Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Time to Reclaim the Essence of Republicanism for Labour

I proposed the following motion which was adopted unanimously at Conference in Kilkenny on 30 November 2008.
That Conference agrees to establish a Centenary Commission consisting of members of the Labour party and the Trade Union Movement to draw up plans to commemorate the role of organised labour in the founding of the Labour party in 1912, in the Great Lock Out of 1913 and in the Easter Rising of 1916.

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Next year, 2009, SIPTU will celebrate its centenary the foundation of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1909, the Labour Party will celebrate its centenary n 2012, while in 2013 we will commemorate the centenary of the suffering of the thousands of Dublin workers in the 1913 Lockout. 2016 will see the centenary of the 1916 Rising and other centenary years will follow including the first Dail, the the War of Independence and the disastrous Civil War.

The foundation of the ITGWU in 1909 laid the foundations for organised labour in Ireland based on the values of solidarity, liberty and equality

It soon became clear to Connolly and Larkin after the establishment of the ITGWU that a political wing of the Trade Union Movement was not just desirable, but was absolutely essential if the aims and objectives of the Labour Movement were ever to be achieved. And so the Labour Party was born in Clonmel in 1912 with Larkin proposing the motion and Connolly seconding.

In joining the struggle for Irish Independence, the founding fathers of the Labour Party believed not just in an independent Ireland, but in an Ireland that was firmly rooted in the principles of an equal and fair society It was the vision of Connolly and Larkin that shaped the beliefs and values of set out in the 1916 Proclamation which in affirming the Irish Republic “guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally”.

For Larkin the Labour Party and the Trade Union movement were one and the same – “the cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland”

Similarly, for Connolly republicanism and socialism were completely complementary, and the Irish socialist was in reality the true Irish patriot.

Ireland without her people is nothing to me, and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for ‘Ireland’, and can yet… witness all the wrong and the suffering, the shame and the degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland…… , without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart”

Connolly gave up his life for the cause of Labour and the cause of Ireland. Each year The Labour Party and SIPTU combine each May to commemorate the execution of James Connolly at Arbour Hill and pay tribute to the man whose vision still defines our very existence.

In 1918 Labour acting in the national interest stood aside and so was prevented from leading the political agenda to fulfil the goals of the Proclamation. Unfortunately, the vision enunciated in the Proclamation did not survive the War of Independence or the Civil War. Instea dthe republican ideals of Tone, Pearse and Connolly were lost in the clamour of bitterness and recrimination of civil war politics..

The Labour Party today still strives to achieve the ideals of Connolly and Larkin and the Proclamation. The Ireland of today at the turn of the 21st Century faces many of the same political challenges Irish people faced at the turn of the 20th Century. Financial markets in turmoil, unscrupulous employers using the current economic vulnerabilities to exploit workers, antipathy and opposition towards organised labour and the trade union movement, and shady wealthy figures exploiting fears by finding convenient targets and scapegoats. Yet the main difference between today and the early 20th Centuryis that it is not the British Government that has brought us to this point but an Irish Government whose main Party has the audacity to claim to be a Republican Party.

It is time to reclaim the essence of Republicanism for Labour

The Labour Party is indeed the child of the Trade Union movement, and while it has been argued that perhaps the Party has come “of age” and should break the umbilical cord there is no way that we can ever or should ever lose sight of our trade union origins and roots.

In 2006 under the excellent stewardship of Liz McManus the Labour Party and SIPTU joined forces to celebrate the role of the Labour Movement around the events leading up to the 1916 rising in the very successful Liberty Project.

This motion seeks to build on the success of the Liberty Project and calls on the Party to establish a centenary commission to celebrate the inextricable links between the Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party.

I commend the motion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Protection of National Monument Must be Paramount in the Development of the Carlton Site

The City Council agreed tonight to dispose of 24/25 Moore Street subject to a number of conditions. The disposal was agreed almost unanimously.

I had requested that we defer making a decision at the City Council meeting on 3rd November as additional information had been submitted on the planning application. I hadn't time to study that information prior to the Council meeting and I felt that we should have time to consider the impact of the additional information on the National Monument. I proposed that the revised plans be brought back to the Area Committee before a final decision was made on the disposal.
This happened last Tuesday, and I was certainly glad of the opportunity to see the revised proposals. I do believe that the revised proposal is a major improvement on the initial application and the impact of the development on Moore Street has been minimised. (I was the only councillor to make a detailed submission on the initial application).

The protection of the National Monument (14-17 Moore Street) has to be central to any development of the site, and I am reassured by the revised plans. Ultimately the Minister for the Enviroment will have to give his approval to any work that is carried out on the National Monument. The current state of 16 Moore Street is of concern to me and I am conscious that the only way the National Monument can only be properly restored is within the context of the redevelopment of the Carlton site. The development of a museum/interpretative centre at 16 Moore Street is part of the proposed development. I am anxious to see that this is put in place and managed by a State Agency or combination of State Agencies - such as a partnership between DCC and the OPW and/or the National Museum.

I do believe that it is essential for the City that the Carlton Site be developed - it was to be the major site of the O'Connell Street Integrated Area Plan and unfortunately we are now in a position where that Monitoring Committee has concluded its work and no development has commenced on this site. The development of this site will bring about much needed economic regeneration to the North Inner City and will ensure that this area of North Dublin will take its place as the retail core of the City Centre. It is also essential for the regeneration of Moore Street. One of the main concerns Councillors had on the Central Area Committee was that the concerns of the Moore Street Traders were addressed prior to any disposal. The development will bring much needed jobs both in the construction phase and the operational phase and we will be looking for the local community to be employed.

The model of the three Integrated Area Plans (IAP) in the North Inner City - the O'Connell Street IAP, Historic Area Rejuvenation Project (HARP) which takes in the Markets and Smithfield area and the North East Inner City IAP - provided a very beneficial experience to business and residential communites in those areas and the learning from those IAPs should not be lost. The monitoring committees for the IAPs comrprised all the areas' stakeholders including local residents, community organisations, business, trade union and state agencies(e.g. OPW) and provided the basis for an integrated approach to the development of the areas.

I believe that it is a huge pity that the three IAPs have been wound up at a time when three major developments will be taking place in the vicinty of these IAPs - the Carlton Site, the Northern Quarter (Arnotts) and the Markets Framework Plan. I proposed that we should look at setting up some kind of monitoring structure to look at the devleopment of these three sites along the lines of the Monitoring Committees so that we could continue to have an integrated approach to the regeneration of the Inner City and not lose the learning of the last ten years of the IAPs. If we could set up such a structure then we could examine involving the Save 16 Committee as one of the stakeholders in such a committee.

I also believe that it is a pity that the local community will not benefit from the Community Gain Fund as the tax incentives with the IAPs have now ceased so too has the Community Gain Fund. For that reason I proposed this evening that we should ring-fence part of the €12 million from the sale of the land for the local community and that we should look at ring-fencing some of the development levies for the site for the local community.

