Tag Archives: Social Democrats

This afternoon.

Royal College of Physicians Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

The Launch of the Labour Party’s alternative Budget 2019 document, Building A New Republic.

Above from left: Senator Aodhan O Riordain, Deputy leader Alan Kelly, Senator Ivana Bacik,  Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, Senator Kevin Humphreys and Jan O Sullivan.

Labour to Launch Alternative Budger (Labour)




This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Social Democrats member Catherine Stocker and her son Theo (top) joined the party’s co-leaders, Catherine Murphy and Róísín Shortall (above centre) alongside councillors and spokespeople during the launch of the Social Democrats Alternative Budget 2019.

Social Democrats

Leon Farrell/Rollingnews


This morning.

Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Fur farm-hating grim reapers greet returning TDs afte the Dáil Summer recess.



Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall and the party’s political director Anne Marie McNally on the plinth at Leinster House

This morning.

Outside Leinster House.

Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall has called for an immediate rent freeze nationwide.

In a statement, Ms Shortall said:

“One of the worst effects of the housing crisis is that more and more people are relying on private rental accommodation. Rents are at record levels. According to DAFT, rents nationwide have risen by 75% since 2011 and are now 27% higher than their 2008 peak.”

The party’s political director Anne Marie McNally said:

“The Government needs to intervene now to stop rents sky-rocketing any further. We have to end this exploitation of renters and those priced out of the housing market. That objective should start with an inescapable nationwide rent freeze now.”



The Dáil resumes this afternoon, following the summer recess, with Leaders’ Questions starting at 2pm.

Proceedings can be watched live here.

Pic: Social Democrats

This afternoon.

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin

Members of the Social Democrats and their co-leader Roisin Shorthall TD at the party’s pre-Dáil think-In. The party said it will field candidates in “the majority of constituencies” in the next General Election.

Social Democrats expect to have 90 candidates in local elections (RTÉ)

Earlier; Anne Marie McNally: Can You Afford To Come Home?

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Joe Mulholland launching last year’s MacGill Summer School

This morning.

On RTÉ One’s Today With Seán O’Rourke show…

Dr Joe Mulholland, director of the MacGill Summer School in Donegal, joined Mr O’Rourke, while co-leader of the Social Democrats and TD Catherine Murphy was also on the line..

Dr Mulholland was responding to criticism of the predominance of men on the summer school’s panels.

Earlier, Ms Murphy and her co-leader Róisín Shortall said they wouldn’t take part in the event this year unless significant changes are made to the gender-balance of panels across all sessions.

From the interview…

Joe Mulholland: “There’s be at least one woman on every panel I think. So it’s, I suppose, it’s, if you want to say 25% roughly. And I know that this is not enough, of course. And efforts have been made by me, over the years, to balance, to have a better balance, gender balance, but then we have other balances that we look after as well, political balance or socio-economic, political balance and so on. So I have done my best, those who are close to me, who have advised me here in Dublin, on this programme, know that every time I see them, I say ‘let’s think about women’.”

Seán O’Rourke: “Yeah, well, what do you say to the comment made by Catherine Murphy, when you say ‘finding women with the right aptitude’, she finds that very offensive.”

Mulholland: “Well I think that was a wrong, it was, a call last night, fairly late, and pretty jaded, to be honest and that was a totally wrong term to use and I apologise for that and I withdraw it. It wasn’t what I meant. Maybe the right qualifications or whatever but it’s sometimes difficult and, I mean, the amount of women, the number of women who are on the programme does not represent the number of women who have been invited on to the programme but for whatever, for different reasons, just weren’t available. This is towards the end of July.

“It’s an extremely difficult time. Donegal is still quite a remote place. And it makes it difficult for a lot of people.”

O’Rourke: “Joe I’m looking at a tweet here from Sarah McInerney, a colleague here on the Late Debate and also presenter on TV3 or their politics show. She says that ‘Let’s see, MacGill. You could replace Stephen Collins with Geraldine Kennedy; Pat Cox with Catherine Day; Stephen Donnelly with Louise O’Reilly; Phillip Lane with Shannon Donnery – that’s in the Central Bank – David Quinn with Maria Steen and Fintan O’Toole with Justine McCarthy. Now there you are: one, two, three…that’s six.”

Mulholland: “Well, it’s not just a question of replacing those people. I mean, all have been chosen for whatever reasons, but it’s not as simple as that and a lot of time goes into this, as you can imagine of trying to get a programme that’s coherent, cohesive and, above all that, reflects, reflects social and economic and political life in Ireland. And, okay, I have failed obviously from the point of view of the gender balance.”

