Minister English comments on Dept. of Enterprise Budget 2016

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, I.T., Jobs, Research and Innovation, Startups

Budget 2016 “hits the bullseye for startups, entrepreneurs and jobs”, as it incentivises innovative startups, rewards successful entrepreneurs and makes sure that the jobs that are created will really pay, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said today. He was joined at a post Budget Press Conference by Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D.

Minister English said: “Ireland’s future economic growth and prosperity will depend in very large measure on our continued investment in science technology and innovation. This investment is all about developing a competitive knowledge based economy and society, driving innovation in enterprise, building human capital and maximising the return on R&D investment for economic and social progress. Over the past number of years Ireland has built up a strong science base which has yielded results in terms of economic and societal impact. In Budget 2016 the Government is building on this success by prioritising the funding available for research, development and innovation. It also aims to maximise the impact of this investment on jobs and on the economy. A new science and innovation strategy under development will provide the roadmap for the next phase of Government investment”.

Among the new pro-jobs taxation measures announced today are:

  • Reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 20% for successful entrepreneurs
  • Reductions in the USC affecting middle-income workers and creating jobs
  • Income tax credit of €550 for self-employed people, with improvements in future years
  • Knowledge Development Box – globally ‘best in class’ and first OECD-compliant scheme,competitive rate of 6.25% on qualifying income, benefits for SMEs, in place from 1st Jan 2016
  • Extension of tax relief for start-up companies
  • Employment and Investment Incentive scheme to increase availability of investment finance for business – extension of scheme to include all geographical locations, and increase thresholds

Minister English welcomes €10.5 million for new Apprenticeships in Budget 2016

Apprenticeships, Jobs

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, has welcomed the provision of €10.5 million to expand the apprenticeship programme. The Government has, in Budget 2016, increased the National Training Fund allocation for apprenticeship from almost €50 million to over €60 million. This will allow for the development of new apprenticeship programmes and cater for increased registrations in existing trades.

Minister English said that “since my appointment, I have been committed to developing our apprenticeship system. We now have high quality proposals identified by the Apprenticeship Council in new areas such as ICT, Transport and Logistics, Financial Services and Tourism and Hospitality. This funding will allow for their development into new apprenticeships in 2016”.
He continued by stating that “Apprenticeship is an excellent route to a sustainable high quality career for young people as well as delivering highly skilled and job ready employees to meet the skill needs of industry. I am delighted that we are not just expanding apprenticeship into new areas but that registrations on existing programmes are continuing on an upward curve after a number of very difficult years”.
“The increase in registrations with employers for existing Apprenticeships which are up almost 20% in 2015 over 2014 are a clear vote of confidence in the future by both employers and young people. The Irish economy is now in recovery mode after many years of recession.” said Minister English “and investing in skills is one of the best things we can do to ensure we build a sustainable recovery and future proof the Irish economy.”
Minister English also welcomed that Budget 2016 will enable some 270,000 further education and training places to be delivered through SOLAS funding to the Education and Training Boards and through Skillnets.
The Minister said that “the Government has delivered major reform of the further education and training sector through new structures and processes that will enable provision to be targeted effectively to meet the needs of learners and employers. I am confident that SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards will carefully plan the delivery of these places to deliver the maximum positive impact for learners and for the economy.”

Minister English officially welcomes Regional Action Plan for Jobs Forum to Navan

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, Farming, Funding, Meath, Navan, Research and Innovation, Skills, Speeches, Startups, Tourism
Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

This morning the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan plays host to the Action Plan for Jobs Mid East Stakeholder Forum which will help to formulate and develop a Regional Action Plan to build on the existing strengths and opportunities within the Meath, Kildare and Wicklow Region. Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation was on hand to officially welcome business people, policy makers and fellow politicians to his hometown.

“Meath is linked with the Dublin Region but we are also a County of many unique strengths and talents in our own right. We are ideally located to interact and engage not just with Dublin, but with a number of other regions particularly the Border, Midlands and South East” Minister English told the gathering this morning.

“This Mid East region including Meath now has an unemployment rate of 8.7% which is second only to Dublin amongst all the regions and well below the national figure of 9.8%. This represents a very significant achievement when one considers that in 2012, when the Action Plan for jobs was first launched, the unemployment rate for the region stood at close to 14%. However we need to continue to build on this progress” Minister English said.

“Meath’s connectivity with all regions represents a particular strength that we should seek to build upon. We have a strong diversified enterprise mix with a range of outstanding forward thinking companies and businesses operating across a range of different sectors. Meath Enterprise and Meath County Council’s vision of a Boyne Valley Food Hub as a centre of national and internationally innovation excellence in food is another example of the forward thinking vision of Meath people, which was again highlighted today” Minister English said.

