Yesterday saw the launch of Labour’s Manifesto for Dublin on the Millennium Bridge. I joined Deputy Leader Joan Burton, Dublin Central by-election candidate Ivana Bacik and some of the many Labour Councillors to launch what I believe, is a new vision for Dublin.
This city of ours has enormous potential. A quarter of the Irish population live in the capital. Tourists continue to flock to the city and in the sunshine of today, it can be a cultural mecca.
Yet, the city has suffered under the 15 years of Fianna Fáil-led governments with bad planning, bad resources and right now, a bad unemployment problem. Our plan for the city, like the rest of our campiagn, is about jobs, jobs, jobs.
We must get our city back working again. Something as simple as stimulating and supporting small and medium enterprises in the city can be the precursor to an increase in employment. Labour also proposes that a council apprenticeship scheme be set up, which not only will retrain and upskill workers, but contribute to the work of the four local authorities in upkeeping the city and county.
But the manifesto also addresses some issues which will serve to improve the lives of Dubliners. As a cyclist, I find the city’s streets a nightmare at times. Labour proposes to prioritise safe, uninteruppted 24-hour cycle lanes that will increase safety.
We will also reverse the current cuts to Dublin Bus services.
This manifesto seeks to address two fundamental matters in Dublin: to get Dubliners back to work; and to improve the lives of all Dubliners, right across the city. Labour councillors have worked hard in order to improve this city, but for a real difference we need to change nationally. A strong Labour in the Dáil can only be better for our capital city.