Building a Fair Society
In 2015 Ireland voted to enable every citizen to marry the person of his or her choice. It was the highlight of the year and was a moment of emotion and great pride.
Joe championed the LGBT community in their long campaign for marriage equality and led a strong campaign across Dublin Central.
We have made progress in tackling inequality. However, there are many other areas of inequality to be addressed. The Passage of the Assisted Decision Making Capacity legislation described as “ground-breaking legislation” by Inclusion Ireland, finally repealed the Victorian Lunacy Regulation Act and will now pave the way for the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disablities. We also launched the Employment Strategy for People with a Disability (2015-24) which sets out a ten-year approach ensuring support and employment opportunities and independent living.
In Dublin Central Joe Costello has run a Sign Language Advice Centre in the Deaf Village Cabra on a quarterly basis since 2012. Joe is committed to ensuring Government ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of people with Disabilities to assist the tens of thousands of people with a physical or intellectual disability in accessing their rights. Joe is also committed to working with the Irish Deaf Society for the recognition of Irish Sign Language. He supports the proposal for a voucher scheme so that people with disabilities can access services independently.
Looking After Our Children
- Child Benefit has been increased in the last two budgets.
- Free GP care for under 6s will be extended to under 12’s in 2016.
- Paid paternity in 2016
- A second free pre-school year from September 2016.
- Free GP care extended to everyone.
- Extend parental leave
- Reduce the cost of childcare to €2 per hour by 2021.
The Arts & Sport
Joe is working with sporting and arts groups across the City including the Docklands Heritage Preservation Society, the Complex, the Five Lamps Arts Group and Phizzfest.
Joe was instrumental in brokering the deal with Dublin City Council to secure Dalymount Park, the home of Bohemenian FC.
We have restored 75% of the Christmas Bonus and increased the old age pension, fuel allowance, living alone allowance and carers’ respite grant. We have also introduced free GP care for all senior citizens over 70 and have increased the funding for homecare packages.
Our proposals now include 100% restoration of the Christmas bonus and to increase the pension to €260 per week.
As a teacher and former President of ASTI Joe understands only too well the importance of a good education. Tús maith leath na hoibre.
Despite the economic crisis we delivered €2 billion investment in school buildings including new schools in Dublin Central - Gaelscoil Bharra, Coláiste Mhuire, North Dublin Muslim School and D7 Educate Together.
After twenty years of false starts, the builders are now on site in Gaelscoil Bharra and the new school will be ready by September 2017
We maintained the pupil/ teacher ratio during the economic crisis and are now recruiting more teachers and SNAs.
Joe was instrumental in ensuring that the Grangegorman Project was reinstated. The College is now a thriving university campus with the first thousand students on site and a further 10,000 due to arrive by 2017. As a member of the Grangegorman Community Liaison Committee Joe is working to ensure that the local community will be consulted at every step and will have access to college facilities.
Across town, Joe is working with the National College of Ireland to access more space and better educational services for the local Docklands community.