Labour Party TDs and Senators at the Clanard Court Hotel / PHOTO: SENATOR MARK WALL
Labour Party TDs and Senators gathered in Athy today for a think-in ahead of the new Oireachtas term.
The parliamentary party members are involved in debates and workshops at The Clanard Court Hotel today and tomorrow.
Local Senator Mark Wall said he was delighted to welcome party colleagues to the area.
Issues on the agenda include housing, climate, hospital waiting lists, education and social care.
Guest speakers include Dr Laura Bambrick of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and climate change expert Ali Sheridan.
The Labour Party will also release a new policy document, A New Deal for our Towns and Villages, a plan for revitalising Ireland’s urban areas.
Meanwhile, following the successful election of Deputy Ivana Bacik to the Dáil, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has announced a reshuffle of Labour Party spokespeople.
Deputy Kelly has said that the time has come for a New Deal for a fairer Ireland. Many people have reflected on their relationship with the State during the pandemic, and there is an opportunity now to build back better.
Deputy Kelly said:
“We want a New Deal for a fairer Ireland, that delivers on the social contract. That means a new deal for working people, a new deal for secure and affordable housing, a new deal that recognises the challenges of the 21st century.
“The Labour Party is offering people a positive alternative vision - a programme for real change based in hope and grounded in our social democratic values, a more caring and kinder politics. Coming out of the pandemic, into a post-Covid Ireland there can be no going back to normal. It’s not just about building back better; it’s about building back fairer.
“We have a dynamic team with a range of experiences from across political life and civil society. We are delighted to see Deputy Bacik elected to the Dáil. Ivana is a change maker, the real deal, who has worked so hard to make Ireland a better place. During the campaign, we all listened to the real concerns that voters have like affordable housing, better communities and the real need to address climate change. In recognition of this, I have appointed Deputy Bacik as our spokesperson on climate where she will continue to work with stakeholders and push this Government to deliver a green new deal.
“Covid-19 has been a great disruptor and has shown us what Government can achieve when our people need the support of our State the most. We cannot go back to the stagnant pre-Covid policies. Too many people are just about getting by or struggling. When they say we need to build back better, what we need is to build back fairer. We need a new social contract.
“The Labour Party won’t continue to accept tired arguments from this Government that freezing rent isn’t possible; that a single tier health service isn’t possible; or that creating a sustainable tax base that isn’t reliant on foreign direct investment isn’t possible. All that is required is an ambitious vision and the political will to deliver what Irish people deserve.”
Alan Kelly TD – Party Leader, Spokesperson on Northern Ireland.
Duncan Smith TD – Party Whip; Spokesperson on Health, Transport and Communications.
Ivana Bacik TD – Spokesperson on the Environment and Climate, Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Brendan Howlin TD – Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brexit and Justice.
Ged Nash TD – Spokesperson on Finance; Public Expenditure and Reform.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD – Spokesperson on Education; Enterprise and Trade.
Seán Sherlock TD – Parliamentary Party Chair; Spokesperson on Social Protection, Agriculture Food and the Marine, Rural and Community Development, Committee of Public Accounts.
Senator Rebecca Moynihan – Seanad Group Leader and Party Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Senator Marie Sherlock – Seanad Whip; Party Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
Senator Mark Wall – Party Spokesperson on Defence, Tourism and Sport.
Senator Annie Hoey – Party Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
In the Dáil the following Departments will be covered by:
Ivana Bacik: Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science
Brendan Howlin: Department of Defence.
Ged Nash: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.