Brendan Smith calls for improved compensation payment levels for cattle and herds depopulated by TB

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has called for an improvement on the compensation payment levels for cattle and herds that are depopulated due to TB.

Speaking in a debate with Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “It is devastating for a farmer when his or her herd has to be partially or totally depopulated. We know that herds are built up over a considerable length of time. There is a big investment and big commitment by the individual farmer, and we do not switch on or off the breeding or development of herds. The current compensation levels do not reflect the reality of the prices paid in marts today.”

In response, Minister McConalogue stated: “I thank Deputy Brendan Smith for raising this issue and for his ongoing advocacy on behalf of the farming community. As part of the work of the TB forum, a dedicated financial working group comprising representatives from my Department and the farming organisations was established 16 months ago to review the current financial model of the TB programme. Its remit includes a review of compensation schemes with respect to all types of bovine herds. Recommendations from the finance working group will be submitted to the TB forum for consideration.”

Cavan and Monaghan TD Brendan Smith urged the Minister to ask the working group to expedite its work, adding: “I have concerns about the compensation being adequate for pedigree cattle. Those of us who were reared on farms and represent rural communities take great pride in looking at quality animals at our shows every year and in visiting individual farmers. I have a concern that valuable pedigree lines could be lost. 

“I know of some individual farmers who win national awards every year and would have a number of substantive pedigree herds. If they are unfortunate enough to have a partial or total depopulation, it will mean financial ruin for them. We need to address that particular matter. I emphasise again that our farmers have built up quality herds over the years. When disease comes into a herd it is, to use a phrase we have often heard, like a death in the family. Farmers take such pride in the work on their farms and in building up herds and having the quality produce we all champion in this country. We talk about the quality of the food we export to so many countries throughout the world. We need to ensure the primary producer is adequately compensated to meet all costs.”

Minister McConalogue confirmed that he had asked that all of the work be completed as quickly as possible, explaining: “The working group will meet at the end of this month and I look forward to progress being made there. Overall, we can take heart from the fact that by everyone working together in the TB forum and by agreeing the new TB strategy, we are making progress. We can make real progress on that in the time ahead by coming together and working together. The financial aspects of that are important and the finance working group is considering those in detail. It will produce its report very soon and I am looking forward to that.”

ENDS

FUNDING FOR OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES – BRENDAN SMITH T.D.

“I welcome the allocation of more than €500,000 for the development of a number of outdoor adventure projects in Cavan and Monaghan under the government’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Eight projects in County Cavan will receive total grant-aid of €212,075 and nine projects in County Monaghan will benefit with total funding of €291,330.

These projects will enhance existing outdoor recreation facilities and help to develop new amenities which will be an important resource for local communities and visitors to our region.  Easy access to outdoor amenities in every community is beneficial for all age groups.

I compliment Cavan County Council, Monaghan County Council, Monaghan Integrated Development and local community groups who worked together to bring these projects to this stage.  The commitment of local community groups throughout both counties, such as Bawnboy Tidy Towns Committee in their work in advancing the Bawnboy Heritage Trail, is critical to the success of this scheme” stated Brendan Smith TD.

ENDS

AUGUST 3 2022

Brendan Smith: Urgent need to protect farming and agri-food sector 

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has reiterated his call for the government to ensure that farming and the agri-food sector are not adversely impacted by sectoral emissions targets.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “It is essential that the importance of this sector in its very sizable contribution to the national economy and also its role in food security are taken fully into account in all assessments in relation to emissions reductions.” 

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “Over many years a very modern and progressive farming and agri-food sector has been developed with very significant investment by the State, the European Union and by the farming community.  

“Our farming systems and food production are environmentally friendly and sustainable and their role in food production and food security should not in any way be underestimated,” concluded Deputy Smith.

ENDS

Finished Ulster Canal redevelopment will ‘considerably enhance’ tourism as Phase 2 contracts signed – Brendan Smith 

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has lauded the signing of contracts for Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal Redevelopment, adding that the finished project will “considerably enhance” local tourism.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “This project includes the development of a new Marina, two new access bridges and the provision of an amenity area, restoration of 1km of canal and development of a looped walk. These substantial works which will begin shortly will be completed in 2023.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “The recent announcement by the Taoiseach of a further €40 million for Phase 3 of the Restoration of the Ulster Canal is critical in advancing this entire project which will also be funded through the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

“The restoration of the Ulster Canal is a major cross border project which will considerably enhance our tourism product at a local level, providing a new amenity for local residents and visitors, will generate economic activity and assist in job creation. This waterway will also be an integral part of our All Ireland navigable inland waterways network which is a powerful natural resource and such a key part of our national tourism infrastructure and attraction.”

