Posted April 8th, 2011 in Blog, eNewsletter
In an effort to keep in touch with you, and update you on my work as a TD I am committing to sending a monthly email newsletter outlining some of my work over the past few weeks and some news on issues for the Dáil.
I hope you find this information useful and, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.
SIMON HARRIS TD
Firstly I want to thank the 8,726 people in Wicklow and East Carlow who cast their No. 1 vote for me in the recent general election and the many thousands more who gave me high preference votes. I am hugely honoured to have been elected to represent the people of Wicklow and East Carlow in Dáil Éireann and I am ready to get on with the hard work that is needed to turn this country around.
I would also like to congratulate Cllr Gráinne McLoughlin, who has been co-opted on to both Greystones Town Council and Wicklow County Council to fill the vacancy left by my election to the Dáil. I know Gráinne will be working hard at local level to represent the people of Greystones, Kilcoole, Newcastle, Delgany and Killadreenen. I look forward to working closely with her and with all our County and Town Councillors throughout County Wicklow.
Contributions in the Dáil
On my first day in the Dáil I was honoured and humbled to nominate Enda Kenny as Taoiseach. I certainly did not envisage my maiden speech being on such an issue but I was delighted to do it and it is something I will never forget.
I also spoke on the Dáil debate on the crisis in Libya. In my contribution I made the point that it was wrong that the international community turned a blind idea to dictators for a long time and viewed them as rogues rather that despots and that all action must be based on protecting Libyan civilians from the brutality of the regime under which they currently live.
I contributed to a debate on the Universal Social Charge. I reminded the House of our commitment in our manifesto and in the Programme for Government to review the Universal Social Charge in the next budget.
Additionally, I have raised a wide variety of issues of national concern and concern to my constituents through Parliamentary Questions to Government Ministers.
In the coming weeks, the new Oireachtas Committees will be set up in Leinster House and I look forward to getting involved in this work.
Prioritising Mental Health
Next week, I will be contributing to a Dáil debate on suicide prevention. It is hugely important that we address this issue and ensure that adequate services are in place to provide help to those who need it.
In preparation for this speech, I met with representatives from Amnesty International, and with a representative from “Suicide or Survive”, a mental health group based in Arklow. Our mental health services have a long way to come, but I am pleased to see this issue being prioritised by the new Government and I intend to keep in regular contact with the stakeholders in this area.
The Government has announced its plans to introduce a range of initiatives aimed at helping businesses and creating jobs. This “Jobs Budget” will be unveiled next month and I will provide further details on it in future email updates. Getting people back to work must and will be a priority for our new Government.
New Department of Children
I am pleased that in an effort to prioritise issues around child protection, the rights of children, etc that the Government is establishing a new Department of Children. I intend to provide you with further details of the work programme for this new Department in my next email update and I look forward to positive developments in the area of child protection.
Sunbeam Home Services
This morning, I visited Sunbeam House in Bray, which provides a range of supports to adults with learning disabilities. I met with the service-users forum and heard their views and concerns on a range of issues relating to disability services in County Wicklow. I will be working hard within the Dáil as an advocate for Sunbeam and other services like it. Disability issues brought me into politics and it is an area I look forward to working on as a TD.
Welcoming Presentation College, Bray to Leinster House
I was delighted to recently meet with 2nd year CSPE students in Leinster House. These students visited the Dail, received a tour of Leinster House and then I met with them and answered a range of questions they put to me. If you know of a school or group that would like to visit Leinster House then please contact my office on 01-6183805.
Supporting Local Events
Since my election, I have had the pleasure of being invited to attend many local events, and to meet with local groups doing fantastic work in our community. On St. Patrick’s Day, I was treated to breakfast with the Greystones Scouts, before attending the parades in Bray and Greystones.
I also attended the Greystones – Naas Rugby Match as a guest of the youth section. It was a fantastic game – not least because of a Greystones win!
Today I dropped into the East Coast FM Wicklow Wide Coffee Morning in Greystones in aid of Cancer Support Centres in Wicklow and the Wicklow Hospice. Well done to all involved in making this event such a huge success.
You can contact me in my Leinster House office by phoning 01-6183805 or by emailing email@example.com.
I am currently moving to a new constituency office, but will have details of its address and contact details in my next update.
If I can help with any issue at all then please get in touch and I or a member of my team will do all that we can to assist.
You can also keep up with my day to day work, both in the Dáil and throughout Wicklow, by following me on Twitter, at www.twitter.ie/SimonHarrisTD.