The leafleting the North Inner City area, introducing our new Councillor Mel MacGiobúin, is going well. Saturday was spent in around Summerhill and Seán MacDermott St. and East Wall; nearly there – just a few more areas to cover.
Monday was a variety of meetings with groups and individuals and then Tuesday morning to Dublin Port where I was invited to launch the next phase of training for middle managers in ports. There were delegates from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ghana and of course I had been to Tema port in Accra, Ghana to see first hand the result of the training that is being rolled out by Dublin port and other ports in Ireland. This is being supported by Irish Aid. Ports are vital to the economic development of a country; in my input I stressed the need for workers’ rights, decent wage, safe working conditions to be included.
Meeting in Granby Centre then before getting to Dáil Technical Group weekly meeting.Deputy John Halligan was launching his Private Bill on Restorative Justice so I attended the press conference as community meetings meant I would not be able to speak on the bill. It was sad to hear of the death of Nicky McFadden; I had the opportunity to say a few words on Nicky whom I met in the last Dail as our offices were on the same corridor. We did speak when she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone and I told her of my own friend’s experience with this most cruel of illnesses, cruel for the person who has the illness and cruel for their loved ones who have to watch all powers and abilities being taken.
Tuesday night was the Cabra Community Policing Forum. Wednesday was a day of back and forth between the Dáil and the constituency – Prevention and Education sub group meeting; report is ready on the findings from the 2 youth conventions we organised – really interesting report. Over the Dáil and then back to the constituency for the Community Policing Forum Board meeting, having been invited to become a member of the Board. I agreed in memory of the late Tony Gregory who used to be the chair. Back to the Dáil for the Foreign Affairs Committee – presentation from the Cypriot Ambassador on current developments in relation to talks on unity.
Back to the constituency for further meetings in the local primary school and then to community centre on Distillery Road for the meeting in relation to issues with Croke Park. Public reps had to wait until the end to speak. My contribution was to define the 2 issues – the long standing ones for the residents, particularly those in the cordon area, on event days – litter, access, anti-social behaviour. I did say I thought working with Kieran Mulvey (though I didn’t agree with the manner of his appointment) could, once and for all, address these issues; the immediate issue of the excessive number of non G.A.A. events which is very intrusive and difficult for the residents. Back to the Dáil for the late vote on the Deputy Halligan’s Bill which took place at 11.
Thursday morning: meeting on prisoners as we are meeting Secretary of State Villiers next week. I had my priority question with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs – the need for the National Assessment Committee to meet in relation to monitoring of the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund. Met with an Italian delegation in relation to Expo which is planned for 2015 in Milan.
Thursday night was the opening of the Five Lamps Arts Festival; great to hear local resident Sharon (Shaz) Oye singing in wonderful setting of Custom’s House; I went along with Councillor Mel and we both hope to get to some events. Spent a lot of Friday morning in the Chamber, speaking onSeanad Reform and then on Foreign Affairs report. I got delayed and so didn’t make the Talbot Centre’s celebration of 30 years working in the inner city. Saturday was leaflets.
Sunday to the Teachers’ Club for the Independents Network workshop in support of Independents who will be standing in the local elections. It was a very practical and useful event, well attended, positive feedback and people acknowledged being energised by it. A press conference concluded the event.