An unrivalled track record during this Council term and previous achievements as a TD
Paul has achieved politically
Unlike most candidates, Paul Gogarty can
claim a number of real, verifiable achievements
locally and nationally.
His biggest achievement nationally was in the area of Education. Paul was Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills from 2007-2010. And, when ever other area was suffering from massive cutbacks, Paul personally ensured that investment in Education was protected.
This stopped class sizes being cut, SNA numbers being reduced and the reintroduction of third level tuition fees. Where Paul had real influence, he used it. “Investment in education and quality childcare, particularly in the early years, is important for our children’s personal development, for our well-being as a society and for our economic well-being. Long-term research such as the High-Scope Perry Pre-school study showed that for every €1 invested in high quality early education, there was a €17 return,” he says.
Paul helped to stop housing being built along the sensitive Liffey Valley amenity lands (see local issues) and has also been an outspoken critic of political cronyism and corruption. He was the only politician to seek an investigation by An Garda Síochána into Senator Ivor Callely’s phone expense claims, which ultimately led to a a prison sentence.
Other notable issues raised as a TD in the Dáil and elsewhere include a strong and uncompromising stance on the issue of abuse in residential institutions, the highlighting of lapses in the healthcare service, immoral increases in TDs’ pay and expenses over pensioners and social welfare recipients, access to land for walkers, gas safety issues, public transport policy and the need for a nationwide audit of sports facilities.
Paul is part of a strong alliance of Independents
Paul is a founder member of the Independent “Community Alliance” on South Dublin County Council, which includes local colleagues Cllr Guss O’Connell (Palmerstown), Cllr Liona O’Toole (Lucan), and Cllr Francis Timmons (Clondalkin). Paul has worked closely with his Community Alliance colleagues and together the group has achieved far more than they could have as individuals.
Paul consults with people regulary, listening to their concerns - "Not just at election time"
Being community-minded, Paul has always updated and consulted with constituents
Local examples include the recent Development Plan leaflet with Francis Timmons, the incinerator campaign in 2008 and bins. A wider example is the Irish Water debacle, where Paul Gogarty tabled a motion calling for a referendum on all aspects of water services, including privatisation, charges and fluoridation. “I believe the people need to be consulted directly and listened to on major decisions like this that affect their lives,” he said. “Elected representatives need to lead, but first they need to listen.”
Paul is straight talking and doesn't promise what he can't deliver
Some of what an elected representative can achieve is to highlight an issue that needs highlighting or to persist on a neglected matter of public interest. Sometimes it is to scrutinize Government legislation, at other times it is to contribute to the formation of that legislation. Councillors can’t “get” anyone a house, but Paul has assisted lots of people in ensuring they were assessed correctly and got points for what they were entitled to. He has also pushed for measures to deal with the housing crisis while never forgetting the need to build communities with integrated facilities tied in alongside. Paul Gogarty was in a right place at the right time to directly influence education policy and to stop development on the scenic Liffey Valley amenity area. However in many other cases it will be the cumulative effect of one voice along with those of many others.
Paul is still green-minded
Paul Gogarty’s focus is firmly directed at areas most people would prioritise, like creating new jobs, promoting enterprise, rewarding hard work, dealing with the housing crisis, protecting our vulnerable, tackling crime and its causes, and investing efficiently in education, health, sport, arts and community facilities. However as you would expect from someone in who was in the Green Party for 22 years, he is also very strong on green issues, recognising the need to protect our environment and heritage, to ensure good planning, to develop public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, to minimise and deal with the very real impact of climate change and to ensure we have our own renewable energy security in the future. These should save us money rather than cost us money in the long run. He had a strong record on green issues during the last Council term and his influence is reflected in the continued rollout of LED lighting, solar panels on buildings, insulation in housing, electric vehicles in the Council’s fleet and upcoming electric car charge points at Council facilities. Paul drives an electric car and has been vegan/vegetarian since a teenager, so tries to practice what he preachers.
Like many people Paul opposes the current Irish Water quango and the original system of water charges. However he supports revenue-neutral measures to stop treated water being wasted, eg a very generous free allowance, with penalties for (non-leak) water wastage combined with grants for rainwater collection systems and toilet flush reducers.
Paul has a track record second to none on local issues in Lucan and Palmerstown as a Councillor but also in wider areas as a TD and during his term as Mayor.
Paul has an outstanding track record on local issues in Brittas, Clondalkin, Newcastle, Rathcoole and Saggart, as well as in his home area of Lucan/Palmerstown. He is particularly strong on planning issues, where he has stood up for our communities on dodgy and sometimes corrupt rezonings, stopping housing in some cases and helping to get additional facilities alongside housing in others. With a national housing crisis and increasing numbers facing homelessness, he strongly supports tackling the problem but not at the expense of quality building and properly planned communities.
Paul has worked with residents’ associations and individual residents on hundreds of local issues, ranging from the Rathcoole Incinerator, Newcastle planning issues, the Clondalkin Round Tower project and Crooksling Nursing Home.
Lucan Swimming Pool – construction commencing
Paul has been actively involved in pushing for a swimming pool for many years and has a stronger and longer track record on this than any other elected representative.
