Keane welcomes new school building projects for Dublin South-West

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Senator Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, of 7 new building projects for Dublin South-West. This announcement is in addition to the 4 other building projects that were commenced or completed in Dublin South-West in 2014; Sancta Maria College, Rathfarnham (ongoing from 2014) St. Colmcille’s Junior NS, Knocklyon (completed in 2014), St. Colmcille’s Senior NS, Knocklyon (completed in 2014) and Bllcragh NS, Firhouse (completed in 2014). The 7 new building projects announced today are:

Scoil Caitlín Maude, Tallaght
Scoil Niamh, Citywest Community NS
Citywest ET, Tallaght
Gaelscoil Oldbawn, Tallaght
Scoil Aoife, Tallaght West CNS
Scoil Niamh, Citywest Community NS, Tallaght

“I welcome today’s announcement of 7 new school building projects for my constituency, Dublin South-West. This news is very positive and further demonstrates the Government’s commitments to delivering the ambitious school building programme announced after taking office in 2011. As the population of Dublin South-West continues to grow, there is a pressing need for more schools to serve the educational needs of a growing community.

“In total, there are 70 major school projects that are planned to proceed to construction in 2015 nationally including 44 new schools and 11 major extensions at primary level, 5 new schools and 8 major extensions at post primary level and 2 new special schools. These school projects will deliver over 27,800 permanent school places and of these over 23,700 are additional places. The remainder will be the replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation. 54 of these projects were included on the five year plan, and we had indicated they would proceed to construction in either 2014/15 or 2015/16.  For these 54 schools, they are now being provided with certainty that their projects will proceed to construction during 2015.

“The Government recognises the need to find the funding to advance projects where school buildings are in poor condition, as well as those which have been required purely to accommodate demographic growth. These new projects will create employment for construction sector workers in the Dublin South-West area which will in turn have a knock on effect on service industries in the local communities. They will also provide much needed schools for our children in the education system and therefore, I fully endorse this announcement.”

ENDS

Keane welcomes national lottery funding for projects in Tallaght

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement of €13,600 for projects in Tallaght which is being made available to groups through National Lottery grants. The funding was announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD, this week.
This follows on from the awarding of National Lottery funding to 18 projects for older people announced by the Minister for Heath, Leo Varadkar last week.

The youth group projects receiving funding include:
€4,000 for St. Kevin’s Girls NS, Treepark Road, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24 for the purchase of equipment and a summer activities programme
€4,000 for the New Hope Residential Centre, Kiltalown Cottage, Hazelgrove Golf Course, Mount Seskin Road, Dublin 24 to construct a new playground as part of a drug rehabilitation project
€4,000 for St. Dominic’s Community Centre, 60 and 60A Avonbeg Gardens, Dublin 24 to develop a natural play area
€1,600 for Killinarden FRC, Killinarden Way, Dublin 24 to provide a life skills club and grinds for Leaving Certificate students

Senator Keane said: ‘This funding will go a long way to assisting in the vital work carried out by these  groups in the Tallaght community to expand on the excellent work that they are already doing The funding will be used for initiatives that support young people, those recovering from addictions and others in the community who require services to help develop and grow their personal skills. I am confident that this funding will be put to good use and that it will be appreciated by those in the Tallaght area who are to avail of it and the difference it will make to their community organisations.”

ENDS

Early Access to new Hepatitis C treatments will save lives- Keane

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Monday) welcomed the announcement by Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, that the HSE is putting in place a programme to provide early access to powerful new direct-acting anti-viral drugs for Hepatitis C patients with the greatest clinical need, due to the advanced nature of their condition.

“I have been calling for this action to be taken in the Seanad now for several weeks. I know that the  patients  in  question  have  been  identified  by clinical experts as suffering  from very serious liver disease and to be most likely to benefit substantially from this  intervention.

“I am very pleased that we can commence the use of these new medicines in Ireland.  These  drugs  have  the  potential  to  bring  major benefits for patients  with  serious  illness as a result of Hepatitis C. I also want to thank Gilead, Janssen and Bristol Myers Squibb for agreeing to enter into negotiations with the HSE and the Department of Health in the interests of these seriously ill patients.

“The early access programme will apply to patients deemed to have an urgent need for treatment, and for whom previously licensed drug treatments would not be appropriate.  Similar early access programmes are in place in a number of other European countries. A number of powerful new Direct-Acting Antiviral therapies are being licensed in Europe for people with Hepatitis C. As with other countries, Ireland must ensure that access to high-cost treatments such as these is managed, in order to prioritise access for patients who can benefit most, while ensuring that the financing model is sustainable and affordable.

“The aim is to provide access for as many patients as possible, within the resources provided by taxpayers.For that reason, the Department of Health has also set up an advisory group to consider a multi-annual approach to the clinical and public health management of Hepatitis C. I understand that this group will report to the Minister in the coming weeks. Its recommendations will inform decisions about extending access to these new drugs to further groups of patients. This is a very welcome development that will save lives and therefore, I fully support it.”

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Mount Carmel to re-open in the new HSE service plan – Keane

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) welcomed the news that Mount Carmel Hospital is to re-open under the HSE Service Plan. Senator Keane was speaking following the announcement of the new HSE Service Plan. The facility was closed in 2013 due to a cited reason of a lack of viability. However, the Hospital is to be re-opened under the service plan additional funding provision.

“The new plan also provides for an additional 115 short stay hospital beds, including the opening of Mount Carmel, with 65 beds on a phased basis from March 2015. This measure will support older people in the most appropriate care setting and will support early discharge from acute hospitals, reduce delayed discharges and provide rehabilitation services to support the older person in returning to their home.

“This will support quality long-term residential care services for 22,361 older people under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, including 330 additional in 2015.

“A key component of Fine Gael’s last election manifesto was a commitment to help older people stay in their homes as long as possible. The new plan makes this possible with the inclusion of funding for community care services and measures to tackle delayed discharges. As part of a comprehensive suite of home care and community support services, home care packages will be available to an additional 600 older people, to enable them to live independently, in their own homes, for as long as possible.

“The new plan also provides for an additional 115 short stay hospital beds, including the opening of Mount Carmel, with 65 beds on a phased basis from March 2015. This measure will support older people in the most appropriate care setting and will support early discharge from acute hospitals, reduce delayed discharges and provide rehabilitation services to support the older person in returning to their home.

“There will be a joint approach to the management of delayed discharges in acute hospitals between the hospitals, primary care and clinical programmes to ensure the best possible solution for patients requiring long-term care.”

ENDS