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 Header Item Assaults on Older Persons Bill 2018: First Stage (Continued)
 Header Item Dublin (North Inner City) Development Authority Bill 2018: First Stage
 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)
 Header Item Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 971 No. 6

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Mary Butler: Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler] There is also evidence that older people are more prone to psychological trauma after experiencing crime. As noted in a 2014 publication by the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, when a crime is committed against a person aged over 60 research shows that he or she might be less well able to recover psychologically than if he or she was at an earlier point in his or her life. The fear of crime can also be damaging to the well-being of the older person because it can alter his or her state of mind and level of social interaction.

We have seen horrific incidences of older people being attacked in their own homes by marauding burglars. It is now a common occurrence in our country for older men and women to be attacked and held hostage while their homes are ransacked. Garda sources say that even those victims subjected to more minor assaults, or in some cases extreme verbal threats, find it difficult to feel safe in their homes again and in some instances they never go back to living alone again. These are terrible crimes that scar people and their families. It creates fear in communities that is hard to shake and get over. I look forward to working with other parties and the Government to advance this legislation and put in place the protections older people deserve.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is the Bill opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh No.

Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy Mary Butler: Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl   Question put and agreed to.

Dublin (North Inner City) Development Authority Bill 2018: First Stage

Deputy John Lahart: Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make provision for the regeneration of the area of Dublin's north inner city and for that purpose to provide for the establishment of a body to be known as the Dublin Inner City Development Authority to oversee said regeneration, to define the functions of said body and to provide for related matters.

I wish to acknowledge the commitment and time that iar-Thaoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, invested in the north inner city area of Dublin since a gang war erupted in the area in mid 2016. Dublin north inner city belongs to the local community but it is also part of the cultural narrative of Ireland as a whole. This Bill is to demonstrate a long-term commitment to Dublin north inner city, so the Bill goes beyond transient political interests in the heart of our capital city.

  Dublin north inner city has enormous cultural and historical riches and potential, but it remains plagued with dereliction and the social fabric of the area continues to decline and degenerate. If passed, this Bill will demonstrate the commitment of the State to a lasting commitment to a community in our capital city as opposed to particular individuals. When the gangland feud erupted two years ago, the Government committed to regenerating the north inner city and on foot of that commitment it established the north inner city task force under Mr. Kieran Mulvey. We welcomed that at the time.

  Its essential weakness, however, was that it had no statutory footing. There is no guarantee that commitment made two years ago will endure, that the interest will last or it will transcend public relations exercises. We have a strong conviction on this side of the House that there has to be a long-term commitment, ten years in the case of this Bill, by the State. Like my party leader, Deputy Micheál Martin, I met with the north inner city coalition groups. They have been working for decades and would benefit greatly from the support of a statutory body or agency as opposed to a passing fad or phase of interest.

  North inner city communities agree that what they need is an agency to help them tackle the root cause of poverty and the inability of young people to advance and achieve their true potential. Some of them succumb, despite their own best efforts and the efforts of the many amazingly supportive community groups and services, to the tantalising allure of the diversion and distraction of drugs and crime. To those suspicious of the timing of this Bill, I point out that at the time the gangland feuds were at their peak and responses were being formulated, my party colleague in the area, Ms Mary Fitzpatrick, in a written submission in 2016, suggested such a statutory body to act as a catalyst and reliable long-term bulwark for efforts in the north inner city to ensure long-term commitment and to have real powers and authority to guarantee that what needs to happen would actually happen.

  There are enormous areas of potential within this historic part of contemporary Dublin and the authority proposed in this Bill, if enacted, would guarantee that every effort would be made to maximise and develop the full potential of the community. My party has a strong record of facilitating such regeneration in the heart of our capital. The Grangegorman campus for example, once a 70 acre piece of derelict inner city Dublin, has been utterly transformed under the powers of an authority into a high technology university campus in the heart of the capital. It has been done before. In introducing this Bill though, I am mindful that Dublin north inner city is not an isolated example of where regeneration and support is badly needed. Parts of my constituency and neighbouring constituencies have been truly ignored by this and the previous Government: it is almost like they do not exist.

  The publication, for example, in January of this year of the investment of RAPID programme monies bears testimony to this. In 2017, the total funding allocation for RAPID was €5 million. From that, each of 31 local authorities received an allocation of €64,500 but €2.5 million was ringfenced for Dublin's north inner city. The budget available in 2018 has shrunk to €2 million. The Government is storing up trouble ahead in these areas of disadvantage. The challenges facing Dublin's north inner city are not isolated and it is its historical and cultural setting that sets it apart. Real measures, however, are needed now. What I am proposing will be needed to tackle the challenges facing communities in Jobstown, Killinarden and parts of north Clondalkin, represented by my colleague, Deputy John Curran. I invite colleagues to read the Bill, to engage positively and constructively in it as it comes, if it comes, and progresses before the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is this Bill being opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh No.

Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy John Lahart: Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl   Question put and agreed to.

Business of Dáil

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The Minister of State, Deputy Joe McHugh, has a business proposal to put to the House.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Tá brón orm go bhfuil orm cur isteach ar an Teach chun an sceideal a athrú. Notwithstanding yesterday's Order of Business, it is proposed that the motion for the referral of the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2018 to select committee is hereby withdrawn and Committee and Remaining Stages of the Bill shall be taken tomorrow in the order indicated in the third revised report of the Business Committee and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after one hour by one question which will be put from the Chair and which shall, in respect of amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Finance, Deputy Paschal Donohoe.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is the Government's revised proposal agreed? Agreed.

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Before we start the clock ticking on Taoiseach's Questions, clearly the current way of dealing with these questions is better than how we used to deal with them but it is still not satisfactory. The timing is not working out correctly. With the agreement of the House, we will ask the Dáil reform committee to look at a more efficient way of trying to deal with these questions in the new term. I note that today there are a large number of questions in the third group and it is really impossible to fit the grouping into the time allocated. I ask all the Members to stick to the allocated time and we will try to get through as much of this as we can.

Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

 1. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on his meeting with European Union, EU, Commission President, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker during his visit to Dublin. [27494/18]

 2. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on his meeting with President Juncker; the issues that were discussed; if President Juncker raised the December backstop agreement; and President Juncker's views in relation to the Brexit negotiations. [27687/18]

 3. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on his recent engagement with the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker. [28955/18]

 4. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on his meeting with European Union Commission President, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker. [29098/18]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, together.

I was pleased to welcome the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to Government Buildings on Thursday, 21 June, where we had a very constructive and friendly meeting. This was President Juncker’s first visit to Dublin in his current role. He was accompanied by Commissioner Hogan and Mr. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

At our meeting, we discussed the state of play in the Brexit negotiations in advance of the June European Council. Mr. Barnier reiterated his assessment that serious divergences remain between the EU and the UK on how to resolve the Irish Border question. As the EU side has made clear, the withdrawal agreement must contain a fully operational backstop so there can be no hard border on this island in the future, whatever circumstances may prevail. For there to be a withdrawal agreement and a period of transition there has to be full agreement on all issues. As we both made clear, there is now an urgent need to intensify efforts if we are to conclude a withdrawal agreement and have it operational by the time the United Kingdom leaves the EU next March.

I, of course, took the opportunity to convey my sincere appreciation to both President Juncker and Mr. Michel Barnier for their unwavering support and solidarity throughout the negotiations, as the President reiterated when he spoke in this Chamber. It is clear that EU partners remain absolutely steadfast in their support around the Irish issues. We also discussed a number of other important EU issues ahead of the June European Council, including migration. While noting Ireland was less directly affected than other member states, I made clear our wish to play our part in developing a comprehensive EU approach, based on ensuring strong external borders; solidarity between member states; and working in partnership with countries of origin, particularly African countries, to underpin political and economic development in those countries, so that people can enjoy better lives and opportunities in their home countries.


Last Updated: 05/06/2020 15:36:12 First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page