Applications for Patronage of new primary school for Dun Laoghaire now open

Monday 3pm

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has today welcomed the news that applications for patronage of a new primary school to be established in Dún Laoghaire in September 2017 are now open.

“My colleague The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., has today invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of this new primary school.

“As a former teacher, education is always on my radar and this new primary school is a vital addition to the area. Parental preference and demand plays a big part in deciding patronage so I urge parents to get involved and have the chance to influence the patronage of this school.

“Dún Laoghaire is growing and thriving thanks to the hard work of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber, Dún Laoghaire BID, Digital Dún Laoghaire and other local driving forces. This is bringing new people into the area. It is important that the changing demographic is reflected in the patronage of this new school.

Notes:

The school will be established in line with the requirements and criteria for the patronage of new schools. These requirements and criteria are published on the Department of Education’s website.

Parental preferences from parents of children living in the area, along with the extent of diversity in the area, will be key factors in deciding on the patronage of the school. As part of the process, parents have an opportunity to express their preference for their preferred patron body and also to express their preference for their child to be educated through the medium of Irish or of English.

We can achieve a top 5 ranking for global competitiveness

Speech to Dublin Chamber, Friday 25th November

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Distinguished Guests.

Friends and Colleagues.

Members of Dublin Chamber.

First let me tell you how honoured I am to address you this morning.

During these first six months in my job as Minister it has truly been a privilege getting to know the many heroes of Irish business. Businesses in both the public and private sector that drive our economy.

None more so than in the Chambers of Commerce across Ireland.
And of course here in Dublin.
You are the voice of Dublin business.
You provide a fantastic local and international business network.
And you inspire business learning and leadership.

I know that future challenges exist in a politically uncertain world.
This is no time for resting on our laurels or complacency – we made those mistakes before.

There are uncertain times ahead, but there are also exciting times ahead.
I believe we need to develop unity of purpose between the public and private sectors in Ireland.

As Minister, I want
– to improve our business environment,
– to help our companies scale-up,
– and most of all to achieve full employment
….so that everyone who aspires to a quality job can achieve it.

A job is only the start though.

I want to Dublin to be one of the
– most exciting,
– most entrepreneurial
– globally focussed cities in Europe
offering a lifestyle and quality of life unparalleled in Europe.

I believe that maintaining economic stability coupled with ambitious growth targets will help us on our way.

I want to acknowledge two recent milestones that have been achieved during my term.

The credit for these goes to the Irish people and business community who have driven this growth.

For the first time since 2008, over two million people are back working in Ireland.

Employment has grown by 56,500 in the last 12 months.

190,000 additional people are at work since the start of the Action Plan for Jobs Process in 2012.

And the unemployment rate is now at 7.9%.

Similarly, the live register has dropped below 300,000 for the first time over the same period.

In Dublin, employment levels are only 3% off what they were during their highest point. Unemployment was 13.4% and is now 7.5%. This is a good time to be doing business in Dublin as the economy continues to go from strength to strength.

It is clear based on a range of economic indicators, including arrivals at Dublin Airport, Dublin Port throughput, public passenger journeys, office vacancy rates, office rents and residential rents, that in many areas economic activity in Dublin is back at or close to peak levels.

I have spent my first six months assessing the business environment for threats and looking for opportunities to build on all of this progress.

My vision of our economy is one where the best and brightest Irish minds can – make and provide – world-class products and services – and sell them to the rest of the world at a profit.

I want us to strive to be
– the smartest,
– most productive
– and most innovative
….economy possible – to be global leaders in innovation.

To do this, we have to put people and skills at the heart of our economic strategy.

I want multi-nationals to come here because they know in Ireland they have access to one of the most talented and flexible workforces on the planet.

Equally though, I want Irish entrepreneurs to have the self-confidence to know that they are supported in finding and developing innovations and in finding and serving new markets.

I want Irish entrepreneurs to know that basing yourself here, you have the supports needed to take on global challenges.

