On Monday I held my Darndale clinics as usual and met with many constituents there. My quarterly newsletter, Northsider Vol 27 No 4, is being distributed around the constituency from this week and I hope that readers find the updates useful and informative. It has certainly been a busy year for local and national issues.
On Tuesday, I took part in a Topical Issue Debate on Endometriosis. Myself and a number of other Deputies had called for the important debate following a briefing by the Endometriosis Association of Ireland the previous week. That night I spoke on the Motion on National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019, which will stop the transfer of €500m of Exchequer Funds to the Rainy Day Fund because of Brexit. I, of course, was opposed to the setting up of the Rainy Day Fund because, as I said to the Minister, earlier this year that rainy days are here now for the people languishing on health waiting lists and social housing waiting lists.
On Wednesday morning, I asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade about the Irish-Scottish relationship and plans to strengthen this. I also then asked about the detaining of Uighur people in Xinjiang and protests in Hong Kong. That afternoon I spoke on the Post European Council December meeting where I asked that fair climate mitigation measures must be funded by the EU under its 2050 carbon neutral target. I then stood in for the Ceann Comhairle for an hour by chairing some of the Motion on Air Pollution in the Dáil chamber.
This week I also submitted my observation on planning application ABP-305943, the proposed 331-unit Build to Rent development to the south of Clarehall Shopping Centre. While I support the provision of new housing in the area, I have concerns about the proportion of Build to Rent in the area and the suitability of the site itself for a development of such high density.
Please note that I will not be holding information clinic meetings over Christmas and the New Year including this 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.