For press queries contact Brendan on +353 (0)87 – 652 8841
or via e-mail at email@example.com
Cash Boost for KCC as Almost €1 million Returned by Department.
Statement by Cllr. Brendan Griffin (FG)
Kerry South General Election Candidate
Thursday, 20 January 2011.
SUBSTANTIAL funding of almost €1 million has been granted to Kerry County Council in respect of works carried out by the Council at Knightstown Harbour, Valentia.
During discussions on the 2011 Council Budget, it was confirmed to Fine Gael Councillor, Brendan Griffin, that €936,432 was paid over to the Council by the Department of Community, Equality and the Gaeltacht in recent weeks.
Cllr. Griffin had raised the issue of monies owed to Kerry County Council by Government Departments at the November Dingle Area meeting of the Council, during discussions with a deputation of Brandon Fishermen which he had organised. It emerged at that meeting that Kerry County Council had spent €8.91 million in 2007 on coastal protection works at Inch and Harbour works at Knightstown. However, almost €4 million of that sum was still owing to Kerry County Council by various Government Departments.
In an effort to recover much needed finance for the Council and free up resources for possible capital projects such as Brandon Pier, Cllr. Griffin submitted a motion to the December full meeting of Kerry County Council, requesting the Council to call on the relevant Government Departments to meet with a delegation from Kerry County Council with a view to reimbursing the Council with the outstanding sums.
Cllr. Griffin says that he is happy with this development but that more work needs to be done.
“I am glad that this money has been paid over to Kerry County Council by the Department but I will not be happy until the remaining €2.98 million is paid to the Council in respect of the works at Inch and Knightstown.
“I have sought for a delegation from the Council to meet with representatives of the Departments owing these monies and have asked to be part of that delegation. If this money is recovered, we would have a much better chance of making progress on much needed infrastructural improvements in the county.
“The recovery of this finance is one of my main priorities for 2011, as this is an enormous amount of money in the current climate. €3 million would go a long way in Kerry at the moment. Half of that sum would extend Brandon Pier and widen Listry Bridge for example.
“I will continue to push this issue until every last cent is recovered.”
For further info. please contact Brendan on 087 652 8841
Farmers Waiting Since April for Vital Assistance
Minister Urged to Pay Grassland Sheep Scheme
Tue. Dec. 28th, 2010.
KERRY County Councillor, Brendan Griffin, has requested that the Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, would immediately prioritise the issuing of the Grassland Sheep Scheme payment to Sheep farmers.
The scheme, which pays €10 per ewe to sheep farmers up to a cap of €2,200, was announced in April of 2010 but to date, no payment has issued to farmers.
Councillor Griffin says that this is a much needed payment for farmers at present, particularly because of the harsh weather conditions of late.
“Many farmers have contacted me about this matter and some have reported severe cash flow difficulties as a result of having to spend up to twice as much as normal on feed to keep their sheep alive.
“I have contacted the Minister’s Office, requesting that action would be taken immediately to ensure no further delay in the payment of hard pressed farmers.
“It is unacceptable that farmers are still awaiting payment of a scheme that was announced last April”.
For further info please contact Brendan on 087 652 8841
Note: The following link will take you the Minister’s Press Release (April 7th 2010), which announced the scheme.
Call on HSE to Reduce Kerry General Hospital Parking Fees
– Over Half a Million Per Annum Profit for HSE & State
Monday, November 29, 2010.
THE HSE has been urged to reduce car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital by Fine Gael County Councillor for Mid and West Kerry, Brendan Griffin, who is a member of the HSE South Regional Health Forum.
Cllr. Griffin raised the matter at this month’s meeting of the forum, asking what is the annual revenue generated by car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital, including details of overall income and outlays and what is done with the surplus of this revenue.
The HSE responded that the annual revenue generated by car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital is approximately €678,129, after 21% VAT has been paid to the Revenue Commissioner. The annual outlay for the car park is approximately €296,000. This is mainly accounted for by staffing costs and car park maintenance. The HSE went on to say that car parking forms part of the income of the hospital and that after the above outlays are provided for, car parking monies generated are utilised to provide direct patient care at the hospital.
However, Cllr. Griffin has since written to Mr. Ger Reaney, Hospital Networks Manager for Cork and Kerry, urging the HSE to review parking fees in view of the substantial profits being made.
In his correspondence to Mr. Reaney, Cllr. Griffin said that the figures provided suggest that a net profit of €382,129 is generated by the HSE for car parking fees at the hospital and that he had issues with the fact that sick people and relatives and friends of sick people are, in effect, being forced to contribute over €2,350 every day of the year for a service that they are already being heavily taxed for (Total Revenue Generated (€858,391.14).
