About Brendan Smith

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan, Chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party. Co-Chair British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Executive Member North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association, Member Oireachtas Committee on Implementation of Good Friday Agreement

Brendan Smith welcomes resumption of Cavan Town Day Services

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed confirmation from the HSE, following his ongoing representations, that Day Services in Cavan Town will resume in the first quarter of 2023. 

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “The Day Service, which was previously delivered at the Lisdarn Unit, will resume in the Day Care building adjacent to the John Sullivan Home when refurbishment works are completed in early 2023.  Day Services were closed during the lockdown period due to Public Health advice for Infection Prevention and Control purposes. 

“The HSE in some instances directly provides Day Care and arrangements also exist where the HSE provide some funding for voluntary organisations to provide such services. The type of day service provided varies with some providing a more social element which may offer personal care; while other services are nurse led and provide a nursing service as well as social activities.   

“These important services are very much appreciated by all service users and the essential closure of such services during lockdown was a real loss for many individuals throughout every community”, concluded Brendan Smith. 

25/11/2022

Brendan Smith welcomes over €50m in new funding for Shared Island programmes

Shared Island Fund to enable new all-island partnership projects across a range of areas including biodiversity and peatlands, tourism, language and culture, civil society, research and innovation


More than €190m allocated from the Government’s Shared Island Fund since 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed confirmation from Taoiseach Micheál Martin that over €50m in funding has been made available to deliver a new suite of Shared Island programmes. 

The Taoiseach this morning outlined the funding allocations, which are: 

  • €11m for all-island biodiversity actions on peatlands restoration and biosecurity;  
  • €7.6m for new all-island tourism brand collaboration and marketing initiatives; 
  • €8m for a Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects over 2023-2027; 
  • €2m funding contribution to a new Shared Island Civic Society fund; 
  • €12m for development of a cross-border innovation hub; 
  • €10m funding contribution to a second round of the North South Research Programme. 

The Taoiseach also confirmed a contribution of €20m from the Shared Island Fund for Co-Centres for Research and Innovation on Climate and Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. 

These new investment cooperation projects will be delivered through North/South and East-West partnerships and all-island funding programmes, by Ministers and their Departments working with Northern Ireland and UK Government partners.  

Today’s announcement brings to over €190m, the amount allocated from the Shared Island Fund over the past two years, to deliver the Shared Island investment objectives in the Programme for Government and the revised National Development Plan 2021-30. 

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Today’s funding announcement sets out an ambitious, cross-Government programme of work, which will bring communities, North and South, together to work on shared strategic priorities  to build consensus around a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Shared Island Initiative is proof of Fianna Fail’s commitment to delivering all-island solutions which produce real results and benefits for people on either side of the border.”

Communities across Cavan and Monaghan will benefit from a number of these exciting projects announced today and future rounds of Shared Island funding will also be beneficial for our region

A comprehensive report on the second year of implementation of the initiative was published by the Department of the Taoiseach for the 2nd Shared Island Forum and is available at www.gov.ie/sharedisland

-Ends- 

Notes to Editor: 

The Shared Island initiative is a whole of Government priority to engage with all communities and political traditions to build consensus around a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

The Shared Island initiative is backed by the Government’s Shared Island Fund, with at least €1billion out to 2030 ring-fenced for delivery of all-island investment commitments and objectives in the Programme for Government and revised National Development Plan 2021-30; informed by a programme of engagement with people across the island through the Shared Island Dialogue series and a comprehensive policy research programme, which provides a stronger evidence base and analysis of the island Ireland across a range of economic, environmental and social areas.

The Taoiseach announced today Government allocations of more than €50m from the Shared Island Fund to a number of Departments for delivery of new Shared Island investment cooperation projects.  These include: 


€11m for All-Island Biodiversity actions
The Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government will take forward new biodiversity actions: 

(i) Cross-border peatland restoration: €10m contribution to a cross-border peatland restoration programme led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. To conserve vital peatland ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions, working with partners in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The project will reduce carbon emissions of 6,000 tonnes C/yr and restore 4,000ha of blanket bog within and adjacent to protected sites, across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

(ii)Shared Island invasive species and biosecurity initiative: €1m funding investment in a new all-island invasive species and biosecurity partnership, to protect the island of Ireland’s unique ecological resources. This will include strategic all-island risk assessment and trend analysis on invasive species; biosecurity strategy; alignment of current and future pathway actions and contingency plan; and a citizen science invasive species programme.

These programmes will be delivered and overseen by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (D/HLHG) with counterpart agencies North and South.

 

€7.6m for All-Island Tourism brand collaboration
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will make available up to €7.6m for tourism agencies to progress a new collaboration to link the Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route tourism brands.

