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Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

Kinvara's picturesque harbour area. Photograph by John Kelly.

Kinvara sewerage contracts imminent

Contracts for the long-awaited sewerage scheme in Kinvara are due to be signed by the end of April, it was confirmed this week. Local Fine Gael TD, Ciarán Cannon said he is in regular contact with Irish Water CEO, John Tierney, in relation to the project. This week, Mr Tierney confirmed that tender process for the contract is eight weeks, with submissions due on March 27. Contracts for the plant, which local people have sought for decades, are due to be signed at the end of April. Deputy Cannon said he is delighted that work on the €5.2 million project could begin this year. “I receive regular updates from Irish Water on this particular project and I’m pleased that Irish Water has confirmed to me this week that all is progressing well and that it is their intention to award the construction contract before the end of April. “It has taken a long time to reach this point and it …

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Varadkar’s coming out ‘will help young people’

KILRUSH man, Brian Sheehan, director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has told The Clare Champion that Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s decision to come out as gay indicates how open Ireland has become and will encourage young gay people to pursue whatever career they see fit. “If you’re a young man or woman in school for example, you now know that being lesbian or gay isn’t a barrier to the highest political office. That is a really important point, that no job should be denied you because of who you are,” he said. Mr Sheehan feels that growing up in a small town, like Kilrush, these days is easier for a young gay person. “When I grew up in Kilrush, I didn’t know any gay people. The only gay person I knew in Ireland was David Norris and I didn’t seem to be represented in him. If I was the young me now in Kilrush, there is great …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Hospital overcrowding a ‘national emergency’

HEALTH Minister, Leo Varadkar is coming under increasing pressure to tackle the chronic overcrowding in the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Deputy Timmy Dooley said the HSE has stated the new emergency department (ED) in Limerick will not be fully operational until next year, due to its requirement to comply with national value-for-money procurement procedures. However, he believes the declaration of a national emergency would allow the HSE to set aside procurement procedures for a short period of time, in the interest of patient safety. “Overcrowding should be treated as a national emergency. If people are going to die as a result of the crisis that has emerged, it is obvious the mechanisms delaying the investment benefiting patients need to be set aside. “Work needs to be advanced to open the new ED as quickly as possible. The HSE has stated it will be 2016 before the new fit will be completed, due to procurement procedures, which is …

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Health Minister aims to reduce drug-related deaths

The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has pledged to step up efforts to bring about a reduction in the number of drug-related deaths. He was speaking as the 2012 figures from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index have just been published, the last full year for which data is available. It shows a small decline in the overall number of drug-related deaths, and the number of deaths in which heroin was involved also continues to decline. “Drug-related deaths still remain at an unacceptable level, and every death is a tragedy in its own right. We need to continue our efforts to reduce the number of such deaths. “The HSE Service Plan for 2015 includes an additional €2.1m for measures under the National Drugs Strategy targeting vulnerable problem drug users. These measures include enhanced provision for residential detoxification and rehabilitation facilities, and the mainstreaming of needle exchange facilities outside the Dublin area,” the Health Minister said. This funding will also support a …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Limerick hospital crisis: 47 on trolleys

Forty-seven patients were waiting on trolleys, with no available beds, at University Hospital Limerick early this Monday morning. Following on from this, the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation is calling for the implementation of the Major Emergency Plan at University Hospital Limerick to bring about “a level of control and safety at the emergency department.” “At 8am this morning 47 patients, who were admitted in the last 24-48 hours for care, but for whom no beds were available, have been left on trolleys in the emergency department. This is catastrophic and the Major Emergency Plan should have been utilised by management at the hospital to protect the patients, the staff and to assist to make the hospital safe, said Mary Fogarty, INMO industrial relations officer. Ms Fogarty noted that despite the fact that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in June 2014 detailed a range of risks resulting from the overcrowding in UHL, it still continues. “The INMO has …

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Taoiseach digs in on Gort/Tuam motorway

AN Taoiseach, Enda Kenny was joined by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar Hogan on Friday,  in turning the sod on the €550 million Gort to Tuam (M17/M18) motorway project “This sod-turning event is another step in the Government’s plan to make the recovery local. It’s the largest Public Private Partnership in the current Stimulus programme and is real evidence that Ireland’s PPP market is again open for business. The Gort to Tuam motorway will reduce journey times and significantly improve access in the region. Some 450 new jobs are being created now that the project is underway. The finished motorway will remove several major bottlenecks, boost competitiveness, promote regional development, and generate yet more jobs. It also marks a major step in developing the Atlantic Corridor road network along the west coast,” Mr Kenny said. This is the second transport PPP signed by this Government and follows the M11/Newlands Cross project. It shows that Ireland’s PPP programme is fully operational …

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Gort to Tuam motorway contract signing

CONTRACTS to extend the M18 from Gort to Tuam will be signed today, Wednesday, paving the way for an economic boost to the region. The paperwork will be signed by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, as well as representatives of the National Roads Authority The four-lane motorway, as well as additional roads, will cost around €550 million, and is expected to be completed in 2017. Theproject will involve the construction of 100km of roads. The long-awaited roadway will allow easier access to Clare and Shannon Airport for businesses and consumers in Galway and further parts of the West of Ireland. It will also solve traffic bottle-necks in places like Kilcolgan and Clarinbridge.  

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Bank Holiday safety appeal to motorcyclists

THE  Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána have issued an appeal to motorcyclists, scooter and moped users to bike safely following an almost 70% rise in motorcycle rider fatalities in 2013 compared to the previous year. The increase represents an increase of 16 to 27 fatalities. To date this year, two motorcyclists have died on Irish roads. The appeal is being made ahead of the May Bank Holiday Weekend, as both the RSA, and gardaí are extremely concerned that the high casualty rate among motorcyclists could be repeated this summer. There were almost as many motorcyclists as pedestrians killed in 2013, a trend not previously observed, as pedestrian fatalities have typically been significantly higher than motorcyclist fatalities to date.  Motorcycle riders are being asked to be aware of their vulnerability on the roads, as research shows that motorcyclists are three times more likely to be killed on Irish roads than in any other EU country. A collision with a car …

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