Noel Harrington, Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, today (Friday) welcomed the latest official data on visitor travel, from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which showed a 9.4% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first 8 months of 2014, compared to the same period of 2013.
Deputy Harrington stated “While there was a visible buzz in every town and village in Ireland this year, the confirmation of these statistics today from the CSO is truly encouraging, and shows that the policies being pursued by this Government are working. West Cork enjoyed a bumper tourist season, and with the continuation of the warm sunny weather, there are still a lot of people enjoying what our area has to offer. The Wild Atlantic Way, which was rolled out this year, has already proven to be a great success and I would be hopeful that this will be built on over the coming years, as more and more people discover the world’s longest defined coastal touring route.
“While visitors from Great Britain, (up 9.7%), Mainland Europe (up 11.2%), and North America (up 18%), over the peak months from June to August, it is also heartening to see that visitors from the rest of the world showed an increase of 13.4%.
“The success of the tourism industry in Ireland, is also contributing to the economic recovery and this is felt throughout the country, and the provision of additional jobs which is hugely welcomed.
Fine Gael TD, for Cork South West, Noel Harrington, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, that the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, worth some €149 million nationally, has started issuing, on schedule, today.
“The issuing of the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme will mean payments of €10,704,758.30 for 4,876 farmers in Co. Cork. Direct aid payments to farmers and the rural community are extremely important. I know a lot of farmers in Co. Cork are dependent on this payment so the fact that this money is being issued on time is to be greatly welcomed.
Fine Gael Cork South West, TD, Noel Harrington has today, (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris TD, that an amendment is to be made to ease the rates burden on many local sports clubs.
“An amendment to the Valuation (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2012 will mean sports clubs that previously paid rates on its bar and on sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar in most cases. In practical terms this will reduce significantly the size of the building for which sports clubs must pay rates and it will provide a welcome boost for clubs provided by volunteers for volunteers.
“Local sports clubs are the backbone of the West Cork community, these clubs are run by people giving freely of their time and many are largely financed from fundraising in the local community. The change announced by Minister Harris, and which Fine Gael has been advocating for many years, is a great boost to local sports clubs, and has been welcomed by the Minister of State for Sport, Michael Ring TD.
GDP and GNP figures show stable recovery is underway
Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington, has welcomed the CSO Quarterly figures released today which show that the Irish economy grew by 7.7% in GDP terms and by 9% in GNP terms year on year.
“I am very encouraged today with the news that the Irish economy has grown by 7.7% GDP and by 9% GNP since this time last year. Most encouragingly the figures are showing the domestic economy growing again with consumer spending up 1.8% year on year. We are finally starting to feel the effects of this recovery in West Cork and across the country, though there is still further to go.
“GDP and GNP are the main indicators of how are economy is doing and today’s news that both have grown so substantially within the last twelve months is extremely positive.
“This is the strongest growth rate recorded since the early 2000s and means that Ireland’s growth is now the strongest in the EU.
“In the past three years the Government has taken some very difficult decisions and the public has made real sacrifices. The turnaround that we are seeing in the Irish economy is a direct consequence of the policies pursued by this Government and the sacrifices made by the Irish people. Major structural reforms designed to boost the competitiveness of the Irish economy have been introduced and the figures show these measures have been successful.
“This news comes only days after Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD’s IMF loan negotiations which will save the Irish tax payer €1.5 billion over a five year period.
“There are 70,000 more people in jobs now than in 2012, the highest number since 2009. The unemployment rate is now down to 11.2% from a peak of 15.1%. The recovery is underway but we are not there yet. Unemployment in West Cork remains too high and more people need to feel the effects of the improving economy. Creating jobs and supporting work remains this Government’s top priority.”