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Colleen Worthington
Colleen Worthington
Independent
Party 6


Incumbent : No

Main message to voters:

We are tired of the mismanagement of our money and our health. Public polls, expert groups, and a Dáil vote all told the government that St James's was the wrong site for a children's hospital. They ignored everyone, endangered vulnerable children, and wasted billions of euros of our money.

Election history:

This is my first time running for office.

Priorities:

  1. Other Healthcare. Build a children's hospital at an appropriate site, saving us well over €1 billion.

Candidate positions on the election issues:

EU

Ireland should remain in the EU

Some people believe that Ireland should leave the EU, particularly in the wake of Brexit, as the UK is our most important trading partner. Others argue that EU membership continues to be beneficial for Ireland, both economically, socially, and in terms of our political influence.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

European integration has gone too far

Some people argue that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states, and powers should be returned to the national level. Others argue that further integration is necessary to tackle shared challenges like climate change and internet privacy rights and for economic stability.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"There is a democratic deficit in the European Union. People don't want to be dictated to by bureaucrats in Brussels, but nor do they want to be dictated to by bureaucrats in Dublin. "

Ireland should cooperate with other EU member states on defence

Ireland has recently joined the PESCO framework, which seeks to increase defence cooperation in the EU. It commits members to work together on military planning and to increase defence spending. It does not create an EU army, but some oppose it because they see it as a step in that direction.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

If an EU member state is overwhelmed with asylum applications, other member states (including Ireland) should share the burden

There is an unequal distribution of asylum seekers across EU member states. In 2015 the EU introduced a one-off relocation scheme, moving asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy to other member states (including Ireland). Some have argued that a permanent relocation scheme should be introduced.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Irish people should maintain the sovereign right to control asylum applications. Properly-managed asylum admissions benefit our country."

Ireland should defend its low corporation tax in the face of pressure for EU harmonisation

Ireland's low corporate tax makes it an attractive location for multinationals, which are a major employer in Ireland. It has also led to accusations of Ireland being a ‘tax haven’. The European Commission has proposed harmonising corporate tax rules to create a level playing field across the EU.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

Brexit

In the wake of Brexit, a referendum should be held on Irish unity

The Good Friday Agreement allows for a unification referendum (‘border poll’) in Northern Ireland and the Republic, if there is evidence that it is desired by a majority. Some have argued that, in light of Brexit, this should now be put on the agenda. Others believe that it would be divisive.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

Ireland should refuse to install checks on the border with Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Ireland would have different customs and regulatory requirements to Northern Ireland. The EU may require that Ireland establish border checks with Northern Ireland to ensure the integrity of the EU’s single market.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We should do everything in our power to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The United Kingdom share our interest in a lack of border checks, so an agreement should be possible."

Tax and Spending

Wealthy people should have to pay more tax than they do now

Some believe that there should be greater redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, achieved through taxes on income or wealth. Others believe that taxes are high enough already, and increases could be bad for the economy.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

Increases in public spending should be prioritised over tax cuts

During the recession, new taxes were introduced (e.g. USC) and spending was cut on public services. Some argue that the government should now cut taxes to put money back into people’s pockets. Others argue that the priority should be to increase public spending in areas such as housing and health.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We have seen billions wasted on the National Children's Hospital, and billions more on the broadband plan. Fiscal policy has two sides, and it is no good simply 'increasing' spending if the spending is not done competently."

Environment and transport

Increases to carbon tax should be opposed

Carbon tax is a tax on fossil fuels such as oil, petrol, diesel, and gas. Currently, Ireland has a carbon tax of €20 per tonne of CO2. The Climate Change Advisory Council recommends that this is gradually increased to €80 per tonne in order to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Climate change should be addressed with a broad package of R&D into clean technologies, regeneration of hedgerows, bogs, and woodlands, and farming subsidies targeting sustainable farms that act as carbon sinks. The carbon tax alone is only part of the solution."

The government should prioritise spending on public transport and cycle lanes over roads

Some argue that we need to reduce our dependence on cars, and invest in sustainable transport instead. Others argue that failing to invest in our road network will damage the economy. The current capital investment plan includes more spending on roads than on public transport and cycleways.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

Social issues

More should be done to provide accommodation for Travellers, even if there is local opposition

The Department of the Environment provides funding to local authorities for Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes), but many local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition, and much of the money allocated for this remains unspent.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

There should be mandatory sentencing for violent crimes

A mandatory sentence is one which must be imposed regardless of the individual circumstances of the case. Currently, murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Ireland, and some drug trafficking and firearm offenses have mandatory sentences. For other crimes, judges have discretion on sentencing.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

The liberalisation of abortion in Ireland has gone too far

The legislation introduced after the 2018 referendum allows for terminations for any reason up to 12 weeks in a pregnancy. Terminations are only permitted after this date (and before the foetus becomes viable) if there is a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

A lot more religious-run schools should become multi-denominational

96% of primary schools in Ireland are religious-run. There is an ongoing ‘divestment’ process, designed to change some schools with a religious patron (such as the Catholic Church) to become multi-denominational schools. Some schools and religious leaders oppose the plan.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

International

Ireland should boycott Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories

The ‘Occupied Territories’ bill will make it an offence to import goods from an occupied territory. Supporters say this will show solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Critics say it discriminates unfairly against Israel, and threatens important economic links with the US.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion