In recent months I have received a number of complaints about the lack of a bus shelter at Stop No. 4747 in the Blanchardstown Town Centre. This stop is a particularly busy one, as it services the 39 route on its way into the city centre and also acts as the first stop on the 37 route.
The 37 bus stop at the Blanchardstown Town Centre (on a v wet day!)
Currently, there is no bus shelter for this stop, though the outbound 39 stop on the other side of the road is provided with a shelter. Further, the stop is adjacent to an off-road bike-path, and people standing around for the bus end up blocking this.
I have contacted Dublin Bus and asked them to investigate the possibility of getting a shelter built at this point. While undoubtedly resources are tight at the moment, since Dublin Bus has gone to great lengths to integrate the various bus services across Dublin 15, and the Town Centre is a major bus hub, locating a shelter at this position would be of significant benefit to a large number of customers.
I will continue to pursue this issue with the company and post back here when I get an update.
GLEN (Gay & Lesbian Equality Network) have released a really interesting summary of some of the details from Census 2011 which gives figures about the number of civil partnerships taking place between gay and lesbian couples across the country.
The figures show that since civil partnerships came into operation in April 2011, 26 couples living in the Dublin 15 area have entered into them. This is one of the highest figures within the Dublin City postcode area. Indeed, it is only slightly lower than the 30 couples who undertook civil partnerships in Cork City during the same period.
The 26 couples from Dublin 15 are part of 862 couples who have entered into civil partnerships across the country between April 2011 and September 2012. Civil partnerships involve a wide range of rights and responsibilities between the partners across areas including tax, social welfare, pensions and inheritance rights.
The Green Party was instrumental in ensuring that the Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2010. Since then, over 1700 people across the country and more than 50 in Dublin 15 have been able to enjoy the benefits that they provide. These figures demonstrate how necessary the introduction of civil partnerships was. In the Green Party, we have always seen civil partnerships a crucial first step towards the final goal of allows gay and lesbian citizens equal access to the institution of civil marriage. When the Government finally sets up the Constitutional Convention, we will work hard to make sure the Convention proposes a referendum on the issue.
On the 10th November, we will be voting in the Children’s Rights Referendum, on a proposal to insert a new Article 42A on Children’s Rights into the Constitution.
I am strongly supporting a Yes vote. I believe that adding the new Article 42A to the Constitution will change the law in a number of key ways, which will strengthen the legal position of all children in the country.
The new Article 42A.1 will see the rights of all children officially recognised in the Constitution for the first time. Judges will be able to use this provision to further expand the protection of children. The State will now have the same power to intervene in situations where the safety or welfare of children is at risk using the new Article 42A.2.1. This article will also see children being treated the same irrespective of whether the child’s parents are married or not.
The adoption of children from broken homes will be made easier through Articles 42A.2.2 and 42A.3. Further, Article 42A.4 will mean that children will be entitled to have their own views heard in court proceedings about them, such as guardianship, custody and access, when this is appropriate.
Obviously, changing the Constitution will not immediately resolve every difficulty faced by children in our country. However, this proposal marks a significant change in the relationship between the law and children and works to make the child the centre of legal concern. For these reasons, it deserves to be supported.