Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice

  • A visit by a Chinese delegation to a meat plant in Co Roscommon, which was cancelled on Monday, will go ahead following negotiations between the meat plant and protesting farmers.

    The visit could see Kepak Athleague being approved for Chinese exports.

    It's reported that Monday's visit to the Athleague plant was cancelled after protesters refused to allow animals into the factory to be slaughtered in preparation for the Chinese inspection.

    Negotiations between senior management at Kepak and protesters took place yesterday, assisted by local Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, who told Midwest news that the Chinese delegation have arrived at the plant this morning....

  • A major COVID-19 outbreak has occurred at a private nursing home in county Galway, infecting most of the residents and staff.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice raised the matter this afternoon in the Dail where he said  25 out of 27 residents in the home have tested positive, while one of them has died.

     It was also claimed 7 out of 8 nursing staff have also been infected, along with 10 out of 11 healthcare assistants.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice says the nursing home contacted the HSE for additional help, however, to date the response by the HSE has been described as less than adequate.

    The problem began to emerge last Monday, when a resident was taken to hospital.

    A positive Covid-19 test was returned for that person and all staff and residents in the home were subsequently swabbed.

    By 10pm on Tuesday night, when the results for all tests came back, 25 out of 27 residents were found to be Covid-19 positive.

    As a result, the nursing home is operating with a massively reduced number of staff today.

    At present, just one nurse and one health care worker are on duty, along with some ancillary staff at the premises.

    Until now, the nursing home was Covid free.

    Staff say all concerned had worked night and day to safeguard residents and keep the virus at bay.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice also raised the issue in the Dáil this afternoon.

     

     

  • Several Independent TDs will meet Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael this afternoon, as efforts to form a government continue.

    Rural deputies Marian Harkin, Michael Fitzmaurice and Sean Canney are among those who'll meet the two larger parties.

    Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have agreed to go into government together, but are eight seats short of a Dáil majority.

    Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice says today's meeting is only the start of the process.

     

  • Deputy Michael Ring had queried when the position of Chief Executive of Mayo Council will be filled following the retirement of Mr. Peter Hynes.

     Deputy Michael Ring says he was informed that the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage received a staffing sanction request for the post of Chief Executive of Mayo County Council on the 17th September last. A letter of approval sanctioning this post issued the following day.

    The deputy argues that the role of the Chief Executive is a very important role and even more so now, as Mayo face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is vital that the role of Chief Executive of Mayo County Council is filled on a permanent basis within a reasonable timeframe” 

     

  • The Level 5 restrictions will decimate trade at livestock marts, according to Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice. 

    While online sales can still go ahead, Deputy Fitzmaurice says this cannot replace buyers around the ring, and says the restrictions could not have come at a worse time for farmers with weanlings to sell.

    He's raising the matter in the Dail this afternoon, to ask for revised restrictions for marts.

     

  • Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice is calling on the Health Minister Simon Harris to vacate his ministerial position over the significant cost over-runs in the construction of the National Children's Hospital.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice said he's disappointed that the Government is now progressing with a hospital which is poorly accessible for the majority of the country, and insists a greenfield site was the way forward.

    In relation to the construction of the new hospital, he says it would have been simpler to get a design and build fixed-price contract.

    While calling for Minister Harris to step aside over the cost controversy, Deputy Fitzmaurice also said the protest which took place outside the Minister's family home at the weekend was unacceptable.

  • As students prepare to return to both primary and second-level schools, there are concerns over how the school bus service will operate - that's according to Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    The school transport system will run as normal for primary school pupils, with buses running at full capacity.

    However, the Education Minister Norma Foley announced last week that buses for secondary school students will only be permitted to run at 50% capacity - which would mean needing over 1500 extra buses nationally.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice has questioned where these buses will come from, and says many bus companies are already struggling to find drivers for the buses they have - as some previous drivers have found alternative work during the lockdown.

    The Independent TD is also questioning the decision to compensate parents who decide to drive their children to school, rather than opting for the school bus service.

    If this means the numbers availing of the bus then drop below the minimum threshold of ten, he asks does this mean the bus will then be cancelled?

    Deputy Fitzmaurice says we cannot allow the number of students who avail of discretionary school transport to be reduced, or the number of bus routes to drop because of last week's decision.

    He says the Education Minister has a number of questions to answer in relation to the school transport scheme.

  • The Agriculture Minister is being called on to fast track talks on the beef crisis. 

    Minister Michael Creed scheduled talks for Monday, which are aimed at resolving the long-running dispute.

    However, Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice wants them brought forward to this afternoon. 

    He says there appears to be a real will across all sides to find a resolution, and the Minister should strike while the iron is hot.

  • As the farmers protest continues in the capital, a Roscommon TD is calling for the Beef Market Taskforce to be reconvened, as a matter of urgency.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice is calling on the chair of the taskforce Michael Dowling and the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to resolve the issues which are preventing the taskforce from meeting.

    Given the extent to which Irish beef is being promoted globally to attract new markets, Deputy Fitzmaurice says it's imperative that all stakeholders are brought back to the table, and for that to happen, all injunctions against farmers need to be lifted.

     

  • With a status yellow rainfall warning in place, a Roscommon TD is calling for an extension to the slurry spreading deadline.

    As is stands, tomorrow is the last day farmers will be allowed to spread slurry this year, with the closed period coming to an end in January.

    Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice says Irish farmers have had to put up with consistent rainfall since early August, and he's calling on Ministers Michael Creed and Eoghan Murphy to grant an extension....

  • A Roscommon TD has slammed what he calls "continued efforts by the HSE and Government" to close the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Despite a number of promises made by the Government in recent years, the HSE is continuing with its campaign to close the unit and move the remaining residents to other facilities, according to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    He's aware of one resident who was taken to hospital, and was told he would not be returning to the Rosalie unit.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice says it's unfortunate that the HSE is relying only on clinical reports, and that the residents and their families are not being listened to.

  • Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice is calling for the government to have a 'golden share' in the National Broadband Plan.

    The Roscommon-Galway TD wants a number of safeguards to ensure the project doesn't become another fiasco.

    He wants an oversight committee to be established in the Dáil, made up of mostly rural TDs.

    The state is investing € 3 million in the project, but won't own the broadband network when it's completed.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice wants to ensure taxpayers money isn't wasted.

  • A Roscommon-Galway TD insists it's vital that agricultural marts aren't forced to close because of the coronavirus crisis.

    There have been calls for marts to close, because of the restrictions on mass gatherings.

    The Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society says they can proceed, but are limited to 100 people.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says marts and factories need to stay open to keep the food chain going....