Category Archives: Photos

DIALYSIS patients in Wexford will no longer be required to travel to Waterford following the opening of a new state of the art unit.

Minister Paul Kehoe today (WEDNESDAY) formally opened the Wellstone Clinic in Drinagh, which will shortly have around 40 staff working there.

The clinic, which is owned by the B Braun company and supported by the HSE, will facilitate the treatment of Wexford patients, eliminating the need for these patients to travel to University Hospital Waterford a minimum of 3 times per week.

This development is a prime example of putting the needs of the patients first, Minister Kehoe said, adding that it will immeasurably improve the quality of life for those patients that avail of it and their families.

Minister Kehoe said patients have spent thousands of hours travelling to Waterford for their treatment, which has added additional stress and financial cost.

The fact that a firm like B Braun, which employs 58,000 people worldwide, has invested in Wexford is a major boost to the county, according to Minister Kehoe.

“It is of tremendous importance to both Ireland and Wexford to have world class centres dedicated to the treatment of patients with chronic renal failure,” he said.

“I am confident that this satellite unit will be of enormous benefit to the community.

“It will support the National Renal Office’s priority to provide services closer to patients’ homes.

“And it will also facilitate the treatment of Wexford patients in Wexford town, eliminating the need for these patients to travel to University Hospital Waterford a minimum of 3 times per week.”

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Major funding announcement for Flood Relief in Wexford

I can confirm that Wexford has been chosen as one of 50 towns to benefit from €257m in flood relief funding.

A total of €9.25m has been set aside with a Scheme now going to design and construction phase.

We all know that flooding can have an appalling impact on our families.

Through these state of the art flood defences we will be able to give people some piece of mind.

I was also asked on local radio today about the Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme. A seperate €40m has been ringfenced for this project and this is underpinned by a committment secured from former Minister of State for Finance, Brian Hayes.

Construction on the Enniscorthy scheme is due to commence in 2019.

I will keep you all informed on developments.

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Minister Kehoe attends meeting of EU Defence Ministers and participates in Strategic Cyber Table-top Exercise, EU CYBRID 2017, in Tallin, Estonia.

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today, (Thursday 07th September 2017) attended the Informal meeting of EU Ministers of Defence, hosted by Estonia which currently holds the Presidency of the EU. The Minister also participated in an EU Table-top Cyber Exercise which formed one element of the meeting agenda.

The exercise, based on a fictional cyber attack against an EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)Mission Operational Headquarters, focussed on EU level responses to a cyber and hybrid threat to a CSDP operation. The purpose of the table-top exercise was to raise strategic situational awareness at the political level and improve understanding of the EU’s crisis response mechanisms and the importance of coordinated strategic communication. Lessons learned from the exercise, the first of its kind at the level of EU Defence Ministers, will be used to further develop the EU’s policies in the area of Cyber and Hybrid defence.

Commenting after the exercise the Minister stated that

Cyber threats respect no borders. Today’s exercise was a timely reminder of the threats posed by such attacks and the need for constant vigilance and awareness. The exercise served as an important reminder of the critical importance of cyber security, addressing the importance of the resilience of the EU and individual member States in the face of such threats.”

The informal meeting also offered an opportunity for Defence Ministers to discuss the EU’s response to the security challenges in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions in particular how the EU might enhance its engagement in these key strategic areas. United Nations Under Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix also participated in this part of the meeting, alongside the Secretary General of NATO, Mr Jens Stoltenberg.

At a joint session attended by Defence and Foreign Ministers, there was an extensive discussion on current initiatives being advanced by member States and the EU institutions under the Common Security and Defence Policy. The discussion focussed on the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation, new Defence capability assessment and review procedures under the Comprehensive Annual Review on Defence and the establishment of the European Defence Fund including the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on a European Defence Industrial Development Programme.

Minister Kehoe also had a bi-lateral meeting with Mr Lacroix, where UN issues, including Ireland’s ongoing deployments in Lebanon and the Golan Heights, and the upcoming peacekeeping summit in Vancouver were discussed.

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Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., welcomed His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales to the United Nations Training School Ireland, Curragh Camp, Co Kildare.

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today welcomed His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to the Curragh Camp, Co Kildare.  The Prince of Wales was visiting the United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI) which is based in the Curragh Camp.  UNTSI was established with the principal aim of ensuring that the Defence Forces training for peacekeeping is of the highest standards in all aspects of today’s complex peace support operations.