We have a large highly skilled and well-educated workforce. We have a strong ETB aligned to local needs, and a new stand alone Dunboyne Post Leaving Cert. College, with good access to a wide variety of other Higher Education Institutes in surrounding regions. We also have wonderful cultural, heritage and tourist assets that are world-renowned. These are just some of the assets and strengths we possess in the region and no doubt more will be identified during the course of this morning’s Forum. The challenge today is to identify how we can capitalise on all of these strengths. But it is a challenge I know the local business community, local educators and local policy makers are well able for” stated the local Minister.

“Nationally, in the forthcoming Budget, and in future Budgets, and also through the new Capital plan 2016-2021 we will be supporting and rewarding work and enterprise through reducing the burden of tax and reforming our public spending so it best serves the consumer” concluded Minister English.

English launches Enfield Enterprise Town

Business, Enfield, Meath, Startups

“Focus of Budget 2016 and future Budgets will be on calling our Diaspora home” – Minister English tells Enfield Enterprise Town event

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English told the launch of the Bank of Ireland Enfield Enterprise Town event on Friday 9th October that the focus of Budget 2016, the new Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021 and future Budgets will be on rewarding work, and calling our Diaspora back home to Ireland.

Minister English was speaking as he cut the ribbon to officially launch the Bank of Ireland Enfield Enterprise Town weekend of events, which included an exhibition of local businesses, as well as strong participation by local schools and local sporting organisations, all designed to promote a pride of place and show off Enfield’s enterprising spirit.

“Job creation is at the heart of what the Government is doing. In my own Departments – the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and the Department of Education and Skills – we have sought to strengthen the enterprise base and the skills base of companies throughout Ireland, particularly with those companies that have the potential to create new jobs and win new export markets” Minister English said.

“Ireland is once again becoming an attractive place to live and work. We hope to build on this progress and make work more rewarding through favourable taxation measures in the forthcoming Budget, and future Budgets, and begin to attract our talented Diaspora home. We are aiming to increase employment by 40,000 per annum to 2020, bringing the numbers at work to 2.1 million. We know we can achieve this if we continue to pursue sound and sustainable economic policies. We know, also, that in the so-called global “War for Talent”, we need to be proactive if we are to find the people with the right skills and knowledge to fill the jobs that will come on stream over the next 5 years” he told the gathering.

“I want to commend the Enfield community and their local Bank of Ireland on their EnfieldEnterprise Town weekend of events. It feeds into and compliments the Government’s work to spread jobs more evenly across the country through the Regional Action Plans for Jobs which seek to build on the strengths and opportunities of each region in the country. The strength and proactive spirit of the Enfield community is also reflected in its success in attaining Sports Capital Grant funding of €220,000 for Na Fianna Football and Hurling Club and Enfield Celtic FC” he concluded.

Successful Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town events have already taken place in Meath in Athboy and Kells. Other guests at the weekend of events in Enfield included Mairead McGuinness MEP, Newstalk’s Sarah Carey, GAA legends Henry Shefflin and Mickey Harte, as well as local and County footballers.

FF efforts to claim credit for recovery are an insult to people’s intelligence – English

Fianna Fáil is guilty of the worst type of political revisionism according to Fine Gael TD for Meath West, Minister Damien English. Minister English was speaking after Fianna Fáil today tried to claim credit for the Irish economic recovery. Fianna Fáil TD Micheal McGrath today claimed that the economic recovery now underway is due to Brian Lenihan’s economic plan which ‘is now working’.

“It’s a bit of a sick joke that Fianna Fail is now trying to claim credit for Ireland’s economic recovery. I doubt those whose lives turned upside down when Fianna Fáil’s property fuelled economy collapsed will see the funny side.

“Let me be very clear, the 125,000 jobs that have been created since this Government launched the Action Plan for jobs in 2012 is by a distance the most significant factor behind our economic recovery. Is Fianna Fáil now trying to take credit for these jobs?

“And as for the notion that this Government implemented Fianna Fáil’s plan, let’s look at the facts:
80% of the taxes introduced by Fianna Fáil were taxes on work. We rejected that approach and set about incentivising work from the start. One of the first acts of this Government was to reverse the €1 cut it made on the minimum wage. We have removed 410,000 from Fianna Fail’s USC tax and reduced its impact on those paying it. Next week’s Budget will, I believe, further diminish its impact on Irish workers.

