Why I'll be voting YES on May 25th

The 8th amendment was introduced more than 30 years ago and it is clear that it has not served us well. Women are still travelling to the United Kingdom, and it is not right that we have failed to address the issue and look after mothers in our own country.

The 8th Amendment doesn't work - Vote YES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycaCLV_Iwxs&feature=youtu.be

 

Metro tunnel should be extended to Rathfarnham

I've made a submission today in support of the Metrolink project.  The public consultation process will close at 5pm on the 10th of May despite requests for an extension to the consultation period due to the level of public interest in the plans.

I fully support the Metrolink project, which we urgently need to address the gridlock and housing crisis in Dublin.  I have proposed three significant changes which would improve the whole project and spread the gains to other areas.'

We should continue the tunneling machine south from Charlemont street to link with three new stations in Rathmines, Terenure and Rathfarnham.  This transport corridor is one of the worst public transport blackspots in our city with no other easy solutions in sight.  Taking this option would also remove the need to fully segregate the Luas Green Line, where there is real concern about restrictions to local access around existing stations.

The Metrolink plans have removed any provision for a future connection with the Dart Interconnector. This was always seen as a twin project that would enhance and benefit from the new Metro line.  We should put in space for the Dart station in St Stephen's Green at the same time we dig a big hole for the Metro station at the same site.

We also want to extend the line on the North side to the mainline rail station at Donabate.  This would provide far more useful connectivity than the massive park and ride car park planned for Lissenhall which will only add more congestion to the M1 Motorway which is already at full capacity.

You can read the full submission here and my recent article in the Irish times about it here.

 

Metrolink Public Consultation 2018

Submissions are invited in relation to the proposals set out in the National Transport Authority's Public Consultation Document.

Written submissions and observations may be made through the online form in the “Public Consultations” section of the website at www.metrolink.ie

Or by Email to: consultations@metrolink.ie

Or by post to: MetroLink Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Parkgate Business Centre, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8, D08 DK10

The closing date for receipt of submissions and observations is Friday the 11th May. I will be publishing my own submission but make sure to have your say before Friday.

Green Party Convention 2018

The Green Party Annual Convention took place this weekend in Dun Laoghaire with a great turnout and fantastic positive feel. There were fantastic workshops and presentations and I am also delighted to be able welcome several new members to our Executive Committee.

You can see the full video of my speech below where I outline my vision for an economy that works for and builds our communities.

Public Meeting with Eamon Ryan: Let's Talk Cost-Rental

You are invited to a public meeting with Eamon Ryan T.D. to discuss solutions to the housing crisis.

The current social housing model isn't working and we believe it is time to utilise the cost rental model to transform housing provision in Ireland.

This model is successful in a number of European countries which see lower rents and reduced inflationary pressure across their housing markets.

The Department of Housing has recently identified 700 sites that could be used for housing. We have plans for the construction of 3,000 units in Dublin at two of these sites, Cathal Brugha Barracks and Broadstone in Phibsborough. We believe that this is an opportunity to begin making this change and provide public housing at affordable rent levels.

The cost rental model is self sustaining and self funding and works by calculating rents on the basis of recovering the cost of the property over the lifetime of a long-term loan.

We are keen to hear from you on this issue. Join us in Slattery's Pub in Rathmines on the 5th of March where we will explain how the model works and identify other possible sites where it could be used. Get your free tickets here

Autism and ASD services in schools

I weas recently contacted by the Campaign for ASD Special Classes in South Dublin Secondary Schools who raised concerns with me about the provision of ASD special classes.

The members of this campaign brought to my attention the fact that there are 45 national schools in Dublin 2, 4, 6, 6W and 8 and that of this 45, there are 7 ASD special classes in those schools with 6 children in each special class i.e. a total of 42 children. There are also a number of special schools, some of whose pupils might be able to access mainstream secondary education with the support of a special class, most obviously St. Declan’s in Ballsbridge, and St. Peter’s in Rathgar, with 42 and 60 children respectively, many of whom have autism. There are 26 second level schools in the same area – but zero ASD special classes.

I recently met with members of the campaign and raised some of their concerns with the Minister which you can see below.

 

Climate Emergency Bill

Yesterday I spoke in the Dáil on the Climate Emergency Measures Bill. 

This Bill, similar to our own Keep it in the Ground Bill, is a step forward towards a greener future. 

The Government needs to realise that the world is changing and that it cannot stop that change.

Switching to a zero-carbon economy will not only help us meet our obligations in accorance with the Paris Climate Agreement but it would also be good for our economy as clean, green technologies and industries continue their exponential growth.

I hope that this Bill will be enacted so we can become one of the leaders in green energy moving forward. We should and can be good at this.

Directly Elected Mayors on the back burner again as Government fails to act

I spoke to the Taoiseach in the Dáil yesterday on the delays in implementing directly elected Mayors for our cities. 

We need a single accountable individual, a Mayor who can strive for change, who can have the powers neccessary to take action on transport and housing as our cities gridlock and homelessness increases.

These proposals have been around for years and we have seen no movement despite positive noises, all we have is talk and inaction, something has to change.

You can see the full exchange below.

Living Cities Bill

We, the Green Party, have called on the Government to tackle the vacancy and dereliction rates in Dublin.  We recently launched our Living Cities Bill 2017, aimed at bringing life back to city and town centres, discourage land hoarding, and tackle dereliction and vacancy.


We have 31,459 empty houses here in Dublin, with 198,358 empty nationwide, according to the CSO. This number doesn’t include derelict buildings, and doesn’t measure the potential housing units that could be developed on vacant land in city and town centres. 

5 Chapel Avenue, Dublin 4

chapelave5.jpg


Date of record: 11 April 2016
Source: DCC South East Area Committee

We need to start bringing life back into the centre of our towns and cities. Through installing units above shops, refurbishing derelict buildings, and tackling land hoarding. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Living Cities Bill.                                                                                     
The aims of this Bill are simple, and have the potential to instigate meaningful change. The bill aims to remove the minimum site size from the current vacancy legislation, which is currently set at larger than a basketball court, which rules out a huge number of sites. This would bring far more vacant and derelict sites under the scope of the legislation.

There is a real opportunity here. The country is full of empty buildings and vacant sites. These dwellings are pre-existing infrastructure and returning them back to a usable condition would go a long way not just towards providing more cost effective solutions to tackle the crisis, but would also be of benefit in terms of reinvigorating communities.