Senator Ardagh congratulates the Transition Year students at Mercy Girls Secondary School in Inchicore for their work as part of the Young Social Innovators Project to make Inchicore a better place to live, work and go to school
Senator Ardagh speaks on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 and delighted to support the banning of Zero hour contracts. Employees need some certainty especially those in low paid positions.
- DCC has granted notice that Weaver Square Gardens are set to close in a matter of weeks -
Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said the residents of Dublin 8 have already suffered losses in community resources such as the Dublin Food Co-Op and the use of Newmarket Square and should not now be faced with losing Weaver Square.
The Crumlin based Senator was commenting following her attendance at last Saturday's arranged meet up at Weaver’s Square Allotment Site.
Senator Ardagh said, “The Liberties and the entire Dublin 8 area is densely populated but has the lowest proportion of green space in the whole of Dublin city. Local residents in Dublin 8 are justifiably very concerned about the future of one of the last remaining green space in our urban neighbourhood.
“Weaver Square Community Garden and the 27 allotments are of great benefit to very many families and people living locally. Community green spaces provide social, recreational and community based activity for people of all abilities.
“I am the first to advocate for urgently required sustainable housing in our area, just this week I raised that issue in the Seanad, but private property development cannot always be given the go ahead at the expense of the needs of existing residents.
“The Local Authority’s first ever Dublin City Parks Strategy 2017-2022 specifies it’s vision as ‘growing towards a greener and more liveable Dublin City.’ Worse again, it in fact acknowledges that the current provision of open space and overall greening in the Liberties ‘is poor.’ These statements are both clearly at odds with their planned action on Weaver’s Square.
“There was a severe shortage of green park space when this strategy was derived and it will be non-existent if this planned closure of Weaver Square Gardens goes ahead.
Senator Ardagh concluded, “I hope to see the whole community get behind this important campaign to have a say on the future environment of the area and that there will be excellent support at both upcoming events.”
Senator Ardagh urges people to be vigilant as rise in scam calls. She warns people not to disclose personal details or bank account details to unsolicited callers
Fianna Fáil’s Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that RTÉ’s latest production, Doing Money, is a timely reminder of the need to stamp out the trafficking of women for sex here in Ireland, but also across the world.
“The brutal stories of women who are kidnapped in other parts of the world, and sold into sex slavery here in Ireland is very hard to watch, but unfortunately, it happens on a daily basis,” said Senator Ardagh.
“The global nature of the international sex trade is visible in the wide range of nationalities of the thousands of women living in Ireland in this form of hell, with little hope of escape. Many have had no contact with their families since they left their home country and since moved around the world by their exploiters in an attempt to maximise profit.
“Frontline Irish NGO, Ruhama has been helping those affected by prostitution and trafficking to rebuild their lives through outreach services since 1989. In 2017, over 300 people affected by prostitution in Ireland sought support from those working with Ruhuma.
“Last year, the Oireachtas rightly passed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 which finally criminalised the purchase of sexual services. This followed on from the 2008 Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act introduced by Fianna Fáil to criminalise the trafficking of people for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
“Despite these legislative developments, human trafficking is still as pervasive as ever. In fact, according to the United Nations earlier this year, human trafficking is the third largest crime worldwide. Therefore, it’s obvious that greater effort is needed from the Department of Justice, and An Garda Síochana, to stamp it out here in Ireland.
“I firmly believe that the full force of the law must come to bear on those caught trafficking people in Ireland, and on those that facilitate it by purchasing sexual services.
“There is no place for it in a modern Irish society, and I am calling on the Government to enhance resources and ensure no more women have to suffer at the hands of these depraved traffickers,” concluded Ardagh.
Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said the Drimnagh Area Development Plan must be revisited for the true potential of the locality to be fully realised.
The Crumlin based Senator who is also a General Election Candidate in Dublin South Central raised the matter in the Seanad this week.
Senator Ardagh said, “It’s been a decade since Dublin City Council first highlighted the need for proper, more suitable amenities in Drimnagh and to deliver on fully servicing potential development sites in the area.
“At that time, the Local Authority spent €140,000 on drafting the Drimnagh Area Development Plan, which was then shelved.
“Drimnagh is an area that makes up a very central and lively part of our capital with a sizable population of roughly 12,000 people.
“There are a number of useful sites along the canal on Davitt Road and near Crumlin Shopping Centre that could be utilised to develop much needed housing development in the capital.
“With good planning and sustained investment, Drimnagh could become an even better part, more vibrant of our city.
“The development plan that has been left gather dust must be put back on the local and national agenda and I have emphasised this directly with the Minister in the Seanad.
She concluded, “The council need to revisit its plan for the true potential of Drimnagh to be realised.”
- FF will be facilitating the passing of Parental Leave Bill in Seanad Éireann later today-
Senator Ardagh criticises the government's handling of recent issues with Illness Benefit as thousands of vulnerable and sick people left without payments
Fianna Fáil’s Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that Minister Doherty needs to step up and resolve the issues with Illness Benefit Payments which are leaving thousands of vulnerable Dubliners without money and in a very precarious financial position.
Senator Ardagh said, “Illness benefit is paid to PAYE workers who are unable to go to work due to severe illness. This is a payment that is based on their contributions to the PRSI fund.
“If the State cannot get its act together and ensure timely payment of money that citizens are entitled to, of course people will start to question why they make contributions in the first place.
“The issues related to disagreements between GPs and the Department are well-documented with regard to the filling out of new forms. We all want a more efficient system, but the way in which the changes to the system have been implemented has been nothing but shoddy.
“No one seems to be concerned about the people in receipt of illness benefit who are caught in the cross-fire between the Department and GP representatives.
“I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues across the city and county are inundated with complaints from those who have once again not received their weekly payment. Some people have been left some four and five weeks without a single payment and have to rely on family or friends.
“To make matters worse, anyone who uses this payment to pay household bills by direct debit for instance will have to foot a cost every time the direct debit bounces from not having the funds in their account.
“The Department are so inundated with phone calls that those affected cannot get through to speak to an official to have their payment released. Surely, public administration in this country is better than this.
“Minister Doherty needs to act quickly and ensure that this unfairness on citizens who are ill is brought to an end. If additional staff are required, then bring them in,” concluded Senator Ardagh.