Seanad debates

Thursday, 20 December 2018

11:00 am

Photo of Rose Conway WalshRose Conway Walsh (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

We have had lots of confidence and very little supply. That sums up what I have to say. There has been consistent support throughout the year for the bankers and bondholders with tax holidays and such. I am mindful, as Christmas approaches, of how many people are struggling to get by and pay their mortgages. There are no write-downs for them and they fear the bailiffs coming in January. We have to be mindful of those people. That is why I would have liked to see an end to this confidence and supply agreement so that people could have their say and these people, who are often voiceless in our communities, could say exactly what they want and see that there is a real alternative to what they are being put through.

I am distraught about the decisions being made in respect of planning permission. I just got notice that yet another planning permission has been refused by Mayo County Council. This is connected to the homeless and housing crisis. A couple I know are working five jobs, they two children and they were trying to build on their land. They have been refused permission repeatedly. Games of power and control are being played out and not only in local authorities that will not allow people to build houses on their land. We are not talking about big mansions but modest homes for people's children on their land. We have to look seriously at this matter in the new year.

I want to finish on a good note. I wish everybody a happy Christmas and new year. I thank all of the staff of the House for the wonderful work they have done throughout the year, and the Leas-Cathaoirleach and Cathaoirleach for the fairness they show in how they go about their business every day. I know the Leader gets agitated at times but we will allow for that. This will be his first Christmas as a married man. He has mellowed a little-----


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