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Tag Archives: Phil Hogan

Former Bishop says ‘forgiveness lacking’ in GolfGate row

BISHOP Emeritus of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh has added his voice to the debate raging over ‘Golfgate’, and raised concerns over a “vindictiveness” in Irish society. The fall-out from a dinner attended by more than 80 members of the Oireachtas Golf Society generated international headlines and is the subject of a Garda investigation over apparent breaches of Covid-19 restrictions. After the event in Clifden, Deputy Dara Calleary stepped down from the Agriculture portfolio and gave up the deputy leadership of Fianna Fáil. Also sanctioned was Deputy Jerry Buttimer, who resigned as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Seanad. Dr Michael Harty, a former Independent TD, issued an apology after attending. The Supreme Court has requested a report on the attendance at the event of former Attorney General, Mr Justice Séamus Woulfe. All the while, pressure intensified on Commissioner Phil Hogan, who announced his resignation a week after attending the dinner. The event led to a huge outpouring of anger. National and local …

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Kinvara sewage plant ‘almost there’

THE long-awaited sewage treatment plant planned for Kinvara is a step closer to becoming a reality after Irish Water confirmed in the past week that it has begun the tendering process for it and also a new sewage pipe network to serve the town. For decades, locals and public representatives have campaigned for a sewage treatment plant for the village. On hearing the news, Fine Gael Deputy Ciarán Cannon said, “We’re almost there and I’m delighted to have received this news from Irish Water. The tendering process for both the new plant and new network has finally begun and Irish Water will be seeking tenders from a preferred panel of contractors, who have already been through a serious process of scrutiny to determine that they are capable of delivering on such a contract. “The people of Kinvara have been very patient while witnessing raw sewage pouring into their beautiful bay on a regular basis. I know that at times they …

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Hogan defends Irish Water and local government changes

Speaking at a Shannon Chamber organised event last Friday, Minister Phil Hogan claimed credit for making changes to local government, and staunchly defended the establishment of Irish Water. Regarding changes to local authorities, he said, “We have in difficult times, and in difficult political times for myself, brought about the most radical reform of local government in 100 years.” While there has been criticism, not least in Clare, of his move to bring Local Development Companies under the auspices of county councils, he said it is the right move. “It’s not acceptable that 29% of the money that I give out in the social inclusion measures that are essential for frontline services and communities are spent on administration. We have to reduce that. We also want to ensure that we have greater financial autonomy and greater financial management in relation to the money that we give and we’re going to do that through an existing public service organisation called local …

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New Structure puts public representation last

By Dan Danaher SIR Winston Churchill is credited with summing up the value of democracy. “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried,” the former British Prime Minister stated. Environment Minister Phil Hogan bit the bullet and introduced several controversial changes as set out in the Government’s Action Programme for Effective Local Government, following a succession of reports on local government reform. However, when Clare people pick up the phone to ring their local councilllor for assistance to resolve a personal difficulty after the May 23 elections, they could find that Minister Hogan’s new local goverrment structures have put consistituents last for the most important aspect of every local councillor’s work – public representation. The number of councillors in Clare will be slashed from 68 to 28 following the abolition of four town councils in Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush and Kilkee. This will result in a total loss of 36 town councillors and the …

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€14.7m in rural funding on hold

By Dan Danaher RURAL development funding, worth an estimated €14.7 million for community projects throughout Clare, will be on hold for at least two years, Clare Local Development Company has warned. While the budget for the next Clare Leader programme is still not finalised in advance of the tendering process, chief executive officer, Doirin Graham estimates Clare should get at least €10 million, out of a total amount of €250 million, based on the population size and rural nature of the county. Stating the last grant approval for a Clare project was made last summer, Ms Graham said the best-case scenario is that funding will be made available from mid-2015. Ms Graham also warned that €200,000 of grant aid would be lost to the county, unless Environment Minister Phil Hogan allows the non-for-profit company to reallocate any unspent funds in 2014. Clare Leader estimates the total loss for the county will be €14.7 million, as every €5 million in rural …

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Local Enterprise Offices launch

GOVERNMENT top brass will be out in force tomorrow (Tuesday) for the national launch of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOS). Taoiseach, Enda Kenny; Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton and Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan will attend the launch at Westmeath Local Enterprise Office in Mullingar. Tomorrow’s event will announce that the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, based in every county, are now open for business and that 35 independent State agencies previously providing services in this area are now abolished. The LEOs will provide a “first-stop-shop” for all government supports for small business in easily accessible locations across the country.  

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Dog control to avoid sheep kills

AS we head into the peak lambing season, the Department of the Environment and the ISPCA have issued strong joint warning to dog owners to act in a responsible manner. Under the Control of Dogs Act, dog owners can be held liable for financial damage caused to farmers and costs can run to several thousand euro. “Owners of dogs must be vigilant at all times, but especially now as we are in the lambing season”, stated Minister Phil Hogan. “Whether you live in or near the countryside, or visit it for recreational purposes, I ask that you are on guard the whole time”. He also reminded dog owners to be careful if they leave their dog out in the back garden at the end of the day for a ‘quick run and to do their business’ – this can result in even docile dogs joining with other dogs and partaking in attacks on sheep. The ISPCA has asked dog owners to …

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Minister Pat Breen

‘Widely unrealistic’ that Ireland might draw €60m from EU

CHAIRMAN of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen has been informed by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan, that it is widely unrealistic that Ireland might be in a position to draw down €50 to €60 million in funding from from the European Union’s Solidarity Fund in response to the recent storms. He said this position was based on the content of contact between Irish Officials and the Commission DG Regio on Monday. The clarification was sought from the Commission, solely in order to confirm the factual position, in light of statements issued by Irish MEPs, following their meetings with Commissioner Hahn on the margins of the EP Plenary in Strasbourg on Thursday of last week. “The total funding available under the Solidarity Fund for 2014 is €500m in 2011 figures or inflation adjusted, €531m. There is no additional funding available this year arising from any carryover of 2013 allocations, despite …

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