Deputy Dara Calleary

  • The number of senior managers in the HSE has increased by 80pc in just six years, according to new figures released to Fianna Fáil.

    There are 1,329 staff members employed at Grade VIII or above, compared with 744 in 2012.

    The salary scale for a Grade VIII clerical worker begins at around €48,000.

    The deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Dara Calleary told Midwest News today that the recruitment crisis in front line staff clearly does not extend to management.

    He said the increase in managers had not led to improvements in service provision in the past six years.

    Last week the deputy highlighted that waiting list inpatient appointments nationally now stand close to one million .

     

  • An analysis of various health waiting lists has revealed that there are almost a million patient appointments outstanding in the first half of 2018.

    Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary has described the situation as a national scandal.

    The Mayo deputy claims that “never before have we seen a situation whereby people have been failed so badly by a government”.

    The vast majority of this list is based on the National Treatment Purchase Fund monthly waiting times. In June 2018 some 717,419 were on the lists compiled by the fund.  However the NTPF does not publish waiting lists for a number of diagnostic scans and the latest available figures (April 2018) showed a further 135,000 waiting for MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans.

    There are also significant waiting lists for community care. There are 37,229 people waiting for either speech and language therapy or assessment in June 2018.

    A further 31,361 were waiting for an occupational therapy assessment in the same month. The HSE however was unable to provide figures for the number of people waiting for actual occupational therapy treatment.  If that data was provided it is likely, according to deputy Calleary, that the numbers on waiting lists would surpass the one million threshold.

    “The scale of these waiting lists is truly shocking and highlights very clearly the level of demand and the lack of capacity available to meet it.  The latest available figures reveal that over 148,000 outpatients had been waiting over one year to see a consultant.  

    “There will be no improvement in the situation unless there is investment in capacity, and as our population continues to live longer, it poses more serious issues for our health service.  The ESRI has projected that demand for public hospital services could increase by up to 37 per cent for inpatient bed days by 2030. The time for grand plans, staged strategies and PR launches is over, what we need now is action”.


    Table of Waiting Lists

    Waiting List

     

    Inpatient/Day Case Active (NTPF June 2018)

    78,014

    Inpatient/Day Case GI Endoscopy (NTPF June 2018)

    18,279

    Inpatient / Day Case - TCI (NTPF June 2018)

    18,867

    GI Endoscopy - TCI by Group/Hospital  (NTPF June 2018)

    9,973

    Inpatient / Day Case Suspensions (NTPF June 2018)

    9,172

    Planned Procedures List / Planned Procedures (NTPF June 2018)

    12,567

    GI Endoscopy Planned Procedures (NTPF June 2018)

    56,979

    Planned Procedures Suspensions (NTPF June 2018)

    2,153

    Outpatient (NTPF June 2018)

    511,415

    Diagnostics (April 2018)

    135,094

    Primary Care - Psychology (May 2018)

    8,185

    Primary Care - Dietetics (May 2018)

    15,752

    Primary Care - Podiatry (May 2018)

    3,763

    Primary Care - Ophthalmology (May 2018)

    20,532

    Primary Care - Audiology (May 2018)

    15,264

    Occupational Therapy 1st Assessment (June 2018)

    31,361

    Speech and Language Therapy Initial Assessment (June 2018)

    14,974

    Speech and Language Therapy Initial Treatment (June 2018)

    7,894

    Speech and Language Therapy Further Treatment (June 2018)

    14,361

    Home Support Hours for Older People (May 2018)

    6,118

    Assessments of Need under Disability Act (June 2018)

    3,850

    CAMHS (March 2018)

    2,691

    Total

    997,258

     

  • Concerns have been raised about GP services in the Bangor Erris area of north Mayo.

    It's understood the GP currently working in Bangor has been offered a job elsewhere, which he is expected to accept, and there are concerns that the vacancy in Bangor may be difficult to fill.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who's calling on Government to make the role of a GP more attractive, as many areas of rural Ireland are struggling to recruit family doctors.

    Deputy Calleary says the HSE has struggled in recent years to recruit a GP for Bangor, and while the area is well-served by the current GP, there are concerns locally that he's set to take up another job

  • Fianna Fail's Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary, will become the party's spokesperson on Regional Development, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht.

    Party leader Mícheal Martin has announced two changes to the frontbench.

    Deputy John Curran will join the frontbench as Spokesperson for National Drug Policy and Urban Affairs, while the party's deputy leader Dara Calleary takes over responsibility for rural affairs, regional development and the Gaeltacht, while.

    Michéal Martin says the continued decline of rural Ireland and the issue of regional balance in terms of job creation and investment are pressing national priorities.

    He says the appointment of the party's deputy leader to this portfolio demonstrates Fianna Fail's determination to hold the Government to account and secure a change in direction.

     

  • 57 percent of the electorate in Mayo voted Yes on Friday to remove the Eighth Amendment from our constitution.

