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

by Rachel Darcy

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

Deirdre Duffy, Fine Gael

Q1 – As a mother and past campaign manager on the referendum to repeal the 8th I am aware of the need for a national women’s health strategy. If I am elected, I will prioritise legislation for safe access zones outside maternity hospitals and GP clinics. Primary Care Centres have a positive impact on people’s lives. We need more in Dublin Central.

Q2 – Families are struggling to get affordable and secure housing. Last year we had to move because the landlord suddenly ended our lease. I am committed to working for increased delivery of Housing-First. We need to continue to increase the building of social and affordable houses. We must also improve our laws so that renters have security.
Q3 – We need a national literacy programme. Some children are falling behind in basic educational building blocks. We need permanent schools and to build new schools in Cabra and Drumcondra.
Q4 – Dublin Central needs clean air with efficient public transport and streets that accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. My plan for free bicycle helmets is an achievable first step. My priorities are to advance carbon-free and renewable power sources, to produce renewable energy and sell back to the National Grid.
Q5 – The delivery of Metro Dublin north is essential. I’m advocating for free public transport and at least 10% of the transport budget spent on cycling infrastructure. Cycling lanes need to be physically separated from traffic.
Q6 – I am looking for your number 1 vote for positive social change on climate action, quality, affordable and accessible childcare, reform of education, housing and healthcare. After 15 years of social activism I have the vision, drive and experience to deliver for Dublin Central.

Sarah Louise Mulligan, Independent

Q1 – I would call for the immediate resignation of [Minister] Simon Harris, as I believe he is a disgrace to the Irish nation and has done nothing to improve the Irish Health system. I believe the HSE is dysfunctional and our Irish educated doctors and nurses are going abroad for better pay, as they’re not respected here in Ireland, and this needs to stop now.

Q2 – The Irish would be served first and foremost, and I would also call for the resignation of [Minister] Eoghan Murphy, as the homelessness issue is out of control – no Irish person should have to die on our Irish streets.
Q3 – I would make sure the degenerate Sex Education Bill is not passed. Teaching pornography and promoting young people to touch themselves is perverted and sickening. Free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy, and I would make sure this is being protected in schools and universities.
Q4 – My campaign is very Green and accessible. I’m not putting up posters, as I refuse to have trees cut down to have my face plastered around Dublin. For the record, I’m not a fan of ‘the climate change hoax’ and Greta Thunberg is not my God. Personally, I think climate change is a scare tactic to keep the population controlled and nervous.
Q5 – I refuse to see trees being cut down for public transport. I will be chaining myself to them if [the authorities] try and push this.
Q6 – I want to be the voice for the unborn and the old because, at this moment in time, we have a government which is too busy lining its own greedy pockets, and they don’t care about humanity.

Joe Costello, Labour

Q1 – I would Invest in more hospital beds, stop reliance on agency staff, end the recruitment embargo and ensure greater funding for mental health services.

Q2 – The private market has failed to provide affordable homes. The State needs to start building again. My priorities include building social and affordable homes on public land. I would cap rents until more homes are built and introduce long-term leases. I would end tax breaks for vulture funds.
Q3 – Make Primary education completely free of charge with free schoolbooks and healthy school meals. Schools need to be properly funded. I will ensure the TUDublin campus at Grangegorman provides third level opportunities for school-leavers and adults returning to education.
Q4 – Climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world and our country. Priorities include investment in public transport and cycling and electric vehicle grants. Insulating 100,000 homes each year by creating jobs, lowering emissions and reducing fuel bills. Posters have been recycled from 2019 local elections and 2016 General Election, and I have reduced the number of leaflets produced.
Q5 – Public transport and cycle lanes need radical investment. Buses are overcrowded by the time the reach Dublin Central. The BusConnects project is needed but it is also essential to ensure that it will not destroy urban villages. I have organised meetings for residents on BusConnects and Metrolink and have made several submissions to the NTA.
Q6 – I am a national politician with a local focus, always accessible to constituents, and I believe I have the policies, the experience, the commitment and the track record to address the issues that matter to Dublin Central.

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

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