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Tuesday 13th May

 Securing the future of Irish water supply is good for Clare- Griffey

Priority is to make water charges fair, equitable and affordable 

Cillian Griffey has welcomed today’s announcement by Irish Water of its Capital Investment Plan 2014-2016.

“Today’s announcement by Irish Water of their Capital Investment Plan is a good first step towards securing the future of water supply in Ireland. Irish Water has announced a total investment package of over €1.7billion in water supply and wastewater treatment plants across the state.

“It is high time we fixed our broken water system. Currently over 20,000 people are on boil water notices in this country and many waste water treatment plants are not functioning to a proper standard.

“Irish Water will oversee the delivery of more than 380 water infrastructure projects across the country. The total projected spend by Irish Water in Clarefor the period 2014-2016 is €22,256,400.

“Irish Water plans to bring a new asset management approach to our water supply, stating that they will consistently maintain frequent upgrades of the system. The “first fix” policy will make great strides in dealing with the problem of leaks in our water system. Irish Water also aims to improve connectivity between treatment plants and if there is a problem with one plant, we can replace the supply of water in that area using another plant.

“I am also very pleased to note that a significant number of jobs will be sustained and created over the period of Irish Water’s programme.

“After years of underinvestment by Fianna Fáil, we are taking a positive step forward to secure the future of the water supply in this country. The Government has also gone to great lengths to ensure that the charges will be as fair, equitable and affordable as possible. There will be a free household allowance of 30,000 litres per annum, with a further free allowance for households with children, estimated at 38,000 litres per child. Effectively, children go free. People living alone will have approximately 40% of their water needs provided by the allowance. Financial assistance of €100 per year will be provided to those who need it and charges will be capped for people with high water usage due to certain medical conditions.

“This investment by Irish Water will ensure that we have a well maintained water system that is fit for purpose and serves the people as it should.”

Thursday, April 10 2014

Griffey welcomes €1000 increase to grant per house under New Group Water Scheme

Cillian Griffey has welcomed news that the grant per house under the New Group Water Scheme has increased.

“Almost €20 million is being provided under the Rural Water Programme Block Grant Allocations for this year,” Cillian explained. In Clare in particular €1,014,650 is the allocation. The Rural Water Programme benefits from some funding under the European Regional Development Fund.

The Rural Water Programme benefits from some funding under the European Regional Development Fund.

“The funding is aimed mainly at the improvement of water quality in group water schemes and upgrading and water conservation works in group water scheme distribution networks. Funding is also being provided towards group sewerage schemes. Responsibility for the administration of the programme is devolved to the local authorities.

“The maximum grant per house applying to new group water schemes has risen.  The Department funds 85% of the cost of such schemes, subject to a maximum grant per house of €6,475.   This limit of €6,475 per house is now being increased to €7,475 per house.

“This increase, which restores the grant to the amount it was for a limited period in 2011, follows a recommendation from the National Rural Water Services Committee, which has a role in advising the Minister on rural water policy and investment.  Further recommendations from this Committee are expected later this year.”

Friday, March 21 2014

Griffey welcomes the announcement of the provision of €850,000 to local authorities under the Anti-Litter and Anti-Graffiti Awareness Grant Scheme

Cillian Griffey, has welcomed news announced today (21 March 2014) the provision of €850,000 in grants from the Environment Fund to local authorities under the 2014 Anti-Litter & Anti-Graffiti Awareness Grant Scheme.  The Scheme enables local authorities to provide funding support to appropriate public education and awareness initiatives in relation to both litter and graffiti.   In conjunction with the €2.975m announced last week under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, a total of €3.825m has been provided by the Minister in recent days to local authorities for the improvement, clean-up and upkeep of their public areas in 2014.

The anti-litter grants to city and county councils under the Scheme cover a broad range of measures aimed at raising public awareness of the litter issue and promoting anti-litter and anti-graffiti activity at a local level.  There is a particular focus on voluntary initiatives involving schools, young people and community groups.

The dedicated Public Area Enhancement scheme will assist local authorities manage to prepare and maintain their public areas in an effort to maximise the economic benefits that can flow from increased visitors to their towns and cities.

Upon receiving notice of the announcement of these provisions for 2014, Cillian acknowledged the contribution that local communities have made in recent years to the continued decrease in litter pollution across the country.  “The funding of €112,670 for Clare broken down into €90,000 for Public Area Enhancement and €22,670 for anti-litter will help assist in efforts to raise awareness of the litter issue within the Ennis and wider area and to encourage local participation in anti-litter efforts.  I urge local authorities to continue to work with community groups and schools to tackle litter and graffiti issues.  The importance of appearance of our cities, towns, villages and our rural and coastal environments cannot be underestimated and is very important to both social and economic activity across the country, and contributes significantly to tourism, creating jobs and generally adding value to everyday lives.”

Friday, 7 February 2014

Young people to be targeted in latest jobs initiatives – Griffey

Cillian Griffey has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, that, following a special cabinet meeting on jobs, new schemes are being introduced to support our young unemployed. These include a new Entrepreneurship Fund for start-ups by people aged 25 and a Graduate Recruitment Programme.

