I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter break in the lovely weather and that everyone is registered to vote in the upcoming Local and European elections (check out https://www.voter.ie/ or www.checktheregister.ie). The registration deadline for the Supplementary Register is May 7th and the important thing to note about the locals is that everyone who was resident in the State from the 1st of September last year is eligible to have their voice heard. I’m obviously backing broad left candidates and my colleague, Deputy Clare Daly for Europe.
Last week, I spoke on amendments to the Greyhound Racing Bill 2018, whereby myself and some colleagues are trying to have provisions around the export of greyhounds strengthened to protect our Irish dogs. The debate will continue in the next session of the Dáil. I questioned the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on Brexit preparedness and attended the Budgetary Oversight Committee. On Thursday afternoon, myself and colleagues also debated the Seanad amendments to the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018. Unfortunately, the Seanad accepted amendments which watered down provisions around monitoring the health and wellbeing of residents and colleagues and myself brought these amendments back to the Dáil for debate. This debate will also resume after recess.
My office has been working on amendments to the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2018 to improve notice periods for tenants, along with some other measures which weren’t included in Committee Stage and we have also been examining some recent planning applications.
With just 4 weeks left to the elections and divorce referendum, it is time to inform yourselves about the candidates in your area. Do they believe that housing is a human right and will they work towards measures to alleviate the housing crisis? Were they involved in the repeal campaign or same sex marriage referendum? Where do they stand on climate action and income equality? Do they encompass the principles that are important to you? Posters are necessary for new candidates as it is often important for their faces to be known, otherwise incumbents have an advantage. I wish all candidates the very best of luck and certainly hope that strong, broad left candidates are elected to our local authorities, to Europe and that time limits around divorce are removed from the constitution.