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)

Funding needs to be fairly distributed among all. The Government will have to face that in the general election. I am getting the Government ready. That is what people are telling me. Perhaps I am listening to the wrong people but they are some of the groups out there.

Another issue we must discuss is the closure of rural polling stations.

This is a serious issue for many people living in rural Ireland and it needs to be examined. We need to make voting more accessible and ensure that we boost the numbers of people who want to vote there.

Registrars in constituencies such as Cork South-West and Wexford have been done away with, despite the fact that they cost very little. I do not know how many politicians have raised that issue here. I saw the value of registrars over the years. They were in touch with what was happening in local communities and made sure that people registered in time to vote. No matter how many advertisements one produces or efforts one makes, this is a serious issue. The Government has removed them so there are now no registrars. All of these people throughout west Cork and elsewhere, who had done Trojan work for a pittance, are gone. The Government then wonders why people are not registered and voting. The Government is the cause of that because it is not encouraging it from the ground up. If the Government looks at the budget, it will see that these registrars cost a pittance. It has decided to remove them and not give people their democratic right. I could talk about homeless figures and such but I will not speak too much. It is not an election that is being contested in Cork South-West this time but I can certainly tell the Government to be ready because the people in Cork South-West are ready at the doorsteps.

I wish the people who are running the best. Independent candidates will give people a clear choice for a new type of politics that speaks on behalf of the people and not on behalf of the party. That is what this country needs and has been lacking for many decades. Independent candidates can offer that.

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