He added that of this daily figure, over €1,000 is clear profit for the HSE (€1,047) and almost €500 goes directly back to the State in the form of VAT (€493.87 per day, €180,262 per annum) and that ultimately, the combined profits for the State and HSE from KGH Car Parking fees is well over half a million euro per annum (€562,391).
Cllr. Griffin said that he sees this as an unfair tax on the sick people of Kerry and their families and that he has received numerous complaints from members of the public about excessive fees for car parking at KGH, which range from €3 per hour to €12 per day.
He said that he accepts the need for a regulated parking system at the hospital, but would argue that there is room for a substantial reduction in fees.
Cllr. Griffin also sought a breakdown of the €296,000 outlay cost for the car park, as this represents a figure of €811 for every day of the year.
Cllr. Griffin is currently awaiting a further response from the HSE the matter.
For further info, please contact 087 652 8841.
Burial Place of Tom Crean to be Improved
–New Signage, Footpaths and Car Park Resurfacing Before Christmas
Wednesday, 17 November 2010.
KERRY County Council is to carry out significant improvement works to Ballynacourty Graveyard, Annascaul, which is the final resting place of world famous Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean.
In response to a motion by local County Councillor, Brendan Griffin at this months Dingle Area meeting of Kerry County Council, it was stated that Kerry County Council shall improve the signage to Ballynacourty Graveyard along the L8059 and L8060. It is intended that new footpaths will be laid in the cemetery and a new tarmacadam surface will be applied on the car park before Christmas.
Cllr. Griffin has welcomed the news as a very positive development and stated that the burial ground has become a popular attraction for visitors, particularly in recent years, since revisionism has highlighted the true scale of Tom Crean’s achievements.
“Many local people have contacted me about this issue and I am delighted that Kerry County Council will carry out these works in the near future. The signage will make the graveyard much easier to find and the new footpaths and improved parking will make the graveyard suitable for visiting all year round in any conditions.
“The historic significance of Tom Crean is being realised more and more over time. He was a true Kerry hero and I am delighted that his final resting place will be more accessible as a result of these works.”
More info. on: 087 652 8841
Cllr. Brendan Griffin announces his intention to seek the Fine Gael Dáil nomination for Kerry South
November 5th 2010
Just to let you all know my intention to seek the Fine Gael nomination to contest the next general election here in Kerry South.
I have done my very best since my election to Kerry County Council and I now feel that I could do a very good job in Dáil Éireann.
Last Orders at the Castle Inn
October 1st 2010
For those of you who don’t know by now, I have decided to dedicate my time and efforts entirely to political life from Friday, October 1st. Therefore, I have ceased trading at the Castle Inn, Castlemaine, where I have been in business for the past three years.
The decision was not an easy one, given that I, Róisín and our staff, have built up a healthy business since 2007. However, the task of trying to run a business and simultaneously focus on my role as a County Councillor for Mid and West Kerry had become extremely demanding. I have chosen to give my Council duties my undivided attention so that I can provide the best possible level of service to the people that I represent. Although I have dedicated a great deal of time to Council work since my election in June 2009, I now hope to be able to do even more and make the optimum contribution to public life in Kerry. I have been very fortunate and grateful to have enjoyed a very loyal customer base over the last three years and have enjoyed every minute in business. The experience was also a fantastic opportunity for me to gain familiarity with the issues and challenges of the business sector. I hope to put this acquired knowledge to good use in my role as a public representative in future.
Thank you to all of you, who have supported us during our time in business and I look forward to continuing to serve you going forward.
HSE to Schedule Kerry Meeting in Near Future
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Statement by Cllr. Brendan Griffin, (FG) – Dingle Electoral Area
THE Health Service Executive is to schedule a special meeting in the coming weeks with Kerry Health Forum members and Kerry Oireachtas members following a call at the September meeting of the Southern Regional Health Forum by Fine Gael County Councillor, Brendan Griffin.
It was confirmed today (Thursday) to Councillor Griffin that a meeting would be organised for the very near future to discuss progress on important Kerry health issues. At the September meeting of the Southern Regional Health Forum, Cllr. Griffin referred to the Kerry specific meeting that he previously requested in January of this year as having been useful and urged that another meeting would be scheduled without delay.
“I am glad that the HSE will shortly schedule this meeting, as there are many health issues of importance to Kerry people that need to be discussed in detail. The Kerry specific meeting, which was held last January, following a request that I made at that time, brought clarity to a number of issues and allowed for improved communications between the HSE and Public Representatives in Kerry. There is now a clear need for a similar meeting to take place.
