At Oireachtas Committee I repeated my call for full a investigation into Dublin-Monaghan and Belturbet Bombings.

Govt must wake up to ongoing jobs crisis in Border Region – Smith

brendan-smithFianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Border Region Development, Deputy Brendan Smith, has accused the Government of sleep-walking through the ongoing jobs crisis in the border region.

According to the latest Live Register figures, the Border region is lagging far behind the rest of the country when it comes to tackling the jobs crisis.

Deputy Smith explained, “As of the end of March, there were 6,553 people on the Live Register in Cavan and 5,885 people on the Live Register in Monaghan. That’s a tiny decrease from the 6,713 and 6,012 respectively at the end of February. The decrease is more than offset by the numbers who have been forced to leave the area for work, the numbers who have dropped off the live register to engage in education and training and the numbers who have been kicked off the Live Register because their Job Seekers entitlements have expired.
“It means that we have seen virtually no improvement in the employment situation in Cavan, Monaghan and right across the border region. It adds to the strong sense that there is a two-tiered recovery underway in this country. While Dublin may be benefiting from some improvements, this region is being left behind. There has been a major fall-off in IDA visits to this region over the past three years and little or no focus by this Government in creating jobs in Cavan, Monaghan and the border region.

“It’s extremely frustrating for job seekers across Cavan and Monaghan to hear the Government praising itself for the ‘improvements’ in the labour market, when unfortunately there is little evidence of any improvements in communities across the border. The Government cannot afford to sit back and claim that we no longer have a jobs crisis. This is simply not true. Over 200 people a day are still emigrating. There are now 180,000 people across the country who have been out of work for over 12 months. And we have serious regional imbalances in employment rates that seem to be growing month on month.

“I am once again calling on the Government to recognise the extent of the job crisis in the border region and start making a targeted effort to create jobs here. We cannot continue to allow a situation where parts of the country experience some economic recovery while other parts, like Cavan and Monaghan, are left behind. It’s time that this Government made this region a priority.”

Smith welcomes progress on St. Mary’s National School, Virginia building project

Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D. Brendan Smith has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Education and Skills to restore the proposed building project for St. Mary’s National School, Virginia to his Department’s School Building Programme. He stated that unfortunately Minister Quinn had in March 2012 taken this particular project off the Department’s Building Programme and considerable progress had been made at that stage in planning and design work following the appointment of a Design Team for this project in February 2010.

Brendan Smith complimented the Principal, the Board of Management and the Parents’ Association on their ongoing work in highlighting the need for additional new permanent accommodation at St. Mary’s and he has urged the Department to advance this project to construction stage as quickly as possible.

“There is a clear and undeniable case for advancing this building project to construction stage at the earliest possible date and such permanent accommodation, both classrooms and ancillary accommodation is badly needed”, stated the Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D.