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

by Padraig Conlon

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.

Ciaran Ahern, Labour

Q1 At breaking point. Investment in community health services will deal with the trolley crisis and waiting times. Increase funding in Primary Care Centres, keeping patients at home, not in hospitals. This ensures hospitals are for emergency and acute care only.

Q2 The State will lead the way and build 80,000 social and affordable homes over the next five years. I will also fight for a new deal for the rental sector, protecting tenants and recognising challenges for single-property landlords.
Q3. Serving on the board of a national school, I understand the challenges in education.
In my view, an education in Ireland should be genuinely free so that education is fair and open to all. Also, students deserve better than schools with temporary buildings or delayed new schools.
Q4 Urgent action is needed with increased grants for affordable home energy retrofitting, an end to fuel poverty, and priority investment in public transport and segregated cycle lanes across our city. My campaign encourages canvassing by bicycle, and all my videos are subtitled for accessibility.
Q5 It is not sufficient, not nearly. Large-scale investment in our bus network is required with reduced fares to encourage people to leave the car at home. Dublin also needs a comprehensive network of segregated cycle lanes, for safer commutes to school and work.
Q6 My commitment to the people of Dublin South West is that I will never stop working to achieve a kinder, fairer, more sustainable future for everyone.

Deputy Katherine Zappone, INDEPENDENT

Q1 I will be advocating for more primary care centres, increases for the mental health budget, and investment to progress Slaintecare reforms. We urgently need multi-disciplinary teams in our community. Vacancies need to be filled as a matter of urgency.
Q2 We need more social and affordable housing. We need to protect tenants and help first-time buyers. The most vulnerable families need a Housing First solution, which I am advocating for. Homelessness doesn’t belong in an Ireland of Equals.
Q3 I am passionate about education and am actively advocating for equality in access to all levels of education, including the further education sector, and early years education. I believe we need to continue to build on the progress made over this term on childcare provision. I will be fighting for [an education funding] €150m increase annually, going forward, targeting quality early years provision and affordability, and increased pay for the early years educators.
Q4 I believe young people need to be at the centre of all our decision making on climate change, as it is they who will be impacted most. I have set up a special fund to support young people’s climate advocacy. I am passionate about UN Sustainable Development Goals, and will be working towards making sure that Ireland becomes carbon-neutral by 2050.
Q5 I support a MetroLink to Dublin South West [plan] that will provide citizens access to affordable, clean and safe transport.
Q6 I stand for equality, integrity and fairness. I have been an advocate for progressive social change my whole adult life, and I am grateful to have voters’ support to continue the good fight.

Cllr Deirdre O’Donovan, Fianna Fail

Q1 The health system is completely broken and needs to be overhauled, starting with making it a patient-driven system, instead of a ‘client-driven’ system.
Q2 There’s enough public land to build 114,000 social and affordable houses. Fianna Fail is the only party to deliver them. The SHD planning system is being abused by vulture fund developers at the expensive of homeless families.
Q3 The education system needs to do more to support children with special needs, and give better conditions to our SNAs and school secretaries.
Q4 My campaign car is a fully electric Hyundai Kona, and I am using fully biodegradable stickers. I am also using bus shelter adverts instead of having loads of posters.
Q5 Absolutely not, and that’s why I have kick-started the transport campaign to extend the Luas from Kingswood along the M50 to Ballycullen.
This is the most deliverable and sustainable transport solution for our area.
Q6 I deserve voters’ number-one vote because I always get the job done.

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

Related Articles