Irish people are very creative; our next phase of growth will be about commercialising our creativity.

Our creativity as a business community is what will give us a competitive edge.

That is why, by the end of next year, I want both our main enterprise agencies, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, to each bring their total job numbers to over 200,000.

This is very achievable in my view.

Despite all of the challenges on the horizon, I still maintain full employment is possible within the lifetime of this Government.

To achieve this we need to focus on two key elements – competiveness and capacity-building.

Winning new business and keeping the business we already have, requires a competitive edge.

This is the best way to build resilience and to insulate your business from any external shocks.

My view of competitiveness is not just confined to controlling costs.
– exchange rates,
– interest rates
– and oil prices
are all costs that we can’t control in this economy.

That is why our competitiveness strategy has to be about people and addressing the factors within our control.
– People and skills,
– human capital,
– creativity and innovation
…are essential to making sure we are always a step ahead of the rest.

We need to be at the forefront of global innovation and education.

By 2020, it is my ambition to bring Ireland into a top five ranking position when it comes to competitiveness.

So improving the skillset of the labour force is the best way to achieve this.

To that end, we must continue to focus on in-company training and development and workplace innovation.

We recognise that we need to continue to invest in the skills supply pipeline.
By investing in research and teaching in higher and further education.

We have to be ahead of the global curve for the exporting sectors where we hold an advantage.

In Dublin these sectors include
– life-sciences,
– financial services,
– ICT and digital content creation.

We are implementing our Innovation 2020 strategy.

I am currently setting targets with our research community to see significant increases in our post-doctoral and post-graduate researchers.

The world of work is changing rapidly.

Digitalisation is both a fantastic opportunity and a challenge for all businesses.

Digital technologies, combining data analytics, cloud computing and Internet of Things are changing:
– how goods are made
– and manufactured
– and how businesses serve their customers.
These technologies are also increasing the levels of competition in markets for customers.

New business models are emerging such as the sharing economy with the growth of Airbnb and Uber.

Public and private sector collaboration is vital to achieving the transformation needed to compete in the Irish enterprise base.
Investing in research is risky.

The State can help to reduce that risk by encouraging innovation at enterprise level.

I am currently reviewing the key markets and technologies that will be important for us for the future as part of a refresh of Research Prioritisation.

The other key item I’m focussing on for next year is the Action Plan for Jobs for 2017.
‘Towards full employment’ is my key objective.
As I already said, I believe we can achieve during the lifetime of this Government.
The preparatory work is well advanced.

I’ve selected certain themes that will form the key policy focus for my Department in 2017.
– improving productivity,
– quality of work,
– enhancing female entrepreneurship
…will all feature as key themes of the document.
I want our economic and competitive strategy as a country to be based on people and the skillset of the Irish work force.

We are among the most dynamic workforce in the world and with 40% of our population under 30.

We can have a bright future.

Now, when I look at the current economic challenges of our capital city, it is clear that success is bringing its own challenges for Dublin.

We need to manage the expansion of our public and private transport around the city.

We need to accelerate new house supply to avert risks to our competitiveness.

We need to catch-up to address the needs of a growing economy.

I’m working with my Cabinet Colleagues to ensure that the enterprise and competitiveness needs are prioritised.

The most immediate priority is housing.

The Dublin skyline is dotted with cranes and building much needed office and commercial premises.

We’re generating a large number of jobs in Dublin.

And we need to ensure we have sufficient places for the people in those jobs to sleep and live. This has real potential to frustrate the economic recovery.
The Government’s plans in this area are well known as published by Minister Coveney in Rebuilding Ireland.

This plan has the confidence of the construction sector.

There are some really exciting developments underway such as those in the SDZs of Cherrywood and the Dublin Docklands.

I believe the long-term potential is there to reinvent what we consider urban living in Dublin.

From my perspective, as Minister, we need to ensure that we have plan quality urban living around our enterprises and job creation hubs.

