As 40,000 nurses and midwives take the picket line today the Green Party says that supporting our nurses is crucial to developing a decent public healthcare system.

Peter Kavanagh with striking nurses and midwives
Peter Kavanagh with striking nurses and midwives

Eamon Ryan Green Party leader said:

“We stand with the nurses in their claims. The conditions that many nurses face on a daily basis are totally unacceptable. Understaffed wards are putting patients at risk. We will not have a decent healthcare system without valuing our nurses and this means dealing with pay, conditions and staffing levels.

“The Green Party is hopeful this will be resolved through the Labour Court. The nursing profession has developed over the last few decades and we believe this needs to be recognised through pay and that this can be done in a way that is consistent with the existing agreement. There is also scope for improvements in pay and conditions through the implementation of Sláintecare and the new National Maternity Plan.

“We believe that without radical structural reform of the Health Service we will continue to see large numbers of patients on waiting lists and on trolleys. Such structural reform has the potential to improve working conditions for nurses and other allied health professionals and is a more sustainable way to improve conditions for patients. We believe the long term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis will be improved by increasing capacity in the system, removing obstacles to good practice and making the health system functional.”

In the face of the increasing climate crisis, the Government today has killed the Climate Emergency Measures Bill by putting it into committee limbo.

The bill, which would have helped Ireland meet its climate change responsibilities by keeping oil and gas in the ground, is now stalled with no clear way forward.

The Leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, said:

“Despite dire warning from climate scientists and reports showing we are the worst in the EU, we still see this Fine Gael government brazenly stop clear measures that would help us meet our climate change responsibilities.

“By stopping this bill moving forward they are holding future generations, who will have to deal with this growing crisis, in contempt.

“It is utterly irresponsible not to react to this growing crisis. Climate experts say we have just 12 years to tackle climate change yet Fine Gael are again sitting on their hands. 

“This action is clearly morally bankrupt but it is also economically damaging as it keeps investment in fossil fuels when it should be moving to renewable energy. We need to signal to investors that the way forward is in renewable energy. Our communities and businesses need to be supported to make that change.

“We are not going to accept this decision to stall the Bill and we will continue to fight this through the Committee on Procedure.”

The Green Party are introducing a motion today calling for the government to take decisive action on the problem of plastic waste. They are asking the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and the Environment to fully support the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill, which has received broad cross-party support but is currently being held up by Government at committee stage.

Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe, producing the equivalent of nearly 2,000
water bottles or 5,550 disposable coffee cups per person per annum. The Waste Reduction Bill seeks to combat this by introducing a deposit  and refund scheme for drinks containers and imposing a ban on single-use plastics such as plastic coffee cups. Similar schemes have been introduced successfully in countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden, resulting in recycling rates of over 90%.




Green Party representative for Dublin Mid West, Peter Kavanagh said, “Plastic waste spoils the natural beauty of our countryside and is a plague on our towns and villages. It’s terrible for tourism. Clondalkin has seen an increase in tourists staying locally recently, and a lot of the feedback I’m hearing is how much litter can be seen despite the best efforts of Clondalkin Tidy Towns. A deposit refund scheme would create an incentive for people to dispose of drinks containers properly. I’ve seen it firsthand when I lived and worked in Austria. It’s about time the government got behind our efforts to tackle this problem.”

Leagan Béarla thíos/English version below

Leagan Gaeilge thíos/Irish version below

The Green Party has called for an additional €12m to be invested in the Irish language to stimulate employment in Gaeltacht areas and encourage language use in non-Gaeltacht areas through a new Irish language childcare scheme, as part of the party’s Budget 2019 Submission. The Party believes this investment would see the creation of 1,000 new jobs, leading to an economic impact of €42m in the most marginalised parts of the country.

Irish Language Spokesperson Peter Kavanagh, the party’s General Election candidate in Dublin Mid West, welcomed the call for investment. “The protection of Irish is in keeping with the founding principles of the Green Party. We believe that the conservation of resources is vital for a sustainable society and the Irish language is our most important cultural resource,” he said, “Údarás na Gaeltachta saw its capital budget reduced by 70% during the recession. In the same period the IDA budget was increased 24% and Enterprise Ireland’s budget was increased 19%.  Despite this, Údarás na Gaeltachta creates approximately 500 jobs per year in Gaeltacht areas – those areas most affected by recession and austerity and those areas yet to feel the effects of Ireland’s economic recovery. We need to invest in these areas and preserve our cultural heritage.”

