Dublin Bay South bye-election – Where the candidates stand – Dublin People

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By Padraig Conlon & Gary Ibbotson

DUBLIN Bay South goes to the polls this Thursday to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Eoghan Murphy.

Southside People reached out to all candidates and asked them a set of eight questions to help inform our readers about where they stand on the major issues in the area.

To keep it fair we asked all candidates the same set of questions and we put a limit of 800 words on each candidate’s response…

CLAIRE BYRNE

GREEN PARTY

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

As a local Cllr I am very aware of the range of housing issues that affect Dublin Bay South. We urgently build public houses on public land. More supply of homes for purchase and rent will reduce costs for everyone.


Properly administer the vacant sites levy and the derelict homes tax to encourage development of the empty plots in prime locations and the unused buildings I see all around the constituency.


Having a new definition and legislative framework for affordable housing and introducing the Cost Rental model are going to be hugely important for Dublin Bay South in terms of delivering the 550 affordable homes in Poolbeg West and developing affordable housing on other state owned land in the City.


We also need to protect private renters by providing security of tenure. I was a renter for many years up until recently so I understand the stress the cost and uncertainty can cause.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

The Greens have always championed MetroLink and support BusConnects. These large scale projects are not without their challenges, but we need to do this if we are to actively encourage the necessary shift away from an over-dependency on private cars if we are to reach our climate targets.


We have to focus on the positives of this shift. Its healthier, and it can bring life to communities.


Our community in Dublin Bay South is really a collection of villages and it is my vision that our villages remain vibrant, and are connected to each other with good quality, reliable public, active and low carbon transport.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

Easy access to natural spaces, safe routes for children to walk or cycle to school and good quality public spaces for people to gather and socialise are essential for healthy communities. These are things I have championed at the Council and will continue to so at a National level.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

There are unacceptable delays when parents are trying to get a new school built in the area or to improve conditions and we have a real deficit of services in Dublin Bay South and I have been working with Autism Action Dublin Bay South on trying to progress and increase the provision of classes in local schools. We need to fast-track the development process when parents and demographics have proven the need for a new school or the need for upgrades to existing facilities is clear. More funding and better, more streamlined, efficient processes will have to come onstream so that our pupils and parents are listened to in a timely manner and that classes are provided.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

We have seen investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, parks and the public realm in the City centre and our villages in Dublin Bay South from funding that the Greens have secured in Government. I want to go even further by improving our public transport system, cycling and walking infrastructure, to give people alternatives.


Dublin Bay is our greatest local natural amenity. I will prioritise its protection by pushing for investment in wastewater infrastructure, a Deposit-Return Scheme to reduce plastic pollution and better, faster testing of water quality for both recreational users and marine life.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

Lack of space should never hinder someone’s ability to enjoy sports, and clubs should be incentivised to share grounds with other sports if possible.


I also want to level the playing field between girls and boys when it comes to pitches, facilities and funding. One of my priorities throughout my political life has been supporting women’s participation in all aspects of society. We also need to ensure that disability never act as a barrier to participation in sport. This will be and always has been a top priority of mine.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?


As a parent of two small children in need of childcare, I really understand how hard it is for parents.

Childcare is about supporting choice – helping parents with the costs and ensuring quality whether that be with childminders, in creches or with a parent in the home.


We also really need to start really recognising work in the home. I will work to ensure the Home Carer tax credit is increased for those parents who take care of the children in the home, and people who are caring for the sick or the elderly.


For older people, I would like that they can stay in their community as long as they choose and not have to move to residential care unless they feel this is where they would prefer to be. For this, we can implement “care in the community” programmes and increase provision of home-based care. We need to task local authorities and approved housing bodies to build enough homes specifically for older people or people with disabilities to support both independent living and those who need more care. More supports for care within the home will help keep our older citizens where they want to be for as long as they want it.

