June 2021 Update from Senator Marie Sherlock
30 June 2021
This is a brief update on the work we’ve been doing in the Oireachtas and locally in Dublin Central over the past month.
Of course, we've also been working hard to support our fantastic candidate in the Dublin Bay South by-election, Senator Ivana Bacik! Marie and Ivana have worked closely together in the Seanad and we have no doubt she'll make a fantastic addition to Dáil Éireann.
As always, please get in touch if you know of any local or national issues we should be aware of. During the month of July, we’ll be out knocking on doors, delivering Marie's half yearly newsletter and talking to constituents. If you are interested in joining us for an hour, please do get in touch at email@example.com.
In the Inner City, we’ve been working very closely with a large number of community creches and afterschool providers who are facing enormous challenges with the new National Childcare Scheme. This scheme is now effectively excluding some of the most disadvantaged children when they would have previously qualified for support. It means that some afterschool services are now facing the prospect of having to close or not take in the children they need.
The parents and staff of Coláiste Mhuire on Parnell Square, Dublin 1 have been left waiting for a staggering 17 years for a new school building and we’ve been pushing the Government to make good on their broken promises to the school community. This month, despite multiple commitments from government last year, construction work on Coláiste Mhuire has still yet to begin.
Cabra must not be by-passed! There are exciting proposals in the Dart South West extension project to connect Heuston Station with the new Glasnevin Metrolink. However, the current proposals seek the line go through Cabra - but with no station there. Cllr Declan Meenagh and Marie have been challenging Transport Infrastructure Ireland on this.
Marie recently attended the memorial for Terence Wheelock, a young man from Summerhill who died in Garda custody 16 years ago. Speaking in the Seanad, Marie called for an independent inquiry into Terence’s death so that his family and community could finally have answers.
In the Seanad
This month, nine months on from when we introduced our bill on statutory sick pay, we finally got sight of the Government’s response. While it was severely overdue, much of the Government’s plan is welcome. However, we have serious concerns about the impact on low-paid and younger workers and will continue to push for necessary changes.
The Climate Action Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation we will debate in this term. However, the Bill’s commitment to climate justice falls short in its failure to prioritise supports to those who need them in terms of how we house people and provide access to affordable public transport, as well as on the need to provide a just transition for workers.
We have been speaking out against the Government’s utterly uncalled-for decision to reduce the rate of Pandemic Unemployment Payment this autumn. This is a move that hurts younger workers most, many of whom cannot just walk back into the job they held before the pandemic.
We attended the protest to make the National Maternity Hospital public and secular in its ethos, and highlighted the shocking fact that the Rotunda maternity hospital is being seriously underfunded by the state.
- While we weren’t able to march this year, we marked Pride month with a reminder of the need to keep standing up against homophobic and transphobic discrimination in the workplace.
- As someone with a family connection to Donegal, Marie was keen to speak out in favour of 100% redress for those impacted by Mica in the north-west of the country.