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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Security for Councillors

https://youtu.be/pVEsrt82-fU

I thank the Cathaoirleach very much. I strongly condemn that act of violence on that young child in Navan yesterday. It was absolutely horrendous to watch it online. We must do anything we can as legislators to stop that happening in the future. The school officials need to look at this very strongly and see what they can do to educate their children on being a little more inclusive to others in life. I will be talking to the Garda later today about the incident.

I thank Senators Davitt and Carrigy for bringing up the issue of security for our representatives at local government level. When I was in local government I fell victim to an attack. I know it does not only happen to people in these Houses; it can happen to people in local government as well. I would like the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to come to the Chamber to discuss this important issue because there is a massive disparity with regard to councillors' training expenses throughout the country. I did not know about this until I started doing a little research on it. Some councils have unlimited resources. We all know the importance of training councillors because there is no way a county councillor can know everything about planning, housing, transportation, infrastructure and all the other things they do at local level. That shows how important this training is.

Certain counties have a limit on that training which is wrong. There should be no limit for any councillor training in the various local authorities. In some cases, the limit is €1,000, which would be fully consumed by two events. It is simply not good enough that the councillors are not being treated equally with regard to the training that is being afforded to them in different local authorities. I ask the Leader to bring the Minister to the House. We need to discuss security and other issues affecting our local councillors and how best we can support them to do their job better.

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