Public Services

Public transport, healthcare, education and secure housing are the building blocks of life. 

The market won’t deliver the public services that sustain communities. In the Seanad, I pushed for publicly built homes, vacant site tax, rental protection and better funding for community development and culture.
I championed properly funded inclusive education, from early years to third-level
research. I also introduced a Bill to put quality at the heart of the €12 billion spent on public procurement each year. We need to invest wisely in what matters most.

Related Stories

Senator Higgins highlights inequalities in education arising from COVID-19

Over the last number of weeks, I have been corresponding with the Minister for Education and Skills on issues raised by Covid 19 at every level of our education system. This crisis has deepened inequalities already faced by many students, I have called for particular action on the difficulties faced by students in direct provision. I have also pressed for a ‘no detriment’ policy and policies that ensure real opportunity and choice for all leaving cert students. In a time of emergency we cannot allow vulnerable communities to be left behind -  I have also highlighted the challenges faced by Ireland’s research sector and called for more flexible and ambitious funding across science and the humanities, including more public-public research. The collective challenges we will face in terms of society, culture, economy and environment over the coming months and years will require research of many different kinds. The Irish Research Council funding for research on the Sustainable Development Goals is one example of a project which could and should be scaled up as we try to ensure future resilience and sustainability. Education can and must be an accessible and enriching social good. 

Lastly, as part of the wider reimagining of our public spaces, I have called for an investment in better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure around our schools to ensure that safe and sustainable transport is an option for more families next September. 

Senator Higgins calls on Government to proactively partner with medtech manufacturers

Independent Senator Alice-Mary Higgins has called on the Government to “Build on the serious and responsible actions already taken in Ireland, by proactively engaging with medical technology manufacturing companies to support an increase in production of ventilators and related lifesaving equipment”

The Senator, herself from Galway, noted that “we are fortunate to have a number of companies based in the west of Ireland who produce equipment which could play a crucial role in response to Covid-19. Medtronic are global leaders in the manufacture of ventilators. Aerogan are a local company who produce nebulisers and Aquila Bioscience, a company that works with NUI Galway, have developed a new anti-viral cleaning wipe."

Senator Higgins’s “game changing” bill on public procurement passes second stage in Seanad.

Speaking on the 'Contract Preparation & Criteria Bill', which successfully passed sec-ond stage in the Seanad today with the government abstaining and all other parties supporting, Senator Higgins said, “Procurement is an issue which impacts everyone, from the most intimate areas of our lives to the largest infrastructure.  I believe this bill can be a game-changer for the cul-ture around how we deliver public procurement in Ireland”