Niamh Kennedy

Donegal, Independent

nk

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 NIAMH KENNEDY
QUESTIONS:  AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?  RESPONSES: I have worked full time in the fishing industry for over twenty one years, my role in this industry was Health Safety and Administration Manager.  I have been a community activist since 2006.  Chairperson of Killybegs Community Council, Local FAS/SOLAS Schemes and local training initiative.  On the Boards of Management of Niall Mor NS and St Catherine’s Vocational school.  Now a Company Director with my husband, we have three children and I continue to work in the community.  I have been involved in the retention of the LYIT school of tourism, the Killybegs Community hospital, the development of the Killybegs playspace and the lobbying for a community marina.  I am not afraid of hard work and I like to start something and to finish it.
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: I will work with any group and lobby for affordable high standard childcare facilities within the County.  We need to help people who are working hard to provide for their families and pay for their homes.  I understand the cost of childcare and will help out in my capacity as an Independent female if elected to the County Council.
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 will bring this to the attention of my colleagues and lobby for the services to be enhanced and retained in whatever capacity I may have.  I see the need for increased services and the hardship of people and their families who require respite, home help and sna’s.  I will do whatever is within my remit and lobby at higher level to help people.
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? If elected I will bring this to the attention of Donegal County council and have the matter discussed.  I will help in whatever way I can at local level.
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: There should be nothing other than a balanced debate.  I do not see what actions need to be taken other than to give everyone an equal opportunity to air their views and let people make their own informed decisions.
TRAVELLERS
QUESTION:  WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN? RESPONSE: I will, with other members of the council ensure that this is put on the agenda and will do my best to ensure that the plan will be implemented.
WOMEN’S POLITICAL  REPRESENTATION
QUESTIONS:  DO YOU SUPPORT THE 5050 CAMPAIGN TO SECURE EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN IRELAND? RESPONSES: YES
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? By putting my name forward I hope to encourage other females to do the same.  I will be in support of female participation and will promote to the best of my ability.  Women have so much to offer and their voices should be heard.
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 do not see why this should be a problem for the Council.  I understand that at present the council is male dominated however males too have children and should understand the issues in working hours and childcare provision.  I would encourage and support a family friendly service in 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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