Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Pauline O'Reilly (Green Party) | Oireachtas source

Government parties are often pulled into petty squabbles, as we have seen over the past few weeks. It has been brought to my attention that our communications have been quite poor in recent months. The current news cycle means that a story lasts for a matter of one or two hours and people have to get their message out very fast. This means we are on the defensive all of the time rather than pointing out what we are achieving as a Government.

The Government has recorded some unprecedented achievements. I spoke to the people in the council in my city, Galway, today and in the background I heard their excitement when they talked about how they were spending funding. They sent me a list of what they feel they have achieved for their city. There is discussion about politicians and civil servants and public servants but we are all on the same team and want to achieve things for our communities.

Galway will be a transformed city. Parklets will be developed in the early part of next year. The July stimulus money is hitting now and people are seeing a difference. We will not see the difference from budget 2021 until next year. It is still a story, but we will not see it. We need to start talking about what it is that we are achieving in government and what is achieved when the Opposition and Government work together instead of getting dragged into petty squabbles.

We should say that we have made a huge difference for the people of Ireland during a difficult time. We will now see some of our cities transformed into something that can be seen in other parts of Europe such as Oslo, San Sebastián and other places we love to visit on holidays. We will see some of that in our cities. People will be able to sit on the streets surrounded by biodiverse pollinator-friendly planting in the middle of our streets. That is something that we have to be really proud of and start talking about, rather than going on the defensive all of the time.

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