Happy International Women’s Day 2019!  There remains much to be done to bring about gender equality in Ireland and worldwide and I’m very proud of the achievements of my women Dáil colleagues.  Currently, of course, the 7-member Dáil Technical Group, of which I am a member, has four women Deputies and three men.

On Tuesday, I attended the Budgetary Oversight Committee where we continued to discuss tax expenditures along with the European Semester Country Report for Ireland.  On Wednesday morning, I had a priority Parliamentary Question with the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh.  I questioned Minister McHugh about the growing workload for primary school principals and asked him to meet also with the National Principals’ Forum.

On Wednesday afternoon, I attended the meeting of the informal Oireachtas Disability Group, chaired by Senator John Dolan and we planned out work for the remainder of the year.  I also met with representatives of Nursing Homes Ireland that evening.  The contingency Omnibus Bill to prepare for a No Deal Brexit was also passed by the Dáil on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I spoke on the Independents4Change Private Members’ Motion, brought forward by my colleague Deputy Joan Collins, on Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces.  We called on the government to restore funding to the local and regional task forces and support the excellent organisations working on the ground, such as the Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme (KCCP), the Dales, RASP and EDIT in my constituency of Dublin Bay North.  I also attended some of the Finance Committee to watch some of the questioning of Mr Robert Watt, the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, on the out of control costs of the National Children’s Hospital.