People Before Profit
Dublin Mid-West Constituency Office: 01 403 0007 Dáil Éireann Office: 01 618 3816
Gino Kenny TD
Gino Kenny TD @ginosocialist
NORTH CLONDALKIN LIBRARY The new North Clondalkin Library has opened. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions they have only been providing a click and collect service. Hopefully when Level 5 restrictions are lifted the library can open for visitors. The state-of-the-art facility includes computer facilities and meeting rooms, and they are already hosting events for all ages (currently online only). For decades the community of North Clondalkin campaigned for a library for the ever-expanding population. When it finally opens to the public it will be a huge asset to the locality and beyond. For more information go to SDCC’s website or find the North Clondalkin Library page on Facebook.
DYING WITH DIGNITY BILL 2020
Launching the Dying with Dignity Bill with Vicky Phelan, Tom Curran and Gail O’Rorke outside Leinster House.
Last month I introduced the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020. This legislation will give the legal and medical provision to those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness which is progressive, incurable and likely to lead to the persons death the choice to have a peaceful end to their life.
Before the debate had begun, I had called on the three government 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 contributors are invited from a broad spectrum of the debate around the issue of voluntary assisted dying. At the end of that process which could take up to six months a report is issued by the committee making sadfkjasldkfjalskdjf recommendations to the Dáil. I look forward to a rationale and respectful debate. Below is a link to the Dying with Dignity Bill. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2020/24/
DEBENHAMS WORKERS FIGHTING FOR A FAIR REDUNDANCY
ONE PARENT FAMILY PAYMENT
In March, Debenhams used the cover of Covid 19 to sack more than 1,200 workers. Although the company increased their sales in recent years these workers were sacked without redundancy. The company also has more than €25 million in stock, but it claims it has no money to pay staff who have served Debenhams for decades. To make matters worse, Irish law puts workers at the back of the queue when the company’s assets are sold. Despite this, the workers have been fighting heroically for more than 220 days. They are fighting for their own redundancy and for workers who might find themselves in a similar position. To resolve one the longest disputes in Irish history the workers need the government to allow them to move to the top of the creditors list. This would allow them to get two weeks redundancy for every year of service to the company.
An article in the Irish Examiner detailing harassment to lone parents by social welfare inspectors, is reflective in calls TD’s office receive from lone parents, and to campaign groups like SPARK. I have requested the Minister seeks a review of these invasive inspections by her Department, as is advised by C&AG report the Governments own watchdog.
If you would like to support the workers, you can contact 0834606313 and sign a petition to be given to local government TD’s.
The report also showed that both schemes had less than 5% over payments and were low in comparison to any other social welfare payments. However, despite this evidence, lone parents were subjected to a more intense review of their payment. This intense review for many lone parents amounts to ongoing harassment, unnecessary house visits, and often bizarre and impossible paperwork requests to continue a payment. The poverty rates in one parent households is a sad reflection of how we treat single mothers in this country, and this is compounded with living in fear of social welfare cuts.