Party leader Eamon Ryan said, “The Irish language is an important cultural resource for the people of Ireland, but it is a vulnerable and damaged resource which needs to be protected. As the caretakers of the Earth, we have the responsibility to pass on its resources, including its cultural and linguistic resources, in a fit and healthy state to future generations. We want to see real investment in the language and the communities that use it, through language planning, Irish language centres and through restoring the Gaeltacht Placement Grant for trainee teachers.”

The party also called for a €2m investment in Irish language childcare in urban areas. Peter Kavanagh said, “We want to invest a million euro into early-years Irish language childcare in Dublin, and a million in total into Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Cork, for a pilot scheme for children who are being raised through Irish. The reality is that appropriate childcare options are not available for parents raising their children through Irish. People are leaving the physical Gaeltacht because of a lack of investment and lack of opportunities. We need to copper-fasten the future of the language within traditional Gaeltachtaí and among the whole language community outside the Gaeltacht.”



Tá an Comhaontas Glas ag éileamh infheistíocht breise de €12m sa Ghaeilge chun fostaíocht Gaeltachta a spreagadh agus chun cur le húsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghalltacht trí scéim nua cúram leanaí trí mheán na Gaeilge, mar chuid d’aighneas Cáinaisnéise an pháirtí. Creideann an Comhaontas Glas go gcruthóidh an maoiniú breise seo os cionn 1000 post, le tionchar eacnamaíoch de €42m sna háiteanna is imeallaithe sa tír.

Deir Urlabhraí Gaeilge an Chomhaontais Ghlais, agus iarrthóir toghchána i mBaile Átha Cliath Thiar Meán, Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh go mbeidh fáilte roimh an infheistíocht. “Tá cosaint agus caomhnú na Gaeilge ag teacht lenár n-aidhmeanna mar pháirtí. Creidimis gur cóir achmhainní nádúrtha na tíre riachtanach chun sochaí inbhuanaithe a thógáil, agus is í an Ghaeilge an achmhainn cultúrtha is tábhachtaí atá againn,” ar sé, “Le linn an chúlú eacnamaíochta gearradh buiséad caipitil Údarás na Gaeltachta 70%, cé gur tháinig borradh 24% ar bhuiséad an IDA agus méadú 19% ar bhuiséad an IDA. In ainneoin seo, cruthaíonn Údarás na Gaeltachta 500 post nua sa bhliain i gceantair Ghaeltachta – na háiteanna is mó scoite amach agus imeallaithe sa tír agus nach bhfuil téarnamh ar bith le braith. Caithfimid infheistíocht a dhéanamh sna ceantair seo chun ár n-oidhreacht chultúrtha a chaomhnú.”

Arsa ceannaire an pháirtí Eamon Ryan, “Is achmhainn chultúrtha tabhachtach í an Ghaeilge do mhuintir na hÉireann, ach tá sí leochaileach agus i mbaol agus caithfear í a chosaint. Mar fheighlithe an domhain, tá sé de dhualgas orainn achmhainní an phlainéid a chuir ar aghaidh slán agus iomlán don chéad ghlúin eile, ina measc siúd na hachmhainní cultúrtha agus teanga. Tá fíorinfheistíocht ag teastáil uainn sa teanga agus sa phobal teanga trí phleanáil teanga, trí lárionaid Ghaeilge agus trí maoiniú a thabhairt ar ais do shochrúcháin Ghaeltachta do na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint.”

Tá an páirtí ag lorg €2m d’infheistíocht i scéim chúraim leanaí trí mheán na Gaeilge lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht. A deir an Caomhánach, “Táimid ag iarraidh milliúin Euro a chur isteach i gcúram leanaí luathbhlianta trí Ghaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath, agus milliúin eile idir Luimneach, Gaillimh, Corcaigh agus Port Láirge, le haghaidh scéim phíolótach do pháistí atá á tógáil trí mheán na Gaeilge. Is é fírinne an scéil ná nach bhfuil achmhainní cuí do na teaghlaigh seo. Tá pobal na Gaeltachta ag bogadh amach as an nGaeltacht fhisiciúil toisc easpa infheistíochta, easpa áiseanna agus easpa deiseanna. Caithfear todhchaí na Gaeilge a chaomhnú trí infheistíocht ní amháin sna Gaeltachtaí, ach sa phobal teanga iomlán sa Ghalltacht chomh maith.”

