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Why I got involved in politics
I had always been interested in politics from a young age because I always wondered about the people who made the decisions that affect normal people’s everyday lives.
Coming from a disadvantaged area of Dublin, I witnessed first-hand that the people who actually rely on those decisions the most are often the very last to be consulted or spoken to.
When the opportunity arose to fill the Dublin City Council seat vacated by Senator Rebecca Moynihan, I thought long and hard about putting myself forward as a young, inner city Dublin voice to represent the Dublin 8 area. Ultimately, I got involved because I felt that I could work with communities and fight for their voices to be heard.
We have an affordable housing crisis in this country and local authorities, especially Dublin City Council, have a huge responsibility for the delivery of public homes on public land.
While people of all ages are impacted by the housing crisis, younger people are particularly affected with many are falling between the cracks of earning too much to qualify for social housing but too little to be able to afford in our distorted private market.
We need genuinely affordable housing solutions and cost-rental models that don’t perpetuate our dysfunctional housing market.
Stopping overconcentration of hotels and student accommodation
Since becoming a Councillor, I have worked to shine a light on Dublin’s overconcentration of hotel developments in certain parts of the city which is crowding out nightlife and cultural spaces and taking up land that could be used for residential development.
Similarly, when it comes to student accommodation, we have seen too many developments granted permission to convert into ‘temporary’ tourist/visitor accommodation.
I’m hugely concerned that these uses may see student accommodation become permanent additional tourist accommodation in our city or even become co-living through the backdoor.
We need to get people out of cars and onto bikes and public transport. To do this, we need to strategically invest in our cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and to improve our public transport links. Nationally, we are doing this through the BusConnects project. However, this is a medium-to-long term project and in the shorter term, there are improvements that Dublin City Council, as a local authority, can make now that will complement the NTA proposals.
Greenspaces and Sports Facilities
The South West Inner City is severely lacking when it comes to parks, greenspaces and sports facilities. As a member of Dublin City Council’s Arts, Culture, Leisure and Recreation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), I have advocated for the provision of greater community greenspaces and playing facilities. There are posh schools in other parts of Dublin that have better sports amenities than Dublin 8, which is completely unacceptable.
I’m Darragh Moriarty and I have been representing the people of the South West Inner City since May 2020. I was co-opted to take over on Dublin City Council following Rebecca Moynihan’s election to Seanad Éireann. I’m from Dublin 8 and have lived on Dolphins Barn Street all my life.
Outside of politics, I have worked in communications and policy research for an NGO think tank focused on international and European affairs since 2016. I studied in UCD and before that, I went to Synge Street.