Dara Calleary

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has accused the Agriculture Minister of abandoning beef farmers as they struggle in the face of plummeting prices.

    Dara Calleary says that since July of this year prices are down by 33% and believes that despite this the Government have turned a blind eye to the hardship many farmers are suffering.

    Deputy Calleary feels farmers are finding it incredibly difficult to remain viable and is urging Minister Creed to take action and examine what supports could be made available to the farmers in most need of assistance.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to publish a list of factories which were found to have broken EU carcass trim rules.

    Dara Calleary has made the call after it emerged that a number of fines were imposed on factories which failed to comply with the regulations this year.

    Trimming takes place before the  carcass is weighed, and farmers are paid based on the post-trimmed weight.

    Deputy Calleary says farmers are naturally angry following the news that more than 20 breaches of carcass trim regulations have been uncovered so far this year and they are particularly annoyed with the small penalties which have been imposed by the department.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD is highlighting the massive under-spend in rural schemes, despite a number of announcements in recent weeks of successful projects across Co Mayo.

    While welcoming any funding for Mayo communities, Deputy Dara Calleary says there's often a two year gap between when the announcement is made, and when the money is drawn down, due to difficulty with the co-financing of the project.

    Usually Mayo County Council has to provide a certain percentage of the funding, and it's putting financial pressure on the local authority at a time when they can barely afford essential services like hedge-cutting and repairing pot-holes, according to the Fianna Fail TD.

    He believes the Department of Rural, Community & Gaeltacht Affairs needs to review the model of co-funding, as he says there was an underspend of over €20 million in the Town & Village Renewal Scheme for monies allocated in 2017 and 2018, and -  of the €52 million allocated for 2019 under the Rural Regeneration Scheme - just €14 million has been drawn down - representing a 74% underspend.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says his party is committed to protecting the future of the CE, RSS and Tús Schemes.

    Fianna Fail is bringing forward a Bill to recognise and support these schemes and ensure they are maintained.

    Deputy Calleary says Fine Gael is pushing its Jobpath activation programme, while attempting to reduce the number of places available on schemes such as Tús. He says this is a retrograde step and threatens communities in Mayo and across the country.

    According to Deputy Calleary, the Fianna Fail Bill will ensure that people will have the option to leave the Jobpath programme if a place on one of the rural or social schemes opens up.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD says it’s now important that the Ballina Digital Hub Project is moved forward quickly as possible.

    Dara Calleary says it is also vital that the provision of adequate Broadband for the entire town and region is kept as a priority issue.

    Deputy Calleary says he is pleased that the Government seems to have finally realised that there is life outside the Pale and more specifically west of the River Shannon.

    He also says that it’s important for Mayo County Council to design the project in a manner that ensures that as many local contractors can qualify to tender to build and develop it.

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    A Mayo Fianna Fail TD will launch a new Bill to improve safety on all-terrain vehicles, also known as Quad Bikes.

     

    Dara Calleary says there are currently no legal rules in place requiring manufacturers or farmers to have roll cages on their quads.

     

    There are also no health and safety rules requiring the mandatory use of protective headgear.

     

    Deputy Calleary is bringing forward the Bill following a recent recommendation from the County Coroner in Mayo that anti-roll bars be made compulsory in all quad bikes.

     

    The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Bill 2018 will make it mandatory for quad bikes to have anti-roll bars and for users to wear protective headgear.

  • The government says a decision on the future of the National Broadband Plan will be delayed until Easter.

    It received the final tender for the contract in September last year and had said a decision would be made quickly.

    However the deadline has been delayed a number of times as they continue to examine the bid from Granahan McCourt.

    Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary says there needs to be progress made as soon as possible.

  • Thousands of pensioners are due to receive letters shortly to outline what a review of the changes in rate bands for the State pension will mean for them.

    Earlier this year, Minister Regina Doherty announced a U-turn, after Fianna Fail requested that a punitive change introduced by the previous Fine Gael / Labour Government, which resulted in many women who took time out of the workplace being penalised in their pension entitlements, be reversed.

    The Department has now started sending out letters to pensioners to explain the review process.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary has welcomed progress on this matter.

  • The HSE and Department of Health are dragging their heels in relation to the proposed extension of the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital – that’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who questioned the Health Minister on the issue yesterday.

    Last year, Minister Simon Harris announced that temporary modular units would be installed to relieve overcrowding at a number of hospitals, including Mayo University Hospital, but over a year later, the extra accommodation has not yet been put in place.

    In the meantime, Deputy Calleary says staff and patients are putting up with intolerable conditions at the Emergency Department in Castlebar, and he called for an urgent response from the Minister and from the HSE.

    Minister Harris said yesterday that the HSE Estates team had visited the hospital in Castlebar last week, and there will be further progress from there.

    Deputy Calleary says he will continue to pursue this matter with the Minister until work gets underway on installing the modular units, ahead of next Winter.

  • The Government must intervene urgently in the industrial dispute involving CE scheme supervisors, who are due to begin five days of strike action across the country next Monday.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who says such a strike would have a major impact on the operation of Community Employment schemes - including those providing childcare and elderly-care.

    The 1,250 staff involved have no access to an occupational pension scheme  - despite a Labour Court recommendation to that effect in 2008.

    Deputy Dara Calleary is now calling on the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to intervene urgently, and try to resolve the ongoing dispute...

  • The Winter Healthcare Plan, published recently by the HSE, has been described as "a sham plan" by a Mayo Fianna Fail TD.

    The Saolta Hospital group admitted to Midwest News last week that, despite the additional funding provided for the Winter Plan in the western region, no extra beds will open at either Mayo or Galway University Hospitals.

    Meanwhile, updated figures show that 3,247 bed days have been lost at Mayo University Hospital since the start of this year.