“I have numerous issues that I wish to have discussed, including the delayed opening of Dingle Community Hospital and Tralee Community Nursing Unit and I will be seeking a progress update on Kenmare Community Hospital. Some of the other issues on my agenda will be Kerry General Hospital A&E, Stroke and ENT services, transport support services for Kerry patients, Kerry ambulance cover, orthodontic waiting times, early intervention services and many other issues.
“As a representative of the people of Kerry on the Health Forum, I am always available to meet with individuals or groups, who wish to have their issues raised and I urge people to make contact with me if they feel that I can be of assistance.”
Further information on 087 652 8841
Call for Public Toilets for Annascaul & Castlemaine
Saturday, September 25th 2010.
KERRY County Councillor, Brendan Griffin (FG), is disappointed that there are no immediate plans by Kerry County Council to provide public toilets in the villages of Annascaul and Castlemaine.
At this month’s Dingle Area meeting of the Council, Cllr. Griffin tabled a motion on the matter and called on the Council to clarify if it intends to make such facilities available.
The response from the Council was that there is an objective in the Kerry County Development Plan to provide public conveniences, subject to the availability of finance, in fourteen listed villages. Neither Annascaul nor Castlemaine is included on that list. The Council added that it has neither the suitable sites nor the finances for the proposal.
Cllr. Griffin said that locals in both villages have approached him in the past and again during the summer about the issue and that both villages were busy thoroughfares for tourists and other travellers. He added that it was regrettable that the villages were not included on the County list of villages in need of public toilets.
For further information, please call 087 652 8841.
Public event regarding the Proposed Special Protection Area for Castlemaine Harbour to be hosted in Keel
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
There has been quite a lot of concern and curiosity locally in relation to the recent announcement by the Department of the Environment regarding the proposed Special Protection Area for bird life in Castlemaine Harbour. As a result, and in an effort to give people an opportunity to find out more about the issues involved, local Councillor Brendan Griffin is organising a Public Information Evening on the subject for people to drop in with any queries that they may have. The National Parks and Wildlife Service has kindly agreed to provide a member of staff for the occasion, which will run from 3pm to 7pm in Keel Community Centre on Thursday, September 16th. Hopefully, the NPWS representative will be able to answer any questions from members of the public.
By that stage, Cllr. Griffin will also have an official response from Kerry County Council on what the planning implications of the SPA would be. It is hoped that the event will be helpful to everyone concerned and will provide clarity on the issues involved. This Public Information Event takes place at Keel Community Centre on Thursday, September 16th from 3pm to 7pm. For more information contact Brendan Griffin MCC on 087 652 8841.
NRA to Survey Camp Junction
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Statement from Cllr. Brendan Griffin (Dingle E. A.)
The NRA is to carry out topographical survey works on a dangerous junction in West Kerry over the coming weeks.
Camp Junction, which joins the N86, Tralee Dingle to Road and the R560, Camp to Castlegregory Road, is considered by many road users as a highly dangerous location.
Earlier this year, the NRA announced that it would be undertaking a €950,000 study of the N86 Tralee to Dingle Road from Upper Camp Village to Dingle, with a view to preparing for major road improvements. However, the survey area did not include Camp Junction.
Local Member of Kerry County Council, Brendan Griffin, contacted the NRA about the matter and says that he is delighted that the Kerry National Roads Design Office will be surveying the junction in the coming weeks and will hopefully include the junction in the improvement works in the coming years.
“This is a very welcome development, as the junction is an issue that people have been mentioning to me in the course of my work over the past eight years. It makes good sense for the scope of this scheme to be extended to include the junction, given the expertise that will be working in the general area anyway.
“Kerry County Council Roads Department are also supportive of this move and I know that my Fine Gael Colleague, Cllr. Seamus Cosai Fitzgerald, was also in contact with the NRA with a similar request.
“Hopefully, this will culminate in a much safer road layout at this location in future.”
For further information, please contact 087 652 8841.
Call for County Speed Limit Review
Friday, 18 June 2010
KERRY County Councillor for the Dingle Electoral Area, Brendan Griffin, has called on Kerry County Council to initiate a County Speed Limit Review.
Councillor Griffin says that there is growing demand for such a review, given that the face of many parts of the county has changed substantially since the last review took place seven years ago.
He says that he and other Councillors have received numerous requests from people in many different communities seeking a review of speed limits at various locations.
“Personally, I can name over ten areas in my own electoral area alone, where people have contacted me seeking a reduction in the speed limit. Due to the housing boom, some of these areas have become more built up since the last speed limit review and their speed limits are now inappropriate. The problem is that speed limits cannot easily be changed at individual locations and that, realistically, they need to be changed as part of an overall county review.”