Dublin needs to become a smart city that enables easy access for all of our people to:
– live,
– work
– and play.

Only this week, the Phoenix Park tunnel has opened to daily rail passengers for the first time.

We are just twelve to eighteen months away from having our two Luas lines linked.

It’ll be possible to travel from Cherrywood to Maynooth, Heuston station or Howth with limited transport changes.

Added to this are the future plans for Metro North.

I see the potential for Dublin to become much more pedestrian and public transport friendly in the years ahead.

I’ll also briefly mention water.

It’s a huge issue for the Greater Dublin Region in the near future.

All I will say is having a national water company will make solving Dublin’s water capacity issues far easier.

Dublin local authorities can’t be expected to develop a solution in isolation.

Plans are well advanced for finding a new water source for Dublin.

This will secure the economic potential for the next few decades.

I know these areas are outside my own direct policy remit.

But we want to base our economic strategy on people and there is an onus on us as a city, to provide a high quality of life to people.

London, Zurich, Copenhagen, Vienna, Frankfurt, Singapore – these are the cities which we will be competing with for investment.

– housing,
– access to schools,
– public transport,
….these will form an increasing part of the major investment pitch for Dublin and Ireland in the years ahead.

Capacity-building to cope for employment growth is one of our most immediate goals.

We will need this if we are to take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit may offer Dublin.

Now speaking of Brexit, this is a word we will have to get used to using for the next three to four years.

If not longer. Whenever you hear the word ‘Brexit’ you can expect to hear either ‘Uncertainty’ or ‘lack of clarity’.

This uncertainty makes business and economic planning considerably difficult.

While the UK is still to set out what the Brexit will mean for it, we shouldn’t see Brexit as a single event.

Brexit will permanently realign the political and trade relationships between Britain and Europe.

All of us will have to reposition ourselves towards a new ‘normal’.

The sectors that are most exposed to Brexit include our retail, food, construction and tourism sectors.

There are approximately 100,000 Irish jobs directly linked to UK exports.

That accounts for more than a third of our overall exports.

Having recently visited three London Ministers in Whitehall, it is still unclear what type of trade relationship they are looking for with Europe.

They’ve a clear desire for free trade.

They’ve no interest in returning to a world of extensive trade barriers.

I expect, in time, they will seek a bespoke agreement with Europe.

I don’t think they’ll seek to trade on any existing model of trade such as Norway, Switzerland, Canada or Turkey.

Whether this will be accepted across Europe remains to be seen.

However, as a Government Minister, I will not be shy or coy about seeking the most advantageous outcome for Ireland in those negotiations.

We owe that to our people.

Our enterprises have built up resilience over the last eight years.

However, I know that companies will also need assistance managing through the challenges of Brexit.

Having met with the various business organisations, many companies have very different asks.
– some want low-cost finance,
– some want assistance with hedging
– and so on.

There is not one approach, but it will require different solutions in different sectors.

My Department has started a series of focus groups with key stakeholders that will form a wider and deeper quantitative survey.

I want to ensure that whatever response Government provides, it is both targeted and appropriate to company’s needs.

There is little point in me as Minister prescribing a Brexit response.

It has to come from the specific sectors across the economy.

Currently, I am working with Enterprise Ireland, to develop targeted, evidence-based responses that will help companies diversify and find new markets.

We’ll do this by engaging with:
– all stakeholders
– in all sectors
– across all regions.

To cope with Brexit, Irish companies will have to internationalise to a greater extent.

This is why trade agreements like CETA between Europe and Canada are so important.

Despite global events, we cannot underestimate the importance for free trade for job creation in Ireland.

Having just returned from a trade mission to both China and Japan, much of the world’s growth in spending will be in the East.

As a country that produces
– food,
– software,
– biopharma goods,
….we need continued access to world markets.

If the world’s political forces were to halt or stymie free trade, Ireland would suffer more than most.

