Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Doherty attends opening of new state of the art pharmaceutical storage facility in Ashbourne

Deputy Doherty at the opening of the facility with staff members from Expeditors. From left to right: John Sandford, Brian Byrne, Aodhgan Braiden, Regina Doherty TD, Greg Lewis and Des Whelan.

 Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, last Friday (April 26th) attended the opening of the new Expeditors facility in Ashbourne, which will use state of the art technology to provide cold storage for multinational and indigenous healthcare companies. Expeditors is a global logistics company, which is listed on the Fortune 500.

Speaking at the opening, Deputy Doherty said: ‘I’m delighted to be here today to open this exciting new facility, which will hopefully lead to new business opportunities for Expeditors’ Irish operations. The company will be able to provide high quality storage for healthcare companies, because it has heavily invested in this new state of the art pharmaceutical storage facility’. 

“I know a huge amount of work has gone into bringing this new facility to fruition, including acquiring licensing and certification from the Irish Medicines Board. The facility represents a significant investment by Expeditors in the local economy here in Ashbourne. And by providing these high quality services here in Ireland, we can copper fasten our reputation as being an ideal location for foreign direct investment. 

“I wish the company the best of success with this new venture, which I hope will lead to further job creation in the coming years.” 

Aodhgan Braiden from Expeditors added: ‘It’s clear to us that there is a requirement for regulated, temperature controlled warehousing, to support the pharmaceutical and medical device sector. Investing in this area allows our customers to focus on their core manufacturing activities, and I hope this new venture will allow us to grow our brand even further here in Ireland’.

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Consultative Forum on special education to be appointed

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has highlighted the fact that appointments are being made to the Consultative Forum for the National Council for Special Education (NCSE). Deputy Doherty is encouraging interested stakeholders to make nominations and express their views to the NCSE. 

“The NCSE plays a very important role in the delivery of special education services. It is beginning the process of appointing a new Consultative Forum, which feeds into decisions made by the Council. 

“The Forum facilitates consultation with interest groups in the special education sector, and in effect allows for discussion and differing views to be expressed. This all feeds into the formation of national policy on special education. 

“The provision of special education can be a fraught and complicated issue at times because many parents feel they have to fight to get the care and attention their child may need. It is very important that we have both the NCSE and the Consultative Forum, so parents and educators can contribute to special education policy development. 

“Nominations for the Forum are open until May 13th and I would encourage anyone with a specific interest in special education to make their views known. The Forum meets up to four times a year in Trim, Co. Meath. 

“The NSCE strives to ensure the Consultative Forum includes a diverse spread of members, to ensure all of the various disabilities are represented. It also aims to include young people with special educational needs, or their representatives, to ensure their voices are heard.” 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Following a meeting today with the CEO’s of the Dairy Co-ops, Minister Simon Coveney TD announced that co-ops have agreed to his request to substantially increase the volume of fodder being imported into the country over the short to medium term. The co-ops have also agreed to consider the introduction of interest free credit, within limits, to farmers for the purchase of fertiliser, limited to the month of May. 
This will ensure farmers have access to fodder for the foreseeable future and will reassure farmers that fodder supply will not be an issue until grass growth improves. While access to fodder is a priority, grass growth in the months ahead will be the key to ensuring that this problem is overcome. The latest initiatives agreed by the dairy co-ops today build on the measures already introduced by the Minister which were designed to deal with immediate challenges; 

·       A €1m fund to contribute to the transport costs of importing fodder to the country, which will reduce the cost of purchasing fodder for farmers by approximately a third, in the days ahead.
·       The availability of emergency assistance under the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council’s early warning system to ensure that there is no reason for any farmer to see their animals starve 

·       Processing of outstanding scheme payments as promptly as possible
The meeting today copper-fastens a comprehensive package of measures to address the fodder shortage both immediate and longer term. The initiatives agreed with the co-ops today, combined with the €1 million Euro transport scheme that I announced yesterday and the emergency assistance available under the farm animals council early warning system will substantially address the challenging fodder situation. There is no reason why any animal on any farm should starve. Support is there for anyone who is facing an emergency situation and I would urge farmers who need support to contact the Department for assistance,” said Minister Coveney. 
The Minister pointed out that he has already asked the advisory service to prioritise advice to farmers in the period ahead and to focus on the optimum use of fertiliser in generating feed for the national herd. With regard to ongoing difficulties in accessing credit, Minister Coveney will again meet with senior representatives from banks later today to discuss the ongoing challenges facing farmers and to ask for flexibility over the coming period in accessing credit. In addition, outstanding scheme payments are being processed with urgency. Seven hundred payments issued last week and outstanding payments are being processed as quickly as possible. “I believe this comprehensive set of measures will assist farmers. Strong commodity prices at present for dairy, beef and lamb should allow farmers to plan with greater confidence for the year ahead. I’ll continue to work with all stakeholders in the sector to get through this difficult period caused by very unusual weather patterns”. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Record €16.2 billion exports from Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2012

