Denis Naughten

  • People attending hospital injury units across the country is to have their charges cut from €100 to €75 in the coming days on foot of a proposal by Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten.

    Deputy Naughten proposed in the Dáil that in order to better utilise Roscommon and the other injury units in hospitals across the country, which have access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and significantly shorter waiting times than emergency departments, there should be a reduced hospital charge.

    The Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed he is in the process of drafting a change to the charges which will be implemented within the coming days to encourage patients to consider this as an option for appropriate injuries.

  • Independent Deputy Denis Naughten has been informed by the Minister for Health that the ground works at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, in advance of construction of the new 50 bed ward block, will take nine months to complete with an expected finish date of 25th May 2021.

    The enabling works are required in advance of construction of the new 50 bed ward block, a commitment which was secured from Government in Project Ireland 2040 and which was delivered upon by Minister Harris in October.

    Deputy Naughten says while there is no doubt that Covid-19 has been a factor with this delay, so too has the failure of officials to follow through in a timely manner on the commitments.

    It is now expected that construction of the new 50 bed ward block will be delayed until the middle of 2021, which he says is disappointing. 

    The Roscommon deputy says he is determined to ensure this Government follows through on the commitments he secured during the term of the last Government.

  • The Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon could be reopened under a new local organisation.

    The Cuisle Alliance, originally initiated by Deputy Denis Naughten along with a number of other public representatives and community volunteers, has decided to formally apply to the World Missionaries to have an interim 12-month lease for the Cuisle Complex.

    If the initial lease is successful, a 25-year lease would then be sought.

    The Alliance will also seek long-term funding to ensure the future of the centre.

    Deputy Naughten a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to put a new model in place that would continue to provide the respite that was available to Cuisle.

  • 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.





  • Electricity bills will jump by €54 a year from this Thursday to subsidise renewable electricity, and according to Roscommon-Galway Deputy Denis Naughten, the hike is “completely unjustifiable”.


    He says that despite the jump in cost, there will be 44,000 less homes supplied with green energy.


    Under a decision taken during the summer by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) electricity bills will go up by €54 from 1st October under the Public Service Obligation (PSO) to subsidise the cost of generating renewable electricity, mainly from wind.


    The Independent TD claims, however, that hidden in the detail is the fact that in the next 12 months the regulator expects that 83 MW less renewable electricity will be generated which would be enough to power 44,000 homes with green electricity.


    Deputy Naughten has contacted Deputy Brian Leddin, Chair of the Dáil Committee on Climate Action, requesting that the regulator be brought before the committee immediately to explain why families are facing such hikes.

  • 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.




  • An Independent TD is urging the public to consider using the Injury Unit at Roscommon where they can be treated within an hour, rather than waiting in overcrowded Emergency Departments like Mayo University Hospital and Portiuncula.

    That’s the view of Denis Naughten who says patients should also ask GP’s if they can have tests or x-rays in Roscommon Hospital rather than spending hours in an emergency department waiting to see a doctor before accessing x-rays or scans.

    Last Friday there were 35 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital which was the third highest in the country.

    Deputy Naughten says Roscommon’s injury unit needs to be better utilised which in turn would free up emergency departments across the region.

  • 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....

  • Out-of-hours flu vaccine clinics will be held in the coming weeks, to facilitate access for working families and schoolchildren.

    The Minister for Health Simon Donnelly has confirmed to Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten that evening and weekend clinics will be held, after Deputy Naughten pointed out that schoolchildren and families should be able to get the vaccine at a convenient time for them.

    The Independent TD says the only way our health service can manage a surge in Covid-19 infection this Winter is if we can rule out the possibility that the patient has flu - as the symptoms are so similar.

    Deputy Naughten told Midwest Radio this morning that the public must be actively encouraged to have the flu jab, and children the flu drops.

  • 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