Deputy Denis Naughten

  • Roscommon Independent deputy Denis Naughten has sought reassurance from Minister Charlie Flanagan that Roscommon Town will retain its status as a Garda Divisional Headquarters in any re-organisation of Garda Divisions.

    He says recent reports on a draft proposal for the Garda re-organisation of the force is suggesting that the Roscommon/Longford Division would be merged with Mayo under the changes which are due to be introduced at the end of the year.

    This would mean that there would be a single Garda Divisional Headquarters for this new super-division and deputy Naughten says the current Garda HQ in Roscommon Town is geographically well suited to service this expanded area.

    He says no final decision has been made on the re-configuration of the divisions but that people are concerned that Roscommon could lose out in the process.


  • A former cabinet minister is calling for more talks to be held immediately to try to resolve the beef-farming dispute.

    Two rounds of negotiations were held recently between Beef Plan and Meat Industry Ireland, which represents factories.

    But farmers failed to secure the price increases they wanted  and unofficial protests have resumed outside some meat factories.

    Independent Roscommon TD and former environment minister Denis Naughten is calling for mediation talks to be convened immediately in an effort to find a solution.

  • Services for older people to stop them being admitted to hospital and encouraging a quicker return to their homes, are to be developed at the former A&E at Roscommon Hospital according to local deputy Denis Naughten.

    A reform of Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) services at Roscommon Hospital with an expanded range of services and additional staffing to ensure that the unit is better able to meet the needs of the local population, has been confirmed by the deputy.

     Earlier this year €750,000 per year was secured to expand services at the Medical Assessment Unit at the hospital with a view to extending the opening hours. However on review by hospital management it was deemed more beneficial, at this stage, to reform the service to provide an expanded model of care “more relevant to our local population, particularly older people and GP services” and which works within the constraints on the existing number of hospital beds.

     The focus will be on preventing people from having to be admitted to hospital in the first place and also minimizing the length of time people need to spend in hospital.

     Deputy Naughton says this is the first significant investment at the Urgent Care Centre in Roscommon Hospital since the A&E closed in 2011 and forms part of a commitment which he says he secured in the Programme for Government. 

    To facilitate the development  the hospital is in the process of recruiting 15 additional staff including a consultant physician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech & language therapist, dietician, pharmacist, social worker and specialist nurses who will form a multidisciplinary ‘Fraility Team’. 

    Additionally a new consultant radiologist, radiographer and cardiac physiologist will allow the hospital to provide additional diagnostics.

    The enhanced services will allow GPs, he says, to refer medical patients to the MAU for a range of issues including falls, breathlessness, stable chest pain, neurology and rheumatology conditions. 

  • An increase in carbon tax in tomorrow's budget could have a disproportionate impact on rural Ireland.

    That's the view of former Environment Minister, Roscommon Independent deputy Denis Naughten, who has raised concerns over the potential hike.

    An increase in carbon tax by Finance Minister Paschal Donohue will push up the cost of petrol, diesel, heating oil and other fuels.

    Deputy Naughten told Midwest News today that people in the capital may be able to avoid the tax, but it's a different story for people in rural areas without access to an adequate public transport system.

  • It looks like the resignation of Denis Naughton as Communications Minister hasn't hit Fine Gael badly.

    The party's still riding high in the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll and is unchanged on 33 per cent.

    Fianna Fail has seen a boost in support in the wake of the budget  - it's up three to 25 per cent, while Sinn Fein's up 1 to 15 per cent

    1,000 adults over 18 were interviewed between Thursday, October the 11th and Wednesday the 17th.

  • The Housing Minister faces a motion of no-confidence in the Dáil this evening.

    The Social Democrats moved the motion saying Eoghan Murphy has failed to get to grips with the housing crisis.

    The government will need the support of several independents in order to win the vote with Fianna Fáil abstaining.  The support of Roscommon Independent deputy Denis Naughten and Galway Independent deputy Noel Grealish will be vital, if the motion is to be defeated, and to avoid a general election this side of Christmas.

    Independent TD for Louth Peter Fitzpatrick says he won't be supporting the government in the vote.

    Communications Minister Richard Bruton is confident the motion this evening will fail.

  • The HSE's decision to suspend the allocation of new Home Help hours will hit the counties of Mayo, Galway and Roscommon hardest, as demand in the West is far greater than anywhere else in the country - that's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten.

    Deputy Naughten has called for the Dail to be suspended this week to discuss the HSE's decision to close the home help scheme to new entrants, which he says will trap carers in their homes and leave them unable to get a break from the 24 / 7 care they provide.

    He says it will also lead to families being left with no choice but to admit older people to long-term nursing home care.

    The Roscommon TD told Midwest News that the HSE's decision must be reversed immediately....

  • A Roscommon TD has called for an immediate stay to be put on the transfer of residents from the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, pending a full independent inquiry into the treatment of residents by senior management within the HSE.