The manager agreed to refer these issus back to the area committee. I will continue to pursue these proposals.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Destruction of the Old Methodist Church on Jones' Road is Deliberate Act of Vandalism

Statement by Cllr Emer Costello & Joe Costello TD

The destruction of the old Methodist Church on Jones’ Road, Dublin 3 was a scandalous act of vandalism.
It was demolished at 6.00 a.m. in 15 October by a “teleporter” or giant forklift despite the fact that Dublin City Council had placed an enforcement order on the building last night, directing that no further demolition work take place. Dublin City Council officials have confirmed to us that the Forklift was not on the site the previous night but was there at 6.00 a.m the following morning. We understand that the party which hired the forklift has been identifed and and Dublin City Council and the Gardai will be pursuing a definite line of enquiry in this regard.
Local residents had been extremely vigilant in contacting planning enforcement and the Gardai to prevent the destruction of the Church last night and are aghast that such an act of destruction could be perpetuated in their community in the early hours of the morning.
According to eye-witnesses the driver of the forklift ran away when the Gardai approached the church this morning. The Gardai will forward a report of the incident to the Chief Superintendent of Store Street.
It was thought that this type of deliberate vandalism of our architectural heritage had ended long ago.
The Church has now been all but destroyed. Dublin City Council have taken responsibility for securing the building and assure us that they will do their best to ensure that this work takes place without any further destruction or demolition.

The culprits must be pursued through the courts for this wanton and illegal act of vandalism. The maximum possible penalties should be imposed in this case, including a prison sentence and part of the sanction should be to require the guilty party to reconstruct the Church brick by brick.

Friday, October 17, 2008

UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty - Launch of World Poverty Commemorative Stone

Speech by Cllr Emer Costello, Deputy Lord Mayor on 17th October 2008

I am delighted to be present here today in my capacity as Deputy Lod Matyor.
Dublin City Council is proud to be associated with the annual commemoration and the Lord Mayor is always represented at this ceremony In 2004 I had the honour of deputising for the Lord Mayor at the 17th October event. I was so moved by the ceremony that I proposed that Dublin should follow the lead of other European Cities and erect its own World Poverty Stone at the Famine Memorial, the location of the annual 17th October commemoration. The motion was passed unanimously by the City Council. Following the adoption of the motion at City Council, I brought the proposal to the Council of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, as one of the City Council representatives on that Council.

The support of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority was crucial and there was a strong and excellent collaboration between Dublin City Council and the DDDA to ensure the successful delivery of the project. Special thanks must go to Jack Gilligan, the Dublin City Council Arts Officer and Mary McCarthy, Arts Officer with the DDDA who both embraced the project with enthusiasm, and directed the project in an extremely efficient and professional manner.

The annual commemoration of the UN World Day for the Eradication of Poverty gives expression to the thousands of people who are living in poverty.

As a Councillor for the North Inner City in Dublin I work on a daily basis with many communities which did not benefit from the excesses of the Celtic Tiger and are now suffering the effects of the recent economic downturn. I never fail to be impressed by their resilience, their ability to cope with their situations, and hope for the future.

The erection of the World Poverty Stone at this location will link the struggles of Irish people living in poverty today with the struggles of the past. It will serve as a reminder to Dublin’s citizens that poverty knows no borders, is timeless and enduring, and is a global issue.
The stone crafted by Irish artist Stuart McGrath bears the following inscription in in English, Irish and French:

"Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated.To come together to ensure that these rights are respected is our solemn duty."

After this event, I will be proposing to the Association of City and County Councils that all other local and municipal authorities throughout the country follow the example of Dublin by commemorating the 17th October event on an annual basis and that they too would erect their own World Poverty Stones at appropriate locations.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

City Council Adopt Phibsborough Local Area Plan

The Phibsborough Local Area Plan (LAP)was adopted by Dublin City Council at City Council meeting on Monday 6th October.

The Phibsborough LAP is the first Local Area Plan to be adopted by Dublin City Council and is the product of careful and successful co-operation and negotiations residents’ associations, individual residents, public representatives and the City Council.

This plan sets out a vision for Phibsborough which when fully implemented will transform the area and enable Phibsborough Village at last realise its true potential. Unfortunately, over the years, the area has been very much neglected by the authorities.

The LAP will provide a framework for all future development in the Phibsborough area. It will form a statutory basis for all planning decisions in the area for both Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanala

Phibsborough is one of the most historic and vibrant villages of Dublin. It also contains some of the City’s more strategic sites which are due for redevelopment such as the Mater Hospital, Dalymount Park, Mountjoy Prison, Phibsborough Shopping Centre, Cross Guns Bridge and the Smurfit Printworks. The Local Area Plan will ensure that Phibsborough is developed on a planned basis, retaining its rich architectural and residential character and that all future developments are carefully planned and monitored.

Cllr Emer Costello successfully proposed over 40 amendments to the draft plan in order to address the concerns of residents and ensure that the plan addressed the needs of the local community.

A steering committee comprising representatives of all the stakeholders is to be established and chaired independently to oversee the implementation of the plan over the next six years.
It is extremely important that the vision enunciated in this plan is now delivered. Residents have invested much their time and energy into the plan and hopes are high that Phibsborough can once again be a thriving modern urban village.

Main Issues Covered by Phibsborough Local Area Plan

Masterplan for Development Sites
The LAP provides for detailed objectives for each of the development sites:
Mater Hospital, Dalymount Park, Mountjoy Prison, Phibsborough Shopping Centre, Cross Guns Bridge and the Smurfit Printworks
Developers will have to draw up a masterplan which should be consistent with the objectives laid down for each site in the LAP.

Building Heights
The LAP also sets out that the maximum height on each of the development sites in the area should not normally exceed five to six storeys (20 meters in height).

New Architectural Conservation Areas
Three Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) are to be designated at Great Western Square, Monck Place/ the Borough; Royal Canal Bank/Blessington St Basin/Primrose / Fontenoy Street and Phibsborough Centre.

Mixed Use Developments & Quality Retail Outlets
Dublin City Council will encourage high quality retail uses within Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the North Circular Road in an effort to reverse the trend of adult shops, bookmakers, take-aways, off-licenses and charity shops, in the area.

Social/Community/Cultural Infrastructure
The Local Area Plan will ensure that all development will bring much-needed social/community and cultural infrastructure to the area. Planned community facilities will include a 2,500 m2 multi-purpose sports centre, a swimming pool, a cinema/theatre/auditorium, a new public library, three new schools, new playgrounds and much improved public parks etc. There is a commitment to ensuring that the community sporting facilities on the site of Dalymount Park will be an equivalent area to that of the pitch.

Public Realm Improvements
Moreover, Dublin City Council has committed to working with the local residents to improve the public realm such as Mount Bernard Park, the Royal Canal, introduce new north south and east west pedestrian routes and the introduction of “homezones” and traffic calming measures in the area.

