Doyle calls on An Post to open expressions of interest for Laragh Post Office

Fine Gael TD and Minister for State, Andrew Doyle has made a submission to An Post following notice of the closure of Laragh Post Office requesting them to open Expressions of Interest for the Post Office in Laragh.

“An Post has notified the local community of Laragh that the Post Office is due to close at the end of January leaving the community without vital postal services.

“I have been in contact with An Post and expressed my deep concern regarding the closure of the Post Office. I have made a submission to An Post as part of the consultation process, to call for Expressions of Interest in the Post Office in Laragh.

“There may be expressions of interest locally with existing businesses willing to operate a post office service within the community. The continued running of the Post Office in Laragh may be of interest as a standalone entity in the local community or may be suitable to co-locate with an existing business in the area.

“The closure of the Post Office in Laragh would have a detrimental effect on the local community, leading to residents travelling to Rathdrum or Roundwood to avail of postal services.

“I am calling on An Post to open up expressions of interest within the community. I believe it would be successes to co-locate with an existing business within the community. Unless a request for expressions of interest is taken, we will never know if there is interest in the position locally.”

Future looks bright for Russborough House with €500,000 of funding announced – Doyle


Fine Gael TD and Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and the Gaeltacht Affairs of €500,000 funding for upgrading works in Russborough House, Blessington.

“I am pleased to have received confirmation from my Fine Gael colleague, Minister Heather Humphreys, that funding of €250,000 has been made available by her Department for upgrade works at Russburough House in Blessington, and this amount has been matched by The Apollo Charitable Trust, a UK arts charity.

“Russborough attracts in access of one hundred thousand  visitors to the area each year. We need to ensure the house and the surrounding parkland is safeguarded for future generations. I have been working alongside Minister Humphreys to secure this much needed funding for Russborough House.

“Russborough is a major tourist attraction in west Wicklow with a world famous art collection. The Beit Foundation has great vision for the future of Russborough, developing the House as a centre for education and the arts. This is the first time in a number of years that funding has been made available to Russborough House.

“The planned extension to Blessington Greenway will see increased tourism in the area and add value to the local economy. The house is in the ownership of the Beit Foundation and I must commend them on their efforts to plan ahead and secure a future for Russborough house.”

Doyle encourages older people in Wicklow to get the flu vaccine and keep healthy and safe this winter


Fine Gael TD  Andrew Doyle, is encouraging more older people in Wicklow to get the flu vaccine and keep healthy and safe this winter. Older people are especially vulnerable to contracting the strain of flu prevalent in Ireland at the moment.


“Caring for our older population here in Wicklow is a priority, and keeping our elderly family and friends as healthy and safe as possible during this winter season is vital. We can achieve this by making people aware of the risks associated with this illness, and most importantly, ensuring that they are familiar with the ways in which they can avoid becoming ill.


“My Fine Gael colleague, the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee, has this week met with organisations representing the needs of older people here in <county> and across Ireland, to provide them with the most up to date information and advice on the current influenza outbreak. I would now encourage all older people in Wicklow to get the flu vaccine.


“People aged over-65 are considered to be one of the at-risk groups who are encouraged to get the flu vaccine and it is welcome that uptake rates have improved in these groups. However, I have been informed by my colleague, Minister McEntee that only around half of older people on medical cards have taken up the vaccine.  It is important that older people and their families are aware that the particular strain of flu prevalent Ireland at the moment predominantly affects older people and to remind them that it’s never too late to vaccinate. If you are 65 or over or have a long term medical condition you should also ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine.


“People in Wicklow can access the vaccine easily by contacting their GP or pharmacist, and the HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge for all those over-65.  The vaccine and consultation are free for those with a Medical Card or GP Visit Card.  People who don’t have either a Medical Card or GP Visit Card may be charged a consultation fee.


