Important Advice from HSE Public Health, Area A (Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan and North Dublin

Protect your family from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu and winter viruses

 Colds, coughs and viral infections in children

 18th November 2022: GPs and Hospitals across Ireland continue to see a rise in the numbers of young children affected by respiratory symptoms and viruses. Last week saw the highest number of cases of RSV the country has ever recorded in one week.

Dr Lois O’Connor, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, HSE Public Health Area A, has the following advice for families:

“Given the current concerning RSV numbers, we all have a particular part to play in protecting newborn and small babies who are most affected. The best way we can protect ourselves and our family members from RSV, common colds, and other winter viruses is to reduce the chance of infection and spread.”

Dr O’Connor advises that there are 7 key ways to help prevent the spread of viruses:

  1. If you or your child are unwell with cold symptoms, do not attend places with young children and babies, such as child care facilities and school.
  2. Parents of young babies do need to take extra care and be clear about shielding babies from coughs and colds. This may mean putting friends and family off from visiting for a while if someone is unwell, not encouraging people to touch your baby’s face, and asking people to wear a mask around your baby can also help.
  3. Clean your hands and your child’s often – ask anyone in contact with your child to clean their hands first.
  4. Encouraging respiratory hygiene around babies and links to babies. Respiratory hygiene is vital to prevent the spread of respiratory infections: – Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. – Use tissues and throw them away. – Wash your hands after touching your mouth or nose. It is important to teach your child how to do this if they are old enough.
  5. Continue breastfeeding as this may prevent babies from getting a respiratory illnesses, including bronchiolitis caused by RSV. This is because babies get special proteins called antibodies from breastmilk. Antibodies can protect your child from infection.
  6. Keep children away from smoking.
  7. To protect your children and those around them from flu, I strongly encourage all parents of children aged 2 to 17 to get your children vaccinated against flu. The free Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine is available at your local GP or pharmacy. For more information about the children’s flu vaccines, visit:”


Dr O’Connor explains why we are seeing such a steep rise in respiratory infections this winter:

“We expect to see more children with respiratory virus infections this year when compared to last year because this year children are in more contact with one another and therefore the risk of spreading of winter respiratory viruses is increased. In addition, because children had limited contact with one another last year their exposure to all respiratory viruses and resultant immune response was reduced. As a result more children will have lower immunity to these viruses this year.”

“The good news is that most cases of respiratory virus infections are mild and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks without treatment. Antibiotics are not needed and will not help to treat a viral infection. There is lots of great advice on how to look after yourself and your family when you’re sick or have a high temperature on and However, we advise parents to always contact their GP if they are worried, especially if a child’s symptoms get worse quickly or if the symptoms and fever persist despite the use of paracetamol and Ibuprofen”.


About RSV (Bronchiolitis)

RSV causes Bronchiolitis, which is a common chest infection in babies and young children. This virus spreads when someone coughs or sneezes and it mostly affects babies and young children under 2 years old, especially babies under 6 months old. Most cases are mild and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks without treatment. Antibiotics are not needed and will not help to treat it.

Main ways to assist babies with bronchiolitis:

  1. Keep breastfeeding if you are breastfeeding
  2. Don’t smoke around them
  3. Feed little and often as able
  4. Know signs and symptoms and when to present to GP/ED.

Sometimes, RSV can be more serious and children with bronchiolitis will need to be cared for in hospital. Parents are advised to trust their instinct, and to always contact their GP if they are worried, especially if the symptoms get worse quickly.

More information and advice can be found at:


Residential Zoned Land Tax Draft Map – Public Information Evenings

The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) was introduced in the Finance Act 2021.  The objective of the tax is to activate land that is serviced and zoned for residential use or mixed use which includes residential use, in order to increase housing supply and to ensure regeneration of vacant and idle lands in urban locations.