Paul specified the campaign for a pool as one of his key objectives when running for election to the Council in 2014. And since his re-election there has been renewed emphasis on the pool project. Working with colleagues he managed to achieve €400,000 funding for the design of the pool and got the entire Council side of the project(costing approximately €6.2 million) budgeted for in the rolling three year capital programme. Paul has actively supported the independent Lucan Swimming Pool Campaign which has helped keep the issue high on the agenda with politicians and the Council’s Chief Executive and this combined pressure helped secure the temporary opening of the nationalswimming pool programme which allowed the Council to apply for an additional €3.8 million through this channel.
The project was delayed due to tender issues but construction is due to commence in May 2019.
Paul has a fantastic track record on education nationally and has also been responsive locally.
He is not claiming credit for “delivering” any projects but has worked alongside parents, staff and other elected reps to push for much needed school facilities throughout the constituency.
Paul fought hard alongside the “Deliver it Right” campaign to ensure that Adamstown would be developed in a sustainable way with facilities and infrastructure provided alongside the phased delivery of housing.
He played an integral role in identifying and providing new school sites on the lands and is directly responsible for one extra school being in the plan. Most recently he was the only elected rep to appeal the revised Plan to An Bord Pleanala and has done more than any other candidate on the sports and community hall, which he was proud to officially open as Mayor. Future housing is tied into the provision of parks, retail and road linkages, all related to his participation in the appeal to An Bord Pleanala on the original SDZ plan and several revisions.
Crime and antisocial behaviour
Paul has constantly pushed for additional resources for our Gardaí and was instrumental in securing more mountain bike Garda units in the constituency. He is a member of the Joint Policing Committee, the Drugs and Alcohol Sub Committee and is a consistent voice for a Local Policing Forum for Lucan and for an increased Community Policing presence in Lucan, Palmerstown and North Clondalkin.
The Scenic Liffey Valley
His work protecting the Liffey Valley is well known, from his 1998 suggesting of the St Edmundsbury referendum which stopped a housing proposal going ahead then, to a revised plan in 2008 which he had a direct role in halting. He continues to work on the ultimate goal of a regional park which will require State intervention.
Despite promising to do otherwise (remember “Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way”?), the Fine Gael/Labour coalition dutifully cut spending in line with the Troika’s demands. Because Ireland needed to borrow to fund day to day costs, some would say we had little choice. But there WAS a choice in how cutbacks in spending were applied, and the cuts they implemented targeted the weakest and the most vulnerable. Their actions were described as regressive by a number of social and economic commentators including the ESRI and Social Justice Ireland. And rightly so, as the budgets in 2012, 2013 and 2014 took more than three times as much from the bottom 40 per cent of households than it did from the top 30 per cent!
There isn’t a huge pot of money out there, especially with Brexit looming. The facts show that despite all the cutbacks, Ireland STILL managed to borrow over €100 billion between 2009-2016 s just to pay for wages, welfare and services. When the 2016 “giveaway” election budget was passed, the country was borrowing €2.8 billion. We need to be prudent and focus our resources where they are best needed. We need to tackle homelessness now so that as a society we are better able to meet the looming challenges which include a changing jobs market and the spectre of rampant climate change, avoiding EU fines for dragging our heels. We need to make polluting materials and carbon more expensive and subsidise the good things, to make it more affordable for people to heat their homes and to fuel clean public transport. As a nation we have the capacity to be self sufficient in renewables and export much-needed energy, but it needs massive political will. These are national issues which Paul would focus more on if elected again as a TD, but at local authority level there are also many ways to progress the issues mentioned above.
Paul makes poltical decisions based on the best information to hand at a given time, and while he believes in fairness and equality for all he is not tied blindly to any ideology. "The facts should influence decisions in each case", he says.
Some politicians believe that simply having principles is the start and end of elected life. Paul Gogarty believes that being elected is an honour that puts the onus on the representative to try and achieve something tangible with those principles on behalf of the people they represent. Paul is no populist ‘anti-everything’. He can draw a line in the sand, say no and oppose with vigour, but he prefers real solutions to grandstanding.
Political parties and Independents alike have to work with others of different political persuasions to try and progress their objectives. Paul Gogarty has different views from Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, Labour, or Fianna Fáil, but at different stages he has worked constructively with all these parties to achieve agreed aims and has also often supported motions by the AAA and People Before Profit.
Most recently Paul is part of the “Progressive Alliance” of Independents, SF and Labour on South Dublin County Council. “Some say they will never coalesce with this group or that, but I believe the merits of each policy proposal are more important than blindly adhering to a position for the sake of ideology,” says Paul.
Paul shows leadership
Even the most consultative and open politicians should not be afraid to take a stand. Sometimes you have to do what you believe to be the right thing for your community rather than what you think might win you votes. Paul Gogarty has shown time and time again that he is not afraid to show leadership. Most recently on the Council, for example, he was the only Councillor to vote against reducing the Local Property Tax.
At the time he said: “I do not agree with the current property tax. A site valuation tax that targets undeveloped land would be far better. So I respect those few politicians who voted to reduce by the maximum 15% because they disagreed with it on principle, rather than as a cynical exercise. However, my role as an elected rep is to maximise and ensure value for the money our Council gets to spend on essential services. Because the central Government has reduced funding to local Government by an amount similar to the LPT, we are in effect acting as tax collectors, but with no extra money for services. By reducing the LPT by 15% we are cutting off a much needed €4.5 million for our communities.”