Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Government Restart Grant, almost €9m to businesses in the North West - Update 29th July


 
 
Businesses in Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Donegal have received just under €9 million to date from the Government’s COVID-19 Restart Grant to help them get back on their feet, Minister Frank Feighan has confirmed.
 
“The four local authorities are responsible for administering the Government’s Restart Grant and have confirmed that, in total, small and micro businesses have now been allocated €8,775,018.
 
“This funding is crucial in helping businesses to get back on their feet after what has been a very difficult number of months, particularly for businesses in the West and North West.
 
“The Restart Grant is designed to help businesses with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following COVID-19 closures and individual grants of between €2,000 and €10,000 are available for this purpose” Minister Feighan explained.
 
“My colleague the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar is overseeing these targeted supports which have been developed by his Department in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.
 
“This is in addition to a range of other supports for businesses to help them through the pandemic. The €7.4 billion July Stimulus had a range of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19. It will provide a boost to the economy, building confidence and moving us towards a more sustainable future in the North West and across all regions of the country. 
 
“The application form for the Restart Grant is available from the County Council’s website and I encourage all micro and small business owners to apply for the grant to help them get up and running again after COVID-19.”

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Update 12th July

Minister Feighan acknowledges the publication of the Health Research Board’s latest research on Drug Treatment for 2019

The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, has acknowledged the publication today of the Health Research Board’s (HRB) latest research into treated problem drug use in the seven-year period 2013-2019.

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System has shown an overall increase of 1,658 or 18% in the number of treated cases recorded between 2013 and 2019. These figures highlight the levels of increased demand for drug treatment services nationwide. 

Between 2018 and 2019 there was an increase of 3.8% or 390 cases in the number of cases presenting for treatment.    

Opioids continue to be the most commonly reported main problem drug at 39%, followed by cocaine and cannabis at 24% and 23.5%  respectively.

In looking at the patterns and trends in treatment cases since 2013, it is clear that opioid use has decreased from 51% of cases treated in 2013 to 39% of cases treated in 2019. The increase in cocaine use stands out. It has increased from 8% of cases in 2013 to 24% of cases in 2019. 

The Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan, said “I welcome this data which has been released today by the HRB as it clearly illuminates a worrying development in relation to the continuing rise of cocaine use and crack cocaine use in Ireland. 

“The HRB data also highlights significant decreases in opioid use and just how well drug treatment services nationwide have responded to the increased demand. The investment in treatment services over the last number of years under Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery has enabled us to increase the capacity to meet the extra treatment demand.”

The HRB plays an important role in supporting high-quality monitoring, evaluation and research to ensure policies and practices are evidence-informed. Their research contributed to the development in 2019 of the €750,000 multiannual investment plan under the National Drugs Strategy for 14 strategic health initiatives. These initiatives will strengthen the implementation of the Strategy, where the focus is on early harm reduction, responding to emerging trends and patterns of substance misuse, improving access to services for people with complex needs.

The Department of Health works with the HSE to raise awareness of the dangers associated with drugs through the Drugs.ie website. In 2019, the HSE developed and promoted two national campaigns aimed at students and the festival-goers, who may not present at traditional addiction services.

Earlier this year, in recognition of the increased risks, posed to drug users during COVID-19 the Department of Health and the HSE developed two ‘Harm Reduction Posters’ directed at those with substance abuse issues and those with alcohol-related problems respectively. The key harm reduction messages in the posters are person centered and offer simple advice and suggestions in line with the person centered approach of the National Drugs Strategy, Healthy Ireland and Slaintecare.

The Department of Health, as part of the introduction of the Health Diversion Programme, is providing €100,000 in 2020 to develop a national harm reduction campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with drug use. This will include the use of club drugs, festival drug use, and new trends.

Minister Feighan added “As Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, I believe that addressing the drug problem in Ireland requires a multi-pronged approach; providing targeted harm-reduction and prevention initiatives in tandem with treatment services. I would strongly encourage people with substance abuse issues to contact the HSE’s Drug and Alcohol Helpline which is available from Mon-Fri. 9.30-5.30pm 1800 459 459.” 


Health-related expenditure on drug services increased over the last 4 years from €121m to €130m enabling an expansion in addiction treatment services around the country.   
  