Monaghan County Council has prepared a Draft Map of the lands considered to be in scope for the RZLT as of 1st October 2022. The Draft Map is currently on public display and explanatory information is available to view online at

 Monaghan County Council are running a series of Public Information Evenings at the following locations and dates and times specified:

Monday 28th November 2022 The Courthouse McCurtain Street


Co. Monaghan

H23 N290


6.30pm – 8.30pm
Tuesday 29th November 2022 The Planning Office,      

1 Dublin Street, Monaghan

H18 X982


6.30pm – 8.30pm
Wednesday 30th November 2022 Council Chamber, Municipal District of Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Offices, Civic Offices,

Riverside Road, Carrickmacross,

A81 RY22


6.30pm – 8.30pm
Public Information Evenings

Monaghan County Council are holding a series of Public Information Evenings to engage with landowners and third parties on the Residential Zoned Land Tax.  For dates and times, click on the image below:

We welcome any interested individuals or parties to attend to discuss any queries in relation to the draft maps, the proposed Residential Zoned Land Tax generally or to seek advice on how to make a submission.

Display of Draft Maps

In addition to being available to view on our website, the Draft Map is also available on public display at the following locations and times specified:-

  • Planning Offices – 1 Dublin Street, Monaghan H18 X982 (Monday to Friday 9.15am-1pm and 1.30pm-5pm)
  • County Offices – The Glen, Monaghan, H18 YT50 (Monday to Friday 9.15am-1pm and 1.30pm-5.15pm)
  • Municipal District of Ballybay-Clones Offices – Market House, The Diamond, Clones H23 X378 (Monday to Friday 9.15am-5.15pm)
  • Municipal District of Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Offices – Civic Offices, Riverside Road, Carrickmacross A81 RY22 (Monday to Friday 9.15am-5pm)

Any interested individuals or parties may make submissions in respect of land on the Draft Map as set out below.

Although residential properties are included on the Map, they are not subject to RZLT if they are subject to Local Property Tax. Therefore, it is not necessary to make a submission to remove this type of residential property from the Map.

Making a Submission

Submissions can be made by the public on the Draft Map from November 1st 2022 until January 1st 2023. These submissions can:-

  • challenge the inclusion of particular lands on the Draft Map if the owner considers that those lands do not meet the criteria set out within the relevant legislation;
  • challenge the date on which the land is considered to meet the relevant criteria and thus to be in scope;
  • request a change of zoning;
  • identify additional land which appears to meet the criteria and so may fall into scope and may be placed on the Supplemental Map.

Any submission must clearly identify the site and outline what change (i.e. inclusion or exclusion of land on a local authority map, or the date on which the site first met the criteria for inclusion on the map) to the Residential Zoned Land Tax Mapping is being sought, as well as provide a justification for the change sought.

The submission must state the criteria set out in Section 653B of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 which is being relied upon in the submission for the land being in or out of scope. The local authority may request additional information after the receipt of the submission (e.g. proof of ownership or further information).

Further details on making a valid submission and how lands have been identified in scope for the tax are set out at


Valid submissions must be submitted to the Planning Section of Monaghan County Council. If submitting a paper copy this must be received by the Planning Office at 1 Dublin Street, Monaghan H18 X982 by 4pm on 23rd December 2022 as the offices are closed from 24th December 2022 to 3rd January 2023. If submitting electronically the submission must be sent to by 1st January 2023.

 Queries on the Mapping should be made to the RZLT Team in the Planning Section of Monaghan County Council by sending an email to or by telephoning 047 30532.

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant expanded to cities and remote rural areas

  • All areas of the country now within scope of the scheme
  • Grants of €30,000 for vacant properties and €50,000 for derelict properties available 

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke TD and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD, have today launched the expanded Croí Cónaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.

The expanded grant now includes eligible vacant properties in both cities and more remote rural areas (in addition to those in towns and villages, which have been eligible since July). The scheme’s expansion will help bring vacant and derelict properties back into residential use and ensure the existing housing stock is used to the fullest extent possible. It will also help limit emissions from residential construction and add vibrancy to Ireland’s cities and rural areas.

