Ardagh ag labhairt maider leis an Gaeltacht Cathrach idir Scoil Mobhí, Scoil Caitríona, Club na bhFiann agus an réamhscoil Tír na nÓg agus an tabhacht é a chothú
Senator Ardagh calls on Urban Gaeltachtat Scoil Mobhí and Scoil Caitríona to be nurtured in accordance with Project Ireland Dublin City Language and Cultural Hub plan
Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that the Government must step up to the mark and do more to end the overreliance on prefabs in schools across the Capital.
Earlier this month Fianna Fáil revealed new information which shows that there has been a 30% increase in the use of prefabs in schools between 2015 and 2017.
The Dublin based Senator commented, “Over the past number of months, I have visited many primary and secondary schools on the south side of our city where students are being taught in sub-standard, poor quality prefabs.
“A significant number of the prefab facilities I’ve come to witness have issues around dampness, inadequate heating, poor toilet facilities and even vermin. In this day and age it is simply not acceptable to put up with these conditions which are dangerous for staff and pupils.
“Far from reducing the State’s reliance of prefabs, Fine Gael is actually increasing their use, and it’s down to a simple fact: Fine Gael slashed investment in capital infrastructure projects after 2011 and we are now playing catch up.
“It is abundantly clear from speaking with principals and staff locally that the school building programme is not keeping up with demand for places in the South Inner City.
“On Friday last, the Government were quick to publicise plans to build over 40 new schools to deal with demographic growth. Sadly, it’s of little surprise that the educational needs of D8 and D12 communities were ignored under this latest plan.
“The Government weren’t shouting about was its ill-considered decision to delay the delivery of much needed extensions or refurbishments to schools in our area that are relying on prefabs for extra capacity. Some of the most vulnerable children, who already struggle in difficult home environments, are now falling behind by being educated in these sub-standard conditions.
Senator Ardagh concluded, “The Minister needs to accept that his capital budget is insufficient for the job at hand. Not only has it resulted in a huge increase in prefabs in Dublin South Central schools, but the five year capital plan is grossly delayed and many projects repeatedly promised before it was published have not even begun.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that the upgrade works which have begun to get under way will transform Crumlin into a safe village for road users and make it a more attractive place for people to go about their daily lives.
The works will be carried out as part of the Crumlin Village Environmental Improvement Scheme are long overdue in the area and are aimed at improving the streetscape and road safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
The Senator said, “Our urban community in Crumlin is home to almost 15,000 residents in the heart of Dublin.
“Its prime strategic location makes Crumlin a village that has huge potential to be developed into a suburb that people from across the city come to visit - whether it’s to grab a cup of tea with a friend for a catch-up, pick up groceries or run their errands.
“With all construction, a certain level of disturbance is to be expected but I call on those contracted by the Council to minimise disruption to local businesses and the general public.
“Local residents are understandably disappointed that a number of very beautiful cherry blossom trees which have been in the village for two decades were cut down yesterday evening while in full bloom.
“I have been informed by the Council that more appropriate trees will be re-planted at the junction with Windmill Road. It’s just a shame that after a long winter, these pretty Cherry Blossoms couldn’t have been left for another number of days for locals to enjoy.
“That said, I have no doubt that these works will improve the quality of life of older people living in the area particularly the upgrading of poor quality footpaths and the installation of recreational seating.
Senator Ardagh concluded, “I will be working with local business and residents to ensure that disruption is contained and that we can all look forward to these works improving Crumlin overall.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has expressed her concern regarding quality and standard of foster care provided in Dublin South Central and which has been the subject of a HIQA review which was published earlier today.
The report compiled by HIQA following its inspection of the foster care services in the Dublin South Central region has found serious gaps and risks in the provision of care and which pose a significant risk to the children relying on the services.
Commenting on the report’s findings, the Dublin based Senator said, “The details which have emerged out of today’s report make for some very difficult and disappointing reading. Those in foster care in our community are often some of the most vulnerable and who need the best supports available.
“Among the issues highlighted is the fact that the foster care service in Dublin South Central is crisis-led and failed to meet seven of Ireland's established standards for the provision of foster care services.
“What is most difficult to comprehend is the fact that many of the failings of the South-Central foster care service had previously been identified in an earlier HIQA inspection in December 2016 but had not been remedied.
“Despite the service being instructed almost 18 months ago to undertake Garda Vetting of all relative carers in the foster care setting, this had not been carried out.
“Sadly, this is an old story where HIQA inspections of Foster Care services are concerned.
“Virtually every single month in Ireland we learn of another report exposing serious deficiencies in the country’s foster care services and the negative impact that these poor services are having on the children and families relying on them.
Senator Ardagh concluded, “We must expect more from the quality and safety standards reached in these types of critical services. Minister Zappone needs to pro-actively set out a vision for change in Irish Foster Care Services that addresses each one of the systemic shortcomings that have been repeatedly highlighted.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has strongly criticised the Government for failing to provide adequate resources to the Garda Traffic division in Dublin.
New information obtained by Fianna Fáil this week reveals that there has been a major decrease in the number of dedicated traffic corps members since 2008 – Dublin alone is down 86 while there’s a 42% decrease nationwide.
Senator Ardagh commented, “The Garda Traffic Corp is directly responsible for the full enforcement of road traffic legislation and to assisting the free flow of traffic in and around the Capital.
“Despite there being a greater demand on our city’s road network and more road users including cyclists and motorists, the number of dedicated Gardaí policing our roads has fallen.
“It is near fact that greater Garda visibility and stricter enforcement act as a real deterrent against law breaking on the roads.
“There are many well established communities and busy neighbourhoods in the Dublin South Central area including the Liberties, Inchicore, Chapelizod, Drimnagh and Crumlin. Our quadrant of Dublin City which is south of the Liffey remains heavily affected by congestion and other traffic related issues.
"As construction of the new Children's Hospital gets underway locally, it is inevitable that there the level of traffic on our roads will only continue to rise. The robust traffic management plan that was promised by Dublin City Council in tandem with the building, surely requires the co-operation of a well resourced Garda Traffic Corps.
“With these issues in mind, it is astonishing to learn that the Traffic Corp in Dublin South Central has suffered a dramatic reduction and now operates with less than a third of personnel than it did in 2008.
“The Road Safety Authority has been consistently vocal in their call to increase the allocation of staff to the road traffic division, but instead this Government has continued to preside over substantial cuts.
“Last year’s Policing Plan clearly commits to increasing the number of personnel dedicated to traffic duties by 10%. Based on the information our party has received, it is categorically clear that this has not transpired.
"The Government certainly appear more focussed on promotional events and photo opportunities than on ensuring the full delivery of effective road safety and measures aimed at improving traffic flow in the Capital,” concluded Senator Ardagh.