Fine Gael TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Heather Humphreys, has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Transport that plans are underway that will see the mutual recognition of penalty points on both sides of the border.

Deputy Humphreys was informed of the proposals in reply to a recent Parliamentary Question she tabled in the Dail on the issue.

Speaking on the matter, Deputy Humphreys said:
“I regularly receive representations from constituents in Monaghan and Cavan who outline to me their frustration at the fact that motorists from Northern Ireland driving in the Republic are not subjected to the same penalties as southern drivers for offences such as speeding, drink driving and using a mobile phone while driving.

“The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD has confirmed to me that a timetable has now been agreed for the drafting, passage and enactment of parallel legislation, North & South, by the 31 December 2014.

“The fact that penalty points will be recognised on both sides of the border will help to curtail dangerous driving practices on our roads both North and South of the border. This will be a particularly welcome measure for Cavan/Monaghan and the border area where there would be a much higher level of motorists crossing between the two jurisdictions.

“This is also a further example of the high level of co-operation that exists between the authorities North and South and indeed it will be the first model in Europe for the mutual recognition of penalty points by two jurisdictions. The setting down of a timetable for enactment is certainly a positive development and I look forward to the introduction of this legislation which will close the current loophole where it is possible to escape penalty points simply by crossing the Border,” said Deputy Humphreys.


Once again Main Street Carrickmacross was filled with thousands eager to enjoy the Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade.   Over 50 colourful groups and organisations took part in the parade this year, and despite numerous threats, the rain stayed away!  The Carrickmacross Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoirí warmed the crowd up prior to the Parade by playing a selection of traditional tunes which are always guaranteed to entertain.

True to tradition, the Parade was lead by the 3rd Monaghan C.B.S.I. who marched in impressive formation through the town.  In pursuit the Steadfast Brass Band, who had also played beautifully at the flag raising earlier that morning at the Courthouse, marched proudly behind and also managed to pick up one of the prizes in the parade!  The local Councillors joined dignitaries on the reviewing stand, while Mr. David O’Rourke did a magnificent job as M.C. announcing all the participants as they passed the reviewing stand.

As ever, the local primary schools made huge efforts on the day, arriving in colourful costumes with St. Joseph’s Boys National School marching dressed as a deck of cards, which scooped them the 2nd prize for best float.  The Scoil Rois children wore colourful leprechaun costumes and the children of Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa wore high vis jackets promoting green schools.  This year the town was delighted to have a number of new groups joining the parade, in particular Born to Perform, who had a “Beauty and the Beast”  themed float accompanied by an array of little dancers who entertained the crowds as they followed the parade route.  Word International Ministries also joined the line up for the second year and looked very impressive with their traditional outfits and tambourines.  Some of our walking groups included the 6th Monaghan Scouts Group from Killanny/Inniskeen, the Aces Athletic Club, Friends of Lough Derg, Stedfast House, Mullaghraferty School and the Cycling Club. 

The Vintage Section is a big part of the Parade each year and as usual there were magnificent displays from Lisdoonan, Carrickmacross and Muff Vintage Clubs.   Other vintage vehicles included J.J. Cunningham, Pat Kerr and Sons, Bernard Maguire and Gerry Swinburne.   Commercial Floats included GoLo Insurances, Sip Stoves, Supervalue, Vanity Nightclub, Komandor, Natureworks Landscaping, Steele’s Menswear, JC Environmental and O’Farrell Oils.  While Corduff/Raferagh Community Centre’s “The Gathering” Float picked up the 1st prize in this year’s Best Float.

The crowds were also delighted to hear music from the An Lochrann Linn Band, the Aughnamullen East Pipe Band, St. Mary’s Brass Band, Kingscourt, St. Macartan’s Lisnagrieve Pipe Band and of course the Corduff Pipers who received Best Band prize.  As always all the bands provided great entertainment and colour to the parade.

Well done to all the bands and organisations that participated, their contribution to the Parade was appreciated by all.  We look forward to seeing you all back again in Carrickmacross in 2014.

Seachtain na Gaeilge – Fuinneog Álainn - Best Shop window was won by Rennick’s Office Supplies, Farney Street.  Well done to all the shops that participated.  The standard was exceptional as ever.