    In the run up to the vote, during the eight week Referendum campaign the Fine Gael deputies in the county were less than forthcoming on whether they were for or against its repeal. Both Minister Michael Ring and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to indicate how they would be voting.

    However, the Fianna Fail deputies in Mayo were clear on where they stood on the issue, Lisa Chambers was saying Yes and deputy Dara Calleary was saying No on Friday last.

    Today Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that he remains opposed to abortion but says as a democrat he will vote for the legislation to allow it.

    Throughout the referendum campaign Midwest News sought the views of the Fine Gael deputies on the repeal issue, but we only succeeded in getting any response on Tuesday last.

    A spokesperson for the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Tuesday that Deputy Kenny had not taken part in any interviews on the abortion debate, and was unlikely to do so before Friday. The spokesperson did not indicate Mr Kenny’s position on the referendum.

    On the same day in response to Midwest News, Minister Michael Ring said he was a member of the Dail which had facilitated putting the referendum on the Eighth Amendment before the people of Ireland. He pointed out that the Government has published draft legislation in relation to abortion, but insisted it is the people of Ireland that will make the decision in Friday’s referendum.

    Minister Ring said that, if the No vote won, then nothing would change. If people decide to vote Yes to repeal the Eighth amendment,  it will then be up to the Government and the Oireachtas to introduce legislation, and stated that he would make his views known then.

    Midwest News asked Minister Ring this morning how he will be voting on the legislation. He said he will be attending the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) - where the matter will be discussed and he will speak on the matter after that.

    The Fianna deputies in Mayo were very clear on how they would vote on Friday last.  Lisa Chambers was a definite Yes, and her colleague Dara Calleary was saying No.

    Lisa Chambers told Midwest News on Saturday that she hoped the legislation on abortion will be introduced as soon as possible in the wake of the clear mandate from the electorate.

  • Fianna Fail has brought forward a new Bill to clamp down on insurance fraud, which should see a reduction in insurance costs.

    The Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill seeks to reduce the number of fraudulent insurance claims by ensuring false claims are dealt with under the law.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader and Mayo TD Dara Calleary says consumers are being charged huge insurance premiums because of the large number of false compensation claims. He says it is unfair and Fianna Fail is stepping up to the mark to clamp down on these fraudsters.

    If passed, the Bill would direct the courts to refer matters directly to the Director of Public Prosecutions if a case is deemed to be fraudulent.

    This would allow the DPP to take a case against the perpetrators of fraudulent claims.

    The Government has indicated it will back the Bill.

    Deputy Calleary says people in Mayo and throughout the country are continuing to see their insurance costs rise and this move will help to change that.

  • Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader and TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has accused the government of having no ambition for indigenous enterprise in County Mayo. 

    The Ballina TD’s comments comes on foot of two recent government announcements – one for regional enterprise development funds totalling €29 million and another for the Government Disruptive Technology Fund totalling €75 million – in which Mayo applicants were overlooked.

    Deputy Calleary say that despite being home to many excellent local and multinational companies, we are falling way behind in terms of investment. 

     He says only 23 out of a total of 3,289 IDA Ireland client visits undertaken between 2011 and 2017 were to Co. Mayo and we have not attracted a new IDA Ireland supported company in a number of years.

  • The Fianna Fail deputy leader says the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit was the main reason his party agreed yesterday evening to support the Government by extending the Confidence & Supply agreement for a further year into 2020.

    Mayo TD Dara Calleary insists, however, that his party will continue to demand progress on a number of issues, including housing and health, rural and regional development.

    Speaking to Midwest News this evening, Deputy Calleary said it's important that Ireland has political stability in the year ahead to face the threat posed by Brexit - particularly as the chances of a no-deal Brexit are now higher.

  • A Mayo TD is again calling on Irish Rail to consider running an early-morning train from Ballina to Dublin.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary met recently with the Chief Executive of Irish Rail to discuss a number of issues - including an early-bird service.

    Iarnrod Eireann says uptake on the existing early morning service from Westport to Dublin is already low at present, and they do not believe there's sufficient demand for a train from Ballina to link up with this service.

    However, Deputy Calleary says he is not willing to let the matter rest, and will continue to press for such a service from Ballina.

    He's also encouraging people to use the existing early-morning service from Mayo to the capital.....

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has accused the Health Minister of ignoring the impending GP crisis in rural areas.

    Deputy Dara Calleary has been informed by the HSE that the GP in Glenamoy Health Centre has resigned and no replacement has been found.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News today that this is a very serious situation, which will leave only three GPs in the entire Erris area. He says it is a huge geographical distance for three GPs to cover and will increase the pressure not only on the existing GP service, but also the whole Erris community.

    The latest Irish Medical Organisation data predicts that 41% of GPs in Mayo will retire over the next five to seven years. Deputy Calleary says despite this, Government appearls to have no plan to tackle this.

    In Glenamoy the HSE has confirmed that the position was advertised in the public domain but unfortunately no applications were received.

