General Election 2020 | Know Your Candidates
Ahead of the 2020 General Election on Saturday, 8th February, we reached out to the various candidates for Dublin Bay North and put three key questions to all of them. We gave them a word limit to stick to.
Note: This article is made up of answers we received from the candidates who responded to an email we sent on Tuesday 28th January 2020. Some candidates in the running for DBN did not have email addresses displayed online. Answers are displayed in the order in which candidates responded to us.
The questions are:
1. If you have sat before, please let us know of any key achievements in the previous 5 years. (max 150 words)
2. What are the key issues that are most important to you and which you will advocate for if elected?
3. Please provide any other information that you think might be relevant. (max 150 words)
Cian O'Callaghan (Social Democrats)
2. If I’m elected, I will advocate for:
- Investment in primary care and community care to take pressure off our hospitals and an increase in-home care packages in particular. It’s not acceptable that the waiting list for home-help for elderly people is so much longer in our area than other parts of the country.
- Practical solutions on climate change – we need to re-direct the billions that the government plans to spend on various road projects around the country over the next decade into sustainable public transport instead. We need to protect our environment and local amenities in St. Anne’s and Bull Island.
- An end to favourable tax treatment that encourages international investment funds to buy up new build homes in Ireland – pricing people out of the market. Housing must be affordable to rent and buy and we need to build social and affordable housing at scale on suitable public land banks.
- A rights-based approach to supporting people with disabilities to ensure full participation in society
- High-quality affordable childcare to support families – the cost of childcare in Ireland is so high that is pushing some parents out of the workforce.
3. A lot of people that I’ve met over the course of the campaign have said that they think it is time for change. I think is important that we elect candidates that will inject long term planning into Irish politics and that will put people, our communities and our environment first. I’m involved in politics because I think we can do better as a country in meeting the needs of people and if elected I look forward to working with the local community in Clontarf.
Conor Creaven (Independent)
1. No I have never put myself forward to contest any general/local election.
2. My reason for entering the campaign is to highlight and advocate for our O.A.P's and people with disabilities, two issues close to me personally.
3. Would like to reform both houses of the Oireachtas, reduce the number of TD's, make transparent salaries and expenses and increase number of Dáil sittings. If elected have stated will give TD's salary to 5 local charities and live off expenses until reform delivered.
Seán Haughey (Fianna Fáil)
1. I am the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign and European Affairs and have coordinated my Party’s position on the major foreign policy issues of the day including the future of the EU. I am a regular contributor in Dáil Éirean and have initiated and participated in a number Dáil debates on the national and local issues of concern to my constituents including. housing, health and education, public transport, climate change, crime and drugs, disability issues and affordable childcare.
I continue to work with individuals and groups on a daily basis and intervene on their behalf to ensure that they receive the benefits and services to which they are entitled.
2. A key issue for me is sustainable planning.
In recent months several planning applications for large-scale high density, multi-storey apartment developments have been submitted to Dublin City Council/An Bord Pleanála. In my view many of these proposals are simply not sustainable. An example of this is the proposed residential development in St. Anne’s park which I am totally opposed to. These applications constitute poor planning and in effect are being imposed on local communities. Many of these schemes will be “buy to let” or will be unaffordable and this also a problem in that the need for mixed-tenure development is being ignored.This will create further problems in the future.
The fast-track planning procedure for Strategic Housing Development should be scrapped given that it results in the Dublin City Development Plan being completely side-lined at the expense of local democracy. I am also opposed to the General Scheme of the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019 proposed by Minister Eoghan Murphy in respect of Judicial Reviews of planning permissions.
3. I strongly believe in a caring social philosophy and consider myself to be an honest, decent, hardworking public representative with extensive experience of National and Local Government.
I am a strong advocate for Dublin’s Northside in public policymaking.
I will continue to advocate sensible politics and practical solutions to the many global and domestic problems that now confront us
I am deeply committed to the ideal of public service and am never afraid to challenge the State bureaucracy in the interests of the citizen.
