People Before Profit
Dublin Mid-West Constituency Office: 01 403 0007 Dáil Éireann Office: 01 618 3816
Gino Kenny TD
Gino Kenny TD @ginosocialist
NO CITY CENTRE BUS FOR NEWCASTLE AT OFF-PEAK In the updated BusConnects plan the 68 bus will be scrapped. To replace it there will be a peak time service X56 to the city centre and a local route 56 to the Red Cow at non-peak hours. The X56 replaces the 68X and there will be one leaving Newcastle in the morning and one leaving the city centre in the evening. The new 56 route will go from Newcastle to the Red Cow via Clondalkin and will be every 60 minutes. There will be no bus to the city centre at non-peak times. There will be a new W6 route running from Maynooth to Tallaght via Hazelhatch and Newcastle. This could connect people with the train and/or the Luas. If you have any concerns about this proposal, please let us know.
DYING WITH DIGNITY BILL parties to grant a vote of conscience if any of relevant government parties had not formulated a position on the issue. The government put an amendment to the bill calling for a special committee on the issue which would report back to the Dáil within 12 months with recommendations. People Before Profit and parties of the opposition rejected this on the basis that it would unduly delay the bill and the issue. A vote was taking on the 7th October and the government amendment was defeated. The vote to progress the bill to the next stage of the process was voted by 81 for and 71 against. The bill will now go to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality for detailed scrutiny. In this process Launching the Dying with Dignity Bill with Vicky Phelan, Tom Curran contributors are invited from a broad spectrum of the debate and Gail O’Rorke outside Leinster House. around the issue of voluntary assisted dying. At the end of Last month I introduced the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020. that process which could take up to six months a report is sadfkjasldkfjalskdjf This legislation will give the legal and medical provision to issued by the committee making recommendations to the those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness which Dáil. I look forward to a rationale and respectful debate. is progressive, incurable and likely to lead to the persons Below is a link to the Dying with Dignity Bill. death the choice to have a peaceful end to their life. Before https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2020/24/ the debate had begun, I had called on the three government
SUPPORT OUR TEACHERS. KEEP OUR SCHOOLS SAFE
ASTI have balloted for strike over the unsafe working conditions in schools. Since schools have opened, there are claims of over 100 schools that have had Covid-19 cases. These have been underreported in the media, with teachers and parents left to keep track of where cases arise on social media. Teachers are also not being defined as “close contacts” even when cases occur in schools. They are rightly worried about the lack of PPE, test availability and test turnaround times, provisions for high risk teachers and resources to facilitate remote teaching and learning. For many vulnerable teachers, the necessary safety measures could be a matter of life or death. It is not just ASTI teachers that have cause for concern. 428 primary schools have lost a teacher in the new term, further adding to overcrowding in classrooms. Teacher pupil ratios in Ireland were already some of the highest in Europe before this pandemic due to underfunding of our education system. The government is determined to keep schools open at all costs because they need parents back in work to serve business interests. They are also playing the right to an education against the right of workers to be safe. Moreover, they are risking further spread of Covid-19 into the wider community, putting more people in danger. as schools could become a vector for spreading Covid-19 again in the community. People Before Profit will be in full support of the ASTI teachers if they choose to go on strike. Our teachers’ work environment is our children’s learning environment and we should refuse to be forced into choosing between education and safety. Both should be possible - but it will require the kind of investment into education that successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments have refused to provide for decades.
PUBLIC ENQUIRY NEEDED INTO COVID DEATHS IN NURSING HOMES.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the dysfunctional nature of the nursing home system. Nursing home residents represent 56% of all COVID-19 deaths in Ireland. The nursing care sector rather than being recognised as a critical area for potential outbreaks was deprioritized in the initial response to COVID-19. Staff shortages, lack of PPE and access to testing quickly became major issues. The policy of outsourcing care to private nursing homes, treated as outside the broader health and social care system, saw them excluded from the initial public health response. Going forward as suggested by the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report August 2020 there needs to be greater integration and more clinical governance over all types of nursing homes. And as advocates for the elderly have been saying for a long time, we need to ensure better community supports are in place to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible.