Subdivision of existing dwellings
Dublin City Council have undertaken to ensure strict enforcement of the planning and waste regulations on subdivided properties. They have also given assurances that they will conduct an audit of rental properties in the area.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Educate Together National Petition Day for Post Primary School

Cllr Emer Costello & Joe Costello TD have called on the Minister for Education to respond to the Educate Together National Petition Day, today 25th September, and to register Educate Together as a patron of second-level schools.
Deputy Costello and the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello participated in the National Petition Day at the Dublin 7 Educate Together.
Speaking in the Dáil on 25 Septemer, National Petition Day, Deputy Costello, asked the Tanáiste if the Government have any plans to establish multi-denominational schools and if it will recognise Educate Together as a Patron. The Tanáiste informed the House that the Government have no plans to allow Educate Together register as a suitable patron.

“It is outrageous that the Government have failed to recognise the achievements of Educate Together. Educate Together is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary in providing primary school education throughout the country. Its success is evident in that there are now 56 Educate Together Primary Schools throughout the country providing primary education to thousands of primary school children.

Yet the Minister for Education has not even had the courtesy to respond to the requests from Educate Together and the parents of ET schoolchildren seeking the right to register as a patron of second level schools.
Parents are concerned for their children’s right to be able to continue their education in a multi-denominational, democratic environment and exercise choice in their children’s education. At a time when Irish society is being transformed, as each census reveals major changes in the demographic profile of both Irish and non Irish residents, it is imperative that the Government provide for choice in our education system.
Educate Together is a real success story in the provision of education to our primary school children. It is time that the Government recognised the changing face of Irish Society and agreed to recognise Educate Together as a suitable patron body of a second level school.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dublin Central Planning Update

Bakery Site Phibsborough – Permission Granted
Following receipt of additional information, Dublin City Council granted permission to Stateford Ltd for a development at the Bakery Site (6818/07) subject to 32 conditions (click on link to view conditions) on 9 September 2008
The conditions include the reduction of the proposed 13 storey tower (Block M) building has been reduced to 5 storeys. (condition 2)
The medical suites cannot be used for any other purpose unless a “change of use” is applied for and granted. (condition 14)
The eight storey Block A has been broken into two buildings by means of an incision spanning at least two apartments. (this was put forward in the additional information). Furthermore the overall height reduced by two storeys (Condition 2)
Modifications to the design of the units have been conditioned to counter the impact on Shandon Mills and Shandon Road (Condition 5)
The live work units cannot be either wholly residential or wholly commercial but must be “live/work units” (condition 9)
The overall number of residential units has been reduced from 148 to 104 units.Anyone who submitted an objection can appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanala by 6th October 2008. It is also possible that the developer will submit an appeal to the Bord.
We understand that a number of residents groups are considering lodging an appeal to the Bord. Once an appeal is lodged, it is possible for people who did not object originally to comment on the appeal by paying a fee of €50.

Hotel On North Circular Road (Chester House & 314-322)
Permission Granted
Dublin City Council granted permission for the proposed hotel on the North Circular Road, on 22nd August, despite a large number of objections. This planning application was subject to further information and the permission granted is subject to 15 conditions
An appeal has been lodged to An Bord Pleanala. It is possible for people who did not object originally or are party to an appeal to comment on the appeal by paying a fee of €50.

Hendron’s Site – Planning Application for 14 Storey Building
An application was submitted to Dublin City Council for a “mixed use” development at the Hendron’s Site Upper Dominick Street, Palmerston Place, Great Western Way. The development contains a 14 storey tower and comprises apartments, an “aparthotel”, a “neighbourhood shop” and artists studios.
Joe Costello TD & Cllr Emer Costello organised a Planning Information Meeting for residents who were concerned about this application. We also submitted an objection supporting residents’ objections to the development. There were over 70 objections submitted on this application.
Dublin City Council requested additional information on this application on 18 September 2008. This request can be viewed here
The Developer has six months to submit this information or the application falls. We will continue to monitor this application.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Public Consultation on Noise Regulations

The issue of noise pollution and noisy neighbours is an extremely disturbing and distressing problem for residents. It is fast becoming an increasing problem throughout the Central Area. The current legislative situation is completely inadequate. An outline of the current situation is outlined in the useful Enfo Document A Guide to the Noise Regulations

The Minister for the Environment has launched a public consultation on the noise regulations. A consultation paper (click on link to download) has been prepared which examines a range of issues including:

Improved powers for local authorities to take steps to address noise sources
To provide An Garda Síochána with powers similar to local authorities vis-à-vis noise pollution
The drafting of codes of practice for industry, construction, commerce and domestic situations for the reduction of noise
A higher profile for noise issues through an annual reporting mechanism
The creation of a website to provide information to affected persons on appropriate means for addressing complaints.

Comments are invited on any of the issues raised in this paper. Submissions should be marked “Noise Legislation Review‘ and sent, not later than 31 October, 2008, preferably by email, with “Noise Legislation Review” in the subject line, to: noiseconsultation@environ.ie
or by mail to Eoin Deegan, Air Quality Section, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Custom House , Dublin 1

We will be making a submission on this and would welcome your comments to emercostello@eircom.net

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Metro North – RPA Apply for Railway Order

On 17th September the RPA applied to An Bord Pleanla for a Railway Order to build Metro North.

A copy of the draft Railway Order and each document accompanying the application may be inspected during normal office or opening hours from September 17th for the duration of 6 weeks until October 29th at;
An Bord Pleanla, 64 Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Woodquay, Dublin 8
Fingal County Council, County Hall, Swords, Co Dublin
Railway Procurement Agency, Parkgate St, Dublin 8
Ballymun Regeneration Ltd, Ballymun Civic Offices, Ballymun Rd, Dublin 11

Residents for Realignment were also successful in their campaign to have the Railway Order available for inspection at the Public Library in Millmount Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Submissions must be made in writing to An Bord Pleanla, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin by 29th October 2008 at 5:30 pm. Submissions should be marked Metro North. The fee for making a submission is €50.

An Bord Pleanala may decide to hold an oral hearing into the application for a Railway Order.
Residents along the route were also successful in securing independent advice on the impact of the project on their communities. Consultants have been appointed and have started working with residents’ groups. The independent experts will be available to offer residents advice and support for the duration of the Metro North Project.
Further information is available from http://www.rpa.ie/

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello Calls for Immediate Government Action to address O’Devaney Gardens Housing Crisis

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello, said that despair and anti-social behaviour should not be allowed to fill the vacuum left by the recent collapse of regeneration projects. Cllr Costello is a member of the O'Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board.

"I am extremely concerned to hear of the trouble in O’Devaney Gardens last night. Residents reported to me that they were petrified during the night as anti-social behaviour escalated.
Since the collapse of the regeneration projects, I have been calling for the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Housing to give a commitment that the Government will provide a rescue package to build the much needed social housing and community infrastructure.

I am now repeating that call and asking for Govenment to give a commitment to the residents of O’Devaney Gardens that the long-promised social housing and community regeneration will be provided without delay.

Following last night’s incidents residents from O’Devaney were queueing up in Dublin City Council’s offices today seeking alternative accommodation from Dublin City Council. It is tragic that the plans and hope for a new community have been replaced with such feelings of despair despondency.

