Michael Fitzmaurice

  • Some areas of the Co Roscommon village of Ballinlough were without water again today – for the second time in four days -due to a burst in a pipe.

    Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says it’s not good enough that local residents and Carrick national school are without water once again, as this has happened a number of times in recent weeks.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice is calling on Irish Water to replace the pipe in the area as a matter of urgency. 

  • Almost half of all TDs in Leinster House are worth more than €1m, according to the Sunday Independent's Political Rich List.

    The first-of-its-kind research project has estimated the combined potential wealth of all 158 TDs to be in excess of €216m.

    The analysis by the paper’s financial expert Karl Deeter found that central to this wealth is the gold-plated public service pensions which TDs receive on retiring from politics.

    Independent Tipperary based TD Michael Lowry is the wealthiest politician in the Dail.

    Mr Lowry's State pension and personal assets are estimated to be worth a massive €6.4m.

    The second wealthiest TD is Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, with an estimated value of €5.4m.

    Former Taoiseach, Mayo deputy  Enda Kenny is fifth wealthiest TD with an estimated value of €4.7m.

    Fine Gael is by far the richest political party with all 50 TDs having a combined wealth of €80m.

    Fianna Fail's 44 TDs are worth almost €70m, while Sinn Fein's 23 members of the Dail are worth an estimated €12m.

  • Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice has got the support of 19 Independent TDs and Senators to back the nomination of a candidate seeking to contest the Presidential election.

    Investigative journalist Gemma O'Doherty is the latest to announce her intention to seek a nomination for the presidency.

    She is one of a number of independent candidates seeking a nomination.

    A candidate needs the support of 20 Oireachtas members or 4 local authorities to secure a nomination.

    Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour have all decided to support current President Michael D Higgins' bid for a second term, while Sinn Fein confirmed earlier this Summer that it would be fielding a candidate, but has not yet announced the candidate.

    Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice believes that-in the interests of democracy - the Independent Oireachtas members should facilitate a candidate to contest the election, but is not asking his colleagues at this point to state their preferred candidate.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice told Midwest News this evening that he will be contacting his Independent colleagues again this week on the matter...

  • A public meeting will take place in the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone next Monday night, to discuss concerns about the National Planning Framework. The Government is currently drafting a plan for the country until 2040 , and will become the basis for future development in urban and rural areas of the country for the next two decades. However, there are concerns among public representatives across the political divide that some aspects proposed in the plan would impact negatively in western areas, and throughout many parts of rural Ireland – for example in relation to one-off housing. Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice, Fianna Fail TD Eamon O’Cuiv and Labour Party TD Alan Kelly will outline their concerns at next Monday night’s public meeting, which gets underway at 8pm. Deputy Fitzmaurice claims the draft Ireland 2040 Plan will further undermine this region.

  • The rollout of new bus services across 19 counties to bring people from rural areas to their local pub or village will do little to tackle rural isolation.

    That’s according to Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    The Minister for Transport Shane Ross yesterday confirmed a new 6-month pilot programme, which will see 50 bus services rolled out across 19 counties in a move aimed at tackling rural isolation.

    None of the new services will operate in the western counties of Mayo, Galway, Roscommon or Sligo, but the Minister said the application process would be reopened if areas that have not applied for a route would like to apply.

    However, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has accused Minister Ross of offering a sop to rural Ireland in promising these new bus services.

    He also says the Minister is attempting to introduce new drink-driving legislation that will do little to improve road safety in rural Ireland – rather than improving defective roads, and increasing the number of Gardai in the Traffic division to enforce existing legislation….

  • A Roscommon TD is calling on the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to allow farmers participating in the GLAS scheme to cut traditional hay meadow from next week.

    Under the current regulations, cutting cannot take place before 1st July, but with very good weather forecast over the next week, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says it makes sense to bring forward that date - given the fodder shortages experienced by many farmers in recent months....

  • There are concerns that the Government's 2020 deadline for the rollout of high speed broadband across rural Ireland will not be met.

    It comes as SSE yesterday became the latest company to withdraw from the bidding process for delivering the National Broadband Plan.

    The e-net consortium says the bid is very much on track and it's just weeks away from submitting its final tender.

    However, Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice asks who will make up the €100 million euro deficit left by SSE's withdrawal from the e-net consortium.

    If a new investor is required, that will take time, and could further delay the rollout of broadband, which is essential for rural areas, according to Deputy Fitzmaurice.

    Minister of State Séan Kyne insists the Government is still committed to the National Broadband Plan, and it's full steam ahead.

    He said tenders from the remaining consortium are expected in the coming weeks, and the Government hopes to award the contract soon after that.

    But speaking with Midwest Radio, Deputy Fitzmaurice says this latest development raises a number of questions about the planned rollout of broadband.....

  • The Cabinet's approval of changes to the Fair Deal scheme which will assist farmers and small business owners are welcome, but the details of the changes need to be clarified, according to Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    The current system sees farm families and small business owners required to set aside 7.5% of the value of their land annually to fund a place in a nursing home.

    Under the new plan, this will be capped at three years in future - subject to conditions.

    In order to qualify for the new terms, the person entering a nursing home must appoint a successor who will sign a legally binding commitment to continue the family business, and young farmers will be tied to the land for at least 6 years.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has welcomed the changes to Fair Deal, but is awaiting clarification on the details of the scheme....