Summer 2016 Newsletter
Catherine Martin T.D. * Catherine.Martin@oireachtas.ie
✆ 01 618 3018
A chara, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for electing me as your new Green Party T.D. in Dáil Éireann for our constituency of Dublin Rathdown. I am very excited and also honoured to be working on your behalf. I will bring all my energy, dedication, passion and conviction to this hugely important role. Míle buíochas,
I am keen to hear about all of the issues that matter to you, in our nation and in our community here in Dublin Rathdown, so I hope to meet as many of you as possible on the doors over the coming months. If there is anything you would like to discuss with me, please do not hesitate to contact me as I would be delighted to arrange a meeting with you personally or to meet a community delegation with which you may be involved. Cuirim fáilte roimh chomhfhreagras trí Ghaeilge.
Your voice for equality in education
As the Green Party Education Spokesperson and a former teacher, I am delighted to have been appointed to the Oireachtas Education Committee. Since my election, I have spoken numerous times in the Dáil about our schools and our education system. I have called for the restoration of ex-quota guidance allocation in second-level schools, and I have asked the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton to address the huge inequality in the teaching profession, where newly qualified teachers are paid considerably less than their colleagues for doing the same work. I have also spoken on how I strongly believe we need to reform fundamentally the schools admission practices in all State-funded schools to ensure equality of access, participation and opportunity in our schools. I have met with Minister Bruton to discuss the inclusion of wellbeing and resilience into the school curriculum. I will continue to be a constructive voice in the 32nd Dáil for our children and the entire educational system.
Your new green voice in Dublin Rathdown
Dáil Report – March to July “Newly elected Green Party TD Catherine Martin delivered a strong maiden speech in the Dáil on Thursday in which she urged the two main parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, to cease their political grandstanding and give the electorate what it wants: stable government” Irish Times - 15th April 2016
On 15th April I delivered my maiden speech in Dáil Éireann, 47 days after the start of the negotiations for Government. I was genuinely frustrated and exasperated by the delay in forming a stable government, as I felt that it was up to all of the parties to make the 32nd Dáil work. I pointed out to the major parties that no single party won the general election and it was time to put our country first and form a government.
“Government formation should not be hijacked by self-serving party political concerns.”
M’óráid ar stádas na Gaeilge
On 18th May I spoke in the Dáil on how I believe Ireland needs to cherish and nourish our Irish language heritage and rights. Whilst Irish in many urban areas is flourishing it is ironic that state support services for Gaeltacht communities are floundering. So that sustainability of our Celtic language Gaeltacht families can be realised commitment to investment is necessary to stem the decline of Gaeltacht areas. Is féidir éisteacht le m’óráid ar stádas na teanga agus níos tábhachtaí fós, meath na teanga sa Ghaeltacht, ar mo leathanach Facebook. Feictear dom go bhfuil dea-thoil i leith na Gaeilge sa Dáil agus leanfaidh mé ag labhairt as Gaeilge go minic chun a léiriú don Rialtas go gcaithfear aird a thabhairt ar chearta teanga ionas gur féidir freastal ar riachtanais mhuintir na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre. Cé go bhfuil borradh faoin nGaeilge faoi láthair, tá todhchaí na Gaeltachta i mbaol go fóill. Caithfear infheistíocht a dhéanamh i seirbhísí tacaíochta na Gaeltachta gan mhoill.
Meanwhile in Dublin Rathdown... 1 16 13:08 Page ayout 1 15/04/20
Furlong Councillor Karen Green Party
hdown Dún Laoghaire-Rat nty Hall, County Council, Cou 9 Dublin. A96 K6C Dún Laoghaire, Co. 3 Mobile: 087 357499 urlong Twitter: @karenff cllr.dlrcoco.ie Email: kfurlong@
Our new Green Party Councillor Karen Furlong Karen was co-opted in March 2016 as my replacement on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, representing the Dundrum Local Electoral Area. She has deep roots in the constituency, having grown up in Taney and attended Holy Cross National School, Our Lady’s Grove and then UCD. She has worked in management consulting, IT, Financial Services and Not-for-Profits; she has served on the Board of Dundrum Credit Union and she is the Chairperson of Eco Unesco (an environmental NGO). Karen has thrown herself into her new role and is enjoying meeting and engaging with people from all over the Dundrum area. If you have any issues or concerns, please give her a call or drop her an email.
Glenalbyn Swimming Pool Update
Unfortunately, the saga of Glenalbyn Swimming Pool continues. I remain of the view that the best option would be to rebuild the pool on the existing site and this is backed up by many local people I have spoken to. We requested an update from the County Council and received this disappointing response: “Atkins Consultants have been engaged by the Council to progress preliminary design proposals for the two options of a swimming pool in Stillorgan. They commenced work on the project on the 1st February 2016 and have now prepared a draft report on the options. The Council now needs to engage with Kilmacud Crokes regarding a number of issues relating to their lands which encompass the Glenalbyn Pool site owned by the Council, before we can finalise the report on the options for the Councilto consider. It is anticipated that the proposal’s would be presented to a Council meeting in September 2016. Included in the consultants brief is the requirement to provide an order of the magnitude of the costs.”
