Category Archives: Blog

Blog

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING 30TH NOVEMBER

On Monday, I put the final touches to a Private Members’ Bill on Housing that I have been working on and hope to introduce in the near future. Opposition Deputies are not allowed to bring forward legislation that will have a cost to the Exchequer so you have to try and come up with alternative ways to help our citizens.

On Tuesday afternoon, I attended meetings of the Budgetary Oversight Committee and the Seanad Reform Implementation Group. I also represented my group of Independents at the Ceann’s dinner for Polish parliamentarians who were visiting Leinster House. All week I was studying in detail the proposed amendments to the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancies) Bill 2018 and voted according to the research that I had done on each. This debate is expected to continue into next week before moving to the Seanad.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 23RD

On Tuesday morning I attended a board meeting of the Coolock Development Council, of which I am a member. At 11am that morning, I joined with hundreds of others as we walked with the Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee from Westland Row to the Attorney General’s office on Merrion Street. I carried one of the boxes which contained one thousand signed ‘Truth’ postcards and helped deliver the 48,000 postcards to the Merrion St. Later that afternoon, during Leaders’ Questions, I asked the Taoiseach if he will instruct the Attorney General to open a new inquest into the tragic deaths of 48 young people on the night of the 14th of February 1981. I welcomed news that the Attorney General, Seamus Wolfe, is awaiting the official papers to be served and will examine them once received.

BLOG WEEK ENDING 16TH NOVEMBER

Early this week I finalised my quarterly newsletter, Northsider Vol 26 No 4 and sent it off to print. On Tuesday afternoon, I attended a meeting of the Seanad Reform Implementation Group.

On Wednesday morning, I had a priority question with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, and I lambasted him for snail pace social housing output. I also questioned him on his views of a constitutional right to housing and whether he agreed that citizens should have that basic right (especially given that 81 countries have either a constitutional or legislative right to housing).

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 9TH

This week I have been working on my quarterly newsletter, Northsider Vol 26 No 4 and hope to have it finalised and distributed in coming weeks. On Tuesday morning, I questioned the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, on the changing services of Family Resource Centres in working with families and children experiencing homelessness. Later that day I spoke in support of the Motion on Apprenticeships and called for a greater range of apprenticeships to be available. This is a very important part of our education and training sector and increased efforts must be made to improve participation rates, particularly among women.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING 19TH OCTOBER

On Monday morning, I attended the Joint Policing Sub Committee (JPC) meeting of the North Central Area after my usual Darndale information clinics. The JPC was well-attended and informative and I commented on some of the issues around Garda resources during the week in Dáil Éireann. On Monday night, I attended the AGM of the Clontarf Residents’ Association and am examining some of the issues raised. There were excellent briefings on St. Anne’s Park and on proposed works at Clontarf Promenade from CRA Officers.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING OCT 12TH

Budget week is always an interesting week. On Tuesday morning, I took part in an Oireachtas TV interview on the work of the Budgetary Oversight Committee and then went in to the Dáil chambers to listen to Minister Paschal Donohoe announce another Budget to benefit the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil elites. Of course, there are some welcome measures including the €5 per week increase in Social Protection payments, €25 increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, the increase in the earnings disregard for working lone parents to €150 and the full restoration of the Christmas Bonus. Resourcing for Housing, Health, Disability and Education however was desperately disappointing and included no measures to address the urgent needs these sectors have.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING OCT 5TH

On Monday morning I held my usual Darndale information clinic and Tuesday saw representatives from my office take part in the street canvass around St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton St for Wednesday’s #RaiseTheRoof rally. The lunchtime rally on Wednesday brought over 12,000 people to the streets of Dublin to call on the Government to declare a Housing Emergency and take action on our worsening crisis. The rally was attended by people of all ages, many unions were represented and all Opposition parties and Independents supported the cross-party motion in the Dáil later that same day.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 28th

The past two weeks have been very busy in the Dáil with usual Dáil business and pre-budget briefings and preparation. There have been a number of meetings of the Budgetary Oversight Committee as we finalised our Pre-Budget Report and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, appeared before us for questioning this week. I asked him about whether he was examining the possibility of a state saving scheme and if he would be publishing a full gender-proofing statement alongside budget 2019.

BLOG FOR WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 14TH

I spent much of this week completing my submission on BusConnects. I received strong feedback from constituents, especially in meetings in Artane and Sutton that they are opposed to interchanges and loss of direct routes to the City Centre and I conveyed that in my own submission sent to the National Transport Authority (NTA) this morning.