Manufacturing companies and North American Market lead the way for export growth in 2012

Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved record exports in 2012 breaking the €16bn for the first time, up from €15.2bn in 2011. Greatest wins came from sectors such as Engineering, Software, Internationally Traded Services and Medical Devices, while the outstanding geographical performance came from USA, Asia Pacific and South America.

The announcement was made today (Friday) by Enterprise Ireland’s CEO, Frank Ryan, at an event hosted by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. in his Department in the presence of Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D. and John Perry T.D., Minister for Small Business.  
Throughout the year Irish companies continued to broaden their export footprint and increase their sales, in the face of increasing challenges across all global markets. The world economy is predicted to grow moderately (3.3%) in 2013 (Source: IMF April 2013) and the strong performance by Irish companies over the past year puts them in a very healthy position to capitalise on this growth.  Enterprise Ireland is increasing its activities to support clients win new export business and build international networks and partnerships.  2013 will see a record number of ministerial-led trade missions with an increased focus on high growth economies in Asia, South America and the Middle East.  This will be backed up a wide range of inward buyer visits, study visits, trade fairs, Embassy events and knowledge seminars, all aimed at linking Irish companies to international buyers, leading to increased exports and jobs for Ireland.

Making the announcement, Frank Ryan, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said:”In Enterprise Ireland we are proud of the companies we work with and their tremendous achievement in continuing to increase export sales. These companies are responsible for 300,000 jobs and spend over €18bn in the Irish economy each year by winning business all over the world. It is especially encouraging to see significant gains in established markets like North America, the High Growth Economies of Asia Pacific and record performances from advanced engineering, software and medical device sectors”.

Commenting on the results Minister Bruton said: “Dynamic and innovative Irish companies are central to the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and these results today confirm that they are continuing to deliver for the Irish economy. Exports create jobs and the record figures announced here today are very promising for employment growth over the coming years. I congratulate all Irish exporters on this performance and credit also to Frank and his team at Enterprise Ireland”

The Tánaiste added: “Developing new business in High Growth Economies while also remaining strong in our core markets is vital for the recovery of the Irish economy.  Enterprise Ireland clients have demonstrated tremendous resilience in winning record sales in these markets. I witnessed this myself when leading the Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Turkey within the past fortnight and I look forward to continue working with them on trade missions and key international activities in 2013 and beyond”.

FF left borrowers with no hope, now the Party criticises debt resolution service

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) said Fianna Fáil should not be so quick to criticise the new Insolvency Service Ireland (ISI), when it is the Party that left borrowers drowning in debt, with absolutely no hope for the future. Deputy Doherty was speaking after the ISI launched guidelines and a public information campaign on debt resolution measures.

“When Fianna Fáil left Government, there were already roughly 45,000 people in mortgage arrears. This was due to a culture of lax regulation, property speculation and cheap debt that was so keenly fostered and encouraged by Fianna Fáil. The Party failed to regulate, failed to mitigate the impending property crash and failed to leave behind any sort of plan to deal with the spiralling mortgage arrears problem. When Fianna Fáil was kicked out of Government, it left people in arrears with absolutely no hope.

“The fact that Fianna Fáil is now trying to paint itself as the Party who would get tough on the banks is laughable. This is coming from the same Party which sanctioned huge pay packets for senior bankers and presided over a regulatory regime that allowed extremely irresponsible lending and speculation, with no controls in place or protection for ordinary homeowners.

“Today many of the fears and rumours about the Insolvency Service have been dispelled. This entire system is aimed at keeping people in their homes and giving them a long-term, sustainable solution to their debt problems. Thousands of families across the country are stuck in limbo, with a huge financial burden affecting every area of their lives. Through the ISI, families will be able to bring their debt nightmare to an end.