Lynn Boylan

Sinn Fein

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

I believe the Government needs to double direct capital investment in the delivery of public homes by Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, Co-operatives and Community Housing Trusts. This would enable the delivery of 20,000 public homes annually. I believe that on average 12,000 of these should be social, 4,000 affordable cost rental with rents between €700 and €900 per month, and 4,000 affordable purchase at prices below €230,000.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

I support measures to improve public transport including the provision of Metro lines.


These types of projects are vital in helping us meet our climate targets and in making the city a better place to live.


I support a metro going to Rathfarnham and as it would be a substantial improvement in access for all those living along the route of the line

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

We need to tackle waiting lists for hospital appointments.


Sinn Féin would invest in more hospital beds, doctors, nurses, and allied health and social care professionals. We would hire more than 20,000 staff in the coming years to cut through hospital waiting lists. We would bring hospital capacity and staffing in line with European norms to deliver a national health service.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

The serious lack of ASD classes in Dublin Bay South and the busing of these young children out of their community to find a place in an ASD class is having a negative impact on the development of these children.

Q.5 How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?


I believe the government need to do more to protect local biodiversity. We need intervention from the state. A clear example is banning slug pellets. I volunteer for a hedgehog rescue and I see the agony that slug pellets cause. A ban on these slug pellets would be a goal.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

I believe the Government needs to do more in terms of investment to ensure adequate local sports facilities and public spaces in DBS and they must transfer pitches under its ownership to Dublin City Council. It was unhelpful when the government recently both refused to fund a proper, multi-purpose surface at Harold’s Cross Educate Together school and also refused to hand over a pitch at Cathal Brugha Barracks to Dublin City Council. I will work to ensure the government provides proper facilities in DBS.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

A lack of adequate and sustainable funding has ensured fees for parents are amongst the highest in the EU in Ireland and parents in DBS pay some of the highest fees in the country.


Sinn Féin’s overall policy is to move towards a childcare model which is free at the point of use


We would cut the costs of childcare for parents by two thirds over the course of two budgets, by taking on the wages of childcare workers, at a cost of €621 million; create a living wage for childcare workers by immediately increasing pay of childcare workers to the living wage of €12.30 by investing a further €30 million and keep creche doors open by delivering an early years sustainability fund for the whole sector of €124 million.


There are a number of ways I would help to improve elderly care in DBS but to highlight a small number: I will advocate for an increase the Carer’s Allowance and Benefit rate from €219 to €255; develop and publish a National Carer’s Strategy with a dedicated budget; increase the annual Carer’s Support Grant to €2000 (cost €40m); end the 15 hour rule restricting work and study outside the home for carers; increase the Disability Allowance payment rate to €265/wk and ensure access to dementia-specific home care.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

People should vote for me because Sinn Féin is the only party standing up for renters and because I am the only candidate who can credibly challenge Fine Gael in Dublin Bay South. The current government parties want to keep this seat and continue to implement their policies.


This means no real change on housing, or climate or any of the other big issues facing our communities.


Electing a Sinn Féin TD in the constituency in this by election will send the strongest possible message to the Government that we need a change in their approach to these key issues. Sinn Féin taking Eoghan Murphy’s seat will be a huge rebuke to the Government on their housing policy and will strengthen the argument for proper investment in affordable and council housing and tackling high rents.

IVANA BACIK

LABOUR

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

We have to treat the housing crisis as a national emergency. Firstly, we need to significantly increase the supply of publicly funded social and affordable housing. And affordable housing, for sale or rent, has to be linked to people’s ability to pay, not unrealistic market prices. This public investment in housing supply is critical to tackling the housing crisis.

We know this ramping up of supply will take time. So, what is to be done in the meantime?


There are some quick wins that we should immediately implement


• Freeze rent increases for three years to provide renters with security now.


• Link annual allowable rent increases to the rate of inflation (currently 1.1%) rather than the 4% at present.


• Prevent Airbnb and other operators from regaining a significant hold on the Dublin rental market.


