English thanks emergency services, local Councils and most importantly community spirit and human kindness

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Farming, Fire Safety, Firefighters, Housing and Urban Renewal, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Roads, Summerhill, Transport, Trim, Wesmeath

Monday, 5th March 2018

As the thaw well and truly sets in, and normal life begins to return
for the majority of our people, it would be wrong not to reflect on
the week gone by and thank those who did so much locally and
nationally during the most raw demonstration of nature’s power in our
generation.

I want to acknowledge and thank the exceptional work of local
emergency services like An Garda, Fire Services, Defence Forces and
Reserve Defence Forces, Ambulance and Hospital staff last week. i also
want to thank Meath and Westmeath County Councils – their staff, elected members and
contractors, and all of those who kept our roads open when safe to do
so, and who kept water and power supplies going or helped to restore
them if lost. As a once in a generation event Storm Emma really pushed
the resources of the State nationally and locally, and as a result so
many local people, especially our local farming community stepped into
the breach to our offer their expertise, experience and community
spirit in clearing local roads and local estates.

Community groups like Meath River Rescue joined the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Red Cross, Gardai and many others in delivering emergency workers, carers and
home helps safely to work, and helping meals and wheels and other vital services to do their work with the oldest and most vulnerable in our society.

Local media  like LMFM, Midlands Radio, the Meath Chronicle and Westmeath Examiner online, and Social Media platforms were all crucial in keeping people informed.

As a member of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group I saw how the work of our emergency services, communities and media nationwide was equally exceptional. I also saw first hand the quality of the research and modelling done by Met Eireaann, who are second to none in Europe. Their early warnings early last week gave people time to organise supplies and make all necessary preparations.  We thank them for that too.

The work of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group was mirrored in every County by similar local groups, and Meath and Westmeath County Councils are to be congratulated for their leadership and team work of this group locally along with all the members groups and agencies.

The danger with saying thanks is that someone is left out, but that
never happens on purpose.  The gratitude of Meath West and the whole
country goes out to those who went above beyond the call of duty last
week, and put themselves in harm’s way in helping their community and
country.

Please continue to use common sense during the thaw and heed the
warnings on local media. Please watch out for potential flooding on
our roads and continue to stay safe.

ENDS

Additional funding for Seniors Alert Scheme in Meath West after applications quadruple nationally – English

Active Retirement, Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Fire Safety, Funding, Health, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Trim, Wesmeath

Additional funding is available for the Seniors Alert Scheme in Meath West following an upsurge in applications nationally for the free personalised alarms for people over 65, local Minister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English T.D. has said. He is urging local older people to sign up and avail of the funding.

The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.

Minister English’s colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, initially allocated €2.3 million for the Seniors Alert Scheme in October. The rate of applications for personal alarms quadrupled nationally in November after Minister Ring widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme and launched a nationwide publicity campaign, leading the Minister to also allocate an additional €400,000.

Minister English, the Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West said “It’s very positive to see a good uptake for this scheme nationally, but we need to see more older people in Counties Meath and Westmeath be made aware of it and to avail of this important scheme.

“We need to make sure that as many of our older people avail of this scheme as possible, which is why I am encouraging everyone reading this to get the word out there as widely as possible.

“All you have to do is make contact with your local Seniors Alert group. You can find out about your local group by logging on to http://www.pobal.ie or phoning 01 5117222.

“The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.

“This measure exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.

“There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months after which the person pays a small fee. This measure contributes greatly to the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens in their homes.

“This funding for Meath West seniors demonstrates this Government’s commitment to the safety of older people in our community,” the Minister for Housing and Urban Development said.

“The best New Year’s resolution you can make is to get an older relative or neighbour to sign up for free a personalised alarm, or help them to do so.

“I want to urge people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours at this time of year. The Winter months can be a challenging time for some older people. Small gestures can make a big difference for someone who is living alone. Reaching out to an older person in your community can help brighten up their New Year, whether it’s popping in for a chat, or lighting the fire or bringing someone some food.”

ENDS

Fire Safety at Halloween 2017

Fire Safety, Firefighters, Halloween, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Trim, Wesmeath

Halloween is a fun time for children and adults alike, but it presents
many fire risks.

Fire Services respond to an increased number of incidents, including
bonfires, at this time of year. Bonfires are extremely dangerous and
can cause people to suffer serious injury due to hazardous items being
ignited.

This Halloween, I am urging people to consider their own safety and
the safety of others by being extra careful. Careful does not mean not
having fun, it just means taking into account some simple steps.

In particular, I am urging people to:

– Attend only legal, safe and supervised organised events in your area
– Keep a safe distance from bonfires and fireworks and obey the advice of stewards
– Use battery-operated candles if possible
– Never leave lit candles unattended. Place them in a safe holder where
they are unlikely to be knocked over, away from fabrics and draughts.
– Make sure that costumes have a CE mark and keep them away from naked flames
– Be sure that children know how to “stop, drop and roll” if their
clothing was to catch fire
– Keep pets indoors
– Test all your smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

ENDS