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Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

A chairde, When Irish people think of September they usually think All Ireland Finals, all four on successive Sundays, hurling and camogie, football and ladies football, the ploughing championship and Listowel races. Thankfully all these events were a huge success again this year with the weather being generally kind. At European Parliament level September was also very busy with the full Parliament having two weeks sitting in Strasbourg. I spoke on issues from biodiversity, commerce, financial crisis, disadvantaged areas, development aid and human rights. Back home I had the pleasure of participating on a live Raidio na Gaeltachta programme which honoured “Craoltoir Ar Linne” the great Micheál O’Muircheartaigh, the All Ireland club golf challenge in Faithlegg, Waterford and meeting with the National Council for Exercise and Fitness in UL, for which I have been appointed a Trustee. Of great importance to me personally was being appointed chairman of the St Brendan’s College Killarney 150 years' celebration committee. We had a very successful launch in the Malton Hotel to which both Archbishop Clifford of Cashel & Emily and Bishop Bill Murphy (Kerry) attended. It’s always nice to be involved with my Alma Mater. I won my first major debate (clash) at European Parliament level. I was proposing that factors Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010 other than GDP be considered for the disbursement of structural funding. It was fiercely resisted (maybe even resented) by the establishment, but we won by 2 votes. If ultimately successful it could have huge benefits for Ireland. Another development I was proud to attend was the prize giving for the Student Enterprise Competition in the Tipperary Institute by one of Ireland's foremost business success stories, Denis O’Brien. Entrepreneurship is going to be vital in economic recovery and the more initiatives in this regard the better for our country. On another note, I am flattered by the amount of people who have asked me to run for President of Ireland. It's early days yet and for the moment I am concentrating full time on my work for Ireland in Europe. I will let loftier thoughts take their course. Finally as a Kerryman may I congratulate Cork on their well-deserved success in the All-Ireland Final and of course Tipperary in the Hurling. The two major trophies in Gaelic Games reside in my constituency. A nice boast for the winter. Le gach dea-ghuí, Sean Kelly. In this month's newsletter: Page 3:

Jargon Buster

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€13 Million Flood Relief Fund Approved by EU

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Youth Unemployment - EU Takes Action to Address Crisis

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The Future of Sport in the EU - 100 million more active Europeans

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Financial Assistance for Energy Projects to be Unlocked

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Prioritise Fair Revenue for Farmers

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Good Year for Football, Great Year for Cork

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Dignity in victory proves Sheedy was right man for Tipp Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

Jargon Buster - Leonardo da Vinci Programme Leonardo da Vinci is arguably history's most famous artist and inventor, known equally for the Mona Lisa as for providing blueprints for a prototype helicopter. His efforts defined the Renaissance Man as someone adept in all areas. He was in effect an innovator and an entrepreneur, and well travelled to boot. It is no surprise then that EU has designed and funded practical vocational training programmes for youth and named it after the great Leonardo da Vinci. You want to learn the most up to date skills in plumbing, electronics, or even art and design? The EU is there to fund your study and travel to another EU country. If you want to find out more about how to access these opportunities, visit the Leonardi da Vinci section of the Leargas website: Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

â‚Ź13 million Flood Relief Fund Approved by EU I welcomed the recent transfer of â‚Ź13 million in flood relief funding from the EU Solidarity Fund. The funds will target flood prevention measures in areas such as Bandon, Skibbereen, Clonmel and Cork City. When the disastrous floods of November last occurred, I arranged a meeting with the Commissioner to ask for funds. I am happy to see now that these funds have been disbursed to ensure that these events will never happen again. I call on the Government and local authorities to now put these funds to good use to dredge rivers and build flood defences in flood-prone areas. I also call for a speedy implementation of the Floods Directive, which should ensure our rivers and flood plains are carefully managed and that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010 Youth Unemployment - EU Takes Action to Address Crisis With youth unemployment at 21% and little happening at home, it comes as a welcome relief that we are taking action at the EU level The Youth on the Move plan should give hope to youth across the EU. Student loan facilities to travel abroad, a European skills passport for our young tradespeople, a European Vacancy Monitor and microfinance for young entrepreneurs are some of the highlights of the plan. Firm and decisive actions need to be taken, such as stimulating entry to the jobs market with a National Internship Scheme in Ireland, as already exists in Germany If the whole concept of the smart economy and innovation are not to remain as mere buzzwords, we need to give firm financial and regulatory support to increase opportunities for our young people. Link to Youth on the Move website: Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

