Submission to the Local Area Plan (LAP)

A submission was made to the Local Area Plan (LAP) on behalf of the Sinn Féin McCabe Quigley Cumann Ballymun by Cumann members Ann O’Sullivan, Eamonn Nolan, Martin Mathews, Maureen Mathews and Mick Dowling and by Sinn Féin public representatives Cllr. Cathleen Carney Boud and Dessie Ellis TD.

Please Click on the  PDF for the submission

Submission to LAP (PDF)

Cabinet has not discussed the recent increase in bin charges

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Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis raised the matter of certain bin companies breaking their agreement on pay by weight with the Government. The Dublin North-West TD raised that matter in Leinster House today, saying afterwards:

“I asked the Taoiseach if the Government had any plans to deal with the breach of the agreement by bin companies in regards to the pay by weight scheme that was agreed last summer. It was clear at the time that waste management companies were abusing the proposed legislation and using it to jack up prices by including a standard charge on all bins as well as a pay by weight charge.

“It is clear this week that certain companies are now disregarding any agreement with Government and starting to charge for black bins over a certain weight.

“In response, the Taoiseach replied that this issue was not discussed at Cabinet Meetings. This is simply amazing as it is an important part of legislation that affects people on a daily basis.

“This issue needs to be addressed immediately and the Minister and Cabinet need to discuss this to stop people being gouged. The Government now need to revisit the whole situation and  I firmly believe the only way to have an environmentally sound and fair waste system is put waste management back into the hands of the local authorities.”

Minister Naughten must intervene in new pay-by-weight bin charges.

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Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten to intervene to stop bin companies charging extra for bins which is outside their agreement with the government.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“Certain bin companies are starting to charge customers for black bins over a certain weight. They are doing this outside of the agreement with the Government after the pay-by-weight bin charges system was delayed last year. I have been dealing with the confusion and the fear that the pay-by-weight bin charges have raised in households since last summer.

“The nature of the waste charges structure meant that some customers have to pay twice in one calendar year for a yearly contract and now if you skip a week and not put out your bin to save money, you are penalised with an extra charge. This directly affects the people who are struggling financially.

“The introduction of pay by weight has been shambolic from the start with bin companies gouging customers and the government just kicking the can down the road by deferring the decision.

“Last June, I said that only by annulling the new legislation, which has forced price hikes on waste collection, can fairer systems be established and put into place. The only real solution to any further issues that will arise around bin charges, the Minister needs to put waste management back into the hands of the Local Authorities.”

Action needs to be taken to ease Dublin’s transport crisis

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Speaking in Leinster House last night on Sinn Féin’s amendment to Fianna Fáil’s Transport Bill, Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis said:

“The current situation in regards to transport trends within the Greater Dublin Area is un-sustainable, congestion is increasing, transport emissions are growing, economic competitiveness is suffering and quality of life for commuters and inhabitants is declining. We are in a situation where to rent a house stretches most people financially and to own a house is beyond the means of most people. And on top of that, we are spending more and more time commuting especially from the outskirts to Dublin. Dublin is a city under severe pressure with no sign of a let up.

“Our amendment to this PMB aims to kick-start the process of planning a city that will match and exceed the projected rise in population in the Greater Dublin Area. Now is the time to start that process and to fast track the numerous plans for an increase in infrastructure to provide for the future?

“In Dublin North West, two major projects would increase capacity, the metro north through Ballymun and the extension of the Luas to Finglas, and I would also contend that those two lines should be joined up in the future. The benefits for Dublin, the airport and surrounding areas are obvious. Thousands of cars will essentially be removed from our streets, improving the environment of Dublin City. Jobs will also be created both during and after construction.

“This is the situation we are looking at either we build the capacity now or suffer in the future. It is imperative that the Government commitments to these services are fully implemented as the alternative of an increased population and underdeveloped transport infrastructure will strangle the city both socially and economically.”

A 24/7 crisis intervention services for mental health is needed immediately.

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Speaking last night in Leinster House, Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis said that the Fianna Fáil mental health amendment Bill has positive aspects but does not go far enough and a strong, rights-based approach should be front and centre of any legislation.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“This state over the years has abdicated its duty of care to many sections of our communities. We are slowly very slowly, coming into line where we treat all citizens of this nation equally. This motion is welcome as it is a positive improvement on current legislation.

“However, it does not go far enough as it fails to establish a strong, rights-based approach which should meet the standard set by the convention on the rights of people with a disability, which this house must ratify without delay. It does not provide for strengthening of rights to advocacy or assistance in making these decisions regarding care or no right to an independent second opinion in the determining of capacity.

“Any positive change has to be welcomed and so the amendment changing the definition of a ‘voluntary patient’ to include only people who have capacity to make their own decisions (with support if required) and who do give their consent to admission to hospital is an important distinction. Despite the changes especially in this aspect if the government does not support the work of the health services it will still not be enough.

“Access and availability of services locally and in our communities need to be resourced properly. The work being done on mental health by voluntary groups and individuals are saving this country money and more importantly lives. I commend all those who give time, energy, and commitment but at the moment there is a huge deficit in our system as at weekends or after hours on a weekday, services are not available.

“A 24/7 crisis intervention services for mental health is needed immediately.”

Jobstown Trial ‘ludicrous’

Dessie Ellis TD speaking at 2015 Ard Fheis

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that it is ridiculous that the Jobstown trial has reached this stage and that people are being prosecuted for engaging in legitimate protest.

Speaking after attending the court today, the Dublin North West TD said:

“I cannot believe that it has come to this where people are being tried for legitimate protest and the state now seeks to brand them as criminals and possibly imprison them.