“Flexibility will be key to this process. The details published today are guidelines; no more and no less, and they will be kept under review. There is no requirement on anyone to give up their job or to drop their living standards to an unsustainable level. The banks are not being given all the power, as Fianna Fáil claims. The reality is that it will be in the bank’s interests to reach an agreement with debtors, as the alternative would be bankruptcy. In effect everyone has a veto; if the person in debt doesn’t like what is being proposed, they can back out.

“The ISI puts forward a number of sustainable solutions for people to manage their debt. We want every family in this country to be able to participate in the economy, and be a part of the recovery. It is essential that the ISI is up and running as soon as possible so that families can chart a way forward and start getting on with their lives without the burden of unsustainable debt.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

Help your Heart Information Evening

The Cardiac and Health Promotion Departments at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan which is part of the Louth Meath Hospital Group, in association with the Irish Heart Foundation, are holding a Help your Heart information evening on Thursday 2nd May 2013 at 4pm in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan.

 This is a free event and is open to the public as well as healthcare workers and voluntary agencies working with victims of stroke/heart disease.
Heart disease and stroke affect almost one in three people and there are steps that can be followed to reduce the risks.

A wide range of topics will be covered during the evening including:  being aware of your risks, what you can do to prevent a heart attack or stroke, update of treatments and recovery programmes, smoking cessation information/advice and healthy eating. Also how to recognise the warning signs of a stroke in your own home or workplace.

Meath Red Cross will be available to check people’s blood pressures and Meath Local Sports Partnership will have information on exercise facilities in your area.  

Speakers on the evening are from the hospital staff and include,  
Dr K Mc Garry, Consultant Physician. (Chair for the evening)
Dr B Bourke, Consultant Physician. Dr R Schofield, Medical Registrar.
Ms D Gamis, Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Nurse. Ms J Meredith Lynch, Smoking Cessation Specialist Nurse. Ms M Flanagan, Stroke Care Specialist Nurse and Ms J Morrissey, Dietitian, Irish Heart Foundation.

For more information please contact the Cardiac Department at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan on 046 9078598 or the Health Promotion Coordinator on 046 9078524.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Temporary Closure of Roads R154 Batterstown to R156 Dunboyne-Summerhill Road

Traffic / Roads Update - Temporary Closure of Roads - L-6207 (Link Road from R154 Batterstown to R156 Dunboyne-Summerhill Road) - The proposed closure will take place from 9.00am Wednesday 8th May to 6pm Saturday 11th May 2013 both dates inclusive.
Date Released: 10 April 2013
MEATH COUNTY COUNCILTemporary Closure of RoadsRoads Act 1993(Roads Regulations 1994)

L-6207 (Link Road from R154 Batterstown to R156 Dunboyne-Summerhill Road)
Notice is hereby given that Meath County Council intends to close the L-6207 (known locally as the Red Road)  to through traffic from it’s junction with the R154 at Batterstown for a distance of 1500m southwest to it’s junction with the access road to the Eirgrid Interconnector Station at Woodlands. 
This closure is required to facilitate essential remedial works on behalf of John Sisk & Son Ltd. 
The proposed closure will take place from 9.00am Wednesday 8th May to 6pm Saturday 11th May 2013 both dates inclusive. 
Alternative Routes:
  • Detour via L-2215 Batterstown – Blackhall Road 
Diversion signs will be in place. 
Local Access:
Residents and property holders will be facilitated where possible with access throughout the closure period. 
Submissions on the proposed temporary road closure should be made in writing to The Area Administrator, Meath County Council, Dunshaughlin Area Office, Drumree Road, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath on or before 4pm Wednesday 17th April 2013.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How do I juggle being a TD and raising a family? Meticulous planning!

Deputy East Regina Doherty and her children Ryan (8) Grace (11), Kate (6), and Jack (13)

Regina Doherty admits it's not easy being a public representative and mother, but it is certainly worth it, she tells the Irish independent's Graham Clifford

From the moment Regina Doherty's alarm goes off in the morning until she falls into her bed later that night, she seamlessly carries out a hectic juggling act.

You see, the 42-year-old is not just a Fine Gael TD for the Meath East constituency – she's also the mother of four young children.

"Before I was elected I would never have considered myself to be the most organised of people but now every aspect of my life is planned and I stick to those plans meticulously."

