Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed that the Government has allocated €2.18m for primary and post primary schools in Counties Roscommon & Galway to purchase equipment which will enable them to integrate digital technology in teaching and learning.

    90 primary schools throughout County Roscommon and 228 in County Galway will benefit from funding of €2,000 per school plus €21.47 per mainstream pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special School.

    A further 8 second level schools in Co. Roscommon and 42 Co. Galway second level schools will also receive funding of €2,000 per school plus €31.22 per student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS schools.

    Minister Naughten says the investment shows the commitment of Government to support the digital economy.

  • Almost 4,000 homeless children are currently living in emergency accmomodation, while some 9,000 family homes are locked out of the housing market as a result of the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

    That's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten, who recently pointed out that the Fair Deal scheme is effectively banning the renting out of vacant houses belonging to older people in nursing homes, as they are hit with a treble penalty under the current means-test rules.

    The latest homeless figures published yesterday by the Department of Housing show that 3,848 children in 1,726 families are without a home - while up to 9,000 family homes are falling into disrepair due to the rules regarding rental income - that's five vacant homes for each homeless family.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Deputy Naughten says this situation needs to be reviewed ahead of the Budget.

  • Independent TD Denis Naughten has confirmed that a new back-up air ambulance service is to be based beside Roscommon University Hospital from next week to replace the down time of the Air Corps based helicopter in Athlone.

    The move follows a decision by the Department of Defence to withdraw the Athlone-based air ambulance service for 16 days between now and February next year due to training and staff shortage issues.

    The Irish Community Rapid Response will base their air ambulance helicopter beside Roscommon University Hospital for 4 days per month for an initial 4 month period.

    Run on €2m of funds raised annually by the community, the Cork-based Irish Rapid Response air ambulance has completed hundreds of missions dealing with road accidents and medical emergencies since its inception in August.

    It is understood the Cork service will be in a position to operate at night unlike the service it is replacing in Athlone but there are concerns over the accessibility to sites in rural areas where the coast guard service may experience difficulties in landing safely.