Rose Conway-Walsh


    It’s “petulant and immature” of both Fanna Fail and Fine Gael not to at least talk to Sinn Fein about government formation. That’s the view of the new Sinn Fein deputy in Mayo, Rose Conway Walsh.

    She is among the 47 new TDs nationally entering the Dail for the first time today.

    Deputy Conway Walsh spoke to Midwest News today before entering the Dail  and she described as historic her party leader being proposed as Taoiseach today during Dail proceedings, regardless of the outcome.

  • The HSE have confirmed that the successful candidate for the post of GP in Bangor Erris / Glenamoy must accept the offer by this Friday.

    There has been fears in recent months over the future GP services in the area.

    The HSE say the post of GP has been offered to the number one candidate on the panel for Bangor Erris and Glenamoy.

    This follows numerous efforts by the HSE to recruit a GP for both Bangor Erris and Glenamoy independently, which proved unsuccessful due to a lack of interest in either post.

    The initial offer for the Bangor Erris / Glenamoy post was made on Monday February 17th with a further communication from the HSE on Friday February 21st requesting a decision by close of business this coming Friday.

    If the successful candidate accepts the post, it is intended that he/she will start immediately.

    The HSE say they intend to continue to provide services from existing locations, however say they cannot comment on the contractual arrangements of non HSE staff.

    Erris based Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway-Walsh says she has written back to the HSE that is really important that both clinics are left as they are.

    Deputy Conway-Walsh is hoping to get reassurance from the HSE.

  • Concerns over the services that can be accessed at Belmullet District hospital and other District hospitals in the county was raised in the Dail yesterday by Erris based Sinn Fein deputy Rose Conway Walsh.

    The deputy has described as “farcical” the present situation where GPs in Erris are not allowed to make direct referrals to Belmullet Hospital. Instead, patients are transported over 100 miles to Mayo University Hospital, admitted for a night, then returned to Belmullet Hospital.

    Earlier this week, an Erris GP had to send a ninety-five year old man to MUH when the elderly man could have been catharised and admitted locally to Belmullet Hospital where he would have received the treatment required.

    Minister Donnelly responded that the HSE must adhere to COVID-19 guidelines wherein there are no direct admissions to a district hospital in the country.

    However, deputy Conway Walsh insists that this is not an adequate response and she toMayo Deputy raises serious concerns about Belmullet Hospital and the withdrawal of Erris Health Servicesld Midwest News that she asked the Minister if Covid 19 was now the excuse for everything.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling on the Health Minister to intervene, as patients suffering chronic pain can no longer access the pain relief drug Versatis on their medical card.

    This affects about 25,000 people in total, including a large number of people in Co Mayo, according to Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

    She says patients who are in chronic pain caused by arthritis and other conditions have been informed that the HSE will no longer cover the cost of these pain relief patches, and while it’s a matter for the HSE, the Erris-based Senator believes the Health Minister Simon Harris should intervene on humanitarian grounds.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling for the immediate reinstatement of an allowance for young school leavers with a disability, which is being cut for new entrants from next month.

    The Rehabilitative Training Allowance provides €31.80 per week to young people taking up training programmes, but the Government announced last month that it will no longer be paid to new entrants.

    It's been described as "a cruel cut" by Erris Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who has written to Minister of State Finian McGrath asking him to immediately restore the allowance.

    She said that  - despite growing pressure from organisations representing people with a disability - the cut has not yet been reversed.

  • Challenges and costs in the Childcare sector must be tackled according to Mayo Senator Rose Conway Walsh.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says the Government cannot continue to ignore the challenges and costs in the childcare sector like costs, pay scales, recruitment, bureaucracy and funding of the sector.

    Sinn Féin proposed allocating €28m to commence a 5 year programme of childcare reform in their alternate budget which would increase pay for childcare workers and cut childcare fees.

    Her call comes ahead of the SIPTU ‘Crisis in Childcare’ meeting in Aughagower Community Centre at 7 o’clock tonight.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest Radio News a wealth tax could be used to finance their proposed change in Childcare services.