The Future of Sport in the EU - 100 million more Europeans Physically Active by 2020 I have recently launched a Declaration on "Sports for all" in the European Parliament along with 4 other MEPs. It sets an ambitious target of 100 million more Europeans physically active by 2020. This means getting more people, of all ages involved in sports. At present only 20% of people in the EU actively participate in sports. The aim is to have 40% of people involved in sports by 2020. Some of the key areas to focus on when developing a new sports policy for Europe include; sport health and education, the recognition and encouragement of volunteering in sport and the development of sport activities as a tool for social inclusion. I believe that the future EU Sports Policy should focus on research funding and to develop extensive guidelines to encourage participation by civil society in sports. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

Other News in Brief: Financial Assistance for Energy Projects to be unlocked It is very encouraging to learn that the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland will be releasing new funds to be made available for energy projects in 2011 and 2012. The Sustainable Energy Incubator Programme will support ten new energy projects. This programme facilitates funding for annual incubation fees and for some additional business support. The criteria stipulate that the projects have to be related to sustainable energy and climate change. Projects must fall within one of the following categories; bioenergy, wind and ocean energy, microgeneration, energy efficiency and demand reduction, fuel cells and hydrogen. I would like to call on all interested parties to contact the SEAI and to apply for funding under this programme. It is time Ireland became a cleaner, greener country where renewable energy powers our country. I have recently asked the European Commission what conditions are in place for applying to draw down funds from a 114 million euro fund for energy projects. I will announce this information in due course. Link to SEAI Website: Prioritise Fair Revenue for Farmers - Recognition that Current System is Unfair I welcomed the recent vote in the European Parliament to prioritise fair revenues for farmers. Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, I said it is an important acknowledgement that the current system is grossly unfair to farmers. For too long, farmers have suffered at the hands of processors and retailers. Any fair system should ensure profits are shared equally between all links in the production and supply chain. This is a first step in the fight to ensure a fair system for farmers. We now have to deliver a properly-funded CAP to ensure the viability and survival of the family farm as a socio-economic unit. The fact of the matter is that without the family farm there would be no profits for processors and retailers in the EU. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