During his visit, the Prince of Wales met students on the Humanitarian Disaster Assistance Course which is sponsored by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT).  CAWT is a partnership between the Health and Social Care Services of Northern Ireland and Ireland which facilitates cross border collaborative working in health and social care.  Commenting on the visit to UNTSI, Minister Kehoe said  “Since its establishment as a focal point for the preparation of Defence Force personnel for Peace Support Operations, UNTSI has developed important relationships with military and civilian training institutions, significantly enhancing the courses which it provides.  This collaborative approach makes UNTSI an ideal partner for CAWT in delivering the cross border Humanitarian Disaster Assistance Course for the benefit of emergency responders North and South.  The Defence Forces will continue to build on partnerships such as this while retaining its focus on the training and preparation of Defence Force personnel for participation in Peace Support Operations.”

The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Minister Kehoe, also met Cadets from the 93rd Cadet Class and personnel deployed to Sierra Leone during 2014/2015 as part of the international response to the Ebola Crises in West Africa. In commending those members of the Defence Forces who participated in the Ebola response, the Minister said that “there is no doubt that the contribution of the Defence Forces to initiatives in Sierra Leone assisted in the international effort to fight Ebola in West Africa. But more than that, it has had a lasting legacy within the Defence Forces.  It has provided valuable lessons which have been used in developing medical protocols necessary to train Naval Service personnel for the humanitarian deployment to the Mediterranean.”

The Minister also commended CAWT for their dedicated work to enhance emergency medical response planning and joint training between both jurisdictions.Rail Subm P1C_k2g1uWAAEmGysC_k2g1tXoAABL_a

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Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Reviews Irish Troops heading to Lebanon

Today, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 110th Infantry Battalion who will travel shortly for service with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Speaking during the Review, the Minister said “Today is about taking pride in all the work that the Defence Forces have done, and continue to do, as peacekeepers throughout the world, often in very challenging environments.  You the men and women of the 110th Infantry Battalion are the latest to continue this tradition.”

The Minister added “I had the opportunity of visiting our troops in UNIFIL on a number of occasions and most recently in March of this year.  While I was there I was able to witness, at first hand, the dedication and professionalism of our military personnel and the tremendous work done overseas by the Irish Defence Forces.  I conveyed to our troops our deep appreciation for the outstanding manner in which they continue to perform their duties on overseas service on behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland.”

Addressing the troops directly, Minister Kehoe said “I commend each and every one of you on your decision to take on this mission.  It is important to acknowledge that Ireland could not make such a substantial contribution to international peace support operations without the ongoing commitment of Defence Forces personnel to serve overseas in often difficult and dangerous circumstances.”

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Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, T.D., Reviews Irish Troops heading for service with UNDOF

McDermott Barracks, Curragh – Friday 24th March 2017

Today, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 55th Infantry Group who will leave in the coming weeks for service with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights.

Speaking during the Review, the Minister said, “Ireland has a long and proud tradition of participation in peacekeeping missions.   Irish Defence Forces personnel have served in peace support missions all over the world in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Ireland’s participation in UN and UN-mandated peacekeeping missions is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the pursuit of international peace and security. ”

 Addressing the 55th Infantry Group, the Minister said, “Soldiers from 16 counties around Ireland are represented among the 130 strong contingent here today, including 56 local personnel from County Kildare.  For 48 of you present, this is your first tour of duty overseas.”

The Minister went on to say “To prepare for your deployment to the UNDOF mission, you have all completed a rigorous training programme.  While this training has been demanding, it is necessary in order to ensure that all of you are well prepared to meet the demands and to discharge your duties effectively in the mission area in the Golan Heights.”

In concluding the Minister said, “Finally, I want to wish each and every member of the 55th Infantry Group, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel David Cowhig, a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the UNDOF mission with my best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation.Review 1 Review 2

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Minister Kehoe announces George Bernard Shaw as chosen name for new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Naval Service

Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe TD, today (Tuesday 28th February) announced that the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service will bear the name of renowned Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.  The announcement was made during a traditional Keel Laying Ceremony, to mark a significant milestone being reached in the build process for the fourth new OPV, in Babcock’s Shipbuilding Yard in Devon, UK.

The Keel Laying ceremony was attended by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe TD, senior representatives from Babcock, the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence, as well as Naval Service members involved in the build project.

The new ship will be the same class as LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce and LÉ William Butler Yeats and the name George Bernard Shaw maintains the approach of naming this class of vessel after Irish literary greats.

Speaking at the ceremony Minister Kehoe said “Whether it is carrying out defence and security operations, on sea fisheries patrols, search and rescue operations or on overseas missions such as the humanitarian operation in the Mediterranean, the efforts of the Naval Service are enhanced by having access to new vessels equipped with the latest available capabilities.