Regina is just one of a handful of Dáil deputies who are mothers to young children, and with four aged 13 and younger the Doherty house is a hive of activity.

Jack is the eldest at 13 years old; then comes 11-year-old Grace; followed by eight-year-old Ryan, and Kate who's six.

Political commitments, though, ensure that Regina spends most of her working week away from home. "Mid-week is hectic, then I have a clinic on Saturdays but Sunday is our own time come hell or high water. It's our family time and it's precious."

Today 25 women hold seats in the Dáil out of a possible 166 – that's a paltry 15pc of TDs.
Nevertheless, we've come a long way from 1969 when only three female TDs were returned, and as recently as February 1982 only eight women took their seats in the chamber.

Of the total 4,744 Dáil seats filled since the 1918 elections, only 260 (5.48pc) have been occupied by women.

Ireland falls behind both the world average of 19.5pc and the European Union average of 24pc and lies in 76th position in a world classification table of women's political representation in parliament.
A new bill passed by the Dáil last summer means that political parties will have to implement a gender quota for general elections in the future or else face financial penalty.

The legislation specifies that at least 30pc of a party's list of election candidates must be women. If not, the party's state funding will be cut by half. This figure will rise to 40pc at subsequent general elections.

On International Women's Day earlier this year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she used to find the idea of gender quotas 'offensive' but now feels they are needed.

During her trip to Dublin, the mother of two said: "Once a threshold has been reached ... we can do away with quotas and demonstrate on our own merits that we can be trusted, that we can contribute, that we deserve to be elected, hired or promoted."

Still, many believe women will be put off from running for election because of the levels of commitment required.

The long hours both in Dublin and within each TD's constituency leave little time for bedtime reading and lazy lunches (something fathers also miss out on, of course).

But Regina Doherty isn't buying the old lines.

"We don't sell the idea of a political career to mothers. Many stay-at-home moms could do what I did and be a successful local councillor earning €16,000 but they think it's not possible – it is and I wish we could get that message across.

"Women are not put off running in elections because of the long hours – they are put off because of the way politics is carried on in Ireland."

Regina sticks to a strict regime so she can bring her children to school.
The system works but she admits there are times when duty calls – even when the Dáil is meeting.

"Grace, my second eldest, is sensitive. If she rings when I'm in the chamber and I can't take the call we have an agreement that I text back straight away and ring her as soon as I can."

A pro-life campaign in her constituency in which her face and name appear on posters has produced a new challenge for her as a mother, though.

'They were saying something like "don't let her legalise abortion" – I sat Grace down to explain what all this meant. I didn't want her to be curious. Thankfully, I'd already had the birds-and-the-bees chat with her; otherwise, it would have been very difficult to explain."

Between them Regina, her husband Declan, her father and a childminder make sure the children are always looked after and the longest it will ever take the TD to get home from Leinster House is an hour and a half.

For mothers who are TDs in rural constituencies the distance creates inevitably more headaches.

"You end up missing things like school meetings," says Sandra McLellan, mother of three and a Sinn Féin TD in the Cork East constituency.

"My party colleague Mary Lou McDonald is busy with her young family but every night she can go home, however late, go into their rooms and give them a kiss goodnight because she lives in Dublin.

"She can send them off to school in the morning before she starts her work – for rural TDs we can't do that because we have to be in Dublin."

The pressures of looking after a family took their toll on former Fine Gael TD Olwyn Enright.

The Laois-Offaly Deputy decided she wouldn't attempt to retain her seat at the last election, citing pressures of juggling her family life and career – at the time Enright, who's married to Joe McHugh TD, was pregnant with her second child.

Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy effectively took Olwyn Enright's seat and the mother of two, now in their 20s, told the Irish Independent that had her children been younger she wouldn't have accepted the party nomination.

"I wouldn't have run if my children were young, to be honest, but that's just my personal view. Dáil-life is not family-friendly. The long hours would have put me off but I know for some, with the right support behind them, it's possible."

Dún Laoghaire's Mary Mitchell O'Connor, whose two sons are now adults, says that she felt she needed to be there for her boys.

The Fine Gael deputy said: "I didn't enter politics until my boys had nearly finished secondary school. I made a decision that their education was paramount and felt I needed to be home to supervise study and know who they were with and what they were doing."

Labour's Anne Ferris in Wicklow/East Carlow says everything must be done to entice more mothers into politics.

