Mitchell O’Connor welcomes €211,000 in funding under Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD, of €211,000 in funding under the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme. This funding was allocated in the Budget 2014 from the proceeds of the sale of the National Lottery.

“I am delighted that Dun Laoghaire has been allocated €211,000 in funding, out of a total pool of €5 million, to support a significant number of projects on protected buildings in the area. The scheme will also support employment in the conservation and construction industries and in specialist trades.

“Local authorities will have the responsibility of managing this scheme and successful applicants will match the money being made available to them to fund the project. Dun Laoghaire has some wonderful historical buildings located and it is imperative that we maintain these sites and do not let them fall into disrepair.

€3.2 million funding for cochlear implants will transform lives of many children

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the allocation of €3.2 million in funding under the HSE Service Plan for cochlear implants, saying that this will transform the lives of children who have been waiting for this procedure for some time.

“I am delighted that €3.2 million has been allocated under the HSE Service Plan for cochlear implants. I have met with the consultant ENT surgeon, Ms. Laura Viani, as well as family groups who I been working closely with, to campaign for the provision of funding for children who require cochlear implants.

“In 2012, Beaumont Hospital carried out over 90 cochlear implants and over 700 patients are currently under the care of the hospital programme which provides rehabilitation and programming on a recurring basis. This allocation of €3.2 million will go some way towards alleviating the pressure on the cochlear implant programme.”

€50k for youth café in Dun Laoghaire will provide for safe hang-out space for kids

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said the provision of €50,000 towards the development of a youth café in Dun Laoghaire will provide a safe, secure and alcohol free environment in which local children can hang-out and learn new activities.

The announcement comes as part of the delivery of €1.5 million in capital funding for 30 new youth cafés across the country as announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD.

“These funds will be used by Catholic Youth Care (CYC) to move in to the Boylan Centre in Dun Laoghaire, where the café will be located and to share space within the building with Crosscare. This demonstrates a practical approach to delivery as both organisations will be engaged in rationalisation which will allow funds to go further.

“Ensuring that young people have access to a safe environment in their locality in which they can hang-out and avail of activities and social recreation is so important. If a youth café is provided locally it gives children a focus and an alternative to hanging around the streets while chatting with and catching up with their friends.

“I am delighted that CYC and Crosscare have decided to work together and that the Government’s commitment to addressing the needs of our children has resulted in the provision of funds for such worthwhile projects. This funding of €1.5 million brings the total investment in new youth cafés by the Government to €2.2 million since coming to Office. This project will add great value to the local area and I’ve no doubt will be met with great excitement by the young people who plan to use it.”

Breast Check

Breast screening


Breast screening is where an x-ray of the breast (a mammogram) is taken to look for signs of early breast cancer. In Ireland BreastCheck invites women aged 50-64 on a two yearly cycle for their free breast x-ray. If breast cancer is found early, it is easier to treat at this and a woman has a high chance of a good recovery. No screening tool is 100 per cent effective and breast screening does not find all breast cancer, but screening in other countries has been shown to lower the number of women dying from breast cancer, and these lives are saved because cancers are diagnosed and treated earlier than they would have been without screening.

Why should women come for breast screening?


Regular breast screening means that if there are changes they will be found as early as possible. Finding a breast cancer when it is small normally means:

  • There is a greater chance of treating the cancer successfully
  • It is less likely to have spread to other parts of the body
  • There may be more treatment options available

Finding cancer early is important. Breast screening and better treatments are helping to lower deaths from breast cancer. Screening programmes in other counties have greatly reduced the number of women dying from breast cancer. Northern Ireland has shown a reduction in deaths from breast cancer by 20 per cent in the last 10 years.

It is a woman’s choice whether or not they have breast screening. There are many different reasons why women decide whether or not to have screening. Here is a leaflet on the benefits and limits of breast screening.

For more information visit .


Continued Monitoring of DART Carriages Should Help to Resolve Overcrowding Issues

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, today (Wednesday) said the continuous monitoring of carriage levels on DARTs, as committed to by the Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, should help to resolve the issues of overcrowding that are being experienced by commuters.

Deputy Mitchell O’Connor also welcomed the fact that the Railway Safety Commission (RSC) is scheduled to discuss the issue with Iarnród Éireann at their next scheduled supervision meeting.

“I have been inundated with complaints from constituents in respect of the service being provided on the DART to Dun Laoghaire and beyond, following a survey I undertook to determine exactly what the public’s grievances were.

“I have been in regular contact with the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, David Franks, in a bid to resolve the issues of overcrowding on DARTs and the subsequent health, safety and comfort implications for passengers. I recently presented the survey findings, which outline the experiences of more than 300 respondents to Mr. Franks, who was eager to act on the company’s shortcomings to meet commuters’ needs.

