Name: Vinny Mc Cormack
Address: 2 Stoneleigh, Ballymore, Mullingar, Co.Westmeath
Facebook: vinny mc Cormack
Occupation: Sales rep (Britvic Ireland)
Education: Boher N.S, Ballymore N.S, Carmelite College Moate, Moate community school.
• Member of Ballymore and Midlands wind information groups
• Member of executive and player of Ballymore GAA club
• Delegate to Westmeath County GAA Board
• Served 2 years as Secretary at Ballymore GAA club
• Committee member of Ballymore Tidy Towns organisation
• Served as Treasurer of Scoil Eoim Naofa (Ballymore) Board of Management
• Secretary of the “Save Boher School” steering committee
• Member of Stoneleigh residence association
• Joint founder of the Ballymore/Moyvoughley/Boher defibrillator scheme. At presence there are 120 people in the area trained in life saving skills through this self funded scheme.
• Member of Ballymore community alert.
Though I am not an elected representative I find myself fulfilling that role as there is presently no County Councillor in the greater Ballymore area. I am approached regularly by members of many local communities with regard to issues that are extremely relevant to their personal and local needs. I work together with my local TD Deputy Robert Troy in an effort to resolve these issues and act as a voice for the worries and concerns of the community.
• To continue the fight against large-scale industrial wind turbines in Co Westmeath.
• Increase training opportunities available to people who wish to up-skill or change career path.
• Implement a detailed safety plan which I have had drafted for the village of Ballymore.
• Draw up and implement safety plans for the villages of Rosemount, Moyvore, Tang, Streamstown & Loughnavalley.
• Use the community alert scheme to increase the monitoring of elderly people living in rural areas. Since the closure of many rural Garda stations elderly people have become particularly vulnerable and need to have their worries allayed by having regular callers who can check on their welfare.
Serious questions remain over Hogan’s water charges regime – McCormack
6th May 2014
Fianna Fáil’s local election candidate Vinny McCormack has said that serious questions remain over the Government’s water charges regime and the long term implications for taxpayers and for social welfare recipients.
Ballymore native McCormack commented, “I welcome the fact that Fine Gael and Labour have finally been forced to come clean on aspects of Minister Phil Hogan’s water charges plans.
“Labour in particular has been doing its utmost to avoid telling households how much they will have to pay for their water ahead of the local and European elections. The Government’s hand has now been forced ahead of a Fianna Fáil Private Members Motion in the Dáil this week, which demands an end to the secrecy surrounding the water charges regime.
“However several questions remain. We still do not have a specific figure for what people will pay. All the Government has been able to produce are average costs. Minister Hogan has not outlined any major investment in the water network. He gave no guarantee that families who fork out hundreds of euro a year for their water will get a decent quality service. It’s still a case that despite the tens of millions of taxpayers’ money pumped into setting up Irish Water, not a cent has gone on fixing a leaky pipe or addressing serious problems with water quality in certain areas.
“Secondly, the range of concessions outlined today will take an estimated €40 million from the social protection budget. This raises alarm bells about the impact on other key social welfare supports. This Government has already slashed child benefit, cut range of supports for people with disabilities and their carers and targeted young job seekers. The Government needs to spell out exactly where this €40 million is coming from. We need a guarantee that it will not result in more sneaky cuts to people who most need support.
“There is also confusion surrounding the water charges for the 1 million households that will still be without meters when charges kick in in October. Despite an ‘accelerated’ metering programme, the fact is that more than half of the houses in the country will still be without a meter at the end of this year. Whatever way the Government spins it, this means flat rate charges for hundreds of thousands of households for at least the first year.
“This Government has a terrible track record when it comes to cutting household benefits packages. I am concerned that the commitment to water allowances for children and a cap on charges for people with special needs is a very short term commitment to salvage votes for Fine Gael and Labour in the upcoming local and European elections. It is crucial that the Government clears up the remaining confusion over its water charges regime now so that all households know exactly where they stand.”
Minister abandons broadband promises – McCormack
29th Apriol 2014
Fianna Fáil Area Representative Vinny McCormack is accusing Minister Pat Rabbitte of breaking another promise by watering down plans to roll out a high speed broadband service to every household in Ireland.
Minister Rabbitte announced in August 2012 that he intended to provide a broadband service with a minimum speed of 30Mb/s to every citizen in the country by 2015. However, in a revised plan launched last week, the Minister has rowed back on the plan and admitted this latest investment would still leave some pockets without access to a fibre network.
“While I welcome the €500 million investment in the Government’s broadband programme, as a country we should be moving towards ever more ambitious targets in the quality of our IT infrastructure, not rolling these targets back. The performance of the Minister to date has not been encouraging, with only 25% of homes earmarked in the Government’s rural broadband scheme connected to a service almost three years later.
