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National Issues

Belated Coveney support for Social Democrats’ anti-corruption agency proposals

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The Social Democrats welcome Minister Simon Coveney’s belated support for its idea to set up an independent anti-corruption agency. Party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “While imitation may be the best form of flattery, it is unfortunate that Minister Coveney is only now putting forward these proposals as part of his Fine Gael leadership bid. “The Social Democrats proposed the creation of an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency as far back as Read More

True purpose of the Commission on the Future of Policing is to provide political cover

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Speaking in the Dáil today, co-leader of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall TD, told the Taoiseach that “we cannot wait for the results of yet another review while the force continues to flounder.” In response to the Taoiseach’s claim that the new Commission on the Future of Policing would address the cultural issues in the Gardaí, Deputy Shortall said; “There is a real danger that this is yet another attempt Read More

Plan to hand maternity hospital over to SVHG is not just wrong, it’s totally unworkable

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AFTER weeks of controversy and a Dáil debate, we are still no clearer about exactly why the Government is determined to spend €300m of public money on a new National Maternity Hospital which will be handed over entirely to the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, a private interest which happens to be owned and controlled by the Order of the Sisters of Charity. The report on the hospital deal, which was brokered Read More

Publication of agreement on new maternity hospital raises fresh questions over ownership and governance

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The publication of the agreement for the new National Maternity Hospital raises fresh concerns over its ownership and governance arrangements, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said. Deputy Shortall said: “While I welcome the publication tonight of the agreement struck between St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the National Maternity Hospital, there are crucial details of the deal that are troubling. In particular, I am concerned that the procedures for Read More

Strong welcome for Citizens’ Assembly Recommendations – Referendum must follow swiftly

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The Social Democrats welcome today’s votes by the Citizens’ Assembly. Social Democrats co-leaders, Catherine Murphy TD and Róisín Shortall TD, said: “Today’s votes by the Citizens’ Assembly show that there is a very clear mandate for far reaching legal reform to allow for abortion on a range of grounds. “We have long believed that the Constitution is not the place to deal with the complex issue of abortion. The Social Read More

Minister Harris has to answer questions over ownership and ethos of new national maternity hospital

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Social Democrat co-leader Róisín Shortall TD is calling for an immediate halt to the hand-over of the new National Maternity Hospital to a religious order and for full details of the agreement over its ownership and ethos to be published. Deputy Shortall said: “The decision about the ownership and governance of the new National Maternity Hospital was made in secrecy and lacks any transparency and public accountability. There are too many Read More

Why is the State building a €300million hospital and handing it over to a religious order?

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The move by the Minister for Health to give ownership of the new state-funded National Maternity Hospital to the Religious Sisters of Charity has been criticised as highly inappropriate and deeply insensitive by the co-leader of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall TD. Ms Shortall’s comments follow reports that the Department of Health has decided that the Sisters of Charity will be the “sole owner of the new hospital” which is Read More

Social Democrats Introduce Bill to end ‘Baptism Barrier’

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The Social Democrats today, Thursday 13th April 2017, publish a Bill to finally end religious discrimination against school children. The Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2017 removes the so-called ‘baptism barrier,’ ensuring that all children have fair and equal access to publicly-funded schools, regardless of their faith. Currently, children can be denied access to their local primary schools solely on the basis of their religion. This is because Section 7 (3) (c) of the Equal Status Act 2000 allows Catholic and Read More

Bill to extend parental leave to six months introduced in Dáil.

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The Social Democrats have today introduced a Bill to the Dáil which would extend unpaid parental leave to six months. Under current rules, parents have an entitlement to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave. Under the Social Democrats proposed change to the law, the entitlement would be extended to 26 weeks. Speaking as she introduced the Bill this afternoon, Róisín Shortall TD said: “This Bill is good for children; good for Read More

First entries on Dublin Vacant Site Register show lack of plan for State-controlled sites

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The first entries on the Dublin City Council Vacant Site Register, published today, show how little is being done by Government to use publicly controlled land to deliver new housing supply in Dublin. Róisín Shortall, co-leader of the Social Democrats, said “In total the sites are valued at €77.7m. Of the 25 sites listed, 11 are state-controlled or owned by state-funded bodies. There should be a plan in place for Read More