THE two Fianna Fáil councillors selected to run for the party in Dun Laoghaire in the forthcoming General Election have set out their stalls.
Cllr Cormac Devlin was selected by Fianna Fáil members to contest the election in Dun Laoghaire at a party convention at the Fitzpatrick Killiney Castle Hotel last week.
Cllr Devlin, who is currently serving his third successive term on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, having been first elected as the youngest ever member of the council in 2004, will run with former minister Mary Hanafin who was added to the ticket by Fianna Fáil’s National Constituencies Committee.
The Fianna Fáil whip on the council, chairman of Council’s Environment, Climate Change & Energy Policy Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Southside Partnership, Cllr Devlin lives in Dún Laoghaire with his wife Jennifer and their three young children.
In a statement, he said childcare, the housing crisis and crime were the key priorities for his election campaign.
“Communities in this constituency have taken far more than their fair share of cuts to local services as well as a raft of additional costs and taxes that are only set to increase,” he said. “While the Government praises itself for economic recovery, there has been absolutely no relief for the ordinary hardworking families who are just about keeping their heads above water.
“Ireland now has by far the highest childcare costs in Europe, exceeding mortgage repayments as the largest household bill for many families across the Dún Laoghaire constituency,” he added. “We are now in a situation where many highly qualified working parents are being forced to give up work because they can’t afford childcare for their children.
“This is extremely regressive; it places an unreasonable burden on mothers in particular and it costs the State far more in the long-run. I am proposing the immediate introduction of a tax credit for childcare to ease the costs on working parents.”
Cllr Devlin claimed that householders across the constituency were being penalised by a deeply inequitable property tax regime and pointed out that there has been a 64 per cent surge in social housing waiting lists in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown in just two years.
“There are currently 5,600 families and individuals on social housing waiting lists in this local authority,” he argued. “Much of the increase is down to the lack of affordable housing and affordable rents. We are suffering a housing emergency that is simply not being taken seriously by this Government.
Meanwhile, Mary Hanafin has promised to bring her experience to the campaign and, if elected, to talks on the formation of the next government.
“It is my privilege to contest the upcoming election for Fianna Fáil in Dún Laoghaire,” she said. “The outcome of the election cannot be predicted. I hope to bring my extensive experience to bear in the formation of party policy, and if elected to the multi-party discussions that are likely to take place after polling day.
“If elected, these are the priorities that I would like to address in the next Dáil. I look forward to working with Cormac Devlin to ensure that these issues are at the forefront of the election campaign in Dún Laoghaire.”
Speaking about the candidates, the chairman of the National Constituencies Committee, Michael Moynihan TD, stated: “With Cormac Devlin and Mary Hanafin, Fianna Fáil now has an extremely strong ticket in Dun Laoghaire.
“Both candidates have an excellent record of public service in communities across this constituency.
“Working together, Cormac and Mary will maximise the party’s vote in order to retake a Fianna Fáil seat in this important Dublin constituency.”