Even before the collapse of the regeneration development, residents had reported flashpoints in parts of the complex and requested assistance from Dublin City Council and the Gardaí in dealing with the matter before it got out of hand.

While I welcome Dublin City Council’s statement that they will be installing more CCTV cameras in the area to deal with the matter, I am particularly mindful of the fact that Dublin City Council recently responded to a question from me on CCTV by stating that "it is doubtful that CCTV would be of any benefit in improving anti-social behaviour".

I am calling on Dublin City Council and the Gardaí to conduct an audit of the flashpoints in the complex and to work with the residents to identify policing and estate management measures that can be taken to deter and prevent anti-social behaviour.

Action and confidence building measures are needed to be put in place immediately to reassure the residents that there is a bright future for the O’Devaney Gardens community.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Amendments to Phibsborough Local Area Plan Go on Public Display

Following the recent public consultation on the Phibsborough Local Area Plan Cllr Emer Costello proposed almost 40 amendments to ensure that residents concerns would be addressed in the final Plan.

A considerable number of her amendments were agreed by the City Council and accepted by the City Manager, while it was not possible to secure agreement on others. The Draft Local Area Plan was adopted by the City Council at its meeting on 7th July subject to a new consultation process on the proposed amendments.

Dublin City Council will now put the amendments on display and invite submissions from the public (note submissions can only relate to the proposed amendments). The proposed amendments to the Draft Plan will go on display from Friday 25th July 2008 to Friday 22nd August 2008 (inclusive) at the following locations:

Civic Offices,
Wood Quay, Dublin 8
Monday – Friday, 9am.00 – 4.30 pm

Dublin City Council Cabra Area Office
97 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7
Monday – Thursday,10.00 am– 4.00 pm

Phibsborough Library,
Blacquiere Bridge, North Circular Road
Monday & Wednesday:
12.45-4.00p.m. & 4.45 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
10.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Dublin City Council will also hold an information session on the proposed amendments at Conference Room 2, St Peters Church, Phibsborough on Tuesday 5th August 2008 from
6.30 pm to 9.00 pm

The report detailing the proposed amendments is also available on the Phibsborough Local Area Plan page of the Dublin City Council Website (click on link). Hard copies of the report are also available on request from the Planning Department

Written submissions or observations on the proposed amendments must be submitted by 4.30 p.m. on Friday 22nd August 2008. Submissions can be made by email to planning@dublincity.ie or addressed to Tom Vaughan, Planning Department, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay Dublin 8.

The Manager has until 18th September to prepare a report on the submissions received. The City Councillors will then have six weeks from 19th September to consider the Manager’s report.

Summary of Main Issues in Proposed Amendments to Phibsborough Local Area Plan

The proposed multi-purpose sports and recreation centre at Phibsborough Village Centre to be increased in size from 2,000m2to 2,500 m2

Provision of a Cinema/auditorium/theatre on the Phibsborough Shopping Centre site

An area equivalent to the pitch at Dalymount Park to be designated for sports, cultural and play areas and additional space to this to be allocated for the provision of a new or extended school

The deletion of the proposals in the first draft of the LAP for mews developments at the Smurfit Site (bounding onto Marguerite Road) and Mount Bernard Park

The enhancement and enlargement of Mount Bernard Park through the acquisition of the disused Iarnrod Éireann lands, and the creation of new pedestrian and cycle route to the Royal Canal combined with a new pedestrian bridge at the Canal

The reinstatement of the residential Z1 zoning “To protect, provide and improve residential amenities” for the lands a 1 – 10 Villa Bank and 140-143 Phibsborough Road, to the north of Devery’s Lane, Villa Bank, and the deletion of the proposal to rezone this land to “mixed services” Z4

The deletion of any reference to compulsory purchase orders of properties for the development of a new east/west route from Phibsborough Village Centre to Innisfallen Parade

The proposed red-dotted east west route from Phibsborough to Mountjoy has been deleted to allow for alternative routes to be considered between Phibsborough Road and Mountjoy

The designation of three Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) at 1)Great Western Square, Monck Place/ the Borough; 2)Royal Canal Bank/Blessington St Basin/Primrose/Fontenoy Street and 3)Phibsborough Centre

The inclusion of Cabra Park and Villa Bank in the proposed “Homezones”

A new housing objective to ensure that all proposals for extensions to single storey artisan dwellings respect the architectural character of the area and protects the residential amenity and privacy of adjoining properties

Dublin City Council will encourage high quality retail uses within Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the North Circular Road

The restatement of Policy RES 19 in the Dublin City Development Plan which seeks to safeguard against a proliferation of institutional hostel type accommodation in residential areas and the referral of this objective to the Housing SPC for their consideration.

A commitment to the enforcement of the waste management Code of Practice for multi-occupancy dwellings. (Dublin City Council has also given a separate undertaking that they will conduct an audit of rented accommodation in the area)

The provision of studio space for artists in a number of the key sites

Dublin City Council to encourage the provision of a multi-denominational or non-denominational post primary school in the area

A greater emphasis on activities for senior citizens in the education and community/social infrastructure sections

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Costello Calls on Council to Halt Erection of Any Further J C Decaux Signs

Dublin’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello today called on Dublin City Council to halt the erection of any further J C Decaux signs pending a full Road Safety report on the proposed locations.

Her call comes in the wake of the statement by the National Council for the Blind in Ireland highlighting the safety issues in relation to these signs. Cllr Costello expressed her serious concern that visually impaired people who have enough to contend with on the streets of Dublin, now find that they have to negotiate the major obstacles of the large Decaux signs.

Cllr Costello has consistently opposed the erection of these structures and alerted the City Council on numerous occasions to the safety concerns of a number of groups representing disabled people and also the safety concerns raised by the Dublin Transportation Office.
In March of this year, An Bord Pleanala refused permission for each of the metoropole structures which were under appeal, citing public safety grounds. Unfortunately, only a small portion of the proposed Metropoles were appealed to An Bord Pleanala. In view of the Bord’s findings, Cllr Costello called on the City Council to halt all works on the JC Decaux metropoles and to conduct a full and independent review of the health and safety issues of the proposed sites, and report on the findings to this Council before any further work is carried out. However, the Council persisted with the erection of the signs, despite the fact that the safety concerns were never fully addressed.

The problems posed in recent weeks to visually impaired people and pedestrians and the Council’s decision to remove the sign on Dorset Street last week is evidence that the signs are posing a danger to public safety as stated by An Bord Pleanala. At the July City Council meeting, Councillor Costello once again called on the manager to halt the work until a full safety audit had been conducted but to no avail.

Cllr Costello has also called on Dublin City Council to produce a full report on the locations of the Decaux signs granted permission, a progress report on the promised "wayfindng" system and "free bike scheme" which were supposed to be rolled out in tandem with the advertising, and a report on the number of billboards which have been removed as part of the overall package with J C Decaux.

