O’Rourke and Lawless get commitment on St Catherine’s Park

Frank O’Rourke TD and James Lawless TD have secured a commitment from Minister Damien English that no road will be built through St. Catherine’s Park, Leixlip.

The commitment comes following a debate  specifically on St. Catherine’s Park in Leinster House this week.

James said, “I am delighted that the Minister has given his commitment that no road will be built in St. Catherine’s Park. I met with the group fighting to Save St. Catherine’s Park and commend their efforts. Following a recent vote at Kildare County Council, which I sat in the gallery alongside the group to watch the vote and lend my support, we have seen the council take steps to secure the park. I look forward to continuing to work with the Save St. Catherine’s Park committee in keeping pressure on the Department and Minister so that no interference comes from central Government on this matter.”

Mayor Robert Power welcomes Digital Hub announcement for Naas

Cllr Rob Power has expressed delight at the approval of Enterprise Ireland funding for a digital hub in Naas. The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is a new build project that will cluster Irish and international new technology companies in a collaborative space in Naas town centre.

Rob said, “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve secured the funding for this project. Establishing a Digital Hub in the town not only secures short and long-term employment in the local area but puts Naas on the map internationally as a place to start and grow a digital business.”

Enterprise Ireland has granted €2M toward the Digital Hub which will be matched by Kildare County Council. The project which was drawn up by the Kildare Local Enterprise Office, is expected to pay for itself within three years. The proposal will see Kildare County Council design and build the facility on a section of state owned lands adjacent to the council Headquarters at Aras Cill Dara, Naas. .”

“I’m really optimistic about what the Digital Hub means for Naas. Ten to fourteen years ago the Irish tech sector was a very niche industry confined to Dublin. But as the industry matures so too does the workforce. Where once companies worried about locating in the city centre to attract younger workers, the sector is now witnessing an increasing demand for housing and quality of life for families. Over the next decade, I’m confident that Naas can take on any town in the country in this respect – and win.”

“I’ve been calling for a project like this since 2015 when I wrote a proposal to establish funding for hubs in every county across the country. That proposal was subsequently included in the Fianna Fail election manifesto in 2016. In March of this year I also made a direct call for Kildare County Council to begin the process of seeking funding for a Digital Hub in Naas.Congratulations are due to Kildare County Council CEO Peter Carey, Head of Kildare LEO Jacqui McNabb and their teams for the outstanding work to date on this project. The ambition they’ve shown in identifying Naas as a regional leader in digital enterprise will play a vital part in the towns future

O’ROURKE – INCREASED CAPACITY NEEDED ON KILDARE LINE

Frank O’Rourke TD has again pressed Iarnrod Eireann to provide increased capacity on the Hazelhatch/Kildare Rail Line, for Celbridge and Naas rail commuters, as the numbers using the service grows.

“Since the Grand Canal Dock Line opened in 2016, the number of passengers, using the Kildare Line is increasing. The Kildare Line has now opened up commuters to the heart of the City Centre and more capacity is required.”

“I have raised the matter with Iarnrod Eireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA). Commuting to Dublin City Centre by car from North Kildare is now becoming almost impossible at peak times. Once we provide a regular and reliable public transport service, people will use it.”

“The reduction in the fares for Naas/Sallins users earlier this year, together with the opening up of the Kildare Line to the heart of the City Centre, is making the Kildare Line more attractive for commuters, and we must respond by providing more capacity.”,concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

O’ROURKES URGES GOVT TO TACKLE PENSION EQUALITY

Frank O’Rourke TD has called on the Government to review the gap in State Pension pay between men and women, which is currently unfair, and a road map should be proposed for dealing with this inequality.

Frank explained that the current State Pension Scheme hampers women’s ability to qualify for the State Pension. He said that only 16% of women qualify for the full pension and are receiving around €35 less per week in their pensions.

Frank said, “The 2012 band changes, made by the previous Government, to how State Contributory Pensions are calculated have had a detrimental effect on over 35,000 people, including 23,000 women.”

“Time taken out of the workforce and careers, by women, to care for their children or their loved ones, is time lost paying into a pension. This is an unfair situation.”

“I have received many calls to my constituency office in relation to this issue. The Government must now set out a road map to end this unfair situation. The desired impact of our Dail motion last week is quite clear – equality of treatment between men and women in relation to pension contributions.”

“There is now an urgent need to provide an incremental pathway to address the pension anomalies through the Social Insurance Fund. Men and women should be treated equally in terms of their State Pension payment. I will continue to liaise with my colleague Deputy Willie O’Dea our Spokesperson on Social Affairs on this issue,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

O’Cearuil raises concerns about Student socialising at MD meeting

Talks have been urged between Maynooth University, Maynooth Students’ Union, the Gardaí and Maynooth Business Association to discuss night-time student activities in the town.

The matter was raised at the latest local Municipal District meeting by Cllr Naoise Ó Cearúil.

Naoise called for the groups to be invited to an “informal forum to discuss ways in dealing with student nights and annual events/festivals that cause issues in the town.”