My Department has launched two new initiatives to make isolated, vulnerable and older people in Rural Ireland safer in their homes.
The Department for Rural and Community Development is funding the provision of carbon monoxide alarms and a home security mobile app through Muintir na Tíre.
The alarms will be provided to the community organisation, which will then install them on a voluntary basis.
This is a pilot scheme for 2,000 homes that is being supported by €115,000 in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is administered by the Department.
Carbon monoxide poisoning claims an average of six lives per year. It is colourless and odourless. It is vital that people who otherwise might not be able to afford them have these alarms.
We have also launched Muinitir na Tíre’s home security app, Cairde, which will integrate with the Community Alerts system to receive garda texts.
The app also allows communities to communicate with each other and there is a panic button to allow people to raise the alarm with designated neighbours, relatives and friends.
Upcoming developments for the app include doorbell cameras and Smart Technology, which will allow those with access to the app to monitor behaviour, for example if someone has not put the kettle on as usual by a certain time of the day.
These measures are further examples of the Government supporting Rural Ireland through a variety of funding schemes, such as the Rural Regeneration Fund, the Town and Village Scheme, CLÁR and the Local Improvement Scheme, as well as our recent commitment to bring broadband to every home in the country under the National Broadband Plan.