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. There is still a unacceptable delay in the formal commencement of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme which was underpinned by a change in the law in June 2019. It’s imperative that families, patients and campaigners who have fought a hard battle to get the government to recognise that cannabis can be a medical treatment for a variety of conditions commence the programme so these medicines can be for the first time prescribed under the proscription. 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 Occupied Territories Bill. WE NEED A ZERO COVID STRATEGY People Before Profit are calling for a Zero Covid strategy. This would mean reducing levels of Covid to a point where we have eliminated community transmission and where we can test, trace and isolate every case. While the government’s failures have meant we would require a period of restrictions now, a Zero Covid strategy would mean living without restrictions in the medium to long term, as well as avoiding thousands of deaths. Some of the measures we would need are: - Use this period of restrictions to prepare for a Zero COVID-19 strategy – building All Ireland testing and tracing capacity, carrying out necessary works on schools and hospitals, hiring and resourcing healthcare systems to be resilient and remain open for non-covid care. - The full restoration of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, support for small businesses, a freeze on all rents and mortgages, and a ban on evictions until elimination of community transmission has been maintained for a period for at least 6 months . - Private hospitals to be taken into public ownership. Pay restoration and hazard pay for frontline workers. - Address concerns of specific groups of workers who fell through the cracks during the first wave, in the Taxi, Arts and Entertainment industries. - Given the failure of the Tory government to assist the North, the Southern government should create a special solidarity fund to assist the six counties in coping with Covid-19. For a more detailed look at our proposals, go to www.pbp.ie for our document: “Zero-Covid Strategy: A Roadmap”
STUDENTS WORKING IN HEALTH SERVICE MUST BE PAID FOR PLACEMENT
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, student nurses, midwives, physios, radiographers and other healthcare students have been working on unpaid placements in our health service. They have performed essential work that the state has leaned heavily on because of their own failure to address the recruitment and retention crisis. Former Minister for Health Simon Harris declared that student nurses would be paid during the first wave of Covid, but this was a con - more were taken on as Health Care Assistants, had always been an option. But they have never been paid for placement. Student nurses in particular are negatively impacted by this. They cannot take paid work as HCAs in alternative health care settings while on placement because of the risk of spreading the virus. This puts massive strain on the students, who may be forced to choose between continuing their studies or working as HCAs in order to get by. It’s time for this government to recognise the invaluable work these students are doing, the risks they are taking for public health, and to pay all student health workers for the work they do on placements.
DÁIL HEALTH COMMITTEE I am delighted to have been appointed Health Spokesperson for People Before Profit and a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health where I intend to seek answers and action on key challenges facing our health service such as Covid-19, waiting lists, mental health and staffing issues including poor treatment of essential workers such as student nurses. At a local level I am keen to address issues around access to health care for residents in Dublin Mid West including primary and community care as well as GP surgeries. Our health is our wealth as they say. Unfortunately in Ireland, health is wealth for people like Denis O’Brien and Larry Goodman who have vast interest in the private hospital and health sector. We in People Before Profit believe this is wrong and that we should have one broad and well resourced public health service. In these Covid times in particular we have seen the importance of access to health and the essential contribution of health workers. Covid has also shown us the importance of a whole island and unified response to health care. I will be using my position on the Health Committee to argue for a one tier public health system for the whole island of Ireland that provides good quality and accessible health care for all.
People Before Profit NEWSLETTER PLAYGROUND & TEEN SPACE COLLINSTOWN
NEILSTOWN SHOPPING CENTRE SELECTED FOR UPGRADE
The new playground in Collinstown Park opened during the summer and is a great amenity for the area. There is also a teen space being built beside the playground. The teen space is specifically designed for teenagers and will include a cycle track, parkour equipment, WIFI and socialising hubs. It’s important that young people have their own spaces to socialise and engage in activities and exercise.
Neilstown shopping centre has been selected for the new District Centre Enhancement Programme by the council. It will see upgrades to the car park and public spaces in the centre as well as new lighting and signage. It will make it easier for people to access the centre if walking or cycling. Cllr Madeleine Johansson and I will be requesting that recycling facilities are included in the design. The detailed design will be done in early 2021 and the works will be completed by winter 2021
NEW BUS SERVICE FOR PALMERSTOWN WOODS Recently the NTA published the new BusConnects plan and I was delighted to see the introduction of a bus service that will go past Palmerstown Woods.
working with Gino Kenny TD
The new number 60 bus will go from the Red Cow to the city centre via Cherry Orchard once an hour. I met with the NTA twice and we raised the issue of the estate not having any public bus service. It is envisaged that the service could be operational by the end 2021.
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.
Cllr. Madeleine Johansson 087 3630242 firstname.lastname@example.org Cllr Madeleine Johansson
For Information on People Before Profit
Gino Kenny T.D. 085 7211574 www.ginokenny.com email@example.com
Text 087 283 9964
People Before Profit North Clondalkin Newsletter Autumn 2020