The Green Party has accused the Spanish Government of attacking dissent with violence in today’s referendum in Catalonia, and has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to raise Irish concerns with his Spanish counterpart Alfonso Dastis.
Speaking today Cllr. Ciarán Cuffe, leader of the Green Party on Dublin City Council, a city twinned with Barcelona in Catalonia stated:
“The scenes we are witnessing today are unacceptable in a democracy. Imagine if Greater Dublin held a referendum to secede from the Irish State and An Garda Siochána responded with the scenes of violence that we saw on our screens today?
“Regardless of the outcome of today’s plebiscite the Spanish Government must pull back from using the violent tactics that we saw. Such scenes were unacceptable in Spain under Franco, and are more appalling today.
“It is disturbing to hear that rubber bullets were used by Spanish police against the public in a bid to prevent voting from taking place, and to hear reports that hundreds of civilians were injured.
“Regardless of the merits or otherwise of the referendum, police violence is unacceptable, not least in a member state of the European Union.”
Issued 01Oct17, page last updated 01Oct17
The Green Party today criticised the decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to withdraw €20 million euro in funding allocated for the Liffey Cycleway.
The decision by the NTA comes after 5 years of work on the project by Dublin City Council (DCC) and its consultants.
Speaking today, Green Party Transport Spokesperson and Chair of DCC Transport Committee, described the decision by the NTA as inappropriate.
“At this stage we need more public participation in the planning process, rather than the withdrawal of funding. During the debate about the car-free plaza for College Green we had a highly successful public consultation evening in the Round Room of the Mansion House. We need this level of engagement within the communities that will be affected by the Liffey Cycleway.
He said: “More people travel down the quays by bike than by car during rush hour. We need to provide them with a segregated and safe space to travel. Cyclist deaths are up this year – we need more investment, as soon as possible. We’re five years into this process – it is unacceptable to go back to square one. Minister Ross must fund this project, and instruct the NTA to increase rather than cut off funding.”
Issued 27Sep17, updated 01Oct17
The Green Party said today that transport is the ‘Achilles Heel’ of the new National Planning Framework, with the new plan, published yesterday, failing to provide meaningful targets for reducing traffic and improving public transport.
Speaking today, Green Party Transport Spokesperson Cllr. Ciarán Cuffe said: “Without clear targets for tackling traffic and reducing congestion we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. The only clear goal for transport is to get people faster by car from city to city by motorway. This doesn’t even take into account traffic in the cities themselves. The Department of Transport’s obsession with interurban driving times has led to transport emissions doubling in the space of a generation, and traffic increasing in our cities and towns. Throwing more roads at the problem is an inappropriate response. Meanwhile our railways are left to wither on the vine, starved of investment. Why aren’t we setting clear targets for faster intercity rail times by 2020?
“We need clear targets for easing congestion in 2020, 2030 and 2040. The Planning Framework has great aspirations for 2050, but by then most people who have worked on it will have retired. We need interim targets for walking, cycling and public transport.
“It is great to see the focus on vibrant and thriving cities in the framework, but we must ensure that smaller towns and villages also benefit. This requires joined-up thinking on Living Over The Shop incentives, mixed-tenure housing, environmental improvements and improving the public realm so that towns become the place where young people aspire to live. Walkability, bikeability and liveability will be the benchmark for success.”
Isseed 27Sep17, uppaded 01Oct17