That is why, we remain firmly
– committed to EU membership,
– committed to free and fair trade
– and committed to global market opportunities.

We’re entering a period of significant challenges, yet I remain ambitious.

Full employment is the major goal of my Department.

I believe with the strength and spirit of the Irish entrepreneurial community, full employment is possible.

Providing economic opportunity for people is the reason I got into politics.

To change people’s lives for the better.

We have shown the ability to take on the world and succeed.

Let’s not stop now.

Let’s continue to be
– positive,
– ambitious
– and determined
…..as we face global challenges.

I am honoured to be in the position that I am in.

I intend to make the most out of it for all.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir.

Department of Health National Lottery Fund Grants

“My colleague, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today announced €2.7 million in Health National Lottery Grants for community and voluntary organisations across Ireland.

“Over 120 community groups and voluntary organisations have received funding to support their work.

“Three organisations in Dún Laoghaire will benefit from this round of grants:

LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, €32,292.00 to purchase new vehicles.

The Down Syndrome Centre, €11,200.00 to provide SKIP therapy for children.

Arthritis Ireland Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, €2,932.00 to roll out the “Be Active with Arthritis” programme.

“This funding will make a real impact on the services that volunteers and groups can deliver and help them continue to make a difference to the lives of the many people who use these services.

“As the economy continues to recover, Fine Gael is determined to ensure that the benefits of this recovery are felt in every community across Ireland and I am determined to ensure they’re felt across this constituency.

“As a Government Minister and TD for Dún Laoghaire, I am working hard to ensure that the Government delivers. We are using the economic progress to make people’s lives a little better, and funding allocations like this one are very much part of that.”

Sports Clubs in Dún Laoghaire Constituency urged to prepare for Sports Capital Grants application window

Sports Capital Programme 2017 is to commence no later than January 2017

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and TD for Dun Laoghaire constituency, has welcomed the news that applications for the 2017 round of Sports Capital Grant funding will open in the near future.”

“This week in the Seanad, the Minister of State for Sport Patrick O’Donovan confirmed that the application process for the Sports Capital Programme for 2017 will be open by January at the latest. “

“Clubs and organisations will be given a number of weeks to complete the application process, but they should start preparing for their application now. The only way to apply for grants under the Sports Capital Programme is the OSCAR (Online Sports Capital Register) which is accessible at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie All applicant clubs and organisations require a Tax Registration Number (TRN) for their particular club/organisation. It is not permitted to use the TRN of a national governing body or other organisation.”

“Minister O’Donovan will be announcing more comprehensive details of the new round shortly, including the relevant deadline dates. For an application to be successful clubs and organisations must contribute a proportion of the project costs from their own funds, and submit a large amount of supporting documentation and so it takes some time to be prepared. “

“Many clubs and organisations in Dún Laoghaire and surrounding areas benefitted from large grants under the Programme including Blackrock College RFC, Cuala GAA, Dalkey Scuba Divers, Monkstown FC and St. Michael’s Rowing Club. A great many smaller clubs and organisations in the constituency have also benefitted over the years.”

“The Sports Capital Programme was re-instated by the last Fine Gael government in 2012, after they’d been cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. I was delighted to hear it confirmed in Budget 2017 that the grants would resume again next year. The sports capital programme represents an excellent value for money investment. It is crucial we invest in sport and the health of our population, particularly with obesity is on the rise. Investing in sport is good for the health of the nation, both literally and economically.”

“Fine Gael in Government is using our economic progress to invest in communities around the country and ensure that everyone can benefit. Sport is just one important element of this. So far this year, over €22.8 million has been paid out through the excellent Sports Capital Programme to 680 organisations across the country in order to support the development of sports facilities and the purchase of sports equipment.”