    The issue was debated as part of a Fianna Fail Private Members motion on mental health services.

    Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy says the motion highlighted the need to respect the wishes of service users and their families in facilities such as the Rosalie community psychiatric unit.

    In April, the HSE announced that the Rosalie Unit would cease to function as a community psychiatric unit, and alternative care plans would be put in place for the residents.

    Speaking in the Dail last night, Independent TD Denis Naughten says issues have arisen since 2015 in relation to the carrying out of clinical assessments on residents at the Castlerea unit, and he now wants an independent inquiry into how the residents have been treated since then....

  • As the deadlock continues in the beef dispute, some 3,000 people were temporarily laid off from meat plants across the country yesterday - including a number of workers at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    Meat Industry Ireland has blamed the protests and blockades at factory gates by farmers, and has warned that further layoffs are likely in the coming days unless the protests are stood down.

    However, the Beef Plan Movement says farmers are not to blame for staff layoffs at meat factories, and says MII should not have pulled out of Monday's talks.


    Roscommon TD Denis Naughten is calling on IBEC - the umbrella organisation for Meat Industry Ireland, to directly intervene in the beef dispute, and ensure both it and Retail Ireland - representing the major supermarkets - get around the negotiating table before irreparable damage is caused to the beef industry.

    The Independent TD says Meat Industry Ireland's decision to walk away from talks and lock the gates will not only fail to resolve the current price impasse, but is likely to lead to farmers leaving the industry altogether, which will have long-term consequences for meat processors.

    Deputy Naughten says the situation can only be resolved around the table, and we need constructive movement from the meat industry and IBEC.



  • More than 68,000 carers in Ireland suffer from depression - that's nearly enough people to fill every seat in Croke Park.

    That's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten who told the Dáil last night that a large proportion of those carers suffer depression as a result of never getting a break.

    He said carers who are providing care 24 / 7 to a loved one must have access to respite breaks and Deputy Naughten is calling for carers to be legally entitled to respite breaks....


  • A Roscommon TD has called for immediate action to ensure that the money provided by Dáil Éireann for home help is used to increase hours available to support older people in their homes, not spent on administration.

    Independent TD Denis Naughten raised the matter in the Dail last night and said the decision by the HSE to suspend the allocation to home help hours to older people and their carers for the next five months, contradicts the €140m increase in funding for home help since this Government took office and the all-party Oireachtas Health Committee report, Slainte Care, on the reform of the health service in Ireland.

    He said we now have a situation where Government policy and Dáil Éireann are at complete variance with the policy actions by the HSE and we are told by the Taoiseach that Minister Daly is scrambling to gather the facts and is only set to meet with the HSE managers next week.

    Deputy Naughten says the HSE is completely unaccountable, making up its own policy and this has to put a stop to and the first step should be reversing these cuts immediately.

    He said there is far greater demand for home help hours in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo than anywhere else in the country so any decision to restrict the allocation of home help hours will have a disproportionate impact on local families and older people.

    Deputy Naughten spoke on the matter in the Dail last night.

  • The Government has given the green light to a Bill that would reduce the fees paid by Independent Radio stations on an annual basis.

    At yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Ministers backed the Broadcasting Amendment Bill which allows for the levy to be reduced by up to 50 per cent.

    The Bill will be discussed when the Dáil returns after the summer recess.

    Independent Broadcasters of Ireland have welcomed the government's decision.

    Roscommon Independent TD and former Communications Minister Denis Naughten says when the measure is passed, it will be a huge boost for local radio stations:

  • The Saolta Hospital Group is in the process of holding interviews for additional consultants at Roscommon Hospital.

    Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten says this is a result of the investment he secured for the hospital in Budget 2018.

    One of the positions is a new full-time permanent Consultant Physician post with 32 hours per week based at Roscommon Hospital and a further seven hours per week based at Galway University Hospital which allows the consultant to access treatment services at all local hospitals.

    Deputy Naughten says this investment in consultant staff is a very positive development for Roscommon Hospital and will allow for the expansion of local medical services but the important issue now is to secure suitably qualified candidates for the positions.

    This has been a challenge across the HSE in recent years with up to one-third of consultant posts not being filled.

  • A proposal for a second air ambulance is ready to be approved by the Minister for Health.

    That's according to Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten, who says this would take pressure off the air ambulance based in Athlone.

    The Independent TD says a second air ambulance based at Cork Airport would allow the Athlone-based service to respond to more emergencies in the West and Midlands.

    The air ambulance was launched in 2012 and has saved countless lives across the country.

    Deputy Naughten says that, with a second air ambulance coming on stream, the dedicated team from the Air Corps and National Ambulance Service in Athlone will be in a position to respond to more emergencies across this region, for people who have to travel well over an hour by road to access a major trauma unit.