In 2019 additional funding of €1 million was secured on a recurring basis for the implementation of Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery.  €750,00 of this funding has been allocated to 14 strategic health initiatives to strengthen the implementation of the strategy. Each strategic health initiative will receive €190,000 in total funding over a three year period. These new health initiatives reflect regional priorities agreed between the HSE Community Health Organisations (CHOs) and the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and ensure that resources are targeted at groups most in need.

The episodes of treatment captured in the NDTRS for 2019 include a very wide range of interventions and settings from services in the community to specialist residential units. 

A key goal of the National Drugs Strategy Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery is the development of sound and comprehensive evidence-informed policies and actions. The HRB plays an important role in supporting high-quality monitoring evaluation and research to ensure policies and practices are evidence-informed.

The Department of Health works with the HSE to raise awareness of the dangers associated with drugs through the Drugs.ie website. In 2019, the HSE developed and promoted two national campaigns aimed at students and the festival-goers, who may not present at traditional addiction services.

Next year, the HSE will commence a targeted national campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with drug use and recommend steps on how people can reduce the harms. This work will include information about club drugs, festival drug use, newer drugs, as well as cannabis.

Visit hse.ie and drugs.ie and askaboutalcohol.ie for updated factual information, including information on services available. HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline is available from Mon-Fri. 9.30-5.30pm 1800 459 459.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hairdresser and Barber Businesses Need Greater Clarity on Public Health Requirements.

Sligo – Leitrim Fine Gael T.D. Frank Feighan has called on the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to provide hairdresser and barber businesses nationwide with greater clarity on the public health requirements they will need to adhere to when reopening. 

Deputy Feighan said, “I have written to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries T.D. today to outline directly to her office, the concerns of the industry over the lack of clarity around the public health arrangements that will be required for hairdresser and barber businesses reopening on 20th July 2020.  

“Being able to plan ahead for this industry is vital for its survival. 

“My team and I have been busy speaking directly with local businesses owners across Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and North Roscommon in recent days about their concerns and it is clear that greater information is needed to enable businesses to plan and react to the changes that will be needed post 20th July. 

“As a result, many local businesses are now seeking greater advice from Government about how they can begin to prepare to re-open in the absence of any NPHET guidelines.

“Issues of importance for the businesses I have spoken with are PPE requirements for the industry and the size of the capacity restrictions required. 

“I am advised that accessing PPE is already proving very difficult and that this difficulty is expected to increase as the 20th of July approaches. It is felt that clearer guidance is needed now so that they can source and obtain the correct PPE in time for reopening without putting pressure on vital supply lines for front line staff.  

“Currently, local businesses are grouping together and seeking to make informed decisions as best they can themselves based on international best practice, and from the advice of suppliers. However, they are conscious of the fact that these decisions may not coincide with the public advice here when it is made and as such, they may be making financial decisions that will fall foul of the Health & Safety Authority in July. 

“I am seeking greater clarity form Government and the NPHET on this particular issue on behalf of this industry” concluded Feighan 



Ends:
Frank Feighan 
0868331234

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Update 9th April

Gardai to Receive PPE Devices: Frank Feighan T.D.



Sligo – Leitrim Fine Gael T.D. Frank Feighan has said that members of An Garda Siochana are set to receive an order of 16,000 spit guard protection devices in the coming days in order to help to protect our local Gardai from people who choose to spit, bite and cough at our officers during this COVID19 National Emergency.  

He was speaking after an incident in Sligo town led to a woman been sentenced to four weeks in prison yesterday evening for coughing at Gardai in Sligo. 

Deputy Feighan said “I, like most people, was shocked and saddened to hear of the incident which took place in Sligo this week, where a woman willingly and with intent chose to cough at local gardai trying to enforce the social distancing requirements in the town. The person in question was subsequently arrested, charged and jailed under new laws provided to the gardai under the emergency legislation this week.   

“No Garda member should have to face this level of harm without the proper supports in place to deal with it!

“It is hard to understand how a person would choose to act in this way during such a national crisis. However, as an incident such as this has now occurred, I feel that our local police force now needs better protection and support from this sort of threat going forward. 

“As a result, I raised this issue directly with the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan last night at a Fine Gael phone call briefing. I called for better supports for our gardai on the ground and for this support to be forthcoming without further delay. He advised me that an order of 16,000 spit guards have been ordered and it is his hope that they will be with our gardai in the coming days to ensure they are protected from such incidents in the future. 

