Posted May 2nd, 2013
Wicklow TD meets with students from Norway, Spain & Greece that are linked into a two year Comenius project with Loreto Secondary School, Bray
Deputy Simon Harris, Fine Gael TD for Wicklow this week met with secondary school students from Norway, Spain and Greece that are visiting Bray as part of their Comenius project with Loreto Bray.
Deputy Harris hosted a visit to Leinster House for these students so they could see first-hand our national parliament in action.
Speaking to the students, Deputy Harris said, “It is great to see a Bray school engaging in such an exciting project which brings students from Bray together with a number of students from other countries to share experiences, cultures and work together on a project. Such ventures have huge benefit for all involved.”
“I was delighted to be able to spend some time this week with the students involved in this project and to meet with them in Bray and then to host a visit for them in Leinster House. As we all become more interdependent at a European and global level, it is essential that young people are provided with opportunities to meet with their peers for other countries and develop links,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Please see attached photo of Deputy Simon Harris at Leinster House with students from Norway, Greece and Spain who are involved in a Comenius project with Loreto Bray
Posted April 26th, 2013
Wicklow TD and Convenor of the Dáil Cross Party Group on Mental Health, Simon Harris, launches Loreto Bray students’ guide to promoting positive mental health.
Deputy Simon Harris visited Loreto Secondary School, Bray yesterday (Thursday) for the launch of an exciting new initiative on promoting positive mental health amongst students in the school. Students in Loreto Bray produced and launched a booklet entitled “Building Resilience” outlining tips and ideas on how students should nurture and protect their mental health.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch Deputy Harris commended the students for their dedication and focus.
‘Positive mental health is something I am championing in the Dáil and I am delighted to see the students in Loreto Bray taking such a proactive approach to addressing mental health concerns. We all have a mental health to look after, just like our physical health.
‘Changing perceptions on mental health need to start in school so that people can be given the tools to look after themselves and the pressures that will come throughout life. It is so great to see Loreto Bray come together and work on promoting positive mental health. Such was the dedication of students and teachers in the school that they came into the school over their summer holidays last year to work on this project. This week we have seen the benefits of all their hard work and effort.
‘I plan to speak to Minister for Mental Health to see how other schools can follow the example of Loreto Bray in getting a head start on promoting positive mental health. I would like to congratulate the students and teachers for their hard work and wish them well with the guide. I would also like to thank them for their warm welcome to their school. I am proud to represent them in the Dáil as they lead the way with this great initiative and I truly hope other schools throughout the country follow their lead.
Posted April 16th, 2013
Deputy Harris secures update in Dail on actions being taken to resolve flooding problems on the N11.
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) secured a Dail debate on the on-going flooding issues on the N11/M11.
After the recent spate of flooding Deputy Harris undertook to raise this matter on the floor of the Dail to finally seek answers for Wicklow commuters as to why this major roadway has been flooded twice already this year.
Speaking in the Dail this evening Deputy Harris said, ‘We are only in the fourth month of 2013 and already Wicklow commuters have had to endure traffic chaos and road closures on the N11/M11. They and I have had enough and are extremely frustrated by the lack of answers and indeed the buck passing form one agency and indeed local authority to another.
‘This is a major road leading to our capital city. It is an essential route on an almost daily basis for thousands upon thousands of people commuting to work and going about their business. Equally in terms of encouraging investment into county Wicklow, we cannot afford to have these flooding issues remain without solution.
‘Legitimate questions are now being asked by commuters and residents in terms of whether there is an engineering problem with this road or is there simply a lack of proper maintenance and to be quite frank whether this is a problem with Wicklow County Council or Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council or the National Roads Authority or all three. We need leadership and coordination. We need heads banged together and a workable solution.
‘This evening in the Dail the Minister for Transport has informed me that a CCTV survey of the motorway drainage is being undertaken and a series of site surveys are underway to assess the condition of the motorway drainage and to investigate the performance of the local road and land drainage network to the west of the M11.
‘I welcome this news that action is being taken and will be vigorously pursuing this.’
Bray, Wicklow & the Irish drama world have all lost a great friend and talent with the passing of Gladys Sheehan – Harris
Posted April 6th, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has expressed his saddness at the passing of Gladys Sheehan in recent days.
