|Regina Doherty TD pictured above Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, Kieran Coleman and Alan Boyce at the official opening of her Ratoath constituency office|
Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty last week welcomed Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to officially open her office on the Fairyhouse Road in Ratoath.
The Meath East TD said “I was absolutely thrilled to welcome Minister Fitzgerald to Meath where she officially cut the ribbon at my Ratoath office on the Fairyhouse Road. The Minister’s visit was certainly fitting given what appears to be a recent surge in local and rural crime evident not only in Ratoath, but also right across County Meath.
“We also had with us a number of constituents who used the opportunity to raise their concerns and questions with the Minister regarding local and rural crime, immigration, and Budget 2016. It was a markedly important day coinciding with the formal announcement on www.publicjobs.ie of the commencement of the 2016 recruitment campaign for new members of An Garda Síochána. The 600 new Gardaí to be recruited next year will bring to 1,150 the total number of new recruits since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. So far 295 of these recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and are on the ground in communities nationwide.”
Doherty continued “before breaking for the Christmas holidays, over the next two weeks we will see some critical pieces of legislation pass through the Dail, namely the new Bail Bill.
“Crime is a major issue for people in rural Ireland and it is something that I have been highlighting for some time. Action has been taken in the form of a new Bail bill to strengthen the law for crimes committed by offenders out on bail and also by reopening Templemore and restarting recruitment.
“I would like to echo Minister Fitzgerald’s comments on how Budget 2016 will benefit us here in Meath, and not just from a crime perspective. Broadband is another key issue for the people of Meath. We know that in order to attract investment and to create jobs broadband is a necessity. This Government has allocated €275 million for the National Broadband Plan and we are continuing with the roll out of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, which aims to spread the recovery to all parts of the country.”
Concluding, Doherty said “In order to live happily in rural Ireland we need jobs, we need services and we need a good standard of living for our families. Families are being supported in this budget not only by lowering USC, but also by providing a €5 increase in child benefit. The free pre-school year has been extended to children aged 3 to 5 from next September and free GP care will also be provided to all children under 12. I know families are under pressure due to all the costs that they have to meet and I feel that these measures make a small but significant difference.
“I want more for the people of Meath and more for Ireland, but I believe that we are on the right road. This Government is committed to creating more jobs, while providing relief and better services for the Irish people.