Under the Croí Cónaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant €30,000 is available to homebuyers to refurbish a home which they will live in. Where a property is derelict, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available, bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000. The grants can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.

The grant, provided through the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund, is a key action under Housing for All, the Government’s housing plan, and supports the aims of the Our Rural Future policy. Over 420 applications have been made since the grant was initially launched on 14 July 2022.

Announcing the scheme’s expansion, Minister O’Brien said:

“The expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant provides a fantastic opportunity for even more people – from every part of the country – to refurbish vacant properties with the aim of converting them into their homes, enabling them to live in cities, towns, villages and rural areas. 

 This scheme provides real practical help. It helps address vacancy through sustainable reuse of buildings, it helps revitalise our communities and, most importantly, it helps more people to own their own home.”  

 Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke TD added:

“The scheme has proven to be extremely popular since it was fist established in July with over 420 applications received by Local Authorities across the country. My Department are ensuring our Local Authority teams are equipped and we now have 29 full time vacant homes officers across the country who are focused on bringing vacant stock back into productive use.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD concluded:

“The most efficient home is the one which is already built. The scheme’s expansion will not only ensure that existing housing stock is used to the fullest extent possible, it will also help limit emissions from residential construction and add vibrancy to Ireland’s cities and rural areas. Used in conjunction with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme this grant will help homebuyers to create a comfortable, sustainable home.”

The updated application form, eligibility criteria and associated FAQs are available here. They provide additional information to people who would like to apply for the grant. Further information will be available from the Vacant Homes Officer in each local authority.

Improvements to voter registration process launched today as new Check the Register campaign begins

Registering to vote now possible online, year-round

16 and 17 year olds can now pre-register online

Public encouraged to confirm and update their details online

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien T.D. and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D. together encouraged the public to confirm and update their details on the electoral register or to register for the first time using a newly upgraded Their comments come as a campaign launched today (7 November) to raise public awareness of changes to the electoral registration process.

Several improvements have been made to the process of registering to vote and updating registration details, arising from provisions in Part 3 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022, which were commenced on 13 October.

In addition to making the process more accessible, the changes to how the register is managed and maintained will ensure a robust electoral register into the future.  All electors are now being asked to visit to confirm or update their entry by adding their PPSN, Date of Birth and Eircode.  This will help local authorities to ensure that entries are accurate and up to date as well as enabling the identification of entries on the register that require follow up.

Link to more information:

The core changes to the electoral registration process include:

  • A move from fixed periods for updating details to rolling updates: previously people could only update their details in November or via the supplement which required a visit to a Garda station. Under the changes announced today, continuous or rolling registration will allow updates or additions at any time of year;
  • Streamlining of the application process through use of PPSNs: The use of PPSNs will enable a simple identity data cross-check to protect and improve the integrity of the register, while streamlining the process for electors. This will mean that most people won’t have to visit a Garda station to have their forms witnessed;
  • Registering to vote for the first time will now be possible online: PPSNs also enable online applications – for the first time people can register to vote or update their details online at any time;
  • 16 and 17 year olds will be able to pre-register to vote: The introduction of a pending electors list to enable those 16 and 17 to pre-register and be automatically added to the register from when they turn 18.
  • New provisions to make the register more accessible to all: The new process includes measures to facilitate electors whose safety might be at risk if their details were to be published on the register and those who have no address.

Minister Noonan said:

“I am particularly pleased that we have introduced pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds.  Taken together, these changes give us a more accessible, flexible and modern system that’s simple and straightforward to use. It has never been easier for people to register to vote or update their details, so that’s what we’re encouraging everyone to do today.”

The Electoral Reform Act 2022 delivers the legislative underpinning for a range of significant electoral reforms set out in the Programme for Government – Our Shared Future.   The Act provides for, among other things, the establishment of an independent Electoral Commission – An Coimisiún Toghcháin, the modernisation of the electoral registration process, and the regulation of online political advertising.

