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 Monday I was unable to hold my weekly meeting for constituents in Darndale due to the BESC offices being unable to open. Later I attended Le Chéile in Donnycarney at 12pm and met with constituents there. I then went to the Board meeting of the Northside Centre for the Unemployed, of which I am a longstanding Director.
I started this week with a Board meeting of Coolock Development Council. I am a Director on two of our local enterprise, employment and training boards and I take great pride in the work that both of these organisations undertake in Dublin Bay North. I then held my Monday information clinics before returning to the Dáil office where I began writing a strong submission to An Bord Pleanála on a proposed high density development for the Bailey Court/Edros site in Howth town.
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.
On Monday afternoon, after my information clinics in the constituency, myself and my Secretarial Assistant attended a meeting with the Planning Regulator and some of his officials. This meeting was arranged following my calls for a review into planning in the North/South Fringes of Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council over the past 20 years. It was a welcome exchange of views and we will follow up with the Regulator’s office.
It was another very busy Dáil and constituency week. On Monday I held my information clinics in Darndale and Donnycarney and met with constituents on a wide number of issues.On Tuesday I attended the meeting of the Budgetary Oversight Committee which was questioning the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, about Budget 2020 which I characterised as another austerity budget. I then had a Parliamentary Question with the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, on Irish recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1917. Later on Tuesday I also raised a Topical Issues Debate with the Minister for Education and Skills about increased staff for Our Lady Immaculate SNS Darndale and about building and upgrades for St. Laurence’s NS, Baldoyle.
I was very saddened to hear this week of the death of Gay Byrne. He was a true giant of Irish life and played a great role in road safety during his time as the Chair of the Road Safety Authority. This morning there was a wonderful turnout of neighbours in Howth and all along the route through Dublin Bay North to say goodbye to this iconic broadcaster. May he Rest in Peace.
My main Dáil speeches this month were on the Budget (Tuesday, October 8th) and on the complex Finance Bill (Wednesday, October 23rd). In both speeches, I described the government’s fiscal policies as regressive and as using the cloak of Brexit to cut the incomes of lower paid workers and citizens on social assistance and pensions. I focused on the cost of tax expenditures also and on the ongoing failure of the Varadkar government to address their serious continuing failures on health, disability and housing policies in particular.
At the weekend I held my weekly information clinics and I also visited some parts of the community that are experiencing increased instances of anti-social behaviour in the lead up to Hallow’een. On Monday and Tuesday, I submitted my observations on the Strategic Development Plans One and Two for Clongriffin to An Bord Pleanála and also called for oral hearings on both plans. I also submitted my observation on Plan 3894/19 to Dublin City Council which is the third part of the huge and very high density plans for Clongriffin. Of course, of the almost 2,000 apartments in these plans, over half of these are allocated as ‘Build To Rent’ units.
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.