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Deputy Willie O'Dea

Willie O’Dea sees life on the dole

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD, Willie O’Dea, whose constituency extends into South East Clare is one of four public representatives featuring in a new TV3 series, Dáil on the Dole.

In a first for Irish television, elected representatives will spend time with their constituents, who are dependent on social wlefare, in order to get a better understanding of what the real issues affecting their day-to-day lives are. Produced by Mind the Gap Films for TV3, the four part documentary series, airing on Monday night at 9pm, will show the TDs exactly how the other half lives.

As well as Willie O’Dea, the other TDs in the four-part documentary are Catherine Byrne (Fine Gael – Dublin South Central), Joanna Tuffy (Labour – Dublin Mid West) and John Halligan (Independent – Waterford).

Dáil on the Dole takes TD’s out of the current affairs realm and into the real world. Viewers will get an insight into the reality of living on social welfare and they’ll discover how to engage with their local politicians.

In episode two, Airing on April 27, Willie O’Dea meets Limerick native, Jamie O’Sullivan. Jamie is homeless. He is trying to leave behind his chequered past and make a fresh start away from the drugs and petty crime that led to his alienation from his family and friends. He is making every effort possible to find a home and get a job but his best doesn’t seem to be good enough.

Jamie speaks to Willie about his situation and asks for his help in getting him a roof over his head. Willie also meets the Llwellyns, a family of four who have been living in a cramped hotel room for months while they wait for a council house to become available. He witnesses first-hand what it is like to be left in limbo, with the bill to the tax payer increasing daily.

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