“Despite the fact that Iarnród Éireann is making headway in addressing these concerns, I am continuing to receive reports from constituents who are dissatisfied with the service. I take some comfort in the commitment given by Mr. Franks to continue to monitor the situation and to remain vigilant to the requirements of service users and to ensure that adequate carriages are being provided at all times.

“Reducing train sizes in a bid to minimise the use of electricity as a cost saving measure for the company makes sense but not at the expense of those who are using, and paying good money for, the service. I will continue to stay in close contact with Minister Varadkar and Mr. Franks and am confident that together we can sort this issue out so that a comfortable reliable and value for money DART service is delivered for the people of Dun Laoghaire.”


Dun Laoghaire Christmas Shop Front and Window Display Competition

The Dun Laoghaire Business Association’s Dun Laoghaire Christmas Shop Front and Window Display Competition has contributed much to the festive spirit this holiday season.  The judging for the competition ends Friday the 13th of December and the winners will be announced on Saturday the 14th of December.  The winner will receive €2,000 with two runner-up prizes of €500 each sponsored by the Dun Laoghaire County Council.  Best of luck to all the participants and thank you for contributing to Dun Laoghaire’s Christmas season.

Parking promotion in Dun Laoghaire brings welcome reprieve for shoppers and local businesses

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Thursday) welcomed the decision by Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to introduce a parking promotion during the holiday period which will ease the burden on shoppers and help to stimulate business for local enterprises, who are the engine of our economy.

“Parking has long been an issue in and around Dun Laoghaire with many of the view that the strict enforcement of metered parking is forcing shoppers out of the town and into the larger shopping centres, many of which offer free parking.

“As the busy festive season approaches, Dun Laoghaire County Council has introduced an initiative, following consultation with the Dun Laoghaire Business Association and other key players, which will see shoppers who avail of at least one hour’s free parking, getting another one free.

“This should act as an incentive to local communities in the Blackrock, Monkstown, Cabinteely, Dún Laoghaire, Glasthule/Sandycove, Dalkey, Stillorgan and Dundrum areas to shop locally and to support local businesses.

“The promotion will run from 10th December to 31st December 2013 inclusive and while the 3 hour maximum time limit restriction still applies in these commercial areas, it is worth nothing that so does the 15 minute grace parking period. This means that motorists, who pay for one hour’s parking, will now receive the second hour free plus the usual 15 minutes grace. So in practice, this means that a person who parks their car at 1pm and pays for 60 minutes parking will not have to return to their car until 3.15pm. This person has paid for 60 minutes covering them from 1pm to 2pm; they will get 60 minutes free covering them from 2pm to 3pm; and will also still receive the normal 15 minutes grace period covering them from 3pm to 3.15pm. This represents exceptional value for money for shopping motorists which I hope will be reflected in a boost for local retailers.

“If we want to maintain our towns and villages to the standard that we currently enjoy, it is up to each and every one of us to ensure that we place a firm focus on shopping locally. This initiative will help to make that goal a reality, at least for three weeks in December.”

Mitchell O’Connor welcomes OECD PISA results as a signal of better things to come

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy and Chair of the Fine Gael Internal Education Committee, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has welcomed the results of the latest OECD PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report which shows that Irish students are doing well when it comes to reading and are progressing when it comes to maths and science.

“The OECD PISA report results for 2012 are very encouraging and show that out of 34 OECD countries, our 15 year old students now rank 9th for science; 4th for reading and 13th for maths. These results outline that Ireland is performing above average in maths and science and that we are moving in the right direction when compared to the result achieved in 2009.

“By ensuring that we continue to make strides in terms of literacy and numeracy, we remain focused on rolling out the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. To that end, an additional €9 million has been made available in Budget 2014 so that we can reach our goal of ensuring that every child leaves school with high levels of literacy and numeracy.

“While any improvement in scores is to be welcomed, the fact that a small decline in the average scores across the OECD countries in maths has been recorded, which has allowed Ireland to score above average, will not be lost on anyone. It is imperative that we continue to focus on the most effective ways to encourage learning in maths and positive results.

“Recovering the ground that was lost in 2009, in respect of reading and maths, is a strong signal that what we are doing, we are doing right. In getting the economy back on track, we are focused on attracting, through the Action Plan for Jobs, companies in sectors that have the potential for growth, such as the pharma and IT sectors. This makes learning maths and science even more important so that we can ensure that we have the graduates to fill the jobs that are being created.

“Everyone who is involved in the education sector, who has responsibility for the improvements shown, is to be commended for their efforts. It is essential that we continue this good work into the future and to push Ireland’s scores further up the charts in the years to come.”