Speaking about Gladys, Deputy Harris said, ” Gladys Sheehan made a huge contribution to community life in Bray, in County Wicklow and on the national stage in the Irish drama world. Gladys had a significant and successful acting career in her own right but it is her long-running drama schools in Bray and Greystones which will left countless families in North Wicklow, my own included, with wonderful memories of a kind, big-hearted, generous, fun drama teacher.”
“Gladys gave so many children in Bray and Greystones a sense of self-confidence and belief. She encouraged their acting dreams and gave them every help and encouragement possible. She continued this work well beyond the normal retirement age, such was her love of drama and young people,” stated Deputy Harris.
“On a personal note, I will truly miss Gladys and will always remember her with fondness and gratitude. My sincere sympathy to all her relatives and friends,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted April 5th, 2013
Major aerial road shut for second time this year due to flooding – Wicklow TD to seek answers and accountability in Dáil debate
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has written to the Ceann Comhairle tabling a special Topical Debate in the Dáil arising from the closure of the N11/M11 twice so far in 2013 due to flooding.
Speaking on this issue, Deputy Harris said, “It is utterly unacceptable that this major road route is closed in parts and that commuters from right throughout Wicklow are left in chaotic traffic for hours and hours on end when their is heavy rain. Surely in the 21st Century we can engineer and maintain roads to withstand heavy rain. This is not a small road, it is one of our country’s most major roadways and to see it unable to cope with rain and to be flooded twice in three months is ridiculous.”
“Since the latest flooding incident resulting in the closure of the road around the Bray exits, there has been significant “buck passing” going on. The NRA have implied that local authorities failed to maintain it adequately. Others have commented on the fact that there may be an engineering problem in and around the part of the road in question. Wicklow residents dont want buck-passing. They want answers and they want action,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I have now tabled a Dáil debate on the issue and have written to the Ceann Comhairle seeking time to consider the matter on the floor of the Dáil so that the Minister for Transport can bring together all the relevant agencies – the NRA and the local authorities – and secure answers, updates and assurances on this important issue. I will continue to pursue this until progress is made,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted March 14th, 2013
This week, Deputy Simon Harris met with a growing multi-national company in Bray, Commscope and with the Chief Executive Officer of the IDA, Barry O’Leary to receive an update on investments at the Bray plant and the future potential for this plant in County Wicklow.
Deputy Harris is pictured at the Bray plant with Barry O’Leary of the IDA and senior directors of Commscope from Bray and from their global operation.
Speaking after his visit, Deputy Harris said, “Commscope is a major global company which has a long affinity with Bray. I was delighted to meet with its global directors and with local management and with the IDA Chief Executive to hear how the plant intends to grow. Bray has been a great hub for investment in past years and the challenge now is to make sure it is again. Commscope is a great advertisement for multi-national investment in Bray and in County Wicklow and it’s vote of confidence in the town sends out a strong message to other potential investors.”
Posted March 14th, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, a member of the Bray Policing Committee has said that new crime figures for 2013 show a substantial reduction in house burglaries and car theft in Bray compared to last year.
Deputy Harris outlined that figures provided to the Policing Committee in Bray at its meeting this week showed that in 2012 so far there have been 27 burglaries in Bray. This is down from 71 burglaries in the same period last year and represents a decrease of 62%. Figures for car theft show that there have been 2 incidences this year compared to 12 for the same period in 2012. This represents an 83% decrease.
Responding to these figures, Deputy Harris said, “I want to commend our Gardai in Bray for this very positive news in relation to the reduction in burglaries and car theft in the town. Last year saw a huge spate of house burglaries and a number of car thefts. These new figures show substantial progress has been made by the Gardai in reducing these crimes.”
“Obviously there is no room for complacency. As a community we need to remain vigilant to such crimes and support the Gardai in tackling them. As a member of the Bray Policing Committee, I will continue to closely monitor this and ensure the Gardai receive the resources necessary to continue to deliver such great outcomes for the community,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted March 5th, 2013
Wicklow TD joins President of GAA and local Bray students in planting a tree at GAA club as part of National Tree Week – 20,000 new trees to be planted nationwide during this week
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris today (Tuesday) joined with the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill, members of Bray Emmets GAA Club and local students to plant a tree at the club grounds to mark National Tree Week.