• Fund local Councils to return every boarded-up property in their ownership to productive use.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

Much greater investment is needed in public transport infrastructure. I am working with local Councillors Mary Freehill and Dermot Lacey to ensure concerns of residents are met within the Bus Connects proposals; and on Metrolink.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

We need to learn the lesson from the pandemic about how vital GP and primary care is in the community. We should expand these services, and take pressure off our acute hospital system. We’ve also got to finally treat mental health with the importance it requires. For too long it has been the Cinderella service in health provision. That attitude has to end and mental health services in the community need to be expanded.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

I’ve been a teacher/lecturer for most of my adult life and was proud to be on the founding committee of our local Educate Together school. Improving education is very important to me.


I’ve been working closely with parents’ groups across Dublin Bay South to increase the number of ASD classes for young people.


It is intolerable that families have to travel to schools which are often a long distance outside the constituency to ensure their children get the education they deserve.


Accessing ASD classes or other supports is a constant worry for parents who want the best for their children.


I’ll continue arguing that the Department of Education and school communities have to plan properly, so that the right resources are in the right area and families can be confident their children can access the education they need locally.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

As a cyclist I want to see better cycling infrastructure that ensures all people, especially families with young children, feel safe cycling in public spaces. T


his will also reduce the number of short car trips taken.


I am also campaigning for a new approach to managing Dublin Bay – that will protect water quality, biodiversity and ensure access, including access for people with a disability is improved.


I’m a strong supporter of local community campaigns to increase wildflower and grass areas to help pollinators, especially bees. Dublin City Council has done great work on this lately and more should be encouraged.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

This is a major issue for me. Our local clubs just don’t have the facilities. For instance, like many clubs in the area, Ranelagh Gaels is growing rapidly but just doesn’t have the space.


I want to see underused public land being made accessible to local clubs. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with the Defence Minister demanding that the pitches at Cathal Brugha barracks are opened up. He’s refusing so far but I’ll keep campaigning for this and for other clubs in Dublin Bay South.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

Both very significant issues. On childcare I’ve long argued for a publicly funded childcare system, that would ensure decent pay rates for staff and quality care for parents at affordable costs.


I’m also campaigning for a major reform of the Fair Deal scheme. At present it is solely focused on nursing home care. I want to see older people who choose to remain in their homes, among their neighbours, access the care they require through the Fair Deal scheme. Residential care can’t be the only option open to older people and their families.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

I’m a campaigner, a teacher and legislator. I live in the constituency with my family and am passionate about improving our community.


All my life I have been an advocate for equality and fairness. I am proud to have played a role, along with many others, on critical campaigns that have changed Ireland for the better.


If, like me, you believe in a better future, then vote Ivana Bacik No. 1

Deirdre Conroy 

Fianna Fáil 

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

One of the main issues I have written about in national newspapers for years is the lack of regeneration of derelict buildings and vacant sites throughout Dublin. Many are protected structures left empty for decades, run down, and not permitted for regeneration. I want to have the legislation amended to Grade 1, 2, 3 in order to have people living throughout the city in properties that must be granted permission for accommodation.


We also need to increase the availability of accommodation for students as this is the most effective way to provide them real choice and options.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

As an environmentalist, architectural heritage specialist, the Bus Corridors issues has been brought to my attention since September 2018 by Kimmage, and in January 2019 by Rathgar, Terenure, Pembroke. So many areas were unaware what the NTA plans to demolish boundaries, trees, gardens for more buses which will still slow down at urban village junctions.


I have submitted my pro-bono professional substantial impact assessments for all communalities to the NTA providing environmental information it has not already assessed.


A South West Metro Underground must be planned from Stephen’s Green through Rathgar, Terenure, Templeogue out to Knocklyon.