  • A Mayo Senator says the situation facing teaching principals is getting worse and may result in posts being vacated, if nothing is done to alleviate the administrative burden on them.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says many small schools in rural areas rely on principals teaching at the same time and in many cases they teach several different classes in the one setting.

    She said added to this, they have to function as principal of the school, with all the daily unexpected challenges that brings. Senator Conway-Walsh says they must then fulfil administrative duties, which involved regular contact with the Department of Education and a host of other statutory and voluntary bodies.

    She says principals are currently only given 15 administration days a year to do all this and have asked for one day per week.

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned a Minister on why it takes four years to build a flood defence wall, as in the case of Carrowholly, Rosmindle and Kilmeena.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh raised the issue during a debate on flooding in the Seanad with Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.

    The residents in these areas are waiting four years to have such a wall rebuilt to ensure their homes are protected from flooding.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the situation is simply disgraceful. She says there must be a better balance between the views of the local community and the consultants that are brought in at great cost to draft reports on the issue.

    The Senator also raised the issue of insurance companies only wanting to offer cover tot those that will never claim. She asked Minister Moran to seek cabinet support for the Sinn Fein Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill, that would mean that insurers would no longer be able to use technical excuses to avoid paying out on claims.

  • The HSE decision to restrict access to the pain patch Versatismust be reviewed and the patches reinstated until such time as the concerns regarding its withdrawal are addressed.  That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh.

    She is encouraging  all Oireachtas members to use their political influence to ensure that the decision to withdraw Versatis from the medical card scheme and the Drugs payment Scheme- impacting on up to 25,000 patients is reviewed.  

    The Senator hosted a briefing in Leinster House today where representatives of Arthritis Ireland, Chronic Pain Ireland and patients currently using the drug addressed the meeting.

    The Senator told Midwest News this evening that the Minister will address the seanad on the matter on Wednesday afternoon next.

  • The Education Minister needs to lift the restriction on the number of junior infants that can be taken into Educate Together schools next September.

    That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who says the restrictions could mean parents are faced with splitting up their families into different schools.

    The Department of Education has directed a number of Educate Together schools – including Castlebar – that their intake of junior infants for the next school year is limited at 13.

    Education Minister Richard Bruton came into the Seanad this week at the request of Senator Conway-Walsh to discuss the matter, and confirmed that his Department is currently carrying out a review, but he could not provide a timeline for the completion of the review.

    Senator Conway –Walsh says the restriction makes no sense given the demand for places in Educate Together schools.

  • A Mayo Sinn Fein Senator says it is puzzling that Fianna Fail has a new found interest in Jobpath and the impact of it on the CE, RSS and Tús schemes.

    Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says Sinn Fein brought forward a motion in the Seanad in November of last year which asked that all referrals to Jobpath should be stopped.

    At that time Fianna Fail firstly introduced an amendment to the motion that weakened it and then voted against it in the Seanad.

    The Erris based Senator says Sinn Fein has been critical of Jobpath for a long time now and worried about its impact on schemes such as CE, RSS and Tús.

    She says Fianna Fail Oireachtas members need to stop doing one thing in Leinster House and saying something different in their own constituencies.

    Senator Conway-Walsh was responding to Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary who told Midwest News this morning that a Bill from his party showed their commitment to the schemes.

  • Patients who are diagnosed with cancer often need immediate treatment, but have to bear the cost themselves until their medical card application is approved.

    Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the medical costs of such patients should be covered from the date they apply for a medical card.

    The Sinn Fein Senator raised the matter recently with Minister of State at the Department of Health Jim Daly, who said the HSE aims to process 95% of medical cards applications within 3 weeks.

    However, Senator Conway-Walsh says it can often take longer, due to amount of paperwork required for a medical card.

    In the meantime, she says significant costs can accrue for the patient, and the medical card should be granted retrospectively to cover such costs.

  • A Mayo Sinn Féin Senator has called for the rights of children with suspected disabilities to be respected and for the Government to fulfil its obligations under the 2005 Disability Act.

    Rose Conway-Walsh has called on the Government to end the scandal of parents of children who are waiting months for assessment of need to be carried out.