Irish tech company Cubic Telecom announces 60 new jobs at Dublin office

Dublin-based company will grow workforce from 80 to 140 over the next twelve months;

Jobs boost comes following major international deal with German car manufacturer Audi;

Announcement made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor this morning;

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Cubic “a fantastic example of an Irish start-up that has built something significant for the world” on a recent visit to Dublin.

Irish global connectivity platform provider, Cubic Telecom, today announced the creation of 60 new jobs at its Dublin office, meaning that the company will grow from 80 to 140 people over the next twelve months.  

The jobs announcement was made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Minister Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD at a breakfast event at the CHQ Building in Dublin.

In their new partnership Cubic Telecom and Audi are bringing the first connected cars to Ireland and are promoting connected services across Europe through one SIM card specially installed into each Audi model, thereby creating an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

The SIM card allows 100Mbps high-speed internet access on the road, letting drivers and passengers avail of online services including Google Street View, traffic and parking information, and a range of infotainment features, including email, calendar and social media integration.

The first generation of Cubic-enabled Audi vehicles launched earlier this summer in Europe and are now available in Ireland.

On a recent visit to Dublin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pointed to Cubic Telecom as an innovative Internet of Things company on the global stage, calling it “a fantastic example of an Irish start-up that not only has built something that is significant for Europe, but worldwide”.

Quotes

Speaking at the event, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said: “Cubic Telecom is a brilliant example of an Irish company excelling on the world stage, and its partnership with a global brand like Audi is further testament to this. This announcement is yet more evidence that the Irish economy remains productive and innovative and our indigenous tech sector is growing from strength to strength.”

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD, said: “Today’s jobs announcement by Cubic Telecom is very welcome. Cubic is a prominent and important Irish owned software company that is leading in its sector. Cubic Telecom’s expansion is a testament to the growing skilled Irish workforce. Ireland is fast becoming an international leader in business and a world-class innovator in some of the technology sector’s most exciting and disruptive new fields. The government with Enterprise Ireland will continue to support Cubic Telecom as it grows and develops global partnerships, cementing its position as leading the way in the area of in-vehicle connectivity. I wish Cubic and their team the very best for their bright future.”

Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom, said: “Cubic is enabling in-car connectivity on an international scale through partnerships with tier one mobile operators. Our expanding company will help us innovate further in the Internet of Things space, and create industry-leading products and services. The future is ripe with potential and we look forward to taking Cubic technology global.”

Henning Dohrn, Managing Director of Audi Ireland, said: “Tech is powering the next revolution in motoring and our partnership with Cubic Telecom is one of its key instigators. Cubic Telecom distils Audi’s connectivity down to a single SIM card, providing Audi drivers hassle-free access to useful online services, making their drives more convenient and efficient.”

Recruitment has already begun for roles across software development, network engineering and commercial departments. The company expects to have all 60 roles filled by December 2017.

ENDS

About Cubic Telecom

Cubic Telecom is a global connectivity platform company that offers flexible mobility solutions that power connectivity for leading Internet of things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile device companies across the globe. The company enables users to offer not just products, but post-sale services – building a lasting and ongoing relationship with end-users. Providing connectivity in over 100 countries; the most robust network, device and retail partnerships worldwide; and flexible over-the-air (OTA) device management; Cubic Telecom enables global scalability with local connectivity anytime, anywhere.

Based in Dublin Ireland, Cubic Telecom’s partners and customers include some of the world’s leading Fortune 100 tablet and notebook manufacturers, retailers, M2M and automotive companies. The company launched its connected platform in 2012 and is privately held with over $37.1 million in funding by Audi, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless, among others. For more information, visit www.cubictelecom.com. 

About AUDI AG

The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in twelve countries. In the second half of 2016, the production of the Audi Q5 will start in San José Chiapa (Mexico). 100-percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include quattro GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).

In 2015, the Audi Group delivered to customers approximately 1.8 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,245 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and about 54,800 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2015 financial year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €58.4 billion and an operating profit of €4.8 billion. At present, approximately 85,000 people work for the company all over the world, about 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on new products and sustainable technologies for the future of mobility.

