25 June 2000
Sinn Fein challenge for Mayor of Dublin
Sinn Fein today (Sunday) launched its campaign to have Councillor Nicky Kehoe elected as Mayor of Dublin on July 3rd with the distribution of a full-colour manifesto and an appeal from Gerry Adams to 30,000 homes in the capital.
Announcing his candidature, Councillor Kehoe pointed out that Sinn Fein holds the post of Mayor in Derry City and will next month hold it in Sligo. He said:
``As a Sinn Fein Mayor, I would be the dynamic for change. Sinn Fein would give the Establishment parties a good shaking, clear out the cobwebs and corruption, and deliver on essential services for the city.
``It is important that Sinn Fein sets out a radical republican and labour agenda for the term of the next Mayor because Ruairí Quinn's Labour Party has handed the job of Mayor to Fianna Fáil as part of a pact. Dublin deserves a new deal.''
Councillor Kehoe is a member of Dublin Corporation's Economic Development, Planning and European Affairs Committee. His four-page manifesto is titled `A New Deal for Dublin' and proposes a number of measures to tackle problems affecting the capital.
Traffic - To reduce the traffic gridlock, Councillor Kehoe said that he wants one overall body to implement a cohesive traffic strategy for Dublin; to modernise and integrate public transport; introduce a one-ticket system for all public transport; stop private cars from using O'Connell Street during the working day; limit goods deliveries in built-up areas to night-time; use resources such as the Loop Rail Line; start work on LUAS.
Housing - Funding for a major new social housing programme; control of land prices and effective penalties for property speculators; Compulsory Purchase Orders to secure land where necessary; rent control and strict application of standards in the private-rented sector; increased emergency accommodation for the homeless; high-density housing for people who would use it; development of Dublin's waterways for recreation and tourism; preservation and promotion of environmental resources.
Drugs - Local drugs task forces to be set up across Dublin; monthly community forums between residents and tenants, community groups, statutory bodies and the Gardaí; emergency drugs addiction units for every hospital; the drugs crisis to be treated as a priority.
Childcare - Increased, affordable childcare; community-based play centres; youth centres with inclusive management structures involving teenagers and young adults.
Environment - A comprehensive waste management strategy including kerbside recycling collections; opposition to service charges and incinerators; ban on GM foods.
Local Government - ``opennness, transparency and accountability at all levels''; public access to local area meetings of Dublin Corporation; a register of lobbyists; ``a community-based, bottom-up approach'' to planning from its inception involving the public and special interest groups as well as councillors and officials; direct election by the people of Dublin ``for the job of Mayor''.
The Sinn Fein councillor says that Dublin's growth as a multicultural city presents a challenge ``to embrace our growing diversity as a source of strength and opportunity''. Sinn Fein supports the right of refugees and asylum seekers to work and access education.
Sinn Fein Press Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
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