"It seems to me that the citizens of Dublin are getting a raw deal, we have dangerous and visually obtrusive street signs littering our footpaths on the one hand and yet none of the promised benefits of these signs have been delivered. Even the 500 bicycles promised have been reduced by 50, and still have not been delivered!
I believe that the work should now stop pending a full safety audit before any further signs are erected." Said Cllr Costello

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cllr Emer Costello Elected Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin

“It was a great honour to be elected Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin at the City Council meeting on 30 June.

I believe it is a unique achievement that both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are women, and hope that this event signals an increasing trend of women in decision-making roles in the City. I am currently the Chairperson of the International Women’s Day Working Group, which earlier this year commissioned a report “Every Step of the Way – Women accessing Power in Dublin City” The recognition of positive role models for women in political life was identified as a means of increasing women’s participation in political life. I believe that the election of two women from two distinct political parties as Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor marks a significant step for women in the City and hopefully will encourage more women to become active in political life.

The soul of any City is its people and my main concern will for the people of Dublin. My priority will be to help make Dublin a safe, secure, clean and enjoyable place for the people of Dublin to live and work.

I represent the North Inner City Local Electoral Area, which embodies so much of the City – it is home, the wonderful shopping environs of Henry Street and Moore Street, to the Spike, the GPO, and the beautifully restored O’Connell Street. But sadly while Dublin City Council has made every effort to restore it to the past splendour, their best efforts have been stymied over the last fifteen years by selfish property interests As we prepare for the centenary of the 1916 Rising it is essential that the street be restored to its former glory and that the National Monuments on the street and its environs be developed appropriately.
The North Inner City is also home to four of the five Public Private Partnership Projects which have all but collapsed and have occupied much of our time of late at council meetings. The public private partnership model we were told would solve our housing problems and was a “win-win” situation for all concerned as it would be the developer who would take the risk. We have learned to our cost that developers don’t take risks and in the end it was the tenants who believed in the process who took the risk and are now paying the price.
Unfortunately, the good years of the Celtic Tiger and the construction boom did not produce a housing boom for those people who were most in need of housing. Now that the boom is over and the developers are scaling down their plans, it is so important that our hard pressed tenants and the thousands families on our waiting lists are not the first to suffer.
It will be a priority of mine to work with the Lord Mayor, City Manager and the City Council to find new ways to increase new housing output, speed up the refurbishment of existing housing stock and restructure the social and affordable projects that have foundered.
I want to thank the City Councillors for the confidence they have shown in me. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead and to working with the Lord Mayor, the City Manager and City Council for the betterment of all the people of Dublin.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Phibsborough Local Area Plan Update

The Report on the Phibsborough Area Plan is due to come before the next meeting of Dublin City Council on 7th July 2008. The Report comprises the Manager’s assessment of the submissions which have been made and his subsequent recommendations.

The Members of the City Council have three options on 7th July:

1. Accept the Manager’s Report and adopt the Plan
2. Amend the Manager’s Report – if the amendments are considered to be material then the plan should go back out to public consultation (the process would then continue until November 2008). If the amendments are not considered to be “material” then the plan is adopted with all the amendments without further consultation.
3. Reject the Manager’s Report and the Plan falls.

The Manager informs us that the current report does not contain any material amendments to the Draft LAP and that if the report is adopted there would be no need to put it back out to public consultation.

There is not sufficient space here to outline the recommendations in the report.

The Manager’s Report is available online on the Dublin City Council website (click on link to go directly to Manager’s report). Dublin City Council will send out hard copies of the report on request to Ger Maher, Planning Department, Tel 2223086.
Councillors may submit amendments to the Manager’s Report and to the Plan. Councillors amendments are to be submitted by 30 June 2008.

The Draft LAP will only go back out to public consultation after 7th July if there are material amendments to the plan. If the plan goes back out to public consultation, it is only the “material amendments” that can be considered at that stage.

I would appreciate feedback to emercostello@eircom.net on the Manager’s Report before that date so thatI can prepare my amendments by the deadline.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Euope Day

Cllr Emer Costello pictured with Joe Costello TD, Labour Spokesperson on European Affairs, Proinsias de Rossa MEP, Mick Keegan, Labour Candidate for Cabra Glasnevin, and Labour Party suporters, canvassing on Grafon Street for Europe Day, Friday 9th May, 2008

Friday, 9th May was Europe Day (more information on Europe Day here) and as part of our campaign for a yes vote in the forthcoming Lisbon Reform Treaty members of the Labour Party went leafletting on Dublin's Grafton Street.From now until the campaign Labour will be leafletting on Henry Street and Grafton Street every Saturday as well as in other venues throughout the country.More photographs from today can be viewed on Flickr at this link.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lighthouse Cinema brings some long-awaited culture to Smithfield.

As the Chairperson of the Historic Area Rejuvenation Programme (HARP) Integrated Area Plan which was established to rejuvenate the Smithfield and Markets Area of Dublin City, I welcome the forthcoming opening of the new Lighthouse Cinema at Smithfield on 9th May 2008.

While the HARP has many achievements, it has long been a source of concern to us that many of the promised cultural activities for Smithfield did not materialise.

There was huge disappointment when the Science Museum for the Square did not materialise and the proposed site is now occupied by the Motor Tax Office.

The Lighthouse Cinema had earned a reputation for being an arthouse cinema while it was on Abbey Street. It was demolished in 1996 to make way for developments at Arnotts. The new Lighthouse at Smithfield will bring a variety of independent, foreign language and classic films.

I understand that the promoters will be organising film workshops and have indicated that they will work with the local community. This will provide a marvellous opportunity for the young people from the area to become involved in film and cinema. The Bradog Youth Service in the area has done much work with young people in the area of film and multimedia.

I hope that the arrival of the Lighthouse Cinema to the area will broaden the vision and enhance the skills of young people from the area.

It will also provide hours of culture and entertainment for local residents and indeed all Dubliners as it will bring visitors from all quarters of the City to Smithfield.

The Cinema will host four screens, 600 seats and will have a café and bar. Further information can be obtained from their website: www.lighthousecinema.ie

I look forward to the opening of this cinema and as a local resident hope to become regular patrons.

Grangegorman Development Agency - Public Meeting on 24th May and Call for Submissions for Strategic Plan

The 73-acre site at St Brendan’s Hospital at Grangegorman has been designated as the site for the unified Campus for the Dublin institute of Technology, the permanent home for Dublin 7 Educate Together Primary School and a range of new mental health and community and continuing care facilities.

This project is one of the most exciting projects in Dublin City and has the potential to bring enormous benefits to the local community in terms of educational opportunities, sporting, cultural and leisure facilities, health provision and local employment. The Grangegorman Development Agency was established in November 2006 with responsibility for the management of the entire project. Cllr Emer Costello is a member of the Agency.
The planning and design of the campus will have major implications for the local community and so it is extremely important that local residents have an input into the planning and design of the new campus.

