Deirdre Conroy

Fianna Fáil candidate for Kimmage-Rathmines

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

The number of new houses and apartments built in the city is increasing. Last year approximately 33,000 new housing units were commenced which is up 17% than the previous years. The numbers will be larger this year but we need to get towards 50,000 commencements each year. Some of the measures introduced in the Planning Bill will speed up the construction of new units as the planning process can be too slow. There also needs to be recognition that government needs to subsidise social and affordable housing in Dublin to a higher extent than other parts of the country as the cost of such units in Dublin is considerably higher than elsewhere.

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

I think it’s necessary to make sure that houses are more environmentally friendly by ensuring they are property insulated and that heat is preserved. Many houses and flats in Dublin 6 and 6W are old and badly insulated. I think conditions would be improved if they were retrofitted and upgraded so that they were more energy efficient. 

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

As a councillor I have asked for signs to be put up for dog owners to ensure that they pick up their dog poo because it is quite a significant issue for children and their parents. If a child steps on dog poo they will then bring it into school or home. It also is potentially very dangerous to a child’s health. I think we need more dog wardens and the imposition on the spot fines for those who failed to comply with this law. 

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

As an Architectural Heritage Specialist, I am aware that there are too many empty buildings around the city. Many are empty for over 30 years but if they remain derelict for too long then they need to be put on the Derelict Sites list and the levies imposed on them need to be enforced. That may necessitate taking ownership of those derelict buildings if their owners refuse to tackle their vacancy and dereliction. 

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

We need to have more Gardai on the streets as unfortunately at present people do not feel safe at night-time in the city centre. In the city centre people are openly taking drugs and it creates a very intimidating and threatening atmosphere for people who are lawfully in the city who want to enjoy their capital city.

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

I have advocated for many years that we need to continue the Metrolink from the City Centre out towards the southwest of the city to places such as Harold’s Cross, Terenure and Kimmage. We also need more buses, in particular for School Bus Systems in South Dublin, as they are in North Dublin.

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

We need to encourage walking by developing pedestrian routes into the city centre along roads with less traffic. We also need to improve cycling infrastructure and ensure that cycling is safe for everyone, particularly children who want to cycle to school. 

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 think we need to educate young people about accommodating others and respecting diversity. I also believe we need to recognise that Ireland has handled immigration very well to date but that some efforts need to be made to reduce the significant numbers that are applying for international protection at present. The significant increase in those numbers has made it extremely difficult for the government to provide accommodation for all asylum seekers.