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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Fitzmaurice fears for jobs due to broadband crisis


As a new survey out this week reveals that Ireland’s broadband speeds are among the slowest in Europe, Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice has said that jobs will be lost if the National Broadband Plan is not stepped up and delivered upon much quicker.

  “The survey reveals that 21 EU countries including Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia have average broadband speeds faster than those available here. It is clear that the non-availability of a proper broadband service is affecting the competitiveness of many small firms based in rural areas and jobs will be lost unless this is addressed immediately.”

  Deputy Fitzmaurice added: “ISME and IBEC have indicated their concern at the figures and I agree with them that the red tape and unnecessary planning and administrative processes associated with this plan should be removed to allow it to be delivered upon more promptly.

  “Eir have been given the job to make 350,000 connections by 2020 but there is still concern at how long it will take to make the remaining connections after that, and the timeline for that contract to be completed. A reliable and efficient broadband service is now one of the essentials for doing business of any kind and it is imperative and the Broadband Plan is speeded up so that businesses do not lose out and that no jobs are lost as a result of the poor broadband service which exists in many areas at present,” he concluded.

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Hopkins presses Minister to re-open leisure centre in Ballaghaderreen


Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has called for the reopening of the leisure centre, including gym and pool facilities, at the former Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen. 

  Senator Hopkins stated: “I have put a proposal to the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, David Stanton TD regarding the reopening of this leisure facility and have emphasised to him the positive benefit for the community that such a reopening would have.

  “Following numerous discussions with both Minister David Stanton and Department officials, I have been informed that consideration is being given at present to the proposals I have put forward.”

  Senator Hopkins added: “The reopening of this facility would be of major benefit for the Ballaghaderreen community as well as the refugees living within the Emergency Response and Orientation Centre at the Abbeyfield site.”


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Naughten angling for funding applications



Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment is urging angling clubs, community groups and local authorities in Roscommon and the broader Midlands region to apply for funding under a new €2 million investment programme announced by Inland Fisheries Ireland for angling projects and conservation initiatives.

  The funding call, which is open to communities nationwide, consists of three separate funding streams which will help ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced into the future.

  The Inland Fisheries Ireland Funding Call 2017 is made up of the following funds: Salmon Conservation Fund to a maximum of €500,000; Midland Fisheries Fund of €50,000; National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) Fund of €1,500,000.

  Minister Naughten said: “This is a community led initiative and I am encouraging angling clubs, community groups and local authorities to apply to Inland Fisheries Ireland for funding across a range of areas from fisheries habitat enhancement and sustainable development works to marketing and promotional projects for angling.”


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Progress on N5 Ballagh to Scramogue Road project – Feighan


 Senator Frank Feighan has said that Government work on progressing the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue Road project has taken another step forward.

  “Earlier this year, Roscommon County Council submitted the business case for this vital road project to the Department of Transport.

  “The Department has completed its review of the business case and has now issued it to the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) for separate approval.

  “I am also very encouraged to learn that both the N5 and N4 upgrade are top priorities in the capital expenditure report published recently by the Budgetary Oversight Committee. The work of the Committee is a key element in how next October’s budgets will be considered by the Dail and Seanad. The Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue project has been in the pipeline for a very long time and hundreds of thousands of euro have already been spent on the pre-construction stages of the project.”

  Senator Feighan said that funds of more than €100m are required to complete this project and he pledged to keep the pressure on the Government and Transport Minister Shane Ross to ensure this badly-needed road scheme is delivered as soon as possible.

  Senator Feighan concluded: “For anyone who is familiar with this dangerous stretch of road, it’s very evident from a safety perspective how urgent this road project is for residents and motorists alike.”


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