National Tree Week will see 20,000 new trees planted across the country this week which will positively contribute to our environment.
Speaking about today’s event, Deputy Harris said, “I was delighted to visit Bray Emmets today and to welcome the President of the GAA to our town and to our county. It was a great honour for Wicklow and for Bray Emmets for him to be with us. Bray Emmets is a brilliant club providing recreation and sport for about 700 members ranging across the ages. It was uplifting to be there with them on this exciting day in their beautiful grounds and excellent club house.”
“National Tree Week is a worthy initiative which sees thousands upon thousands of new trees planted in communities across the country. It also educates young school children of the benefits of protecting and promoting our local environment,” stated Deputy Harris.
“Well done and thank you to Bray Emmets and to the local schools for taking part in this tree planting ceremony today and I look forward to returning to this club as the tree grows and as their teams win!,” continued Deputy Harris.
Posted January 10th, 2013
Fine Gael TD for Wicklow, Simon Harris, has today (Thursday) said that Ireland’s young students are sending out a very powerful message to potential investors about the amazing talent we have in this country. Deputy Harris was speaking after a visit to the Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition in the RDS.
“The Young Scientists Exhibition is always a really inspiring and encouraging event for so many schools up and down county Wicklow, where they have the opportunity to display the talent and ingenuity of their students. I saw so many clever, creative, and innovative projects across the range of sciences on display.
“In recent years, the Young Scientists Exhibition has acted as a showcase for potential investors in this country to be become aware of the raw talent that we have coming up through our schools in the areas of science and technology. I met students from Arklow Community College, Avondale Community College, Cólaiste Bhríde, Cólaiste Rithín, Dominican College Wicklow, Gael Scoil Cólaiste Na Mara, Scoil Chonglais, St Gerard’s and St. Thomas Community College all of whom had different projects and ideas. This highlights the degree of innovative thinking and imagination that exists in young people from Wicklow.
“The so-called ‘smart economy’, and, can often sound like a vague concept or even a buzz word, but at this exhibition we get to see the smart economy personified.
“Three hundred and sixty two schools are taking part in this year’s exhibition. As the Irish economy continues its journey to recovery, any of the 45,000 people that visit this exhibition this week will be left in no doubt as to the scope of talented youngsters we have in Wicklow schools. Our smart economy is right on track.”
Posted January 8th, 2013
Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) surveys 42 towns and cities including Bray and finds that more than 3 out of 4 Irish towns and cities are now clean by European standards – highest result ever!
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has welcomed the publication of the Irish Business Against Litter survey today which found that more than 3 out of 4 Irish towns and cities are now classified as “clean to European norms.” This is a very strong performance and records the highest ever number of Irish towns classified as clean.
42 towns and cities were surveyed as part of this study including one town in County Wicklow; Bray.
Speaking about the results, Deputy Harris said, “The results of this survey are very encouraging nationally and also here in County Wicklow with the very positive result for Bray. I want to commend all those involved in ensuring that Bray has recorded this very good classification as ‘clean to European norms’. Great credit is due to the Tidy Towns, Bray Town Council, residents’ associations, business owners and indeed residents in the town.”
“Overall this survey shows very positive improvements for the country in terms of tackling litter and improving on the standards of cleanliness in our towns and cities. As a country we have moved from one of the worst performing countries in Europe in terms of clean towns and cities to now one of the best. I want to congratulate and thank the business community for the work they have done in helping bring this improvement about through the establishment of Irish Business Against Litter,” stated Deputy Harris.
“However, there is no room for complacency keeping County Wicklow and our country clean and tackling litter problems involves ongoing work. We are very lucky in our county to have so many active Tidy Towns Groups and other voluntary groups who do such great work in this regard. We need our local authorities to continue to focus on litter black-spots in County Wicklow and also ensuring that lessons are learnt from the recent situation in Wicklow Town where bins were left overflowing for some days in the town causing a very undesirable situation. On the plus side, I am pleased to see focus has been paid to tackling dumping in the uplands and on the N11 in the last year,” continued Deputy Harris.
“I look forward to working with communities across our county in our continued efforts to maintain Wicklow as the ‘Garden of Ireland’,” concluded Deputy Harris.