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National Issues

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

Garda Commissioner’s statement falls far short of what is required

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The Social Democrats have rejected Garda Commissioner O’Sullivan’s statement on the latest Garda controversy. Her statement is completely inadequate and the Social Democrats call on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to step in and hold the Commissioner to account and sort out a clearly dysfunctional Garda infrastructure. Roísín Shortall and Catherine Murphy, co-leaders said: “There is no indication in the Garda Commissioner’s statement that the Commissioner appreciates the need Read More

Minister Ross has a responsibility to public transport users in Bus Éireann Dispute

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The Social Democrats have this afternoon heavily criticised Transport Minister Shane Ross’s refusal to play his part in resolving the Bus Éireann dispute which has led to travel chaos across the country today. Speaking this afternoon Social Democrats Co-Leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “While we accept the company has a fiduciary responsibility that must be met and efficiencies are therefore necessary. However there must be a clear distinction between finding efficiencies Read More

Heads should roll in Gardaí over latest cock-up

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Social Democrat co-leader, Róisín Shortall, has said heads should roll over the latest revelation that thousands of traffic convictions are to be cancelled because of Garda error. 14,500 motorists are to have their traffic offences quashed and this comes on top of a finding that the number of drink-driving tests carried out by Gardaí between 2011 and 2016 was exaggerated by almost a million. Ms. Shortall said, “How many cock-ups Read More

Government must act now to sustain Credit Unions

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The Social Democrats have drawn attention to today’s report from the Central Bank of Ireland on the financial conditions of credit unions. The report points to a number of significant business challenges for credit unions and says that without further development, their long term sustainability is under question. Social Democrats Co-Leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “A vibrant and expanded community banking sector is a crucial part of reinvigorating business in Read More

More than 5,000 people on waiting lists for Home Care

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Róisín Shortall T.D., Social Democrats co-leader, reveals the extensive waiting lists for Home Help and Home Care Packages.. Following questions from Roísín Shortall, the HSE says that: ·         2,342 people were waiting for a Home Care Package at the 31st December ·         2,039 people were waiting for Home Help ·         800 people approximately are waiting for extra Home Help hours ·         40 people approximately are waiting for an Intensive Home Care Package In regional terms, Read More

Social Democrats table Dáil Motion for Public Inquiry into McCabe affair

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The Social Democrats have tabled a Dáil motion calling for a Public Inquiry into the McCabe affair. We are also calling on the current Garda Commissioner to step aside, without prejudice, for the duration of the Inquiry and for the Commissioner to be replaced by an international senior police officer, in a caretaker capacity, for that period. Speaking this evening, Roísín Shortall TD and Catherine Murphy TD, Social Democrats co-leaders Read More