1. Are you for or against the elimination of the local property tax?
On single home ownership, this tax seems unfair – a tax just to have a roof over your head!! It would be fair to tax those who own a second or multiple properties though.
2. Are you for or against repealing the 8th Amendment?
I am fully supportive of a referendum to let the people decide on this issue. Personally, I would advocate change.
3. Are you for or against the creation of a directly elected mayor for the Dublin area, with greater powers over, housing, transport and revenue raising?
I think with the right planning and brief, this is an excellent idea for the mayor of our capital city, particularly for the role of raising revenue and community building. I feel it would be important for the role to be filled by a person with a real vision, someone willing to try new things to make the city a better place to live and visit, and to provide leadership for the protection of heritage, arts and culture in the city. In my view, Dublin could easily be the envy of Europe with the right vision for its future.
4. Who should be responsible for setting minimum apartment standards, local authorities or the national government?
I think standards should be set at national level for equitable reasons. Local authorities would probably be better equipped to implement these standards.
5. Are you for or against ending religious patronage of all schools?
Yes, I’m a big supporter of Educate Together. This child-centered, equality based approach to education is the best approach that I see out there for our children. They need more support at government level.
6. Are you for or against the provision of medically supervised injection centres in Dublin?
Absolutely in support of this. The evidence from a number of towns and cities across Europe where similar initiatives exist suggest the outcomes and benefits clearly favour both addicts and the communities. It is about time we start addressing the real issues with drugs and addiction, and treat addicts medically instead of criminally. When the likes of Fr Peter McVerry speaks in favour of injection centres, I would tend to listen.
7. Are you for or against giving asylum seekers the right to work?
For. I believe introduction-to-work schemes should be initiated to allow refugees opportunities to gain employment and earn a wage. The current system of a total ban on asylum seekers being able to work and being left, essentially in limbo, for an indefinite amount of time while waiting for their application to be processed is a breach of human rights. It is important that community initiatives are also in place to allow asylum seekers integrate into Irish society.
8. What, if anything, should be done about Irish Water?
I think we all know that we have to pay for water, and I don’t believe that this is the issue with anybody who objects to Irish Water. How this public company, which is all but private in its structure, was designed and forced upon the people without due process or consideration for public concerns is typical of the contempt that recent governments have show to the people. It is incredibly frustrating to see the establishment of yet another public organization that seems destined to hemorrhage money due to top-heavy management and administration structures more suitable to the Stone Age than the Technological Age. But has the damage been done? It needs careful consideration rather than reactive abolition, as there is hundreds of millions of public money at stake. We certainly need to rein in any potential ability for the company to cut a citizen off from their water supply and ensure the company can never be sold to private interests.
9. Are you for or against the immediate introduction of a vacant-land levy in Dublin?
On the face of it, I would be in favour, especially if these funds went straight back into the community. I would be even more in favour of vacant land, buildings and facilities in the city being handed over to community-driven projects and initiatives during their period of inoccupation.
10. Are you for or against banning zero-hour employment contracts?
This is a no brainer for me. I am vehemently against zero-hour contracts and the creation of a bargain labour economy. Every man and woman should have the right to build a career through their employment, with opportunities for further training, education and promotion up the ranks to more senior and better-remunerated positions, on the basis of performance.
11. Are you for or against ending unvouched expenses for TDs and councillors?
Anything that means elected representatives are more accountable would get my support. This is public money we are talking about after all. Where can you not get a receipt for a transaction these days? If you gave a stranger your bank card and PIN to pick up a few bits from Lidl and they came back saying, “Oh, that cost €450,” would you believe them, or would you prefer to see the receipt?
12. Are you for or against bringing in a new system of independent building inspections carried out by government inspectors to ensure that buildings are built to code?
We must do all that we can to ensure building standards are met to an acceptable level. Not to create more bureaucracy, but for safer, long-term, quality housing.
In preparation for 26 February, we asked candidates running in Dublin for their views on a dozen issues. You can read what all the candidates had to say here.