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Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

Ennis course for tour guides a national first

ENNIS is pulling out all the stops when it comes to reaping the benefits of coach tourism, including job creation and increased visitor numbers. The county capital will shortly be the first in the country to offer an accredited course for tour guides. It is expected that the Certificate in Arts in Local Heritage Tour Guiding, run through Limerick Institute of Technology, will be up and running in the coming months. Details of the initiative were unveiled at this week’s meeting of members of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Johnny Flynn, a member of the Ennis Coach-Friendly Committee, called for financial support to be given for its delivery. The course will be run as a joint tourism initiative between the local authority, local businesses, Ennis Chamber and LIT. The venture is the result of efforts being made to capitalise on Ennis’ achievement of Coach-Friendly Destination accreditation last year. Brian McCarthy, acting director of services, explained, “A working group/committee was formed …

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100 years on from vote for women

Fine Gael is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Ireland with a year-long programme to highlight the contribution women have made to Irish public life. On the eve of Nollaig na mBan (January 6), An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the Fine Gael programme saying, “This year marks the centenary of Irish women getting the vote and the right to stand in elections. Fine Gael will be celebrating this historical landmark with a programme of events at national and local level. I hope to see both party members and the wider public embrace the opportunity to get involved. “The centenary of women’s suffrage provides an opportunity to reflect on how women’s rights have improved in Ireland over the last 100 years, and look at what still needs to be done. Fine Gael will draft a Women’s Charter in 2018 which will set out a path for the further advancement of women’s rights in Ireland and will be …

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Coveney the new Tánaiste

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has today announced the appointment of the Tánaiste and two members of Government. Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been appointed as Tánaiste. Heather Humphreys  has been appointed as the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. A first term TD, Josepha Madigan has been appointed as the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. An Taoiseach said, “Appointing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney as Tánaiste will enhance his role in the Brexit negotiations currently underway and will make it easier for him to coordinate the work of other departments with respect of Brexit. “In appointing Minister Humphreys to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, for the first time in seven years the minister will be from outside the Dublin region, and also from the Border. This is particularly relevant in the context of Brexit and also the Government’s commitment to bring more jobs and good jobs to all …

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Minister Breen given expanded role

IN the announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of his team of Ministers of State, Clare Deputy Pat Breen has effectively retained his position but with a much wider brief. Mr Breen will have special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, serving across the Department of Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, the Department of the Taoiseach, and the Department of Justice and Equality. Key appointments announced by Mr Varadkar today (Tuesday) include: · Helen McEntee has been appointed Minister for European Affairs. She will be working alongside both the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney on issues including Brexit. Two Ministers of State have been appointed to support Paschal Donohoe in the Departments of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. The two Ministers will work across both Departments to enhance the integration process: An Taoiseach said, “We aim to be a government of purpose …

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Minister Breen given expanded role

IN the announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of his team of Ministers of State, Clare Deputy Pat Breen has effectively retained his position but with a much wider brief. Mr Breen will have special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, serving across the Department of Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, the Department of the Taoiseach, and the Department of Justice and Equality. Key appointments announced by Mr Varadkar today (Tuesday) include: · Helen McEntee has been appointed Minister for European Affairs. She will be working alongside both the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney on issues including Brexit. Two Ministers of State have been appointed to support Paschal Donohoe in the Departments of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. The two Ministers will work across both Departments to enhance the integration process: An Taoiseach said, “We aim to be a government of purpose …

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‘Opportune time’ for Harty to consider position

DEPUTY Michael Harty has said he is looking at his position in relation to supporting the current Government, arising from a lack of delivery on assurances he received under the Programme for a Partnership Government. He said 15 months after he voted for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and with a new Taoiseach about to be selected, many people, including him, will be re-evaluating their positions. “It’s up to Fine Gael to elect their leader. I haven’t a preference of one over the other. It’s 15 months since I voted for Enda Kenny. I did that on the basis that there was a possibility that there would be a general election if there wasn’t a nomination for Taoiseach on that morning. I felt it was the responsibility of all TDs in the Dáil to provide a Government. “That Government has been in place for the past 15 months. There is to be a change of leader and I think everyone is …

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Kenny resigns as FG leader

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will retire as Fine Gael leader, with effect from midnight on Wednesday. The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is the 2/5 favourite to succeed Mr Kenny as party leader, while one time favourite, Housing Minister Simon Coveney is the 7/4 second favourite. Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin is the current 1/2 favourite to be Taoiseach after the next General Election, with Leo Varadkar next at 9/4. In a statement following the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Kenny said, “Last year I indicated I would not lead the Fine Gael party into the next General Election. I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity, until my successor is elected through the Fine Gael Leadership election process. After 15 years at the helm, including two stints as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny wants the party executive to expedite hand over process by June 2 but stressed that he will …

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Drive to cut unemployment continues

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has pledged to strive towards a further reduction in unemployment in the year ahead. He was reacting to the latest figures showing unemployment in Ireland at its lowest rate since 2008. “In every month last year the unemployment level fell by more than 3,300 people. This is a really significant result for the many individuals and families who were blighted by the crash years, and shows that our policies to tackle unemployment are getting results. This Government intends to make even more progress in the year ahead,” said Minister Varadkar, who is one of the main contenders to take over from Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael. Unemployment is now at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2008, falling by 21.4% in the 12 months to the end of last year, a drop of 40,000 people to 147,400. Long-term unemployment also fell by 22%, a drop of 2,500 to 79,700. Significantly, the …

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