“Today’s announcements by Minister Bruton are exactly what young people in this country need.  Some of our most successful businesses in Ireland were started up by 20-somethings who had the vision and tenacity to make their business work.  The government’s support may be the kick-start many budding entrepreneurs need to get going – and their success will lead to more job creation.

“The Graduate Recruitment Programme is another welcome move that will hopefully reduce the numbers of graduates leaving Ireland to look for employment elsewhere,” he stated.

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised that 2014 will be the ‘year for jobs’. The new initiatives announced today, along with the 19th consecutive monthly fall in unemployment figures, show that we are making real progress in job creation,” Griffey added.

Recent News

New Intreo services in Ennis will aid in jobs recovery-Griffey

Monday 20th January 2014

Cillian Griffey has today welcomed the opening of the Intreo Office in Ennis. This new office represents a renewed effort to tackle long-term unemployment in Ennis and the wider area where you can get job-seeking advice, information on vacancies and income support all in the one place.

“Locally we have seen far too many people emigrate and be left without a job. Under the Intreo model claimants are profiled and invited in for group session where a personal development plan is committed to by both parties with the goal of making the individual job-ready,” Cillian Griffey stated.

This one stop shop will provide income support and employment service to jobseekers and help employers to recruit staff. Ennis Intreo Centre is providing a one-stop shop for jobseekers where they can get their Department of Social Protection income supports and employment supports in the one place for the first time. The new Intreo service offers practical, tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers.

“As the youngest candidate to date to go forward for election to Clare County Council this year and to be one of the few who has experienced unemployment in this economic downturn, I feel it is imperative to do everything we can to get people off the Live Register here in Clare. Throughout my campaign I will highlight free training for the unemployed and courses through SkillnetsMomentumSpringboard. There is also Jobbridge & ICT Conversion. I went on jobbridge after signing on for a few months and was made permanent in that job as a Business Support Manager with HR Locker, a company that provides a cloud based HR system here in Clare.” Griffey explained.

“In the first eleven months of 2013, 122,300 people had attended group engagements, 148,500 people had attended initial one-to-one interviews.

Intreo centres are not just for jobseekers, they are also for employers. It provides a range of supports for employers, such as JobsPlus, the wage subsidy scheme where the State pays approximately €1 in €4 of the typical cost of hiring someone who has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more. I would urge employers as well as jobseekers to see what their local Intreo office has to offer them.”

The latest CSO data shows an increase of 58,000 in the number of people at work over the last year and the Live Register continues to fall, so we are making slow and steady progress. But there remains a long way to go and that is why it is crucial we offer every practical support to jobseekers. That is why Intreo Centres are so important.

Opening of Japanese Market and €50m in payments welcome news for Clare Farmers

The Chairman of Ennis Macra na Feirme, Cillian Griffey has welcomed the announcement by Japan that it is re-opening its beef market to Irish exports. The decision means that Japan is open to Irish beef for the first time since 2001, and marks Ireland as one of a select group of countries allowed to export beef there. It comes during a week when the Taoiseach, accompanied by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, is leading a major trade mission to Japan. The mission includes a special programme for Irish food exporters seeking market outlets in Japan. Bord Bia estimates that the short to medium term opportunity for Irish beef in Japan is worth between €12 and €15m with potential for significant expansion beyond that over time. 

At a recent meeting of Ennis Macra na Feirme, Cillian stated that the announcement is another key milestone for the Irish agri food sector, and the beef sector in particular. It is a sign of international confidence the quality of Irish food and is a further vindication of Ireland’s focus on quality and sustainability. The decision to allow access for Irish beef to Japan is very significant, and reflects Japanese confidence in the integrity of Irish food safety systems and in the quality of Irish beef

This announcement proves yet again the value of investing in our sustainability and traceability systems and more importantly being able to verify these claims to global customers.

Payments for 2013 under AEOS1, AEOS 2 and REPS 4 have commenced.  Minister Coveney said that “approximately €50million will issue to AEOS and REPS participants in the next week”. He added “These payments represent the initial 75% payment which my Department is allowed to release following the completion of detailed administrative checks. In accordance with EU regulations these checks must be completed on all applications before any payments can issue”

The meeting agreed that they were pleased that Minister Coveney’s Department has reached this level of payment earlier than last year with greater numbers being paid their first instalment. Payments will continue on a weekly basis until all cases are cleared.

The total expenditure on the REPS and AEOS schemes in 2013 will be in the region of €200 million.

Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas and Single Payment Schemes commenced on 25 September and 16 October respectively. To date payments worth in excess of €600 million have issued in respect of nearly 119,000 Single Payment applicants with payments worth in excess of €186 million issuing to some 88,000 applicants under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. These figures compare favourably with the 2012 payment figures at the same time last year.

Balancing payments under the Single Payment Scheme will commence on 1 December, while payments are continuing to issue under both schemes as individual cases are confirmed eligible.

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