“It is our role as politicians to act in the best interests and to protect the Gardai and all our frontline services and to ensure that they have the laws, equipment and the protection needed to conduct their job in our communities. 

I want to commend the members of An Garda Siochana through the country for playing such a vital role in our communities during this national emergency.  


Frank Feighan 
0868331234

Friday, January 18, 2019

Boyle town is in the middle of a deep transformative stage


I am very proud to say that Boyle town is in the middle of a deep transformative stage at the moment, thanks to the good work of many people.

The Boyle 2040 plan is clearly the road-map and feeds directly into the Government’s Project Ireland 2040.

Indeed, through my representation as a local Government public representative, Boyle is one of the few towns name-checked in this national blueprint document and I am delighted at the plans now underway to develop Boyle as an historic and strategically located town whose urban core has been underdeveloped in recent years.

I am very pleased that the town has already become a major beneficiary of Government investment with Boyle 2040 being the key driver in leveraging funding.

The signs of progress are clearly evident:  €500,000 in funding to develop a cycleway linking Boyle and Lough Key Forest & Activity Park; €200,000 in funding to transform the Town Centre and €100,000 to fund a pilot scheme to attract more people to live in the town centre.

Of course, I am also very proud at the ongoing development of Lough Key Forest  & Activity Park. This multi-million euro investment programme at the Park was an ambitious undertaking which I spearheaded from the very beginning.

As Chairperson of the Lough Key Forest Park Action Group, I successfully brought together the unique partnership of Roscommon County Council and Coillte which has led to the development of this wonderful amenity into one of the country’s top national and tourist and visitor attractions.

As we enter into a very positive 2019, I am looking forward to another year of significant progress for Boyle, not least the ongoing development of the former Royal Hotel site into a civic space. In that regard, I anticipate another significant funding announcement in the very near future.

Finally, as we all work towards attracting more people to the town, I believe a key piece in the jigsaw is the provision of a hotel. To that end, I will be working with all stakeholders in a bid to secure a hotel project which I believe can become a focal point for the new Boyle.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Feighan announces bid to seek a place on the Fine Gael General Election ticket in Roscommon-Galway



 Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan has announced his intention to seek a party nomination to contest the next General Election in the Roscommon-Galway constituency.

“I intend seeking a party nomination at the Fine Gael selection convention for Roscommon/Galway, which will be held at the end of January 2019.

“In my twenty year political career to date, I have showed leadership on a range of issues such as Roscommon Hospital, the turfcutting issue, water quality and attracting investment into this region.

“I am also been privileged to be a member of the Good Friday Committee and the British Irish Parliamentary Association which continue to work tirelessly to promote and enhance relations on the island of Ireland and in the UK.

“I have never shirked my responsibility in tackling the most difficult of issues and I have a proven track record in delivering for this region.

“I want to use that extensive political experience as a Government politician to continue to deliver for people living in the Roscommon/Galway constituency.

“I have already been successful in two General Elections and I look forward to working towards securing a seat for Fine Gael in the next General Election.”

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Feighan welcomes inclusion of Boyle in Pilot Residential Occupancy Scheme


*€100,000 funding allocated to develop plans with local stakeholders to attract more people to live in the town centre

Senator Frank Feighan has welcomed the inclusion of Boyle as one of the six towns included in the Town and Village Pilot Residential Occupancy Scheme.
“This pilot scheme, announced by Minister Michael Ring today, is aimed at encouraging more people to live in the centre of the town.
“Funding of €100,000 has been made available in order for Boyle to prepare a plan with practical solutions to increase the number of people living in our rural towns.
“This pilot scheme will consider ways in which properties that are currently not in use can be renovated to allow them to be used for residential purposes. This is all about encouraging people to move back into town centres such as Boyle.
“This one of the key objectives of the Boyle 2040 plan which was launched recently. This pilot scheme will have a two-fold effect: it will help rejuvenate the town centre while also contributing to the housing needs of people.
“As Michael Ring has said, this pilot initiative will allow six Local Authorities, including Roscommon County Council, to develop and test different innovative models which are considered appropriate for towns of different sizes and in different locations.  The learnings from this approach will help to provide an indication as to what might work well for similar types of town on a wider scale.”
Contact: Senator Feighan, (086) 8331234.