Tuesday 27 September 2016

Emotions run high as Joanna Tuffy meets women struggling to make ends meet for 'Dáil on the Dole' show

Published 03/05/2015 | 16:06

Joanna Tuffy, Willie O'Dea, Catherine Byrne and John Halligan take part in TV3's 'Dail on the Dole'.
Joanna Tuffy, Willie O'Dea, Catherine Byrne and John Halligan take part in TV3's 'Dail on the Dole'.

In this week's episode of TV3's Dáil on the Dole

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The station's new documentary follows four TDs as they spend time with the people in their constituencies who are surviving on social welfare.

In episode 3, which airs on Monday May 4th, Labour TD Joanna Tuffy meets local Lucan resident Mandy Boggans whose lone parent payment is due to be cut this July. This means that Mandy, who works part-time and loves her job, would be better off financially if she was unemployed.

Mandy believes that while she's trying to improve the situation for herself and her family the Government keeps "dragging her back".

Joanna also meets some of Mandy's neighbours who cannot sleep in their own beds due to damp conditions and who have been advocating for years for community services that should have been there from the outset. Left alone to sort out these problems, the local residents ask Joanna to get involved and be a voice for the community.

One of Mandy's neighbours Olufunmilayo (Fummi) Olatunji is concerned for her children’s health with the damp conditions she is forced to live in.

Fummi is desperate after several failed attempts to get the damp conditions in her house seen to and is now concerned for the health of her children.

“When I first moved in here, someone came to me from engineering and said ‘you’ve been cooking too much, you do this, you should have been opening your window’. I can’t believe I’m living in a house and I wouldn’t be able to eat because I don’t want damp to come into my house. It’s not my fault. They put the blame on you. They make you look as if you are the dirty type, that you don’t clean your house. This is so serious and I don’t want it to start affecting my children’s health, like giving them bronchitis or anything, breathing problems, because of the kind of smell that comes up from my room. You wouldn’t be able to stand in there.”

With many Irish people believing their elected representatives have no understanding of the issues that rule their everyday lives, and TDs thinking they work more hours than anyone on the planet, Dáil on the Dole is a programme which gives both sides the chance to walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

Will meeting the women of Balgaddy open up Joanna's eyes and understand the real issues pervading her constituency?

‘Dáil on the Dole’ episode 3 (featuring Joanna Tuffy in Dublin Mid-West) airs Monday (4th May) at 9pm on TV3.

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