloyd Business Park from 11am – 1pm.

You might consider taking a walk in one of the many amenities in Meath during this week and enjoy the many varieties of trees----Balrath Woods (near Kentstown), Dalgan Park (Navan), Littlewoods in Slane (on Collon Road), Ramparts in Navan, Loughcrew Gardens in Oldcastle, Canal Walk in Enfield.

Two guided walks will take place in Dalgan Park, Navan on Saturday 9th March, 2013 hosted by Mr. Gerard Clarke (Columban Fathers and Crann Ireland). Walks will be at 11.00 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. Light Refreshments after walks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Slane Tidy Towns pub quiz, Friday, 8th of March, at The Village Inn

Constitutional convention

Pictured at last Saturdays Constitutional convention, Senator Jim Darcy, Deputy Charlie Flagan TD and I

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Doherty welcomes inclusion of pyrite property tax waiver in Finance Bill

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the inclusion in the Finance Bill of a waiver for the Local Property Tax for pyrite homes. Deputy Doherty previously raised concerns with the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, on the matter.

“This waiver will come as a welcome relief to pyrite homeowners, who have suffered unduly in recent years. It would be unjust to force these homeowners to pay a property tax on properties that are essentially worthless.

“When the Finance Bill was published in December, it did not contain any specific reference to pyrite homes. I expressed concerns and the time, and received assurances from Minister Noonan. I am very glad to have this concerns officially addressed with the publication of the Finance Bill today, which states that a waiver of at least three years will apply.

“This doesn’t solve the problems facing people living in homes affected by pyrite, but it will come as a relief that they won’t have to pay a property tax when their houses are still in need of significant repairs. In some cases, homes are uninhabitable. I would like to commend Minister Noonan and the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, for taking a pragmatic approach to this matter.

“We still need further progress for pyrite homeowners. I have stated previously that action has not been as swift as I would like on the testing and categorisation of homes, which must be carried out before remediation works can be carried out. Minister Hogan has taken a number of steps to ensure the responsible stakeholders work with homeowners to provide satisfactory long term solutions for homeowners.

“I will continue to represent the concerns and plight facing pyrite homeowners at a national level, as we move the resolution process forward.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Doherty pushes for youth café in Ashbourne

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) said that she is pushing the case for a youth caf é to be opened in Ashbourne. Deputy Doherty has established a founding committee to help make the project a reality.

“I’ve set up this founding committee because I think the opening of a youth café should be a priority for Ashbourne, and I’m calling on people across the community to get involved and help make this project a reality.

“I was involved in the project to set up a youth café in Ratoath; the Pulse café is now an established success story in the village, offering youth facilities for 13 to 18 year olds throughout the week and all weekend. We need to deliver a similar success for Ashbourne.

“The case for a youth café in Ashbourne is clear; it has the second highest number of teenagers in the country after Ratoath. We need to ensure these teens have a safe place to go to meet their friends and spend their spare time.

“I would appeal to the better nature of owners of vacant business premises in the town to consider whether any of their properties would be suitable for a café, and how they might be able to help with the project.

“The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald TD, announced more than €2.25 million in funding for youth cafés and other youth projects in November. I will be making the case for Ashbourne in the coming months to ensure it benefits from the next round of funding.

“Anyone wishing to join the founding committee or help out can contact me on 018257204.”

Monday, February 11, 2013

€802,500 for smarter travel projects in Meath East

Fine Gael Meath East Deputy, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the announcement of €802,500 which is being made available to support smarter travel projects in Meath East, saying that the improvements will enhance the lives and the safety of people from Kilmessan to Clonee and beyond. This funding is part of a broader package of €2,545,800 for Meath County Council for smarter travel projects across the entire county of Meath.

“Despite our budgetary constraints, this Government continues to make transport and road safety a priority. In addition to the national, regional and local roads allocation, funding is being made available, by the National Transport Authority, for the construction of a wide range of projects in local towns and villages. These projects range from the construction of missing sections of footpath to studies being conducted to determine the most effective way of improving access for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

“In Laytown, a park and ride facility for more than 100 cars will be designed west of the railway bridge to significantly reduce the number of cars parking around the station, which will make a huge difference to local residents.

“A cycle and walking study will also be conducted for Laytown and Bettystown to help improve access to schools, local amenities, town centres and public transport. Bus stops are to be provided along the East Coast Route, with upgrading and remedial works being carried out at Donacarney School, Bettystown Village, Mosney Cross and Julianstown Village. Improvements will also be made to roads, paths and junctions at Rathoath, Kells, Clonee, Kilmessan, Carlanstown, Nobber, Duleek, Stamullen, Kenstown and Ashbourne.

“By constructing pedestrian crossings at schools, improving cycle and bus facilities and providing footpaths and public lighting where none currently exists, local communities will be better able to move around their localities in a safer and easier way.

“All of these projects will commence this year with the majority scheduled for completion in 2013. Where possible, people should be encouraged to leave the car at home and to walk or cycle to their destination. These projects will bring the realisation of that goal a step closer, which will have improved health benefits for the people of Meath.”

