Author Archives: admin

DAIL OFFICE CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR

Please note that I will not be holding information clinic meetings over Christmas and the New Year including this coming weekend and the following weekend.  My weekly information clinics will resume on Saturday, 4th January 2020. For further details of the times and locations of these clinics, please see the Contact section of this website.

Also, please note, due to staff annual leave for Christmas and New Year, my Dáil and constituency office in Leinster House will be closed from close of business on Friday, the 20th of December and will re-open on the morning of Monday, the 6th January 2020.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and Very Best Wishes for 2020.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 13TH

On Monday I was unable to hold my weekly meeting for constituents in Darndale due to the BESC offices being unable to open.  Later I attended Le Chéile in Donnycarney at 12pm and met with constituents there.  I then went to the Board meeting of the Northside Centre for the Unemployed, of which I am a longstanding Director.

DÁIL SPEECH ON SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES

Fourteen months ago, in the run-in to budget 2019, I advocated additional new net policy spending, including new revenues, especially for the Departments of Health, Education and Skills, Housing, Planning and Local Government, Justice and Equality, and Children and Youth Affairs. However, the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil austerity Governments since 2008 have resolutely refused to fund essential services for people across all those and other sectors of government. Once again, we need large Supplementary Estimates, in this case of €634 million, just to fund the crucial day-to-day operations of hard-pressed Departments and the HSE.

DÁIL SPEECH ON PRE-EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECEMBER MEETING

A central item on the agenda for tomorrow and Friday is the next multi-annual financial framework, MFF, for 2021 to 2027, which was published in May. This next budget for the European Union comes at a period of great change and massive challenges posed by major migration into the Union, climate change, to which my colleagues have alluded, and coping with Brexit in Ireland’s case. We are all hoping that tomorrow’s election in the UK will yield a result that will not keep us in the intolerable Brexit struggle and that, towards the end of 2020, we will not be facing another cliff edge.

DÁIL SPEECH ON OECD REPORT ON SMEs

I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak briefly on the OECD report on SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland. I welcome that it has been put before the Dáil. Hopefully, the Minister will move forward quickly and publish her unified strategy document for the future. Small and medium-sized enterprises are a vital part of our economy and employ over 70% of the workforce of 2.3 million people. That is quite typical of the European Union where approximately two thirds of all workers work for SMEs. Even in the UK, approximately half the workforce is in SMEs. Medium-sized companies have 250 employees or less, small companies have fewer than 50 employees and microenterprises have ten or less. Like many Deputies, I have worked in small and medium-sized enterprises in the past.

Plan Reference Number ABP 305828, From Crekav Trading GP Limited for 177 Dwellings and Other Developments at Baily Court Main Street and Balscadden Road, Howth, Dublin 13.

On behalf of myself and a large number of constituents in Howth Town and housing estates throughout the Howth/Sutton Peninsula, I wish again to submit the following objections and observations on the above proposal, which so closely resembles ABP Plan 301722-18 submitted last year. A well-attended public meeting has again shown the concerns and opposition of Howth and Dublin Bay North constituents to this revised higher-density plan for the three receiving sites between Main Street and Balscadden Road, Howth, Dublin 13.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 6TH

I started this week with a Board meeting of Coolock Development Council.  I am a Director on two of our local enterprise, employment and training boards and I take great pride in the work that both of these organisations undertake in Dublin Bay North.  I then held my Monday information clinics before returning to the Dáil office where I began writing a strong submission to An Bord Pleanála on a proposed high density development for the Bailey Court/Edros site in Howth town.

VARIATIONS IN MIDWIFE STAFF NUMBERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY – BROUGHAN

Deputy Broughan recently asked the Minister for Health to report on the staffing levels of midwives in HSE maternity units and hospitals; the number by which these staff numbers fall short or exceed the Birthrate Plus metric and for a statement on the matter.  In a reply to that Parliamentary Question received this week, Deputy Broughan was provided with information which says that the level of staffing had increased to 2,087 (in January 2019) up from 1,911.15 (2016) but that the variance in the recommended ratio is different across the 19 maternity hospitals across the country, with some hospitals exceeding the recommended ratio and others falling short.

DÁIL SPEECH ON HOUSING SOLUTIONS

“Some days I don’t even want to wake up because I don’t want to face this day … I am tired in school. Some days I would just sit there and not even smile”. This quote is from a ten year old girl who is living in a family hub. Hubs, of course, are Fine Gael’s housing solution for every region of the country. A position paper by the faculties of public health medicine and paediatrics in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on the impact of homelessness and inadequate housing on children’s health was published last Tuesday and it included that quote from the ten year old. It also included other quotes, statistics and truly shameful findings about the health impacts of homelessness and inappropriate housing on children.

A FORGOTTEN GENERATION? – BROUGHAN

“Some days I don’t even want to wake up because I don’t want to face this day…. I am tired in school.  Some days I would just sit there and not even smile.”  This quote is from a 10-year-old girl being kept in a family hub.  Hubs, of course, are one of the Fine Gael “housing solutions”.  On Tuesday of this week, a position paper by the Faculties of Public Health Medicine and Paediatrics in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on “the Impact of Homelessness and Inadequate Housing on Children’s Health” was published and included that quote from this 10-year-old.  It also included other quotes, statistics and truly shameful findings about the health impacts of homelessness and inappropriate housing on children.  The report showed that children kept in temporary accommodation for over a year “are over three times more likely to have mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.”