It was another busy week in Dáil Éireann and Dublin Bay North. On Monday morning, I attended a Board Meeting of the Coolock Development Council, of which I am a founding member.  On Tuesday morning, I attended a briefing with the excellent Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme (KCCP) on Greendale Road and it was great to meet members of KCCP staff providing vital service to our community.  That evening, I held a meeting with a group of friends and supporters from Dublin Bay North in Leinster House about my current Dáil and constituency work and plans for 2018.  It was an opportunity for active members of communities around Dublin Bay North to highlight areas of importance to them such as Housing, Health, Pensions and Employment.


On Wednesday afternoon there was a meeting of the Budgetary Oversight Committee, where we received an informative presentation from Dr Seamus Coffey and the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. On Wednesday night in the Dáil, I proposed and spoke on two amendments to the Social Welfare Bill 2017.  The first amendment tried to address a new restrictive definition of exceptional need for supplementary welfare allowance in that such a need must be both exceptional and ‘unforeseen’.  I called a vote on this amendment but it was defeated by the Fine Gael government.  The second amendment I proposed was also proposed by some opposition colleagues and related to the unfair PRSI contribution band changes made to the State Contributory Pensions in Budget 2012 which have disproportionately impacted women and reduced their pensions.  This amendment also was defeated.


On Thursday morning in the Dáil, I asked Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to report on what he is doing each week to end child homelessness and asked again for a national Housing Emergency to be declared. Before I went to the Dáil I had a brief interview on the housing crisis with Near FM.  Today and tomorrow, I’m holding my usual information clinic meetings throughout Dublin Bay North.


My current Northsider Vol 25 No 4 is off the presses and is currently being distributed around the constituency. It is also available right now on my website as are videos and transcripts of my speeches.