It was another very busy week with Dáil and constituency work. On Monday I held my information clinics, sent my newsletter to print and held second round interviews for the Secretarial Assistant position in my office.
On Tuesday I raised a Topical Issues Debate on the urgent need for the Office of the Planning Regulator to review the planning of the North/South Fringes of Dublin City and Fingal County over the past two decades. I also wrote directly to the Planning Regulator calling for such a review. I attended the Tuesday meeting of the Budgetary Oversight Committee and questioned Chambers Ireland on their Budgetary Proposal.
On Wednesday I had a Priority Parliamentary Question with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, and asked her about the possibility of a children’s budget (along the lines of the #NoChild2020 Campaign) and about social protection payments in the light of a Brexit-Budget2020. That evening I spoke in support of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2019 which will establish a Regulatory Authority for voluntary housing associations across the country. I commended, in particular, the excellent work of the AHBs in my constituency in estate management.
On Wednesday we also had the very welcome announcement (finally) that Attorney General Seamus Wolfe will open fresh inquests into the tragic deaths of 48 young people who perished in the fateful fire in the Stardust disco on Valentine’s Night 1981. I have supported the Antoinette Keegan, her mam, Chrissie and all others in the Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee in their relentless fight for justice and truth for well over 30 years and I am very hopeful that they will finally get some answers. Wednesday afternoon also saw a meeting with Údarás na Gaeltachta with my colleague Deputy Catherine Connolly.
On Thursday morning I asked the Minister for Finance about the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC)’s report about the possible overheating of the economy. I also attended the launch of the pre-budget report of the Budgetary Oversight Committee, of which I am a member and I linked up with the Stardust Relatives and Victims Committee in Buswells.
This week I have also been studying the plans for the huge and shocking proposals for almost 2,000 apartments in Clongriffin and am working on my observations against these very high density, developer-led plans, where well more than half of the housing stock is to be ‘Build To Rent’.