Support our Motion to #ExtendTheCommission on #MotherAndBabyHomes

Support our Mother and Baby Homes Motion Wednesday next

Jennifer Whitmore, the Party Spokesperson for Children, is bringing a Dáil motion on Wednesday next to extend the time-frame of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission by one year.

Over the coming days we ask that you support the motion online, using the #ExtendTheCommision hashtag, or #MotherAndBaby, homes calling on all TDs, especially Government TDs, to support the extension of the Commission.

The Dáil motion is in response to the revelation that 550 recorded testimonies of mother and baby homes' survivors were destroyed by the Commission. While there may be some hope that backups are available, the critical questions cannot be resolved in 8 days – the Commission is due to wind up at the end of this month. There are many issues to be addressed in the fall out of the Commission report, but the Commission needs to be still in existence if we are serious about providing justice to the survivors.

Jennifer commented „Another traumatic turn in a difficult journey towards seeking truth and justice has fallen onto survivors of mother and baby homes after they discovered that their audio testimonies have been destroyed by the Commission. There has been no explanation as to why this was the case, how this was done and if any testimonies are salvageable.”

Our Dáil motion on Wednesday is a call to buy more time for survivors in their search for truth and justice. It will be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday morning next 24th February at 10am. The vote on the motion will take place on Thursday afternoon. Please join this call and show your support online. There are some social media graphics here you can use to show your support. 


Critical Reforms needed to Land Development Agency Bill

The Land Development Agency (LDA) Bill brought by the Government to the Dáil this week seeks to continue the failed housing policies of the past that have let us down so badly, says Party Housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan. In the Dáil this week, he outlined some of the main failings in the Bill.

It is crucial to amend the LDA Bill to prevent public land being privatised or homes built on public land ending up in the hands of international investors. The Bill also proposes that Local Authorities can transfer lands to the LDA without requiring a council vote, depriving people of a democratic say on what happens to land owned by their own Local Authorities. We believe we need more public scrutiny and accountability of the LDA – not less. If the Minister for Housing is committed to providing affordable homes for first-time buyers, he would ensure that 100% of the homes built on public lands are affordable or social.

We are calling for the Bill to be changed so that:

  1. The Land Development Agency should be prohibited from selling public lands to private developers.
  2. 100% of the homes built on public land should be affordable and social.
  3. None of the homes built on public lands should be sold on to large institutional investors and REITs.

A full transcript of the debates this week are here, and the first votes on the Bill will be next week.


International Women’s Day: More Mná – Register Now

Please join us to celebrate International Women’s Day. We are hosting an online conversation Let’s talk about More Mná with Councillor Carly Bailey, Councillor Clare Clare Claffey, Holly Cairns TD and Jennifer Whitemore TD. It will be held on Thursday, 4th March at 7pm.

The Social Democrats party is a leader in achieving gender balance, and we continually advocate for more gender balance across all aspects of political and social life. We have a long way to go and many barriers to participation remain. Many of us are acutely aware for example that there are no female voices on NPHET, that 40% of cabinet committees have no women, and that we are yet to have a publicly funded childcare system or equally funded female sports programmes. 

In celebration of IWD, we decided to bring together some of our political representatives to talk about More Mná. This is a great opportunity to listen to our councillors and TDs about what inspired them to get involved in politics, to share what barriers they faced when entering politics and how they overcame those barriers.

Register in advance for this webinar

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