With your Number 1 vote on Saturday, February 8th, I will work as your local TD to deliver on the priorities which I have outlined below:
My manifesto for Dublin Fingal, and how I will work for you:
The enhancement of our public transport infrastructure is of the utmost importance in order to provide our communities in the North County with the transport systems we require. It is essential that we also develop our transport infrastructure in a manner which is informed by our responsibilities regarding climate action. I am committed to ensuring this requirement remains as one of the foremost considerations in all future public transport decisions.
The DART extension to serve the stations of Donabate, Rush & Lusk, Skerries and Balbriggan is vital in order to increase capacity on the Northern Commuter Line, provide commuters with the services they both require and deserve, and take traffic off our roads. The work to make this project a reality and best serve those travelling for work and study from the North County is on-going and the project scheduled to be completed by 2024. In the interim, through the use of 41 new carriages, peak-time capacity on the Northern Commuter Line will be increased by 34% by the end of 2021.
Ground investigations for the MetroLink project have begun in Swords to help inform the design and development of the project, which include drilling boreholes and associated support works.
MetroLink will provide a vital connection between Swords and its surrounding communities with the Airport and the City Centre. This high-capacity, high-frequency rail will be an essential element of our transport infrastructure creating fully integrated public transport in the Greater Dublin Area.
The preferred route for MetroLink involves a total of 15 new stations, 3,000 additional Park and Ride spaces, and a journey time of approximately 25 minutes from Swords to City Centre. The MetroLink project remains on track to be completed in 2027.
The underlying requirement when it comes to BusConnects is that all communities receive a service. The BusConnects proposal has been changed since its first iteration, and the current plans do represent a better deal for most communities in the North County. However, I believe the Bus Connects proposals could be improved to better serve some communities in Dublin Fingal. If returned to Dáil Éireann, as your representative, I will work to deliver that better deal for those communities who require increased bus services.
Cycling infrastructure is largely inadequate as it currently stands. It is vital that we support the development of better cycling infrastructure both to encourage cycling instead of vehicle use where appropriate, but also to protect cyclists on our roads. Furthermore, I support the regulation of e-scooters.
Climate action initiatives are of the foremost importance in tackling the of climate change. In order to protect our environment for our generation, and future generations, we must work to ensure our climate is considered in relation to every single decision any future Government takes.
In Ireland, we have the potential to become a world leader on addressing climate change and this is a potential we must realise. We must work towards developing a carbon neutral society. In order to do so, I will work to support plans to increase the number of people who use electric vehicles, develop a more sustainable public transport system, make cycling more attractive, get rid of single-use plastics, and support the Fine Gael goal of generating 70% of or energy from renewable sources.
Capacity is an issue which has faced many families in the North County over the last number of years. With the youngest population in the state, it is essential that we have adequate capacity at both primary and secondary level to ensure every child can get a school place in their own community. With your support on election day, I will strive to ensure we continue to work to make this a reality in every town and village in Dublin Fingal.
We must also prioritise the delivery of more ASD units and access to SNAs to ensure every child receives the support they require and to empower them to reap the greatest possible benefit from their time in education. While we have made progress on this in recent years, much more work remains to be done. If returned as your local TD, delivering the educational infrastructure our communities require will remain one of my foremost priorities.
Childcare costs must be sustainable for families, and it is vital that we continue to build on childcare supports and tackle the burden of childcare costs facing families. As such, if re-elected on February 8th, I am committed to supporting the provision of increased childcare subsidies to alleviate childcare related costs, extending parental leave to allow both parents to spend more time with their children.
We must ensure childcare is more accessible and more affordable for families, while also making sure those working in the sector receive the supports they require during their career.
Delivering greater levels of social and affordable housing is essential in ensuring those who are in need of a home have one, that those who want to get on to the property ladder but cannot afford to are provided with that opportunity, and that those renting have rents that they can afford.
In Fingal, we have both construction works, and works to open up lands for construction, underway at sites in Donabate, Oldtown/Mooretown in Swords, Lusk, Balbriggan and Skerries. These works will deliver more affordable and social housing units. However, this is not enough, we must continue to build throughout the North County to deliver the housing infrastructure we need, and to ensure those in need have somewhere to live. Fine Gael in Government are working to utilise every possible avenue to deliver more social and affordable housing including spending €6 billion to bring 50,000 social homes on-stream.
I am committed to supporting initiatives which build upon the progress we have made thus far and which will deliver more social and affordable homes throughout this constituency.
Throughout the Brexit negotiations, Fine Gael have worked to ensure the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area are protected, and that there is no hard border on the island of Ireland. However, now we move into the critical phase of negotiating a long-term future relationship between the EU and the UK. We need to ensure this deal is in Ireland’s best interests and protects our economy. Fine Gael is committed to delivering the best deal for our country, and having delivered for our country in the first phase of the Brexit negotiations, Fine Gael’s strong team will, with your support, deliver again for our country in these vital trade negotiations.
It is essential that we continue to increase the number of Gardaí in An Garda Síochána, and on our streets. With on-going Garda recruitment, Fine Gael is committed to doing this, and to ensuring we have a visible Garda presence which ensure people feel safe on our local streets and in their own homes. An Garda Síochána now has 14,300 Garda members who are supported by 2,900 Garda staff nationwide. Fine Gael in Government are committed to increasing the number of active Garda members to 15,000 by 2021.
As a former member of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, I have continuously voiced concerns in relation to the number of Gardaí and Garda vehicles on our streets. This is an issue that I am determined to continue my work on in the next Dáil if you support me on election day.
A change of approach is required to address issues within our health system. All of the main political parties in our political system have signed up to the implementation of the Sláintecare, which aims to transform our health and social care system. Sláintecare is a ten-year programme and it aims to achieve a universal, single-tier health system which people access on the basis of need rather than their ability to pay. If re-elected as your local Fine Gael TD, I will support measures which work to achieving this goal, and providing everyone in the North County and across our country with a much-improved health system which caters to the needs of all individuals.