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Helping pensioners to know their entitlements

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Minister for Equality, Disability, Mental Health and Older People Kathleen Lynch.

By Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Equality, Disability, Mental Health and Older People

Older people make a huge and valuable contribution to our local communities. That is why it’s vital we strive to meet their home support and continuing care needs so we can enable pensioners to live in comfort in the community for as long as possible.

At a time when the number of people over the age of 65 is increasing by 20,000 a year, with the over-eighties population growing by some four per cent annually, we need now more than ever to be planning for their futures and supporting their needs.

As a Labour Minister with responsibility for the elderly, I know fully the sacrifices made by thousands of pensioners across Galway over the last few years as the Government steered this country back from the brink.

Now, with the economy improving, I want to ensure every one of them benefits as the recovery emerges. Put simply, they deserve no less.

In Budget 2015, the Labour Party worked hard to win supports for pensioners and hard-pressed families.

I am pleased that, for example, the partial restoration of the Christmas bonus means that in Galway, some 25,739 pensioners will now have extra money in their pockets in the run-up to the holidays.

Over 1.16 million Irish people will benefit from this payment overall, including carers, long-term unemployed and those in receipt of one-parent family payment, blind pension and widow’s pension.

Often in the immediate aftermath of a Budget, details about measures like the Christmas bonus can get lost in the noise as people digest the big-ticket items.

Therefore, in a bid to ensure that pensioners are fully aware of the supports introduced in the Budget to help them, I have launched a grassroots information campaign to advise them on changes that have been made to some of their entitlements – changes that will have a tangible, positive effect on their everyday lives.

It will run for a number of weeks and is being co-ordinated by Tánaiste Joan Burton and Labour leader, who has for four consecutive Budgets protected the State pension and the free travel allowance for those aged over 66.

Working with our colleagues in Galway, Deputy Derek Nolan and Senator Lorraine Higgins, the campaign aims to target 80,000 pensioners nationwide through a series of information leaflets, local radio interviews and social media activity. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Information is power.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Roadshow’s nationwide brainstorm

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The Creating Our Future Roadshow on its stopover in Galway city.

Galwegians were offered the chance to play a part in creating a better future for Ireland – by participating in a nationwide brainstorming session last week.

The Creating Our Future Roadshow is midway through its mission to visit every county in Ireland in a month – having started out on September 24 in Wicklow and running until October 26.

It’s a government-led national brainstorm that will involve the people of Ireland in a conversation on the role research can and should play in addressing opportunities, challenges and hopes for the future.

Creating Our Future, according to Minister Simon Harris, will ensure that the direction of research in Ireland is informed by the people it serves.

The organisers are asking people to submit their ideas about what researchers in Ireland should explore to create a better future through the dedicated online portal www.creatingourfuture.ie, which is open until November 30.

The Roadshow is also pulling up in towns across the country to encourage the public to engage in a conversation with researchers over a cup of coffee – and to submit an idea about an opportunity or challenge in their lives, community, Ireland or the world; or something they are curious or passionate about and would like researchers to explore.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Deputies outline blueprint for sustained regional recovery

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Pictured: Ministers Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe meet with members of the Regional Group of Independent TDs - including local Deputies Sean Canney, Noel Grealish and Denis Naughten.

A group of independent TDs has called on the Government to prioritise spending on rural Ireland – to regenerate regional towns and villages, increase supports to farmers and community initiatives, and the support local business.

The Regional Group of Independent TDs used their Pre-Budget Submission to highlight the ‘critical need to invest in our people to support the transition back to normality’.

The group – which includes local Deputies Sean Canney, Noel Grealish and Denis Naughten – met with budget ministers, Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe where members outlined five key points they want to see addressed in next week’s budget.

They are seeking support for the regeneration of towns and villages, housing, green villages, remote working and transport links; investment to help home-grown SMEs through recovery and renewal – and a complete review of tax credits and social welfare systems to ensure working is always financially better.

They also want to see investment in health and community initiatives, and in services within communities, on top of repurposing existing infrastructure – and increased supports for farmers, to aid intergenerational transfers and the agri-food sector.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

SMEs hit by cyber attacks

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As many as three out of five small and medium businesses have reported at least one cyber attack during the previous year, while 43% of all data breaches involve small and medium sized businesses. But despite this, the majority of small and medium businesses believe they are too small for a cyber attack – and almost half have no understanding of how to protect themselves against an attack of this nature.

That’s why local SMEs are being encourage to sign up for a free seminar which will help prepare them against cyber attacks.

Leading cybersecurity expert, Andrea Manning, who is CEO and Co-Founder of Irish company CyberPie, will be speaking as part of the free Cyber Security Summit organised by itag (Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway) and Cyber Ireland.

The virtual event will be delivered next Thursday, October 14, and is open to anyone who registers in advance.

Other parts of the seminar will be focused on cutting edge cyber security and related matters, covering topics such as cryptocurrency, digital forensics, cyberpsychology, zero trust and more.

Among the other high profile speakers participating will be Prof. Lisa Short who is Director and Co-Founder of P&L Digital Edge Limited, Nick Asvos of Palo Alto Networks, Prof. Greg Gogolin from Ferris State University in the US, Blessing Usoro of JP Morgan Chase & Co, Rebecca Springett of TitanHQ, Brian Honan of BH Consulting, Donna O’Shea of Munster Technological University and Derek Laffan of Dublin City University.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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