Aidan Davitt
Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland

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Recent Questions to the County Council & Replies

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Cllr.Davitt: To ask Westmeath County Council how many start notices to build did it receive last year.




Westmeath County Council received 156 Commencement Notices in 2011, which covered 136 buildings.



Cllr.Davitt: To ask Westmeath County Council to liaise with the Department of Education in relation to Columb Barracks Mullingar and its potential as a school site to service the lack of school places in Mullingar and the surrounding areas.




This matter will be referred to the Council’s Corporate Policy Group.



Cllr.Davitt: To ask Westmeath County Council when it intends to start work on the Cooksboro Road, as outlined in this years’ works programme.




The Road Works Programme has commenced and will continue for the next 2 months. Works on the Cooksboro Road L5605 is planned for end of May/beginning of June but the schedule is weather dependent.



Cllr.Davitt: To ask Westmeath County Council if it is aware of the percentage of houses on mains/group water schemes that have meters already installed




There are currently 37,305 houses in Westmeath (at Q1 of 2012), of which approx. 28,000 houses are connected to mains water supply (public/group).

Houses built since the late 1990s would have a meter box installed, but not a meter, while Group Water Supply Schemes constructed in recent years would normally have fitted a meter on each property. The number of metered houses in Westmeath is unknown and will only be determined when all houses are surveyed, which is planned for later in the year.


Mullingar Golf Club Long Handicap Competition

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Pictured at the recent Mullingar Golf Club Long Handicap Competition are Cllr. Aidan, Davitt John G Kelly (Club Vice Captain), and First Prize winner Shane Kinneally.

Prizes were sponsered by Sherry FitzGerald Davitt & Davitt & Campion Insurances.


Posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Timmy Dooley TD has said any decision to sell the 25% strategic shareholding in Aer Lingus would be extremely short-sighted.

Deputy Dooley said: “I note with some concern that Minister Varadkar has decided that suddenly there is no strategic case for the State to continue to hold a 25% shareholding in Aer Lingus.  The previous Government, at the time Aer Lingus was privatised, decided that maintaining a strong shareholding in the company would help protect the country from adverse decisions that could be taken.  There was also considerable concern at the time surrounding competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus.  I do not believe that Ryanair has given up on its attempts to acquire Aer Lingus, something which the Government would have no power to guard against if its shareholding is sold.

“I believe there will be considerable concern among the tourism industry, the business sector and among workers at Aer Lingus following the Minister’s comments.

“As a result of Aer Lingus being majority privately owned it has become a much more attractive and competitive airline.  Workers have made significant sacrifices and many have left the airline in order for it to reshape how it operates and reduce its cost base dramatically.

“However it appears to me as though the Minister is looking for reasons to sell the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus instead of looking at the importance of Aer Lingus to the country’s economic recovery through vital routes and connections to major cities.

“Any decision by this Government to abandon its shareholding in Aer Lingus to avoid making tough decisions on spending would be extremely short-sighted.  It could also adversely affect the country in the years ahead.”


Taoiseach Refuses to Reaffirm Income Tax and Social Welfare Pledges

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s refusal to confirm that Government promises on income tax and social welfare rates will be honoured in December’s budget will cause alarm among welfare recipients and people in employment, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath stated, ‘During this morning’s interview on Morning Ireland, Taoiseach Kenny was given several opportunities to restate the Government’s promise not to increase income tax or to cut welfare rates in next December’s budget. These were promises first made at election time, were then included in the Programme for Government and were reaffirmed by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste on the Government’s 100th day in office. However, the Taoiseach was less than clear on the status of those promises today.

‘The Government cannot claim that a worse than expected economic picture has meant the promises have had to be abandoned. The exchequer returns so far in 2011 are marginally ahead of what was provided for in last December’s Budget. In addition, savings of €500m - €600m in 2012 have been secured on Ireland’s national debt interest bill. The Government has raised €1.9 billion over four years to fund a Jobs Initiative.

