Ciarán Ó Meachair

Sinn Féin candidate for Kimmage-Rathmines

How would you help get more housing built in the city – especially social and affordable housing?

The housing crisis has caused misery for countless people across Dublin 6, 6W & 12. Many people feel trapped paying sky high rents while unable to save up for a deposit to buy their own home. Others are living at home with family, putting their lives at home long after they want to have their own independence. Others feel forced to move emigrate because they can’t picture a future here in Ireland. I personally know many from my own age-group that fall in to each of these categories.

Everyone should have the right to a secure and affordable home. A change of government is needed to unravel and reverse decades of bad housing policy.

A team of Sinn Féin councillors on DCC will work hard To tackle the housing crisis too. We'd work to deliver affordable purchase homes through Local Councils and Approved Housing Bodies at prices people can genuinely afford. Local councils and Approved Housing Bodies will deliver the new affordable homes in Sinn Féin’s government plan, on public land.

Dereliction is a huge issue. In areas like Rathmines you are very unlikely to get any new-build developments, but at the same time there are vacant properties all over the place. We need to get them back into use. You also find a surprisingly high number of them in housing estates in more suburban parts of the LEA, in the likes of Kimmage and Crumlin where dwellings are laying idle for various reasons. In already built up areas, reversing dereliction has to be key.

How would you help improve conditions in existing housing, both social and privately rented?

Dampness and mould are extremely common problem in both DCC and private rented properties. It can take a long time for the council to actually come out and do repairs. In private rented, it obviously depends on each landlord but I think there is a conception out there among renters that a landlord would not show great urgency.

There needs to be regeneration of the flats complexes around Dublin. I have engaged with residents of Rathmines Avenue and Grove Road flats about this in the past and their concerns. These complexes but I'm sure many others too have been neglected for far too long.

People should not have to live in damp, mouldy or unmaintained homes. We would prioritise those homes in greatest need of repair and reduce waiting lists for basic maintenance.

What would you do to help make the city feel less dirty, tackling the rubbish and dog poo all over the streets?

I think we need to bring the bins back into public ownership. I also think we could do with more public bins in certain areas as well as bring centres.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

We need to encourage DCC to Compulsory Purchase, where practical, and return to use derelict properties alongside increased utilisation of the Buy and Renew scheme. We would also request monthly updates to increase the collection of the Derelict Sites Levy and to speed up the return of vacant social homes.

What needs to be done to make the city feel safer?

We need to invest in the Gardaí, so we can have more Gardaí on our streets protecting communities. I regularly chat with Gardaí from Crumlin and Sundrive stations. They are under resourced and undermanned. We would introduce a public transport policing unit to ensure people can feel safe while using public transport. We would get to grips with the recruitment and retention crisis in the Gardaí to end the huge numbers resigning.

We also need to invest properly in youth intervention programmes to divert young people away from crime as early as possible.

What needs to be done to improve public transport in the city?

More investment in public transport is crucial but authorities also have to work with local communities. When the 17 bus route was removed a few months ago residents from a significant chunk of Crumlin lost their connection to Crumlin Village. This has been extremely devastating for elderly people who depended on that connection to go to the Post Office, Credit Union or mass in the village. the 83 bus is expected to follow which current serves a number of senior citizen's complexes, if/when it goes it will have a massive impact for those people.

What should be done to make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike?

Footpath resurfacing should be a big focus for the new council to improve mobility. They have been left unmaintained in a lot of areas for a very long time.

What would you do to help counter the rise of the far right, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+ hate, and anti-asylum-seeker arsons?

I will be a voice for a fair, equal and diverse society. All sections of our communities must be able to feel safe and included. I think we need to try to engage with people and communities who express concerns because ultimately if we don't we allow more unscrupulous voices to step into that vacuum. Arson attacks on accommodation for asylum seekers have no place in our society and I condemn these attacks.