Amgen commitment to education will benefit future generations

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said the official opening of Amgen in Dun Laoghaire is yet another sign the economic recovery is taking hold. The Dun Laoghaire TD was particularly impressed by the company’s commitment to science education.

“Amgen’s new $300m facility will provide high quality employment in the local economy. It will also benefit the education system across the country. Amgen has also launched two complimentary science education programmes designed to equip secondary school teachers with the skills and equipment to increase students’ scientific literacy and foster an interest in a career in science.

“This new initiative in science education demonstrates a commitment to future generations of scientists and employees in this country and I commend this local company on their foresight.

“Ireland ranks in the top 20 countries for science excellence. Developing partnerships with world-class companies to support education and research will ensure that the next generation of Irish people are equipped for the careers offered by this sector.”

Supporting Physical Education & Activity in Primary Schools

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin and Kildare Sports Partnerships are jointly running a free seminar on Tuesday 22 September 2015 in the Citywest Hotel entitled ‘Supporting Physical Education & Activity in Primary Schools’. The seminar aims to build on the success of a similar seminar run in 2014 for secondary schools and will focus on how primary schools can engage with and reach their pupils and to raise awareness of the options and supports available to schools.

The schedule for the afternoon has been drawn up with the input and support of various agencies involved in this area including; Education Centres, INTO, IPPEA, Active School Flag and PDST, to make sure it is appropriate and valuable for teachers and indeed also school completion officers and others involved in the primary school system.

The presentations will be short and snappy (20 minutes each) with direct examples from local schools – urban/rural, junior/senior including:

  • A look at the latest research in the area of participation through the life cycle, focusing on Primary Level; both pathways & influences.
  • Understanding the provision of professional development and supports for primary teachers in sport and physical activity.
  • Supports the LSPs can provide in driving & increasing participation within the school setting.
  • A look at the various national programmes your school might consider.
  • Insight into how three local schools are adding to their PE curriculum on a daily and weekly basis; increasing regular participation in sport and physical activity among their pupils.
  • Research and best practice in adapted physical education and a look at the European Inclusive Physical Education Training programme.

Also present on the day will be a large number of information stands from sports governing bodies such as Athletics, Hockey, GAA, Rugby, Cricket, Frisbee and more. There will be a refreshment break during the seminar to facilitate schools to link in with these sports.

This event coincides with the European Week of Sport (EWoS) and the Irish Sports Council is also an event partner viewing this as a flagship event for the week.

Attendance is FREE but places are limited and people are asked to register their place at

Supporting Physical Education Activity in Our Primary Schools

Community Sports Clubs – Partial Rates Exemption

The Valuation Office is implementing the provisions of the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015, which came into effect on 8th June 2015, in connection with Community Sports Clubs. The Act amends Schedule 4 of the Valuation Act 2001 and provides a newpartial exemption from commercial rates for Community Sports Clubs that are registered under the Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act, 1904.

Community Sports Clubs not registered under the 1904 Act, and which operate on a not for profit basis, will continue to be exempt from rates and do not need to make an application.

Under the new partial exemption, Community Sports Clubs registered under the Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act 1904 will not be liable for commercial rates on buildings, or parts of buildings, used:

  • exclusively for community sport and not for the generation of income, or
  • to generate income from participants in community sport, or
  • by community organisations that use the building or part of the building for community purposes.

Buildings or parts of buildings, used for or in conjunction with the sale or consumption of alcohol or food, retail use or hire for profit (other than outlined in the previous paragraph) are liable for rates.

Over the coming months, the Valuation Office will revise the valuations of Community Sports Clubs benefiting from the amendment to Schedule 4. This process requires Community Sports Clubs to complete and submit an application (Form R2) and the accompanying documents no later than 15th September 2015.

The completed application (Form R2) and accompanying documents should be posted or delivered to Sports Club Applications, Valuation Office, Block 2, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1, D01 E9X0, to arrive no later than Tuesday September 15th 2015.

There is no fee for the application.

Form R2 Revision Application (pdf -132kb)

Trading Online Voucher boosting recruitment across the country

Fine Gael TD, for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has welcomed the results of the Growing Small Business Through Online Trade report, showing that SMEs who availed of the Government’s Online Trading Voucher, are growing.

“We know that 67 per cent of all of the new jobs created in Ireland are created by start-ups in their first five years of business so it is essential that we do everything we can to support these business and to drive them into the future. This is why Fine Gael launched the Standing Up for Small Business campaign and why the Government introduced the Online Trading Voucher.

“The Growing Small Business Through Online Trade report shows that over 70 per cent of small businesses that took part in the Government’s Trading Online Voucher Scheme expect to recruit more staff.

“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was launched in 2014 to boost the number of small firms trading online. It offers small businesses a grant of up to €2,500, as well as training, mentoring and networking support to help them develop their online trading capability.

“Small business is the cornerstone of a sustainable economy and these local businesses support many jobs here Dun Laoghaire. In Ireland, €700,000 is spent online every hour. That is a staggering statistic and I want Dun Laoghaire businesses to benefit from this trend.

“Some 225 companies received the Online Trading Vouchers and they have experienced a huge jump in inquiries and a 21 per cent increase in sales. The scheme is administered by Local Enterprise Offices and I would encourage any interested business owners to get in touch.

“The Online Trading Voucher has proven a great success for SMEs, but having consulted with local business through our Standing Up for Rural Ireland campaign, we know that one of the biggest issues is the need to standardise the tax treatment of the self- employed and PAYE workers, as well as the need for continued reductions in the general tax burden.

“Fine Gael TDs and Senators are working to ensure that these issues are addressed in the upcoming budget.”

Major re-development of the National Rehabilitation Hospital to go ahead

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, says today’s announcement of extra funding of €15 million for the re-development of the National Rehabilitation Hospital is great news, especially for all the patients who use the service.

“This €15 million funding boost for the NRH in Rochestown Avenue, Dún Laoghaire, which has been announced today by the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, will see the existing ward accommodation replaced by a new 120 bed facility.

“This re-development is something that has been badly needed for a long time, by both patients and staff. It is something that I have raised with the Minister for Health and have worked for, along with my constituency colleagues.

“The National Rehabilitation Hospital provides vital treatment and rehabilitation to patients from across Ireland and is one of the country’s most important health facilities, helping improve the patients’ quality of life.
“This new development will be purpose built to accommodate the needs of patients requiring complex specialist rehabilitation services and will comply with best international practice and guidelines. The facility will include integrated therapy spaces, hydrotherapy and sports facilities on the NRH Campus.

“This is great news for the patients and staff at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. I would like to pay tribute to the staff for their outstanding professionalism and also to the Board of the National Rehabilitation Hospital.”