On Friday 27th May last, recently elected Senator Maura Hopkins hosted a thank you celebration at which she pledged to provide sincere, honest and ambitious representation for the people living in this region.
Senator Hopkins and those present at the event congratulated former Deputy Frank Feighan on his new appointment to Seanad Eireann. As the youngest Fine Gael Senator, Maura stated that she “would be a strong voice for young people particularly in the area of retaining and attracting young people back to the West. We must do everything possible to make our rural areas more attractive to younger people by supporting the creation of additional jobs and ensuring proper investment in broadband which I believe is desperately needed.”
She pledged to continue her work on investment and reform necessary to ensure people can gain improved access to a timely and specialist service. “My focus in particular will be on delivering an increased ground ambulance service in this area, an enhanced air ambulance service to include night-time flying hours, increasing hours and use of both the Urgent Care Centre and Medical Assessment Unit in the Hospital. I was delighted to see Minister Helen McEntee assume responsibility for Mental Health and I will be working very closely with her in delivering improvements for people coping with mental health problems”.
“Access to proper rehabilitation services remains a huge problem for our country. Medical advances have resulted in improved outcomes in acute care. However, the next stage of recovery where people need physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy to improve their function and quality of life is being severely compromised through a distinct deficit in the availability of specialist rehabilitation services on a national basis.”
Senator Hopkins stated that locally we have an ability to contribute to improvements in this area. I want to see delivery of a properly resourced and specialist rehabilitation service in Roscommon Hospital and I will be working extremely hard with Minister Simon Harris to see it delivered”.
Senator Hopkins noted her continued commitment to be a strong advocate for the farming community, saying “Coming from a farming background myself, I am acutely aware of the issues which face our agriculture industry. Under Fine Gael’s stewardship, the agri-food sector is recovering and beginning to thrive once more. I am glad to see locally that young people are now seeing agriculture as a viable career again. Young trained farmers are and will be the main drivers of the industry. These ambitious, young individuals are critical to our rural communities and we need to do everything in our power to promote and support them, I will continue to advocate for investment to ensure the future prosperity of the industry.”
She went on to say that she has spoken at length with the new Minister with Responsibility for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney emphasising the importance of maintaining the county boundary. “Any change to the county boundary would have negative repercussions in relation to social, cultural and economic effects as well as from a recreational and sporting point of view. It has an integral part to play in bringing positivity and further jobs back into this region”.
Senator Maura Hopkins concluded by saying “Having met with thousands of people across Roscommon and Galway over the past two years, I am very conscious of the many issues we face and will work tirelessly to represent to create better opportunities and increase service provision in this region for our people”.