The St. Patrick’s Day Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the Parade, the Garda Síochána, the Town Council Staff, David O’Rourke, Mr. Seamus McEneaney, The Fiddler’s Elbow, Cloughvalley Stores and everyone that came to watch the Parade.


Over 50 students took part in the Carrickmacross Lion's Club - Intel Ideation Camp. The Camp which was run over two days in Carrickmacross Workhouse was a great success, with ten teams of students from the three second level schools in Carrickmacross working on problems identified as issues for the future including; water shortage & cross food contamination.

The teams then had to present their solutions to a panel of judges before the final winners were selected. The winners Uisce will take part in the national Ideation Camp final to be held in April.


Asthma Society of Ireland warns Monaghan locals to get their asthma under control and manage their hayfever too!

1 in 10 adults and 2 in 10 children in Monaghan suffer from asthma

Free public asthma management clinic takes place in Monaghan on 23rd March

  • 1 in every 10 adults in Monaghan suffer from the condition
  • 2 in every 10 children under 14 years of age in Monaghan have asthma
  • 14% of people with asthma in Monaghan attended the Emergency Department last year, with 8% needing to be admitted to hospital
  • One third of people with asthma in Monaghan missed school or work last year because of their illness
  • Monaghan Asthma Clinic to take place in Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan on Saturday 23rd March, from 1-4pm


Read more ...

Department to consider extending period for CE participants in Childcare sector - Humphreys

Fine Gael TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Heather Humphreys, has called on the Minister for Social Protection to ensure that participants on Community Employment schemes in the childcare sector are retained for at least a two year period so that participants can complete their FETAC award.

Deputy Humphreys said:
“I have received a number of representations from childcare organisations across Cavan and Monaghan in relation to this matter. It is essential that participants on CE schemes in the area of childcare are maintained for at least a two year period so as to allow participants to complete their FETAC Level 5 Major Award.

“I have strongly lobbied Minister Joan Burton in relation to this matter and I was pleased to receive confirmation from the Minister this week advising that officials in her Department’s Community Employment Policy Unit are currently giving serious consideration to extending the duration of participation for CE Participants who are working directly with children and who are also working towards the achievement of a Level 5 Major Award in Childcare.

“The Minister has advised me that it is anticipated that a new initiative will be rolled out shortly and Department officials will be in touch with all the relevant Community Childcare facilities on the matter.

“I believe this is a very positive development and it will help to ensure that those participating on CE schemes will be better equipped to progress into full time employment,” said Deputy Humphreys.

Carrickmacross Cancer Society recently launched its web site:
and its new email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Designed by Aura internet, it contains the history of the organization, its aims, its services, its fundraising methods and events, together with its links to other support groups.

Details are given on the many ways one can subscribe including donating on line and also how to fundraise.

In its news section it gives information on the forthcoming Daffodil Day which will be held in Carrickmacross on Thursday 21st of March.

The general public is asked to give generously and volunteers are required to help out on that day. Further details are available from Bits and Bobs, Main St.

Your support is much appreciated.

Carrick Cancer Society Its Daffodil Day in on Thurs 21st Mar & once again we are looking for helpers to sell our daffodils. 

Please if you can spare 1 or even 2 hours on  the day...please drop your name, tel no, & time you can sell into Bits n Bobs on MAIN St, or Tel 0862806197...... We will start selling before 7.15am Mass & continue throughout the day until all daffodils are sold so we would really appreciate any help you can give.

See our website

Carrickmacross Allotment Committee are creating a decorative paving area, pathway and seating which will provide users of the allotments with a communal space.

The venture which is due to commence on Thursday 28 February 2013 is financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the PEACE III Programme and delivered through Monaghan PEACE III Partnership.

The project aims to bring young and old together to work on the development. To date, the allotment committee have successfully recruited some younger members from their community but would now like to hear from some of the older men and women so if you have a couple of hours to spare one day per week, they are interested in hearing from you.

Further Information

For further information please contact Joanne Fee at Monaghan County Council on 047 30500 who would be happy to pass on your contact details.