At the May monthly meeting of Kerry County Council, Cllr. Griffin brought a motion before the Council on the matter. However, the response from the Roads, Transportation and Safety Department was that there is a significant amount of work involved in undertaking a review of the county speed limits and that the substantial reduction in funding over the past year has had a significant impact on available resources, with the non-replacement of retired staff and the non-renewal of temporary contracts for technical and administrative staff, as well as outdoor staff.
The Roads Department said that notwithstanding this, the Council is still required to comply with increased statutory and regulatory requirements in the delivery of their Roads Programme and that given the restraints, the Departments Work Programme for 2010 will be focused on delivering works for which grant aid and own resources funding has been provided.
Director of Roads, Transportation and Safety, Charlie O’Sullivan, concluded that it is unlikely that he will have resources available this year to undertake this review but the position will be kept under review should circumstances change.
Councillor Griffin accepted that the Roads Department was being forced to operate on a very tight budget but urged that the Speed Limit Review would be strongly considered should resources become available.
For further information, contact Brendan on 087 652 8841.
Missing Brandon Pier Navigation Light to be Replaced
Tuesday, June 15th 2010
Cllr. Brendan Griffin is today (Tuesday) welcoming moves by Kerry County Council and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to replace the missing navigation light at Brandon Pier in West Kerry.
It seems that the light was removed some time ago and has not been replaced. Concerned locals contacted Cllr. Griffin last week to express their fears that a serious incident could occur in the absence of the light. Locals also referred to a recent incident, where a small craft allegedly hit rocks while attempting to reach the pier under darkness.
Cllr. Griffin immediately contacted Kerry County Council about the matter and it has now been confirmed by Kerry County Council that it has contacted the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, whose responsibility it is to maintain the lights at Brandon. According to Kerry County Council, The Department has ordered a replacement light and hopes to install it shortly. Cllr. Griffin said that he welcomes progress on the matter but that it is now crucial that the light be put back in place immediately and said that he will be closely monitoring the situation until the issue is fully resolved.
Warning for Dingle Peninsula Residents on Radon Threat
Tuesday, 11 May 2010.
Cllr. Brendan Griffin is today (Tuesday) calling on residents of the Dingle Peninsula, particularly those in the Annascaul and Lispole areas, to have their homes checked for radon gas levels if they have not done so already.
Radon, which is a naturally occurring gas, has potential to be harmful to human health in homes where there are high concentrations.
It is well known as a result of research carried out by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) that the Castleisland to Tralee area is a danger spot for radon but it is less well known that a part of the Annascaul to Lispole area also falls into this category.
At the last meeting of the HSE South Regional Health Forum, Cllr. Griffin raised the issue of radon gas and asked what preventative measures the HSE has taken to assist in the battle against radon related cancer and if the HSE would call on the Government to implement a National Radon Testing Programme with a subsequent Radon Remedial Action Grant Scheme for buildings with high radon readings.
The HSE responded by saying that it has recently agreed a joint position paper on radon with the RPII with a view to informing and influencing policy in this area. The position paper advocates for a National Radon Strategy, which will form the basis for a co-ordinated response for the future, with input from local authorities and other agencies. This position paper was subsequently launched on April 28.
Councillor Griffin has welcomed the joint paper as a step forward but said that the National Strategy needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
“We need to see action from the Department of the Environment on the implementation of a National Radon Strategy. According to Dr. Timothy Jackson of the HSE, radon gas accounts for about 150 to 200 lung cancer deaths in Ireland each year but where a smoker lives in a house with a high radon level, they can be up to 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer.
“I urge all residents of Kerry, particularly those in the Annascaul and Lispole parts of the area that I represent, to have their homes tested. I do not wish to be alarmist and the likelihood is that most homes will be well under the safety limit but it is important that people be vigilant. All the information required to test a home is available on the RPII website, www.rpii.ie or I will gladly assist anybody who contacts me with concerns about radon.”
More info on 087 652 8841
Cllr. Griffin Opening New Area Clinic Office in Castlemaine
Friday, 07 May 2010.
Cllr. Brendan Griffin is today (Friday) opening his new “Area Clinic Office” in Castlemaine.
The Office, which is located around the corner from the Castle Inn Bar, will be attended by Councillor Griffin every Friday and Saturday morning from 10 am to 12 noon.
Cllr. Griffin says that the main purpose of the office will be to provide a regular and reliable point of contact for his constituents.
“I hope that this initiative will be helpful to the people that I represent. The office will be a place for people to come to me in confidence and I am hopeful of a good take up of the service.
As well as opening this office, I will continue to hold my monthly clinics in all parts of the Dingle Electoral Area and will continue to arrange house calls on request.”
More info on 087 652 8841