Senator Rose Conway-Walsh

  •  Almost 5 million euro has been spent on ambulances to Mayo University Hospital over the past seven years, and according to Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh it’s too high a price to pay when the service is not under HSE control.

    The senator says the spending €4.8 million on private ambulances since 2011 does not constitute value for money and the money should instead have been spent purchasing and staffing new ambulances.

     She claims that the ambulance services in the HSE have suffered from years of cuts, under investment, and privatisation of ambulance services with over €31 million being spent on private ambulances by the HSE nationally since 2011.

    Mayo University Hospital and the State, she believes, need to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute fiscal prudence.

  • The disparity in what the GAA gives back per player in each county from its ticket sales in the National Leagues and All Ireland Championship matches, is unfair according to a Mayo Senator.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has questioned the GAA president on how and why the decision to increase ticket prices for this year’s Leagues and All-Ireland matches was reached.

    The Senator is concerned that new GAA pricing model could prevent loyal supporters from attending matches, particularly families where a number of tickets need to be purchased.

    She was speaking at a special address to the Seanad by Mr. John Horan, where she raised what she sees as the inequity in prices paid back to clubs per player from ticket sales.

  • The impossible workload facing teaching principals in smaller primary schools was highlighted this week at the INTO conference in Galway.

    Teaching principals are a feature of many smaller schools - especially in counties in the West of Ireland - but many have reported increased stress levels due to trying to balance their teaching work with administrative duties.

    They're asking to be released from the classroom for one day per week to carry out their administrative work.

    Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the current situation cannot continue, and the Government needs to immediately address the workload placed on teaching principals.

  • An interim scheme needs to be put in place for farmers who are coming out of the AEOS scheme and cannot enter GLAS.

    That's according to Mayo-based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who raised the issue this week at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture.

    Department officials confirmed that, for farmers in this position, there will not be a scheme in place until after 2021.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says it's unfair to leave these farmers for two years without a scheme, facing a significant drop in income, and she's calling on the Agriculture Minister to put an interim scheme in place for those leaving AEOS that were excluded from GLAS.

  • Midwest News understands that a woman was left waiting for three hours for an ambulance after being injured when she fell off a bicycle in the Glenamoy area of north Mayo yesterday.

    The woman is believed to have suffered an injury after coming off her bike yesterday afternoon. When the call was made for an ambulance, if it understood the available ambulance was in Clifden at the time.

    A GP is understood to have assessed the woman at the scene and said she was fit to be moved, at which point she is understood to have been brought to the Garda Station to wait for the ambulance.

    Local Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says while yesterday’s situation was shocking, it is not surprising to people in Erris.

    She says that situations like this have occurred before and it is something that will have to be dealt with in some way or another.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling for an investigation into the prices being paid by meat factories to farmers for beef. Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh has called for an investigation into whether or not a cartel is in operation by a small number of factories.

    She raised the matter at the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture earlier this week.

     Representatives of three farming organisations were present – the IFA, the ICMSA and the INHFA.

    The Senator believes that the low prices being paid by factories to farmers at present means that many farmers in this region can no longer afford to continue in beef production.

  • A Mayo Senator says she's very concerned at the lack of clarity from a Government Minister over when a new Primary Care Centre will be constructed in Bangor Erris.

    Erris-based SF Senator Rose Conway-Walsh raised the matter last week in the Seanad with Minister Jim Daly, and asked for an update on the status of the centre - given that a needs assessment carried out almost 20 years ago established the need for such a facility in the area.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says there's already concern locally in relation to retaining GPs who serve large geographical areas of Erris, and she believes the Primary Care Centre should be delivered sooner rather than later.

    However, Minister Daly said a Primary Care Centre for Bangor is not in the 2019 or 2020 plans, but a business case is currently being prepared for such a facility.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that, in light of the overspend at the National Children's Hospital, she sought specific assurances about the proposed Primary Care Centre for Bangor Erris...

  • A Mayo Sinn Féin Senator has called for an independent investigation on the historical prescribing of valproate to pregnant women.

    Rose Conway-Walsh says it is now clear that hundreds of children have been born with disabilities as a direct result of the of the prescribing sodium valproate (epilim) which is a drug licensed in Ireland for the treatment of epilepsy and bi-polar disorder.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the crux of the matter is that parents were not informed of the risks or risk-reduction measures they needed to put in place, therefore they continued to be prescribed valporate during pregnancy.

  • A  Mayo Senator is calling on the Mayo-based Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring to get involved in issues surrounding the school transport system.

    Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says, once again this year, families are faced with the problem of children being left without places on the school bus.

    While many of these children were fully paid up by the deadline, they're only being informed in recent weeks that they have no place on the school transport  - and she says that, in some cases, their brothers and sisters attending the same school have already secured a seat on the bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh claims many of the problems associated with school transport at this time of year are escalating from previous years...

  • A Mayo Senator says it's very disappointing that the Government has not yet decided whether to provide the Spinraza drug for children suffering from SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    A decision was expected today, but that has now been deferred, according to Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who says it's bitterly disappointing for the families of two children in south Mayo with this condition.

    The families of Grace O'Malley in Hollymount and Cillian Mearns from Cloghans are left waiting for a decision on this life-changing drug, which is available in 21 other countries in Europe, and Senator Conway-Walsh is urging people to highlight this campaign on the doorsteps ahead of next week's local and European elections....

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann on the School Bus Transport Scheme.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says there are a number of issues arising from what she describes as the inflexibility of the scheme.

    Bus Eireann says the company is only taking instructions on how the scheme should operate from the Department of Transport.

