KEEPING IN TOUCH Michael McCarthy TD Kinsale News
THANK YOU Firstly, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, the people of Kinsale, for the courtesy and kindness shown to my canvass team and I throughout the General Election campaign. The level of support we received from the local community was heartening and I will now endeavour to represent your voice in Dáil Eireann where I will do my best to effect positive change in the lives of people in Cork South-West. There are various issues that are of concern to people in the Kinsale area - unemployment, marine, access to healthcare and education, to name but a few. Many people, for the first time in their lives, are genuinely uncertain about the security of their homes, their jobs and the future of their children, and it is my responsibility, as your local TD, to listen to these concerns and help try to ensure that people can enjoy stable and secure lives.
We live in challenging times, however we are not without hope. The new Government, tasked with an overwhelming mandate from the Irish people, are already putting right some of the wrongs imposed on our country by the previous administration. Reform, fairness and jobs are at the centre of Labour Party policy, and I hope to put those same things at the centre of life in areas like Kinsale. I hope you enjoy this newsletter which aims to provide you with a good insight into the work that I have been carrying out on your behalf since my election to Dáil Eireann in February. Please do not hesitate to get in contact if there are any local issues you wish to bring to my attention. Kind regards,
KINSALE COMMUNITY SCHOOL EXTENSION The issue of the planned extension to Kinsale Community School is a long-running one and something which I have championed in my previous role as Senator. Teaching staff there have shown exceptional patience to date in dealing with the situation, which was for too long put on the back burner by the previous Government. It is unacceptable that Kinsale has been denied this crucial extension. The school now has a population of 755, despite being designed to cater for 450 pupils. In my new capacity as a TD, I fully intend to continue pursuing this case and I will leave no stone unturned in securing a result. School Principal Sean o’Broin recently took me on a tour of the school campus, where I observed first-hand the difficulties experienced by staff and students there. A lack of specialist classrooms is obstructing the quality of service that teachers provide, while the schools’ narrow corridors bring their own share of problems. There is also no social area for pupils, and the small size of the gym means competitive games for pupils are ruled out. Following the visit, I submitted a parliamentary question to the Department of Education & Skills seeking an update on the status of the extension. I was informed that the tender process for the appointment of a Design Team on the project is in progress. The first stage of the process to pre-qualify suitable consultants is complete. The next stage of the process, due to commence shortly, will see invitations being issued to the consultants to tender for the selection and appointment of the design team.
Michael McCarthy TD with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore TD
APPROVAL FOR HARBOUR FUNDING Kinsale Harbour was recently awarded Government funding of €1.25 million to enable remedial, repair and extension works to be carried out there. This is a welcome injection of funds into the local harbour. It is also indicative of the new Government’s commitment to improving facilities in the marine and tourism industry, and indeed to enhancing the quality of life in coastal communities at large. The funding will now enable the following works to get underway this year: The continuation of re-construction work on the Town Berth-Commercial Berth (€420,000); Remedial works to Lobster Quay (€300,000); The extension to Adams Quay (€400,000); Survey, design, and planning work on the extension to the Town Pier (€130,000).
CAMPAIGN TO AWARD KINSALE COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION ‘STAND-ALONE’ STATUS Kinsale College of Further Education is a wonderful local facility which is operated by the VEC as a Post-Leaving Cert centre. Currently under the auspices of St. Brogan’s College in Bandon, the college is currently seeking stand-alone status. I have been in consultation with management of the school on this issue and in April, I raised the issue in the Dáil with the Minister of State for Education & Skills Ciaran Cannon TD. I told the Minister that - while cognisant of that fact that such a move may require some additional resources - I do believe that the social, educational and cultural value it would bring to Kinsale would far outweigh the the monetary costs involved in such a move. Arising from that exchange, the Department has sought a submission from the VEC looking for details on how this objective can be achieved on a cost-neutral basis. This is a step forward for the case. The school are working on this at present and I will continue to pursue this issue further.
BOOSTING TOURISM IN KINSALE There was good news for the tourism sector in the Government’s recent Job’s Initiative. Towns like Kinsale will benefit from the various measures that were announced in the package, both in terms of tourism and job creation. In particular, the introduction of a new Tourism Marketing Fund is to be welcomed as it will enable the release of tourism marketing resources to Tourism Ireland which will help to promote area like Kinsale abroad. I am
also working with councillors Tomas O’Brien and Tony Cierans locally to help promote attractions within Kinsale as part of a broader campaign to enhance tourism. This work includes the ongoing campaign for better signage for national monuments in the area, in particular Charles Fort, James Fort, Wine Museum and the Regional Museum. I have recently been in contact with Fáilte Ireland about this issue and negotiations are ongoing.
Michael with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore
KINSALE AS A MIDDLE-SIZED CONFERENCE VENUE The size of Kinsale, its supply of functional hotel facilities, and its proximity to Cork makes it the perfect location for middle-sized conferences. It's accessibility to Cork airport and the Cork-Swansea ferry enhances its attractiveness even further. There is a particular responsibility on local tourism providers to tap into this niche market and undertake more strategic forms of marketing. There is a need, therefore, to begin promoting Kinsale more effectively around the country as a potential conference base. Please feel free to make you views known on the various ways in which one can promote Kinsale as a great venue for middlesized conferences and I will endeavour to press this issue further.
Cllr. Tony Cierans, Peter O'Brien, Michael McCarthy TD and Donie O'Brien
GET IN CONTACT I am always interested in hearing your views on issues in the Kinsale area. If you wish to get in contact, call my office on 023-8855705. Alternatively you can email email@example.com
Michael McCarthy TD
Cllr Tomas O'Brien 087 2784953 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Tony Cierans 087 6387792 email@example.com
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