May 2021 Update from Senator Marie Sherlock
31 May 2021
This is a brief update on the work we’ve been doing throughout May, both in the Oireachtas and locally in Dublin Central. As always, please get in touch if there are any local or national issues which you feel we should be aware of.
- Marie was very proud to be invited to address the annual graduation ceremony at the Holy Family Deaf School Cabra earlier this month. During the past year the students, teachers and families of this school have faced so many challenges but, working with the support of the community, we have been able to secure their vital on-site disability services which had been under serious threat.
- Along with Cllr Joe Costello, Cllr Declan Meenagh, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD and Cllr Jane Horgan Jones, we ran a very well-attended public meeting on the future of Drumcondra. This is an area that often falls between development plans, so we agreed to push for a dedicated masterplan for Drumcondra to include housing & planning needs, traffic management, access to the Tolka greenway, a local environment improvement strategy and the development of a cultural & educational hub in the area.
- After the government brought forward their plans on cuckoo funds in the housing market, Marie spoke in the Seanad about how they were choosing to ignore the needs of our urban communities. By excluding apartments from changes to stamp duty and permitting a massive overconcentration of build-to-rent, co-living and student accommodation developments in place of real homes, the government is effectively ignoring those of us who want to live in the many wonderful communities that make up our cities.
In the Seanad
- This week we was very proud to introduce, along with Senator Ivana Bacik, our Reproductive Health Leave Bill. This is a vital first step in providing for women who have undergone a miscarriage or are undertaking fertility treatment and I’m delighted to say the government is allowing the bill to progress. You can find Marie's speech on this important and deeply personal topic here.
- This month we have been working on a new bill which would ban unpaid internships and better protect paid interns under our employment law. This is one of many measures which will be needed to tackle the growing crisis of youth unemployment and generational inequality, and we were very grateful to discuss these issues with representatives from the youth sector.
- As Labour Party spokesperson for culture, Marie raised the deeply concerning issue of harassment, coercion and assault within the traditional music sector and the structures which protect abusers and punish their victims. We will continue to amplify the message of Fair Plé and their social movement, #MiseFosta, and are in touch with the government and Arts Council on the steps which now need to be taken.
- As society began to reopen, we have highlighted the importance of music, dance and drama classes for children and young people and called for clear guidance from government as to when these can reopen.