August 2015
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Rural Based Female Entrepreneurs sought for Business Development Initiative


The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD and Minister of State for Rural Economic Development, Ann Phelan TD have welcomed the launch of “ACORNS”, a new six month entrepreneurial development programme for aspiring rural female entrepreneurs.  This pilot business development initiative is funded under the Department’s CEDRA Rural Development and Innovation Fund.

In a joint statement, both Ministers emphasised their “warm welcome for this exciting venture which is targeted at rural women who have the will and ambition to succeed in their chosen businesses. We expect that there will be tremendous interest in this project and indeed stiff competition for places.  Overall, we see this as a very worthwhile, innovative and supportive programme. It will undoubtedly inspire the participants on a personal level but will also help them achieve their business growth ambitions as well as providing beneficial outcomes for rural areas.  We are very pleased that the CEDRA fund is being used to foster entrepreneurial talent and that its support means that there is no charge for the successful applicants on the ACORNS programme”

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Free GP card will result in real savings for over 70s in West Cork – Harrington

StethoscopeFine Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington, has said that the start of registration for the Free GP Care service for people aged 70 and over is a great boost for the elderly in West Cork and an important step towards universal healthcare.

“Today’s announcement by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar means that from August 5th, all those aged 70 and over in West Cork will be able to see their GP without paying fees. This is the second phase of universal GP care and applies to those who do not currently hold a medical or GP visit card.

“A simple online registration system is available from today (Friday) on Alternatively people can lo-call 1890 252 919 to receive a copy by post and the registration form will also be available in pharmacies and local health offices. People should note that persons over 70 who already hold a medical or GP visit card do not need to register. If anyone needs help or guidance they can contact the helpline 1890 252 919 (weekdays 8am-8pm).

“This is great news for families across West Cork as now, for the first time in Ireland, the eldest and youngest in our society will be able to access GP care without being charged.

“Free GP care was a key Fine Gael election commitment and this is just a step along that road. Already this year we have introduced free GP care for under 6s. Now just under 40,000 people over 70 who had to pay for visiting their GP will no longer have to and this will result in real savings for pensioners. The free GP card for over 70s is an important step towards changing the health system from one that only treats sick people to one that keeps people well.”




New Govt apprenticeships scheme provide opportunities for school leavers in West Cork – Harrington

jobsFine Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington has said that a Government scheme to support new apprenticeships will provide great opportunities for school leavers in West Cork.  These will be in the areas of Manufacturing and Engineering, Tourism and Sport, Financial Services, Information Technology, Transport Distribution and Logistics, and Business Administration and Management.

“The new apprenticeships announced by the Government will provide great opportunities for school leavers. Twenty five of the new apprenticeships are going to be prioritised and made available in the next 12 months. To date, apprenticeships were only available across five sectors and the expansion. We must work to incentivise small businesses to take on apprentices.

“The new apprenticeships are due to be developed over the next two months, and some of them will give participants the opportunity to gain qualifications up to a level 8, or honours undergraduate, degree as part of their training.

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€38,859 granted to early years services in West Cork – Harrington

Toddlers clipartFine Gael TD for Cork South West has said that West Cork will receive €39,859 in grant funding for early years services.

“This funding will be distributed to childcare services, in support of this vital sector throughout West Cork.  This capital programme demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the ongoing development of the childcare sector.

“The investment is being directed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly, towards making the greatest impact by addressing the most urgent works and supporting the quality of services making the greatest impact for disadvantaged children and communities here in West Cork.   €38,859 will go to the following local services.

Coomhola Community Playgroup Coomhola Community Playgroup Limited Coomhola National School, Cooryleary Coomhola, Bantry, Co. Cork Cork 2 €8,191 the replacement of the floor, taps, toilets and water heater as outlined in application.
Rosscarbery Community Playschool ltd Rosscarbery Community Playschool Limited Ardagh, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, Cork 2 €4,850 the essential maintenance of the outdoor play area.
Schull Community Preschool Ltd Schull Community Preschool Limited Parish Grounds, Schull, Co. Cork, Cork 2 €3,396 new flooring (€3,240) and new taps (€156) as outlined in application.
Little Haven Playschool Little Haven Playschool The Blackfield, Union Hall, Co. Cork, Cork 3 €4,134 upgrade and improvement of heating & lighting systems.
Leap and Glandore Playschool Leap Community Playgroup The Parish Hall, Main Street Leap, Co. Cork, Cork 2 €9,566 upgrading of the new premises and installation of fencing.
Eyeries Playgroup Ltd. Eyeries Playgroup Ltd. Eyeries Community Playgroup, Eyeries Village, Beara, Co. Cork Cork 3 €4,875 upgrade of heating system.
Naíonra Phobail an Sciobairín Naíonra Phobail An Sciobairín Naionraí Phobail An Sciobairín, Gort na Cloiche, An Sciobairín, Co. Chorcaí Cork 2 €3,847 refurbishment works, plumbing and carpentry.

“Nationally €5 million of the grant funding was made available specifically for community/not for profit childcare services while the other €2 million was made available to both private and community/not for profit childcare facilities to access grants for quality improvement measures, specifically in the area of upgrading IT facilities. €38,859 of this to go to local services in West Cork.

“This news follows last week’s proposals for strategic investment in childcare which aims to improve affordability, quality and accessibility for parents and children across Ireland.”