I hope that I can maintain your trust to continue to represent you in Dáil Éireann and would be grateful if you would consider me for your number 1 vote on February 8th.
Linda McEvoy (Independent)
1. This is my first time to run, and a solo run at that!
2. I am opposed to the proposed expansion of the Covanta Poolbeg Incinerator in Dublin Bay. I will also advocate for an integrated traffic plan for Dublin 3 and Dublin 5 given the significant development in the Docklands and what is planned for Ringsend. I would work to ensure that any new residential or commercial development in the area meets the highest standard of construction and visual aesthetic and is in keeping with existing amenities.
We also need considerable investment in post-acute rehabilitation facilities in Dublin Bay North which in itself would contribute to easing the trolley crisis.
I am also concerned about the new LED street lighting which is replacing the traditional yellow lights and also the potential health and safety implications of the 5G communications towers now visible in Clontarf, Fairview and Killester. We need a public consultation on all of that.
3. I am Clontarf born and bred and my priority is to the beautiful community I grew up and live in. I attended both Santa Sabina in Sutton and Mount Temple School on the Malahide Road and have great memories of both.
My background is in law but I also occasionally perform as a musician so have experience of a wide range of industries.
For the last eight years, I have been directly involved daily with my mother’s care. She is wheelchair-bound and physically compromised and I have learned first-hand the challenges families face from managers and institutions when trying to achieve the best care and wellbeing for their loved ones. Patient safety within the HSE and significant reform in the elderly and disability sector is of huge concern to me and I will press for this without delay if elected to the Dail. Thank you for considering my candidacy.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Labour)
1. Have helped lead campaign against the proposed development in St Anne’s Park, hosting public meetings, organising protests and petitioning the City Manager
Ensured a democratic council vote for flood defences proposal with local petition to Dublin City Council
Organised local history walking tours to enhance local pride and promote local heritage
Worked with residents groups in Mount Prospect, Grosvenor Court, Copeland Grove and Victoria Road / Haddon Road regarding planning process
Successfully campaigned for new Educate Together School to be established for Clontarf-Killester-Raheny
Successful campaign for new Garda Station at Northern Cross
2. Continuing the campaign to save St Anne’s Park and to propose eventual Council acquiring of the lands for the park
Re-location of Clontarf-Killester-Raheny Educate Together School from temporary location in Sutton back to catchment area and to a local site
Trial of car-free family day on Vernon Avenue as currently being discussed with Dublin City Council
Expansion of Dublin Bikes to Clontarf
Delivery of proposed Dublin 13 Garda Station which will allow Clontarf / Raheny Gardaí to prirotise resources locally
Delivery of community gain as part of St Anne’s Park concerts planning permission
Delivery of proposed new Garda station at Northern Cross
Delivery of proposed new Emergency Department at Beaumont Hospital
3. We've achieved a lot together since 2016.
We protected St Anne’s Park, saved Donaghmede Library, secured a new Garda Station for Northern Cross, delivered more Educate Together schools and even repealed the 8th amendment.
With vision, compassion and dedication we can achieve so much more together. I learned a lot from losing the 2016 election. Since that day to this, I’ve worked as hard as I can to regain your trust and to deliver for you, your family and our community.
If you choose to put your trust in me, and vote for me in this election, I know we can make a vital difference to Dublin Bay North: We can house our people, tackle crime and the roots of crime, demand decent pay for decent work, drive down the cost of living, take real steps to tackle the climate crisis and build a progressive and equal republic.
Deirdre Heney (Fianna Fáil)
1. Caring for Dementia
(i) Organised a dementia inclusive shopping event in SuperValu Raheny for 6-month pilot project - watch video
(ii) Obtained funding from City Council to purchase a mini-bus for St. Anthony's Parish Centre to assist with transport for people living with dementia and others to attend outside events as well as attend St. Anthony's
(iii) Obtained funding from City Council to complete much-needed repairs to roof of the Alzheimer Daycare Centre in St. Joseph's Raheny.