SUBMISSION: Sent to Bus Connects on Friday 28th September 2018

On behalf of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas in Dublin Mid West (Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Saggart, Newcastle, Rathcoole and Brittas), I wish to make known the following observations on the proposed redesign of the Dublin Bus Network.

  • The reduction of routes heading from the city centre direction through Inchicore, Kilmainham, Chapelizod and Ballyfermot to the greater Clondalkin urban area will have a seriously detrimental effect on schools. To take one case in point, as a Gaelcholáiste, Coláiste Chilliain’s catchment area extends into North Clondalkin, to Inchicore, Kilmainham and out to Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle. Removing buses that can bring these schoolchildren directly to school will do nothing more than place more cars on the road. The same can be said about schools in Lucan and Palmerstown.
  • A lack of bus connectivity with Clondalkin Fonthill Railway Station is a missed opportunity. There is no reason why the proposed G2 route should not run via the parallell Newlands-Fonthill Road to serve this purpose.
  • Residents of Saggart, Newcastle and Rathcoole will be faced with increased travel times to the city centre. While increased interconnectivity with the Red Line Luas is to be welcomed, the majority of workers in this area need direct access to the city centre, more than they need a 45 minute journey to Tallaght to compete for space on overcrowded trams.
  • The reduction of services in the Dutch Village/Woodford/Yellow Meadows area from every few minutes at peak times to once per hour will affect thousands of commuters and residents. Many residents, particularly older people, will be essentially cut off from Clondalkin Village.
  • For many older people and p, the act of embarkation and disembarkation is the most onerous part of the journey. Asking people with reduced mobility to forego their direct routes in favour of multiple buses is a difficult pill to swallow. We ask that this new model of interchanges and a more frequent service be phased in, rather than introduced in one fell swoop. In areas where a once-hourly direct service is being replaced with feeder buses, we call on you to implement these on a phased basis to provide a proof of concept. When residents in these areas see that such a service is as efficient as claimed, it will be an easy transition.
  • While an overall increase of service is promised, the cold fact remains that many areas will be left without a bus route. While stops that are moved away from one resident are mover closer to another, and as such bear no complaints, entire areas will be stripped of regular bus services and forced to considerable distances. This will do more than inconvenience older people and people with disabilities. This will discourage people from leaving their homes and will lead to increased loneliness and isolation.
  • Important bus routes by hospitals and primary care centres must be maintained. Older people and people with disabilities are more likely to suffer from multiple morbidities and require increased contact with hospital services. This was the key driver in the decision to allow the Free Travel Pass to cover peak-time services two decades ago.
  • Interchange areas must be well-lit, covered and sheltered, and most crucially of all must have seating. This must be entirely universal. If waiting at interchanges is to become an integral part of our daily travel, it must be as age-friendly as it can be.

In conclusion, the idea of increased radial and orbital routes servicing spines through the city is sound, but the execution of this proposed redesign leaves a lot to be desired. The focus on bringing actual commuters to notional jobs ignores the reasons people currently rely on the routes they do. If this drastic change is brought in overnight, one can only imagine the real difficulties this will cause. Even if only for a period of adjustment, it will put more cars on the road. Once commuters become reliant on cars, it is very difficult to break that habit. As such, the Green Party in Dublin Mid West cannot support the plan in its current incarnation.