Deputy Smith added: “In this area we have all seen the benefits of developing the Erne/Shannon Waterway which was an extremely forward-looking project and undertaken at a very difficult time on our island in the early 1990s.  Linking up these waterways will be a further welcome tourism attraction bringing benefits to many parts of our island.  

“The very significant funding allocated under the Shared Island Fund, initiated by the Taoiseach, demonstrates clearly the potential of this initiative to develop cross-border and All Ireland projects for the benefit of all the people of this country. The border region will be a major beneficiary of such investment,” concluded Brendan Smith TD.

ENDS

Letter drop to Residents of New Rd Bailieborough, 25-07-22

                                                                                                25th July 2022

Re: Junction Tightening and New Footpath Works

New Road & Church Street, Bailieborough

Dear Resident,

This letter is to advise you in advance of essential development works at the junction of R165 Church Street and New Road. The works include a raised pedestrian crossing, reducing the width of existing junction to reduce traffic speeds and create a safer crossing point for pedestrians and school children. The public footpath from the zebra crossing to the entrance gate of the Church of Ireland will also be reconstructed and widened. The works will be funded under the  National Transport Authority’s Active Travel Scheme.

The appointed contractor is S. Wilkin & Sons Limited, is anticipated to commence works in early August. Works are expected to last for approximately three weeks. Whilst every effort will be made to minimize disruption, there may be some unavoidable disruptions to local residents in the course of these works.

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We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation during these essential works. If you have any questions or comments about the scheme, please feel free to contact us.

Bailieborough-Cootehill Municipal District   

c.c. BB-CH MD Cllrs

Brendan Smith welcomes new grant scheme to support home ownership and tackle vacancy in towns and villages across Cavan/Monaghan

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed the recent Croí Cónaithe Towns Scheme which offers grants of €30,000 to €50,000 for first time buyers in order to support the refurbishment of empty homes while breathing new life into our towns and villages. 

Deputy Smith said, “I’m delighted to see this new €50m fund under Housing For All which will support more people to live in our towns and villages by refurbishing currently vacant properties.

“A priority of the Government’s Housing For All plan is to encourage refurbishment of vacant properties to boost housing supply.

“This new scheme offers grants of €30,000 to €50,000 for first time buyers who wish to refurbish a vacant property in a town or village across the country.

“This scheme will support people’s access to home ownership while also breathing life in towns and villages across Cavan and Monaghan.”

ENDS

25/07/2022

Brendan Smith welcomes AIB’s decision to halt cashless branch plans across Ireland

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed the decision by AIB to halt plans to move 70 local branches to a cashless service.

Following an update from AIB today, Deputy Smith commented, “There was widespread concern and deep disappointment when AIB announced plans to stop providing cash at many local branches across the country earlier this week.

“Myself and many of my Fianna Fáil party colleagues immediately sought a change of strategy from AIB on this deeply unfair move.

“Withdrawing cash services from branches will leave many of our most vulnerable people in towns across Ireland without cash banking services, with some customers having to travel an hour to access cash and ultimately getting left behind in terms of being able to effectively deal with their personal finances on a day-to-day basis.” 

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “I am pleased to see that AIB have now decided to change strategy and I will work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the voices of those most vulnerable are heard and they get all the support they deserve and need.”

ENDS

22/07/2022

Funding for Festivals in Cavan and Monaghan

“I welcome the approval by the Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD of €18,045 for 8 festivals in Cavan and Monaghan. 

Minister Martin approved total funding nationally of €122,045 for 34 events and there are 8 successful applicants in our own constituency.

This funding is being provided under the Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools scheme to assist in the further development and promotion of Ireland’s cultural tourism product. These festivals are important attractions for local communities and visitors.

Organising such festivals takes a lot of hard work and commitment by volunteers and this government funding gives some help in meeting the substantial costs in hosting these events which are an important part of community life ”, stated Brendan Smith TD.

