Donnacha Geoghegan

Green Party candidate for Donaghmede

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

We need to switch our approach to housing towards a cost-rental model, which is a key Green Party policy. Housing is not just a commodity – it’s part of our lives and communities, and we should treat it as such. Derelict/Vacant sites and houses need to be brought back into action, alongside other possible housing that is currently unused, such as living spaces above shops.

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

A greater amount of Cost Rental properties will push the cost of rent in private properties downwards. Increased inspections of privately rented housing will ensure better conditions in existing housing. Craft teams should refurbish units in unison, rather than waiting for each issue to be solved one by one. Increasing the DCC apprenticeship recruitment will reduce skill shortages and quicken upgrades to social housing.

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

More bins are needed across the entire city. Few fines for dog poo have been issued – if the fine is going to exist then it needs to be enforced. Community Wardens are another great way to make our city less dirty. While making the city feel less dirty is nice – the aim should be to actually make it less dirty.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

Vacancy and dereliction need to be recorded properly. If a site/house is not going to be used, then the Council should CPO it and put it to use.

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

Greater visibility of the Gardaí is needed. But policing is not the solution, it is merely a band-aid. We need to tackle the social and economic issues that lead to crime and fear. Other approaches such as passive surveillance should be focused on too.

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

Lower fares and more frequent buses. Continue the rollout of Busconnects and the City Centre Transport Plan, and push the construction of the Metro with plans made for more. The more people that switch to public transport where possible, the quicker it will become, as there will be less congestion – improving the service.

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

Zebra crossings should be everywhere, alongside safer crossing points. More 30km/h zones and less congestion will mean greater safety, air quality and less noise pollution. Segregated bike lanes will increase cyclist safety and lower the number of accidents on the road. This should be done as part of a network, not one lane on a road – followed by another road without one. These cycle lanes should be segregated by a small kerb at the very least – not a white line.

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

Support asylum seekers, other immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community and other targeted minorities. We have seen the founding of many ‘For All’ groups who have done wonderful work in their communities. Greater cooperation and support for them is necessary. A flourishing community will prevent hatred towards others from spreading, especially when effective integration projects allow people to meet those who have been villainised by far-right actors.

Anger towards immigrants has grown from failures in housing, health, economic inequality and so forth. Across Europe, we have seen attempts to combat the rise of the far-right and anti-immigrant hate – by legitimising their positions. Rather than adopting the same failed approaches we need to tackle the issues leading to the fears and subsequent hatred. Vulnerable minorities are not the cause of the problems we face today – and should never be on the receiving end of such hatred.