The next public meeting to discuss progress on the Masterplan for Grangegorman will take place on Saturday 24th May in the offices of the Grangegorman Development Agency at St Brendan’s Hospital Grangegorman from 2.30 p.m to 5.30 p.m.
The proposal is to have an opening plenary session and then break into smaller groups and conclude with a final plenary/Q&A session.
The Agency has also issued a call for submissions on the development of the Strategic Plan for the lands at Grangegorman. The closing date for submissions is 18th June. A copy of the call and a briefing document can be downloaded from the Grangegorman Development Agency Website (click on link)

We would be interested in receiving feedback from residents on the consultation phase of this development. We are particularly anxious that all residents and groups who wish to have an input into this development would have the opportunity to so do. We have requested the Grangegorman Development Agency to arrange public meetings in different locations throughout the “Grangegorman Neighbourhood” to ensure as many people as possible have an opportunity to contribute. We have also requested the Agency to examine different ways of taking and responding to submissions from the public.
Copies of the presentations from previous public meetings can be downloaded from the Agency’s website.

We would welcome your feedback on any aspect of this development.

Residents Only Parking for Croke Park - Public Consulation

Dublin City Council has announced a Public Consultation on draft bye-laws for Residents Only Parking for major events taking place in Croke Park. The consultation period is from 1st May to 19th June 2008.

The proposed area for restricted parking includes the all public roads in the area bounded by, but not including, the following roads: North Strand Road, Amiens Street, Talbot Street, Gardiner Street, Parnell Street, Parnell Square East, Frederick Street North, Berkley Street, Berkley Road, North Circular Road, Phibsborough Road, Prospect Road, Botanic Road, St. Mobhi Road, Griffith Avenue, Malahide Road, Fairview, Annesley Bridge Road. (See map)

It should be noted that the proposed area excludes much of Phibsborough, Berkeley Road area and also much of the North Strand and East Wall Areas. This is a source of major concern to us and we will be proposing to extend the restricted area to include these communities.

The major events covered by the proposed bye-laws include:
§ All Ireland Senior Football Finals, Semi Finals, and Quarter Finals.
§ All Ireland Senior Hurling Finals, Semi Finals and Quarter Finals.
§ All International professional Rugby matches played at Croke Park.
§ All International Soccer matches played at Croke Park.
§ All concerts at Croke Park for which an event licence has been granted by Dublin City Council.

Permits will be issued for a period of three years to residents who own cars within the restricted parking area. Dublin City Council is also considering issuing visitors permits.

The proposed Bye-Laws are available for inspection during normal office hours during the period 1st May 2008 to 3rd June 2008, inclusive, at the offices of the Roads and Traffic Department, Block 2, Floor 4, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. Copies of the Draft Bye-Laws, a briefing note and a map of the proposed Restricted Area are available free of charge from Dublin City Council Traffic Department, (Tel. (01) 222 2771) and can be downloaded from the City Council Website (click on links)

Submissions must be made in writing to Mr. Tim O’Sullivan, Executive Manager, Roads and Traffic Department at the above address or by email to traffic@dublincity.ie before 4.30pm on 19th June 2008.

We have asked Dublin City Council to hold a public information meeting/workshop to explain the implications of the bye-laws and they have agreed to so do. We will let you know when we have full details.

Traffic News

Luas to Grangegorman – A Step Closer
The plans for the Luas Line to Grangegorman and Liffey Junction received a major boost in recent weeks.
The Minister for Transport has written to CIE and the Railway Procurement Agency to confirm that he will be proceeding with the Transport 21 Plan: Luas to Broadstone and Liffey Junction. The RPA now plan to combine Luas Line BX (from Stephen’s Green to Parnell Square and Line D (Parnell Square to Liffey Junction) into one project. They plan to hold a public consultation on Line D during the Summer of 2008. It is planned that the preferred route will be published in the autumn of 2008. It is envisaged that the Luas Railway Order will be published by the Autumn/Winter 2009.

Metro North
It is envisaged that the RPA intend to apply for a Railway Order for Metro North in the autumn of 2008. Some preparatory work will take place in 2009 with the main works starting in 2010. The project is due to be completed by 2014.
The Minister for Transport recently announced that he would support tunnelling taking place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have requested the Minister to clarify his position and to guarantee that tunnelling will not take place in residential areas 24/7

Mater Station
As you are aware the RPA announced that they plan to have only one entrance to the Mater Station on the North Circular Road. The entrance at Eccles Street which was originally proposed now has been discarded. The RPA say that they cannot plan for an entrance on Eccles Street as the footprint of the National Paediatric Hospital has not yet been determined. We are continuing to campaign with local residents for a second entrance at Eccles Street. The Mater Project Team, Mater Campus Hospital Development, have written to the RPA requesting them to reverse their decision and ensure an entrance at Eccles Street.

Bakery Site – Additional Information Requested

On 21st February Dublin City Council requested additional information in relation to the Bakery Site Planning Application. The Additional Information requested reflects the concerns of residents in their submissions. The information requested includes the following points:

Traffic: Additional information has been requested regarding a)the drop off point for the crèche, b) the pedestrian/vehicular access along the access road as it is so narrow, c)access route for emergency vehicles, d)potential for pedestrian link through existing laneway to the south, e)number, designation of car-parking spaces and design of ramps, f)details of the entrance with the Phibsborough Road.

Drainage: The Drainage Department stated that there was insufficient information to assess this application and requested significant additional information.
Archaeology: The Archaeologists Department requested an archaeological assessment be carried out on the site as soon as possible.

Photomontages: The applicant was requested to submit photomontages of the proposed scheme viewed from the following locations: the north bank of the Royal Canal adjacent to the 6th Lock; from the junction of Whitworth Road and Prospect Road; from the junction of Ulster Street and Munster Street; computer generated imagery from within the scheme.
Shadow Analysis; A shadow analysis of the scheme using the standard date and time models was requested.

Medical Facility: Additional information was requested on the rationale for the proposed economic consultants. An economic appraisal along with supporting documentation from one or more primary medical facilities was also requested.
Height of Tower: The applicant was requested to justify the location, height and design of proposed 13 storey tower.

Development Standards: A number of the proposed units fall below the development plan standards and the applicant is requested to revise these accordingly. The layout of the decking and lack of privacy of bedroom windows at the eight storey unit is raised as being an issue of concern to the local authority.

Eight Storey Block: The applicant was asked to revisit the design of the eight storey block to allow for more interactivity between the canal walk and the interior of the scheme and to allow for sunlight penetration to the canal side. A break of at least two apartments wide is recommended and the open area to be landscaped accordingly.

Location of Bin/Recycling Area: The applicant has been asked to re-examine at the location of the recycling and bicycle storage areas.

Impact on surrounding houses: Dublin City Council has expressed its concern at the impact of the townhouses on Shandon Road and Shandon Mills and suggests the design of these is amended to take account of these concerns.

The applicant has six months from the date of the request (i.e. to 21 August) to respond to this request.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Watch City Council Meetings Live from Your own Home!

Dublin City Council is now broadcasting City Council Meetings live on the Internet. The City Council meeting is held the first Monday of every month (except on bank holidays) when it is held on the second Monday. You can tune into http://www.dublincity.ie/ to watch live or to review debates at previous meetings.

