Sunday, October 12, 2008


Our new Ashourne Office opens

We opened our new Ashbourne office on Friday, which we are all very pleased about. The Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore, came down from Dublin to cut the ribbon.

It's surprising how hard it was to get suitable office space in the area. We went on quite a search before we found this office, which is perfect for us. It is sizeable, can accommodate a large meeting, and is accessible for people with mobility difficulties. It is located smack bang in the middle of Ashbourne, just beside the library, the citizens advice centre and the offices of Meath County County. The only drawback is its proximity to ladies fashion stores, which are already experiencing more custom from my staff at lunchtimes.

The office will be open Monday to Thursday mornings and afternoons, and on Friday morning. We are also looking at the possibility of an evening opening during the week. More of this in a future post.

On Monday I gave a speech and presented the graduation awards at the Dunboyne College of Further Education in Dunboyne Castle Hotel. The event was atended by about 200 people and was a very happy occasion. The following day I made the point that Post Leaving Certificate courses need to be supported by the government.

I also brought up the issue of students appealing their Leaving Certificate results and in particular the fact that there is a 30% chance of getting a higher grade in geography if one appeals. The problem with such high levels of appeal success is that any student who does not get the grade that he or she hoped for will appeal, as this is now the sensible thing to do. I worry that this might clog up the system and I asked for a review of the marking process so that we restore confidence to the system.

The news that my old college UCD finished in the top 108 universities worldwide was welcomed in the House on Thursday. Of course, Trinity also did very well, a point I made in the Seanad during the Order of Business.

On Thursday I attended the official opening of the new Anglo Printers Plant in Drogheda. The event was packed with people from the area I got talking to a few of them - everyone was of the view that it's nice to see something expanding in the town. We all wish them well.

Not so good were the reports of the financial difficulties at Drogheda United Football Club. It's a bit of a roller-coaster ride at the moment for anyone involved in the club. Let's hope that the club manages to sort out the current problems.

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