Lisa Chambers

  • Almost six and a half thousand older people across the country are currently on a waiting list for home care support from the HSE.

    The biggest waiting list in the CHO2, which comprises Mayo, Galway and Roscommon with 1,482 people waiting for home support hours.

    The figures, obtained by Fianna Fail, show that between January and March, the HSE missed its target of home support hours by around 40,000 hours - or almost 10%.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers is asking why those targets are being missed- particularly in the Western counties, where older people are waiting for basic supports in order to continue living at home.

  • Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis train stations look set to be completely automated, with no staff at the stations processing tickets, from March of this year. That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The deputy believes that this will impact negatively on many train users and she has written to Iarnrod Eireann to clarify its plans and is strongly opposing any such development.

    Deputy Chambers says that from March of this year, the ticket machines used by staff to sell train tickets in the stations will become obsolete and will not be replaced. Rail passengers will have to purchase tickets on line or at the self service ticket machines at the stations.

    In county Mayo she has been told that Westport train station is the only train station in the county that will get a new machine.

    If this happens she argues, than staff at the stations without a facility to sell tickets directly to customers, will become redundant and will be transferred to other locations.

    In a statement to Midwest News a spokesperson for Irish Rail says:

    We have stated previously and publically, including briefings of elected representatives, that we do plan to change the way we provide customer service, both on-board and in stations, to reflect changing customer requirements. 

    Traditional booking office ticket purchases today represent only 13% of total revenue, and are reducing – 87% of our revenue across all networks is now generated through ticket vending machines, online booking, and other automated channels.

    However, customers still want and require customer service assistance for their journey, particularly on board longer-distance services where many trains are currently driver-only.  This can result in people having customer service personnel available for the 5 minutes they are in the station, but not three hours they’re on the train.

    To meet this need, Iarnród Éireann is planning to improve its customer services to ensure more customers receive the support and service required as routine ticketing becomes more automated.

    This will mean:

    • An increase in on-board staffing, to provide on-board customer service officers on Intercity services, helping customers with boarding, seat reservations, and customer service information
    • Station staffing re-focused to provide customer service and assistance in the station area, with a mix of manned and self-service stations reflecting customer demand and usage patterns
    • Equipping on-board and station staff with enhanced information and support to assist customers

    On-board Customer Service Officer deployment has begun.  We do anticipate that there will be changes in stations during 2019, which will include stations with full ticket sales, some stations having customer service staff for customer assistance, with ticketing through automated channels, and some stations becoming unmanned.

    However, final details of these changes have not yet been confirmed including timescales, and we will engage with employees and our customers to outline these changes nationwide, including in Mayo.

    The changes in customer service will mean that customers will have continuous access to customer service support on Intercity services, including assistance for customers with mobility and sensory impairments; better service information; better delivery of seat reservations; and a deterrent to anti-social behaviour.


  • Bus Eireann has today announced changes to Route 52 - the service from Ballina to Galway - as this bus route will no longer service the towns of Swinford and Kiltimagh.

    The changes will come into effect from this Sunday 1st July.


    Bus Eireann says the revised Route 52 buses will travel from Ballina to Castlebar and onto Galway, with some changes also for other routes in Co Mayo.

    A new Route 421 will be introduced bringing passengers from Swinford, Kiltimagh and Knock to Claremorris, with connections from Claremorris to other services.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says she predicted this outcome earlier in the year, but Bus Eireann continually denied that services would be cut, and a review was underway to enhance services in Mayo.

    Deputy Chambers says today's statement from Bus Eireann confirms what she feared all along - that Swinford and Kiltimagh would be removed from Route 52.....

  • Parents fear siblings will be split by a decision to limit enrolment numbers at multi- denominational schools.

    The Department of Education is restricting enrolment at five Educate Together schools to a half-stream limit, which means just 13 new pupils will be enrolled next September.

    The decision affects Educate Together schools in Castlebar, Tuam, Tramore, Trim and New Ross.

    Parents and teachers at the five schools affected have begun a campaign to have the decision reversed.

    The schools were informed they would be allowed a half-stream intake when they were granted permission to set up.

    This was because they are situated in locations with low population growth, but have a demand for diversity.

    Educate Together described the affected schools as "thriving" with growing waiting lists. It said the move would require them to turn away children and families.

    It said the department's decision contradicts why the schools opened and flies in the face of Government claims that the Irish education system supports parental choice.

    A statement from the Department of Education said Educate Together had been aware that the five schools would begin as half stream schools with an intake of 13 pupils.

    It added: "This arrangement has been reflected in the department's engagement with the patron of the schools, Educate Together, and was reiterated in correspondence and communications with the schools concerned.

    A case has been submitted by Educate Together to the Department of Education to further expand these schools and this is currently under consideration, according to the Dept statement.

    Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called on the Education Minister to abolish the 13 pupil limit. The Department’s current position to limit enrolment to a half stream from September has led to an outcry from parents in Castlebar, she claims, who want to send their children to a multi-denominational school.

    The deputy says the Department sanctioned the opening of the school, but now appears to be attempting to stifle its success by imposing enrolment restrictions.  Demand for places in Educate Together schools is high and the Minister should be embracing their popularity and increasing places to give parents a range of educational options.

    She raised this issue at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil front bench yesterday and says Fianna Fáil is now  calling on Minister Bruton to ensure that these schools are given the resources to offer the full allocation of class places, and not be stymied by a flawed government policy. 

  • Mayo TD Lisa Chambers has called on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross to instruct Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to erect signposts on the M6 & M17 motorways for Ireland West Airport in Knock.

    The Fianna Fail deputy claims it’s ridiculous that she has to ask the Minister for something that should already be there. She claims there is no logic  in having an airport without proper signage in place.