Information taken from

County Monaghan pensioners have been receiving letters from Eircom in recent days advising them of cuts to their phone allowance of up to €170 a year.

While the reduction was announced by Minister Michael Noonan in the budget in December, many senior citizens only realised the huge impact this will have on their finances this week, Sinn Fein’s Cllr Matt Carthy has stated.

He said:  “Letters have been received in the last few days by many pensioners across County Monaghan concerning cuts to their telephone allowance.  These letters from Eircom outline annual cuts between €159.96 to €169.44 annually to the allowance of many pensioners.  The truth is that many people will now struggle to pay their phone bill and some are genuinely wondering how they will cope with this cut on top of everything else they have endured from, first Fianna Fáil, and now Fine Gael in the past few years.

“Telephones are not a luxury but a lifeline, especially for older people” Cllr. Carthy said.  “Many older people have children abroad and the landline telephone is essential for them to retain contact. It is not something they could manage without” he declared.

The monthly reduction from €22.58 to €9.50 is designed to save the exchequer in excess of €60 million per annum but has been criticised by Cllr Carthy as another example of government causing genuine hardship for vulnerable citizens.

“This is a deep cut of almost 60% and will cause great hardship to many people.  These cuts to the allowance, combined with the recent rises in the costs of living such as food, energy and the proposed introduction of a property tax later in the year, are causing real pain and concern to many older people I am speaking to as they fear for how they will cope and struggle to pay their new higher bills.

“We are now seeing the effects on the elderly of cuts announced in the budget before Christmas.  These cuts are biting hard.  Many elderly people will now struggle to pay their phone bills and are in fear of what the future brings.

“Despite promises of a new approach the reality since Fine Gael came into government in 2011 has been that the Fianna Fáil approach of attacking the vulnerable while protecting the mega-wealthy has continued unabated.  Unfortunately this week our elderly citizens have been the latest to feel the brunt of this philosophy” Cllr. Carthy concluded.

Over 250 kids attended a party in the Phoenix Centre in Carrickmacross on Saturday the 9th of February. The event was organised by Bizzy Bees Childcare at the request of Garda Martin Mc Kenna ('Martin the Guard') who wanted a party for all the kids he had met down through the years while a garda in Carrickmacross.

As Martin has taken so much time over the years to spend with children teaching them about road safety he wanted to say a big 'thank you' to all the children in Carrickmacross by throwing them a party before his retirement on Monday the 11th of February.

Such is the appreciate and regard held for Martin that companies in Carrickmacross without hesitation openly donated to the party, and the day was brought together by the huge effort of parents of the Bizzy Bee's creche who baked and made sandwiches for over 300 people.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following companies:

The Phoenix Centre
O Gormans Supervalu
Terry Cassidy-TC Fuels
The Fiddlers Restaurant
Mc Connans Bakery
Carrick Castles
Bernies Kitchen
TW Stores
John Joe Cunningham
Gifts and Things
Value Centre Cash and Carry
Quinns Superstore
Paddy Gollogly ( dressing up as an ostrich!!)

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Matt Carthy welcomed the introduction of reduced Speed Limits at Donaghmoyne Village which encompass the church, school and community centre.  The Sinn Féin Councillor had proposed the matter at a meeting of Monaghan County Council’s Speed Limit Committee following a meeting he attended with the local community in Donaghmoyne Community Centre last March.

Cllr. Carthy confirmed this week that a 60kmph Speed Limit is now in place and enforceable on each of the approaches to Donaghmoyne village.

Cllr. Carthy thanked the area engineer, Alan Hall, for his work on this matter, saying “Donaghmoyne is a busy hub comprising of a school, church and a vibrant community centre which includes a busy childcare facility.  It made sense that a reduced speed limit be put in place in this vicinity in order to protect road users and members of the community.  I want to thank the members of the Council’s Speed Limit Committee for supporting my proposal especially my fellow South Monaghan Councillors PJ O’Hanlon and Aidan Murray.  I also want to thank the other South Monaghan members Noel Keelan and Padraig McNally who ensured the proposal had the full support of Monaghan County Council” Cllr. Carthy concluded.

Twitter @mattcarthy