“To trump up the charge to false imprisonment seems ludicrous and diminishes that very serious charge. Strict controls on who was eligible for jury selection only further demonstrate the level of paranoia with which the state views the anti-water charges movement. To say that having expressed an opinion on water charges on social media would impact on the ability of a juror to impartially determine the guilt or innocence of someone accused of the crime of false imprisonment goes against the essence of a fair trial.

“The seven defendants deserve, first and foremost, a trial before a jury of their peers and they most certainly do not deserve a charge of false imprisonment, one which in this case carries a possible life sentence is too far a step entirely.”

The removal from office of Commissioner O’Sullivan would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána

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Sinn Féin are bringing this private members business  to the house tonight in the best interest of this state and also that the removal from office of Commissioner O’Sullivan would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána.”

As a society we need a policing service that prosecutes the law without fear or favour, that anyone from Dublin to Cork is entitled to a force that serves them fairly.

Also as a society we need a Garda force thats accountable, representative of the community and held to the highest professional and ethical standards.

There are a number of reports into Garda misconduct over the last number of years and each report erodes the public confidence in the Gardai and the Garda management. The recent Garda errors which led to the wrongful conviction of 14,700 people for motoring offences and to 937,000 breath tests being wrongly recorded on the Pulse system is just another case of mind-blowing corruption or sheer incompetence. 14,700 wrongly convicted and that let me tell you this may only be the tip of the iceberg.  It’s also being our experience that calls made to local Garda Stations are not registered on the PULSE system and hence we are not seeing a true picture of what happens based on actual reporting of crime.

What this motion aims to do, is to start a process that will make the senior Garda management responsible for the actions of the force and the need to hold the police and criminal justice systems to account on the basis of fairness, impartiality and objectivity. We are not going to change how we do policing in Ireland until we change the system. This is the crisis point; any hesitation from the government at this stage in dealing with these major issues will only further erode the public confidence in An Garda Síochána.  It has come to the point that the Garda Commissioner does not enjoy the confidence of the Dáil and more importantly she does not enjoy public confidence and therefore has no choice but show a strong lead in accountability and go.

Loss of Jobs in Office Direct/Viking Direct ‘a severe blow to employees, their families and the wider community’

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Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis has said that the loss of between 65-85 jobs in Office Direct/Viking Direct in Rosemount Business Park is devastating news for the community and local economy.

The Dublin North-West TD said:

“A majority of the employees have worked with the company for over ten years and now are being made redundant on statutory redundancy.  The company notified the employees last February that their operation is moving to England.  Office Direct/Viking Direct is a major supplier of office goods to such companies as City Bank, Allied Irish Bank, the Prison Service, and various Government Departments.

“Considering that the company changed their contract arrangements around redundancy packages in November of last year, it is very convenient that redundancies became available a few months later.  Not only does this impact on those who lose their jobs but also has a knock-on effect on the local economy as these wages are removed.

“I would call on management at the company to work with staff and trade unions to ensure that a fair deal for the workers is achieved. They should also make sure that retraining and upskilling opportunities are put in place for the workers involved to help them secure alternative employment. Though we are meant to undergoing an economic recovery, it is not a fair recovery for all citizens and certainly not a recovery for those at Office Direct/Viking Direct.”

Minister needs to keep his word and support water committee report.

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Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that Minister Simon Coveney must legislate on the basis of the Oireachtas Water Committee report to abolish domestic water charges for good.

Speaking today, Deputy Ellis said:

“The Oireachtas Water Committee report has laid out the pathway for the abolition of water charges. It is now up to Minister to accept this as he said he would. If the Minister does not accept the report, he is going against the majority, not only on the committee, but of the Dáil. It is also against the will of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who marched for abolition of domestic water charges.

“In the report, domestic water charges are gone, charges for excessive use of water are gone, as is metering. Importantly, there is a provision for a referendum on the public ownership of water; this is what the people want and it is what the government should legislate for. If the Minister is in doubt and will not legislate on the basis of the report, he should look on this Saturday and to the thousands who will be marching in demand that the Government do what they should have done when the Government was formed and domestic abolish water charges.”

We must break cycle of failure in Mother and Baby homes

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Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis, speaking in Leinster House this week, called on support for the Sinn Féin motion to set up a truth commission which would establish the truth of what practices took place in Mother and Baby Homes and other institutions and called for other parties to support the bill.

Deputy Ellis said:

“The atmosphere and climate in these institutions was allowed due to this States failure. And let us remember who were in these institutions.; it was young women and children, young girls who, as Austin Clarke in his 1963 poem said, were left to ‘cook, sew, wash, dig, milk cows, clean stables and, twice a day, giving their babes the teat’.

“There have been many failures over the years in relation to how this State has dealt with the legacies of abdicating its responsibilities for the welfare of mothers and babies to religious organisations. The lack of overview and regulation, the failure of addressing concerns raised over the years as to what was happening in these homes and when it became more than apparent that there was serious abuses occurring and had occurred, the state stood frozen, silently wringing its hands and muttering platitudes while still doffing its cap to the religious who successfully evaded answering or taking responsibility for the actions of its members who carried out these abuses.

“At this moment,  the State has to date failed to initiate a meaningful process that would help obtain the truth for survivors, nor has it provided a suitable forum that would allow the full story of these institutions and the system that underpinned them to be made public. Considering the long line of failure in regards to these institutions, we are introducing this Private Members Bill calling for a truth commission to be established to allow the state to break that cycle of failure and start the process of a truthful discourse of a shameful past.”