A Snapshot of some of my July activities

August 23rd, 2012 - Pat Breen

One of the most radical and reforming pieces of legislation, the Personal Insolvency Bill 2012, was passed during the July session of the Dail and I had the opportunity to contribute to the debate in the House. This legislation will reform our insolvency procedures providing a life line for Clare families who are struggling with mortgage debt. Now that the legislation has been passed, I expect that it will come into force in the autumn. Visitors to the Dail this month included a number of Clare sufferers of Fibromyalgia, which is a chronic debilitating long term disease causing severe muscle pain which adversely affects a person’s quality of life. Having heard their stories I am now working with them to help raise awareness of the disease and campaign for better services. Representatives of the Irish Postmasters Union also visited to outline their proposals to expand the range of services which they provide in order to underpin the future of the post office network. The recent service arrangements with Aviva and AIB point to the positive opportunities which exist for An Post and I am happy to say that the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte T.D. has indicated his support for this strategy when I raised the matter personally with him recently. I travelled back up to Dublin early on a Saturday morning, at the beginning of the month to meet with the US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney and members of a high level congressional delegation who were on a brief stop-over in Dublin to discuss the US Customs and Border facility at Shannon Airport. It was a very positive meeting which provided a useful exchange of ideas on the Shannon Facility. Among the Congressional Delegation was Congressman Tom Rooney, a nephew of Ambassador Rooney, who owns a holiday home in Lahinch.

On the local front I was delighted to be present at the celebrations to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of the ESB Power Station in Ardnacrusha and to see former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrove and local man Brud Skehan in such great form. I was also in Carrigaholt with the Minister for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley to mark the 100th Anniversary of Coláiste Eoghain Uí Chomraidhe. I attended the official opening of the Caherconnell Archaeological School in Kilfenora with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan T.D. Congratulations to the Davoren Family on this wonderful initiative. And I arranged for the Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Brian Hayes T.D. to visit a number of projects in the County. Minister Hayes has indicated that real progress can be made on two coastal erosion projects at the White Strand in Doonbeg and in Carrigaholt. He also visited Lemenagh Castle at the invitation of the O’Brien Family. I have been working closely with the family on this project. The re-opening of this Castle would bring added benefits for tourism in North Clare. A number of Agricultural Shows took place during the month. The Bridgetown Show was a great day out and I was happy to assist the Show Committee by arranging for the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Shane McEntee T.D. to visit. The County Show in Ennis also proved very successful and I was happy to assist the Show Committee by arranging for the Agricultural Minister Simon Coveney T.D. to visit and facilitated a meeting for Clare IFA with him during his time in Ennis.