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National Issues

Government’s callous inertia over Sláintecare health reforms must end

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has accused the government of callous inertia over Sláintecare health reforms, as new figures show that record numbers of people are on waiting lists for medical treatment. Deputy Shortall was commenting as the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that more than 707,000 people are on waiting lists to be treated or seen by a doctor – the highest number recorded Read More

SocDems’ bill to increase unpaid parental leave goes to final stage in Dáil

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A Social Democrats’ private members bill to increase to six months the amount of unpaid parental leave available to working parents goes to final stage in the Dáil tomorrow, Wednesday 13th June. The Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017 aims to help working families enjoy better work-life balance by permitting parents to spend more time caring for their children. The SocDems’ Bill allows parents to take a total of six months Read More

Women affected by CervicalCheck crisis want full disclosure not slow progress

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Speaking on foot of the publication on the Progress Report of the Scally Inquiry, co-leader of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall TD has expressed her disappointment with the slow progress of the report and the delays experienced by many of the women affected by the scandal when seeking their medical records. “The most significant finding of Dr Scally’s first report is the enormous importance the women affected place on unrestricted Read More

Three ways to boost housing supply for older people – to help young and old

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has called for actions to boost the supply of family homes in cities by building suitable accommodation in existing neighbourhoods for older people including ‘empty nesters’ who wish to down-size. Deputy Shortall has set out three proposals to help tackle the housing crisis in urban areas, including a special designation category for older people’s housing needs. The Dublin North West TD said: “Clearly, there Read More

Court ruling shows it’s time to dismantle direct provision for asylum-seekers

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has called on the government to dismantle the discriminatory system of direct provision, saying today’s constitutional ruling should be the final nail in its coffin. Deputy Shortall said: “Today’s Court of Appeal ruling recognises that a child with Irish citizenship living in direct provision is entitled to child benefit payments in her own right, despite the fact that her mother does not have legal Read More

Take religion out of school day – Social Democrats

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Social Democrats will today bring to the Dáil a proposal to take religion out of the school day. The party is tabling an amendment to the government’s Education (School Admissions) Bill 2016 to remove faith formation from the school timetable. Co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “We need to take religion out of the school day entirely. I will be tabling an amendment to the Education (School Admissions) Bill 2016 today Read More

Full rigors of law must apply to falsified adoption records

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Co-leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall TD has called for the full rigors of the law to be applied to anyone who knowingly engaged in the falsification of adoption records. Responding to the shocking revelations today about false adoption records by the former St Patrick’s Guild Adoption Society, Deputy Shortall said: “The cost of addressing this scandal should be met by the people and organisations who are responsible for Read More

Soc Dems urge voters to bring compassion and care home with a Yes vote on Friday

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The Social Democrats today urged people to vote Yes in Friday’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment to ensure that women can access the healthcare they need in Ireland. The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said: “With just a few days to go to polling, we are urging people to use this once in a generation opportunity to remove the Eighth Amendment from our Constitution. “The Eighth Amendment is an impediment Read More

Social Democrats’ bill to increase parental leave to six months goes to committee tomorrow

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A Social Democrats’ private members’ bill to enable working parents to spend more time caring for their children goes to committee stage tomorrow, Wednesday 16th May. The Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017 allows parents to take a total of six months (26 weeks) unpaid leave from their jobs without their employment rights being affected. This is an increase on the current maximum of four months (18 weeks) of unpaid parental leave Read More

Shortall calls for action on 1,631 women diagnosed with cervical cancer

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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said she is deeply concerned that two weeks after their cases were identified, no action has yet been taken in relation to the 1,631 women who developed cervical cancers and were not included in the CervicalCheck audit. Deputy Shortall said: “I have been raising the position of the 1,631 cases of women diagnosed with cervical cancer who have not been audited by CervicalCheck. Read More