€1m in funding to reduce the cost of school books in DEIS school – Griffin Additional funding of €1m to reduce the cost of books for primary school pupils in DEIS schools is welcome news for parents, according to Minister for State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD Minister Griffin said, “My colleague, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, has today announced a new €1 million fund which aims to provide free books in primary schools. “More than 15,000 pupils across more than 100 primary schools are to benefit from the increased investment which is extremely welcome for parents. “The investment is being made on top of the book grant provided to all schools in the country and follows a commitment to in Budget 2020 to introduce an extra support to reduce costs for families and school communities. “Around 15,500 children will benefit from the additional funding. “The new pilot which aims to provide free school books will be available to more than 100 primary schools which are part of the DEIS programme, in both rural and urban areas. “The pilot programme will see the book grant increase to €85 per pupil in the participating schools, all of which are in the DEIS programme. “Fine Gael is committed to education and helping families with their living costs wherever possible. Minister McHugh said: “The additional €1 million funding for these schools effectively means we are now investing four times as much money on book grants for next September. The aim is to provide school books for these children and their families and we hope to build on this. “The cost of school books is recognised as a significant element of back to school costs and in line with the overall aim of DEIS to ensure all learners have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. “I have decided to focus this funding on DEIS schools, in both urban and rural areas, which cater for high concentrations of students from disadvantaged areas.” The Department of Education and Skills already provides a book grant of almost €17 million to all recognised primary and post primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to provide assistance for books, including book rental schemes and all schools are encouraged to operate book rental schemes to help alleviate costs to parents. Ends Notes to Editors 1. Purpose of the Book Grant. This Department already provides a book grant to all recognised primary and post primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to provide assistance for books including Book Rental Schemes. DEIS schools receive an enhanced rate. Under this scheme, the Department provides funding of €16.9 million annually to all of these schools. It is a matter for the Board of Management of each individual school to decide on its own policy in relation to the use of this funding in the school but they are expected to adopt a cost-conscious approach to the selection of books for use in their classes. The current arrangement relies on the local knowledge of the school in order to ensure a fair allocation of funds to those most in need. The arrangements in relation to this scheme are set out in Circular 0046/2013 which is published on the Department’s website at http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0046_2013.pdf 2. Schools to be included in the pilot. The 102 DEIS schools will be notified by email in the coming days informing them of their inclusion in the programme. While the criteria attached will be in line with the terms of the existing Book Grant Scheme further details will issue to these schools in due course. An additional €64 will be provided per student on top of the existing per capita book grant issued to the schools within the pilot. 3. How were school selected Schools were selected based on their levels of concentrated disadvantage using the data available and represent both urban and rural schools. 4. Funding level The additional funding allocation to schools is in line with the costings as set out in the 2019 Barnardos report on the Real Cost of School which states that €85 is the average cost of schools books at primary level and is one of the many measures undertaken by this Department to reduce school costs overall. For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841

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Brendan Griffin Kerry 24th June 2019 Kerry Civil Defence receives emergency vehicle boost – Griffin A new four wheel drive jeep that has the capacity to respond to national emergencies and extreme weather events will be added to the Kerry Civil Defence fleet, according to Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin. Minister with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, confirmed that the 16 Ford Ranger Crewcab Pickup Vehicles will be joining the Civil Defence fleet in the coming weeks. And Minister Griffin can reveal that Kerry is among the units that will receive a jeep. The purchase of the vehicles is part of a €500,000 allocation from the Dormant Accounts fund of the Department of Community and Rural Development. The vehicles, priced at over €31,000 each, will improve the four wheel capability of the Civil Defence fleet and further improve its ability to support the Principal Response Agencies. During national adverse weather events such as Storm Ophelia in October 2017 and Storm Emma in March 2018, the Civil Defence fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles were fully deployed. The vehicles were utilised in carrying out a variety of tasks, assisting local authorities, the HSE and the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Síochána. In a number of incidents, Civil Defence volunteers were involved in assisting vulnerable people including elderly who found themselves snowed in. They were also involved in transporting patients and carers, evacuating people from their homes and delivering meals. The decision to award these vehicles to the Civil Defence Units came following a transparent allocation process, which looked at several criteria including the ratio of civil defence four wheel drive jeeps to the population of the county and the age profile of the four wheel jeeps currently within the Civil Defence unit in the county Commenting on the decision, Minister Griffin said: “These new vehicles will be an additional resource for those who give their time and work so hard in times of emergency such as severe weather events to keep people safe. Their provision is also an important acknowledgement of the work of volunteers and their ongoing commitment to Civil Defence”. ENDS For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841

