#GE2020: What candidates say about the big topics in Dublin South West

by Padraig Conlon
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Dublin Gazette have reached out to all the confirmed candidates in Dublin South West, who will be campaigning for a spot in the Dáil in General Election 2020. We asked them all the same set of questions, to help inform you about where they stand on just some of the main issues of the day.

Here are the questions asked:

  • Q1 – How would you address the chronic problems that are prevalent in the Health Service?
  • Q2 – How would you address the chronic problems in the housing sector?
  • Q3 – What ways would you address education issues in your area at a Government level?
  • Q4 – What is your stance on Climate Change? How green/accessible is your campaign?
  • Q5 – Do you think Public Transport in your area is sufficient? What changes might you make?
  • Q6 – Why do you think people should vote for you?

Here is what the general election candidates had to say* – the following answers were from those who had responded by our deadline.

Cllr Charlie O Connor Fianna Fail

Q1 Fianna Fail will recruit 1,000 more consultants and 4,000 more nurses. We will expand homecare by a million hours every year and use an expanded National Treatment Purchase Fund to cut waiting times for inpatients and outpatients.
Q2 Fianna Fail policy will be to increase supply with at least 50,000 affordable homes and 50,000 social houses.
We will provide a 33% top up Special Savings Incentive Scheme for first time buyers. We will launch a new deal for renters, increase rent supplement levels and roll out an Affordable Rent Scheme.
Q3 Fianna Fáil will reduce average class sizes to 20 by 2025 in primary schools and to 18 in disadvantaged (DEIS) schools. Fianna Fáil will continue to expand the therapists in schools scheme.
Q4 Fianna Fail’s goal is a low carbon future with a just transition fund to protect those on low incomes, to tackle fuel poverty and to retrofit social housing.
Q5 Fianna Fail will strengthen public transport and undertake a feasibility study into constructing Metro South West as a potential key future project.

Cllr Mick Duff, Independent

Q1 Make it worthwhile for Consultants to work in the Public system and not to split their time between the Private and the Public Hospitals.
Provide a 24 hour Consultant service in all Emergency Depts to help expedite the discharge of patients and help free up Trolly spaces.
Identify capacity in all Hospitals and promote pathways between the Acute Hospitals and CHOs.
Q2 Support realistic Rent Caps and the accelerated building of Social and Affordable Homes.
Q3 All Year round Capital Expenditure on Maintenance needs.
Increased Capitation Grants for Primary Schools. SNAs to be provided on current needs and student figures and that the Support follows the Student from Primary to Second level schools.
Provide additional accommodation for Teachers within any future planned Student Accommodation.
Q4 I believe in the science behind Climate Change and everybody has a role to play, not just politicians.
All new builds should be A rated and include Solar Panels and avail of District Heating where possible.
Q5 Fully support the role out of Greenways, promoting the use of E Transport, including the safe usage of E Scooters.
Encourage the use of Public Transport by reducing the fares and increasing frequency.
Q6 I give, honest, serious and effective representation.

Cllr Carly Bailey, Social Democrats

Q1 If we have a right to anything in this country, then the right to health must be top of that list. Our co-leader Roisin Shortall chaired the all-party group that agreed the Slaintecare reforms to the health service.

Q2 There are over 700 local authority and Housing Agency owned sites, and we need to use this public land to build social and affordable housing.
Land hoarding adds to the problem, and the Social Democrats previously proposed a Bill in the Dail to stop this behaviour and encourage the development of vacant sites in urban areas.
Q3 It is the single greatest driver of opportunity, quality of life, social equality, and economic growth.
In primary and post-primary schools, we want to eliminate hidden fees by funding books, transport, and classroom resources – free education should mean free education.
Q4 We absolutely need to be greener, but we also need to be fairer to ensure that green measures don’t impoverish people.
Q5 Car dependency is huge issue across Dublin South West.
We can see it in the gridlock we experience on our roads every morning and evening.
We need to invest more in public transport to increase and improve frequency and capacity of our buses and Luas.
Q6 People should vote for me because we deserve better and I represent the change they want to see, someone who has lived in the real world and has been devastated by the policies of traditional politics and someone who has studied law and public policy for six years to ensure that my children and our community will never be let down again.

(*Some answers may have been edited for clarity.)

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