Commenced on 13 October in S.I. No. 512 of 2022 were the provisions necessary for:

  • the recruitment of the Chief Executive and ordinary membership of An Coimisiún Toghcháin;
  • the introduction of the new process in relation to electoral registration;
  • providing for island voting to take place on the same day as the rest of the country; and
  • the introduction of new processes to facilitate polling in pandemic situations.

Furthermore, existing flexible voting arrangements are being extended to those with mental health difficulties that prevent them from attending on polling day and those who live in nursing homes or similar places that may be inaccessible on polling day.

Welcoming the first phase of commencements of the Act, Minister O’Brien said:

“This first phase of commencement of the Electoral Reform Act and the launch of this awareness campaign represents another step in delivering on significant electoral reforms, and will help to ensure that our democracy is supported by robust electoral structures including a more accurate electoral register”.

Once An Coimisiún Toghcháin is established it will also have a new oversight role with respect to the register of electors. “An annual reporting cycle, with An Coimisiún empowered to make recommendations and set standards, will deliver a balance between local authority experience and local knowledge and national level oversight” said Minister Noonan.

A further phase of the project will see the development and roll out of a national system for use by all local authorities.  This will further enhance the integrity of the register and ensure that a single high standard of security and data protection is applied to the electoral register and its underlying data.

Minister O’Brien emphasised that: “This is one further step in the work to safeguard our electoral processes. Every vote is important, and I encourage everyone to confirm or update their details on to make sure that they can have their say”.

The RSA’s ‘Check it Fits’ Service to visit two Co Monaghan locations

The Road Safety Authority’s Check It Fits service will be returning to Co Monaghan this week when it will be visiting Flemings Department Store, Monaghan, H18 WK60 on Friday 11th November and Upper Commons Car Park, Castleblayney A75 R886 on Saturday 12th November between 10am and 5.30pm each day.

Experts in child car seat safety will be on hand to offer advice on the different types of seats available, how to fix any problems, demonstrate how to fit the restraint correctly and answer any queries you might have.

Adrian O’Sullivan, Road Safety Officer with Monaghan County Council explained the importance of the upcoming visit. “I would ask anyone with a child seat fitted in their vehicle to take a few minutes to avail of this important service.  Many parents will have had a child seat installed but may not have checked them to see if they require adjustment or are suitable for the children who are using them. The law currently states that all children under 150cms or 36kgs must use a child car seat appropriate to their weight and height, so this is an ideal opportunity to get them checked”.

“Travelling by car can potentially be one the most dangerous things a baby or child is likely to do each day, so parents and guardians should ensure that their small passengers are as well protected as possible by having the proper child car seat for their height and weight correctly installed in their vehicle” added the Road Safety Officer.

No appointment is necessary just arrive on the day. The free checks are open to all makes and models of cars and child car seats. Visit for more information.

Don’t let your child be a statistic, get your child car seat checked.

Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) – Monaghan County Council

Monaghan County Council has prepared a Draft Map of the lands considered to be in scope for the RZLT as of 1st October 2022. The Map, explanatory information and deadlines for submissions to the Planning Section is available to view online at

Patricia Monahan, Deputy Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council is encouraging people to check the Draft Map.

“I would strongly urge members of the public to assess the Draft Map published on Monaghan County Council’s website and, if required, to make a submission before January 1st 2023. County Monaghan requires increased housing supply to meet our housing needs, and this initiative seeks to increase supply by activating zoned, serviced residential development lands (including mixed-use lands) for housing.”


News from Active Travel Unit – Temporary one-way system on the Link Road between Canal Street/Mall Road and Macartan Road (N54) in Monaghan Town

Monaghan County Council Active Travel Department in conjunction with Monaghan Municipal District are introducing a temporary one-way system on the Link Road between Canal Street/Mall Road and Macartan Road (N54) in Monaghan Town for a period from Sunday 30th October to Sunday 22nd November 2022, which will be in place 24 hours, 7 days a week, for 4 weeks duration. The purpose of the trial is to provide a dedicated walk/cycle path along the link road to allow uninterrupted travel along the Ulster Canal Greenway, from the linear park onto Canal Street.

