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Tag Archives: Fine Gael

Minister Pat Breen

Breen rejects FF claims on Free Travel

Fianna Fáil claims regarding the future of the Free Travel Scheme have been dismissed by Clare TD Pat Breen. “This issue arises every year ahead of the Budget and it is only scare mongering to suggest that the Free Travel Scheme will not be protected by this Government,” the Fine Gael deputy said. Mr Breen said it was Fianna Fáil who imposed a cap on funding for the scheme under their National Recovery Plan, 2011-2014. “In spite of the tight budgetary restrictions over the past few years, this Government has managed to protect the scheme and we are committed to its full retention,” he said. The scheme provides free travel for all people living in the State aged 66 years or over, as well those who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments. There are currently 828,000 people who have direct eligibility and €77 million is expended on the Scheme annually. “I am very much appreciate the importance of …

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Howard throws hat into the ring

ENNIS Councillor Mary Howard has joined the race to receive the Fine Gael nomination at the party’s convention to decide its general election candidates, saying, “I’ve proved myself”. The councillor joins sitting TDs Joe Carey and Pat Breen and Senators Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway in seeking the party’s nomination on September 11. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Councillor Howard said the decision to seek nomination is something that she has been thinking over for some time. “I’ve been mulling it over in my mind, I love what I do and I see my future within Fine Gael. I absolutely love my job within Clare County Council but I thought now is the time to put my hat in the ring. “I believe that I’ve proved myself over the last six years. I’ve worked hard and I have been very involved in my community. A lot of people have asked me would I go forward and when you hear that …

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Conway makes case for FG nomination

A date has been set for the Fine Gael convention to select candidates to run for the General Election in Clare. The convention will take place on September 11 in Ennis, with the county’s two sitting TDs, Deputies Pat Breen and Joe Carey, likely to receive the nod. Senators Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway have both said they will seek the party’s nomination. Clare County Councillor Mary Howard may also seek to have her name put forward. Senator Mulcahy was on the ticket in the 2011 General Election but was not elected, while Senator Conway had expressed his desire to run for Fine Gael on that occasion but was not selected as a candidate. “In 2009, I topped polls in local elections with a significant surplus. I wasn’t running in the subsequent General Election, even though a senior cabinet minister living seven miles away from me had said he would not be running, so it left a vacuum. Fine Gael …

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Excluding Conway would be ‘political stupidity’

IF Fine Gael were to re-run its 2011 three-candidate electoral strategy in Clare with the same candidates, it would equate to “political stupidity”, according to Senator Martin Conway. That time the party held its two seats, which will surely be the limit of its ambitions for the next election, which is due within nine months, but the North Clare man said he must be included on the next ticket. Senator Conway said, “I don’t anticipate at this stage that I won’t be a Fine Gael candidate. If I wasn’t going to be a Fine Gael candidate, I’d expect to have been told at this stage, as a sitting member of the Oireachtas. I’m working on the basis that I’m going to be a candidate. North and West Clare always had a TD over the years and now that there’s a Sinn Féin candidate [Noeleen Moran] in Ballyvaughan and most likely a Fianna Fáil candidate in Miltown [Michael McDonagh], it would …

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BREAKING: US and Heathrow sweeteners for Shannon in IAG deal

WITH the Government this evening announcing the sale of the State’s stake in Aer Lingus, a Fine Gael source this evening told the Clare Champion that Shannon-US services will be enhanced as a result of the transaction. It is understood that British Airways (which is owned by IAG) will continue to use Shannon’s US  Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facilities, and in the future it may actually pick up passengers at Shannon, effectively extending the range of US services from Shannon, something that would be welcomed by local business interests. While IAG CEO Willie Walsh had previously ruled out increasing a five year commitment to maintaining Shannon-Heathrow connectivity, this will be increased to seven years. It is understood the assurances have calmed at least some political nerves in Clare, but the issue is still set to provoke local and national debate in the coming days. The chairman of Shannon Group plc, Rose Hynes, has  welcomed the proposed IAG takeover of …

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FF public meeting on marriage referendum

CLARE Fianna Fáil will host a public meeting at the West County Hotel tomorrow (Tuesday), at 8pm to inform voters on the upcoming marriage equality referendum as well as helping people to register to vote. Meanwhile, Clare Fine Gael will launch their campaign for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on Thursday, May 7 in the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis. The party in Clare will hold a public meeting the same night to outline why the electorate in Clare should come out and vote in favour of this referendum. Speakers will include openly gay TD, Jerry Buttimer from Cork South Central; director of GLEN (The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) Brian Sheehan, Mairead Doyle from Michael Houlihan & Partners, Ennis and chairman of Clare Young Fine Gael and openly gay teenager, Michael Taylor.

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Progress on St Pat’s closure welcomed

The progress on legislation that will close St Patrick’s Institution, and allow for 17-year-old boys to be transferred to the new Oberstown campus, has been welcomed by Clare TD, Joe Carey A former Fine Gael spokesman on Juvenile Justice, Deputy Carey said that an extension to Oberstown to enable such a transfer will be competed this year,and that the necessary legal changes to make this possible are currently being examined and drafted. Deputy Carey said, “I welcome the confirmation which I received from Minister Frances Fitzgerald that once the extension tothe Oberstown campus is completed this year, the transfer of 17-year-old boys from St Patrick’s Institution will take place. This will remove children who are in conflict with the law from our adult prison facilities and place them in children-specific detention schools. “The necessary legal changes required to facilitate this transfer, once the Oberstown extensionis complete, are currently being progressed by the Department of Justice and Equality. Heads of the …

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Clare animal welfare groups to share €34,700

Six Clare animal welfare groups are to receive funding totalling €34,700 to assist them in their work next year. The announcement comes as Senator Tony Mulcahy appealed to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a present this Christmas. He also urged people to heed the warnings and advice offered by the animal welfare organisations in this regard. The Clare groups in line for payments include Clare SPCA, Newmarket on Fergus (€15,000); Second Chance Animal Welfare Ltd., Shannon (€9,800); Rover Rescue, Ennis (€3,600); An Cat Dubh Sanctuary, Clounlaheen East, Mullagh (€2,400); Burren Animal Rescue, Rockforest, Tubber (€2,100); and Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, Kilrush (€1,800). The ex-gratia payments form part of an allocation totalling €1,867,200 which is being distributed to 142 animal welfare bodies throughout Ireland to assist in their work during the coming year. Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy said this year’s County Clare allocation is almost €2,000 higher than the figure received in …

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