#GE2020: What candidates say about the big topics in Dublin Bay North

by Rachel Darcy

Dublin Gazette have reached out to all the confirmed candidates in Dublin Bay North, 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.

Cian O’Callaghan, Social Democrats

Q1 – I’m committed to ensuring the implementation of Sláintecare by investing in primary care teams and homecare supports to take pressure away from acute hospitals, providing diagnostics like X-rays in community health centres and by recruiting more doctors, nurses, speech therapists and public health nurses.

Q2 – We need to tackle land hoarding, dereliction and speculation, which drives up the cost of housing. We must stop the favourable tax treatment which encourages international funds to buy up our housing stock.
Q3 – It’s time to tackle the hidden costs of education at primary and secondary level, invest in Special Needs Assistants and ensure timely access to supports for children who need psychological assessments and speech and language therapy. It is not acceptable that children on the Northside of Dublin face the longest waits in the country for these vital supports at a time in their life that is key to their development.
Q4 – We need to meet the challenges caused by the Climate Crisis by supporting practical measures including investing in public transport to improve capacity and frequency, and retrofitting and insulating homes through pay as you save so everyone has a helping hand to make change. All our leaflets and newsletters are printed on FSC certified paper produced from sustainable sources.
Q5 – We need more capacity and frequency in our public transport. At peak times commuters have to try and squeeze their way onto cramped DARTs and are often left stranded at bus stops as packed buses pass them by.
Q6 – I’m asking readers for their vote because I believe we need a new generation in the Dáil representing the interests of all of us and implementing practical solutions.

Denise Mitchell, Sinn Fein

Q1 – Sinn Fein would lift the Government’s recruitment freeze and hire more nurses and doctors, open more hospital beds, and increase funding for the home-help scheme to deliver for all older people.

Q2 – In government, Sinn Fein would commence a decade-long council-led house building programme to meet social and affordable needs. We would build 20,000 homes a year, and relieve the pressure on the housing and rental market.
Q3 – Free education is a myth in Ireland today. Sinn Fein would provide free school books to all children, end schools’ reliance on voluntary contributions by increasing core funding to schools, and abolish third level student fees.
Q4 – Sinn Fein would stop all future exploration for fossil fuels and invest in renewables.
There would be no carbon tax increases in the absence of viable alternatives, and we would develop renewable energy in conjunction with local communities and semi-state companies.
Q5 – Sinn Fein would introduce free fares for the under-18s on public transport, and expand the rail and bus network; more buses, more carriages.
Q6 – I have a track record of delivering for my constituents, and pride myself on being a hardworking TD that represents the working class voice of the constituency.

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

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