Denis Naughten

  • The decision by the HSE to close the Home Help Scheme to new entrants will trap carers in their homes and leave them unable to access a break from the 24/7 care they provide.

    That’s according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten who has warned that it will lead to a situation where families will have no choice but to admit older people to long term nursing home care.

    Deputy Naughten says the decision by the HSE to effectively ban the increase in home help hours to those who require more support and suspend the allocation of home help hours altogether to new applicants is a major reversal in policy.

  • Minister Denis Naughten says he's sorry the controversy over his conversation with a lobbyist from Independent News & Media has taken up 4 days of attention in the Dáil.

    The Roscommon-based Minister insists he did nothing wrong when he told the PR Executive that the proposed INM takeover of Celtic Media was likely to be referred to the Broadcasting Authority for scrutiny.

    It's alleged Mr Naughten’s intervention was insider information and possibly in breach of stock market rules, as it led to the conversation being shared with Denis O'Brien and no other INM shareholder.

    Minister Naughten again apologised in the Dáil this morning:


    The independent auditor reviewing the National Broadband Plan is to review new documents that have emerged from the Department of Communications.

    The papers reveal that former Communications Minister, Roscommon's Denis Naughten and his officials had two previously undisclosed meetings with the businessman leading a bid for the multi billion euro project.


    Deputy Naughten resigned last week over his contacts with David McCourt from the Enet consortium, that's now the only bidder left in the NBP process.

    Details of the meetings emerged from a trawl of diary meetings involving the former minister, senior officials and the members of the Enet group over the last two years.

    The minutes for all meetings have also been published.

    In a statement the department says it engages with Enet on other issues not related to the tendering process.

    All details will now be forwarded to Peter Smyth, the independent auditor to consider as part of his review into the handling of the bidding process.

    Mr. Smyth will submit a report to the Taoiseach within three weeks.





  • Local committees in Roscommon and Galway are being urged to apply for a regional festival fund, to help develop and event or festival to bring visitors into Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. 

    Roscommon-based TD Denis Naughten says the Government fund, which is run by Fáilte Ireland, is to recognise the important role that festivals will play in growing international tourist numbers, particularly in less-developed tourism areas such as Roscommon and East Galway.

    An overall fund of €570,000 is being provided to local authorities under the "Regional Festivals and Participative Events Programme", which is expected to support around 250 festivals.

    Deputy Naughten is urging local groups to apply for the funding, and also to register their event or festival with Fáilte Ireland to provide greater exposure and attract more visitors.

  • The former Minister for Communications has disputed a claim made by the Taoiseach that he only told him about additional meetings with David McCourt yesterday morning.

    Denis Naughten stepped down from his role at the cabinet table yesterday after it was revealed he met businessman David Mc Court in private, multiple times.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Denis Naughten said at this stage it a question of “he said he said” in terms of who said what between himself and the Taoiseach, but he stated categorically that as the Minister for Communications he did nothing wrong and was determined to provide better broadband and mobile telephone coverage to the people nationally who need it.


  • The Taoiseach has appointed Richard Bruton as Communications Minister to replace Denis Naughten who resigned on Thursday.

    A number of other ministerial appointments have been made as a result of the change.

    The new changes to cabinet announced by Leo Varadkar today will see Richard Bruton take over as Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

    That move will see former Chief Whip Joe McHugh take over as Minister for Education & Skills, the post vacated by Minister Bruton.

    Sean Kyne will take on the role of Minister for the Gaeltacht & the islands, he'll also assume the role of Chief Whip.

    Meanwhile Sean Canney has been promoted to the position of Minister of State at the Departments of Rural & Community Development and Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

    The Independent TDs appointment shores up his support for the government.

    All changes are subject to approval of the Dail and Cabinet - a vote on the appointments is due to take place on Tuesday.




  • Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the announcement of funding for the development of a marina at Lake O’Flynn.

    The marina, which will be developed by Ballinlough Development Association, will include berths for 24 angling boats, a floating jetty, a fishing stand which includes access for those with reduced mobility, a playground, parking and toilet facilities.

    Deputy Naughten said “I am delighted to see that this impressive project has been successful in its application for funding. The development of a floating jetty will help to develop the area as an angling destination as part of the new Hidden Heartlands tourism region and attract increased visitor numbers.

    The project is expected to cost in the region of €450,000.


  • 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.

  • Roscommon-based Independent Minister Denis Naughten is facing increasing pressure to withdraw support from the Government, over the closure of mental health facilities in his own constituency.

    A day care centre in Ballaghadereen is due to close shortly, while it's expected the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, which cares for patients with Alzheimers and dementia, will also close.

    Both facilities were discussed at a heated meeting on Friday between the HSE and local Oireachtas representatives, and Tony Canavan, Chief Operations Officer with the HSE has since stated that the Rosalie Unit will close in the long-term.

    He said a review is underway to assess the future care of the 12 residents at the facility, and the policy of no new admissions to the centre will not be reversed.

    Midwest News has been unable to make contact with Minister Denis Naughten this morning, but it's understood he walked out of the meeting on Friday in disgust.

    The Minister - who lost the FG whip in 2011 following the closure of the A& E unit at Roscommon Hospital - is expected to raise the matter with the Taoiseach when he returns from New York.

    Minister Naughten has also written to the Minister for Older People Jim Daly on foot of Friday's meeting, and will be seeking a meeting with him and the Health Minister Simon Harris this week.

    However, a spokesperson told the Irish Independent she could not comment on whether Minister Naughten is considering withdrawing his support from the minority Government if the matter is not resolved.

    Denis Naughten's constituency colleague, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, has called on Minister Naughten to stand by previous committments he made in relation to the Rosalie Unit, and said it's time to put people before politics.


