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National Issues

Priorities for new Dáil term focus on housing, health, sustainable growth and anti-corruption

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The Social Democrats today set out the party’s priorities for the new Dáil term, with a focus on effective measures to address people’s housing and health needs, ensure sustainable economic growth, and tackle corruption. Speaking ahead of the resumption of the Dáil after the summer break, the party’s joint leaders said tackling the ongoing crises in health and housing requires solutions based on brave and honest decision-making and a willingness Read More

Government legislative programme sets bar pathetically low in tackling corruption

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The government’s legislative programme for the new Dáil term totally lacks any sign of ambition when it comes to tackling corruption and white-collar crime, the Social Democrats said today. The party’s co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “It is both pathetic and dispiriting that the government has set the bar so low in terms of tackling corruption risks in its legislative programme for the new Dáil term published today. A press Read More

Movement on Sláintecare welcomed, but momentum must be maintained

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In a reply to a Dáil question this week, the Minister for Health further set out his plans for the implementation of the Sláintecare report. Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats today welcomed the news that the Government have committed to the setting up of an implementation office for Sláintecare. Deputy Shortall said: “While this is a significant step, it is important that the implementation office is independent Read More

Government fails to recognise scale of dysfunction within An Garda Síochána

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The government is failing to recognise the scale of problems within An Garda Síochána, which call for exceptional measures including an entirely new senior management team, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today. Deputy Shortall said: “The government’s response to the resignation of the Garda Commissioner and their hands-off response to mounting problems within the Garda really shows a total lack of appreciation of the depth of the crisis Read More

Departure of Garda Commissioner must be start of wider clear out

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The Social Democrats have welcomed today’s announcement by the Garda Commissioner that she is retiring – but stress that it must be the first step in robust efforts to rebuild internal morale and public confidence in the force. The party’s co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “The departure of the Garda Commissioner must be the start of a fundamental clear out at the top of An Garda Síochána. It is crucial Read More

Recovery, not containment, must be objective of drug treatment services

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Speaking this morning, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD called for “the principle of recovery to be put at the centre of drug treatment services.” Addressing the inaugural International Recovery Conference in Trinity College Dublin, Deputy Shortall outlined the value of moving beyond harm reduction and towards an approach that supports long term recovery from addiction. The conference has been organised by the Recovery Academy in Ireland. Deputy Shortall explained: Read More

Bogus breath tests show urgent need for Garda to tackle deep and pervasive cultural problems

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The latest revelations of falsified Garda breath test figures are indicative of a force in crisis with deep and pervasive cultural problems that cannot be addressed without management changes, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today. Deputy Shortall said: “The emergence today of an additional half a million falsified Garda breath tests shows that the problems with the culture and management of the force are even more deeply embedded Read More

Trolley crisis shows need for wholesale Sláintecare reform – not quick fix

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said that the disgracefully high number of patients on hospital trolleys can only be tackled once and for all with the wholesale overhaul of our health system as set out in the Sláintecare reform plan. Deputy Shortall said: “The summer is barely over and already we have record high numbers of patients waiting for admissions to beds, with 7,781 people on trolleys or Read More

Assurances needed over independent clinical governance of National Maternity Hospital

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has called on the Minister for Health to provide assurances about the independent clinical governance of the new National Maternity Hospital. Deputy Shortall said: “It is reassuring to learn that the Department of Health is close to finalising an agreement that means the new hospital building will be owned by the State. “This policy reversal is to be welcomed, given the overwhelming public unease Read More

Introducing mandatory ID card by the back door threatens citizens’ rights

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD is calling for an open public debate on the National ID card issue, while voicing concerns that a mandatory identity system is being introduced by the back door. Deputy Shortall said: “The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said today that using a Public Services Card is now mandatory for people to access services from her department, and that other Government departments will also Read More