I have also requested new South Dublin School Bus System to reduce cars to schools. I am the chairperson of Public Transport Sub Committee in Dublin City Council and I bring all enquiries to NTA and TII. I am advised since 17 June that no Bus Corridor applications have been submitted to An Bord Pleanala yet. The NTA is in pre-consultation discussion with ABP.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area? –

Gulistan depot grounds are proposed to be Primary Health Care Centre and age friendly housing, social housing.


I am a committee member of Regional Health Forum for Dublin South and Mid-Leinster.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

I have been at meetings with Autism Equality in Ringsend and Involve Autism for Dublin 6 and D6W in the last two weeks. I have brought the issue of lack of ASD classes in local schools to the Department of Education and Minister Madigan. I am awaiting the necessary needs to be resolved.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

I want a massive reduction of traffic congestion so that people can walk, cycle safely and less carbon emission.


If elected, I will work to ensure that government delivers on its annual targets for emissions reductions, that the most vulnerable people in society are protected as we transition towards more sustainable ways of living, and that the carbon budgets for each sector of our economy are allocated fairly.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

I have already addressed the need for Ranelagh Gael to have specific pitches that they can use at all times, rather than having to change to different grounds each week. I have notified Dublin City Council in my monthly questions and the Department of Defence to re-open the grounds in Cathal Brugha Barracks and provide permanent pitches for the very quickly growing GAA clubs for girls and boys.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

I have brought elderly care to the attention of Dublin City Council and I have had a meeting with SIPTU on Childcare Staff need for increased pay, which I support and which Government is now addressing. There are plans for age-friendly housing on the Gulistan site in Rathmines.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

I work on all matters brought to my attention. Because I’m working as an architectural heritage specialist in housing for 20 years and, now I deal with planning and public transport issues, throughout Dublin Bay South.


Prior to getting into politics in 2019, I brought national and Dublin City issues to the public in the national newspapers on resolving the housing crisis and homelessness.


I have taken on the constitution in 2002. I am the person to take the first human rights case against Ireland. D v Ireland ECHR, I started Repeal the 8th in 2002 due to fatal foetal abnormality, challenging the State issue against women.


Women’s Rights are my main attention, including Need for Housing.


I was elected as a councillor within 4 months by taking on the work in advance, rather than saying ‘If I’m elected, I will do this…’ I do the work in advance. I should be elected to get more issues resolved in Dublin Bay South and Ireland.

James Geoghegan

Fine Gael

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

My vision for Dublin is a liveable city where local schools, businesses, and community services are all within a 15-minute walk or cycle from your home. The Government’s National Planning Framework prioritises the delivery of key public transport objectives of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035 by investing in projects such as New Metro Link, DART Expansion Programme, and BusConnects. This is about a move away from the planning and development of the past, where workplaces, homes and services were separate and segregated. Instead, with a focus on sustainability and quality of life, the 15-minute city concept would support the development of vibrant, inclusive communities where everything is within easy reach and helps us as a society to lessen our impact on the environment.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

One of my key values in politics is ensuring that we meet our climate responsibilities in tackling the climate crisis. Fine Gael has been committed to meeting our climate responsibilities throughout our time in Government, as evidenced by our 2019 Climate Action Plan, our commitment to the Paris Agreement, the Programme for Government and now, the Climate Action Bill. If elected I will continue to work towards addressing the climate crisis and the extensive goals laid out in the Programme for Government.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

As a father of two young children, I know we need smart investment in childcare and education, as well as our work environment, as part of the effort to get our country back on its feet.


Fine Gael has prioritised increasing equality in education during our time in government.


Pupil-teacher ratio is the lowest it has ever been (26:1) in the history of the state in Irish primary schools.


We introduced the Free Schools Meals Scheme which benefit an estimated 225,000 children.


Every secondary school in the country now has world class broadband following a 3 year €30m investment. And we have increased the amount of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools, strengthening diversity and choice for parents and students.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

Fine Gael has increased investment in sports facilities for our communities. We understand the importance of sports capital grants in the development of clubs across the country and here in Dublin. Fine Gael has ensured that the Sports Capital Programme was re-established and since we have been in Government, and over €300 million has been given to our local sports clubs.


