Senator Rónán Mullen's Policies
Supporting Families and Children
Not for the first time, unemployment and emigration are causing misery for Irish families. I will support measures to assist families struggling with mortgage payments. I support reform of our tax and social welfare codes to counter the negative effects of tax individualisation on single-income families. We need renewed focus on the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on suicide rates and on the health service and economy generally. I support practical restrictions on alcohol-related sponsorship of sporting and cultural events.
Educate to revive our economy
A well-funded education system is key to our social and economic recovery. In the Seanad, I have supported respect for parental choice in school provision and have advocated equitable state support, regardless of school type. Multinational companies have always looked to Ireland’s educated workforce. To be competitive we must maintain our standards, particularly in maths, science and languages. Our schools need restored funding for posts of responsibility to enable career progression for our teachers and a quality education for students.
A prison system to do us justice
A criminal justice system that dehumanises people only creates more social and economic problems. Prison overcrowding, and the humiliating practice of ‘slopping out’, must end. Using community service for non-violent offenders could halve the prison population. Prison should aim to reform offenders, and there should be no prospect of early release without prisoner participation in rehabilitation programmes.
In good times and bad, Ireland has shown solidarity with the developing world. In the Seanad I have always supported our Overseas Aid targets. Let’s support Irish NGOs but avoid waste on bureaucratic international agencies. We should champion the cause of small-holder agriculture, as recommended by the Hunger Task Force report. With global food prices at record highs, increased productivity on the world’s small farms can transform millions of lives.
Tábhacht na Gaeilge
Creidim go láidir i dtábhacht na teanga dár gcultúr. Labhraím an Ghaeilge go rialta sa Seanad, agus ní hamháin nuair atá an teanga féin faoi chaibidil. Tacaím le cuspóirí na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus le ceart tuismitheoirí oideachas trí Ghaeilge a chur ar fáil dá bpáistí. Sa Seanad cuirfidh mé in aghaidh aon iarracht fáil réidh leis an nGaeilge mar ábhar riachtanach don Ardteist. Oibreoidh mé go dicheallach chun a chinntiú go bhfuil seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge ar fáil ar bhunús níos leithne ón earnáil Stáit agus Poiblí.
Championing human dignity
Since 2007, I have proposed measures to promote better standards of end-of-life care and to assist victims of human trafficking. I also introduced the Stem Cell Research (Protection of Human Embryos) Bill.
If re-elected I will:
- Establish a cross-party group to promote higher standards of end-of-life care at home, in hospitals, and in nursing homes;
- Push for Ireland to become a centre of excellence in ethical and promising adult stem cell research.
We need a reformed political system at national and local level. It’s time that TDs and Senators became more effective legislators. Local authorities should deal with local matters. The Seanad should be reformed, not abolished. The failures of recent years show that we need more parliamentary scrutiny of Government, not less. Every citizen should have a vote for the Seanad. A partial list system would allow people to choose policies, not just personalities. I support further reforms to the expenses system – my expenses have consistently been among the lowest in Leinster House.