26 June 2001
Sinn Fein challenge for Mayor of Dublin
Sinn Fein is launching Councillor Christy Burke's campaign for Mayor of Dublin with the distribution of a full-colour manifesto and an appeal from Gerry Adams to 30,000 homes in the capital. Cllr. Burke said:
``The Mayor of the capital city and the biggest local authority anywhere in Ireland should be an active, campaigning voice, a catalyst for change in a fast-changing city - not some token ceremonial figurehead.''
Cllr Burke added:
``As the biggest council anywhere on the island, Dublin City Council should be making a bigger impact - we should be making long-term plans for the development of the city and its services; we should be ensuring that our voice as representatives of the capital city are heard in government.
``We also need to try and rebuild people's confidence in local government and politics in general through a more open, transparent and democratically accountable political system that listens to, consults and works not just for but with the people it is supposed to represent.
``To make all of this a reality I am supporting the call for the direct election of the Mayor of Dublin.
``We are also calling for the establishment for a number of Mayoral Task Forces - involving key actors from local government, sectoral and community interests - to act as engines for action and change in major policy areas affecting the lives of people in Dublin such as transport, housing, childcare, health, crime and anti-social behaviour and environment and waste management.
``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. We believe that Dublin deserves better.''ENDS
Profile of Christy Burke
Commitment and hard work are the trademarks of Christy Burke's record as a Dublin councillor.
A member of Dublin City Council for 15 years and the Northern Area Health Board, Christy has been at the forefront of high-profile campaigns from the anti-drugs protests to the fight to save the Molly Malone street traders and flower sellers of Moore Street.
Christy Burke may be best remembered for the anti-drugs marches, for being jailed with Tony Gregory for supporting the street traders, and for extending the hand of friendship to DUP leader Ian Paisley when he came to protest in Dublin.
But he has earned a reputation and respect for his quiet and solid hard work behind the scenes on day-to-day issues affecting the people of Dublin - housing, traffic, schools, childcare, environment, drugs treatment services, healthcare, services for the elderly and youth services. Christy believes it is each citizen's basic human right to enjoy reasonable living conditions, free from fear of poverty, unemployment, crime and drugs and given the best opportunities to achieve their full potential. Christy was a member of the Sinn Fein delegation to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation which was organised by the Irish government after the 1994 IRA cessation. He has also participated in delegations which have met with the Irish government and the opposition parties. He has travelled extensively for Sinn Fein, particularly in the United States, to promote our peace strategy.
In the 1999 local elections, Christy Burke was returned to Dublin City Council once again, joined by Cllrs. Larry O'Toole, Nicky Kehoe and Dessie Ellis on Dublin City Council and Seán Crowe and Mark Daly on South Dublin County Council.
A New Deal for Dublin: Summary
Openness and accountability in local government
- Openness, transparency and accountability at all levels;
- Public access to local area meetings of Dublin Corporation;
- A community-based approach to planning
Strengthen local democracy
- Direct election by the people of Dublin ``for the job of Mayor''.
- D'Hondt principles to become the mechanism for allocating the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of both the Council itself and Committees. This is to ensure that positions within Councils are allocated on an equitable and fair basis.
- We strongly oppose the privatisation of essential services and Noel Dempsey's attempts to strip councillors of their powers and undermine local democracy by giving waste management powers to unelected, unaccountable officials.
- One overall body to implement a cohesive traffic strategy for Dublin;
- Modernise and integrate public transport;
- Introduce a one-ticket system for all public transport;
- Limit goods deliveries in built-up areas to night-time.
- 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;
- Development of Dublin's waterways for recreation and tourism.
- A comprehensive waste management strategy
- A speedy end to the use of service charges
- Home energy efficiency schemes
- Introduction of kerbside recycling
- Opposition to incineration
Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
- Supporting community-led multi-agency strategies to develop long term solutions
- Promoting youth forums
- Campaigning against joy-riding, underage drinking and the sale of drugs
- Additional Garda resources
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