 In order to make sufficient room for this on-road greenway link, it will be necessary to reduce the traffic lanes from two to one. It is proposed to therefore make this Link Road open to traffic in one direction only – from Canal Street out to the N54 Macartan Road. There will be an impact on traffic flow, and in order to assess this, it is proposed to carry out a trial one-month period, during which traffic counts will be taken and the flow of traffic will be carefully observed. 

 Feedback from members of the public is welcome please submit your feedback via the survey in the link below;

 Public Consultation on a temporary one-way system on the Link Road between Canal Street/Mall Road and Macartan Rd. (N54) in Monaghan Town for a period of 4 weeks. Survey (

INVITATION to property owners of MARKET STREET and PARK STREET, Monaghan – Consultation Meeting

INVITATION to property owners of MARKET STREET and PARK STREET, Monaghan

You are invited to attend a consultation meeting on

WEDNESDAY 02 NOVEMBER 2022 @ 6:15 p.m.

at Market House, Monaghan

Monaghan County Council wish to consult with property owners to identify suitable interventions to properties to improve and enhance the streetscape and quality of our historic town through heritage-led regeneration.

Grant funding has been allocated through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for enhancement works to property facades.

The consultation will be carried out by Craftstudio Architecture on behalf of Monaghan County Council. Please contact or 047 82036 if you have any queries with regards to the scheme. Or alternatively contact Máire Cullinan, Monaghan County Council on 086 8549202.

National Biodiversity Priorities – Opportunities for public submission of views

National Biodiversity Plan

The draft NBAP sets out a vision for an Ireland in 2050 in which biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored, and sustainably used maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.

There are 3 ways to get involved: fill in the online survey.

Send any comments by email to: or send comments by post to:

4th National Biodiversity Action Plan Consultation, Biodiversity Policy, NPWS, 90 North King Street, Dublin 7, D07 N7CV.

The closing date for submissions is 9 November 2022.


  1. Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

A Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, with a total of 100 members including an independent Chairperson and 99 randomly-selected members of the public, has been convened to examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss, and to bring forward proposals in that regard. To make a submission to the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, you can use one of these three options:

Upload your submission via our online submissions form.

Email your submission to or

Post your submission to: Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, 16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1

Submissions can be made by the public until end of November.


  1. New strategy statement for National Parks and Wildlife Service

The first Strategy Statement for the National Parks and Wildlife Service will set out the core mission and values of the NPWS, together with key strategic priorities as an organisation for 2023-2025.

You can read the consultation document, and then complete a more detailed online questionnaire.

If you prefer to email or post your responses to the consultation document, you can send them by email to: or post to:

Strategy Consultation, NPWS, 90 North King Street, Dublin 7, D07 N7CV.

The closing date for submissions is 9 December 2022.

Your Village … Your Views … Our Future We want to hear from YOU! Rockcorry Vision Plan

Monaghan County Council has identified the need for a Vision Plan for Rockcorry. The Plan will outline the priorities for development in terms of village regeneration, enhancement, community facilities and developing the local economy.

As part of this process the Council has engaged the services of  Sheridan Woods Architects and Urban Planners and Venture International Ltd Consultants to work with them to engage with the residents and community of Rockcorry to shape the development of the Vision Plan for your village.

An effective Vision Plan works best when all the interests in the community are brought together to work on common goals and a planned vision … in this case for Rockcorry.

The process will commence with an information evening as follows:

Date Tuesday 15th  November 2022
Time 7.00 pm
Location Rockcorry National School, Corkeeran, Rockcorry, Co. Monaghan

Please feel free to tell people about information evening for the Vision Plan so that as many people as possible have the chance to have their say and be heard.

For further information or to register your interest in the information evening please contact::

Bridie Comac


Tel:  048 87769007