Thursday, 7 November 2019
Dublin Mid-West By-election: Issue of Writ
Thomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
As we know, the by-elections in the two constituencies have been caused by the election of Clare Daly and Mick Wallace to the European Parliament. I can say without contradiction that our loss in this House is definitely Europe's gain. Clare Daly was recognised by everyone here as a very capable and resourceful Deputy. Her constituency of Donegal Fingal has certainly missed her. I apologise, that was a mistake. The constituency is Dublin Fingal. She spoke on behalf of her community and workers in her many contributions in this House and many campaigns outside the House as well, whether it was in respect of the airport workers, Right2Water, Right2Change or communities all around Dublin Fingal.
In the by-election to come, the people of Dublin Fingal will have the choice to vote for Councillor Dean Mulligan, who has worked with Clare and has gained the necessary experience to take her place in this House, should they so choose. Dean believes that our problems will not be solved by those who created them and has set out to work on that basis in everything he does. He believes that short-term fixes when issues come to crisis point merely put a plaster on a gaping wound. Short-term, narrow-minded, election-focused politics have resulted in a record number of people being either homeless or struggling to pay rent, with little hope of owning their own homes.
In Wexford, there will not be an Independents 4 Change candidate in the by-election but there will be for the general election, which we know will follow quickly. Everyone in this House knows Mick Wallace's work and its value. That was reinforced strongly in recent weeks when the overruns relating to the children's hospital project were discussed here again. That is not to mention Mick's work on policing reform and NAMA and his and Clare's contribution to the justice committee, which Deputy Connolly and I are delighted and honoured to try to continue.
Clare Daly and Mick Wallace have spoken in the European Parliament at least five times each in recent days. That is not to mention their contributions in recent weeks. They have embraced the European Parliament and I have no doubt they will put their stamp on it and raise issues in respect of which they are passionate. It is a pity that our media do not pay as much attention to the European Parliament and report on the work our MEPs do, which would let the people know what they have been doing. I know Dean Mulligan will try to continue that work level here in the Dáil when he is elected in the by-election.
We are at a crisis point. Many of the people of Dublin Fingal and Wexford believe that electing Tweedledum or Tweedledee will not solve anything for them or for the rest of the country. It is only by electing candidates like Dean Mulligan that will lead to the change that we need.