    The deputy has sent a parliamentary question to the Minister asking him to instruct the TII to put the proper signage in place and has also written to the TII asking for same.


  • A Mayo Fianna Fáil TD says the increase in the number of people presenting at Mayo University Hospital's Emergency Department is further proof of the Government's inaction in dealing with the current health crisis.

    Deputy Lisa Chambers submitted a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Health regarding the current situation at Mayo University Hospital's Emergency Department and says the response she received was not surprising.

    Figures show that there was an increase in attendances to the Emergency Department of 6.3% between January and May of this year, which saw 16,162 people attending the ED, compared to 15,202 in the same period in 2017.

    Deputy Chambers says she has been highlighting the overcrowding at MUH's ED since she was first elected to the council in 2014 and every year sees an increase in figures.


  • Mayo TD Lisa Chambers has expressed concern over low staffing levels in the Mayo University Hospital’s Maternity Ward.


    There are currently 10 fulltime staff vacancies at the maternity Ward and a 2014 government review found that the hospital was 5 staff below recommended levels.


    The Fianna Fáil TD has called on the Minster for Health and the HSE to address the staffing levels and wants five additional staff added to the ten that have already been approved.

  • The Taoiseach is being called on to clarify what agreement, if any, has been made in relation to a review of a Brexit backstop.

    It comes as Leo Varadkar travels to Finland today, where Brexit is set to top the agenda in a series of meetings with Finnish leaders.

    The discussions will also consider December's EU summit and migration.

    Fianna Fail's Brexit Spokesperson , Mayo TD Lisa Chambers, says the Taoiseach needs to bring clarity to the Government's position on a potential review:



  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD is calling on the National Immunisation Advisory Committee to examine the possibility of extending the HPV vaccine to men and women up to the age of 45. 

    The vaccine is currently available to teenage girls in their first year of secondary school to help protect them from cervical cancer, and a consultation process is underway to consider offering the vaccine to teenage boys possibly from next year.

    Earlier this month in the United States, the FDA approved the use of the vaccine to include women and men aged between 27 and 45.

    Mayo TD Lisa Chambers says the HPV vaccine is the most successful means of protecting girls from developing cervical cancer when they are older, and while a recent rise in the uptake of the vaccine is welcome, it should be extended to other age groups.

  • A Mayo TD is calling on Irish Water to amend its Capital Plan to include a new public water supply scheme from Westport to Louisburg.

    The matter was discussed at a well-attended public meeting in Lecanvey last night, where residents pledged their support for whatever action is needed to secure a safe public water supply for the villages of Murrisk, Lecanvey and Kilsallagh and the town of Louisburg.

    Residents in these areas are currently depending on water from Croagh Patrick streams, which is then treated locally, while many are buying bottled water for drinking.

    The issue has been ongoing for a number of years, particularly as Murrisk is a national pilgrimage site with hundreds of thousands of people coming to the area to climb Croagh Patrick every year.

    Landowners are now threatening to block access to Croagh Patrick unless a new public water scheme is put in place, while the possibility of closing access to beaches on the southern shores of Clew Bay was also discussed at last night’s meeting.

    A committee is being set up to campaign for a public water supply for the area stretching from Westport to Louisburg, but Irish Water says such a scheme is not on the current Capital Investment Plan.

    Mayo County Council says it’s willing to work with the local communities in setting up a Group Water Scheme in the area, but the majority of local residents insist a public scheme is the way forward and last night’s meeting heard that they will support whatever action is needed to secure such a supply.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chamber attended last night’s public meeting in Lecanvey.

    She intends to raise the matter in the Dáil, and is calling on Irish Water to amend its capital investment plan to include a new public water scheme from Westport to Louisburg….

  • The effect of the severe fodder shortage in Mayo cannot be overstated, as farmers are at their wits end – that’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers.

    The party last night tabled motions in the Dáil and Seanad on the fodder crisis and its impact on animal welfare, farm sustainability and the wellbeing of farmers.

    Fianna Fail is calling for a number of measures to alleviate pressure on farmers, including a hardship fund,  low interest loans to tide farmers over,  the speeding up of farm payments and a temporarily halt to all cross compliance inspections on farms.

    However, Deputy Chambers says the most immediate need is for a meal voucher scheme to be introduced….

  • New legislation is needed to ensure that patients are informed if their test results are not accurate – that’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers.

    The Cervical Check scandal is dominating proceedings in the Dáil this afternoon, where the Health Minister Simon Harris is under pressure to release a memo he was given about the issue before Vicky Phelan took her case.

    The memo reportedly indicated women were not automatically being given the results of their smear audits.

    It has emerged that Mayo, Galway and Sligo University Hospitals are among the 13 hospitals given information relating to 208 women who should have received earlier intervention following cervical cancer tests.

    The HSE confirmed yesterday that 162 women – including 17 who have died – were not informed of a delay in their cervical cancer diagnosis.

    Deputy Lisa Chambers says public confidence needs to be restored in the cancer-screening programme, and if there is a misdiagnosis, patients need to be told as early as possible….

  • The Sports Minister Shane Ross has failed to give a date for work to begin on the running track sanctioned for Lough Lannagh, Castlebar.

    That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers, who claims this is another broken promise by Government.

    Work is continuing on Phase One of the 11 million euro sports project at Lough Lannagh – which is the provision of a new swimming pool.

    Phase Two involves the development of a running track alongside the new pool, but following local concerns that the second phase may not go ahead, Deputy Chambers submitted a parliamentary question on the matter to the Dept of Transport, Tourism & Sport.

    The Minister has since confirmed that no money has been allocated for Phase 2, and no date has been given for when this project will commence.