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Tag Archives: European Commission

Deputy McNamara Calls For More Antigen Testing

` DEPUTY Michael McNamara has called for an increase use of antigen testing in hospitals, schools and homes to facilitate a quicker safe exit from stringent Covid-19 restrictions next month. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy McNamara recalled the European Commission advocated greater use of antigen testing last November and this is being rolled out right across Europe. The Biden Administration has now introduced far greater use of antigen testing in America, including in homes. He claimed the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has finally moved, reluctantly, to a very “circumscribed” role for antigen testing in the context of outbreaks. “Is there a conflict of interest between being chair of NPHET and being director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, which has very large contracts with the State for PCR testing? “I am not saying there is any subjective bias on the part of that member of NPHET, but there is a clear perception there is objective bias, or a …

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European recovery plan is worth billions to Ireland

SINCE the coronavirus pandemic struck, Ireland and the EU have taken unprecedented measures to protect lives and livelihoods. The EU supported national efforts to tackle the health crisis and cushion the impact of the massive economic hit. It freed up every available euro in its budget and used every inch of flexibility in its economic rules. This helped finance EU safety nets of €540 billion, including the new SURE instrument, to help people stay in work and to support hard-pressed families and businesses. Now is the time for our European Union to look ahead and act together to repair the damage, re-start the economy and build a better and more sustainable future for the next generation. No country in Europe, including Ireland, can do this work alone. We must walk the road together. To this end, the European Commission proposed on May 27 a radical and historic € 1.85 trillion recovery plan. At its core is a €750 billion instrument, …

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Timmy Dooley

Electric vehicles need Budget incentives – Dooley

  Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has called for attractive incentives in Budget 2018 to support Irish motorists in making the move to electric cars. Deputy Dooley claimed Ireland is already playing catch up when it comes to moving to electric and thereby decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. “Budget 2018 is an opportunity for the Government to send out a clear and unambiguous message that it wants to support Irish motorists in making the move. “The use of electric vehicles will play a major role in addressing climate change and can also cut costs for the motorist. “There are many things that we can do to help ease and incentivise the transition,” he said. The Fianna Fáil Deputy proposed measures in Budget 2018 such as removing motor tax for all EVs for the next five years, eliminating motor tolls for five years, and rolling out more fast-charge points across the road network to remove …

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BurrenLIFE receives ‘Best Ever’ award

THE BurrenLIFE project has just received a special “Best-Ever” award from the European Commission, recognising it as the best ever LIFE project in the 25-year history of the programme. The prize was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity Category. The awards are being presented in Green Week to exceptional LIFE projects over the past 25 years, at the Green Awards ceremony in Brussels. A special edition of the annual LIFE awards, the Green Awards singled out projects that have had remarkable effects on the EU’s natural environment and in creating green jobs and boosting green growth over the past quarter century. The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said at the ceremony, “A quarter century is a long time, and over that time LIFE has funded more than 4,000 projects to the tune of over €3 billion.” He told attendees that the awards symbolise the Commission’s “appreciation for the efforts of thousands, the hard work and …

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Leader’s important contribution to Clare

THE importance of Leader funding to communities in County Clare is set to be raised with the European Commission. The EU rural development fund supports community and economic development in towns, villages and rural areas across Europe. The rollout of the 2014-2020 programme has still not been announced by the Department of the Environment. Speaking from Strasbourg, Liadh Ní Riada, MEP, said the funding must be made available to communities. “The Leader programme delivers much-needed investment to community projects and small businesses outside of our big cities. It is a vital support for so many projects that drive local economies and improve the quality of life in rural Ireland. “Many community projects are ready to proceed with projects and have been waiting for almost two years for this funding to come on stream. “The preparation for the 2014-2016 programme have been marked by confusion, mismanagement and silence from government. “It’s not even clear what organisations will be delivering the programme …

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Shannon Estuary energy hub plan

An ambitious new EU energy package could see the Shannon Estuary serve as an energy hub for Europe and save Irish householders money, according to Sean Kelly MEP. The Ireland South MEP welcomed the announcement of the Energy Union and called on member states to work to harmonise their national energy strategies for the benefit of the entire EU. “Increased EU energy cooperation will see us improve the security of our energy supply, increase our competitiveness, and move towards a low carbon system. An integrated energy market brings more competition and ultimately more affordable energy prices for European consumers”, said the MEP. “It is clear that we are far too dependent on unreliable external sources for our energy supply, particularly Russia. There is an urgent need to diversify our energy resources to ensure the European consumer is not adversely affected by geopolitical crises such as the one we have seen in Ukraine,” he said. Mr Kelly said increased efforts to …

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Hen harrier concerns for hill farmers

Following a series of public rallies in the West of Ireland, a new national farming organisation, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has been officially established. Since the draft Rural Development Programme was sent to the European Commission on July 3, 2014 by the Departments of Agriculture and broadly endorsed by the farming organisations, a passionate group of hill farmers and those farming designated lands, including farmers with hen harrier sites, have sustained a campaign to make changes to the RDP. The reasons for this was that commonage farmers could access the GLAS scheme as individuals and where Natura lands have been devalued  by designation, that measures would be added to help keep those farms viable. Massive rallies were held in Westport (1,700 farmers), Letterkenny ( 900 farmers), Maam Cross (1,000 farmers) to highlight the unfairness of the proposals in the draft and culminating in a march for fairness by 2,500 farmers in Castlebar.  

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EU blows aviation incentives off radar

Government plans to create thousands of jobs in a potentially lucrative business at Shannon Airport hang in the balance, after the European Commission vetoed a special tax incentive scheme designed to attract major international investors. The Government has been forced to start new negotiations with EU authorities to try to come up with an amended tax break plan, which was a flagship project that was earmarked to generate thousands of jobs, by facilitating the construction of aircraft maintenance hangars and ancillary facilities in Shannon. The decision has been described as a “disappointing set-back” and a “serious blow” by Fianna Fáil Deputy Timmy Dooley, who hopes efforts will continue to ensure the revised plan will be successful. However, Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen believes this move does not jeopardise Shannon Airport’s efforts to develop an international aviation centre and will, in fact, “probably put Shannon in a stronger position”. Deputy Dooley expressed concern the revised tax incentive package would be much …

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