My priority is making laws that will provide a better quality of life for the people of Dublin. Decent and affordable housing, quality public transport with fairer fares, cleaner air, and a sparkling Dublin Bay: this is the future I want for everyone living in our city.
I’m proud to serve as your Dublin Green MEP. I have been working for a greener Dublin for over 30 years: as a Councillor for the North Inner City, TD for Dún Laoghaire, as Minister of State with responsibility for climate change, and now as an MEP.
Dublin is changing for the better, but there is so much more we can do to make it thrive. Building well-designed public housing on vacant sites is a first step, but we also need safe protected cycle lanes, decent footpaths, and more trees and public seating on our streets. Investments in bus, rail and tram improvements are crucial.
I want to see a Dublin Bay that is clean and sparkling, with access to our rivers and canals on foot or by bike. Let’s provide more Blue Flag bathing places for outdoor swimming. I’m also working to revitalise streets like Moore Street and Capel Street, and working to restore Dublin’s outdoor and indoor Markets.
We need to build more public housing in Dublin. I’ve seen how cities like Vienna and Copenhagen can achieve this, and I know we can do this in Dublin. We’re promoting the cost-rental model of housing. It has worked well in Austria, and a pilot project is underway in Stepaside.
In Europe my colleague Greens/EFA MEP Kim van Sparrentak has written a report on Decent and Affordable Housing. I’m working to reform EU rules to make it easier for Ireland to build more public housing in the years ahead.
The climate and biodiversity crises are defining issues of our time. Melting glaciers, wild-fires and animal extinctions demand action. Green-house gas emissions from human activities are raising the temperature of the planet and contributing to extreme weather events and loss of species. In the European Parliament we have approved a European Climate Law and other measures known as the ‘Fit for 55’ package. These laws aim to reduce the EU’s emissions by 55% from 1990-2030.
You can play your part by flying less; walking or cycling when you can, eating less meat and buying less stuff. You might also join an organisation like An Taisce, Friends of the Earth or the Green Party to lobby for more action. This November world leaders meet in Glasgow at the annual climate conference COP26. I’ll be there too, campaigning for more action on climate.
A large part of my work in Brussels and at home is about encouraging the development of energy efficient and safe housing. There are lots of support schemes for people looking to upgrade the energy rating of their homes which you can find below:
SEAI provides many grants for people looking to renovate their homes. From insulation to heating pumps to solar panels, you can find a wide range of support schemes that can help increase your home’s energy efficiency.
If you are interested in the Community support grant scheme which aims to retrofit community housing, you can find more information via the link above.
Air pollution is the largest environmental threat to human health. In Ireland, it causes up to 1400 premature deaths each year, while emissions in Dublin city alone cause up to each year 725 premature deaths. The EU can and must stop this. The full implementation and enforcement of its air quality legislation is necessary, and the revision of this legislation to set new standards that provide the highest level of protection of health and the environment. Clean air is a basic requirement of human health and well-being, and in the European Parliament, I am ensuring that it will be considered as such.
Transport in the 15-minute city means affordable, accessible, sustainable, inclusive and safe travel. It means great public transport, in sync with planning policy; it means great active travel infrastructure and shared mobility; it also means less private motorised vehicles and the realisation of VisionZero – no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. This means less air and noise pollution, congestion and emissions in favour of more public space and biodiversity. I am working hard in the European Parliament to advocate and legislate for these issues which will improve the lives of Dubliners.