    Fianna Fail's deputy leader Dara Calleary says this figure represents people in hospital who do not need to be there, but he claims the required step-down services are not in place to support their discharge from hospital.

  • The Government plans to provide 300 broadband connection points bear the hallmarks of making it up as you go along.

    That’s the view of Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary who has appealed to the government to answer questions surrounding cost, speed and the status of procurement of the connection points.

    During last week’s Points of Question Deputy Calleary sought information on the 300 broadband connection points, their speed, where they will be located, how much they will cost and whether people would be able to work from them.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News he wants to know which areas of Mayo will be serviced by the connection points among other details.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has criticised the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection as pensioners in County Mayo are left wondering while a pension review is underway to consider their entitlement to an increase in the State Contributory Pension.

    A review in relation to post Budget 2012 band rates is currently underway.

    Dara Calleary says the changes brought in by the previous government were a disaster.

    Deputy Calleary says he fought hard to have the Government rectify these issues and a review was commenced.

  • Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has been appointed Fianna Fáil Director for Local Elections by Party Leader Michéal Martin TD.

    Deputy Calleary will have responsibility for the local election candidates across all constituencies as they contest the local elections for Fianna Fáil on May 24th.

    Deputy Calleary commented, “It is an honour to be appointed our Party’s Director for the Local Elections. As Deputy Leader I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with our local election candidates across our country over the past number of months as we formulate policy in advance of our upcoming elections.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has criticised the lack of progress of upgrading the N26 Ballina to Foxford road.

    Dara Calleary says his Government done a section of the road back in 2010 and says it needs to be made a priority in the wake of 2 road crashes on the stretch this week alone.

    Deputy Calleary has raised his concerns with Midwest Radio News.

  • The Communications Minister Denis Naughten says he sincerely regrets expressing a personal opinion on what would happen with the proposed INM takeover of Celtic Media.

    But the Roscommon-based Minister insists he did nothing wrong.

    He's come under criticism for allegedly telling a representative of Independent News and Media, Eoghan O'Neachtain, that the proposed merger with Celtic Media would be referred to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for scrutiny.

    The conversation took place before the Minister made that information public, and it's argued this would have given INM a competitive advantage, in breach of stock market rules.

    But Minister Naughten claims he said that sending it to the BAI was likely, not guaranteed:

    Meanwhile Fianna Fail is not calling for Denis Naughten’s resignation, but wants the Taoiseach to explain why he’s happy with the Minister’s explanation of the matter.

    Last night, Leo Varadker said Minister Naughten had given a clear explanation of what happened, but Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the issue is very serious, and the Taoiseach has to explain why he’s happy with Minister Naughten’s explanation.

  • A Mayo TD has raised concerns about the future of the Mayo Power plant in Killala with Minister Richard Bruton in the Dail today.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary sought the urgent debate with the Minister in the Dail following the decision by the energy regulator to issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    Minister Bruton told Deputy Calleary that he is not in  a position to intervene directly but the regulator is answerable to the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Environment.

    Deputy Calleary has now written to the Chair of that Committee, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton to ask that she request the regulator appears before the committee to address these concerns.

    Some €95 million has already been spent on the €255m high-efficiency combined heat and power plant in Killala.

    Work on the plant was halted in 2016 when one of the investors withdrew from the project.

    New investors then came on board to complete the 45 megawatt biomass-fuelled power plant, and they applied for the necessary consents.

    Renewed consents were was given by Mayo County Council, the EPA and ESB Networks, while the energy regulator has taken since last May to respond.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News this evening that it is now of the utmost importance that this issue is looked at urgently.

  • The latest figures on IDA site visits reveal a stark divide between rural and urban areas when it comes to Foreign Direct Investment.

    That's according to the Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary, who says the latest figures show only 7 visits to Mayo so far this year, compared to over 200 site visits in Dublin.

    Client companies were brought on 42 site visits to Galway since the start of the year, compared to just 2 visits to Roscommon.

    Mayo TD Dara Calleary says that, despite the Government's claim that quality jobs are being created right across the country, the reality is very different.

  • Mayo TD Dara Calleary is believed to be one of the front-runners to be appointed Minister for Agriculture, after Barry Cowen was sacked last night.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the move, after Mr Cowen refused to provide further public statements on his 2016 drink driving offence.

    Micheál Martin told the Dáil the Garda report he received on the matter yesterday raised additional issues that Barry Cowen refused to address publicly.

    He said this was untenable and undermined the work of the government.

    In a statement Barry Cowen said he was surprised and disappointed with the decision.

    He also queried why the Taoiseach backed him in the afternoon and withdrew that support the same night.

    Cowen strongly insists he did not try to evade gardaí when he was stopped for the drink driving offence, and said the decision has undermined and potentially prejudiced his entitlement to fair process.

    His successor will be appointed today.

    It could be Dara Calleary - although Charlie McConalogue and Galway's Anne Rabbitte are also believed to be in the running for the job.

  • The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., has today announced the award of grants worth €1.2 million to 93 local community groups and micro enterprises by six of the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups established under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. 

    The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. 

    Announcing the first tranche of grant awards for 2020, Minister Calleary said, “The FLAG Scheme under my Department’s EMFF Seafood Development Programme is unique in having representatives of our traditional fishing communities make the funding award decisions so that vital local funding gets to the many community development groups and events in our fishing communities, together with important development funding to micro enterprises involved in fisheries and aquaculture, marine tourism and marine leisure activities. 

    Minister Calleary added, “The FLAG Scheme has been operating for just a few years now and with its €12 million allocation under my Department’s EMFF Programme, it has gone from strength to strength.  This is testament not just to the demand for such local development funding but very much to the hard work of the local volunteers to make up the boards of each of our seven FLAGs.”