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

dublin-bus

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.

mental health dessie

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.”