Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Dublin Mid-West By-election: Issue of Writ

 

1:30 pm

Photo of Michael CollinsMichael Collins (Cork South West, Independent)

On behalf of the Rural Independent Group, I welcome the Government's moving of the four by-election writs today. It provides the people of Cork, Wexford and the Dublin constituencies a chance to show how the Government has failed the people. In recent weeks and months many in west Cork thought that we would be facing a general election. The people to whom I spoke were hungry for a general election because they have a message to send to the Government.

We have a health crisis where millions of euro have disappeared into a hole in the ground. That has left people without any home help service. Others are left on lengthy waiting lists. People are in pain who need hip and knee procedures. People going blind need cataract procedures. The SouthDoc service is collapsing around us. More than 600 people are on hospital trolleys. Such day-to-day issues cause enormous concern to people in the constituency of Wexford, Cork North-Central or the two Dublin constituencies. The Government will fact those issues when they face the people in Cork South-West.

Beef farmers are on their knees and have no one to fight for them. Fishermen are struggling and are worried about their future. Little or no money was allocated to the farm sector in the budget, all because of Brexit. Only a lick and a promise was given to the fishing sector on the premise that if it happens, it happens and if it does not there may be a little compensation for fishermen to tie up their boats at the pier.

School transport in west Cork is in a disastrous state, with young children left on the roadside. Nobody is willing to resolve ongoing issues even though parents were informed they were resolved. An announcement was made on the rural regeneration fund during the week but not one brown cent was allocated to the constituency of Cork South-West, which is sensational. It is the second time running that no brown cent was allocated to the Cork constituency. The third time the fund was rolled out, one project crossed the line. The Government is sending a clear message to my constituency, which is not having a by-election. It will send the Government a very clear message because very angry groups have been in contact with me in the past 24 hours asking why the constituency of Cork South-West is being continuously neglected when it comes to rural regeneration funds. Surely be to God projects such as the one in Schull where €500,000 has been spent qualifies in some manner for funding. Some group are walking away because they say they have had enough.

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