The funding will enable tourism agencies to conduct joint work to connect these two internationally-recognised brands, to achieve longer visitor stays and greater economic benefits in the North West and Northern coast regions. The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will oversee the project in consultation with the Department for Economy (NI).

 

€2m for a new Shared Island Civic Society Fund
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and his Department will take forward a new Shared Island Civic Society funding scheme to enable civic society and community organisations to develop new cross-border links, further strengthen existing partnerships, and create or broaden cross-border connectivity, complementing vital work supported through the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.  

A pilot call for the scheme will commence in the coming weeks for applications from organisations to take forward cross-border civic cooperation initiatives in areas such as: climate and environment; community development; heritage and conservation; social enterprise, charity, and voluntary sector; and sport. 


€8m for Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects  

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will take forward a major Shared Island dimension to the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme 2023-27 and make available funding for all-island cultural heritage projects. 

The Shared Island dimension of the Creative Ireland programme 2023-27 will enable existing elements of the programme, such as Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of free creativity for children and young people, to be developed on an all-island basis. Local Authorities’ Culture and Creativity Teams will be encouraged to use and develop cross-border networks to support and take up cultural and creative cooperation opportunities. New cultural heritage projects, to foster greater appreciation and enjoyment of the diverse linguistic and cultural heritage of the whole island, including the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions will also be developed. 

This will complement the €7.4m allocated from the Shared Island Fund in July for Arts investment projects developed in consultation with the Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

€10m for North South Research Programme administered by the Higher Education Authority
Following on from the success of the first round of the Government’s new North South Research Programme with more than €37m awarded to 62 projects in March 2022, the Minister for Further and Higher Education Research Innovation and Science will launch a second round of the programme in the second half of 2023 enabled by a Shared Island Fund allocation of €10m and following a review by the HEA of activity under the first round. 

€20m for Co-Centres for Research and Innovation administered by Science Foundation Ireland
The Shared Island Fund will contribute €20m for new Co-Centres for Research and Innovation administered by Science Foundation Ireland with match funding from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and UK Research and Innovation.

 

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, together with his Northern Irish and British Government counterparts, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Northern Ireland and UK research partners, announced the establishment of Co-Centres for Research and Innovation on 24 October.  

Science Foundation Ireland opened a call on 24 November for proposals on Climate, and Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. Each Co-Centre will be funded for a duration of 6 years.

These will be joint, virtual Research Centres to strengthen the research and innovation base across Ireland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, supporting a competitive economy and addressing societal and environmental challenges.

5/12/2022

Smith welcomes go ahead for next phase of further development of Cavan Institute

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed the approval for Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) to proceed to the next stage of the proposal for a new campus at Cavan Institute.

 “I have been closely involved with the Cavan Institute from its early days and I served as the Cathaoirleach of the first Board of Management of the College. I have long advocated for increased accommodation at the existing Institute buildings at Cathedral Road, Cavan.  In the early 2000’s I was particularly glad to have worked with the then Cavan Vocational Education Committee in getting the Cathedral Road Campus built and it was the first dedicated Post Leaving Certificate College in our State.  Today it is great to see the government providing very substantial funding for its further development”, stated Brendan Smith TD.

The project envisages a state-of-the-art further education campus. This proposal is to serve 1,000 students by building a new centralised FET provision for Cavan Institute. The proposed new campus is part of the Government’s Further Education and Training (FET) ‘Colleges of the Future’ strategy, which seeks to streamline FET provision around the country, making pathways into Further Education and Training more accessible for all.

The new college campus will be complementary to and work in collaboration with the existing CMETB FET Campus on the Dublin Road, Cavan, to further strengthen the provision of FET programmes at Levels 5 and 6, as well as delivering on apprenticeships. Other exciting initiatives included in the proposal are higher education programmes in partnership with higher education institutes and part-time programmes.

Speaking today, Deputy Brendan Smith said, “This is a very welcome and significant day for Cavan as we confirm that the Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board have received approval to move to the next stage of a proposal for a new campus at Cavan Institute.

 “This project will greatly increase the number of students who can attend Cavan Institute and create even more pathways for further education for people across Cavan and the wider region. 

“I’ve always been a strong supporter of further education and giving people more opportunities to attain further qualifications. Fianna Fáil is the Party of education and I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure better education opportunities for people across Cavan and Monaghan.”

ENDS 

Brendan Smith calls on Dukes to retract comments made about ‘border people’

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has called on former Minister Alan Dukes to retract the comments he made on an RTÉ programme in which he said, “Border people have it in their blood. They are living in communities that have a long history of violence of different kinds. And they will more easily turn to it than anyone else will.”