Litter Management Plan - Code of Conduct for Landlords

There is huge concern among residents regarding the large number of landlord “multi-occupancy” units throughout the Central Area. The issue of waste management in landlord houses is a recurrent theme at most community fora. Two recent developments will hopefully bring about some improvements in this area.

Firstly, Dublin City Council recently reported three significant victories in the Courts against landlords under the Litter Pollution Act. Two of the three cases related to properties in the Central Area. Waste Management report that they are now confident of further prosecutions in the coming months.

Secondly as part of the review of the Litter Management Plan, Dublin City Council was committed to introducing a protocol for landlords of multi-occupancy units in relation to waste management. At the request of Cllr Emer Costello the protocol is to be adopted at the same time as the Litter Management Plan. Dublin City Council has produced a Code of Conduct for Landlords of multi-occupancy units. The City Council has agreed to circulate it to Residents’ Associations and to request the PRTB to circulate it to landlords of multi-occupancy units.

Friday, May 02, 2008

City Council Report calls for Action on Promoting Women in Decision Making Roles

Cllr Emer Costello, Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s International Women’s Day Working Group has called on the Government to take positive action to ensure women’s equal participation in the decision making processes at all levels of political life.

Speaking at the launch of the Group's research report “Every Step of the Way – Women Accessing Power in Dublin City” which was held in the Civic Offices on the eve of International Women’s Day, Cllr Costello called for positive action to ensure that more women would be in a position to stand for election in winnable electoral wards. Cllr Costello noted that of 188 countries Ireland ranks joint 87th with Barbados and Jamaica in terms of women’s representation in democratic structures.

The Dublin City Council report highlights that just 20% of the members of local authorities throughout the country are women. While Dublin City Council fares slightly better at 29% this figure is still woefully short of equal participation of 50%. Moreover, Cllr Costello stated that it was both astonishing and lamentable that the City Council’s Corporate Policy Group (CPG) is currently entirely comprised of men.

Cllr Costello noted that 15 Councillors (6 women and 9 men) resigned from the Council since the Local Elections in 2004. However, the six women accounted for a whopping 40% of the women elected to the Council, while the 9 men accounted for just 24% of the men elected.
The International Women’s Day Working Group was established by Dublin City Council to “promote women’s participation in the political, economic and social life of Dublin City”. The Working Group commissioned research into the role of women in the decision-making structures in the City – at political, management and community level.
The findings of the report make interesting reading.
§ Women comprise 29% of the Councillors on Dublin City Council
§ Women are not currently represented on the important Corporate Policy Group
§ Women account for just 31% of the membership of Strategic Policy Committees
§ Women make up just 29% of the professional grades in Dublin City Council
§ While 54% of the administrative grades are women, just 30% of the Executive Managers are women (and there is just 1 Assistant City Manager out of 8).
§ Women account for just 12% of General Operative Staff and just 3% of the Fire Brigade.

Cllr Costello has called on Dublin City Council to establish the IWD Working Group on a permanent footing to oversee and monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the report, which include conducting a gender audit of employment within the City Council, funding women’s groups and promoting participation of women in local decision-making structures, encouraging women councillors to become political role models in their local areas and developing an educational programme for schools.

The IWD Working Group needs to be established on a permanent basis to oversee the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report and to ensure that International Women’s Day is permanently etched into the political, social, economic and cultural calendar of the City, concluded Cllr Costello

If you would like a hard copy of the report, please contact me and I will send it out to you.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Health Protests Continue

Every Saturday the Labour Party maintains a presence outside the A&E unit of the Mater Hospital to protest about conditions in the Health Service, particularly A&E unitls throughout the country. On Saturday 29th March, we commemorated the fifth anniversary of our protest , the same day as the massive monster public health march that brought over 5,000 on to the streets. The Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore TD, joined our protest at the Mater Hospital prior to joining the rally at Parnell Square
No matter how the HSE try to massage the figures the situation at A&E units throughout the country remains deplorable as seriously ill and often elderly people wait on chairs or if they are lucky enough on trolleys for hours and even days. The shortage of hospital beds combined with the embargo on recruitment are the main reasons for the scandalous condition.
There isn't one family in the country who hasn't been touched by the failure of the HSE to deliver a quality health service for someone close to them. As we protest each Saturday outside the Mater Joe and I listen to what can only be called horror stories of how elderly and very sick people are left on chairs and trolleys, sharing their space and toilet facilities with drunks and drug addicts.
Following the protest at the Mater Hospital we joined the Dublin Council of Trade Unions march at Parnell Square. Over 5,000 people turned up and the anger on the street was truly palpable. Again everybody we met had a story and everybody has somebody who has suffered at the hands of the HSE.
On the same day the IMO came out and condemned the policy of building private hospitals on public land and expressed their concern that rather than free up the promised 1,000 beds that it would lead to the downgrading and a lack of funding for these beds.
The current Governnment appear to have neither the will nor the ability to deal with the problems in the health service.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Phibsborough Draft Local Area Plan – Public Consultation

The Phibsborough Draft Local Area Plan has now been put out to public consultation.
A copy of the proposed Draft Local Area Plan and Environmental Report is on display from Friday 7th March 2008 to Tuesday 22nd April 2008 (both dates inclusive) in the Phibsborough Library, Blackquire Bridge, North Circular Road Dublin 7 during the Library’s normal opening hours which are as follows:
o Monday, Wednesday: 12.45pm - 4.00pm and 4.45pm - 8.00pm
o Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm

A planner from Dublin City Council Planning Department in attendance at Phibsborough Library each Wednesday evening from 5.00pm to 8.00pm during the display period for the Local Area Plan, to answer queries or to explain the plan to members of the public, starting Wednesday.

The plan is available for inspection during the same period at the Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 from Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) between the hours of 9.00am and 4.30pm.

The plan can also be viewed on line
Phibsborough Draft Local Area Plan

We understand that Dublin City Council has also acquired a unit in Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the plan will be put on public display there. Dublin City Council will have to carry out some work to adapt the unit before the display goes on public view. We will let you now as soon as we have a date.

Information Sessions will be held in Croke Park Conference Centre in the Ash Suite on Saturday, 29th March and Saturday the 5th April 2008 between the hours of 10.30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.
Dublin City Council plans to run buses from Phibsborough to Croke Park.

Submissions or observations should be addressed to Tom Vaughan, Planning Department, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, or by email to planning@dublincity.ie before 4.30p.m. on Tuesday 22nd April 2008.

Submissions can be as long or as short as you wish. You may just wish to focus on one issue or you may wish to focus on a number of issues. It can be as valuable to indicate your support for aspects of the plan as it is to indicate your concern on other aspects. Submissions can be hand-written or typed and sent by post, by hand or by email.

