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Anyone catch the TV3 People’s Debate on Dublin Central? October 23, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

You can watch it here.

This is, as some of you will now be sick of hearing where I and a remarkable number of those who comment here are living. By the way, how did that happen? I knew most of you who are from the area or were in it from before hand, even if only vaguely. Anyhow, we know it well, some of us have canvassed the length of it.

Interesting that the ones tipped with the best chances are Mary Lou McDonald and Maureen O’Sullivan. I’d think that’s about right. Telling that neither of the Coalition TDs are given a clear chance in the now three-seater. Got to say Costello looked sombre throughout, and Donohoe looked a bit more confident (though he got a right tongue lashing from Browne later in the evening about the choices the government during this crisis and looked none too happy for it – and by the by his faux-libertarian line about handing money out to those with family members with disability seemed utterly diversionary) as well he should as a sitting Minister and while not as over-caffeinated as he sometimes comes across he had no end of news about this development or that that impacts on DC. He arrived at my door a few years back and I was literally speechless. What does one say? He got the first spontaneous handclap of the programme when he said how much he respected anyone who goes for election. Anyone, he stressed.

Speaking of which, Mary Lou McDonald was Mary Lou McDonald. Very serious demeanour – mention of this being the first time there was a chance of a government not led by FG or FF. Well, we’ll see. She got the second spontaneous round of applause in relation to work done by housing groups in the constituency and with a very coherent outline of the need for action on that area. Thought that was telling.

Maureen O’Sullivan referenced back to Tony Gregory and working around his principles of fairness and justice and had a good list of issues she’s raised in the Dáil and beyond.

Cieran Perry was particularly strong on a question raised by Costello that somehow councils and councillors were turning down NAMA accommodation – he noted that this was on the advice of the council. Perry was very strong too on how he was elected on a mandate to abolish the property tax and the 15% reduction which he voted for was part of that, and he made the point that Labour had turned its back on social housing in 2011.

And here’s a stat, Browne noted that DC is the 9th most affluent constituency in the state. I’m not surprised really, there’s some remarkable disparities of wealth. Here’s another, Éilis Ryan of the WP mentioned in relation to hearing if we put a billion a year into housing the last person would not come off the waiting list until 2034 (by the way she received the third spontaneous round of applause).

Crowd struck me as subdued though they warmed up – perhaps they’d been told to be, no applause for Christy Burke’s call for the abolition of water charges. Donohoe got quite tied up on the property tax (his line to the question as to why the property tax didn’t take into account income and ability to pay was that mostly those who pay the higher rates pay more – so that’s okay – was more than a bit unconvincing and received as such) and suddenly found himself swimming back to the calmer shores of the crisis and all that that entailed. Diana O’Dwyer of AAA was forceful on the housing issue noting that at the height of the boom extravagant numbers of houses were built but somehow that is beyond us now.

The postmaster’s candidate didn’t seem to have much traction, Garry Gannon of the Social Democrats was quieter than I’d have expected. FF’s Mary Fitzpatrick was subdued too – perhaps there’s shy FF voters out there but will they be lining up to put their X beside her name? And Direct Democracy Ireland? Solutions for a problem that does not exist.

Anyhow, a very testy Keith Mills turned up to announce he’d joined Fianna Fáil! Well, and why not?

Meanwhile, entertaining to hear an LP member promoting the benefits of a government with an overall majority and decrying the horrors of a government made up of (shudder) independents. Clearly the party line has gone out.

If I could characterise the government TDs offerings they were long-suffering. Not a good look I think for them.

But, I can’t help but think there’s a lot of Independents and smaller party candidates. An awful lot. How is that going to work out?


1. sonofstan - October 23, 2015

And here’s a stat, Browne noted that DC is the 9th most affluent constituency in the state. I’m not surprised really

I am, sort of….I know what you mean by disparities and there is discreet wealth about, but yeah, still surprised


2. lcox - October 23, 2015

Wikipedia’s take seems about right: “Dublin Central is regarded as one of the most social and ethnically diverse constituencies in Ireland. It contains Dublin’s main shopping district and financial areas. The constituency consists of largely working class areas such as East Wall, North Strand, Summerhill, Ballybough, Sheriff Street and Cabra with more suburban middle class Glasnevin and Lower Drumcondra on the northern fringes of the constituency.”

O’Sullivan and McDonald certainly look well-placed – it has consistently been a good place for the left (using that in the broadest sense of the term) and the FF vote has spectacularly imploded (some recent Phoenixes have had much to say about the collapse of the Drumcondra mafia). A goodly amount of vote transfers on the left too I think. Not as good for AAA / PBP as might be thought given the variety of left candidates with long-standing community bases – add Perry, Burke and the Costellos to O’Sullivan and McDonald and it is a very challenging constituency to play in.

I’d add that Glasnevin and Lower Drumcondra are by no means solidly middle-class: there is a lot of (often elderly) respectable working-class presence (ie the high wealth in parts of the constituency doesn’t necessarily translate into equally high numbers of votes identifying that way). I would guess quite significant proportions of ex-FF voters there – and look to see a similar collapse in the Labour vote in some of its traditional heartlands (Costello dynasty etc.)

