Paddy Moloney

Sinn Féin candidate for Clontarf

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

Sinn Féin has the vision and the policies to deliver affordable and public housing. I believe that people should have the right to a secure and affordable home. Secure housing is a cornerstone of building healthy and vibrant communities.

Eoin Ó Broin, in his role as Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing and Local Government has set out in detail how we in Sinn Fein would address the housing crisis including building public housing on State owned land, reducing delays in planning, and using new building technology to build homes faster and in more environmentally friendly methods.

A strong Sinn Féin team on Dublin City Council would be a driving force behind implementing this change.

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

It has been clear for many years that large parts of the existing rental housing sector, both public and privately rented, is substandard. 

So many renters are left renting overpriced unfit accommodation without little long-term security.

Sinn Féin would ensure that all rental housing meets an acceptable standard.

New affordable rental and affordable ownership properties are needed to replace the use of substandard and unfit properties. We will ensure that all social homes are fit for purpose through refurbishing and retrofitting existing Council properties.

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

I believe that Dublin City Council need to take a central role bin services and I support taking the bin service back into public ownership.

The privatisation of waste has not benefited society, it has only created duplicate services, increased costs for households and illegal dumping.

Dublin City Council has failed at sufficiently investing into creating a clean environment in the city. To see any meaningful change to our streets, we need to see Dublin City Council investing in more street cleaning teams and ensure that bins are empty in timely manner.

The introduction of a Hotel Bed Night Tax could provide much needed funding that could be ringfenced to investing into a clearer city. A 1% charge could raise in excess of €12 million.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

Sinn Féin would use the vacant homes tax and derelict sites levy to tackle speculative purchase and non-productive holding of vacant and derelict properties.

We would make use of Buy and Renew and Compulsory Purchase powers to return derelict properties to use.

We would resource Dublin City Council to acquire and return properties to use and speed up the reletting of vacant council properties.

Sinn Féin would bring a proactive approach to identifying and planning for the strategic development of significant underutilised land banks, particularly those which are already held by state bodies. This must be balanced with the need to develop local sport and parks capacity which can support increasing housing density in the inner city. 

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

By 2022, there were 18% fewer Gardaí in Dublin than in 2009 despite growth in the city’s population. Social work and care services struggle for funding. Gangs have been allowed to embed themselves in and terrorise communities across Dublin. The State has been weak at tackling organised crime, even where it exists in City Council properties.

 An increased Garda presence in the city centre and across local communities is not a cure-all, but the decimation of Garda numbers since 2009 has allowed space for criminality and anti-social behaviour. Sinn Féin would invest in the Gardaí, so we can have more Gardaí on our streets protecting communities. We would get to grips with the recruitment and retention crisis in the Garda to end the huge numbers resigning.

We would also invest in frontline social work and care services to support community development. Tackling inequalities across access to housing, sports and recreation, education, and employment are essential to prevention, avoidance, and diversion.

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

We need to be far more ambitious with public transport and urban planning. Cities with far more advanced public transport systems still have many of the same challenges as Dublin. Addressing chaotic and unpredictable traffic in the long-term is tied to the housing crisis. It requires a rethink of how we plan and develop the city and affordable housing.

In the short-term, we need to support and develop rapid bus and rail transport networks which are unimpeded by traffic congestion. The number and reliability of buses needs to be improved. Rail networks, including the Luas and the DART, are significantly under-developed.

Significant infrastructure projects, taking far too long to progress. Quicker delivery of infrastructure is necessary to enable convenient public transport. Public transport should also be delivered in advance of major new residential developments so that convenient linkages exist when residents move in.

Workers and communities which are dependent on cars for longer distance travel need to be supported with timely public transport to reduce congestion and improve road safety. Motor traffic should be directed along the most efficient routes for reaching long-distance destinations, and the traffic system should enable quick movement along these corridors for all users. 

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

Protected and joined up pedestrian and cycling infrastructure must be planned across the city. Most of our lives and the city have been planned around cars for decades. Successfully tackling traffic congestion requires providing both public transport and active travel alternatives.

There are areas of the inner city with very low vehicle ownership rates and these communities need to be supported to move freely and safely around their local areas. If you are able-bodied or live close enough to work, cycling and walking can be an extremely convenient way to travel around the city and it should be promoted. Many of us are lucky enough to be able to take advantage of this, but not everyone can.

Workers and communities which are dependent on cars for longer distance travel need to be supported with timely public transport to reduce congestion and improve road safety. Motor traffic should be directed along the most efficient routes for reaching long-distance destinations, and the traffic system should enable quick movement along these corridors for all users. This can facilitate quieter streets off main carriageways and the development of dedicated cycling infrastructure.

Those who must use cars, such as people with disabilities and their carers or parents, must continue to be supported to access and travel across the city. 

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. Arson attacks have no place in our society and I condemn these attacks.

People should be angry at the failure of the political establishment to provide affordable housing and strong local health services, for example. Ordinary workers have been failed time and again. This affects us all, and the blame lies squarely at the feet of Government and those with real power in our society, not with any minority group.

The Gardaí must be supported to tackle criminality, including attacks on people and property. At the same time, I believe that much more can and should be done to support the strength and diversity of our local communities through community events.

Most of us know and understand that there are issues with our immigration system, particularly international protection. We have known for years that Direct Provision is not fit for purpose, that processing times have taken too long, and that there are clear failings around enforcement. People living and working here on visas often report difficulties with the immigration system taking far too long.

The failures in the system have come to the fore and there are people making millions from this dysfunction. We should all be angry at this, too, and demanding that it is fixed. This election is an opportunity for real change which can tackle the inequalities and failures which have the potential to significantly harm and divide our society.