I have worked to secure green space owned by Dublin City Council and get it marked as pitches and worked with local clubs to get better allocations.

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

The political system needs to work together to build more homes for my generation, and younger, and I believe this country needs stability of government to ensure the rapid escalation in supply of housing, which had begun before the pandemic, can be delivered with certainty for the future.


Fine Gael’s plan for housing which is backed by capital funding will ensure affordable homes are delivered at scale in Dublin city.


The Land Development Agency (LDA), set up by Fine Gael, sets out to use state lands to build affordable homes and sustainable communities. Affordability is a key pillar for the LDA.


As a Councillor I have voted in favour of over 3,000 homes including a mix of social, affordable and affordable rental.


The biggest opportunity for affordable homes to be delivered in Dublin Bay South is on the Glass Bottle Site in Poolbeg where over 900 affordable and social homes will be built.


Rather than banning different types of housing or housing investment, we need a proper mix of housing and lots more of it, whether it is social housing for people on the housing list, affordable rental or private homes for people to buy at affordable prices.


Housing policy must be about providing homes for everyone. We know that progress must happen more quickly now that construction has resumed with the reopening of society, and my key priority is delivering more affordable homes to purchase and rent in Dublin Bay South should I be elected to Dáil Éireann.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

Electing a Government TD in this bye-election is the best way we can secure the progress we have made and indeed build on that progress as we emerge from the pandemic.


We need to ensure that we have a stable and secure Government which will lead us out of the pandemic and put us on the road to recovery.


Now is not the time to risk it all on populist parties who go whichever way the wind is blowing and tell people what they think they want to hear.


Fine Gael has a track record when it comes to rebuilding the country and we need to ensure that Dublin Bay South has a strong Government TD who will not shy away from the responsibility and leadership needed in the crucial period ahead.

Brigid Purcell

People Before Profit

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

Rents could increase by 8% from July because of a deliberate loophole created by this government.


We need instead mechanisms to cut rents and to massively increase social housing. We need to control the price of building land to make housing affordable.


If you can demonstrate that are paying over 33% of your income on rent, you should be able to go to an independent rental board to press for a cut. Beyond that there should be strict rent controls which link increases to the rate of inflation.


We should stop the sell-off of public land to private developers.


We should use that land for a massive programme of social housing. The income threshold for public housing needs to be raised.


The banks must be forced to tie mortgage interest rates to the EU average. At the moment Irish banks are gaining an extra €80,000 over the lifetime of an average mortgage because of higher interest rates.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

We have some of the dearest bus fares in the EU.


The last Fianna Fail Green government cut the number of buses in Dublin. I want to increase the number of buses and move to free public transport. 1,500 people die each year of air pollution and we need to get people out of cars if we want to save our planet. Bus Connects and Metrolink don’t go near solving the issue.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

We need a National Health Service that treats people equally according to medical need – not the size of their wallet. We need more primary health care centres to encourage preventative medicine. We need to provide free sanitary products and free contraception. We need to address the mental health crisis affecting my generation.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

Our primary schools have the highest pupil teacher rations in the EU. There are not enough public secondary schools in Dublin Bay South. I want to take education out of the hands of the Catholic Church, introduce proper sex education and consent classes, develop our science labs and provide foreign language teaching from primary school.


We need early intervention for children with ASD. At the moment, we have a legal right but the government is failing to deliver and many parents must go private to get an assessment. This must change. We need to give more support to our SNA, establish a proper career path and ensure they are fully paid over the summer

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

One of the biggest environmental issues in this area is the pollution of Dublin Bay. 40% of sewage is disposed through one facility in Ringsend.


There are regular overflows which pollute the bay. We cannot wait until 2025 when Irish Water says the issue will be dealt with. I want major investment in more treatment facilities. The incinerator was foisted on the peopl of Dublin by unelected city council officials. I favour its de-commissioning and a shift towards a re-cycle and re-use policy.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

We need to keep our open spaces.


