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The Green Week

The first photo here shows you the European Parliament diary that I keep in the back of my phone case. The red weeks are Plenary meetings that always take place in Strasbourg. The pink and purple weeks are for Committee meetings and Group meetings that take place in Brussels. The Green weeks are for constituency work or for trips to conferences or study visits.


Here is the semi-photo diary of my April Green Week.


Monday 11 April


I was invited to University College Cork to take part in a panel discussion about disinformation and the effect that it is having on journalism and democracy.


This was organised by The Journal as part of their ‘Good Information Project’. Dr Eileen Cullotty is recognised as one of the experts in Ireland on the subject and runs the Irish hub of the European Digital Media Observatory. Also on the panel was Stephen McDermott, assistant news editor and fact checker at The Journal.


Tuesday 12 April


Myself, Jim O’Callaghan and John Lahart travelled to Belfast on the Enterprise train where we were met by Claire Hanna MP. We spent a very rainy afternoon in West Belfast canvassing with SDLP candidate Paul Doherty. West Belfast is a Sinn Fein stronghold and the party won 4 of the 5 seats at the last Assembly election.


Paul has a shot at picking up a seat here. He is well known locally for setting up a food bank delivering to 400 struggling families in the area. He also travelled to Kyiv last month to deliver humanitarian supplies.


Wednesday 13 April


I attended the launch of Ireland’s first cost-rental housing scheme in Stepaside in South Dublin. This was launched by Darragh O’Brien the Minister for Housing. It was his third visit and my second. We have social housing and affordable housing but this is the first affordable rental scheme.


Thursday 14 April


Finally on Thursday I had arranged meetings with Government Chief Whip and Minister for Sport Jack Chambers at his office in Kildare Street.


The first delegation was with UEFA to propose a pilot scheme which would bring a completely new approach to funding sport. The proposal was supported by UNESCO and Rethink Ireland.


The second delegation was with the RDS who are looking to redevelop the Anglesea Stand and create a base for the National Women’s Soccer and Rugby teams.


I finished my week that evening in the Finglas office of Paul McAuliffe TD chairing the AGM of the Fianna Fail Dublin North West constituency. Just three years ago we had no TDs and no Councillors. In 2019, Keith Connolly, Rachel Batten, and Paul McAuliffe were all elected to Dublin City Council. In 2020, Paul was elected to the Dail and Briege MacOscar took his place on the Council.


And, most importantly, they have an MEP!


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