Monthly Archive for October, 2007

Press Release – Dormant Accounts funding a welcome boost for local schools – O’Gorman

24/10/07

Green Party Dublin West representative, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the allocation of money from the Dormant Accounts Funds to local schools in Dublin 15 for Information & Communications Technology (ICT).

“It’s great to see the money contained in dormant back accounts being used for something as worthwhile as improving ICT in local schools. These grants, ranging between 4,000 and 7,600 will be given to 10 schools in the Dublin 15 area and will be put to uses such as buying new PC’s and laptops along with other equipment and educational software”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The funding being granted to 10 schools in Dublin 15 is part of a total of 3.3 million being granted to schools across the country and is being granted as part of the Department of Educations ‘Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools’ programme. Since 2006, over 10 million has been distributed from the Dormant Accounts to areas dealing with social or educational disadvantage or dealing with disability”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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My reaction to the Constituency Commission Report

The report of the Constituency Commission was released this afternoon.

Like pretty much everyone else in the Dublin 15 area, I welcome the addition of an extra seat to the Dublin West constituency. We are currently massively underrepresented, and like many other people, the Green Party called for an extra seat for the constituency in our submission. However, I do find the decision of the Commission to include a large portion of Swords within the constituency as bizarre. While like Dublin 15, Swords is part of Fingal County Council, I feel there is very little connection between Swords and places like Mulhuddart, Blanchardstown or Castleknock.

While the old Dublin West constituency did require extra population to justify a forth seat, I think that this would have been better achieved if extra territory had been added along the Navan Road and Ashtown as this area would have much more of a connection to Dublin 15. This was what we in the Green Party suggested in our submission.

Now that our Dail representation has been addressed, the next step that must be taken is to rebalance the number of county councillors that the Dublin 15 area elects, as here again we are hugely underrepresented. I look forward to the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, rapidly setting up a new Commission to redraw the boundaries of local authority wards in time for the Local Elections.

Hoever, I’m deeply disappointed that the Constituency Commission had recommend that Dublin loses one MEP for the next Euro Elections. This now leaves Dublin the most under-represented of the Euro constituencies in the country, with over 42,000 more people per MEP than any other constituency. The Commission has shown absolutely no imagination in deciding to go with four 3 seat constituencies.

Pensions Green Paper an important first step – O’Gorman

21/10/07

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the publication of a Green Paper on Pensions by the Department of Social & Family Affairs.

“The publication of the Green Paper on Pensions is an important first step in dealing with the major difficulties that will be faced in the coming decades as our population grows older. Crucial issues such as retirement age, the possible age for mandatory pensions and the position of women and those in part time work are just some of the critical questions that have to be addressed”.

“Many of these issues were addressed in Policy on Pensions launched by the Green Party last year. We are particularly pleased to see that one of our key proposals, a tapered SSIA scheme which would be targeted towards lower earners, has been included as an option for discussion”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

The Government is inviting interested parties and the public at large to submit comments on the proposals outlined within the Green Paper.

“I see the publication of the Green paper on Pensions as an excellent stimulation for debate on what will be one of the most pressing economic issues of the next 50 years. I would urge the public to get fully involved and make comments on the Green Paper by the deadline in mid-2008”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman

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Good Luck Felix

I hear that Felix Gallagher, the Sinn Fein councillor in Mulhuddart, is to resign his seat on Fingal County Council. I’d like to wish Felix and his family all the best. I’m sure that he had to think long and hard about this decision. I know he’s worked hard on behalf of Dublin 15 residents, both on Fingal County Council and also in his role as coordinator of a local Community Development Project. I’ve no doubt that he will be a significant loss to his party in the area.

Press Release – Charter of Fundamental Rights a positive step for the EU – O’Gorman

16/10/07

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the announcement by the Government that Ireland will not be seeking to opt out of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

“I’m delighted to see that the Government has decided that we will not be opting out of the Charter but instead that it will apply fully in Ireland. It would have been a major mistake to follow the like of the UK and Poland in seeking to prevent its application here. The Green Party minister in Government argued strongly that Irish citizens should receive the benefit of the Charter and as such, we are very pleased with this decision”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The Charter guarantees a broad range of rights covering usual areas such as civil rights but also wider areas such as education, health and the environment. The Charter will act as a guard against institutions of the European Community, such as the Council or Commission, violating the rights of citizens. Such a definite list of rights has long been missing from the Community Treaties and its addition will be a welcome step towards making the Community a more democratic organisation”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Congratulations Joan

06/10/07

I’d just like to offer my warn congratulations to Joan Burton on winning the position of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and wish her well in the position. She has been a strong spokesperson for the Labour Party on Finance and has worked hard at both Council and national level for Dublin 15 over the past 15 years. She also proved many political analysts wrong when she held her seat in the General Election in what was (as I well know) a very competitive constituency.

Joan beat the other candidate for the position, Limerick TD Jan O’Sullivan, by 1480 votes to 1276 votes, on a turn out of 60% of Labour Party members.

While Labour now sits in opposition to us in Government, I hope that over the course of the next five years, the Labour Party will be supportive of Green Party actions in areas where we would share common positions with Labour, such as tackling climate change, investment in education, civil unions and planning reform.

Press Release – Tyre regulations “Bad for bonfires!” – O’Gorman

06/10/07

New regulations on the disposal of waste tyres, introduced by the Minister for Environment John Gormley, have been welcomed by Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman.

“I’m delighted to see Minister Gormley introducing these new regulations on dealing with waste tyres. Ireland produces a staggering 35,000 tonnes of tyre waste each year. As we approach Halloween, many of these end up being burnt, spewing out dirty smoke and toxins. While these new regulations may be bad for the bonefires, they certainly will be good for the environment”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

Under the agreement, the ITIA has established the Tyre Recovery Activity Compliance Scheme (TRACS). A network of producers, retailers and waste tyre collectors operate in the industry and the role of TRACS will be to audit the movement of tyres between the different parties involved. The participating tyre industry interests will fund the running of the TRACS system.

The Regulations impose obligations on persons who supply tyres to the Irish market, whether as manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, traders, or retailers and on the collectors of waste tyres. An exemption from these obligations is available to persons who participate in a voluntary compliance scheme operated by an approved body. Application for approved body status must be made to and be approved by the Minister.

“Waste tyres can be reused for a variety of different purposes – from surfacing playgrounds to making up new tyres. Over the past 2 years, Ireland has shown significant success in achieving the targets in electronic recycling set out under the WEEE Directive. I hope that similar successes will be achieved by this new regulation introduced by Minister Gormley”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777