O’Rourke: “Just on the numbers, Mary O’Regan has done a tot, she’s the news editor in the Sunday Business Post, on your website. Fifty-two speakers of whom 12 are women. Catherine Murphy, are you not running the risk now, of yourself and Róisín Shortall’s withdrawal – that’ll make the balance even worse and it could ruin maybe and if other people do the same thing a really reputable and a fine, I mean it’s been making a contribution for what – 30 years or more?”

Catherine Murphy: “Yeah, Seán, I’ve spoken at the MacGill Summer School and we were very happy to do it in the past but I think that there’s a point where you do have to make a stand on something and I’m quite sure and I know Joe will have put a huge, and his team, will have put a huge amount of effort into the summer school. I don’t disagree with that. But the gender imbalance is so significant and if we’re talking about the future of Ireland and a new Europe, the challenges ahead, that can’t be done without women.

“Because they have been, they have not played a central role in so many ways in the design of the past. Your own wonderful programme last night on RTÉ – in terms of No Country For Women – really demonstrates that that has to change. And women have to be an equal part of this narrative.”

O’Rourke: “And to go back to Joe. Joe Mulholland, is there anything you can do, at this stage, to retrieve the situation?”

Mulholland: “Well I mean this, as I said to somebody else earlier on, this concerns that area of Donegal, Sean, that you know well. I would hate to have to abandon the school altogether, it has crossed my mind, but it would be irresponsible to do that. There are people, we fill all the B&Bs around the place, people depend hugely on that bit of extra money to send kids to school in the autumn and…”

O’Rourke: “I know but I mean, so you wanted to go ahead, but could you not, I mean women can drive to Donegal just as easily as men to participate in this. I’m just wondering if you should throw your net out again, maybe cast it a bit wider and, you know, that imbalance is actually worse than 25%. I mean maybe you could get it up to 35% or 45% by inviting a few more speakers or even going for a few all-female panels.”

Mulholland: “Well, look, Seán, if you’ve a few minutes on your hands maybe, you would come and advise and do a bit of work for me. But I don’t, let me not flippant. I mean there’s certainly no policy of not having women. Last year, I was just looking at last year’s programme. There was one panel on health. One of our key sessions – there was three women out of four, including, indeed Róisín [Shorthall] on it and Susan Mitchell [of the Sunday Business Post] and Rhona Mahony [ Master of the National Maternity Hospital] of Holles Street. So, you know, I mean nobody, nobody commented on that and that’s fine. But there is no certainly no thinking on my mind of: that women are not as good as men. In fact, I think they’re superior in very many ways…”

O’Rourke: “And in fairness to you, Joe, in your long career in RTÉ, you always made sure there was a gender balance in women who got promoted to positions, be they as presenters or correspondents…”

Mulholland: “I tried to…based on ability, Sean. Never as tokenism. And, you know, I didn’t believe in the policy of positive discrimination. Nor would very many women believe in it. But certainly promoting women, where at all possible, and I think there should be far more women in politics and there are not as many as we want and need and in our different institutions – some of which have failed miserably…”

O’Rourke: “I’ve taken my eye off the clock…”

Mulholland: “…disfunctionality…”

O’Rourke: “I really have to leave it. Look, Joe Mulholland, Dr Joe Mulholland, director of the MacGill Summer School and also my thanks to Catherine Murphy, TD for Kildare North, co-leader of the Social Democrats…”

Listen back in full here

Earlier: School’s Out

Social Democrat leaders Catherine Murphy (left) and Róisín Shortall on the ‘plinth’ this afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

Yesterday, Minister for Education Richard Bruton announced his plans to remove the baptism barrier in Irish schools.

But that’s not enough for the Soc Dems.

Not by a long ‘chalk’.

Co-leader Róisín Shortall said:

“We need to take religion out of the school day entirely. I will be tabling an amendment to the Education (School Admissions) Bill 2016 today to do just that.

Education Minister Richard Bruton’s proposals for divestment are piecemeal and seem like yet another long fingering exercise.

The Citizens’ Assembly model proved to be incredibly valuable in dealing with the issue of how to legislate for access to abortion in Ireland….

…The overwhelming public support for repealing the Eighth Amendment reflects a changed mood in the country.

