I have had the honour of representing the people and communities of South Mayo in the Dáil since 2013 when the Constituency Commission created a new 5 seat constituency comprising Galway West and a significant part of South Mayo. If re-elected I pledge to continue to work for the people and communities of South Mayo locally and in the Dáil.
Over the last three years we have invested over €208 million in roads in Mayo.
The funding has progressed major projects including the N5 Westport to Turlough upgrade, improvement works to the N84 at locations including Ballinrobe and Shrule, and works to the N17 around Claremorris. Regional and Local Roads funding from the Government has enabled important improvement and safety works at locations including Cong, Cross, Ballinrobe, Robeen and Claremorris, among many others.
Working with my colleague Michael Ring TD, we reintroduced the Local Improvement Scheme with almost €4 million allocated to Mayo. This Scheme has enabled improvement works to a significant number of local roads that are much-used by communities.
Public transport is increasingly important in all areas, not just cities and large towns. In addition to State-supported bus routes, such as Bus Éireann’s Route 52 and 456 services, we launched Local Link, government-supported community-based public transport. In Mayo, Local Link is providing door-to-door services on request, as well as scheduled bus services on fixed routes.
I am a strong supporter of the Western Rail Corridor which I believe should be extended from Athenry to Tuam to Claremorris.
The Budget for Education is the highest it has ever been. Since 2016 we have invested over €41 million on school buildings and equipment for pupils in Mayo. All schools in Mayo have received funding under the Minor Works Scheme and for IT equipment.
In addition to new school accommodation under the Department’s standard programme, the Summer Works Scheme has enabled improvement and enhancement works at schools in Mayo including:
- Patrick’s Central National School, Kilmaine,
- Coláiste Cholmáin, Claremorris,
- Beacan Mixed National School, Claremorris,
- Gortjordan National School, Kilmaine,
- Ballinrobe Community School,
- Coláiste Mhuire, Tuar Mhic Eadaigh,
- Joseph’s National School, Ballinrobe,
- Gortskehy National School, Hollymount.
Funding has been allocated for works to be carried out this summer at schools in Mayo including:
- Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Feichin, Cross,
- John’s National School, Lugboy, Claremorris,
- Joseph’s National School, Ballinrobe,
- Scoil Náisiúnta Baile Cuisin, Cloghans Hill,
- Mount St. Michael, Claremorris.
The budget to support pupils with additional or special educational needs is at its highest level. In Mayo, over 365 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are supporting pupils with a further 41 Special Education Teachers working in mainstream schools.
Multi-million euro investment in GMIT with a strategic plan for the Castlebar campus and ring-fenced funding to create the new Connacht-Ulster Technological University.
Families and Community
Supporting families and communities is a key priority and, through sensible and responsible economic policies, investment continues to be made across Mayo. Key supports include:
- New Universal Childcare Scheme, supporting all families;
- Increased Paid Parental Leave and expanded Unpaid Leave;
- Funding for childcare providers with extra places;
- Targeted increases in social welfare supports such as the State Pension and fuel allowance;
- For the first time ever, social welfare supports, such as Jobseekers and Treatment Benefits, for the Self-Employed including local business-owners and farmers;
- Rural Regeneration and Development funding of:
- €2.1 million for an Indoor Sports Facility with an air dome in Claremorris
- €825,000 for the Ballinrobe Generation Project
- €969,387 for the development of a Geopark in the Joyce Country and Western Lakes Area of Mayo and Galway
- Funding for communities under the Town and Village Scheme which is enabling improvements to the library grounds and town hall in Ballinrobe and the Market Square area of Claremorris;
- A range of funding supports from the Department of Rural and Community Development, as established by Fine Gael in 2017, including funding for:
- Tidy Towns’ organisation including Tidy Towns’ groups in Kilmaine, The Neale, Shrule, Ballinrobe and Claremorris,
- Men’s Sheds in Ballinrobe and Claremorris, among others,
- Agriculture Shows including the Ballinrobe Show, the Claremorris Show and the Corrandulla Show;
- Over 2,100 older people through the Seniors’ Alert Scheme;
- CLAR funding for organisations such as first responder groups in Shrule and Claremorris, the Irish Red Cross in Mayo, St. John’s Ambulance (Mayo Division), Mayo Mountain Rescue Team, among others;
- Investment in our National Parks such as €1.9 million for upgrades to Connemara National Park and €2.1 million for 56km of cycleways in Ballycroy National Park;
- €20 million to redevelop the Sportsground, the home of Connacht Rugby;
- Sports Capital Funding for Mayo sports clubs and facilities including:
- Ballinrobe GAA Club – Pella, Training pitch & Mower – Gaelic Games – €59,856;
- Kilmaine Community Recreational Trust Company CLG – Drainage of Playing Pitch and Surface Remediation – €20,254;
- Neale GAA Club – New Pitch and Walkway Development – €62,006;
- Shrule Community Sports Field Ltd – Enhancement of substandard sports field facilities – Multi-sport- €75,149;
- Claremorris Boxing Club – The upgrading and improving of club facilities – €15,945;
- Claremorris Lawn Tennis Club Construct an all-weather tennis court enclosure – €55,240;
- Claremorris Squash Club Install Glass Back Wall on Squash Court – €4,445.
Fine Gael is the only party or group committed to bringing broadband to all parts of Ireland. The contract for the National Broadband Plan has been awarded and will see an investment of €145 million in Mayo bringing high-speed broadband to every home, farm and business in the county, some 36,390 premises. During 2020, 12 broadband connection points will be set up across Mayo to help provide access quickly.
- Under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan over 1,000 new homes have been built in Mayo.
- Over 370 new social homes built in Mayo last year including new homes in Ballinrobe.
- State owned land being used for housing with Government funding to service sites.
- The “Help to Buy” Scheme and Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans have been introduce, are working and will be expanded.
- Legislation has been passed to provide more certainty for renters.
- Over €6.7 million allocated to households in Mayo since 2016 for housing adaptation grants to help older people and people with a disability.
This year we are investing over €17 billion in our health service – the highest funding ever.
Targeted investment has enabled new facilities and services including:
- A new hospice for Mayo
- €13.3m for a new 77 bed Community Nursing Unit in Castlebar
- €4.3 million for upgrades to Mayo University Hospital including expansion of Endoscopy Suite
- New 50 bed Mental Health Unit for the West at UHG
- 75 single, ensuite room block at UHG
- €2.6 million for new Primary Care Centres for Ballinrobe and Claremorris
- Extra ambulance staff and the Air Ambulance Service
- Slaintecare funding for the West is improving care for osteoarthritis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, heart failure and cardiac care, dementia and Alzheimer’s, among others.
Other services introduced include:
- Free GP care for children
- Medical cards for every child with a disability
- GP visit cards for carers
- An extra 1 million in Home Help Hours in 2020
- Ring-fenced funding for the Fair Deal Scheme
Jobs and Business
Employment – up by over 20% in the West since 2016.
10,000 people in Mayo are working in IDA and Enterprise Ireland backed companies.
Fine Gael has introduced Jobseekers, invalidity and treatment benefits for self-employed people.
Paid Parental Leave and Paid Paternity Leave have been introduced and Parental Leave extended.
Local Enterprise Office in Mayo is working with over 230 new and growing businesses supporting over 1,220 jobs.
Údarás na Gaeltachta developing gteic digital and innovation hubs at six locations in Mayo including Tuar Mhic Éadaigh.