The Green Party has called for improvements in the oversight and regulation of waste permits after yesterday morning’s large fire at the NER Recycling facility in Greenogue, West Dublin. It called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD to tighten up licensing and monitoring for such facilities.
The party’s Dublin Spokesperson Councillor Ciarán Cuffe stated: “This large fire comes just seven months after a large fire at the St Margaret’s / Sandyhill vehicle recycling facility in North Dublin on 11th January 2018. There was also a large fire at the Oxigen Environmental Recycling Plant in Ballymount on 24th January 2014.
“It seems that history is repeating itself, and a review of our licensing procedures is needed. In both cases large clouds of toxic smoke passed over residential areas. We need greater oversight and management of these large recycling facilities. How is it that these fires are not contained and extinguished quickly?
“As recycling depots expand we need to ensure that the public are adequately protected. After three major fires at recycling plants in Dublin in recent years it seems clear that we need to improve both monitoring and licensing procedures for such facilities. Vast amounts of toxic substances are being released into the air each time a fire like this breaks out. Minister Naughten needs to reduce the risk of such fires reoccurring and review the licensing procedures and monitoring for such plants.”
Dublin Mid-West Greens Local Representative Peter Kavanagh said “Residents are deeply concerned about toxins being released into the air from recycling plants during incidents such as this, so a review of the licensing procedures and better monitoring of these facilities would go a long way to alleviating these concerns.”
Chuir an Comhaontas Glas fáilte roimh chinneadh a d’fhoilsigh an Coimisinéir Teanga inniu gur sháraigh Roinn an Oideachais agus Scileanna an dlí nuair nár thug siad riachtanais teanga san áireamh agus iad ag aimsiú patrún nua scolaíochta.
Agus an Comisinéir Teanga ag seoladh Tuarascáil Bhliaintiúil 2017, dúirt Peadar Ó Caomhanaigh, urlabhraí Gaeilge an Chomhaontais Ghlais, “Os rud é go seolfadh beagnach ceathrú de thuistí a bpáistí chuig Ghaeilscoil dá mbeadh an rogha acu, ach nach bhfuil ach 8.3% de bhunscoileanna rite trí mheán na Gaeilge, is nóiméad cinniúnach é seo i stair an oideachais in Éirinn. Is cearta bunúsacha iad cearta teanga agus is sárú scannalach de na cearta sin é an chinneadh a thóg an Roinn gan freastal ar éileamh an 733 teaghlach a lorg Gaelscoil I dTuaisceart Chathair Átha Cliath.”
Bíonn scoileanna lán-Ghaeilge ró-éilithe go minic agus bíonn ar dhaltaí taisteal i bhfad ón mbaile nó freastal ar scoileanna Béarla nuair nach bhfuil oideachas trí Ghaeilge ar fáil dóibh. Dúirt an Caomhánach nach cóir don staid seo leanúint ar aghaidh. 
“Ba chóir go mbeadh sé, agus is cosúil go bhfuil sé, de chearta ag gach áitritheoir in Éirinn – is cuma cén bhunús, reiligiúin nó cúlra culthúrtha – rochtain a bheith acu ar oideachas sa phríomhtheanga náisiúnta, agus leas a bhaint as na buntáistí a bhaineann le hillteangachas, a bhfuil neart fianaise ann fúthú. Fáiltímid roimh an gcinneadh ón gCoimisinéir, agus roimh an athrú meoin ón Roinn maidir leis an nGaelscoil I nDrum Chonrach agus Marino. An t-aon freagra ar ró-éileamh na nGaelscoileanna ná tuilleadh Gaelscoileanna, seachas srianta níos dochta ar oideachas lán-Ghaeilge”.
The Green Party has today welcomed the finding by An Coimisinéir Teanga that the Department of Education and Skills breached the law by not appropriately considering Irish language requirements in choosing a patron for a new school.
Speaking as the office of An Comisinéir Teanga launched their 2017 Annual Report, Green Party Irish Language spokesperson Peter Kavanagh said, “Given that nearly a quarter of all parents  would choose to send their children to a Gaelscoil, but have only 8.3% of schools to choose from, it’s a watershed moment for Irish education. Language rights are fundamental, and for the Department of Education to refuse to consider the demands of, in one example alone, the parents and families of 733 children in north Dublin, was a flagrant breach of these rights.”
Irish-medium schools tend to be oversubscribed and students often end up having to travel greater distances to schools located in other districts or are forced to attend English-medium schools when the option of education through the Irish language is not available to them. Kavanagh said this situation should not be allowed to continue. 
“It should be, and indeed is, the right of every Irish resident – regardless of origin, religion or cultural background – to access education through the medium of the first language of the State, and to reap the well-documented benefits of multilingualism. We welcome the Commissioner’s decision, and the Department of Education’s reversal of their policy regarding the Gaelscoil in Drumcondra and Marino. The answer to the oversubscription of Gaelscoileanna is more Gaelscoileanna, not stricter conditions of entry.”
Leagan Gaeilge thíos/Irish version below