(iv) Secured on-going funding from City Council towards Dementia tea dance tunes in the National Concert Hall
(v) Secured provision of dementia awareness training for staff of Dublin City Council. Watch video
St. Anne's Park
Fought (and continue to fight) the ongoing battle against the SHD planning application for St. Paul's in St. Anne's Park and ensured, as Chair of the local Area Committee, that Owen Keegan recommended refusal of this application to An Bord Pleanála. Watch video
2. (i) Carers, particularly carers of loved ones at home, be it children, adults or senior citizens; if elected I will continue to strongly advocate for better supports, recognition, resourcing and pay for carers and those in caring professions;
(ii) tackling crime and pushing for early crime prevention measures - particularly targeting young children who are exposed to criminality from a very young age
(iii) supporting small and medium enterprise because they are the backbone of our economy
(iv) animal welfare and the protection of our biosphere. Watch video
Bernard Mulvany (People Before Profit)
2. Key issues to me are Disabilities, Climate, housing, healthcare and pensions. We need inclusive public transport that is reliable and accessible to everyone.
We need housing that is affordable and available to all in our community, we need to end the scourge of children sleeping in hotel rooms and people sleeping on our streets.
The pension age should be 65 that is a red line issue, people have worked long and hard enough at 65 and should be able if they wish to retire at that age on the full pension that they have paid all their working lives into.
Waiting lists are too long and our two-tier system of those who can afford it and those who cannot need to be removed from our public health system. We need equal access at point of entry and waiting times that are at most weeks not years.
The global climate crisis is something we need to tackle head-on, we need to protect our already vulnerable habitats and preserve our local green belts from further erosion, we also need to tackle the big polluters and not families that is why I oppose any carbon tax on people who are already burdened with falling incomes. Tax the big polluters, not the ordinary workers.
3. I am co-founder of the “Access For All” campaign to get the lifts working on our dart, Clontarf dart station was out of order on average 42% of the time on any given month, since launching our campaign it has had a 7mth period of 100% at full operational capacity.
Michael O'Brien (People Before Profit)
1. I previously served as a Dublin City Councillor for the Beaumont Donaghmede ward from 2014 to 2019. During this time I played a prominent role in the successful anti-water charges struggle which was pivotal in turning the tide against austerity. In the council chamber, my agitation against the sell-off by Dublin City Council selling some of the re-furbished apartments in Priory Hall to private property firms led to an ending of that practice. I saw my role as a councillor and still now as an activist as one of playing a political organising role in the communities. Thus on issues as diverse as marriage equality, repeal of the 8th amendment, local strikes and pickets, bad planning, rail capacity and some of the adverse BusConnects proposals and housing I have assisted with public meetings and campaigns to help people organise themselves to achieve on the above.
2. The key priorities are challenging the growing inequality and cost of living crisis experienced by working people from all walks of life as well as tackling the massive failings in housing, healthcare and childcare.
Solidarity – PBP stands for emergency action on housing to help the half a million ‘locked out’ generation of young adults stuck with their parents as well as for the homeless and those languishing on public housing waiting lists. We need public housing on public land, rent controls and a ban on economic eviction.
We favour a one-tier public National Health Service funded through progressive taxation and free at the point of use and likewise for childcare
On climate, we make a bold call for free public transport. The government we get out of this election will not deliver on these. We, therefore, favour people power movements in our communities and workplaces to force delivery
3. On two local questions, I distinguished myself. I was the only local councillor to oppose €300,000 being spent to lower the sea wall which I knew put me at odds with a number of people in the community. Besides the expense, the key question for me was the projections we were given as public reps of the increased likely frequency of flood events. Even in the short few years since this controversy, I think the gravity of climate change has impressed itself more greatly on people especially the younger generation.
On the question of St. Paul’s I was the councillor who brought a proposal for the de-zoning of the site to amenity to safeguard it against inappropriate development. Unfortunately, a majority of councillors spanning all the parties except Solidarity-PBP voted against that proposal partly in the face of warnings that the developer could sue the councillors for losses he incurred.