“There are huge gaps in broadband availability across the country, creating a digital divide between rural and urban areas and adding to the growing isolation of many communities. Despite the extension of the programme, I’m concerned about the speeds that households in rural areas will receive. The core network may be fibre, but connectivity quality degrades quickly when it moves to simple telephone lines, which will significantly slow down speeds. As a country we should be striving to ensure that rural communities are afforded the same high speed service available in towns and cities, and not a sub-standard package that leaves them at a disadvantage.
“These latest, more modest proposals need to be implemented in full and on time. The Government’s policy on broadband provision appears to have stalled, to the detriment of rural communities across the country. I’m calling on the Minister to ensure that this latest programme, despite being a scaled back version of previous announcements, is implemented without delay”.
Number of one-teacher schools set to jump from 8 to 60 as a result of Govt cuts – McCormack
10th April 2014
The Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has confirmed to Fianna Fáil that the number of one teacher schools in the country could jump from 8 to as high as 60 from September, as a result of Government increases to pupil teacher thresholds.
In reply to questions from Fianna Fáil in the Dáil today, Minister Quinn said there are currently 8 one teacher schools in the country, but that this is set to increase to as high as 60 in September based on current enrolment figures. The impending cuts are a direct result of rolling increases in the pupil teacher ratio introduced by Minister Quinn in his first budget in office, Budget 2012.
Vinny McCormack, Fianna Fáil local Area Representative and Local election candidate commented, “This is a direct admission from Minister Quinn about the real impact of his cuts on smaller schools. As it stands, 52 two teacher schools are on course to be downgraded to one teacher schools because their pupil numbers are below the new threshold of 20 required by Minister Quinn to retain two teachers.
“The Minister also confirmed in reply to a questions that 61 three teacher schools have fallen below the new threshold for retaining all of their teachers. This means they have already lost a teacher or are at risk of losing a teacher in the future. Similarly, 50 four teacher schools have been caught by the new pupil teacher ratio and have already been hit with cuts or are on course for future cuts to staffing levels.
“This is real evidence of the Government’s targeted campaign against small schools. The burden of Minister Quinn’s changes to the Pupil Teacher Ratio has fallen on rural schools, minority faith schools and Gaeltacht schools. The cuts are based on pupil numbers alone, with no consideration of the geography of an area, a school’s particular ethos or the school’s position on the community. The number of schools affected adds to concerns that this is an underhand campaign to eventually force schools in more rural areas to amalgamate.”
4th of April 2014
Govt out of touch with people on pylon and Windfarm concerns – McCormack
Ballymore native Fianna Fáil Area Representative Vinny McCormack has reacted with disbelief to the news that the Government has had to commission research to understand why people are against the construction of pylons and wind farms beside their homes. Minister Rabbitte has asked officials from his Department and other Government agencies to establish why there has been a lack of “social acceptance and community engagement in infrastructure projects.”
McCormack stated: “It shows how disconnected, how arrogant and distant from reality this Government has become when it has to rely on Department officials’ research to understand the concerns of ordinary people in our country. Fianna Fáil has been calling on the Government to change its approach to large infrastructure projects including pylons and wind turbines for months. All we have gotten in response has been sneering and laughter from the Government benches who didn’t take community concerns seriously.”
“It appears the Government has only now woken up to those concerns as a result of falling support and increased community anger at the dismissive attitude of state agencies to people who have genuine concerns about these projects. The Minister has engaged in a cynical political game here whereby important decisions surrounding these infrastructure projects will not be taken until after the local and European elections. If the Minister really wanted to understand communities concerns on these matters, he should leave his Ministerial office in Dublin, meet with these communities and listen to their concerns” said active anti wind farm campaigner McCormack.
“This Government has shown that it has a huge appetite for engaging expensive consultants whenever it wants to understand the communities its supposed to represent. The spin over substance approach to politics is beginning to be seen for what it is”.
GARDA STATION CLOSURES AN ATTACK ON RURAL SOCIETY
Residents in a wide area of rural Westmeath will be left open to targeting by criminal gangs whom they may have to “face on their own” following the closure of garda stations, according to one Fianna Fáil Local Representative.
Mr. Vinny McCormack of Ballymore said the recent decisions, announced to close garda stations in the county would have “devastating consequences” for the rural communities they serve.
McCormack pointed out that the loss of the rural Garda stations will place all of the surrounding rural communities in considerable danger.
“Criminal gangs are already travelling down from Dublin and we have seen filling stations, pubs and shops targeted, along with rural homes being broken into, both during the day and at night. The closure of these stations is leaving a whole area wide open and I am appalled at what the minister has done. It’s an attack on rural security.”
He added: “The personal connection between gardaí and the people in these communities will be lost and it’s not as if the savings are in any way significant. The minister has acknowledged that it costs just around €3,000 to run one of these rural stations, so he is making savings, but at what cost to rural residents?”