"I feel strongly that if there were more women TDs in the Dáil that measures would be taken to ensure it was more family-friendly."

One woman who has been able to combine her role as TD for Waterford and mother of one is Ciara Conway.

The Labour deputy became the youngest woman ever elected to Dáil éireann when she took a seat at the last election at the age of 30. Helen McEntee has since taken that title at the age of 26.
Incidentally, Ciara was the only female candidate out of 15 running in Waterford.

"My daughter Aeva May is nine. There are only two female members of the Dáil from outside the greater Dublin area who have young children.

"The structure of our parliamentary democracy is that its sits every week and for long hours, requiring you to be away from home a lot.

"But there are many other reasons such as culture and party structures that act as a barrier to entry for women also."

The quotas will help tackle the problem of gender inequality in the Dáil but many believe that the priority should be changing the way we do politics so mothers and fathers can carry out their job while spending enough quality time with their children.

Irish Presidency secures agreement on key remaining part of Single Market Act I - Minister Bruton

Boost to SMEs as Accounting Directive will reduce admin burden 

Increased transparency with inclusion of “country-by-country" reporting 

The agreement secured yesterday in Brussels by the Irish Presidency on the Accounting Directive is another major step in reducing red tape for European SMEs, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, current chair of the Competitiveness Council. The Directive is one of the final outstanding parts of the Single Market Act I.

One of the Directive’s key proposals is the simplification of accounting rules for SMEs. Among the measures contained in the draft Directive are the reduction of reporting requirements for SMEs and the introduction of an exemption from preparing consolidated financial statements for small groups.

Minister Bruton commented: “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. At the heart of this Directive is the drive to cut red tape and reduce the administrative burden on SMEs. That is why this agreement is so important. The more we can reduce red tape, the more we free up business to grow and create jobs.”

“The Irish Presidency has prioritised the implementation of the outstanding pieces of Single Market legislation. Already the Irish Presidency has signed off on the Unified Patent Court Agreement. I will continue to push for progress on the remaining SMA I measures because full implementation of these measures has massive potential to boost economic growth and create jobs.”

The Directive also incorporates a number of measures designed to enhance financial transparency. The provisions made for Country-by-Country Reporting will dramatically increase the transparency of payments made to governments by European companies involved in the extractive industries.  The Reports will assist the citizens of resource-rich countries in holding their governments to account for the use made of payments received from EU undertakings active in the extractive industries or in the exploitation of primary forests.

The agreement reached today will require final approval by the Committee of Permanent Representatives

2,000 additional ICT graduates to be provided in the coming year as part of Government drive to make Ireland the internet capital of Europe – Minister Quinn, Minister Bruton

Target of 700 additional employment permits in ICT sector under new reforms driven by Minister Bruton

An additional 1,300 graduates from industry led programmes delivered by Minister Quinn

A total of 2,000 additional ICT graduates-level professionals will be provided in the coming year through the education system and the employment permits system, as part of a series of reforms aimed at making Ireland the internet capital of Europe. The reforms are being driven by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.

The changes are part of Action Plan for Jobs 2013, and have an ultimate aim of providing Ireland with the highest proportion of ICT graduates as a share of third level graduates by 2018.

The Ministers made the announcements today [Wednesday] at Version 1, a leading Irish ICT company. Based in Dublin, it employs over 350 people and has hired several people in senior technology positions through the employment permits system in recent years. This has allowed the company to win new business and ultimately create new jobs. Version 1 is also announcing today that it is hiring ten people, who have all graduated from the new ICT conversion courses.

A series of new reforms to the employment permits system announced today by Minister Bruton will target:
·        An increase of 50%, or 700, in the number of employment permits granted over the coming year in the ICT sector. International research has shown that for every high-tech job created, a further 4-5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
·        A reduction of 33% in the processing time for employment permits
·        Improvements in the appeals process and a reduction in the number of appeals
·        Broadening the highly-skilled eligible occupations list
·        Improved customer service and communications
·        Other areas where there is also a shortage of sufficient skilled talent

The employment permit system is demand-led and there is a global demand for high-tech skills. Therefore the changes being made to the system seek to increase Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for international mobile talent.