    She says each child is entitled under law to an assessment within six months and when this does not happen, their rights are being denied.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says many parents have become exasperated with the long waits and uncertainty and have to make huge sacrifices to fund these assessments privately.

  • The government's facing further criticism for the delay to the National Broadband Plan.

    Yesterday the Communications Minister Richard Bruton confirmed a decision won't be taken this week as had been expected.

    The final and sole tender for the project - to provide broadband to more than 500,000 homes - is being examined.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the National Broadband Plan was a promise in the 2011 Fine Gael manifesto and says it’s now time to show they are serious about delivering it.

  • An urgent review is needed of the SUSI grant scheme for third-level education - particularly in light of Covid-19.

    That's according to Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh, the Sinn Fein spokesperson on Higher Education.

    The Erris-based TD says it makes no sense for applicants to be assessed on last year's income, given the number of people whose income has been significantly reduced since the start of the pandemic.

    She also believes the thresholds to avail of SUSI grants are too low, and that people should be assessed on their net income, rather than gross income.

    Deputy Conway-Walsh claims many working families are excluded from SUSI and are being pushed into poverty trying to send their children to college.

    The Sinn Fein TD said she raised the matter in the Dáil with Tanaiste Leo Varadker, to highlight the need for an urgent review of the SUSI grant scheme.

  • Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh says she’s disgusted that Government TDs rushed through an amendment to legislation that gives an extra €16,000 to three Super Junior Ministers.

    Under earlier legislation, only two junior Ministers were entitled to the extra allowance, but the new Coalition has three super juniors sitting at Cabinet.

    The amended legislation means the Galway’s Hildegarde Naughten – Minister of State for Roads – Mayo native Green Party senator Pippa Hackett – Junior Minister at the Dept of Agriculture – and Chief Whip Jack Chambes will be eligible for the additional €16,000 allowance on top of the €124,000 euro salary for serving as Minister of State.

    Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway Walsh said the last-minute amendment was sneakily added, and described the decision to give the additional allowance to three super junior ministers already earning over €2,000 per week as appalling, when we couldn’t afford to supply adequate PPE to healthcare workers who were caring for dying Covid-19 patients.


  • Millions of euro worth of personal protective equipment is due to arrive in Ireland later this week.

    The HSE ordered more than 200 million euro worth of the masks, gowns and other gear from China recently.

    The first batch arrived in Ireland earlier this month, but about 20 per cent of it wasn't suitable.

    The HSE says more will arrive in the coming days.

    However, a Mayo TD is concerned about the level of fear among medical staff, who are receiving limited supplies of personal protective equipment for their work on the front-line.

    Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway-Walsh says the State agencies, such as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Udarás na Gaeltachta, have a role to play in seeking out companies here who can manufacture PPE.

     Deputy Conway-Walsh also said the Government needs to be more transparent about the shortages of such equipment.

  • A huge crowd attended last night’s public meeting in the Talbot Hotel surrounding the future of the Belmullet District Hospital and Aras Deirbhle Nursing Home.

    Local Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who organised the meeting, says it was evident last night how much the hospital means to the people of Erris.

    Senator Conway Walsh says while there was a lot of anger in the room, it was an extremely constructive meeting.

    She believes there is mistrust between the HSE and the local community.

  • The latest problems with the water supply in Achill highlight the fact that the treatment plant on the island is not able to cope with the demand from locals and visitors, and must be included in the Government's Capital Programme.

    That's according to Mayo Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway-Walsh.

    It's now a week since Mayo County Council issued a Do Not Consume notice, warning people in Achill not to drink the tap water supplied from either the public water scheme or group water schemes on the island.

    Some areas of the island were without any water earlier this week when reservoirs ran completely dry.

    Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh says a treatment plant that can cater for a much larger population is needed.

  • Over 3,000 people in Mayo - including 878 children - are currently awaiting Ear, Nose and Throat appointments.

    That's according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh who submitted a parliamentary questions on the matter, after speaking with a parent who was told her child would have to wait two and a half years for an appointment.

    The visiting ENT consultant holds a clinic one day per week at Mayo University Hospital, which Senator Conway-Walsh says is clearly not adequate to meet the needs of the county.

    She says delays in treatment can lead to permanent and irreversible damage.