Deputy Brendan Smith said the comments were outrageous and completely dismissive of the overwhelming majority of decent people in counties Cavan and Monaghan and the wider border region who abhor violence of any kind and stood against it over decades.  

Commenting Deputy Brendan Smith said, “I am, like many others in the Cavan-Monaghan region, outraged by the ill-informed comments made by Mr. Dukes. What he said last night is the very definition of tarring everyone with the same brush. To say that border people turn to violence more easily than anyone else is an atrocious comment to make.

“Those of us living in border communities were also victims of violence throughout the Troubles. Our communities have been victims of intimidation and threatening behaviour from a small minority of criminals.

“I’ve spoken many times of the devastation of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, of those left behind following the Belturbet bombing. I’ve stood with thousands of people along the border as they peacefully protested against violence throughout the Troubles and more recently as they seek answers.”

Deputy Brendan Smith said the fact that Mr. Dukes was a longstanding TD, former Minister, a former Leader of the Opposition as well as a well-respected man throughout this country meant that his comments were all the more incendiary. He called on Mr Dukes to immediately make a full statement retracting his comments.

ENDS

1/12/2022 @ 10.25 A.M.

€675K approved for development of outdoor recreational facilities – Brendan Smith TD

Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has welcomed the approval of €675K government funding towards the provision of outdoor recreational facilities in Cavan and Monaghan.

The projects include the development of a 5 km walkway at Bruse Hill (Coronea) with funding of €94,938.  This walk will commence at the Graveyard at Coronea Chapel and lead to the top of Bruse Mountain.  At that location there are very scenic views into three provinces including counties Cavan, Longford, Leitrim and Fermanagh with Gowna lakes and other waterways being very prominent features.

I compliment the Bruse Mountain Walkway Development Committee, Cavan County Council and Cavan Local Development on their work in bringing this project to this stage.  Along with Councillor Philip Brady and Councillor John Paul Feeley I was glad to support this initiative and when complete it will be another good amenity for locals and visitors to the area.

I commend the work of all the local Groups who worked along with Cavan and Monaghan County Councils and other statutory agencies in progressing these projects which will enhance the tourism product in both counties.

Approved Projects under ORIS Measure 2 & 3



 

County
ProjectDescriptionGrant
CAVAN
CavanArvaghDevelopment of a new 5km hill walking route€94,938
MONAGHAN
Rahans Lake – CarrickmacrossRahans Lake – Upgrade and development of Angling and Boating Facilities€ 79,962
Dartrey Forest – Recreational EnhancementsPhase 2 informal play areas, interpretation & access for all picnic areas.€200,000
Black Island, Lough MucknoUpgrade Trails on Black Island, Lough Muckno€500,000

An Post Helps Customers To Spot Scams

Tuesday, November 22nd Black Friday offers mean ever-increasing levels of in-store and online transactions.  An Post, the nation’s delivery partner wants everyone to enjoy their shopping sprees knowing that we are all united in beating the fraudsters.

An Post no longer  includes any payment links in texts or  emails so that customers can be clear about what is a genuine message and what is not, when they are shopping online or corresponding about orders or deliveries.

“Seeking out gifts for family and friends is an important part of the build up to Christmas and we want customers to feel as secure as possible so they can enjoy shopping online and steer clear of the scammers” says Julie Gill of the An Post Mails & Parcels customer team

“An Post will never ask a customer to pay charges or provide payment information through a link in a text or email. Customers should never ever click on any link asking for payment or delivery a customs charge.   Such fees should only ever be checked and  paid directly through anpost.com or at any local post office .

An Post has created a handy check list for customers to use when they do receive a text or email. The guide has been delivered nationwide and is also available at anpost.com

For customers buying online to send internationally, An Post reminds customers to send early and also watch out for the last dates of posting to ensure gifts are received on time.

The last dates for posting parcels to USA and International destinations is December 7th, Europe is December 13th, Great Britain is December 19th and Northern Ireland is December 20th,and posting within Ireland is December 22nd. There are different dates for posting letters which can be found on anpost.com/Post-Parcels/Christmas/christmas-postal-dates or your local post office

For further information, contact Angus Laverty, An Post Communications at 087-6867024.

Brendan Smith calls for removal of obstacles to allow all Irish third level students avail of financial state supports 

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has called for the removal of obstacles to allow all Irish students, regardless of whether they are studying in Ireland or outside the State, to receive State financial support towards their student fees. 

In a question to the Taoiseach in Dáil Eireann, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “In the coming weeks, the Government will introduce the €1,000 State financial support towards student fees. It is a once-off payment and is, unfortunately, not at present applicable to those studying in Northern Ireland, Britain or elsewhere outside our State. That is wrong. We have to encourage students to travel to study on a cross-Border basis, particularly in our own country. This needs to be revisited. 

