The National Women’s Collective – Donegal Women’s Network sent an ‘Open Invitation’ to all 2014 local election candidates to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern by voters in Donegal.
Each candidate was invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions if they are successful and elected onto Donegal County Council.
This we believe will give the electorate an insight into each candidate as well as giving the candidates an open forum which could be helpful in securing votes.
Below are the questions with the candidates response.
|YOUR CANDIDATE CHRISTY GALLIGAN|
|QUESTIONS: AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?||RESPONSES: “I am a former member of the Garda Siochana and retired at Sergeant Rank. I have completed a Counselling Course through QUB. I have completed Drug and Alcohol Studies through LU. I calls completed a Suicide Awareness course. As a former Garda I was very much in touch with the local community and set up a number of Community Initiatives, i.e. Back to work schemes, Was involved in setting up” HALLO” organisation, local Festival Committee and engaged in Youth groups and elderly groups”.|
|IF ELECTED WILL YOU WORK TOWARDS UPHOLDING AND PROMOTING THE ETHOS OF SOCIAL INCLUSION, EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS?||YES|
|QUESTION: THE COST OF CHILDCARE IN DONEGAL HAS RECENTLY BEEN PROVED TO ACT AS A BARRIER TO LOW INCOME WORKING FAMILIES TO EITHER REMAIN IN OR TAKE UP EMPLOYMENT. WITH AN AVERAGE COST FOR 2 CHILDREN IN FULL TIME DAY CARE EQUATING TO €16,500 PER YEAR AFTER TAX – WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: “This is a National issue. But I know that Montessori Schools are funded for one year free pre-school for €12.50 per child. This has reduced the incomes of many of these Schools and this has been highlighted at National level also. What is the answer where the purse strings have lightened and pre-schools are barely making enough to survive. Could we ring fence money at local level to ease the burden of low income families and therefore subsidise them? It’s a question that needs to be discussed”.|
|QUESTION: IN LIGHT OF THE MANY CUTS TO SERVICES I.E. HOME HELPS, SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS AND PERSONAL ASSISTANTS, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT A POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: “Again as stated some of the monies that are brought in at local level could be ring fenced along with any grants aid obtained at National level. This could go a long way in helping to sustain Home Helps, Special needs assistant and personal assistants”.|
|DOMESTIC ABUSE + VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN|
|QUESTIONS: HAVE YOU OR WILL YOU SIGN UP TO THE MAN-UP CAMPAIGN?||RESPONSES: YES|
|WILL YOU UNDERTAKE A HALF DAY WORKSHOP IN 2014 ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?||YES|
|DONEGAL WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE HAS RECENTLY EXPANDED THE NUMBER OF ACCOMMODATION UNITS IT SUPPLIES YET THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER INCREASE IN FUNDING FROM DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL. HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS?||“As I have already stated that funding can be obtained at national Level and local level in order to increase the number of Units. Also there are other initiatives whereby local vacant housing within the County could be handed over in order to assist in the expansion of the Service”.|
|LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT)|
|QUESTION: IN THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE A BALANCED DEBATE IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: “We must take into consideration everyone’s point of view and not any particular section of Society. No one singular point of view should be seen as important over others”.|
|QUESTION: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN?||RESPONSE: “As I have worked as a Liaison Officer for the Travelling Community in Donegal I am well aware of their needs and requirements. I also understand the difficulties society has in accepting these needs and requirements when it comes to negative publicity against this group. As the plan has been implemented year on year I would have no difficulty but I need to see the plan”.|
|WOMEN’S POLITICAL REPRESENTATION|
|QUESTIONS: DO YOU SUPPORT THE 5050 CAMPAIGN TO SECURE EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN IRELAND?||RESPONSES: UNDECIDED|
|IF NO PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY.||“This is an unfair question. If you asked do I think we need more women in Politics, I say YES”.|
|WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE WITHIN YOUR PARTY OR AS AN INDEPENDENT TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT AT LEAST 30% FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION?||“The Labour Party are very much to the fore in relation to Women’s participation in politics and it will be so in the next General Election”.|
|EQUALITY IN DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL|
|QUESTIONS: DO YOU AGREE THAT DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL SHOULD BE MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY FOR ITS ELECTED COUNCILLORS?||RESPONSES: YES|
|WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THIS CHANGE?||“Yes. We need the participation of all Sections of Society and a Crèche may not go amiss”.|
|DO YOU AGREE GENDER EQUALITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE UNDERPINNING THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS IN IRELAND?||YES|
|Part of the “BE INFORMED… about your 2014 Local Election Candidates” by NCCWN-Donegal Women’s Network www.donegalwomensnetwork.com|