 

Irish SMEs to Avail of Lower Corporate Tax Through Knowledge Development Box – Minister Mitchell O’Connor

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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, is set to enable Irish SMEs involved in research and development activities, avail of the Knowledge Development Box taxation scheme.

The scheme, which sees profits from Irish inventions resulting from R&D activities in Ireland taxed at 6.25%, is to be made available to SMEs through a certification process overseen by the Patents Office.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor was given Cabinet approval for the publication of a Bill entitled Knowledge Development Box (Certification of Inventions) Bill 2016 to allow small and medium sized companies to avail of the Knowledge Development Box. Under the new scheme, the Patents Office will be the body certifying applications for inventions under the new certification scheme to check that they meet the criteria of being novel, useful and non-obvious.

The Bill, which is hoped, will be passed before the end of the year, will open up the opportunity for companies across a broad spectrum to pay lower taxes on profits from Irish-based research and development activities. This includes companies in incubation units right through to high-potential start-ups in all industry sectors once they are generating income resulting from research and development activities.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, says the scheme should serve to significantly boost Irish innovation and investment in research and development.

“The aim of this is to boost and encourage Irish-based innovation. Developing new innovative products is high risk and can often take time to develop. This scheme will allow a company or a start-up re-invest in their business as they will be able to retain a greater proportion of their earnings. This is something that can specifically drive innovation in the Irish SME sector”.

“Furthermore, I see this scheme as assisting those companies that wish to scale-up. We have many terrific companies developing innovative products but are sometimes bought out before they develop their full potential. This scheme will assist companies achieve scale. Innovation is at the heart of our economic recovery and growth and when this legislation is enacted we will have in place a Knowledge Development Box to suit the needs of all enterprises, large and small,” said Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

Helpful Notes :

Companies with income arising from intellectual property of less than €7,500,000 annually will be able to participate when the Bill entitled legislation Knowledge Development Box (Certification of Inventions) Bill 2016 is effected which will be of direct benefit to companies of a relatively lower scale, with global income of less than €50 million.

Ireland is the first country world-wide to offer an OECD compliant Knowledge Development Box (KDB) offering certainty to global and Irish owned enterprises. The OECD nexus approach sets out the principles and guidelines under which income arising from Intellectual Property assets can qualify for a lower rate of tax under a KDB initiative. Ireland’s KDB rate is 6.25 % (half of the corporation tax rate of 12.5 percent) and is internationally competitive.

What is the Knowledge Development Box?

The KDB is a tax incentive policy tool to encourage innovation by applying a lower rate of corporation tax i.e. 6.25% on profits on intellectual property assets resulting from qualifying research and development carried out in Ireland.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes news of 165 new jobs with Deutsche Bank

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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and IDA Ireland today welcomed the announcement by Deutsche Bank that the company has opened a data lab in Dublin that will create 40 new jobs. The company also announced plans to create a further 125 Technology and Operations roles in Dublin supporting its Global Markets and Corporate & Investment Banking divisions.

The data lab, known as The Hive, will be a global centre of excellence for the Bank.
Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, in warmly welcoming this investment, said “this project by Deutsche Bank represents a great vote of confidence in Ireland and its attractions for Financial Services companies. The new data lab builds on the bank’s strong investment and job creation here over recent years and the provision of an additional 165 quality jobs is very welcome indeed. The Government has been making strenuous efforts to ensure that we have the right conditions in place in Ireland to continue job creation across the country. I look forward to a long and fruitful engagement with the company over the coming years and I am confident that this decision will be mutually beneficial for the company and for Ireland”

Commenting on the addition of the Data Lab and expansion planned by the bank for Dublin, Mr Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland said: “Deutsche Bank’s choice of Dublin for its new data lab is a great endorsement of the technology talent and expertise here. The addition of another 125 jobs following on from the company’s announcement of 700 jobs just three years ago clearly shows potential investors that Ireland is a compelling location for international financial services where global companies can build large teams in a relatively short space of time due to the quality of the workforce available to them.