We have to stop these being sold off to private developers.


Every planning development must build in adequate spaces for physical exercise. Our public parks should be equipped with outdoor gym facilities.


The solution to traffic congestion is to get people out of cars. This is why free public transport makes perfect sense.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

We need a publicly run, not for profit, childcare system.

Why should schooling be free for children aged 4 but you must pay over €1000 for childcare for those aged 3 or 2?


A poorer country like Bulgaria can make childcare available for as little as €18 a month. We need to get out of this mindset that debunk public services and thinks every aspect of our lives must be an opportunity of profit.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

I have worked in the service industry for nearly a decade, working as a waitress, a bartender, a cleaner, a kitchen porter, a cashier.


I am a regular person and I know the problems regular people face.


I am a young woman, a woefully underrepresented demographic in the Dáil. I am a feminist. I advocate for equality and social justice for everyone in this country. I live in Ringsend and want to see areas like this represented in the Dail. I am the genuine left candidate who will NEVER join a coalition with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. I believe that ‘people power’ is the only way to bring change and if elected I shall both challenge the political establishment and help organise people in real grassroots campaigns that will score victories.

PETER DOOLEY

INDEPENDENT

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

I believe housing is a social good .I have real & sustainable solutions that include Banning Evictions and a Rent Freeze until the crisis is eased. Long-Term Leases for Tenants and Rents index-Linked to Inflation. Stopping the sell-off of public housing and re-investing in the upkeep of existing council homes, Tax Vacant Homes to increase rental supply, Public Housing on public land, Land Value Tax Tax the Vulture funds to make housing affordable.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

No, public transport has suffered from Government underinvestment, reduced Dublin Bus fleets where now 10% of Dublin Bus Routes are privatised. We should have a real alternative to positively impact our health and climate and follow the example set by Luxembourg by significantly investing in our public bus service and move to a free, clean and green service. Through Covid-19 times, with the digital divide, there has been liitle to no proper community consultation by Bus Connects and the overall financial cost has yet to be established. I support all public transport initiatives including the Metro-Link.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

Covid-19 has shown how important our public health system is, we should put our society’s health needs first. I will prioritise the implementation of Slaitecare and move to a single-tier health system. Increase Nurse to Patient ratio for better health outcomes, Pay nurses and student nurses fairly, increase the roll-out of primary care centres and increase and resource our ICU capacity which has been stretched to breaking point.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

I believe in Education for All. 2,000 Children leave Dublin Bay South daily because of no ASD class spaces. This is completely unacceptable that I am committed to changing. I will be demanding ASD specific schools with the required mainstream schools classes so that all children have equality of access to education in their local communities. I would scrap third level fees, end public subsidies to private education and move to a public education system with reduced class sizes.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

I want to see the beautiful Dublin Bay clean and safe for everyone to use and enjoy by investing in Ringsend’s Waste Water Treatment plant. The roll-out air quality monitoring stations throughout Dublin Bay South is long overdue. Investment in safe and joined-up cycleways and pedestrian infrastructure is critical. Encourage and create more public spaces for biodiversity. Ban Single-use plastics and impose a carbon tax on our biggest polluters, generate jobs around sustainable development.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

It is fantastic to see so many great clubs throughout Dublin Bay South that offer such a positive impact on communities but many suffer with a lack of required pitches and facilties. I will do all I can to make sure that any appropriate facilities are made available for local clubs. I will work hard and support local clubs and communities to identify, utilise and develop as many sites as possible.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

I propose the roll-out of community creches throughout Dublin Bay South to make childcare affordable and provide sustainable employment in the constituency. Elderly care is vital, I would see step-down accommodation in the community essential, a real public care home system, recruit public health nurses and provide more social outlets in the constituency.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

I’m a principled activist with real solutions and a long track record of working with the community to very successfully campaign in Dublin Bay South, including preventing the 201 bed Co-Living Development at Kenilworth, winning on new bus routes one of which will service the across the constiuency from Ringsend to St.James’ Hospital & Heuston Station and am passionate about standing up for tenant’s rights, in 2017 I co-founded Dublin Renters’ Union, preventing evictions and to provide advice and support to tenants along with many more. I am a strong voice for the people who believes in a more just society and if you want to be part of a fairer Ireland vote for me, Peter Dooley, Number 1, on Thursday, July 8th.

