Friday, August 31, 2012

High Court decision on forced labour shows urgent need for legislative action

Issued : Friday 31 August, 2012

Today's High Court decision to quash an award of €92,000 made by the Labour Court in respect of a Pakistani Chef shows the urgent need for amending legislation to be introduced to ensure that this legal loophole in respect of forced labour is permanently closed.
It is a disgrace that the employer in this case has succeeded in walking away with this decision, and it is now the responsibility of the political system to respond.
I welcome the actions of the judge in forwarding his decision to the relevant office-holders within the Oireachtas.
I have previously raised the issue on the floor of the Dáil* and it is now clear that the Employment Permits Act of 2003 needs immediate revision and necessary amendments need to be made.
I intend to bring such amended legislation to the floor of the Dáil at the earliest opportunity in the coming weeks and to again raise the matter with the Minister for Justice.
It is also now clear that a specific stand alone offence against forced labour is now required.
It is an insult to our Republic that effective slavery continues in this country and that our courts are seemingly powerless to stop it.

* Aodhán previously speaking in the Dáil on the rights of migrant workers:
* Aodhán addressing protest outside Dáil on issue of Forced Labour:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update for Ardmore Montrose Residents:


Beaumont Hospital Building Works

The building works being carried out on the new Psychiatric Unit in Beaumount Hospital are causing considerable distress to residents on Ardmore Drive.

There are some worries that the proposed road to the rear of the Unit will lead to noise pollution, an invasion of privacy, loss of amenity, security fears and health issues arising from vehicular fumes.

I have attended two meetings at this location with residents and have written to the project manager at the site to seek an immediate meeting to discuss these concerns.

In the meantime the planning enforcement section of Dublin City Council are investigating the site to see if the works comply with the Planning Permission received.

I will continue to work with hospital management, the Ardmore Montrose Residents Association and the local homeowners to come to a reasonable accommodation.

Naniken Flooding Concerns

In July 10th on the floor of Dáil Éireann I again raised the matter of flooding concerns in Artane and in particular:

·         The lack of progress on works relating to the hydraulic analysis

·         The problems home-owners continue to experience with insurance companies

I am in constant contact with the Drainage and Engineering Division of Dublin City Council seeking a long-term solution to this issue which affects residents in Ardmore/Montrose but also in Maryfield Crescent and further afield.

If you are having difficulties with your insurance company in relation to flood or house insurance please make sure you contact me as soon as possible. I have been assured that negotiations are continuing with the Insurance Federation but the OPW require concrete examples in order to press the case further.

(Please Turn Over)

Number 14 Bus

Residents will be aware of the successful campaign that I engaged in with local residents to save the route of the 20B bus which has now been re-named the 14.

A number of residents have contacted me with concerns over the new service relating to time-keeping and the new direction of the service in the city centre.

Dublin Bus have committed to maintaining contact with local residents to iron out any initial problems that the residents may have.

Please contact my office at any time if you have experienced difficulties with the number 14 service and these concerns will be forwarded to Dublin Bus representatives.

24 McDonalds Drive-Thru

An Bord Pleanála have recently given McDonalds Restaurant in Artane permission to open their Drive-Thru service 24 hours a day. This is despite objections from local residents and myself who were concerned at the distribution this would cause for the immediate community.

McDonald’s Headquarters have informed me that the management of the restaurant and its Drive-Thru is the responsibility of the local restaurant management structure.

Although the permission has been given by An Bord Pleanála, McDonalds may not choose to exercise that permission. A meeting has been sought with local McDonalds management to discuss the matter further.

Congratulations to Artane-Beaumont FC

Artane Beaumont FC recently celebrated their 25 year anniversary with an enjoyable evening in the Artane-Beaumont Recreation Centre which I was delighted to support.

I firmly believe that it is important to support all local sporting clubs and they constantly need mentors and managers to keep their various under-age teams going.

Here’s looking forward to another 25 successful years!

Weekly Advice Centre September-July

My weekly Advice Centre in Kilmore West Community Centre takes a break for August but re-opens on Friday September 7th 2012.

If there is any matter of concern to you or your community that you wish to discuss please do not hesitate to call into my advice centre, or to contact my constituency office.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rise in Student Numbers Sitting Higher Level Maths

I am delighted to see that the number of students sitting higher level maths is up by 35% - making it a new record. This year 22.1% of all maths students took the higher level paper, compared to 15.8% last year. This dramatic increase can clearly be attributed to the new 25 bonus points for all those who achieve a D3 or higher in the subject, as well as the continued roll-out of Project Maths.

The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn must be credited for driving this reform. Although perceived as difficult, maths is an extremely important subject and is relevant to many career choices. The tremendous work done to encourage students to take up higher level maths will no doubt pay dividends for the Irish economy down the line.

I would like to extend my best wishes to all Leaving Certificate students and wish them well in their wait for the CAO announcements next week.