‘While the 2012 growth projection for Ireland is currently being re-assessed in light of developments in the international economy, the Government cannot blame budgetary or economic conditions for reneging on solemn promises it made to the Irish people.

‘The time is fast approaching when the FG and Labour will have to make budgetary decisions of their own. It will become clear in the weeks ahead whether the income tax and social welfare promises are as dispensable to FG and Labour as all the other pre-election promises they have since walked away from.


News Update 06/11/2010

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 4:44 AM

Weekly Parliamentary Party Briefing

Posted on November 4, 2010 at 8:28 AM


News Update 29/10/2010

Posted on November 4, 2010 at 8:27 AM

News Update 17/10/2010

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

News Bulleton

Posted on October 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM

The Fiscal Taskmaster: Brian Cowen

Posted on August 23, 2010 at 6:53 AM

The Fiscal Taskmaster: Brian Cowen  

Newsweek 18th August 2010

With Ireland's once-roaring economy staggered by the banking crisis--unemployment is at 13 percent, emigration is rising, and the money markets rank Ireland not far behind Greece on the list of Europe's big-time losers--Prime Minister Brian Cowen and his able finance minister, Brian Lenihan, are prescribing harsh medicine. They've pushed through austerity packages drastic enough to win the admiration of the international community, raised taxes, and slashed some public salaries by more than 10 percent. But the Irish aren't showing much gratitude--Cowen's ratings have plunged to a mere 18 percent, and his Fianna Fail party can expect a drubbing in the 2012 national elections. Still, there's some hope that his government's unpopular measures will be rewarded in the long run: surveys suggest that Irish consumer confidence is on the rise again, and the economy notched up modest growth in the first quarter of 2010.




Wen Jiabao, China: heart

David Cameron, Britain: ambitious

Manmohan Singh, India: sophisticated

Nicolas Sarkozy, France: shines abroad

King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia: reformer

Brian Cowen, Ireland: taskmaster

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia: rebuilder

Lee Myung-Bak, South Korea: skilled

Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives: green

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil: star status

Newsweek rate the world’s best countries

Newsweek also carried out a survey of the world’s best countries with Ireland ranking in 17th place. We are ranked 8th in the world for education, 7th for health, 15th for quality of life, 27th for economic dynamism and 13th in the world for the political environment.

The top three countries are: Finland, Switzerland and Sweden. The US is ranked 11th and the United Kingdom is ranked 14th.

Number of cars licensed jumps 61%·

The number of private cars licensed in the State in July was up by some 61.1 per cent compared to July of last year, new figures show.

·       7,018 new private cars were licensed in the month, compared with 4,355 in July of last

year. Of these, a total of 69.1 per cent were diesel-fuelled and 27.7 per cent were petrol.

·       The totalnumber of all vehicles licensed in July was 13,928 compared to 12,411 in the same month last year – a rise of 12.2 per cent.

·       For new vehicles, the total number licensed in July was up 43.9 per cent to 8,648 from6,009 last year.

The Leaving Cert Results & Maths education

57,839 Students across the country received the Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday last week.The results for Maths and Science were broadly in line with previous years.However, this year some 1,818 candidates in 24 schools sat a different Paper 2 in Mathematics, as part of the Project Maths initiative. The results for the 1,818 candidates in the 24 Project Maths schools were broadly in line with national trends. A welcome development was that 18.5% took higher level in these schools where project maths was being piloted, compared with 16.0% nationally. The initiative which started in 2008 and was piloted in 24 schools, will be rolled out in all schools from September this year and will be phased in over three years.It will be supported by a national programme of professional development for teachers which began in 2009. Some €3m was invested in this area in 2009, with a further €5m this year. The programme will continue to at least 2013. In science, there have also been further increases in participation rates in Chemistry and Biology, but participation in Physics was down 0.4% to 12.4% this year. Engineering and Technology have also had increases in participation rates at higher level.The Tánaiste has made her preference for the introduction of a points bonus for achievement in higher level mathematics clear and has written to the higher education institutions in that regard.