I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for me on May 24th, along with the many people to helped me with my campaign.
My congratulations to the winning candidates in Dublin West. I’d like to pay tribute to Joe Higgins, a committed and hard-working TD, on the loss of his seat. I’d also like to say how sorry I was to see my Green Party colleague, Dan Boyle, lose his seat in Cork South Central. Dan will be sorely missed in the Dail.
Obviously I was a bit disappointed at the size of my first preference vote. I had been knocking on doors for the previous 10 months and the reaction I was getting on the doorsteps was really positive with people telling me they wanted change and that they wanted to see the Green Party in government. Unfortunately, like in most of the other constituencies across the country, during the last weeks of the campaign we got squeezed between the larger parties. At the same time, I was able to increase the Green Party vote by 1.3%, when all the other small parties in Dublin West lost ground when compared with 2002.
Our next objective in the constituency has to be to prepare for the local and European elections in 2009. I will continue to highlight the key issues on which I campaigned on in this election, namely education, planning, transport and the environment. Should the next government be led by Fianna Fail, as seems likely, I have no confidence that these issues will be addressed, considering that they have not been addressed over the last 10 years. We will be seeking to get councillors elected in the Castleknock and Mulhuddart wards, so that we can further represent the needs of Dublin 15 and advance the Green Agenda on Fingal County Council.
Again, my thanks for all the support and good wishes.
Dublin West Green Party candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has branded as inadequate the new speed monitors that have been placed on the Diswellstown Road.
“Over the past three weeks, I have met many residents of the area while out canvassing and concern about speeding is a major issue. There is one primary and one secondary school located along the Diswellstown Road so there is a constant stream of children and teenagers crossing back and forth. Many of the residential streets in Luttrellstown back onto the road and parents are nervous about letting their kids out to play”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
“Generally, the residents seem very disappointed with the speed monitors. They feel that in certain cases, they may actually encourage speeding by letting boy racers know exactly how fast they are going. Further, I noticed myself how difficult it is for motorists to actually see the dial, especially when heading in the direction of Fernleigh, as the dial is obscured by tree branches”.
“I would agree with the disappointment felt by many residents when ramps were not installed along the road. While I understand that Dublin Bus had concerns about the use of ramps, I think they are the best way of combating speeding. Should the speed monitors be found to have no effect on the boy-racers to who use the Diswellstown Road, I will be pushing for ramps to be added instead”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
Dublin West Green Party candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has described as “outrageous” remarks made by the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin. He was speaking after the Minister said in an interview with RTE News that no schools places crisis existed.
“Poor Brian Lenihan must cringe every time Mary Hanafin speaks on the issue of lack of school places. In numerous meetings over the last two months, I have seen major anger directed at our resident Minister over the issue of lack of schools at primary and secondary level in Dublin 15. Yet despite all the publicity the issue has received, and all Minister Lenihan’s statements that he is raising the problem with the Department of Education, Mary Hanafin still doesn’t seem to understand the scale of the issue. Or perhaps, she just doesn’t care”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
“The last new secondary school built in Dublin 15 was Castleknock Community College in 1995. That was twelve years ago, and those twelve years have been the most economically successful in our nations history. Those twelve years have also seen Dublin 15 become the fastest growing are in the entire country. Yet despite all this, the current FF/PD Government haven’t been able to deliver a new secondary school – Phibblestown Community School won’t be completed till 2009/10 at the earliest. I don’t think that a government with a record like this deserves re-election”.
“A vote for Fianna Fail on the 24th is a vote for the continued negligence that Mary Hanafin and her department have shown to the needs of students and their parents in Dublin 15. On the other hand, the Green Party has set out a detailed and fully costed package on how we will invest in education over a 10 year period. When people give me their No.1 vote on Thursday, they are voting for a party that is committed to delivering primary and secondary schools to communities in need across Dublin West”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
A pre-election statement from Green Party Dublin West candidate, Roderic O’Gorman.
Over the last three weeks, people have been telling me at the doorsteps that they want a change. They want the planning laws changed, so that developers have to contribute some facilities to the communities that they are creating. They want change in the Department of Education, so it starts planning for new schools before new housing estates are built – not ten years after the homes are finished. They want change in the way we travel to and from work, so that using public transport can become a realistic option for all. And they want a change in the way we are currently polluting our planet, so Ireland plays its part in tackling global warming.
Only a No.1 vote for the Green Party, and myself in Dublin West, guarantees this change.
We are standing on an independent platform in this election. Should we be in a position to negotiate a programme for government after the votes are counted, we will have three non-negotiable demands. The first is that the next government will invest 1 billion extra into education each year over ten years to guarantee our children the best start in life. The second is a commitment to clean up politics by banning corporate donations to politicians. This will make sure that the bad planning decisions that result in insufficient affordable housing for young couples will become a thing of the past. Finally, any government that the Green Party will form must be committed to tackling climate change – the greatest threat to our planet. This will mean major investment in public transport to give people the option of leaving their cars at home and supporting renewable energy in Ireland to cut our dependence on expensive oil and gas.
In negotiations to form a government, the Green Party will be pushing to have as much of our manifesto implemented as possible. The more Green TD’s elected and the more No.1 votes we receive, the more of our politics that can be implemented. However, the three areas I outline above are non-negotiable. Any party that refuses to sign up to these need not come knocking on our door.
As a lifelong resident of Dublin 15, I have seen the disasters in areas like planning, traffic and education that have been created in our community by the failure of the current government. I sincerely believe that Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats need to be put out of office. However, if we want real change in Dublin 15 and across the country, it is essential that the Green Party forms part of the next government.
It’s time to give me and the Green Party your No.1 vote, and make change happen.
In my latest youtube video log I discuss the worsening education crisis in Dublin West and my plans to tackle it.
You might have heard about the ‘Rumble in Ranelagh’ yesterday afternoon when the Green Party Chairman John Gormley TD confronted the PD leader Michael McDowell over the lies that party have being spreading about the Green Party during the campaign.
You can see the fireworks here
I might be the smallest bit biased, but I think John was the clear winner.
Our party political broadcast will be played on RTE 1 tomorrow just before the FF FG leaders debate.
Check it out here on YouTube.
In this edition of my youtube video log I discuss the problem of graffiti in Dublin West and my plans to tackle the issue.