My comments in Dáil debate on Irish Water

I spoke in the house today during the debate on Irish Water. My full contribution is below:

“Deputy James Lawless: I thank the Acting Chairman for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate, although with only two Members on the Government benches, I am not sure it qualifies as a debate. I am glad, however, that this issue is now being brought to a head. It is an important issue but by no means the most important. The amount of airtime it has received in recent weeks has been disproportionate. Other matters such as health, education, transport, energy, broadband and housing are huge issues that have suffered owing to the inordinate focus placed on water provision in the set-up of this Dáil. Nonetheless, it is an important issue, one that has united and divided both this House and the wider public.
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Dáil debate on Insurance Costs

I contributed to the Dáil debate on Insurance today with the following speech, my second in the chamber:

“I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the insurance costs. I want to concentrate on the areas of public liability insurance, health insurance and general insurance. On public liability insurance, much has been made of the recent decision to award €40,000 to a hill walker, which was referred to by my colleagues in their contributions. That has generated a general concern about access to the countryside and walking routes and the fear this may be curtailed with attendant loss to the community and the tourism sector. That would be lamentable but I believe it need not happen. Continue Reading →

Sallins Area Plan – Support for Amenity Lands


Mock Image of Sallins Harbour with Boardwalks

The Sallins Local Area Plan has almost concluded its rounds of consideration in the council and has been sent to the Minister for final sign-off. As expected the Minister has raised a concern over Alteration 20 relating to the additional residential zoning on the Bodenstown road. However the key piece of this jigsaw is the 40 acres of Amenity land that come with it. This was supported by all Councillors unanimously when the plan was going through as the community gain behind this proposal will allow for development of multiple playing pitches, running track, a new community building for all the different groups in the village. It will bridge the gap which has long existed of over development without any facilities in the village to go with it. The Minister has invited submissions on the Alteration before he makes a ruling and I include my submission here.

Maiden Speech on Housing in 32nd Dáil

I gave my “maiden speech” in the Dáil last week, in what was the second day of sitting of the 32nd Dáil. My first speech was a contribution to the debate on Housing and Homelessness.

In summary the points I raised are as follows;
-Need for a restart of social housing building programme(currently 19,000 individuals on Kildare housing list).
-Review of rent allowance to combat the rising rental costs.
-Review of the Central Bank Mortgage deposit rules.
-Derelict sites refurbished and brought back into circulation.
-Rates initiative for living above shops (to bring more buildings into use for accommodation and knock on positive affects for our main streets).
-Account of consistent rental payments given more credibility when looking for a deposit for a home.

The full text of my speech is below:
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News of Tender for Sallins Bypass & M7 Upgrade

I am delighted to see that Kildare County Council have officially begun to seek tenders for the Sallins Bypass and upgrading of the M7. The project includes M7 Naas Newbridge Bypass Upgrade + M7 Osberstown Interchange & R407 Sallins Bypass.

M7 Upgrade Sallins Bypass

It is fantastic to this project making steady progress. I was cautious in September 2015 in welcoming funding as residents in Naas & Sallins had been promised these works since the early 1990’s. I have campaigned strenuously for years on this issue, these road projects will bring a dramatic improvement to the lives of people living in Naas and Sallins, travelling through as well as the thousands who use the M7 everyday.

Prospective contractors have until the 13th of May to apply and state their case. In my new role as a T.D. for Kildare North I will continue to do everything possible to monitor and lobby for this project to be completed.