This week has been very busy with constituency work, in particular with lots of contact regarding maintenance issues and lighting repair works needed in certain areas.
The constituency was shocked by another brutal murder in the early evening last weekend and I welcome news that additional Garda personnel are to be assigned to the area, but I have been calling for this measure for a number of years now. On Tuesday morning, I raised the issue of serious crime in Dublin Bay North in Dáil Éireann with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan. I have raised the matter during Leaders’ Questions, Topical Issues, directly with the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the Garda Commissioner. It is unacceptable that it took another murder to have some action. We need to keep our communities safe and Fine Gael are simply not providing sufficient resources for our Gardaí and Dublin Bay North community organisations. On Wednesday I brought up the plight of the Uighur people in Xinjiang and the reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that over a million Uighurs are imprisoned in concentration camps by the Chinese government.
On Thursday, during Leaders’ Questions, I raised the urgent need for the Government to provide funding to the excellent Section 39 organisations which are providing vital health, disability and social services on behalf of the State. Nine of the larger organisations have formed the Disability Action Coalition to raise awareness of the shortfall in funding and the danger to the provision of services if this shortfall is not immediately addressed. I’m asking Minister Harris to urgently meet the Disability Action Coalition Section 39 organisations to implement Dr. Catherine Day’s Report and end the €20million shortfall in funding for these important disability and health service providers. I also asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to respond to an RTE Investigates Report on quarries being operated without planning permission or operators using court reviews to prevent closure of illegal quarries.