Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Getting Our Priorities Right

The Progressive Alliance in control of South Dublin County Council, which consists of nine Labour and three Sinn Féin Councillors as well as non-party Cllr Guss O'Connell, unveiled our pledge on expenses on Monday.

We have agreed to forego all funding for external conferences - for which Councillors are entitled to up to €4500 per annum - and have instead earmarked that money for the provision of the first ever emergency homeless accommodation centre in South Dublin. If all 26 Councillors donated from this fund, over half a million euro could be raised for the centre. We have invited all Cllrs to sign the pledge to ensure that the real needs of the County are met in these awful times.

I am glad to say that as well as the 13 Councillors in the Alliance, two other Councillors have also signed the pledge; Cllr Gino Kenny (People Before Profit Alliance) and Cllr John Lahart (Fianna Fáil). I'd hope to be able to report that the other 11 Councillors have signed at some stage in the near future.

Pictured at the launch of the pledge are, from left, Cllrs Gino Kenny (PBPA), Guss O'Connell (Ind), Dermot Looney (Labour), Robert Dowds (Labour), Caitríona Jones (Labour), Deputy Mayor Paddy Cosgrave (Labour), Cathal King (SF), Matthew McDonagh (SF), Pamela Kearns (Labour), Eamon Tuffy (Labour) and Seán Crowe (SF). Signatories not pictured are Mayor Mick Duff (Labour), Cllr Marie Corr (Labour), Cllr Eamonn Maloney (Labour) and Cllr John Lahart (FF).