    Discussions are ongoing with the existing GP to ascertain if there is any possibility of him remaining in Glenamoy.

    Deputy Calleary says this is an issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has highlighted a worrying increase in the number of people waiting for urology appointments in hospitals across the country.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary says figures released to him show that there were almost 30,000 people on the outpatient waiting list at the end of August, with over 10,500 patients waiting more than a year to see a doctor. Galway University Hospital, along with Tallaght Hospital and University Hospital Waterford have the longest waiting lists for this particular speciality.

    Deputy Calleary says that while some progress has been made with inpatient procedures, as a result of additional funding secured by Fianna Fail for the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the outpatient scenario is extremely worrying.

  • Roadworks taking place on the Foxford road entrance to Ballina have been causing significant delays for motorists, as well as for emergency vehicles such as ambulances.

    That's according to Ballina-based TD Dara Calleary, who's calling on the contractors to work over weekends to ensure the roadworks on the N26 are completed as soon as possible.

    While welcoming the works, the Fianna Fail TD says it makes sense to work on the scheme 7 days per week to ensure it's completed before December, and he says some arrangement needs to be put in place with Hollister, to enable staff to access the exit the premises when shifts are starting and ending.

  • A Mayo TD has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to ensure that local offices have the flexibility to pay people their illness benefits, while an ongoing IT glitch is being fixed.

    Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the discrepancies in the payments, which have seen people who are eligible for illness benefit not being paid in some cases, has caused huge distress.

    He says while the IT problem is being sorted out, local offices should have the power to make the payments to those who are eligible.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary raised the future of the five day service at the Mayo Alzheimer’s Centre in Castlebar in the Dail last night.

    It was revealed in the past couple of weeks that Alzheimers Ireland is being forced to reduce services at the Mayo Centre in Castlebar from five days to three days and to curtail transport services to the centre from the end of this month.

    Alzheimer’s Ireland has to do this because the HSE has not increased financial support to the centre.

    Deputy Calleary says the response from the HSE to the issue last night was cold hearted in his opinion and showed no empathy for the services users and their families.

    The matter was dealt with by Minister for Older People Jim Daly and he has committed to looking at the situation himself, to see if there is anything he can do.

  • Creches, nightclubs, marts and other businesses across the country are closing down because of the massive increases in public liability and business insurance.

    That's according to Mayo TD Dara Calleary who told the Dáil yesterday that, in the case of one childcare facility, insurance had risen from €2,000 in 2012 and €16,000 last year, and this year the owner cannot get a quote, putting 12 jbs and a 7-year old business at risk.

    The Fianna Fail deputy leader said the personal injury awards made in this country is a major issue.

    Deputy Calleary said 75 community festivals have shut down because of increased insurance costs, and claims nothing is being done to tackle the issue.

    The Mayo TD said legislation is not being pursued on the issue, and he called on the Government to publish a new book of quantum - general guidelines on the amounts that can be awarded in personal injury claims - which he says are four times higher here than in the UK.

    Tánaiste Simon Coveney responded that the Government was well aware of the difficulties facing businesses, and said the working group chaired by the Finance Minister Pascal Donohue is working through the recommendations of ongoing reports.

    Minister Coveney said the Government is determined to deliver the kind of results for small businesses that they delivered for motor insurance.

     

     

     

  • Fianna Fail's confirmed its team of negotiators to review the Confidence and Supply agreement with Fine Gael.

    It will be made up of the Party's Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary, Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath, Brexit Spokesperson and Mayo Deputy Lisa Chambers and Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

    Discussions will begin next week.

    Yesterday Fine Gael confirmed Ministers Simon Coveney, Pascal Donohue and Regina Doherty along with the Parliamentary Party Chairman Martin Heydon, would lead the discussions for their party.

  • The Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Environment has issued an invitation to representatives of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Water and Energy to appear before it, to address concerns in relation to the proposed Mayo Power Plant in Killala.

    That was confirmed to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary yesterday by Chair of the Committee Deputy Hildegarde Naughton.

    Deputy Calleary had contacted Deputy Naughton following the decision by the CRU to last week issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    Some €95 million has already been spent on the €255m high-efficiency combined heat and power plant in Killala.

    Work on the plant was halted in 2016 when one of the investors withdrew from the project.

    New investors then came on board to complete the 45 megawatt biomass-fuelled power plant, and they applied for the necessary consents.

    Renewed consents were was given by Mayo County Council, the EPA and ESB Networks, while the energy regulator has taken since last May to respond.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that the invitation has now been officially extended to the CRU  to appear before the committee on April 2nd.

  • Two dieticians have been appointed for county Mayo, at a time when there are hundreds of people on waiting lists for the service.

    The issue was raised in the Dauil this week by Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary who outlined that there are 635 people waiting for dietician services in the county at present, with 226 waiting over a year for an appointment.

    While welcoming the news that two new dieticians have been appointed, the deputy told Midwest News that questions remain to be answered over how soon will they start, and what areas they will cover.