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Prom note deal very positive step forward for Irish people

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) welcomed the deal struck by the Government on the Anglo promissory notes, saying it is a hugely positive step forward for the Irish economy and the Irish people. Deputy Doherty added the deal would significantly ease the debt burden at a time when the Irish economy is trying to recover.

“The deal announced today by the Taoiseach in the Dáil is a very important step forward. By liquidating IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, and replacing the promissory notes with bonds, we have essentially swapped a high cost, short-term loan, with a long-term, interest only mortgage. Over the next decade, the Government will have to borrow €20 billion less, thanks to this deal. On top of this, it will have a positive impact on the Budget for next year, which means there will be fewer new taxes and spending cuts.

“I have been amazed by the way in which Sinn Féin representatives have tried to misrepresent this deal, attempting to dampen down the positive impact it will have on the Irish economy. It is true that we won’t have to pay any of the actual debt until for another 25 years, in 2038. The final payment will be made in 2053. And over those years, inflation and economic growth will greatly reduce the value of the debt.

“The Finance Minister has explained what the deal means by way of an anecdote; he paid about £3,000 for his house in Limerick in the late 1960s. At the end of his mortgage, 25 years later, one month’s pay check would have paid for his entire house. By stretching the debt out over such a long period, we are greatly diminishing its value.

“As well as cutting our borrowing requirements by €20 billion and allowing us to introduce fewer taxes and spending cuts in the years ahead, this deal also gives a significant boost to Ireland’s prospects for economic growth. It should make it easier for Ireland to get back into the markets, a key step in our economic recovery.

“This deal is one essential element of the Government’s plan to improve the disastrous bail-out deal we inherited from the Fianna Fáil. Today, the Government has delivered a vast improvement to that deal. The toxic financial, political and social legacy left by the previous government has now finally been dealt with. We have finally closed the chapter on Anglo Irish Bank, and the infamous promissory notes are no more. I would like to pay tribute to Minister Noonan for his tireless work in these negotiations. He has truly delivered for the Irish people.

“There is still an awful lot of work to do. Today we have dealt with the €31 billion promissory notes. Now, work will continue apace on delivering a further deal on breaking the link between banking and sovereign debt, as we continue to bring about savings for the Irish taxpayer.”

Moves towards same sex marriage in UK signals turning tide - Buttimer

Proper debate needed here to ensure support of the Irish people
Welcoming the passage of the second stage of the Civil Marriage Bill through the House of Commons last night, Chair of the Fine Gael LGBT Group and member of the Constitutional Convention, Deputy Jerry Buttimer, said that while there is a palpable sense that the mood is changing in terms of people’s views on gay marriage in Ireland, proper debate is needed to ensure the support of the Irish people on the matter.

“The backing of the proposal by 400 MPs in the House of Commons last night is significant, as it brings the possibility of same sex marriage a step closer for gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales. The news was, understandably, greeted with widespread anticipation that the passage of the Bill by the British Parliament will further advance the cause of same sex marriage here at home.

“The freedom for all citizens to be able to marry and to publically commit to the person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with should be available to all. It is my firm belief however, that this issue needs to be given the attention it deserves to ensure a favourable outcome and an understanding by the Irish people that full marriage is as important to gay and lesbian couples as it is to straight ones.

“The issue of gay marriage is set to be debated by the Constitutional Convention in a little over two months’ time. If the Convention decides that a referendum on the matter should be put to the people, the last thing we want is for it to be defeated at the hands of an electorate that does not understand what it is being asked of it; or worse still one that does not care.

“While recent opinion polls suggest that a majority of Irish people are in favour of the introduction of same sex marriage*, we must remember that just three weeks before the Children’s Referendum was held last November, a RedC poll for the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), found that almost three-quarters of the electorate were in favour of the referendum. That referendum, which would see children’s rights enshrined in the Constitution for the first time, while offering better protection to them, saw just one in three people actually casting a vote and the referendum being passed by a slimmer margin than many expected.

“Gay and lesbian couples in the UK are now a step closer to being able to declare their love for one another as full and equal citizens. Securing the same rights here in Ireland will, we hope, follow. Ensuring, however, that the Irish electorate is engaged on the issue and, more importantly, is supportive of the fight is key to making that aspiration a reality.â�

* A Millward Brown Lansdowne poll carried out for Marriage Equality late last year showed 75 per cent of people would vote yes in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Health Committee presents report on hearings to Minister for Health

On the 8th, 9th and 10th of January 2013, the Joint Committee on Health and Children held three days of public hearings following the Government decision to proceed to address the issues raised in the A, B, C Judgement, by way of legislation and regulations, within the parameters of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court

The Committee presented the report from these proceedings to the Minister for Health James Reilly TD, today, 31st January, 2013.

The purpose of this report is to present a summary to the Minister of the information presented to the Joint Committee for consideration. The Joint Committee does not make any recommendations in this report. The full transcripts of the three day hearings are appended to this report, as are the written submissions received.

Access the report here: