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Tag Archives: Simon Harris

Dr Harty chairs Health Committee

CLARE Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty has been appointed chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. Reflecting on his appointment, Dr Harty said he stood for election in Clare with a commitment to improve services in rural Ireland and to try to make some positive contribution to improving our health system. “Health is one of the greatest challenges facing our country at the present time. As a general practitioner, I am acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by our people as they try to grapple with the shortcomings of the health services,” he said. Deputy Harty continued, “I hope this committee will have an important role in shaping policy and legislation that will positively impact on our health services in the coming years. Because of the makeup of the new Dáil, committees have an opportunity to influence government as never before. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the committee and promise them and all who are invited …

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Students deplore mental health cuts

The Union of Students in Ireland is calling on newly-appointed Minister for Health Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of €12 million from Mental Health Services announced by his predecessor. USI highlighted the dangers in a protest outside the Dáil. “Over 120,000 people took part in the Pieta House’s Darkness into Light walks last Saturday,” USI president, Kevin Donoghue, said. “The annually increasing numbers of people who come out in the early hours of the morning to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light reflects how Irish people want mental health to be prioritised. The Government needs to prioritise mental health too. This diversion of funds will cost lives. It sends the message that mental health services can wait for funding, but it does not match the reality of the demand. It is an urgent problem at crisis point, requiring urgent action.” USI is calling on Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of the €12 million which was ring-fenced for Mental …

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Partial rates exemption for sports club with bars

The move by the Department of Finance to hand sports clubs with bars, or other commercial facilities, a partial exemption on their commercial rates has met with approval from Senator Tony Mulcahy. He received confirmation from Minister of State at the Department, Simon Harris that he will be introducing an amendment to the Valuation Bill, which will give way to the change. “At present sports club facilities are exempt from rates. However, where a sports club has a bar all of its premises are valued for rates purposes including buildings that are purely for sporting purposes. This situation is seen as placing an unfair burden on many local clubs that are a key part of their community,” explained Senator Mulcahy. The Fine Gael senator said, “Under this amendment, community sports clubs will only be liable for rates on buildings that are used for the generation of income. If a sports club’s only commercial facility is the bar then it is …

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Putting our national monuments in the picture

The world’s biggest photography competition, Wiki Loves Monuments, is taking place in Ireland for the first time this year. Officially launched this Tuesday by Wikimedia Ireland and Minister Simon Harris , the Wiki Loves Monuments photographic competition takes place from now up to September 30. Organised by Wikimedia, the movement behind free encyclopaedia Wikipedia, the competition aims to raise awareness of Ireland’s national monuments and create a crowd-sourced bank of quality photos that will be free to use for education. Amateur and professional photographers are being invited to photograph the national monuments in their locality and upload their photos to www.wikilovesmonuments.ie. Entries will be judged by a four-person expert panel and the winners will be announced on Friday, October 31. The project is being supported by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, National Heritage Week, The Heritage Council of Ireland, The Office of Public Works, Open Knowledge Ireland and Dimension Data. Certified by Guinness World Records as the …

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Clare storm damage funding ready for use – Minister Harris

Government funding for storm damage repairs in Clare has been allocated and is ready for use, according to Simon Harris, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works. He has outlined the position regarding Government funding for storm damage repairs for Clare County Council and in particular recent reports about Clohaninchy. This immediately follows a meeting between department officials and their council counterparts on this Thursday. The minister said said the discussions would progress matters and lead to a meeting with local residents in September. Minister Harris said, “I note with concern that recent reports suggest that funding to carry out repairs following the devastating storms in early 2014 has not been allocated and that my Office has not been in contact with the local authorities concerned to outline the assistance available to them. “The position is clear:following the storms the Government allocated a total of up to €16.8m for storm damage repairs to Clare County Council …

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