“Fianna Fail is still fixated on high taxes as is proved by their pre-budget submission today. Today’s pre-budget submission and Michael McGrath’s farcical assertion about Fianna Fáil’s role in the recovery provide further evidence of why they are not fit to be trusted with our economy.

“Thanks to the Irish people, the country is moving in the right direction but the future stability cannot be taken for granted.

“People are not fools. Fianna Fáil should have more respect for their intelligence than to try and rewrite history on a topic which is still a sore point with the Irish people.”

English welcomes €1,961,488 Sports Capital Grants for Meath

Ballinlough, Ballivor, Clonard, Enfield, Funding, Health, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Sport, Summerhill, Trim

€1,961,488 in Local and Regional funding

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West T.D. Damien English has welcomed the news today Thursday 8th October of the Sports Capital Grants for the Meath.

“This is great news for community based sports groups in Meath , who work so hard to provide vital sports and recreational facilities for both young and old at a local level in their towns and parishes.  As figures this week from the Department of Health show 60% of our people are overweight and only 4 in 10 people are getting enough regular exercise, this money is a practical helping hand from Government to help promote a healthier Ireland.  It is a just reward for those who work so hard for their communities, and indeed those who compete in sport to represent their local area, County and in some cases Ireland” Minister English said.

Meath County Allocation €1,840,205

Ashbourne United Association Football Club Limited €30,000

Ashbourne United Association Football Club Limited €30,000
Ballinlough Gaelic Football Club €80,000
Ballivor G.F.C. €44,000
Bective GAA Club €31,000
Boyne Hockey Club €800
Castle Villa AFC €63,000
Castletown GFC €38,000
Clonard G.A.A. €123,000
Coolmine Gymnastics Club €14,000
Cortown GFC €8,000
Drumconrath GFC €31,000
Dunshaughlin Community Centre Ltd €18,000
Enfield Celtic FC €100,000
Meath Hill GFC €33,000
Na Fianna Hurling and Football Club €120,000
Navan Pitch and Putt Club €85,000
Omega Sub Aqua Club €16,000
Parkvilla Football Club €17,000
Rathkenny A.C. €18,000
Ratoath GAA Club €12,000
Ratoath Rugby Football Club €132,000
Ratoath Tennis Club Ltd €32,000
Ribbontail Paddlers Canoe Club €5,000
Skryne Gaelic Football Club €100,000
St Brigids GFC €27,000
St Mary’s GFC €123,000
St Michaels G.F.C. €62,000
St Patrick’s GAA Club €23,000
St Vincents GFC €40,405
Stackallen Lawn Tennis Pitch & Putt Club €14,000
Summerhill GFC €65,000
Trim Canoe Club €6,000
Trim GAA €65,000
Trim Tennis Club €63,000
Walterstown GFC €70,000

Regional Monies:

Meath and District League €121,643

Funding of €61,298 for sports clubs and organisations in Collinstown/Castlepollard – McDermott

Castlepollard, Collinstown, Wesmeath

Local Councillor Frank McDermott and Meath West T.D. and Minister Damien English have said that funding of €61,298 for sports clubs and organisations in Collinstown and Castlepollard is great news and a great boost for these local communities.

In total, funding of over €590,298 is being made available to clubs and local organisations around Westmeath under the Sports Capital Programme 2015, announced by Minister of State Michael Ring this week.

Councillor Frank McDermott said: “Under the programme €50,000 is being awarded to Lough Lene Gaels GAA in Collinstown, and Castlepollard Hurling Club is receiving €11,298. It is very welcome that once again, Sports Capital funding is being provided to clubs and local organisations here in Co. Westmeath and around the country. It was a pleasure to lobby for support for these local clubs along with local Meath West T.D. and Minister Damien English.”

Minister English said: “Locally and Nationally Fine Gael understand the importance of sport to communities around the country and the imperative to fund it. That is why we re-opened the Sports Capital Grants after there were closed during the Recession. Money spent on sport, is money saved on healthcare down the road. According to the Department of Sport, 90% of Sports Capital recipients say it has helped them to increase the numbers of people involved in sport. This Government, and our local Councillors like Frank McDermott are committed to supporting local rural communities.”

Minister English welcomes 2015 call for Agri-Food Research proposals

Minister English and Council Chairman Brian Fitzgerald at the "Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition"

Minister English and Meath County Council Chairman Brian Fitzgerald at the “Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition”

“I welcome the announcement this week by the Department of Agriculture for a new call for research proposals to help drive innovation in the agri-food sector as envisaged in Food Wise 2025, and I urge interested individuals in the sector in Meath to apply” local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English has said.