Hard to imagine though that there wouldn’t be one pro-austerity seat in it between Donohoe, Costello and Fitzpatrick. It is at least a very lively constituency come election time and one of the places the left articulates itself best.


3. Alibaba - October 23, 2015

I saw an audience member from ROSA, I think, who asked the panel about repeal the 8th amendment. She further asked them whether they would respect the right to choose (I can’t remember the exact question).

Browne effectively tried to limit the panel replies to repeal alone. All the panel were in favour of it. But the questioner persisted in seeking an answer to her full question. And she was told they would support new measures to address fatal foetal abnormality, rape or incest etc. Mary Lou added something extra about risk to health. All of them putting distance far away from supporting full reproductive rights.


4. Alibaba - October 23, 2015

“He [Donohoe ] arrived at my door a few years back and I was literally speechless. What does one say?”

How about “You are just a cog in a corrupt machine”?


5. Tawdy - October 23, 2015

On your last question about the Independents and how it is going to work.

We usually went with ” the devil you know ” type of thing. But, as the ” devil we know ” has made a total balls of things, maybe it’s time to put the ” devil you don’t know ” in. How much worse could it get?


6. Jonah - October 23, 2015

Obviously got the wrong end of the stick on this but I thought I’d read somewhere Maureen O’Sullivan wasn’t going to contest the next election?

Delighted to find out it seems to be wrong but was there as suggestion of this at some point?

Also a bit surprised about the affluence of the constituency and I wonder whether the figures refer to Dublin Central as is, or what it will be on polling day in 2016.

As I understand it, a relatively well-off chunk of Drumcondra is off to Dublin North-West.


7. sonofstan - October 23, 2015

Thinking about the stat another way though – the fact that there are 33 or 34 constituencies poorer than the one that a lot of us live/d in -and were surprised to find was so far up the list – says something too.- part of which is that most of the country is not even as affluent as part of Dublin that contains significant areas of very visible deprivation.

And just guessing, but I’d be surprised if there was more than one or two non -Dublin constituencies in the top 8?

Liked by 2 people

8. irishelectionliterature - October 23, 2015

Dublin Central from the Deprivation index http://airo.maynoothuniversity.ie/external-content/deprivationindex2014

So it looks as if The IFSC and port area rather than Drumcondra is what has the constituency ranked so high.

Liked by 1 person

CMK - October 23, 2015

You can fast forward through the debate, but not the ads! Feckin’ TV3!


lcox - October 23, 2015

That sounds about right – a smallish number of high net-worth individuals (though by no means everyone living in such places is well-off: Irish gentrification has never been as successful as elsewhere and many a supposedly flash flats complex is actually anything but inside) and probably a higher-than-average proportion of managers and professionals from abroad on a relatively transient basis – less likely than most to vote even where they technically have the right to.

+1 to sonofstan – a bit shocking that D Central is if not as good as it gets in this state then in the top 25%.


9. Jack Jameson - October 23, 2015

For what it’s worth, someone I know there claims the audience participation was “heavily edited”.


WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2015

Yeah that makes sense, it was madly subdued compared to previous ones.


10. sonofstan - October 23, 2015

Occurs to me there’s a slim chance that DC could return no FF/FG/LAB candidate. A first?

As could DNW and – remoter still – DSC

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 24, 2015

It’s still possible, absolutely.


11. eilisryan - October 23, 2015

That map is very misleading. It indicates there are no areas of “severe deprevation” anywhere in Dublin Central. This is because the area has extremely mixed housing in close quarters, so the average is high on an area by area basis. However the actual numbers of people who are disadvantaged has remained fairly static over the past few decades. Just the average has changed.

Liked by 1 person

12. eilisryan - October 23, 2015

Also, while the audience participation was edited, I wouldn’t have said it changed the overall sense of things (barring that no SF person from the audience was shown, though not many speak afair).

It was notably subdued, and a majority of speakers were FF, FG or Lab. That is certainly not the tone of the constituency. I think its more down to the usual problem of Dublin Central, which is that for all its deprivation, or perhaps because of it, it hasn’t been highly politicised or mobilised, apart from the notable exception of the Gregory years.

The debate was also held outside the constituency, in north Drumcondra – not exactly the heartland of the inner city.


WorldbyStorm - October 24, 2015

Holding it outside the constituency is strange but an effective way of damping down matters. Very true re it not capturing the tone of the constituency.


sonofstan - October 24, 2015

Eilis, thus is an unfair question, and feel free not to answer, but will you be encouraging supporters of yours to transfer to other left candidates? There’s the guts of two left quotas in the constituency and it would be a shame to see either govt candidate lurch into the last seat through poor vote management on *our* side.


eilisryan - October 24, 2015

We genuinely haven’t discussed it outside the Right2Change initiative, which we are still engaged in. So, I guess firstly is to see how Right2Change works out before moving on to other options.


irishelectionliterature - October 24, 2015

In the locals WP material asked for transfers to other Left candidates.


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