Two million people now in employment in the State

Red dress desk

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (Tuesday) welcomed the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures from the Central Statistics Office, showing that for the first time since Quarter 4 2008 there are now two million people employed in the State.  All regions of the country saw a fall in unemployment in the past year. Since 2012 when the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched 176,000 more people are at work.

The figures from the CSO also show that there is strong and continued employment growth in all regions of the country.

Employment has grown in 12 out of 14 economic sectors with largest increases recorded in construction, manufacturing and accommodation and food service activities.

Speaking today, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said:

“These figures today from the Central Statistics Office are very encouraging and continue to show that the numbers of people employed in full time jobs is increasing steadily and I am particularly pleased to see that all regions of the country are seeing employment growth.  Having two million people now at work will also give a boost to the State as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.  

My role as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is to ensure that this positive job growth continues and I am determined that we continue to put in place the right conditions for employment to grow across all counties in Ireland.”

Search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor has launched the latest search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). With a €2 million investment fund available, the enterprise initiative from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.

Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are now being encouraged to apply, before the closing date of Friday, October 14th 2016.

Announcing the start of this year’s programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said:

“The quest to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is one of the most exciting initiatives to create new businesses and new jobs in recent years. IBYE generates that “can-do” spirit in which young people excel.  I want to foster that spirit and to demonstrate that there is help out there for any young person that wants to take a risk and start their own business. The first-stop-shop to get advice and support on starting a business is your Local Enterprise Office.  I want to congratulate the Local Enterprise Offices on rolling out IBYE and I look forward to meeting Ireland’s young entrepreneurs up and down the country.   I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 to talk to their Local Enterprise Office about the IBYE programme and discuss their business ideas.”

The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. A total of around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an available IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, every Local Enterprise Office will award six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to Regional Finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2017.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices explains: “The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE. Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”

IBYE is now in its third year and last year’s winners were James Foody of Ayda in South Cork (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and Best Start-Up Business), Blaine Doyle of GlowDX in Kilkenny (Best Business Idea) and James Wood of Rathwood in Wicklow (Best Established Business). The inaugural winner of the competition in 2014 was Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin.

To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 inclusive are being asked to visit the IBYE website at, to submit their entry online. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 14th 2016 and there is no entry fee. Further information and details are also available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Enterprise Office

Phone: (01) 204 7083

First Floor, 1 Harbour Square
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9:00 – 5:00
Friday: 9:00 – 4:30

Lunch 1.00-2.00



Docklands Innovation Awards 2016

I was delighted to be the Guest of Honour at the Docklands Innovation Awards last night in PWC.

Congratulations to Graham Byrne from Your Smiles Direct on winning Best Investment Proposal 2016 and a prize of €10,000.

All finalists were recent graduates of the Dublin Institute of Technology/IADT New Frontiers Programme and are innovative, hard working examples of entrepreneurs in Ireland.

Amgen Biotech Experience in St.Andrews College, Blackrock

I was delighted to see the Amgen Biotech Experience workshop in action in St.Andrews College, Blackrock. The next generation of Ireland’s budding young scientists.
The programme provides secondary school teachers with advanced training, curriculums and research-grade equipment to run biotechnology labs in their classrooms.
With this newest round of funding by the Amgen Foundation, an additional 5000 local students are expected to be reached across 400 classrooms in 48 schools over the next two years.

Vote Mary Mitchell O’Connor #1

Dear Voter,

On Friday February 26th, you have a choice between voting for economic stability, growth and jobs, or political and economic instability. I am asking for your No. 1 VOTE, so I can continue to work tirelessly, to ensure that every household in the Dún Laoghaire constituency benefits from the growing economic recovery.

I promise you experience, commitment and an unwavering determination to do what is in the best interest of the Dún Laoghaire constituency and country. I want to thank you for your support, but also for your honesty on the doorstep.

In voting No. 1 Mary Mitchell O’Connor, you will ensure the hard work gets done and that this constituency is represented by an experienced TD, who understands and cares about your issues and priorities.

I am also asking you to entrust your No. 2 Vote in my Fine Gael colleague Cllr. Maria Bailey.

As we prepare to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the words of Michael Collins must resonate:

“Give us the future, we’ve had enough of your past. Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love.”

It now behoves us in Fine Gael to finish the work of those selfless men and women, who thought nothing of laying down their lives, so we could live in an Ireland that every man, woman and child could be proud of.

Yours sincerely,
Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD



Dear Parent(s),

As a former school Principal of the Harold School in Glasthule and Chair of the Internal Fine Gael Committee on Education and Skills, I would like you to know that education and the needs of your children are very important to me.  Every child deserves the highest standard of education and every child must be given opportunities to reach their true potential.

