Saturday 21 April 2018

Health, roads and gardaí on TDs' local wish-lists

Independent TD Michael Healy Rae. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Independent TD Michael Healy Rae. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cormac McQuinn and Kevin Doyle

Independent TDs want improved health services, new roads, housing initiatives, more gardaí and investment in education projects among other items on their constituency wish lists.

While many Independents considering backing a minority government led by Fine Gael or Fianna Fail have spoken of the importance of national issues, several have set out local matters they want to see included in a government deal to win their support.

Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae told the Irish Independent he wants to see action on healthcare, jobs and infrastructure in his constituency.

He said that improved levels of health care for the elderly and for people with mental health problems are needed.

"Access into our county is depriving us of getting jobs," Mr Healy-Rae said.

He highlighted the need for a Macroom by-pass and better broadband.

Galway East's Seán Canney of the Independent Alliance (IA) wants to see more European funds being drawn down to develop the western rail corridor and a motorway from Tuam to Sligo and on to Derry.

"In a nutshell - infrastructural development in the West of Ireland. That's not local. It's affecting everyone," he said.

His IA colleague Michael Fitzmaurice said he raised the issues of wind turbines in talks with Fine Gael. He described the issue as "the elephant in the room", noting that while Fine Gael mentioned the need for wind energy they failed to state any setback distances.

Dublin Central TD Maureen O'Sullivan said she is seeking "timeframes and costings" for social housing developments on the city's northside including projects at North King Street, Dominick Street, O'Devaney Gardens and the planned refurbishment of St Mary's Mansions.

She's also looking for improved services to fight addiction.

Ms O'Sullivan said: "When it's local, it's national. There's isn't a community in the country that's not affected by addiction."


Mattie McGrath wants "fairness and respect for the people of Tipperary". He said: "There's huge issues in health.

"Our hospital is in a desperate state in Clonmel" and he also believes his county needs more Gardaí.

Dublin South-West TD Katherine Zappone said she has asked for "additional investment in further and community education" especially in disadvantaged areas to help the unemployed.

Asked if it included funding for An Cosán, the education centre she co-founded, she said that it is "in a situation where I think it could advance those issues, but there's a lot of community organisations and education programmes going on in Tallaght area too."

What the Independents want

Michael Healy Rae

The Kerry TD says: “There should be a minister for rural affairs to rural-proof all government policy... Sure that covers everything.”

Danny Healy Rae

Wants improved health services, a jobs creation programme for Kerry and better roads and broadband.

Kevin 'Boxer' Moran

Wants assurances surrounding a local barracks.

Michael Fitzmaurice

The Roscommon-Galway TD is concerned about wind turbines but noted that while Fine Gael mentioned the need for wind energy they failed to state any setback distances.

Maureen O’Sullivan

The Dublin Central TD is seeking “timeframes and costings” for social housing developments.

Katherine Zappone

Wants additional investment in further and community education.

Sean Canney

The Galway East TD would like to see more funding for infrastructure in the West.

John Halligan

The Waterford TD wants 24-hour cardiac care in the local hospital.

Finian McGrath

The Dublin TD wants a new cystic fibrosis unit for Beaumont Hospital.

Denis Naughten

The former Fine Gael TD says: “My issues are national and I’m not going into my issues other than that.”

Michael Harty

Won’t be publically discussing requests for Clare. “I’ll be looking for something for the health service in general... and retention of services in rural communities,” he says.

Mattie McGrath

The Tipperary TD wants investment in South Tipperary General Hospital, and more gardaí for the area.

Irish Independent

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