O’ROURKE DISAPPOINTED NAAS DOWNGRADED IN GARDA REFORM PLAN

Frank O’Rourke has expressed his disappointment at the fact that Naas is going to lose its status as a divisional headquarters under the new Garda reform plans.

Deputy O’Rourke acknowledged that the restructuring of An Garda Síochana is very important but said it was a backwards decision to take the divisional headquarters away from Naas and to relocate it to Portlaoise. 

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O’ROURKE URGES GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON MORTGAGE RATES

Frank O’Rourke TD has again called for Government action on unacceptably high mortgage rates

Frank said “Irish Mortgage rates are noticeably higher than the average European rates and I’m calling on the Government to enlist the support of the EU. Irish banks are charging their customers double the EU mortgage rates. At a time when interest rates across the EU are falling, Irish Banks have increased the cost of taking out a mortgage.”

                                Frank O’Rourke TD

My understanding from the Central Bank is that Irish mortgage rates are the second most expensive in the EU. The average interest rate on a new mortgage is around 3.pc compared with the average rate for the euro area of 1.7pc. To put this in real money terms, the average first-time buyer is paying an extra €154 a month for their mortgage, based on a loan of €225,000 paid back over 30 years. Parents and working families are in much need of this extra income to cater for their day to day expenses. In addition, as Brexit brings uncertainties, having this extra €154 per months available for the local economy will bring benefits to local businesses. “

With our spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD, I continue to put pressure on the Government to deal with this inequality. I have repeatedly called on the Government to address the rising cost of living issues; such as Mortgage Rates and Insurance rates and they must get support from the EU to deal with this imbalance.”

We also have a situation, where as the Taoiseach says our mortgage lending rules are ‘very tough’ when he cited situations where couples are trying to save for a deposit to buy a house but have to pay as much €2,000 in rent. We need to provide support to assist young couple buy their home.

O’ROURKE WELCOMES ADDITIONAL BUS ON 67X ROUTE

Frank O’Rourke had been campaigning for additional resources for some time

Frank O’Rourke TD has welcomed the news that four additional 67X services are on the way for Celbridge commuters. From November 5th, two additional 67X Bus morning and evening services will be in place.

Frank commented, “These additional direct services are needed for Celbridge commuters. I have campaigned for some time to have additional direct bus services provided for Celbridge commuters. I debated this with the Minister for Transport in Dáil Éireann in April and I had many meetings with the NTA and Dublin Bus to secure these much needed additional services for Celbridge, which has a population of 22,000 people.”

“The 67X is operating at capacity and we need to increase the capacity and frequency to cater for current demand, and these additional services are a step in the right direction. We are making progress on the 67X and the 67 service. 67X is a direct Celbridge/Dublin service providing commuters with a relatively high speed connection to and from Dublin City Centre.”

“As the college students return, this improved service will ease some of the pressure on the route. I will continue to campaign for better public transport services for Celbridge commuters”

LAWLESS SUPPORTS SCHOOL SECRETARIES’ STRIKE ACTION

James joined school secretaries on the picket line in Sallins today

        James supporting the School Secretaries protest

James said, “I was delighted to join local School Secretaries in Sallins this morning and offer support to them in their strike for proper pay and conditions. 90% of school secretaries do not have the same safeguards in place as the other 10% who are employed directly by the Department. They are at a great disadvantage in terms of sick pay, certainty of hours or pay increases. Many have to sign on for social welfare payments during the summer months as there is no holiday pay.”

“School secretaries are vital to schools and they have to be treated with the respect they deserve. The Workplace Relations Commission has mandated that talks would take place between the Government and the Unions. It is not good enough that the Government has not engaged in this process.”

O’ROURKE SLAMS A+E WAITING TIMES FOR OLDER PATIENTS

Frank O’Rourke TD has reacted angrily to the news that 690 patients Over 75 enduring 24-hour waits in the Accident & Emergency Department of Naas General Hospital

Over 10,000 waited longer than 24 hours in an Emergency Department across the country so far in 2019 

Frank O’Rourke TD has said that the statistics are unacceptable and that waiting a full day in an emergency department is gruelling for a person in the full of their health let alone an elderly person who is experiencing ill-health.

                                                Naas Hospital

Frank explained, “Across the country more than 10,000 over 75’s have been forced to wait over 24 hours before being admitted or discharged from an emergency department so far in 2019. In Naas General Hospital alone this figure stands noticeably high at 690.”

“As we approach the winter months it’s inevitable that this number will only continue to rise. A lack of basic bed capacity is a fundamental problem in health care in Ireland and if the Minister can’t get to grips with even the basic problems, three years into his tenure, then we are going to see thousands more over 75’s languish in A&E’s across the country.”

“Stories of elderly patients being left lying in pain in emergency departments with no privacy are becoming all too frequent. The HSE’s own target of admitting or releasing all patients over the age of 75 within 24-hours is being breached literally thousands of times.”

“This is causing hardship to the patients, their families and to the nurses and doctors who are trying their best to cope with overflowing A&E’s. It’s totally unfair”