Dáil debates

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

National Development Plan: Motion [Private Members]


10:05 pm

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Social Democrats for introducing this important motion for debate tonight. While we are talking about the national development plan, I want to remind this House that there are people providing home help in Cunty Kerry today who are not being paid for their mileage. They have to pay for petrol for their cars to go and give home help. When we are talking about millions and billions of euro, I am thinking of those people who are going out today, giving home help and who have to pay for their own petrol because they are not being given their petrol allowance.

We have seen what the Government has done with overruns on major projects but I want to talk about projects that we are waiting for in County Kerry. We desperately need more beds to be provided in Kerry University Hospital, KUH. We desperately need more room in that hospital. We need it to be extended and investment in it. We desperately need our new community hospital to be built in the great town of Killarney. We desperately need what I call a bypass for the bypass in Killarney and a connecting road from the main Killarney-Cork road to the Muckross Road which would, in turn, service Ireland's National Event Centre, INEC, owned by the O'Donoghue family, which has provided entertainment and much needed employment in Killarney for decades.

We must also ensure the bypass for Macroom and Ballyvourney will go ahead as scheduled. We urgently require major investment in Cahersiveen Community Hospital or for a new hospital to be built.

We urgently need the Kenmare bypass to be extended and made into a proper bypass as should have been done in the first instance.

Last night at my clinics in County Kerry, I met parents who have young people with intellectual and physical disabilities and who need services. These are the type of things we need to ensure happen. We need to ensure more local authority houses are built in County Kerry, where they are as rare as hens' teeth. The housing list in the county is getting longer and longer.

I am pleading with the Government to think about County Kerry in the context of the national development plan. The Government should think about the needs of people there, the infrastructure in need of investment and the home helps who put petrol in their own cars to be able to give care to people in their homes.


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