National Job Shadow Day with Susan Murray

On Wednesday 22, 2015 I participated in “National Job Shadow Day,” an initiative by the Irish Association of Supported Employment (IASE) and RehabCare in Dún Laoghaire to promote business and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

I spent the day working alongside Susan Murray in the Dáil. Susan assisted me with daily office tasks and joined me at an event I was paneling. I really enjoyed having her shadow me at work.

Susan reviewed her day and stated, “I visited the Dáil and got to see where all the cabinet members meet and speak. I spent most of the day with Mary. We had a chat and attended a Twitter event that Mary was involved with young people about the importance of social media. Mary introduced me at the event and told the audience that I was shadowing her that day. I got a big round of applause from everyone. There was a lot of information and I found it interesting and informative. This was my favourite part.”

“I then got to speak by phone with Jackie, a staff member from Mary’s Constituency Office in Dun Laoghaire, about the difficulties and issues around housing for people with disabilities. I spoke about my own struggles and history of advocating for myself in the past. I found it useful to talk about this as it is so important to me.”

Susan is involved in Special Olympics Ireland and is a radio presenter for the 4 O’Clock local radio programme.

Susan’s future career interests include customer service, hospitality, and radio or television. Susan is passionate about promoting rights for people with disabilities, especially with housing and quality of life.

Further Informationhttp://www.rehabcare.ie/news-events/latest-news/susan-gets-insight-into-daily-life-of-a-td


Grants for dlr Ireland 2016 Programme Now Available

2016 marks the Centenary of the 1916 Rising and to assist the citizens of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to engage with this landmark occasion Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to announce a Grants Programme for its ‘dlr  Ireland 2016’ celebrations.

The Grants programme will be entirely focused on projects, activities and events that will take place in the County before October 31, 2016.  The Council is currently producing a list of its own events but we hope that a great deal of the energy for the celebrations will come from the wider community. It is intended that these grants will allow for the broadest possible participation in the ‘dlr Ireland 2016 Programme’.  These grants are open to individuals, societies and organizations to apply for.

The closing date is May 29, 2015 and the grant application form can be downloaded below.

To learn more about the grants and the wider Ireland 2016 programme there will be two public consultation evenings taking place on May 13 at 7.30 in the dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire and on May 14 at 7.30 at Marlay House, Marlay Park, Dublin 14.  These will be ideal opportunities to discuss the grants and proposals as well as exchange ideas.

Important Links:



Further Information
:

Contact: 01 2047024 / grantschemes@dlrcoco.ie

Key Dates:

28/4/2015 – 29/5/2015: Consultation is Open

13/5/2015: Public Meeting

14/5/2015: Public Meeting

Dún Laoghaire County Council Consultation on dlr Ireland 2016 Programme Now Open

2016 marks the Centenary of the 1916 Rising and to assist the citizens of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to engage with this landmark occasion Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to announce a Grants Programme for its ‘dlr  Ireland 2016’ celebrations.

The Grants programme will be entirely focused on projects, activities and events that will take place in the County before October 31, 2016.  The Council is currently producing a list of its own events but we hope that a great deal of the energy for the celebrations will come from the wider community. It is intended that these grants will allow for the broadest possible participation in the ‘dlr Ireland 2016 Programme’.  These grants are open to individuals, societies and organizations to apply for.

To learn more about the grants and the wider Ireland 2016 programme there will be two public consultation evenings taking place on May 13 at 7.30 in the dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire and on May 14 at 7.30 at Marlay House, Marlay Park, Dublin 14.  These will be ideal opportunities to discuss the grants and proposals as well as exchange ideas.

All suggestions made will be considered by a committee established by Dún Laoghiare-Rathdown County Council, which consists of Elected Members and Staff, and will be incldued in the programme of events where possbile.

 Further Information: 

Contact: 01 2047024 / grantschemes@dlrcoco.ie

Key Dates:

28/4/2015 – 29/5/2015: Consultation is Open

13/5/2015: Public Meeting

14/5/2015: Public Meeting

 

Spring Statement shows vision to spread economic recovery to Dún Laoghaire

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said that “the Government’s Spring Economic Statement shows a real vision to spread the recovery to all corners of Ireland, including Dún Laoghaire.”