Mairead Tóibín

Aontú

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

The crisis engulfing so many families currently was in large part because FF and FG are allergic to building Social Housing.


On the other hand, SF, the Soc Dems, PbP and the Labour Party have all actively prevented thousands of homes being built by private builders in the middle of a national housing emergency.


Only Aontú seeks both the Social and Private Housing sectors working at full tilt.


Aontú seeks:


• A relaxation of EU rules in terms of state spending on housing in line with the €7 billion suggested by the ESRI.


• To ensure builders have access to funds in order to build homes.


• To delete the tax competitive advantages that FF/FG gave to International Investment vehicles which give them a competitive advantage over families seeking a home.


• To implement a 3-year rent cap.


• To properly tax vacant sites to stop speculation.


• To provide the carrot of grant funding and the stick of a vacant house tax to get the 1 in 33 empty homes in the state back into use.


• To reform regulation to allow for areas above shops to be brought back into residential use. This would reinvigorate out city streets.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

Public transport is the most efficient way to move people around, it relieves congestion and radically reduces our carbon footprint. It must also be accessible to all. Transport workers are on the record of wanting Metro and BusConnects projects replaced with lower-cost alternative projects, to ensure we have adequate capacity to accommodate passenger numbers within social distancing rules.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

As a pharmacist working in a nursing home, I have seen first-hand the systemic shortfalls in our healthcare service.


We need a flatter, more efficient HSE Management structure. We need an efficient and protected ITC system.


We have too few hospital beds and staff: 2.8/1,000 population (OECD average =3.7/1,000 population). Pre-Covid, we had too few intensive care beds, which contributed to prolonged restrictions to keep the pressure off our health services.


Most people who died with Covid caught Covid in hospitals or nursing homes: run or regulated by the Government. We in Aontú were the first to call for a full investigation into this Government mismanagement.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

We need timely assessments of need and interventions to identify and address developmental needs: I will advocate for the adequate resourcing of the teams that perform these assessments.


Schools need adequate staffing to provide for the different needs of children in their classes.


We need to reverse the suspension of AIM funding, introduced to integrate children with disabilities into mainstream pre-school settings.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

Aontú would significantly increase investment in Public transport and reduce the cost to the citizen.


Aontú seeks to tax single use plastics, introduce a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles.


Ireland is the only European state without microgeneration of energy plugged into the national grid.


Aontú supports a significant insulation retrofitting programme in order to save energy.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

Sports clubs are the heart of our communities – where they exist.


We really see this in rural communities, and we need to ensure urban communities don’t lose out.


Aontú would seek to bring together schools and different sporting clubs to ensure that existing recreational space is properly optimised. We would also increase the Sports Capital Grant Funding.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

Ireland is one of the lowest investors in childcare in Europe (0.1% of GDP).


Prior to Covid-19, I joined tens of thousands of workers and parents in the streets to protest the pay and conditions in the sector. Aontú was the only political party to raise in the Dáil the closure of over 180 childcare providers in the first wave of the pandemic. Aontú is calling for a full investigation into what happened in our Nursing Homes during the Covid Crisis. This should inform reform of the sector.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

As a healthcare professional in Dublin Bay South for 15 years, as s former small business owner, as a mother, I am personally invested in the future of this great city.


There are serious challenges facing us and there is a massive absence of common sense in the Dáil.


I want to be that voice of experienced Common Sense for Dublin Bay South in the Dáil.