“There is also the welcome introduction of the rental tax credit of €500 to parents of third level students paying their child’s rent in a tenancy registered with the Residential Tenancies Board, RTB. That should also be applicable to students whose parents are paying for registered accommodation outside the State.” 

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “Whatever obstacles exist to ensuring those two benefits are applied to all Irish students should be removed without delay. It is within the capacity of Government to ensure a level playing field and that students who, in many cases, did not obtain places in the State and are studying elsewhere are not disadvantaged.” 

In response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated: “(Deputy Brendan Smith) has consistently raised this issue. It was a significant initiative by Government to reduce student fees by €1,000 this year and €500 next September. There have been post-Brexit changes, generally speaking, in terms of the grant regime in Scotland vis-á-vis Irish students and fees. I will discuss this again with the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to see what can be done but it is not as straightforward as we would like. I will see what can be done about both issues the Deputy raised.” 

Brendan Smith welcomes GLAS payments of over €6.1m to Cavan and Monaghan farmers

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed GLAS advance payments worth €6,157,530 for 1,791 farmers in Cavan and Monaghan.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I am delighted that my colleague Minister Charlie McConalogue and his department have commenced these GLAS Advance payments to 1791 farmers in Cavan and Monaghan.

“The payments this week will be issued to 74.8% of GLAS participants and will reach farmers’ bank accounts in the coming days.

“Issuing payments to farm families in a rapid manner is a key priority of Fianna Fáil and I am proud of our track record in this space. These payments are an important income boost to farmers at this time of year and, of course, are a recognition of their significant contribution to the environmental achievements in the GLAS scheme.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added, “Today’s payment of just under €113m nationally brings the total payments made to date under GLAS to €1.29 billion. This investment will be surpassed in the incoming ACRES scheme as Minister McConalogue has secured €1.5bn for this flagship environmental scheme.”

Payments will continue to issue in outstanding cases on a regular basis. The Minister encouraged any farmers with queries in relation to GLAS to direct them by email to GLAS@agriculture.gov.ie

Brendan Smith welcomes €398,355 in advance payments for 536 sheep farmers in Cavan and Monaghan

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed €398,355 in advance payments for 536 sheep farmers in Cavan and Monaghan under Year 6 of the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I am pleased to see €398,355 in advance payments for 536 sheep farmers in Cavan and Monaghan under Year 6 of the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

“The extension of the scheme over the previous two years and the change to the reference year reflects the commitment of Fianna Fáil in Government to the sheep sector in Cavan and Monaghan and nationally.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added, “These advance payments at a rate of 85% of the full annual payment are an important support to sheep farmers in the delivery of key welfare actions and provides a financial boost to the individual farmers and the wider rural economy. The balancing payments for the scheme will issue in the second quarter of 2023.”

Deputy Smith continued: “This is the final year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, which was introduced in December 2016.

“Later this year, my colleague, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, will be launching the successor to this scheme, the Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS), which will also be aimed at sheep farmers with breeding ewes. The SIS will build on the progress made by the Sheep Welfare Scheme by providing support for actions that improve animal health and welfare in the sheep sector. 

“The introduction of this scheme will further demonstrate the continuing commitment of Fianna Fáil to the sheep sector for the coming years.”

In concluding, Deputy Smith urged any farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department of Agriculture immediately in order to facilitate payment. 

Brendan Smith welcomes GLAS payments of over €6.1m to Cavan and Monaghan farmers

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed GLAS advance payments worth €6,157,530 for 1,791 farmers in Cavan and Monaghan.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I am delighted that my colleague Minister Charlie McConalogue and his department have commenced these GLAS Advance payments to 1791 farmers in Cavan and Monaghan.

“The payments this week will be issued to 74.8% of GLAS participants and will reach farmers’ bank accounts in the coming days.

“Issuing payments to farm families in a rapid manner is a key priority of Fianna Fáil and I am proud of our track record in this space. These payments are an important income boost to farmers at this time of year and, of course, are a recognition of their significant contribution to the environmental achievements in the GLAS scheme.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added, “Today’s payment of just under €113m nationally brings the total payments made to date under GLAS to €1.29 billion. This investment will be surpassed in the incoming ACRES scheme as Minister McConalogue has secured €1.5bn for this flagship environmental scheme.”

Payments will continue to issue in outstanding cases on a regular basis. The Minister encouraged any farmers with queries in relation to GLAS to direct them by email to GLAS@agriculture.gov.ie

ENDS