“The economic recovery is gaining momentum and the Government has a plan to spread its benefits to everyone. After years of hardship caused by the economic crisis and the disastrous policies of the last Government, it is time for better living standards and improved public services for the people of Dún Laoghaire. It is time to give our young emigrants the opportunity to come home. The Government has a plan to achieve this vision and the Spring Economic Statement shows that the plan is already working.

“Since the beginning of the Fine Gael Labour Government, the national deficit has been reduced significantly from €15 billion to €4.5 billion, and our national debt is now moving towards the European average.  Thankfully this was achieved with less tax increases and expenditure cuts than anyone thought possible. We ensured that we maintained the core social welfare rates to protect the most vulnerable while getting the economy back on track. We built more schools in the midst of the economic recovery than were built under Fianna Fáil and the Greens in the boom years.  In what is the first step towards universal free GP care, 300,000 children and senior citizens who currently have to pay to see their GP, will no longer have to do so from this summer.

“We will achieve the promised 100,000 jobs this year, a year earlier than planned and by 2018, the jobs lost during the crash will have been recovered.

“We are now focused on improving the lot of the so called ‘squeezed middle’- the people who feel they have been paying for everything since the economic crash. Many of these people now find themselves struggling with mortgage arrears, and the Government will make an announcement on this in the coming weeks. Minster Noonan plans to meet with the six main lenders in Irish Banking in May, to discuss their plans for reducing interest rates.

“A cornerstone of the Government’s plan to grow the economy and improve living standards is putting more money back into people’s pockets through reductions in income tax and USC. This is being done in a sensible responsible way that won’t jeopardise the recovery.  As Minister Noonan said in his speech to the Dáil today, we won’t return to the ‘if I have it I’ll spend it” ways of Fianna Fáil. That approach, which was aimed at buying elections, would represent the single biggest threat to our economic growth.

“By contrast, this Government is focusing on sustainable long term growth. It is estimated that the economy will grow by 4% this year and by 3.25% per year for the next decade. For Budget 2016, Minister Noonan says he will have flexibility of between €1.2- 1.5 billion and that this will be split evenly between tax reductions and spending on vital public services.

“This economic growth and resulting budgetary policy is sustainable and we will ensure that everyone will feel the benefit. The days of austerity are over and Dún Laoghaire should start to feel the beginnings of prosperity again. Historically, Fine Gael in Government has always been about prudent management of the public finances. Minister Noonan repeatedly emphasised today that there will be no return to the precarious boom and bust model of the past.”

Vote YES on Marriage Equality Referendum on 22nd May

The Marriage Equality Referendum will be held on Friday, 22nd May.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, launched Fine Gael’s campaign calling for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on Friday, 22nd May.

 An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said: “Equal marriage is all about enriching the everyday lives of ordinary men and women. It’s that equality in marriage that I believe will bring great happiness and joy not alone to couples but to their families, their siblings, parents and grandparents. By voting Yes on May 22nd, we will ensure that all couples can share the benefits of civil marriage. We will ensure that people will be treated equally no matter who they love.”

Please be advised that the closing date for additions to the supplementary register is Tuesday, 5th May.

With Monday being a bank holiday, intending voters will need to post their application by Friday, 30th April in order for their name to be included on the register.

The required RFA2 form can be downloaded at this link

Intending voters need to get their form stamped by a Garda and then send it to the Franchise Department of their local authority.

Every vote counts. Please register and vote YES on Marriage Equality on Friday, 22nd May.

 

Have your say on the issue of childcare and early education

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly, T.D., is inviting submissions from interested parties, including parents and practitioners to inform the work of his recently established Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Services.

The Inter-Departmental Group is hard at work examining issues related to childcare and early education. It is tasked with exploring ways of ensuring that current and future investment delivers more affordable, accessible and high quality early years and school-age care and education.

