Jack Murray

Inishowen, Sinn Féin

JackMurray

The National Women’s Collective – Donegal Women’s Network sent an ‘Open Invitation’ to all Donegal Councillors to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern of people in Donegal.

Each councillor was invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions during their term within Donegal County Council.

Below are the questions with the councillor’s response.

 

 

 

YOUR CANDIDATE JACK MURRAY
QUESTIONS:  AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?  RESPONSES:  Although one of the younger candidates, I am and experienced public political activist, having been a county councillor for over 3 years and a member of Sinn Féin since I was a teenager.I have studied Irish History and Politics in Magee University and Local Government Studies through the IPA at UCD. I was also previously employed as a political advisor in the Stormont Assembly which I feel has aided my work as a public representative in Donegal.
IF ELECTED WILL YOU WORK TOWARDS UPHOLDING AND PROMOTING THE ETHOS OF SOCIAL INCLUSION, EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS? YES
CHILDCARE
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: With childcare costs steadily increasing and adding to the burden of the already high tax burden and expensive cost of living, many families are finding it extremely difficult to cope.I will work with Donegal County Childcare Committee to develop strategies which will help reduce childcare costs and give families with young children the support they need. I will also use my role as a councillor to lobby for great support and financial assistance for childcare facilities in the county.
CARERS
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: I have worked tirelessly against cuts to carer’s, home helps and SNA’s during my last three years as a councillors. I will continue to liaise with pressure groups and local TDs to put pressure on the government to reverse cuts to these essential services.
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 a member of the council’s housing SPC I raised the need for more housing units in Donegal and I will continue to raise this issue if successfully elected on 23rd May. I will work during the council’s budget negotiations for greater funding in housing and lobby the government to release more funding for housing in Donegal.
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: I am, and always have been, supportive of marriage equality and equal rights for same sex couples. I seconded a motion in Donegal County Council which called for greater rights for the LGBT community and will continue to be a voice for minorities whose rights are infringed by government legislation.
TRAVELLERS
QUESTION:   WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN? RESPONSE: I will work within the council to ensure that the plan is implemented in full and monitor its implementation throughout the council term. I will ask for regular updates from the directors of service to ensure that all targets are being met.
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. NA
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? Sinn Féin is a party which holds equality as our most important ethos. Our Ard Comhairle has a 50/50 gender balance while 3 of our 4 European candidates are female. In Donegal we made history by becoming the first county to appoint a female mayor and deputy mayor, both of which were Sinn Féin representatives.Sinn Féin has one of the highest proportion of female candidates of any party as our policy ensures that at least 30% of our candidates are female. Unfortunately we fell short of that target in Donegal but I will work within our communities to encourage more women to run under the Sinn Féin banner in the next 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? I will liaise with the National Women’s Network, Donegal’s Women’s Network and other groups to develop strategies which will amend council meeting times and childcare facilities to make them more accommodating to mothers. I will then monitor the progress of the implementation of these strategies throughout the term of the council.
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  
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