    She raised the case of a student who is a valid medical card holder, and her parents were advised that she was eligible for a seat on the bus. However she cannot use a seat on the bus, as there is no room on it at present. Her siblings are currently travelling on this bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh said she wanted to establish whose responsibility is it to ensure this girl has a seat on the bus. It was established that Bus Eireann need to get approval from the Department on this.

    She also raised the issue of the timings under which applications must be submitted for a place on such bus routes.

     

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the commitment of Fianna Fáil to saving rural post offices after their own motion on the issue was poorly attended by their own senators.

    Sinn Féin's Rose Conway-Walsh says there was only one speaker from Fianna Fáil on behalf of the motion and only three Fianna Fáil senators turned up to vote.

    She says there is no use in attending mass rallies calling for the protection of rural post offices if those same politicians are not going to use every avenue available in the Oireachtas to achieve this.

    Senator Conway-Walsh was strongly critical of Fianna Fáil's attempts to explain away the 732 post office closures that happened when they were in Government.

  • A Mayo Senator has raised the issue of home help hours and packages with the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh says there are 6,450 people assessed and approved for home help and are on a waiting list for it.

    She also raised the issue of home help providers having their hours cut.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says that the system which was in place up to 2010, where the HSE ran the home help service, worked perfectly and should not have changed. The service was privatised after 2010.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that there are ways and means that the issue of waiting lists can be tackled.

  • A Mayo Senator has said Revenue must treat farmers as citizens not targets in new taxation measures.

    Erris Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh was speaking at an IFA meeting to inform farmers about the changes in Breaffy House last week.

    She says small farmers in the west of Ireland struggling to make a living on marginal land must be exempted from further bureaucracy when it comes to new taxation measures proposed.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the new PAYE modernisation scheme, due to be implemented from January 2019 is unworkable for small farmers. She says having to report any payments to spouses, sons or daughters or casual labour in real time, is going to cause huge challenges for farmers.

    The Senator says exemptions must be introduced to reflect these situations for farmers.

  • A Mayo Senator says Sinn Fein absolutely made the right decision to run a candidate in the election.

    Erris based SF Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says there was a limited time for people to get to know the candidates properly and they were only getting to know their candidate Liadh Ni Riada.

    Senator Conway-Walsh spoke with Midwest News at the count centre in Castlebar today.

    Meanwhile Castlebar Fine Gael Cllr Henry Kenny says there is no doubt in his mind, that that right candidate for the job will be elected later.

    Cllr Kenny says Michael D Higgins is the correct choice for President in terms of his capabilities for the position.

  • Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh is calling on Fine Gael representatives in Mayo to apply pressure to their Cabinet colleagues to sign off on the pyrite redress scheme, as she says time is of the essence in order to facilitate necessary repairs.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says that, with the onset of spring and summer, the only opportunity that householders have to arrange for necessary repairs to be carried out is fast approaching, as complex external structural work can only be completed in relatively good weather.

    Senator Conway Walsh says many houses around Co Mayo are in a precarious state due to pyrite damage, and the homeowners need to know when the redress scheme will be made available, so they can plan the necessary repairs.

     

     

  •  A new report from the Society of St Vincent de Paul shows that one in five working lone parents are living below the poverty line - which has more than doubled since 2012.

    The changes introduced in 2015 by then Social Protection Minister Joan Burton saw 30 thousand families lose their one parent allowance payment.

    Access to childcare is one of the biggest barriers to work for single parents.

    The report published yesterday also found that living standards for lone parents in Ireland are among the worst in Europe.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh is urging Minister Regina Doherty to take immediate action to lift lone parent families out of poverty.

     

  • Community Employment schemes across the West will be hit by strike action next Monday.

    CE scheme supervisors and assistant supervisors are to go on a one-day strike, in a dispute over pensions.

    It's over a decade ago since the Labour Court issued a recommendation that an agreed pension scheme be put in place for community employment scheme supervisors and their assistants, but the Government has failed to implement the recommendation, according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who's now calling on the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to address the Seanad on the issue.

    Last year, the Dail passed a motion calling for the Labour Court recommendation to be implemented, but it has not yet happened.

    The Erris-based Senator wants the Govt to act immediately to reach a resolution to this long-running issue.

     

     

  • A Mayo Senator has asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to address the urgent need for a family resource centre in Erris.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the Minister needs to recognise the unique factors present in Erris. She says due to the poor standards of the roads and the dire lack of public service, the population of Erris cannot rely on essential services making their way into the area.

    The Senator says it is not feasible for support services such as those provided for by Tusla through Family Resource Centres to travel in and out of Erris to meet individuals and families.

    She says Tusla and HSE staff spending half their day travelling is not a best use of their time and is not conductive to providing the quality of support service to individuals and families. Senator Conway-Walsh says the reality is that families and individuals are being deprived of life saving and life changing supports and services available to people living in other areas.

    She says a FRC located in Erris would facilitate an early intervention and prevention approach and would assist in preventing cases escalating to social work teams which are already overstretched.

  • A Mayo Senator has welcomed the decision by Bank of Ireland to reverse the decision to make several branches completely cashless.

    Bank of Ireland confirmed to Midwest News today that by the end of 2018, it will offer a full counter service at 164 branches spread across every county in Ireland. This includes some branches in County Mayo.

    This is happening on a phased basis and some branches have already implemented it. Full details of the branches that will have the service restored have not been confirmed by the bank as of yet.

    At present Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Charlestown and Kiltimagh have no cash desk facilities, while in Belmullet, Claremorris and Swinford the cash counter only operates for two and a half hours in the morning.

    In July Erris based Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Coyle confirmed to Midwest News that the cash counters at the Bank of Ireland branches in Belmullet and Westport will remain open all day from September.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who is a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, says the decision by Bank of Ireland has not materialised out of nothing and has called on other banks who have curtailed branch services to take note of this row back by Bank of Ireland and respect their customers.