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

by Rachel Darcy

Dublin Gazette have reached out to all the confirmed candidates in Dublin North 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 are from those who had responded by our deadline.

Tara Deacy, Social Democrats

Q1 – The Slaintecare plan will make GP visits and hospital care free for all, reduce waiting lists in hospitals, move diagnostics like X-rays and MRIs into primary care centres, and set up community care teams for older people and mental health issues.

Q2 – The Social Democrats would use public lands to deliver social and affordable housing through the Land Development Agency. We would introduce an immediate freeze on rents for the next two years. Strengthen tenants’ rights. Improve funding for local authorities and approved housing bodies. Introduce a land hoarding tax and end overcharging by banks on mortgage interest payments.
Q3 – We want to eliminate hidden fees in both primary and post primary by funding books, transport, and classroom resources – free education should mean free education. Public resources should be targeted to the greatest need – that means funnelling more resources into DEIS schools and the needs of disadvantaged students outside these areas.
Q4 – The current home insulation grant requires people to have significant upfront funding, which means people on lower to middle incomes either pay a large amount upfront, or pay higher bills in the long term. There should be a ‘pay as you save’ scheme which will let people pay for their home insulation over a longer period of time.
Q5 – We have to reconfigure the National Development Plan so that more is spent on Public Transport than on roads. The Social Democrats support and will act upon the commitments given in the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan in relation to Greening public transport.
Q6 – I want to help create an Ireland where our kids/work life balance is better, where our mental and physical health is prioritised and where we all do better, together.

Alan Kerrigan, Independent

Q1 – We need to establish an emergency panel made up of professionals from Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands and Switzerland. Countries that have overcome the problems we face today. We are not reinventing the wheel here, but the longer we sit on our hands, the more lives will be lost.

Q2 – The scale and complexity of Ireland’s housing crisis might suggest a social challenge of insurmountable proportions. Ireland is only at about 60% urbanisation, compared with a likely typical average of 80% elsewhere. Delays in getting more homes to market should be bridged via modular housing, where the units are built in a factory and transported to the site. This would also bridge the current skills gap.
Q3 – Education reform doesn’t need to wait for another five years and a dozen reports. We have enough material to go on besides concrete examples of what works abroad. We could move tomorrow to bring costs in line and thus reduce class sizes. We can begin immediately to bring in a firm system of teacher assessment, and weed out the minority of weak links who ruin our children’s chances of earning themselves a better future.
Q4 – I will be driving for concrete recommendations in the report of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. As of today, my campaign has not used any form of printed paper.
Q5 – A dream scenario would be that we have done proper research into how people use the city.
Q6 – I will put an end to the corruption in Dail Eireann.

Richard Murray, Independent

Q1 – I would support a universal healthcare system, where everyone contributes an equal amount, which would be fine-tuned to support those with long-term illnesses or disabilities. I would also support better mental health services. Mental health and death by suicides are major issues. Having lost a member of my immediate family, I am aware of the long-term effects it can have.

Q2 – There is a need for adequate social and affordable housing in my constituency. There are many families with both parents working who cannot afford to buy a home. I would like to see affordable housing provided or the social housing income cap raised.
Q3 – As a board of management member of several schools I am aware of a lack of ASD units. There are vacant schools in the constituency, and I believe one could be a designated ASD school. Classroom sizes, teacher shortages, and the costs of school materials are all issues I would address.
Q4 – I believe we can do our bit to reduce climate change, by exploring an alternative energy supply. Illegal dumping is a major issue, and I have campaigned for tougher penalties on those convicted. I have recycled my posters from the local election and have not got more printed.
Q5 – I do not support the BusConnect project. I believe the cost will run in to millions paying for private land. I would like to see better transport service into areas populated by our elderly.
Q6 – I am a non-nonsense, straight to the point candidate, I care deeply about my community. Furthermore, I believe the job of a public servant is just that, to provide a service for the public.

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

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