Minister Naughten

  • Describing illegal dumping as ‘economic and environmental treason’ the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Roscommon based, Denis Naughten has allocated €2 million this year for a targeted crackdown on illegal dumping black spots across the country. 

     Minister Naughten and the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring today launched the 2018 Anti-Illegal Dumping Initiative.

    Covert surveillance and smart technology including aerial imagery from drones and satellites as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions will form a central part of this year’s crackdown, confirmed Minister Naughten.  

    Ministers Naughten and Ring announced that applications are now open for Local Authorities and community groups to apply for funding under the 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative with an increased funding allocation of €2 million euro for 2018.

     Applications for funding are being invited from Local Authorities and are focusing on unauthorised waste collectors and the sources of waste targeting unpermitted ‘man with a van’ operations advertising on-line and through leaflet drops; intelligence led days of action; household bulky waste initiatives such as mattress amnesties.

    The deadline for applications is Friday, 2nd March 2018 and further information on the 2018 anti-dumping initiative is available from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and from the Environment Section of each local authority.

  • A decision now needs to be made as to how exactly the HSE run Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to develop, according to Minister for Communications, local deputy Denis Naughten. 

    At a meeting yesterday in the unit with the Minister for the Elderly Jim Daly and attended by local public representatives and HSE representatives, seven different options were presented as to how the unit might progress. 

    At present the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is a residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and Minister Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

     

  • As the controversy continues over Minister Denis Naughten’s communication with a representative of Independent News Media (INM), the deputy leader of Fianna Fail Dara Calleary, says his party is not at this point calling for Minister Naughten to resign.

     It is calling for the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to explain how he can be “happy” with Minister Naughten’s explanation to the Dail over the matter.

    Denis Naughten has stated that he regrets speaking to a lobbyist for INM in what he has termed a personal capacity about the planned takeover of Celtic Media.

    Oppostion TDs in the Dail today were not accepting that “excuse” as “good enough”.

    Deputy Calleary explained to Midwest News why his party wants accountability from the Taoiseach now

  • The HSE has no intention of admitting new residents to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. That was clearly stated just last week by HSE Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan at a meeting of the unit that was attended by Ministers, public representatives and local interests.

    At present the Rosalie Unit is a HSE residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and local Minister Denis Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

    But despite the promises and commitments to date the HSE are insisting that no further residents are being admitted to the facility and instead are providing seven options that it sees as potentially the way forward for the unit.

    Yesterday Minister for Health Simon Harris was in Boyle for the opening of a new Primary Care Centre and he met a delegation supporting the retention of the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility for patients with specific mental health needs. The Minister outlined his frustration and dismay at the lack of progress on this matter and he again reiterated the government’s commitment to its retention.

    Local Senator Maura Hopkins was at the meeting last week between the HSE and public representatives.  She has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why all interested parties are frustrated with the HSE’s response to date.

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    Fianna Fáil is calling for an independent review of the Government’s broadband procurement process  in the Dail today following Eir’s surprise decision to quit the process last week.

    However, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, insists he will face down the request from the opposition party, adding that such a process would in any case only delay the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

    According to today’s Irish Independent , Fianna Fail believes the departure of the State’s largest telecoms firm, which leaves just one bidder in the race, had compromised the tendering process and has raised serious doubts over whether the plan, as currently designed, could be delivered.

    It has tabled a Dáil Private Members’ motion calling for a review of the process, to be concluded within two months, which would examine several aspects of the tender, including the degree to which it is “inhibiting the participation of suitable bidders”.

    Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, however, said he would face down the request.

  • Minister  Denis Naughten is addressing the Dáil this evening in relation to claims that he had discussions with a public relations executive acting for Independent News and Media about his decision to refer the company's proposed takeover of Celtic Media to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

    In his speech, Mr Naughten said he did nothing wrong and did not give inside information.

  • At a packed public meeting last night in Castlerea, Minister Naughten confirmed that the Taoiseach will honour the commitments given in 2015, securing the Rosalie unit as a residential facility,

    Confirmation in writing confirming that commitment is expected later today.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother is a resident in the Rosalie Unit for some years, told Midwest News this morning that the packed hall was delighted with that news last night.

    The Rosalie Unit, a residential facility for people with mental health issues, looked destined to close in the coming weeks, according to the HSE.

    A campaign to keep the facility open has been ongoing for some years now.

    Mr Walsh told Midwest News this morning that people power appears to have won out in this case.

    Minister Naughten had been speaking with the Taoiseach about the Unit’s future earlier yesterday, before attending the public meeting, and he said the Taoiseach assured him that the commitments, given by Leo Varadkar himself, as Health Minister in 2015, to the people of Castlerea concerning the Unit’s future as a residential facility will be upheld.

    Mr Walash says they are now awaiting that verbal commitment in writing later today, but he said he is cautiously optimistic that the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility has been secured.

     

  • The HSE has been accused of betraying the residents of the Rosalie Unit, a facility for adults with mental health issues in Castlerea, by families who say they will fight plans to close the unit.

    Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has confirmed, to the Irish Times, that he will attend a public meeting in the town to night as relatives of those living in Unit reacted angrily to a HSE suggestion that their care needs would be better served elsewhere.

    Minister Denis Naughten, lobbied Minister for Health Simon Harris on the Unit’s future last week, and is under pressure locally to keep the facility open to the 12 residents in it at present.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother, Breda (83), has been living in the Rosalie Unit since 2009, said Mr Naughten had told a public meeting last February that the unit would not close while he was part of the government.

    Mr Naughten lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the government decision to close the emergency department of Roscommon hospital in 2011.

