Fianna Fáil is today highlighting the party’s policy priorities for Dublin. Measures outlined in A Dublin for All are aimed at tackling crime and homelessness, and improving health and transport services.
The party is committed to sustained provision of social housing. Highlighting how the construction of new social housing units in Dublin has plummeted by 90% in just four years, Fianna Fáil is aiming to deliver 15,500 social homes for Dublin over the next five years.
Rent Supplement levels will be increased by 10% to support vulnerable households. This measure will be of particular benefit in Dublin where rents are higher.
Dublin Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien said: “To tackle crime Fianna Fáil is committed to having an additional 700 gardaí deployed in the capital. In relation to the seven garda stations in Dublin closed under the current government, Fianna Fáil will seek a Garda Inspectorate report on the station areas to gauge the impact of the closures and make recommendations on whether stations should be re-opened or in the case of the building being sold, a new station established.
“We will also get tough on burglars. Parts of the capital have seen a jump of almost 80% in recorded burglaries over the past two years. We will have mandatory sentences for repeat burglary offenders. We will also establish a dedicated Dublin City Centre Garda Public Order Unit to combat drug dealing and anti-social behaviour on the capital’s main commercial streets.
“In health, some 46% of the national waiting list for hospital treatment is centred on Dublin’s hospitals. They are under enormous pressure. The restoration and reactivation of the National Treatment Purchase Fund is being proposed to bring about reductions in waiting times. 3,261 are waiting more than a year, almost three times as many as when Leo Varadkar became Minister for Health.
“Our proposals also include nurse-led community intervention teams in every local health area in Dublin and an extra 500,000 home help hours.
“We believe how our capital city is governed is major issue. It has the potential to impact traffic management, policing, public transport and community supports. That’s why we want to give Dubliners a say on whether they want a directly elected mayor.
“Fianna Fáil will oppose any forced mergers being imposed on the capital’s institutes of technology, develop a 1916 Historical Quarter and establish a “Culture Trail” in the city to enhance Dublin’s offering to tourists.”
Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Fingal Senator Darragh O’Brien maintains that there is clear bias within the HSE against north county Dublin as services continue to be eroded.
“The delay by the HSE in opening the new ambulance base in Swords, leaving 300,000 citizens served by just one single Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance, is indicative of a HSE mind-set that continues to exclude families in the North County from the provision of adequate and proper medical facilities.
“The proposed changes in maternity hospital services which will see the Rotunda move to Blanchardstown, Holles St. moved to Vincent’s and the Coombe to St. James’ is going to create enormous hardship for northside mothers and families.
“Traditionally, the majority of northside mothers have attended either Holles St. or the Rotunda, and local Dublin Bus services have greatly facilitated families at those important times. The locating of the new National Children’s Hospital in St. James’ also poses enormous travel and parking difficulties for northside parents with very sick children, trying to make their way through rush-hour city-centre traffic to a totally congested site.
“But there is a much wider health context, and we in Fianna Fáil have a comprehensive set of measures to address all those different aspects of health-service provision.
Fíanna Fáil proposals for our health services
Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Fingal Senator Darragh O’Brien says Irish Water needs to be turned off.
“Fianna Fáil consistently opposed the creation of Irish Water. The controversy of consultancy costs, bonuses and overstaffing at the super quango has borne out our fears,” added the party’s Dublin spokesperson.
“Irish Water as an entity will continue to haemorrhage government money, and get the state further into debt (borrowing at higher interest rates than available to the NTMA) unless it is wound down and its operations returned to more sensible delivery structure.
“The subvention for Irish Water to cover only its costs of administation and establishment are paid via motor tax receipts. While many motorists pay motor taxes in the anticipation that this will go towards repairing local roads, in fact none of the motor tax receipts collected in Dublin will go towards fixing local roads.
“In fact, over €115m of the €300m of the expected revenues collected from Dublin motorists in 2016 will go towards Irish Water. Unless we wind up Irish Water soon, €479m in 2016 will be wasted on the company. This will be spent purely on the administration costs of the super-quango, not a cent of this will be spent on fixing water infrastructure. This money is on top of €948m that has already been siphoned off motor tax receipts in 2014 and 2015.”
Fianna Fáil Spokeperson on Dublin and General Election candidate in Dublin Fingal Senator Darragh O’Brien says his party will retain the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service.
The Malahide based candidate commented, “There has been a lot of speculation in recent months about the HSE and National Ambulance Service taking over the current ambulance provision from Dublin Fire Brigade. I want to state categorically that Fianna Fáil has no plans to discontinue the involvement of Dublin Fire Brigade in the provision of ambulance services in the capital.
“I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues in all 4 local authorities in Dublin have worked closely with members of the Dublin Fire Brigade over the past number of years. We are proud of the crews that serve the people of Dublin 365 days a year, sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances.
“In Seanad Eireann, as Dublin Spokesperson I have continually opposed any unilateral change to the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service and will continue to do so. The Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance is a crucial front line service in our city and county. We will never support any change that is not fully endorsed by the Dublin Fire Brigade personnel themselves”.
Fianna Fáil Dublin Fingal candidate Senator Darragh O’Brien has reinforced his support for Home Help workers in the north Dublin area who are still awaiting payment of Labour Court recommended increases.
“This issue has been going on for over four years and it is a slap in the face for these workers that it has still not been resolved.
“Three deadlines to deal with this matter have been missed and it is utterly unacceptable. These workers are being strung along. This is a small number of people who have been earning €8, €9, €10 and €12 per hour, some of whom are due €5,000, €6,000, €7,000 or €8,000 back. It is a significant amount of money to them.
“I think everyone will agree that home help workers carry out a crucial role on the front line of our health service in caring for our sick, elderly and inform at home. We cannot allow a situation to persist where a Labour Court recommendation from 2009 is continually being withheld.
“I will continue to campaign for the rights of Home Help workers to be vindicated. The Government must be made comply with Labour Court recommendations, and pay these workers what they are due,” added Senator O’Brien.