  • The Minister for Communications has warned that people need to respect the office of the US President.

    Denis Naughten has refused to directly criticise fellow Government Ministers who've threatened to demonstrate during Donald Trump's planned visit here in November.

    But he has said that protesting won't solve any problems.

    The Taoiseach claims there's a standing invitation for any US President to come to Ireland, despite the visit coming 'out of the blue'.

    Denis Naughten agrees that President Trump is welcome here.

  • On the spot litter fines will be increased from €150 to €250 under new legislation being brought forward by the Environment Minister Denis Naughten.

    The Roscommon-based Minister has today published the 2017 National Litter Pollution Report, which shows that cigarette butts account for more than half the litter on our streets and roads.

    Cigarette-related litter accounts for 56% of waste, with packaging, food-related litter and sweet papers accounting for another 34% of litter.

    Minister Naughten told Midwest News  that smokers are responsible for much of the litter in our towns and communities....

  • The Environment Minister's planning to increase the fine for those who are throwing cigarettes on the ground.

    Roscommon based, Denis Naughten says it's going up from 150 euro to 250 euro for anyone who's caught.

    The 2017 National Litter Pollution Report shows cigarette butts account for more than half of the litter on our streets.

    Minister Naughten says they're causing widespread damage to our environment.

  • The independent review into the procurement process for the National Broadband Plan has found that former Minister Denis Naughten and businessman David McCourt did not influence the tender process for the plan.

    The report, by auditor Peter Smyth, was delivered to the Government last week and discussed at today's Cabinet meeting.

    The review was requested by the Taoiseach after it emerged that Roscommon Denis Naughten met Mr McCourt a number of times.

    However, the report concludes that neither the former minister not Mr McCourt had the opportunity to influence the conduct of the tender process in favour of Granahan McCourt.




  • A review of the National Broadband Plan would "plunge the whole project into uncertainty" according to the Communications Minister.

    He was responding to a Fianna Fáil motion calling for an urgent examination of the controversial process.

    The huge project has only one remaining bidder after Eir withdrew.

    But Minister Denis Naughten says a review will be counter-productive

  • Roscommon TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the findings of the independent review of the National Broadband Plan tender process, which concluded that he did not influence or seek to influence the conduct of the tender process in favour of Granahan McCourt, and that the process has not been tainted.

    The report by auditor Peter Smyth was published yesterday, and found the tendering process for the roll-out of broadband was not tainted by meetings Mr Naughten held with businessman David McCourt.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Deputy Naughten - who resigned as Communications Minister over the issue - welcomed the conclusion of this report, not just for himself he says, but for the 1.2 million people in rural Ireland waiting to be connected to high-speed broadband.

    He's now calling on the Government and elected TDs to carry through on the work he completed as Minister to ensure that every home and business in Ireland gains access to high speed broadband without an further delay.

    A decision should be made on the final tender for the National Broadband Plan in the next few weeks, according to the government, while the new Communications Minister Richard Bruton says Denis Naughten made the right decision to resign as Minister.

    Richard Bruton quoted the Smyth report when saying Mr Naughten's decision to step aside insulated the National Broadband Plan from any perception of bias.

    Minister Bruton, says despite that, Denis Naughten was right to resign:

  • Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten says he's 'hopeful' that the Ceann Comhairle will suspend the Dáil later today to allow a debate on cuts to home help hours take place.

    He says the move by the HSE to slash the allocation makes no sense as its cost is a fraction of that to keep someone in a nursing home.

    Deputy Naughten says quality of life is also an issue as it's important to keep people in their own community as long as possible.

  • It's emerged the elderly are being hit three times - for renting out their family home under the Fair Deal scheme.

    It means thousands of homes are lying vacant because of fears it could affect their means-test when going into a nursing home.

    Independent Deputy Denis Naughten says they're being caught for the value of the home - the rent it could raise - and the money deposited in their account.

    He says the Government needs to take urgent action 'before whole streets are left derelict' across the country.

  • The government's being urged to provide immediate funding to prevent major job losses at Bord na Móna in the midlands.

    Unions claim all 2,000 jobs in the company are under threat because of a financial crisis.

    It's due to peat-harvesting being phased out, and Bord na Móna struggling to find other employment for staff.

    Former environment minister and Roscommon TD Denis Naughten says there are solutions that can prevent job losses.

  • The Communications Minister Denis Naughten remains under pressure today over the controversy surrounding  a proposed merger of Independent News & Media and the Celtic Media group.

    It's alleged that the Roscommon-based Minister told a representative of INM about a Broadcasting Authority review of the merger deal - two months before he made it public.

    This has led to claims of insider information being given to Independent News and Media, and its largest shareholder Denis O’Brien.

    In the Dail yesterday evening, Minister Denis Naughten says he discussed the issue in a personal capacity, and denied any wrongdoing.


    However,  Fianna Fáil's Communications Spokesperson Timmy Dooley took issue with the Minister discussing the issue with a PR executive working for INM in a personal capacity.


    Last night, the Taoiseach Leo Varadker said Minister Naughten had given a clear explanation.



  • The Minister for Communications has resigned his position.

    In a statement to the Dail this afternoon, Denis Naughten said the Taoiseach asked him to reflect on his position, and he felt Leo Varadker no longer had confidence in him.

    The Roscommon TD has been under pressure to explain his contacts with businessman David Mc Court, who is part of a consortium bidding for the tender for the national broadband plan.

    In a defiant speech, Mr Naughten told the Dáil that there was no interference in the procurement process for the NBP, and he criticised the media and the opposition for what he called loose language and irresponsible politics.

    Minister Naughten said, however, that he hopes the broadband plan can be allowed to continue.