BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING APRIL 5TH

I submitted a motion on Spinraza, which is supported by Deputies Thomas Pringle, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Catherine Connolly, Maureen O’Sullivan, Gino Kenny, Bríd Smith, and Richard Boyd Barrett.  The motion calls for access to Spinraza for the approximately 70 patients with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), including 26 children, in urgent need of treatment and for improved efficiency in the assessment of medicines.

On Tuesday morning, I attended a briefing by the Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee in Buswells’ Hotel and a group of us then walked together to the Attorney General’s office to hand in a report calling for a new inquest into the Stardust Fire of Valentine’s Night 1981.  Later that day I attended a briefing in Buswells by Irish Rail and again called for increased security on all DART routes and at all stations in Dublin Bay North.

On Wednesday morning, during questions with the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Minister Canney committed to reviewing the Dog Breeding Establishments Act.  I had asked about the number of dog breeding establishments, inspections and fixed penalty notices and he agreed that updates to legislation are needed.

On Wednesday afternoon, I spoke in support of the motion on the educational supports to homeless children in schools.  It is disgraceful that such a motion needed to be brought forward and I said that homeless students must not become a permanent feature of the Irish educational system.  In the meantime, the motion, which is supported by the Children’s Rights Alliance, calls for some measures which could be implemented immediately and would help ease the burden on some of the school children experiencing homelessness.

On Thursday afternoon, I asked the Tánaiste about the timeframe for the new A and E at Beaumont Hospital because it is a long overdue capital project. On Thursday evening, I spoke on the Report on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Public Sector Infrastructure Projects – Liquidation of the Carillion Group.  The report was produced by the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and the Taoiseach and was a welcome analysis of serious issues with PPPs in Ireland.

This week, I received a comprehensive reply from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to questions I asked him directly about the planned dredging project of Howth Harbour.  I was informed that the project is still very much in the early stages and I will stay in close contact with him and other stakeholders on the matter.