People are moving towards a sense of civic ethics and increasingly they want to see the separation of the church and state in other aspects of public services, particularly our education system where 90 per cent of primary schools are under the patronage of the Church.

It would be very appropriate and timely for the government to task a Citizens’ Assembly to examine the issue and bring forward recommendations to the Oireachtas.”


*flings duster*

Social Democrats


This afternoon.

Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with Dublin City Councillor Claire Byrne and Green Party Oireachtas members launching the party’s campaign in favour of a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment.

Earlier: Priorities

Leah Farrell/RollingNews


This afternoon.

Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Anne Marie McNally, Social Democrats Political Director and General Election candidate for Dublin Mid-West (and ‘sheet columnist) unveils the Soc Dems’ poster contribution to a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum. Chivalrous ‘sheet head Aaron McAllorum momentarily holds the ladder.

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

The Social Democrats launch a new Bill – the Consumer Rights (Gift Vouchers) Bill, 2017 – to end the rip-off associated with gift vouchers and cards.

The bill would stop retailers “imposing expiration limits of less than five years on vouchers while prohibiting a range of charges connected to their use”.

Above from left: Pádraig Rice, Catherine Murphy TD, Anne-Marie McNally, spokesperson on Society and Citizenship, Roísín Shortall TD and Cian O’Callaghan, spokesperson on Housing Quality and Building Standards.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews


This afternoon.

Royal College of Physicians,  Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Labour Employment spokesperson, Senator Ged Nash (Glasses) with the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Patricia King (third right) at the launch of a bill to tackle bogus self-employment contracts that deny workers the same protection and entitlements as their employed colleagues.

The Protection of Employment (Measures to Counter False Self Employment) Bill 2017 would put all workers on an equal footing in situations where they are carrying out the same duties, but are not legally designated as ‘employees.

Fight, etc.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Above back row from left: Gary Gannon, Anne-Marie McNally, Tara Deasy, Paul Muville, Rob Hunter, Rory Traynor. Front row: Sarah-Jane Hennelly, Róisín Shortall, Catherine Murphy, Patricia O’Dwyer, Jennifer Whitmore, Carly Rae-Bailey

This morning.

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin

Róisín Shortall TD (top left) and Social Democrat party co-leader, Catherine Murphy TD (top right) with party councillors and spokespeople gathered for the SocDems Think In.

The theme ‘The Locked Out generation’ refers to young people and families in their twenties and thirties unable to secure proper homes. The party advocates a use it or lose it police for land hoarders.

Ms Murphy said:

“It can’t be business as usual. It has to be a war office-type approach to the area of homelessness.”

Of a possible role in a future coalition, Ms Shorthall said.

We want to be in Government. We want to be working with other parties in order to change the direction of this country. So we’re not in the business of ruling people in or ruling people out,”


Social Democrats ‘very anxious’ to be in government (Irish Times)

Leah Farrell/Rolling news


Free in Cork tonight?

Darragh writes:

After the misery of Christmas which saw overcrowding in Irish hospitals on a ridiculous scale, an event will be taking place in UCC [College Road, Cork] this evening [details at link below] looking at what can be done to avoid such situations in the future.

Roisin Shortall TD from the Social Democrats, will be joined by Tom O’Connor, lecturer in economics, public policy and health/social care, and Patricia O’Dwyer, public health nursing consultant, to not only identify problems, but also propose solutions, to the current nightmare of healthcare in Ireland

Building An Irish NHS, Boole 1, UCC




This afternoon.

A motion, above, tabled by TDs Catherine Murphy (top second right) and Roisin Shortall (top far right), of the Social Democrats.

It calls for an immediate halt on further asset sales by NAMA pending a thorough examination of how NAMA assets can be utilised to prioritise the social development of the State in the context of the current housing crisis”.

And “an update to the legislation which would change the primary purpose of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 to contribute to the social and economic development of the State.



From left: Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD, Catherine Martin TD, Councillor and Justice spokesman Roderic O Gorman outside Leinster House this afternoon.

The State could be liable for illegal home repossessions, according to the Green Party.

Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin said she would seek clarification from the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on the matter later today.

Ms Martin said that following the AIB versus Counihan case in the High Court in December, EU consumer law must be considered in repossession cases here.

State may be liable for illegal home repossessions – Green Party (RTÉ)

Earlier: ‘People Would Be Mistaken If They Feel There’s Going To Be No Resistance’

Previously: Apollo, Nama And You

Pics: Anne-Marie McNally