Mental health and wellbeing
On 26th April I had the opportunity to speak in the Dáil on mental health. I have been speaking out on the importance of mental health for a long time, and I feel very strongly that our young people’s resilience and wellbeing should be paramount. Our children need to be ready for challenges and to have the toolbox of skills to cope in crisis. We need to incorporate within our education system a mechanism for assessing children for their unique strengths, and instead of trying to fit our children into a rigid curriculum, the curriculum needs to be a better fit for our children. Schools should be empowered with the facilities and resources to assess children for their inner strengths, knowing that when children tap into them they will walk taller, learn better and be happier inside. Our young people’s sense of wellbeing should be at the heart of education.
Speaking in the Dáil on 15th June in defence of Newly Qualified Teachers
“But what I do not hear or see today is any indication by the Minister to address the huge inequality of treatment in the teaching profession, not a two-tier but a three-tier system where newly qualified teachers earn over 20% less than their colleagues although they are doing the exact same job with the exact same responsibilities, side by side, classroom by classroom.”
Speaking in the Dáil on 27th June on the implications of Brexit for Ireland and the EU
“While the referendum on Brexit was decided by a myriad of forces at play and it will require the fullness of time to assess in the cold light of day why people vote the way they did – we must, of course, first and foremost respect the democratic decision taken by our neighbours. It would be very foolish of the EU not to sit up and accept some responsibility for the outcome of the result because, however strong the toxic pervading force of intolerance may be, this did not singlehandedly cause the result. The EU has played into the hands of extremists and racists by compounding instead of tackling the disconnect felt by so many individual EU citizens who feel left behind, forgotten and disadvantaged in what they perceive to be an EU that has become, primarily, serving and benefitting an elite or privileged class and not there to support the vulnerable or weak. But now is the time for calm and reflection. The principle the EU was founded on was one of ‘together we are better’ – these are principles of mutuality, respect and co-operation. . . The potential of the EU to heal and bring stability is needed again, and it is shame this potential for good was hardly featured during the recent referendum campaign in the U.K. We, now more than ever before, must in our individual capacity as EU citizens implore Ireland as a Member State to emphasise and extoll the potential for good which the EU can be.”
I’ve had the opportunity to visit several schools in the past few months, and have been delighted to see the excellent work they have been doing in raising awareness about protecting our environment. 15 schools in the constituency were awarded Green Flags this year, which is a real sign that our young people are genuinely committed to looking after our planet. Our young people are inspirational role models. In recent months, I have been delighted to visit Queen of Angels in Balally, Wesley College in Ballinteer, St Mary’s NS in Sandyford, St Laurence’s in Kilmacud, and Mount Anville Montessori Junior School.
Our national parliament should be accessible to all. I have had visits from Queen of Angels, St Tiernan’s Community School, and many constituents with issues they want to see addressed. It’s an honour for me to have people in to visit me in Leinster House and I’m encouraged there is such interest and curiosity in how our parliament works.
I will continue to be a voice in the 32nd Dáil for: 1.
Equality of access and opportunity in education
2. Investing in housing, health and wellbeing, our local communities and crime prevention services 3. Placing climate issues and solutions to the forefront 4. Creating jobs in an innovative green economy
Resiliance, our children and our wellbeing.
5. Ensuring fair, transparent and effective governance of our country
Preserving our green spaces – the Dodder Greenway
The Dodder Greenway is a truly beautiful amenity in our constituency, and I have spent many happy hours exploring it with my family and friends. We need to protect and cherish this resource and I encourage you to explore its many diverse beauties and to help maintain it. This route is being worked on and consultations are ongoing with the community. There is also a local group called Dodder Action which works to protect the river, and you can find them at their website www.dodderactiondublin.com or join them on Facebook. Milltown
Listening to you
USEFUL CONTACT INFO: 24 Hour Emergency Services DLR County Council 01 677 8844 ESB 1050 372 999 Gas Networks Ireland 1850 20 50 50 Dundrum Garda Station 01 666 5600 HSE Infoline 1850 24 18 50
Did you know? Age Action offer the following services in Dublin Rathdown:
� ‘Care-and-Repair Programme’ carries out minor repairs for older and vulnerable people free of charge – 1890 369 369 � ‘Getting Started Computer Training Programme’ delivers one-to-one training on computers, tablets and smartphones for people over the age of 55. Age Action are always looking for new volunteers to help out on Care and Repair and Getting Started – please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jenny or Rachel on 01 475 6989!
Catherine Martin T.D. * Catherine.Martin@oireachtas.ie
✆ 01 618 3018
I have thoroughly enjoyed walking the length and breadth of the constituency over the past few years. I fully intend to keep doing this. I will also be holding constituency clinics very soon. I encourage you to contact me with any issues or ideas you have. You are very welcome to visit me, or if you are part of a community group I would be delighted to host you in Leinster House. You can contact my constituency secretary Donal Swan to arrange same at email@example.com or 01 618 3459