Indicative Timescale for LAP
Public Notice and Plan Display – (six weeks - 7th March to 22nd April)

  1. Preparation of Manager's Report on submissions/observations (within 12 weeks of public notice,
  2. Plan should be considered at City Council meeting on 7th July)
  3. Display of Proposed Amendments (Not less than 4 weeks, on public display in July/August – depending on when notice goes in paper)
  4. Preparation of Manager's Report on Submissions on Proposed Amendments (within 8 weeks of notice going in paper – should be considered by City Council meeting of 3rd November)

Grangegorman - Planning the new Educational and Health Campus

The 73 acre site at St Brendan’s Hospital at Grangegorman has been designated as the site for the unified Campus for the Dublin institute of Technology, the permanent home for Dublin 7 Educate Together Primary School and a range of new mental health and community and continuing care facilities.

This project is one of the most exciting projects in Dublin City and has the potential to bring enormous benefits to the local community in terms of educational opportunities, sporting, cultural and leisure facilities, health provision and local employment.

The planning and design of the campus will have major implications for the local community and so it is extremely important that local residents have an input into the planning and design of the new campus.

The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) was established in November 2006 with responsibility for the management of the entire project. Cllr Emer Costello is a member of the Agency.

The GDA has appointed an American company Moore Ruble and Yudell (MRY) as the Masterplanners. The team is headed by Joseph Mary O’Connor, who is originally a native of Phibsborough.
The GDA held a public meeting in St Paul’s School, Brunswick Street with the Masterplanners, the DIT and the HSE. The Masterplanners gave an outline of their Initial concepts and the DIT and HSE gave presentations on their requirements for the campus.

Copies of all presentations and handouts from the public meeting are available from the GGDA's website here (click on link)

Issues of concern to the local community raised at the meeting included:
  • Height and density of buildings
  • Security and policing
  • Connectivity to local community
  • Transport links and future of Transport 21
  • Community facilities on the site
  • Preservation of built and natural heritage on the site
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Links with other Local Area Plans such as Phibsborough LAP and Markets Framework Plan
  • The location and type of HSE service provision
  • Security and care of HSE patients on the campus
  • Process for community consultation

The planners have commenced work on detailed plans for the site and will be consulting with local stakeholders over this period.

EPS Consulting have responsibility for the Community and Stakeholder consultation. The key contact for the consultation is Peter Brennan, telephone (01) 2845528 email peterbrennan@wkngc.ie.

A further meeting will be held on 24th May 2008 (at a venue to be decided) when the Masterplanners will unveil a first draft of the proposals.

If you would have any questions on this development, please do not hesitate to contact me emercostello@eircom.net.

I will be keeping you informed of developments.

O’Devaney Gardens Update

Dublin City Council is undertaking a major regeneration project for O’Devaney Gardens. Castlethorn McNamara was selected as the “preferred bidder” and the project agreement was signed in the first half of 2007.
The proposals included the following:
  • The demolition of the existing 276 flats in O’Devaney Gardens.
  • Their replacement with
  • 250 social housing units
  • 30 senior citizen social housing units
  • 250 affordable housing units
  • 299 private units
  • A 2,000 square metre community centre with a rooftop football pitch to be built in the first phase
  • 3 defined play areas for a variety of age groups

A planning application was due to be submitted by September 2007. However, Dublin City Council increased the minimum size and standards of apartments in the City, as part of their policy of promoting "family friendly" apartment living. As a result, Castlethorn McNamara had to review the O’Devaney Gardens proposal in light of the new apartment sizes and standards. They are still in negotiations with Dublin City Council.

In the meantime, Dublin City Council has now completely detenanted the first four blocks to be included in the first phase. These blocks are due to be demolished in June.

Once the planning application is prepared, the Regeneration Board plans to engage in a comprehensive information campaign including, public meetings, briefing sessions and newsletters giving much more specific information in relation to the development.

In addition, Castlethorn/McNamara will be obliged to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment on the proposal.

I hope that there will be more concrete news in the coming weeks and will keep you informed of developments.

D7 Planning Applications News

Development at Grangegorman Lr/N Brunswick Street
Planning Ref: 4876/06
An application was lodged in September 2006 for a mixed use development at Brunswick Street/Lr Grangegorman. The development was initially for 222 apartments in six blocks ranging in height from two to eleven storeys. This application was the subject of extensive requests for further information. Permission was granted for 138 apartments in six blocks ranging in height from two to seven storeys. Both the residents and the developer Albion Properties have appealed this to An Bord Pleanala.

An Bord Pleanala requested the developer to make significant alterations to the proposal. They had originally given the developer until 3rd March to submit the revised proposals. Following a request from the developer they have extended the time for submitting the revised proposals until 31st March.

The Bord’s decision is now due by the 20th April 2008. We will keep you informed of developments.

Bord Pleanala Grant Permission for Development at Nephin Road
Planning Ref: 5631/06
An Bord Pleanala recently granted permission to the development on the Nephin Road. The original proposal was for the demolition of the existing house and the construction of an apartment block comprising 25 apartments. Dublin City Council granted permission for 22 apartments. An Bord Pleanala granted permission subject to a further amendment, requiring a reduction in building height by the omission of one floor of accommodation comprising six apartments and in the number of basement level parking spaces.

Bord Pleanala Refuse Permission for Development at Hedigans – Brian Boru
In July 2007 a planning application was lodged for a mixed use development at Hedigan’s Brian Boru Pub at Cross Guns Bridge comprising 57 apartments in three blocks, a commercial unit and a new extension to the Public House. Residents of Phibsborough and Glasnevin believed that this development as premature in advance of the Local Area Plan for Phibsborough.

Dublin City Council granted permission subject to a number of revisions to the initial plan. Both the residents and the developer appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

An Bord Pleanala refused permission for this development on the grounds that “the proposed development would give rise to an unacceptable degree of overshadowing of two-storey residential properties, would be overbearing and ………would represent overdevelopment of the site, would fail to provide an adequate level of residential amenity for its occupants and would seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity.

The Bord also ruled that the proposed new extension to the public house “would fail to respect the character of the existing building and would be a discordant element in the

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Opening of All Weather Pitch at Sheriff Street

On 11th February I had the honour of deputising for the Lord Mayor at the opening of the new All Weather Pitch at Commons Street, off Sheriff Street.

This wonderful new facility boasts an astro turf surface, Futsal goalposts, a rebound enclosure and floodlights.

The floodlighting will allow the five local clubs to train into the long winter evenings and at weekends.

The area is fortunate to have 5 local clubs, both soccer and gaelic with a total of about 9 Adult and 20 junior teams.

The area also has some very active ladies teams. Olivia O’Toole the captain of the Ireland Senior Ladies Team and the Republic Of Irelands leading goalscorer works in the St Laurence O’Toole Community Centre next door. Maybe some of the young schoolgirls from St Lawrence O’Toole Girls Primary School who were at the launch will follow in her footsteps in the years to come

The Sheriff Street community has endured more than its fair share of trouble over the years, but we are also very fortunate to have so many committed individuals willing to volunteer in clubs and to pass on their love of sport to the next generation.

Dublin City Council, Dublin Docklands and the FAI were all involved in this project with the local community. All deserve great credit. Hopefully the pitch will be enjoyed and used by many local and future national and international football stars (both men and women) in the years to come