This week, I started work on my Northsider Vol 27 No 1 and hope to have it with constituents towards the end of March. On Tuesday morning, I attended the Board meeting of the Coolock Development Council, of which I am a founding member. On Tuesday afternoon, I questioned the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, about the possible indexing of social protection payments. I also raised ongoing concerns about JobPath with Minister Doherty.
On Wednesday, I joined with other Opposition Deputies for a Topical Issues Debate on the need for a public enquiry into the tragic death of Shane O’Farrell in 2011. The Government’s scoping exercise is not appropriate and we should have an immediate Commission of Investigation. I also spoke on the Further Revised Estimates where other capital projects are having funds diverted from them and into the outrageous overruns of the National Children’s Hospital. I supported the Motion of No Confidence in the Minister for Health and said that in any other democracy both himself and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform would have to resign.
Later on Wednesday I continued to contribute to the Report Stage Amendments of the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018 which was also debated on Thursday and has not yet completed this stage of the legislative process. On Thursday evening, I spoke on the Report entitled ‘Accessibility of Public Transport for People with Disabilities’ which is a welcome report with 16 excellent recommendations for Government to improve accessibility. I urged Minister Ross to implement the recommendations without delay.
I was delighted that our Motion on Homelessness was passed during the voting block and our Private Member’s Bill on workers’ co-operatives also passed Second Stage and will be sent to Committee.
On Friday, I attended the Board meeting of the Northside Centre for the Unemployed, of which I am also a longstanding member. Coming weeks will be dedicated mainly to the Omnibus Bill preparing for a No Deal Brexit, on which I intend to speak and I also hope to have the opportunity to question Taoiseach Varadkar at Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday.
As always, for copies of the videos and transcripts of my speeches and various contributions in the Dáil please see my website and facebook pages.