Under the ICT Skills Action Plan published by Ministers Quinn and Bruton last year, an additional 1,300 ICT graduates will be supplied in 2013 by the education system, including:

·        700 additional graduates from ICT skills conversion Programmes
600 additional graduates from Springboard ICT courses.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said:

“The ICT sector forms a key part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth, and since we have come to office we have seen an increase of more than 11,000 in the number of people at work in this sector. We in Government are determined to sustain this growth with ambitious action to make Ireland the internet capital of Europe. In order to do this we must have structures in place, through the employment permits system as well as the education system, to ensure that Irish and multinational businesses in the sector cancan hire the skilled workers they need in Ireland.

“International research has shown that every high-tech job created leads to an additional 4-5 jobs elsewhere in the economy. 50% of companies in Silicon Valley are started by non-US citizens. These changes are a win-win for Ireland, and help will ensure that we can create a truly world-class ICT sector in Ireland, which will provide enormous benefits for the economy and large numbers of badly-needed jobs for Irish workers. I am determined that, through implementation of a range of ambitious reforms we will deliver on our aim of making Ireland the internet capital of Europe.

“I wish to pay tribute to a range of senior industry figures, in particular Sean O’Sullivan, for their work in helping to develop these proposals”.

Minister Quinn TD said: “The first 400 graduates from the ICT conversion programmes are now available.  The decision by Version 1 to recruit 10 of these graduates demonstrates the potential that exists to significantly expand the pool of talent available to the ICT sector“.

A further 300 graduates from  the conversion programmes will be available before the end of the year as well as 600 graduates from high level Springboard ICT programmes. The impact of these initiatives will be to double the projected output of honours degree level ICT graduates from the education system in 2013.

Commenting further, the Minister said: “By working together to design and deliver the ICT conversion programmes, industry and the higher education system are helping to create tangible employment opportunities for graduates in key growth areas of the economy.”

Friday, April 05, 2013

New building regulations will hold those responsible for shoddy work to account

Measures will ensure that work is completed to appropriate standards helping to eradicate pyrite homes in the future

Fine Gael Meath East Deputy, Regina Doherty, has said the new control measures for building projects which have been introduced by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, will hold building professionals to account, holding them legally liable for shoddy or substandard work.

Deputy Doherty went on to say that these new building regulations will help to eradicate poor performance by designers and developers into the future and should help to eradicate the construction of pyritic homes which have caused untold heartache for the people of Meath and beyond.

“The Building Control Amendment Regulations 2013 will help to address the legacy issues associated with our desperately poorly regulated housing sector. By putting proper measures in place and ensuring that the people with responsibility for certain aspects of construction are doing their jobs, we can help to restore faith to the industry and give consumers the confidence they need when buying a home.

“The appointment of Assigned Certifiers, who can be registered architects, engineers or building surveyors, will ensure that at every stage of development, construction is going according to plan. By ensuring that designers, builders and Assigned Certifiers sign mandatory certificates of compliance, stating that a finished building complies with the regulations, the onus is on the professional to deliver a quality service. Failure to do so means that they can be held legally responsible for the consequences of their shoddy workmanship, putting the consumer back in the driving seat.

“I also welcome the Minister’s commitment to review construction project-related insurance, as was recommended by the Report of the independent Pyrite Panel. Minister Hogan has written to the Minister for Enterprise, Richard Bruton TD, and to relevant public bodies, seeking participation at an early date in the review to deal with insurance cover for buildings during and after construction. This could go some way to addressing the concerns and working out remedies for consumers if irregularities and building failures occur.”

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Doherty welcomes expanded remit for children’s Ombudsman

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement that the Ombudsman for Children’s remit will be expanded at the end of this month to include a wide range of State bodies that were previously outside the investigatory remit of the Ombudsman’s office.

“I warmly welcome today’s announcement which will expand the remit of the Ombudsman for Children to include a number of State bodies which previously did not fall under its remit, under the Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012. It also means that public bodies that are established or reconstituted in the future will be automatically included under the Ombudsman’s remit.

“This is another important step forward in ensuring our children receive all the protection and assistance that they need to get the challenges they face in life. There are many parents across the country who have been struggling for years trying to have issues relating to their children investigated by an independent body, but because the agencies they were dealing with did not fall within the remit of the children’s Ombudsman, their cries were falling on deaf ears.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the inclusion of the National Council for Special Education under the Ombudsman for Children. This is a matter close to my heart and I am delighted that parents will now have recourse for issues relating to their children with special needs.”