To help this Group develop the strongest set of options, its work will be informed by research and evidence of best practice, as well as current policy commitments, including those set out in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People. But it’s very important that we hear the views of all relevant stakeholders especially from parents.

Minister Reilly said “As part of this public consultation process, I want to find out what is working well and learn where I can best direct investment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of Ireland’s early years and school-age care and education services over the coming years”.

There are two separate consultation forms available for online completion – one for all stakeholders with an interest in the field (including policy-makers, practitioners, providers, advocates and academics) and one specifically for parents and guardians.

The closing dates for submissions from the early years sector is Friday 1st May and the closing dates for submissions from parents and guardians is Monday, 4th May.

Further details and links to theses consultation forms are available on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website at: www.dcya.gov.ie

Applications Now Open for Early Years Capital Programme 2015

Dr. James Reilly T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has today announced the launch of capital funding totalling €7 million for Early Years services. This new scheme of capital funding for early years services demonstrates the on-going commitment of this Government to developing quality childcare provision in Ireland.

€5 million has been made available for grants specifically for community/not for profit childcare services.  This funding will provide grant aid, in the region of €500,000, for significant upgrades of community and not-for-profit childcare services, such as major refurbishment or relocation to new premises. Also under this strand of funding, grants of up to €50,000 will be available for essential maintenance, or works undertaken to improve the energy performance of childcare facilities.

The Minister stated: “I am committed to securing the sustainability of community and not for profit childcare services, particularly in disadvantaged areas. There is clear evidence that, while all children benefit from access to quality early years provision, those from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit to the greatest extent”.

The remaining €2 million in capital funding is being made available for both private and community childcare facilities to access grants of up to €500 for quality improvement measures, specifically in the area of upgrading IT facilities.

Further information on the EYC2015 programme and information on how to make an application can be found on the Pobal website at www.pobal.ie  Applications for funding can be made from the 29th April. I would encourage all community and not-for-profit childcare services to apply today.

Fine Gael Launch Small and Family Business Campaign

“Fine Gael is standing up for small business and the self-employed”, says Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor

“Fine Gael is the pro-enterprise party and we want to support small businesses to prosper and continue to create jobs, to help meet our target of full employment by 2018. We’re beginning a national conversation with small businesspeople and the self-employed to see how we can work together to take advantage of the potential offered by the economic recovery that is beginning to take hold.

“Central Bank research shows that start-up companies in their first five years of existence account for two thirds of all new jobs created in Ireland. So it is really crucial that we support entrepreneurship and small businesses. In February, five start-ups were created every day in Ireland, an increase of 7% compared to the same time last year.

“We know that despite the progress made, we can do more for small businesses. It is clear that small businesses feel their contribution to the economy is not fully recognised.

“The key issues identified by the small business community include:
· Tax discrepancy between the self-employed and PAYE earners,
· Training and development support, such as mentoring,
· Business succession; easing the transition of business ownership down through the family generations.
· Lack of awareness of existing State supports, including the SME online tool.

“Now all members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party will engage directly with businesses all over Ireland to seek their views the best way for them to realise the potential offered by the recovering economy.

“I have been very encouraged by the Taoiseach’s recent comments in relation to the tax treatment of the self-employed. It’s simply not fair that the self-employed continue to pay more tax than PAYE earners on the same income. This is one of the many legacy issues we inherited from Fianna Fáil and I want to see this addressed in next year’s budget.

“Fine Gael in Government has drastically cut red tape for business and the ‘Supporting SMEs Online Tool’ brings together over 80 Government business supports into one website to help small business navigate and avail of the supports available to them. One of the most important elements of the Action Plan for Jobs is the new mentoring services for start-ups, including a national database of mentors. Mentoring gives entrepreneurs and small businesses an 80% greater chance of success and growth opportunities, and is a crucial ingredient in driving business.

“Fine Gael is standing up for small businesses, an integral part of keeping the high streets in small towns and villages alive and thriving.”

If you would like to discuss further what Government business supports are available, please contact Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD at mary.mitchelloconnor@oir.ie / or her Blackrock Constituency Office at 01 210 9161. Alternatively, please visit https://www.localenterprise.ie/