Paul’s record as a TD in Dáil Éireann

Reversing Education Cuts

Unlike other candidates, Paul Gogarty can claim a number of real, verifiable achievements nationally. His biggest is in the area of Education. Paul was Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills from 2007-2010. And, when every other area was suffering from massive cutbacks, Paul personally ensured that investment in Education was protected. At the time this stopped class sizes being cut, SNA numbers being reduced and the reintroduction of third level tuition fees. This work was recognised in the media and he was thanked publicly by each of the teaching unions. “Gogarty punched above his weight in education” – The Irish Times

Fighting to protect our planet

In 2019 Ireland got its first reverse vending machine, which provides rewards from certain companies for recycling. Paul Gogarty was talking about these in 2005 and as far back as 2002 called for a refundable deposit on beverage containers such as bottles and cans as a means of avoiding single use plastics and also reducing visible litter. He has always spoken about climate change and the need for renewable energy security in Ireland. Paul recognises that we only have a short window if we are to stop the planet heating irreversably. He is an avid rebutter of climate conspiracy theories online and always backs up his arguments with credible scientific data. It’s not about how bad or good other countries are; Ireland is one of the biggest carbon emitters in the EU. If elected, Paul will not give the Government an inch and will call out their excuses until meaningful and credible further action is taken.

Tackling corruption in politics

Paul has been an outspoken critic of political cronyism and corruption. He was the only politician to seek an investigation into Senator Ivor Callely’s phone expense claims, firstly by writing to the Clerk of the Seanad and then going into Lucan Garda station to make a statement. This investigation ultimately led to a prison sentence and unfortunately is only one of a few instances of someone being given a jail term for political corruption in this country.

Paul

has also spoken several times about the need for TDs and Senators to show solidarity with those less well off who are struggling. Even when times were good during the Celtic Tiger boom, Paul criticised TD pay increases, that were more than double those of pensioners and those on disabled benefit, as a “urination on the less well off”.

Child abuse in residential institutions

Paul has been an outspoken critic of the slow and mealy-mouthed response by religious orders in charge of industrial schools and other institutions found to have covered up and contributed to the abuse of thousands of vulnerable children over many years. As a TD Paul spoke up for survivors during debates and liaised with campaigners such as the late Christine Buckley.

He was once told to leave the Dail chamber for not sitting down and continuing to speak up for a survivor who had been on hunger strike for 40 days outside Leinster House (after being told by his son on a Thursday that he had stopped taking water and was likely to be dead by the time the Dail sat next). His actions attracted the attention of the Gerry Ryan show and ensured that Departmental representatives finally engaged with the man on the outstanding issues he was protesting about in Buswell’s Hotel opposite the Dail, before he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Other national issues

Paul has also highlighted lapses in the healthcare service, including in nursing homes. He tabled a bill seeking to improve access to land for walkers, co-sponsored a bill on neighbourhood noise has raised gas safety issues, questioned public transport policy and outlined the need for a nationwide audit of sports facilities so as to ensure facilities for those that need them most in each area. He has raised issues of Garda resourcing and successfully pressed for Garda mountain bike units in his constituency. He has highlighted the need for well-insulated affordable and social housing, with a focus on building well-planned communities rather than simply piling up houses.

What do you think?

Are there any issues that Paul as your newly elected TD should raise in the Dail chamber in the coming months. Let him know here.