Good year for football, great year for Cork I has been a very good year for the game of football and one that the Cork team and followers will never forget. Having waited 20 years, a Cork captain finally climbed the Hogan Stand steps to collect the Sam Maguire. It was a fitting and deserved ending to a great year for Conor Counihan’s men. Any team that wins the NFL Division One title has to be good but to add the Championship to the trophy cabinet leaves no room for argument as to who is the best team in Ireland. There was much that was admirable and pleasing in Cork’s success on Sunday and it was fitting that a player of the calibre and commitment of Graham Canty should captain the side. Canty epitomises all that is good in Gaelic games. It seemed as if injury would deny him the great honour of collecting the cup on the greatest day of his sporting life, but his perseverance and the wisdom of the selectors ensured otherwise. Indeed, no praise is high enough for the performance of the Cork selectors last Sunday. They get full marks for keeping Canty in reserve and his introduction proved a master move. If he started and had to limp off after 15 or 20 minutes, as happened to Henry Shefflin in the hurling decider, it would have been a huge psychological blow to Cork. Counihan and his men also resisted the temptation to spring him at half-time. They cleverly waited until the 41st minute which gave the Cork team and supporters a huge lift. Canty immediately lifted his colleagues and the team grew in confidence from there until the end. If Canty’s arrival was inspirational, Nicholas Murphy’s was pivotal. Murphy caught a few magnificent balls in the middle of the park and with each successive catch, Cork players and fans grew more confident. These two substitutions alone reflected a management team that knew its business and its players and had the wisdom and bottle to make the big calls. You can have all the possession you like but if you haven’t the forwards to turn it into scores you will win nothing. In this regard Cork had two aces. Donncha O’Connor and Daniel Goulding were outstanding from play and placed balls. Without them would Sam Maguire be returning to Leeside? Of course, this was a great team effort by a group that have soldiered long and hard and suffered some bad days in Croke Park. But all good things come to those that wait. Well Cork waited 20 long years for this success. Only Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010 a very poor sportsman would begrudge them victory. They have won the ultimate honours with a team made up of great sporting ambassadors and a manager who both as player and manager has served his county with distinction. Conor Counihan will get a lot of praise for this victory. But he’ll make no money out of it. Nor would he want to. What a manager, what a man. Yes, a good year for football and a great year for Cork. I was a very good week for Cork. Granted their minors were a shade unlucky not to at least draw with Tyrone but the ending of the 20 year famine was a major milestone. The minors will come again and indeed, sometimes one gets more at senior level from a defeated minor team than a winning one. No, this senior success was special not just for Cork but for the GAA. If Cork had lost on Sunday the damage done to the county psychologically would have been immense. They would have been in the same mould as Mayo who, unfortunately, just haven’t been able to get over the line for 60 years now. In terms of population the GAA needs a strong presence in Dublin and Cork. ALL-IRELAND finals will never be the same now that Micheál O Muircheartaigh has retired from broadcasting. He has been a one man promotional machine for the GAA now just in Ireland but around the world. His departure, though, leaves a void. Now that O Muircheartaigh has departed the scene, RTÉ may have a battle on its hands to retain the loyalty of his thousands of fans and admirers and, may face strong opposition from other stations like Today FM and Newstalk for the radio broadcasting rights. It will be interesting what will happen but for today let us salute and pay tribute to a marvellous man who has played such a role in the lives of all GAA fans at home and abroad. While one Kerry man commentated on his last All-Ireland final on Sunday, another Kingdom native was attending his first decider having missed out on playing in the minor showpiece at Croke Park in 1954. Fr Donie Sheahan (San Diego and Kilcummin) was part of the Kerry panel that qualified for the All-Ireland MFC final 56 years ago but as he had entered the seminary, St Kieran’s of Kilkenny, he was unable to join the squad. After ordination Sheahan was based in the USA for over five decades and never managed to return home for Gaelic football’s showpiece day. Until Sunday that was. What’s more our mutual cousin, Paddy Kelly, was on the Cork team. So if Fr Donie couldn’t see Kerry winning the next best thing was seeing a cousin dressed in red and white do the business for Cork. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, Sept 2010

Dignity in victory proves Sheedy was right man for Tipp

WHEN Liam Sheedy was appointed Tipperary senior manager three years ago, the astute hurling hero, Donie Nealon said to me: "Seán, we have appointed a good one." Donie, as always was spot on. Sheedy has done a fantastic job in honing the skills of the Premier county players and building up a backroom team that worked tirelessly and selflessly to achieve All-Ireland glory. Sheedy’s speech at their magnificent victory banquet in the Burlington Hotel was the first opportunity I had to observe the Tipperary manager closely. Victory speeches can often be bland affairs. Not so Sheedy’s. What was impressive was the manner in which he heaped praise on others – the players, the board, the supporters and sponsors. He wasn’t saying these things just for the sake of it, the sincerity in his voice showed he meant every single word. I thought Tipperary’s performance was as good as anything I have seen. Not only did they go into the history books as the latest team to prevent a county achieving the five in a row but they re-established Tipperary’s place at hurling’s top table. It was a brilliant All-Ireland. One of the things that made it special was the way supporters of both counties rose to their feet to give the injured Henry Shefflin a standing ovation as he left the field. I don’t think such a compliment would occur in any other sport. It says much about the stature and respect in which Henry is held and the magnificent sporting attitude of the Tipp supporters. A moment to be treasured forever. Though heartbroken today, Kilkenny’s legacy as the greatest hurling team of all time remains. True to from they accepted defeat graciously proving that class never dies. Another factor that made the final memorable was referee Michael Wadding’s performance. He had an excellent game – he was so good that nobody was speaking about him afterwards – the acid test of a great refereeing performance. Will we ever see a drive for five in a row again. Doubtful. It just shows how special this Kilkenny team were and how brilliant Tipperary had to be to beat them. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP September 2010 eNewsletter  

Sean Kelly MEP September 2010 eNewsletter

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