“No older person wants to end up in hospital if they can avoid it and vaccination is really the best way to ensure they are protected from flu, which may exacerbate conditions they already have and then involve a lengthy hospital stay. The advice to all older people in Wicklow is even if you have had the vaccine, and you develop symptoms, contact your GP immediately as they may prescribe antiviral medication, which can help keep you out of hospital.”


30 Wicklow’s projects in 53rd BT Young Scientist of the year Awards “Extraordinary”

Oisín Cullen, Dylan Symmes, SamI reland
Oisín Cullen, Dylan Symmes, SamI reland

Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle compliments the 30 Wicklow projects that participated in  the 53rd BT Young Scientist Awards and applauds both the schools and young students for their inspiration and creativity.

Deputy Doyle comments “After attending the RDS today to see Wicklow’s young students showcase their talented projects, once again it was just simply breath taking. Wicklow’s young students have proven year on year that their ability in developing ground breaking and innovative scientific projects is a testament to their endeavour, dedicated research, and each schools participation and guiding involvement”

“The 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has attracted a total of 2,091 entries from the island of Ireland with 4,591 students submitting their finest ideas and innovations for consideration across the science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. This year 7 Wicklow secondary schools were selected to exhibit 16 projects. They were  Avondale Community College, Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Dominican College Wicklow, East Glendalough School, St David’s, St Gerard’s and St Mary’s  Arklow.  14 Wicklow primary schools exhibited their class projects for one day. The energy and enthusiasm from these students was inspiring.’

Andrew Doyle TD emphasised “Now over half a century in existence after been set up in 1963, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition underpins the importance of our commitment to investment in youth, research and innovation and the contribution to our economy that these individual elements make cannot be undervalued, particularity with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects playing a vital role in emerging talent”

I had the pleasure of meeting  Rio Ferdinard at the exhibition. He was encouraging young people to ‘Dream it’ and his foundation, The Rio Ferdinand Foundations is designed to promote entrepreneurial and tech skill, youth leadership and social mobility amongst young people across the island of Ireland.

“The level of innovation displayed by Wicklow’s young scientists is truly inspiring, with projects ranging from, ‘Can milk be turned into plastic?’, through to non-slip ladders and innovations in feeding technology for livestock. These are just a selection of some of the Wicklow projects highlighting the breath of talent in our young County Wicklow scientists.

“We must again pay tribute to the students, parents, teachers and organisers as a great celebration of creative and innovative thinking and talent that exists amongst Wicklow’s youth. It simply stresses the importance in cultivating and nurturing the counties talent of our future scientists and engineers and making sure we have the foundation of educational infrastructure that supports a streamlined methodology of capitalising on these great projects” added Deputy Doyle

Doyle announces the first tranche of annual tax-free forestry premium payments for 2017

2 Parkmore Christmas TreesThe Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Special Responsibility for Forestry, Andrew Doyle TD, has announced the first tranche of annual tax-free forestry premium payments for 2017.  The payments are currently being issued to those forest owners who applied on-line through the Department’s online services portal

Minister Doyle said “A total of €26.80 million is being paid in this bulk payment run in respect of some 6,900 forest premium applications. The Department will continue to process on-line applications for 2017 forest premiums as they are received, with payments being issued on a weekly basis.  I would encourage forest owners to avail of the on-line facility because of the obvious benefits for them in terms of early premium payment.

Forest owners may continue to apply for the payment of the annual premium online, through the Department’s Online Services (,

For applicants who use the paper based application system, a further bulk premium payment run will be made in April 2017.  Application forms for the paper based system will issue in February 2017.

Minister Doyle added “A total of €111.6m (including a capital carryover) has been provided by the Government for the continued development of Ireland’s forestry sector in 2017.  This level of funding is further evidence of the Government’s ongoing commitment to the sector as set out in the Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020.

The grants available under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme cover the cost of establishing the forest plantation and the Scheme also provides for payment of annual forestry premium of up to €635 per hectare for 15 years, details of which, including associated terms and conditions, are available on the Forestry page of the Department’s website