Reflecting on the relationship between the Defence organisation and Babcock which has already seen a number of the current in-service Irish Naval Service vessels built in the Appledore facility Minister Kehoe said

“The Government’s current ship replacement programme has delivered three Naval Service vessels, representing a significant investment by the Government in the provision of defence capability for the State.  The ship that is being built at present will be the fourth in this class providing huge commonality benefits to the Naval Service and allowing for greater operational capacity.”

Minister Kehoe concluded by complimenting employees at Babcock “for their ability to produce well designed and stylish ships with state of the art equipment which have already proven their value to the Irish Naval Service both at home and on overseas missions.” 

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Kehoe – Proud to show Minister Heather Humphreys the Past, Present and Future Jewels in the Wexford Crown

Minister Paul Kehoe, TD today (Thursday, 23rd February) welcomed Minister for the Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD on a whistle-stop tour of some of the  shining lights of the Wexford Arts and Heritage offering.

Starting in Castlebridge, Minister Humphreys met with the restoration committee for Castlebridge House and Conservatory to learn more about the history of the building and to discuss their plans to restore the historic structure.HH Visit 1

The next stop incorporated a visit to Johnstown Castle, where Minister’s Kehoe and Humphreys met with representatives from Teagasc and the Heritage Foundation to receive an update on the exciting plans for the further development of the Castle and its grounds, followed by a tour of the Agricultural Museum.HH Visit 2

The award winning Forge Craft Shop in Baldwinstown was next on the agenda, where master craftsman Padraig Parle and his wife Mairead provided an insight into their business which has significantly developed over the years with the support of Wexford Local Development.   Speaking at the Forge Minister Kehoe reflected on hearing Padraig provide inspiration to young entrepreneurs and outlined that the Parle’s and their business were an example of the dedication, skill, craftsmanship and vision of the Wexford Arts scene.HH Visit 4

Onwards to the Wexford Arts Centre, who have just received funding of €1 Million from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to make significant changes to their offering.  While there, Minister Humphreys had the opportunity to review first-hand the plans that her Department is funding with members of the Board of Directors and to meet the cast of Portia Coughlan, who were just about to take the stage.HH Visit 3

Final stop, Enniscorthy, where the Ministers visited the Athenaeum, which stands proudly in the heart of the town following its renovation as part of the Government’s 1916 Commemoration Programme.   Minister Humphreys had to opportunity to review some of the historic documents on show in the Athenaeum and tour the full premises and view the work undertaken to ensure that Enniscorthy has a permanent legacy of its part in the 1916 Rising.HH Visit 5

During the visit, both Minister Kehoe and Humphreys emphasised the importance of investment into both Rural Ireland and the Arts and the obvious benefits to these developments to the local economy.  Minister Kehoe stated; “I believe in Rural Ireland and I believe that there is enormous future potential in Wexford.  As a Government, we are putting huge focus into planning for the future so that our children can live in a country that meets their needs. We cannot continue the type of unbalanced development that has seen major growth only in the Dublin area. We need strong well developed cities across the country providing regional balance, encouraging people to live and work outside of Dublin.

The Introduction of The Action Plan for Rural Ireland, the Roll out of Ireland’s Ancient East and the long-term view being taking with the development of Ireland 2040 shows a coordinated concerted effort to ensure that we protect and further develop our rural lifestyle throughout the country.”

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Minister Paul Kehoe, T.D. Awards Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal to members of the Permanent Defence Force

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today presented the new Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal to some 70 serving and retired members of the Permanent Defence Force at a ceremony held in Dún Laoghaire Harbour.  

The new Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal recognises the service of Defence Forces personnel who have been deployed on overseas missions by direction of the Government where no other mission medal has been awarded.  

In presenting the medal the Minister said “we are acknowledging the outstanding contribution that the men and women of the Permanent Defence Force have made, and are currently making, to missions overseas.

“To date, Irish participation in the humanitarian mission has resulted in the recovery of over 14,800 migrants from unseaworthy crafts, clearly demonstrating the value of Ireland’s involvement in this important humanitarian response.

Operation Pontus has made a positive and practical difference to the lives of many poor and vulnerable people.”

Present at today’s ceremony were personnel who took part in the humanitarian operation in the Mediterranean onboard L.É. Eithne, L.É. Niamh and L.É. Róisín.  The L.É. James Joyce was docked alongside the pier.     

Minister Kehoe remarked ‘L.É. James Joyce was the second Naval Service vessel deployed to the Mediterranean this year.  I am delighted that we have her Captain, Lieutenant Commander Neil Manning and many of the crew here today to receive their International Operational Service Medal.”

In his concluding remarks the Minister thanked the members of the Naval Service, army and retired members present for their valuable contribution while serving on the mission in the Mediterranean.     

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