I had the honour to draft the Fine Gael Education Manifesto and am pleased that many of my plans and programmes have been taken on board, including:

Pupil-Teacher Ratio
Reducing Pupil/Teacher ratios will help ensure children get a chance to experience quality learning and teaching.  Fine Gael will fund, by 2021, an additional 832 teaching posts and reduce the Pupil-Teacher ratio for Junior and Senior infants from 28:1 to 18:1, phased in from September 2017.

After-School Programme
Childcare is one of the single biggest obstacles facing young families. As Principal of the Harold School in Glasthule, I successfully launched an After-School Programme which has now grown from strength to strength. It offers parents a cost effective flexible childcare alternative. I am delighted that Fine Gael in government will provide an additional €50m in funding for primary and secondary schools to make their facilities available for after-school care.

Special Needs
For a young child, parent and teacher, it is crucial that early detection and intervention takes place so that each child can reach their full potential. In Government, Fine Gael increased the number of Special Needs Assistants from 10,575 to 12,040. We also increased the number of resource teachers from 5,175 to 7,452 in 2016. We will continue to do so.

Speech and Language Therapists
I believe the best environment for children with speech and language difficulties to develop and grow is within the school. I am thrilled that Fine Gael will allocate 217 additional therapists for a new model of In-School Speech and Language Therapy.

Free Pre-School
Bringing up our children is a big, complex challenge. Childcare should not be one of those biggest challenges. We have extended the free preschool year for children age 3 until they start school. Commencing in September, this will reduce preschool costs by €1,500 on average for a family.

Mental Health and Well-Being
We need to promote awareness and prevention about our mental health and well-being rather than simply reacting to incidents. Consultation on how best to teach resilience and coping mechanisms for pupils must take place. I believe a designated subject on this matter would be beneficial to student, parent and teacher.

Physical Education
We are now facing an obesity crisis with 4 out of 5 Irish children being obese. We need to promote greater time and engagement in physical activity in our schools. We will explore the option of making Physical Education a Leaving Certificate subject.

Fee-Charging Schools
I greatly appreciate the contribution that fee-charging schools make in educating our children and recognise the sacrifices which parents and education partners have made in recent years. There will be no further discrimination in taxpayer support for fee-charging schools. The reduction in the Pupil-Teacher Ratio in September 2016 will benefit all schools.

I would like to thank you for all your support over the past five years. I am hard working and passionate about the needs of your children. If re-elected I assure you this Education Manifesto will be my priority and remain at the forefront of my agenda in Government. Education is the key to giving every child an equal opportunity in life.

Yours in Education,

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD

Fine Gael General Election Manifesto

The Fine Gael Election Manifesto, which offers people the stability and certainty needed to keep the recovery going.

Our manifesto is built on the three steps of our Long Term Economic Plan:

·         More and Better Jobs

·         Making Work Pay

·         Investing in Better Services

It is a detailed, fully-costed and ambitious set of proposals, designed to keep the recovery going. We are the only party offering a plan for Ireland’s future.

There is a clear and undeniable link between the recovery we are now experiencing and the economic policies pursued by this Government.

Fine Gael is determined not to let Ireland go back – not to those who wrecked our economy in the first place, and not to those who would kill jobs with new taxes on work.

Our policies are in stark contrast to Fianna Fáil, the party who has no plan, plain and simple.

In an uncertain world, our Long Term Economic Plan will reinforce Ireland’s position as a pro-jobs and pro-family country of stability, growth and opportunity for all.

Our commitment to you is to keep it that way. Together with the Irish people, Fine Gael will keep the recovery going.

Thank you for your continued support and for all the work many of you are doing to help us on the doorsteps, in the backrooms and kitchens all over the country during the campaign.

We very much appreciate it and please continue to help us spread the message of our Long-Term Economic Plan and how, if we are re-elected it will ensure a better life for all.

The reality is that without this plan there will be no extra jobs, no recovery and no additional investment in services.  That’s what people need to understand between now and February 26th.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD

‘An Evening with Rachel Allen’ in aid of LauraLynn and the Blackrock Hospice

TV Chef Rachel Allen has teamed up with Fenelons Butchers in the Stillorgan Shopping Centre to host ‘An Evening with Rachel Allen’ charity fundraiser on Wed 2nd March 2016 at the Pavilion in Leopardstown Racecourse.

It’s being organised by Fenelons to celebrate 50 years in business and owner Clif Lenehan is hoping to raise €10,000 for LauraLynn and the Blackrock Hospice.

Rachel will be showing how to cook some fab seasonal dishes and with TV3’s Anna Daly as master of ceremonies and plenty of artisan food and craft stalls, a delicious demo evening is promised.

Tickets are €25 each, now available in-store and online at Please share and support these two great local charities doing wonderful work for families.