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€1,271,960 funding for projects in Kerry under the latest round of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund – Griffin Local projects will benefit from € 1,151,960 in funding following the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund according to Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD. Minister Griffin said, “I am delighted to see Firies Business Hub and Kerry Sci -Tech have been successful and will receive funding of €1,271,960 under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. “The fund is designed to support projects that support job creation and I am delighted to see our local area benefit in this way. Firies Business Hub DAC: Stream 1 Location / Region – Kerry, South West Approved Grant: €1,151,960 Overview The ‘Kerry Food Hub’ is a not-for-profit community project located in Firies, Co Kerry. The Hub was purpose-built on a greenfield site to provide food production facilities to start-up entrepreneurs and small but growth-oriented food businesses seeking the opportunity to expand and develop. The Hub currently has 100% occupancy. Current tenants range from Contract Food Producers to Private Label Artisan Producers targeting the retail market and employing 35 people such as; 1) Bally Goats Cheese – Private Label – Retail 2) Ballyhar Foods – Contract production – Food service. 3) Fruity Farm – Contract production – Food service 4) Leen’s Salads / Krave Lunches – Private Label – Retail. This project entails the expansion to the current facilities, plus the development of a new online sales tool designed to provide greater connectivity between the local/regional Artisan producers and buyers in one of their key target markets. The expansion will go from 4 x 1000 sq. ft units to 10 units with an addition of 6,000 sq. ft. – all of which will be food production grade incubation spaces. The second element of this proposal involves the development of an online e-commerce Artisan marketplace designed to connect both the Hub-based and regional artisan suppliers to key hotel buyers in Killarney. Killarney has 1 million visitor nights per year and sells €10m in food each year. This on-line tool will be a Cloud-based system, browser-accessed and fully scalable. It is a B2B marketplace which will be built on a platform provided by leading B2B solutions provider, Magento. Detailed discussions and agreements to use the system have been completed with a range of 4 & 5 star hotels and restaurants in the town who are seeking differentiated product offerings from a single source. Project Partners: Firies Community Food Enterprise & Innovation CLG, The Kerry Food Hub, Taste Kerry – Regional Food Network, Kerry County Council, Kerry Local Enterprise Office, Kerry Group Plc, Institute Of Technology Tralee, Killarney Technology Innovation Centre, KTI, University College Cork – Food Training Unit Cork Institute Of Technology, Taste Cork – Regional Food Network, NEWKD, Bally goats, Ballyhar Foods, Leens salads, Fruity Farm, Killarney Hotels, Clann Credo, Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb (Logistics partner), Justcooking.ie, Ruralfoodskillnet. Kerry Sci-Tech CLG: Stream 3 Location / Region – Kerry, South-West Approved Grant: €120,000 Overview This project is an expansion of an original approval under Call One of the REDF which has been very successful in delivering a strong local cluster of companies who have a shared purpose in attraction and retention of science and technology talent to the region. This project is a bottom up response to the global ‘STEM skills deficit’ which is impacting economic development in a rural regional constituency. It is building on the ability of the regional cluster to successfully mobilise stakeholders for productive collaboration to-date. The promoters have leveraged the resources and expertise of a group of individuals and companies whose active participation in and association with the project will significantly increase its chances of success. Currently there are almost 45 member companies within the cluster such as Portable Medical Technology, Sort My Books, and CodePak . Kerry Sci-Tech has also expanded their membership to companies who operate in the wider region (e.g. Kostal who have operations in both West Limerick and North Cork). Since previous REDF funding and appointment of cluster manager, this project has delivered in members and member subscriptions, having grown to 45 companies, with a target of 60 companies set for 2020. Minister Griffin added, “This news comes at a time when we now have the highest number of IDA-supported jobs in the regions ever. “Under the third call of the REDF, applications were invited to submit proposals under three Streams: • Strategic Change Projects – grant funding of €500k up to €5m; • Regional Strengthening Projects – grant funding of €100k up to €500k; and • Enterprise Clustering Projects – grant funding of €50k up to €350k. “The successful projects were selected through a rigorous multi-stage evaluation process managed by Enterprise Ireland, based on criteria which included: impacts and value for money; collaboration and participation; viability and sustainability; building regional strengths; and significance for innovation.” Minister Humphreys said, “The Irish economy has had a remarkable turnaround in recent years but we cannot rest on our laurels. Although we have made a lot of progress with six out of 10 jobs created outside Dublin since 2016, some parts of the country are not recovering as quickly as others. “The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is about supporting every region to build on its unique strengths and ultimately create sustainable jobs. Collaboration is at its core – among the public and private sectors, within and across regions. “The projects we are funding today are at the cutting edge of innovation. I am confident that they have the potential to make a real and lasting impact on enterprise development at both regional and national level.” Ends For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841