Jacqui Gilbourne

Renua

How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector such as the lack of affordable housing, affordable rental housing, and student accommodation?

To solve the crises in housing, a number of reforms are required:


A. Planning reform to introduce a robust zoning system under which potential complaints can be dealt with at an early stage in the process and developers are provided with certainty that if their developments comply with the zoning policy they will not be scuppered at the final hurdle.


B. Tax and regulatory reform to encourage individual investment in buy-to-lets.


Ordinary people who look to earn a little money for their futures face penal taxation on rental income, increasing compliance costs and a regulatory system which does not treat them fairly. All this needs to be reformed to increase the supply of rental properties and reduce rents.


C. The housing crises will not be solved by the private sector alone. The state needs to build more houses.


I propose that all existing infrastructure quangos are abolished, and a single state infrastructure agency is established.


This agency will be allowed to issue bonds to raise funds for infrastructure development – with a particular focus on housing.

Do you think public transport infrastructure are sufficient in the area? Where do you stand on the Bus Connects and Metrolink projects?

We must think big, think long-term.


Dublin needs a world-class subway system connecting the suburbs and regional towns to each other and the city. The Bus Connects and Metro-Link projects also demonstrate the impotence of local government in Ireland. Our local authority should be at the forefront of these developments representing constituents.

What, if anything, would you do to improve the health services in the area?

While every other party view Sláintecare as the model of healthcare to be implemented in Ireland we do not believe that Sláintecare addresses the underlying causes of long waiting-lists in the Irish healthcare system.


We support a universal basic health insurance model of healthcare where the money follows the patient.


We support increased investment in GP services and increasing the amount of services GPs and Pharmacies can provide. We advocate transferring ownership of public hospitals to staff and abolishing the HSE as a means to eradicating costly bureaucratic practices.

How will you address the lack of educational facilities, such as ASD classes in the area?

I support the introduction of education vouchers to put parents fully in control of their children’s education. I propose reforms to make it easier for parents, teachers, charities and/or businesses to set up schools and to make it easier to convert buildings to use as schools.


I believe it is vital that the ethos of a school is protected from a state ethos over the heads of parents.

How do you propose to tackle local environmental issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution, and biodiversity in green areas?

Until a world-class public transport system is implemented in Dublin the state should not punish drivers for taking the only viable transport option available to them.


In the meantime, there should be the roll-out of the franchise model for Dublin Bus to 100% of routes, a “€1 per day all you can use” pricing system for Dublin Bus and provision of safe and secure shower and changing room facilities for cyclists across key locations in the city and suburbs.


I would also support the development of a new plan to enhance biodiversity in Dublin Bay South.


There are so many practical steps we can take which will not cost much money but would have a positive impact on biodiversity.

What would you do to address the lack of playing facilities for quickly growing GAA clubs and soccer clubs in the area?

Sports facilities should not be an after-thought but a key component in development planning for growing suburbs. I also support the development of community sports facilities to be used by all sporting organisations. Grant funding sports facilities for specific sporting organisations is a waste of scarce resources. There is a better way.

What are your ideas on improving both child care and elderly care in the area?

How we care for each other says a lot about a society. I passionately believe that Ireland needs to develop a National Care Service. The private (but significantly state-funded) provision of elder and childcare is not working for anyone.


We need to develop a flexible care system which supports the choice of each citizen – including a parent’s desire to look after their own young children in their own home.

Why do you think people should vote for you?

A vote for me is a vote to change the way politics is. It is a vote for common sense. It is a vote against one of the hardest lockdowns in the world.


It is a vote that supports family, where taxation discriminates against parents in the home.


It is a vote for the wellbeing of children, where their very childhood innocence is under threat.


It is a vote for free speech, against the media bias and waste of RTE.


It is a vote for generosity of spirit, for giving back, as I will be using all of my salary to fund playgrounds and a clean environment for children to grow up in.

As we move on to the next post, may I add that camDown is your security solution to protect you and your business from foreign state actors!