CLIMATE CRISIS AND COVID-19 The continuing climate crisis has been pushed to the side-lines during the Covid-19 global pandemic. But the link between the two is clearer than many might think. The capitalist drive for profits has produced industrial meat farming on a gigantic scale. More and more land is being taken over for agriculture with massive deforestation and biodiversity loss. Scientists agree that this has increased the possibility of new viruses such as coronavirus SARSCOV2 spreading from animals to humans. The same activities that most likely contributed to the emergence of Covid-19 also have devastating consequences for our climate. But the Covid-19 crisis also provides us with an opportunity to change how we live and work. Working from home has reduced transport emissions. Many people have found solace in nature and gardening. But we need change on an international scale to really combat the climate crisis, including massive reforestation, a ban on fossil fuels, and a reorganisation of society in the interest of people not profits.
People Before Profit NEWSLETTER Occupied Territories Bill. NEW GOVERNMENT. A NEW START ON HOUSING?
DEBENHAMS WORKERS FIGHTING FOR A FAIR REDUNDANCY
In the February election, people rejected both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who are now at their lowest level of support in 100 years. Their refusal to tackle landlords and vulture funds pushed hundreds onto the streets during the last government, and now we are seeing more of the same. In the new programme for government the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green party coalition has drastically reduced their commitment to building social housing and have now rejected People Before Profit’s call to extend the ban on evictions. We are now seeing landlords and vulture funds evicting tenants in the middle of a pandemic, with 10 deaths of homeless people in Dublin for July alone. In both South Dublin County Council and the Dáil, People Before Profit have been fighting to end this homelessness crisis. We have been fighting against the sell-off of public land to private developers, we have been fighting for more social housing and a complete ban on evictions.
Throughout this Coronavirus crisis, the Debenhams workers have continued their struggle for fair and decent redundancy packages. Eleven Debenhams stores operated in Ireland earlier this year but following the mass closures during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Irish Debenhams Stores went into liquidation with over 1000 staff directly affected. Offering the workers, the most basic statutory redundancy package of two weeks’ pay for every year worked, this was to be capped at 600 euro a week, plus one additional week added to the overall redundancy. Staff are demanding a fairer redundancy deal of four weeks for every year worked. Since the closure, Debenhams workers have picketed the stores in pursuit of this redundancy package. The workers are holding 24/7 pickets on the various Debenhams stores to prevent the removal of stock as employees argue that the value of the merchandise could be used to pay towards fairer redundancy packages.
MEDICAL CANNABIS ACCESS PROGRAMME As of going to print nearly fifty people have been granted ministerial medical cannabis licences in the state. This gives the licence holder – who in most circumstances is the parent of a child – the legal right to secure the provision of a medical cannabis product. During the public health emergency, the Department of Health made provision for those licence holders to have their prescription delivered from the Netherlands by courier. This was welcomed but major problems still exist in relation to reimbursement which can be arbitrary, and the unacceptable delay in the formal commencement of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme. I will continue to raise this issue with the new health minister and the government. With Vera Twomey who campaigned for her daughter Ava to get access to medical cannabis
People Before Profit NEWSLETTER TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN RATHCOOLE & NEWCASTLE
LACK OF YOUTH FACILITIES IN NEWCASTLE
Traffic continues to be a serious problem in both Rathcoole and Newcastle. With further planning permissions being submitted for housing traffic issues will continue to increase in coming years. We need a huge investment in public transport to avoid this in the short term. In the long-term further infrastructure is required such as a second junction on to the N7. With planning permission granted for over 400 new homes in Ballynakelly there is an urgent need to deal with traffic congestion in the area. We need more innovative ways to deal with traffic, such as a focus on making cycling safer for children and young people. Proper off-road cycle lanes are necessary to make cycling safer particularly because of the amount of HGVâ€™s in Newcastle. More community infrastructure and amenities are needed in the area to reduce the need for cars.
Newcastle has a lot of young people, and the population will be growing with further housing developments coming. But there is a lack of services and facilities for young people in the area.
Recently I made a submission to An Bord Plaenala in relation to the new Cairn Homes development that will see a community building converted into apartments. I, together with residents, called for this building to be used as a facility for young people. Unfortunately, Cairn Homes were given permission to convert the building into apartments. I will continue to highlight for more funding for youth services and more facilities for young people in the area. The construction of housing needs to be accompanied by provision of local community amenities.
working with Gino Kenny TD
Dublin Mid West Representatives
People Before Profit Constituency Office Unit 3 Monastery Rd, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. 01-4030007 Open to the Public. Monday 12.30pm-2.30pm. Wednesday 12.30pm-2.30pm. All Other Times by Appointment.
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For Information on People Before Profit
Gino Kenny T.D. Phone: 085 7211574 www.ginokenny.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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People Before Profit Newcastle Newsletter Autumn 2020