“From an almost standing start 15 years ago we have made Ireland an innovation and research leader in many fields, we must do the same now for Agriculture too. We need world class and job creating agri-research, and that is what this new call for research proposals is seeking to achieve. To hold and expand our global market share, Ireland must be at the forefront of innovation in support of sustainable intensification of food production. Locally, Meath has been the home of 5,000 years of innovation, playing host to Ireland’s first farmers and the builders of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Now it is time for the Boyne Valley to be a trendsetter again. It was a pleasure to officially open and speak at the “Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition” in the Pilo Hotel on Wednesday, organised by Meath Enterprise and Meath County Council, and I hope many of the participants there can be part of this call for research proposals to help attain the targets of Food Wise 2025” Minister English stated.

Food Wise 2025 identifies ambitious and challenging growth projections for agri- food in Ireland including: 85% increase in exports to €19bn, 65% increase in primary production value to €10bn, 70% increase in the sectors value addition to the economy to over €13bn, and the creation of 23,000 jobs in the supply chain from producer to value added activities.

This new call for research from the Department of Agriculture will fund high quality and impactful research designed to make the Irish agri food sector more competitive and environmentally and economically sustainable and to help it achieve the strategic growth targets in Food Wise 2025. It will also build and maintain critical research capacity and capability in the Irish public research system.
The areas covered by Call 2015 include animal and crop production, food processing, food for health, food integrity and safety, forest management production and resource utilisation, the wider bio-economy as well as the sustainability of the supply chain.

Varadkar to officially open Navan’s Emergency Department – English

Health, Meath, Navan

“I am delighted that the Minister for Health, Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D., has accepted my long standing invitation as a colleague in Government and a local Minister to officially open the refurbished Emergency Department of Our Lady’s Hospital Navan.  While others seek to cast a cloud of doubt and uncertainty over the future of the Hospital, and undermine staff morale, this Government is investing in Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and is commited to its future” local Minister for Skills Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said.

Minister Varadkar will officially open the Emergency Department on Friday, 30th October, before travelling on to visit St. Joseph’s in Trim.

Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan provides a general acute hospital service to the catchment area of Meath and a Regional elective Orthopaedic service.

The new Emergency Department refurbished and up and running since last year, and to be officially opened by Minister for Health, Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D. on Friday 30th October provides a 24 hour seven day service to patients presenting with injuries/illness ranging from life threatening medical problems to those with minor injuries and illness  for adult and young persons (i.e. >14years).  

The ranges of acute services at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan are as follows;

·        General Medicine, including MAU

·        General Surgery

·        Elective Orthopaedics

·        Regional Rheumatology Service

·        ICU/HDU

·        CCU

·        Emergency Department

·        Paediatrics (Out-patient Services)

·        Gynaecology (Day Surgery & Out-patient)

·        Acute Psychiatry (under governance of PCCC)

·        Medical and Surgical Day Services

·        Out-patient Services

·        Pathology Services

·        Radiology Services

·        Physical Medicine Services

·        Occupational Therapy

·        TSSU L/M

·        Pre-op Assessment

·        Palliative Care

·        Anaesthetic Services


The Department of Surgery at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan consists of 4 General Consultant Surgeons. The surgical teams provide an on call service to the Emergency Department, seeing approximately 200 patients monthly. However there are no Emergency Acute inpatient beds.

The Surgical Department also provides surgical consultation to the Intensive Care Unit, Orthopaedic and Medical Wards. It also has a busy out patient consultation and elective minor surgical and Endoscopy service. The Department is also supported by a Clinical Nurse Specialists in Pre- assessment and Infection Control.


The Department of Medicine at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan provides General Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology/Diabetes, Elderly Medicine, Physical Medicine and Palliative Care. The Department of Medicine is supported by Medical Assessment Unit which facilitates direct referrals from General Practitioners. The Department of Medicine is also supported by a number of Clinical Nurse Specialists in Rheumatology, Diabetes, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Heart Failure, Infection Control and Health Promotion. Surgical Acute presentations requiring admission are currently facilitated in a 1:5. A replacement Capital Project is currently in progress.

Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery
A regional elective Orthopaedic service is provided in Our Ladys Hospital Navan, this serves the population of Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and North Dublin.

Interview regarding Pylons on LMFM’s Loosetalk

Meath, Pylons

An important part of my work as a local T.D. for Meath West, and as a Minister, is to engage with our local media on topical issues.  Today I debated with Senator Thomas Byrne on LMFM’s popular Loosetalk with Michael Reade programme about Pylons.

You can listen in via the link below…