    Recently  Tony Canavan of HSE West  told a meeting with local representatives that a report completed on the unit indicated that better care for residents could be provided in a different setting and said the unit was set for closure. However, he said before a final decision is made the report was being reviewed by a medical expert.

    Mr Walsh pointed out that there were 33 residents in the unit when his mother moved in and said following a decision to stop all new admissions in September 2016, the number had dropped to 12. “They have been trying to close it by stealth,” he insisted.

    We believe they want this building for something else, but we are prepared to keep fighting

    Mr Naughten confirmed he would raise the issue this week with the Taoiseach and said he would continue to press Mr Harris and Minister of State Jim Daly in relation to the unit.

    In response to a query on the unit by Fianna Fail deputy Euergene Murphy  last week in the Dail, Minister Jim Daly’s response concurred with the likely closure of the unit as a residential facility.

    The public meeting will take place in Hester's Golden Eagle Lounge this evening at 8.30pm

     

     

     

     

  • Minister Denis Naughten has welcomed reassurances provided by the HSE’s Tony Canavan today in relation to the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Minister Naughten had written to Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly stating that both Government and HSE policy is clear that the Rosalie Unit has a future which is in all likelihood within the Mental Health services and had sought reassurances in relation to both the residents of the unit and the future of the unit itself.

    The HSE has confirmed today that no decision will be taken in relation to the Rosalie Unit until the clinical assessment process has been completed and reviewed.

    Mr Canavan also said he can confirm that the Rosalie facility will continue to form part of the service delivery of health care in the Roscommon area, and that if any change of use should arrive from its current use, it will be done in consultation with public representatives and relevant stakeholders for the area.

    Minister Naughten says he welcomes the reassurances, and while it will provide some solace for residents and their families, he says we must continue to work with residents, their families and their advocates as well as the local community into the future.

    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit and he told Midwest News today that it is a welcome development but it does not provide any assurance regarding the long-term future of the Rosalie Unit. 

  • The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten is now encouraging homeowners to apply for grants for the installation of heat pumps. Grants of up to €3,500 are available and applications are now open.

    He says that heat pumps can completely change the comfort levels in a home, as well as reducing heating bills and removing the need for oil, gas or solid fuel. 

    The new grant is available to homes built before 2011.

     A survey of the home will be carried out before a grant offer can be made. 

    Grants available under Better Energy Homes Scheme include:

     

    Measure

    Measure type

    Grant amount

    Insulation

    Attic

    €300

     

    Cavity Wall

    €300

     

    Internal (Dry Lining)

    Detached

    €2,400

     

    Semi-detached/end of terrace

    €1,800

     

    Mid terrace/apartment

    €1,200

     

    External (Wrapping)

    Detached

    €6,000

     

    Semi-detached/end of terrace

    €4,500

     

    Mid terrace/apartment

    €2,750

    Heating System

    Heating controls

    €700

     

    Solar thermal

    €1,200

     

    Heat pump

    Air to air

    €600

     

    Air to water, ground source, water source, exhaust air

    €3,500

    Building Energy Rating (BER)

     

    €50

    Bonus for multiple measures

    For 3rd measure

    €300

     

    For 4th measure

    €100

     

     

    Further details are available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on 1850 927000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/better-energy-homes/

  • Any business interested in taking up a post office service in the 159 areas nationally where post offices are closing, should contact An Post directly, according to the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.

    Post Offices across rural Ireland are closing - including 11 in Mayo, 18 in Galway and 5 in Roscommon.

    The Minister told Midwest News today that there is a protocol between government and An Post that any local business can apply to run a post office. He agreed that it may not suit some existing businesses to change their business model to meet the strict criteria of a post office, but he insists that option is there.

  • The Communications Minister says he acted to the letter of the law when it came to the proposed takeover of the Celtic Media Group by INM.

    Denis Naughten confirmed he had a conversation with someone representing INM about referring the matter to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, before he made it public knowledge that that's what he would do.

    However the Minister says he didn't express a definitive view during that phone call and a referral to the BAI was just one of a range of options.

    Speaking in the Dail Minister Denis Naughten denied he passed insider information to Independent News and Media, contrary to suggestions in a court affidavit filed by the state's corporate watchdog.

  • Negotiations between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on the Budget and the Confidence and Supply Agreement should take place at the same time.

    That's the view of the Minister for the Environment, Denis Naughten.

    Both sides are at odds over the future of the Confidence and Supply Agreement, the deal which sees Fianna Fáil propping up the Fine Gael Government.

    The Taoiseach has called for the agreement to be extended now until 2020.

    But Micheál Martin appears to want to wait until after October's Budget.

    Minister Naughten says there's a risk the issues could overshadow sensitive Brexit talks

  • Supermac’s has announced that it will introduce 100 percent recyclable cups, paper straws, and create Green teams in each of its outlets nationwide as part of a major initiative to Go Green.

    Glan and Glas / Clean and Green Initiative will begin to be experienced by customers from September.

    The announcement was made by Minister Denis Naughten at the official opening earlier this week of the newly redeveloped Casey’s Service Station in Roscommon town.

  • Roscommon based Minister Denis Naughten is under pressure after revelations that he gave information to representatives of businessman Denis O'Brien about a takeover bid by INM.

    Mr O'Brien is the largest shareholder in Independent News and Media, which tried to takeover the Celtic Media Group in 2016.

    The Communications Minister informed someone working for INM that he planned to refer the bid to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for examination, two months before he made that information public.

    The state's corporate watchdog has raised concerns that this being passed to Mr O'Brien is a case of insider information and a breach of stock market rules.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar defended Minister Naughten in the Dáil this afternoon.