“A key part of IDA Ireland’s international financial services strategy is to attract more investment in the FinTech space. Dublin’s track record in international financial services and technology cluster creates a business environment for companies to develop and implement their innovation strategies. IDA is determined to win more investment for Ireland in this area,” concluded Mr Shanahan

Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes new Garda Recruitment Campaign

Garda Siochana

Minister Mitchell O’Connor has welcomed the accelerated Garda recruitment campaign, which was launch today by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.

“I would encourage people in the constituency, and beyond, to consider applying to join An Garda Siochána. This new recruitment campaign will continue the ongoing accelerated recruitment to fulfil the Government’s commitment to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 members.

“It reflects the Government’s commitment to seamless ongoing recruitment to An Garda Síochána, to ensure that the force has the capacity to provide visible, responsive and effective policing to every community here in Dun Laoghaire and throughout the country.

“Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength of 15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be recruited on a phased basis over the next four years. That is in addition to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year, since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014.

“So far 534 recruits have been fully trained as members of An Garda Síochána and are on the ground in communities nationwide. Another 150 recruits are due to graduate later this year.

“It is essential to ensure that An Garda Síochána has the capacity to train larger numbers without reducing the quality of its training programme. It is also essential to provide appropriate supervision and support to newly qualified Gardaí to ensure that victims and the public are well served. I welcome the detailed planning process that the Commissioner and her team have in place to ensure the delivery of increased numbers of Gardaí without any compromise on the quality of those recruited or the training programme.

“I encourage all those who are interested in joining An Garda Síochána to visit the website of the Public Appointments Service and submit their application at www.publicjobs.ie.

“Fine Gael is committed to supporting communities across Ireland and I am committed to ensuring that the support is felt here in Dun Laoghaire. We are working to ensure that the economic recovery, which is now underway, reaches all parts of the country and the benefits are felt inside every doorstep and in every community.”

Notes
• The existing recruitment campaign (launched last November) is ongoing and successful candidates will continue to be called from that campaign this year and into next year. It is expected that successful candidates from the new campaign will enter the Garda College from mid-2017.
• Applications must be made through www.publicjobs.ie. The closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2016.
• Successful candidates are required to undergo a two year training programme leading to a BA in Applied Policing. The two year programme comprises a 32 week block of tuition at the Garda College in Templemore with a further 72 weeks of on the job experiential learning.

Lift-off for European Space Agency Space Solutions Centre Ireland

Tyndall

ESA partners with Ireland to boost the use of space technology for down-to-earth applications

 CORK, Ireland, 7 September– Irish start-ups that use space technology in both terrestrial and space exploration contexts are being invited to apply to the new ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland for funding and support.

Speaking at the launch of the centre, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said “I am delighted to launch the ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland. The centre will give Irish entrepreneurs and start-ups a unique opportunity to access the funding, expertise and networks they need to grow their businesses and create jobs. We are proud of the fact that four of the country’s leading science and technology institutions are at the forefront of such an innovative and exciting initiative. With the support of the European Space Agency, Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland can look forward to the rapid expansion of the Irish space sector in the coming years.”

The centre, is led by Tyndall National Institute in Cork in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, and Irish Maritime and Energy Research Cluster. Funded by the European Space Agency and Enterprise Ireland, it aims to support the application of technologies developed for space to solve challenges on Earth and beyond. The centre is one of fourteen ESA BICs (ESA Business Incubation Centre) in Europe, which work to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies.

The centre has two strands, providing enticing opportunities for both new and established companies. Each of the 25 start-ups that successfully apply will receive €50,000 in seed funding, along with expert technical assistance and opportunities to access other funding mechanisms. The centre will also offer ten rounds of €40,000 funding to support technology transfer for established companies that want to develop demonstrators for new products and services using space technology. Companies can work from any of the four host institutions.

“Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan T.D. said Ireland’s ESA BIC will have a significant impact on job creation and the Irish business landscape. The number of companies in the space sector in Ireland is expected to expand from 50 to over 80 by 2020, generating annual revenues that are predicted to grow from €76 million in 2015 to over €150 million by 2020.

David Gibbons, Manager of ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, emphasises that companies do not necessarily have to develop products for use in space. “SubTeraNDT, an Irish company that has already been through an ESA BIC programme in the United Kingdom, uses sub-terahertz frequencies originally developed for space applications to detect corrosion and defects under layers of paint, insulation, and coatings. This has particular applications in the oil and gas industries. ENBIO, is an example of a company that has benefited hugely from ESA in the development of space and non-space related products. It has used coating materials originally developed for use in artificial hip joints to create ‘sunscreen for satellites’ to protect them from solar radiation. This has since led to other terrestrial uses, including non-stick moulds for tyre-making and ways to cool electronics.

“This is an open call for companies and entrepreneurs to start talking to us, even if they are not sure whether they fit,” says Gibbons. “So much technology that we use every day originally came from space programs. People get hung up on the idea of technology that will be used on satellites or space-craft , but this is about applying space technology more broadly to create good products, good companies and more jobs. Think enterprise, rather than the Starship Enterprise.”

“Companies that successfully apply for the incubation programme will remain in the Centre for two years, and after that would be expected to gain High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) status,” explains Gibbons. “As well as the seed funding of €50,000 the companies will also gain access to a range of ESA space programmes and other funding mechanisms, and be able to take advantage of the brand value of ESA. Being part of the ESA family opens the door to a host of commercial opportunities and ESA resources such as the use of satellite data.”

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, stated that Enterprise Ireland is delighted to be partner with the European Space Agency in supporting the development of high potential start up companies in this emerging sector, through the ESA Space Solutions Centre.   Enterprise Ireland will bring its resources to the partnership to assist start- up companies in the development of new products for the global space market, supporting export sales and job creation, with a strong focus on regional entrepreneurship.

The centre will be officially launched on 7 September in Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork. Two related workshops will follow on 8 September, in the Irish Maritime and Energy Research Cluster, and on 9 September, Maynooth University. Interested companies are invited to apply as soon as possible, and more information about the application process is available from http://www.esaspacesolutions.ie

 

Expansion of Early Childhood Care and Education Programme is good news for families

Childcare

 

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and TD for Dun Laoghaire constituency, has said that the announcement by Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, of an expansion to the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme, (ECCE), will be of huge benefit to working parents across the Dun Laoghaire constituency.

“Thanks to a major expansion of the free preschool scheme known as the ECCE, thousands of extra children across the country are going to be able to access free preschool places.

“All children reaching three years of age are now entitled to a free preschool place, meaning that 85,000 children are now eligible for the scheme nationwide. Previously children were entitled to one free year. Eligible children will now be able access the expanded ECCE Programme across two (and in some cases three) school years. In previous years, eligible children were only permitted to access the ECCE Programme from the September of that preschool year, two further eligibility entry points have been added, in January and April, to facilitate additional access.

“This expansion of the free preschool scheme will be of huge benefit to working parents in Dun Laoghaire. It is estimated that for each place on the scheme, a family can save between €2,500 – €4,000 in childcare costs.

“This Government is determined to use the fruits of our recent economic success to assist families who struggled through the years of the recession. Childcare is a big issue for many families and savings of up to €4,000 will help to ease the financial burden significantly.

“As well as the financial benefits, international studies show that children who take part in schemes such as the ECCE, have better outcomes later in life, particularly those children experiencing disadvantage.

“Aside from access to childcare, Minister Zappone has also highlighted the need to support the childcare sector to provide a quality service. In that context I welcome that the first meeting of the National Early Childcare Forum will take place at the end of September.”