I was on The Tonight Sow 21.7.21. The clips here are mainly of the points I made about re-opening hospitality in the face of the rising Covid cases. We’ve come so far, and its been so hard on people. We’ve had the longest lockdown in Europe and we can’t face more. For the sake of another few weeks, till everyone who wants to is vaccinated, why jeopardise public health and an exhausted health service, by opening up too soon.

I questioned Minister Donnelly on the Health Committee yesterday. I asked him to MAKE A PUBLIC CALL ON THE SISTERS OF CHARITY TO HAND THE LAND TO THE STATE for the new National Maternity Hospital. State ownership and control is the only acceptable option for the women of Ireland. I also asked a series of questions which included why the govt. can’t source information on (the very inadequate) abortion services in the country while the National women’s council of Ireland can. His answers provide no reassurances for any of us.

I spoke against the governments highly discriminatory Bill last night, which is basically ‘mandatory vaccination by the backdoor’. And while PBP believe in vaccinations, neither we, nor the World Health Organisation, support mandatory vaccine. Pushing the Bill through risks destroying the social solidarity on which the fight against Covid 19 must be based. Young people won’t get into restaurants or pubs because they’re not vaccinated, but its OK to have them working there, serving those who are vaccinated!! Disgraceful! Restore the PUP payments till the pandemic is over and stop forcing people into dangerous working conditions. Health policies should be based on science, not led by business interests

Last week, before the recess, I spoke in the Dáil about Covid and the care homes. PBP had, on the Dáil’s special Covid committee last year, secured two key recommendations in the report from that committee. One was for a PUBLIC ENQUIRY INTO EACH DEATH from Covid in the care-homes, many of which were in the most harrowing circumstances. The other was for an assessment of the IMPACT OF PRIVATISATION of care-homes on the service. 80% of such homes are now privatised; it was 20% previously. Neither of these recommendations have been implemented. So few answers to so many questions, and so little action in the face of huge need. Change is needed and it can’t come quick enough. 13.7.21

 

We’re told GSOC does a grand job. How do we know that? Well because the Gardaí and the Minister says so! So what about the recent Geroge Nkencho case – a mentally ill man shot in the back 5 times and key witnesses not interviewed for months. Or what about the historic failures of GSOC to deliver justice for the families of Shane O Farrell or Terence Wheelock? And why are 40% of GSOC cases referred back to the Guards. The Minister waffles, but does not answer. 8.7.21

Strategic Housing Developments – POLICY FAILURE OF ENORMOUS PROPORTIONS. Some communities are taking judicial reviews against them; costly and stressful. The Players Wills, Bailey Gibson site on SCR – 19 story high blocks. Along the canal in Drimnagh and elsewhere, 8, 9, and 10 story blocks, in low-rise estates !!. All are build-to-rent, doing nothing for the housing crisis but making a fortune for developers and Vulture funds. And no new amenities for thousand of new residents – in areas where communities are crying out already for adequate health, education, cultural amenities . The government must intervene.

Everyone agrees Post Offices are very important to their communities, so why are their numbers allowed to decline? #Chapelizod PO is a case in point. A village with elderly long-time residents, and a new population of young families soon to arrive with a new social housing estate, nearly completed. Both kinds of residents, and others, need their post office. Our govt could follow a model that values the post office network, but they refuse to do so because they favour neo-liberal policies over public services. Shameful. And damaging to the life of our communities.7.7.21

The conditions in the Oliver Bond flats are appalling, as a new report has outlined. I raised this with the Minister, who hadn’t even read the report. And people living in Oliver Bond, like other local authority tenants, have nowhere to go to complain, other than to the same authority that neglects them in the first place! Ireland was found guilty of breaking EU laws in failing tenants like this. And the govt wants to delay promised regeneration by another 4 years!! The Minister says he’s going to do something. Let’s see….. #Oliver Bond. 1.7.21

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