O’Brien condemns Munich attack
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Darragh O’Brien has condemned yesterday evening’s attack in Munich. At least nine people are dead, and dozens are injured after a shooting in a shopping centre in the city.
Deputy O’Brien commented, “I am appalled by this latest incident, which has claimed the lives of so many innocent people. My thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends, and those that have been injured in this horrific attack.
“I want to extend my sympathies to the people of Munich, and Germany, who have been left reeling and fearful in the aftermath of this senseless shooting. We must stand together with our friends across Europe in condemning these atrocities, and work together to protect our communities from those who are intent on causing pain, harm and destruction”.
Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has secured a commitment from the Government to establish an Autism Unit in both of the newly planned secondary schools for the Malahide/Portmarnock and Swords area.
Speaking amid confirmation, Deputy O’Brien said, “I am relieved to have learned that the Department has been liaising with the National Council for Special Education in respect of the appropriate level of special education provision.
“Mainstream classes are not always the best setting for a child with Autism and considering that 1 in 65 Irish school children are now diagnosed with the condition, it is imperative that we appropriately cater for their needs. Such a unit will improve the quality of life and educational advancement of students who would use the unit by providing intensive and sustained special education programmes to pupils.
“For some students to be able to attend an Autism Unit within a mainstream school it will allow them to integrate into a mainstream school community and participate as far as possible in the curriculum, but with additional educational and therapeutic supports in the areas they find difficult to cope with. Units of this kind are critical in amalgamating all our student structure.
“I have also been assured by Minister Bruton that the two new schools in question will be established in September 2017 in order to meet the increasing demographic demand, “added O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien TD has called for the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) to be strengthened in the wake of the Brexit referendum result.
Commenting on this issue Deputy O’Brien said, “I believe that given the gravity of the situation we need to strengthen the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Currently, the Assembly holds bi-annual plenary meetings but I think that increased engagement is warranted in light of the referendum result.
“It is imperative now more than ever that we use all the mechanisms at our disposal to maintain and strengthen the good relations between Ireland and Britain. When Brexit materialises, it is going to have very significant ramifications for the entire Island of Ireland, including the very real possibility of a border re-emerging between North and South. We must therefore ensure that there is significant political engagement with colleagues in neighbouring Parliaments and Assemblies on this issue.
“The strengthening of the BIPA would complement the ‘National Dialogue’ suggested by Party Leader Micheál Martin. While BIPA is of great value, it is crucial that we move beyond merely political engagement on this issue and that we have engagement from civil society.
“Brexit has economic, social and cultural implications and as a consequence there must be a broad representation of views and standpoints reflected in any discussions going forward.
“We must be as inclusive as possible and ensure that we do all we can to negotiate the best possible outcome for the Island of Ireland and society as a whole.”
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien has congratulated James Brokenshire MP on his appointment as Northern Ireland Secretary of State.
Deputy O’Brien said, “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate James Brokenshire on his appointment as Northern Ireland Secretary of State. I look forward to meeting with him at the earliest opportunity and working constructively together.
“His appointment comes at a hugely important time, with the outworkings of the Brexit vote playing a fundamental role in the future of Northern Ireland. There is also serious work to be done for victims, dealing with the legacy of the past and ensuring the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
"I wish him well and look forward to working with him to meet all of these challenges."
Statement on the Nice Tragedy
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O'Brien TD has condemned the terrorist attack in Nice which has left at least 80 people dead and dozens of others injured.
Commenting on the attack Deputy O'Brien said, “I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms this appalling attack which has killed and injured so many.
“I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost loved ones in this senseless attack and also to those who have been injured. I offer my sympathies to the people of France who once again have had to endure the painful reality of terrorism and extremism.
“It appears that terrorism has again struck at the heart of Europe, but we must stand united in the face of such violence and work collectively to combat those who wish to destroy European values and ideals. Last night's attack is an appalling reminder of how very real this challenge is.
Fingal is the fastest-growing area in the country -
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal Darragh O’Brien has reacted to this week’s Census results issued by the Central Statistics Office.
The population of Dublin has seen an overall increase of 72,333 (5.7%) since 2011 and now show the population of Dublin at 1,345,402. The number of people living in Fingal is now 296,214. An increase of 8pc in the past five years and 22,223 more than 2011.
Speaking on the results, Deputy O’Brien said, “While I am delighted to learn that more and more people are discovering the many attractions to living in the Fingal area; services, particularly public transport and school places, are not being provided to meet this increase in population.
“The Government’s Capital Infrastructure Plan launched this year failed to deliver much for Dublin Fingal in terms of improving our public transport infrastructure. It is bitterly disappointing that little progress has been made on the development of Metro North which would significantly help to alleviate the traffic gridlock experienced in Fingal.
“Furthermore, this increase in population will further pressurise primary and secondary schools which are already over-subscribed or at capacity. It has been continually noted that high birth rates in recent years, mean additional school places are required to simply keep pace with the baby boom.
"The population of Fingal has almost doubled in 25 years yet the reality is that there are currently 9,000 waiting for social housing. This is simply not acceptable.
“These figures underscore the immediate need to allocate an increase in resources to the Dublin Fingal area to ensure that it remains a safe and happy place to live, to work and to raise a family.
“I will continue to raise the necessity to improve services and to ensure that these needs are adequately met,” Deputy O’Brien concluded