28th September Blog

Through my membership of the European Affairs Committee I met a Delegation from the Croatian Parliament here in Dublin on Tuesday.

Agriculture is important to them, accounting for 7% of gross value added (EU Average is 2%). Small farms are the norm in Croatia. I put it to the delegation that we should support each other on C.A.P. particularly in relation to Direct Payments. They agreed and I believe that they will upon accession in 2013. I also raised the question of our Corporation Tax with them and received a favourable response. As I pointed out in my last blog, 70% of our decisions that affect our lives emanate from o Europe so these meetings d matter to our Country.

Two local stories are very important this week. First of all Breffni College in Cavan Town is to be extended to raise its student population from 600 to 850. It will have a number of new state of the art classrooms and specialist rooms. This is a good news story.

What is more difficult is the possible closure of Dun Ui Neill Army Barracks. In Cavan we are proud of our military personnel. We would of course prefer to see the Barracks remain open. However, there are some unavoidable realities. We were elected by the people with a clear mandate to clear up the financial mess and restore our Economic Sovereignty. To do this €20-€30 million will have to come off the Defence Budget. Maintenance of the Army’s numerical strength is vital. Painful rationalisation is unavoidable.
Senior Defence Force Management favours a greater concentration of soldiers in a smaller number of Barracks from a training and sharing of equipment point of view. I am assured of practical support through transport etc… to those who may have to travel to Athlone.

Elsewhere on this website you can read a further statement form me on the Army Barracks.

I look forward to your views.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website