List of projects below –

ApplicantProject DescriptionCountyFunding allocated
Bailieborough Creative HubA series of guided workshops and ‘plein air’ sessions using a number of different creative techniques (paint, textile, photography, written word etc). A exhibition will be held during the Summer Showcase 2022 to coincide with the Bailieborough Mid-Summer FestivalCavan€3,045
Not Your Average Hooley (NYAH)A Festival of Connection: Six  musicians, singers & dancers to visit  Six  Nursing/Care Residential Homes throughout Cavan Cavan€2,600
Cootehill Branch, Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann16th Annual Gerry Whelan Memorial Traditional Irish Week End to be held in the Town of Cootehill, Co. Cavan, over week end September 9/10/11th 2022.Cavan €1,000
Cavan Arts FestivalCAF is an emerging, innovative multi-disciplinary arts festival in Cavan Town programming includes
arts, outdoor arts, site specific work & “uncategorisable” work
Cavan €3,500
Muckno Mania FestivalA 3 day arts and cultural festival, which  promotes free public participation and engagement in the arts, cultural and leisure activitiesMonaghan€2,500
Teach Solais Community Development CLGÓMÓS – Culture FestivalCavan€2,500
Bailieborough Mid-Summer Festival & Town EventsOne day community street festival to support local artists, musicians and entertainersCavan€2,000
Mullahoran GFCA country music festival held over three nightsCavan€1,000
Total  €18,045

AIB proposals a further blow to Rural Ireland – Smith 

The proposal by Allied Irish Bank to turn 70 branches into cashless outlets represents a further significant reduction in the provision of financial services, particularly in rural Ireland.

This comes at a time when 2 retail banks are exiting this State and more than a million customers have to open new accounts. In various Dáil debates I, along with others, had strongly argued for the establishment of a banking review in this country with all stakeholders participating. It is most disappointing that AIB make this proposal in the middle of this important review.

I welcome the bank’s decision to recruit more staff and I hope they will be employed in this country. Unfortunately there is no mention of additional staff to deal with customers on a person to person basis.

20/07/2022

20th July 2022

HSE Media Release

Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo

Five choices for vaccination in Cavan Monaghan this week

A total of five pop-up COVID-19 clinics will be held across Cavan and Monaghan this week.

The first is taking place in Virginia Health Centre, Virginia, Co. Cavan today, Wednesday July 20th.

The clinic will operate between 1pm and 4pm.

Vaccinations available:

  • Dose 1, Dose 2 and booster vaccines for those aged 12 years and over
  • Second booster vaccinations for those aged 65 and over

A pop- up vaccination COVID-19 Clinic will be held in Mullagh Health Centre, Mullagh, Co. Cavan on Friday July 22nd from 1pm- 4pm.

Vaccinations available:

  • Dose 1, Dose 2 and booster vaccines for those aged 12 years and over
  • Second booster vaccinations for those aged 65 and over

In Monaghan a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held in Ballybay Health Centre, Main Street, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan on Thursday July 21st from 2pm to 5pm.

Vaccinations available:

  • Dose 1, Dose 2 and booster vaccines for those aged 12 years and over
  • Second booster vaccinations for those aged 65 and over

On Friday July 22nd two clinics will held at Monaghan Primary Care Centre, St Davnet’s Campus, Monaghan, H18 DE78.

The first clinic runs between 10.30am and 11am.

Vaccinations available :

Dose 1 and Dose 2 for those aged 5-11 years

The second clinic will run between 11.30am and 4pm.

Vaccinations available:

  • Dose 1, Dose 2 and booster vaccines for those aged 12 years and over
  • Second booster vaccinations for those aged 65 and over

Finally a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held in Smithboro Health Centre on Saturday July 23rd from 10 am to 12 noon.

Vaccinations available:

  • Dose 1, Dose 2 and booster vaccines for those aged 12 years and over
  • Second booster vaccinations for those aged 65 and over

Please note those aged 5-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Operational Manager, Cavan and Monaghan Covid-19 Vaccination Service, Paula Loughran said “Our pop-up vaccination teams will continue to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations across Cavan and Monaghan this summer. We would ask that those who are due their boosters would come to any of the venues in Cavan or Monaghan this week for their vaccinations.”

In addition, Mobile vaccination teams will continue to operate through the summer to deliver vaccinations to those who are homebound and to residents living in long term residential centres (LTRCs). 

ENDS

20/07/2022