Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour at the Mansion House

Joe and Emer Costello outside the Mansion House during the Blackout!

My Holidays - Irish Times Article

Interview with the Irish Times travel supplement on holiday memories 27 March 2010

Lord Mayor of Dublin and Labour councillor for the North Inner City electoral area, Emer Costello, tells GENEVIEVE CARBERY about her holiday memories...

What’s your earliest holiday memory? I remember coming to Dublin with my mother when I was about four. It wasn’t quite a holiday, as my sisters – twin babies – were getting their tonsils out. We stayed with my aunt in Glasnevin, and it was a huge adventure. But for family holidays my father had an obsession with Bundoran, in Donegal, so we never went on holiday anywhere else except there.

What was your worst holiday? Shortly after I got married I was looking for a last-minute summer holiday. I rang an internet travel agent, looking for a special offer, and this lovely girl on the phone offered us a place in Cyprus. It sounded like a remarkable deal for two weeks in Ayia Napa, but alarm bells should have rung. It was a real party town for young people, where they are up all night and asleep all day. When I arrived I got sick and was in bed for a week. But after the antibiotics kicked in we hired a car and drove around Cyprus for our second week. It was wonderful. It’s a fabulous island, so full of history and archaeology.

What was your best holiday? It was kind of a working holiday, but the first time I went with an observer mission for elections in Cambodia was a remarkable experience. The election was really gruelling, and there was no infrastructure or electricity. We stayed in a Japanese army camp and also slept in the polling station for a few nights. After that Joe came over, and we travelled around Thailand. We spent a few days in Bangkok and went to Phuket and Chiang Mai. It was brilliant.

If budget or work were not a restriction, what would be your dream holiday? I’d love to travel east and see India and China, and then go somewhere like Bali and down to Australia.

If you had your pick, who would you bring on holiday with you? I’d have to bring Joe. We get on brilliantly on holidays.

What’s your favourite place in Ireland? The Giant’s Causeway and up around the Antrim coast. I love the sense of history and nature you feel on the Giant’s Causeway.

Your recommended holiday reading?
We are awful, but we always buy the latest political book in the airport. Last year it was The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. But I like to read short stories on the beach by authors such as Alice Munro, because you can read them in one sitting.

Where will you go to next?
My term of office is finished in June, so I could do with a holiday, but I’d rather take a break in Ireland to recharge my batteries than have a big holiday abroad. I’ll probably go somewhere I know, like Kenmare or Antrim.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lord Mayor launches Initiative to protect retail traders in Dublin City Centre from exorbitant commercial rentsb

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Emer Costello hosted a meeting at the Mansion House this morning (15th March 2010) with representatives of the Grafton Street Traders, Dublin City Business Association (DCBA), Dublin Business Improvement District (Dublin BIDS) and a number of councillors across the political spectrum. The meeting was called in an effort to support the traders who are facing upward only rent reviews and whose businesses are being seriously threatened by the spiralling rents.

The Lord Mayor stated that ‘it is important that we support the city traders who are experiencing difficulties with upward only rent reviews. It is imperative that we help keep the retailers in the city and keep the footfall high in the city. The city centre retailers are at the heart of the City and the City Council must act to protect the retail core of the City Centre.

The Lord Mayor added that ‘the footfall in the Grafton Street and Henry Street area has fallen by 30% from the peak figures in late 2007. There are currently 22 units vacant in the Grafton Street area, with at least 6 of these on Grafton Street itself. ’

All political parties on the City Council are agreed on the urgency of the situation. The Lord Mayor on behalf of the City Council (Councillors and management), the Retailers, the DCBA and Dublin BIDS are now requesting a meeting with the Landlords, in particular the Institutional Landlords to try to resolve this situation.

The Lord Mayor stated that ‘it is more important for Dublin that the shops stay open for business than to have vacant shops. We need to get a solution to this situation immediately before more people are added to the dole queues and adversely affecting Dublin’s economy.’

The Lord Mayor is calling on the Government to review the recent legislation that banned future upward only rent reviews to see if this legislation can be applied to existing leases.

The Lord Mayor stated ‘today we have started a process to help resolve this very difficult situation and I suggest that rent reviews should be linked to the Consumer Price Index as a means to resolve this situation’.

Lord Mayor congratulates Richard Baneham on Oscar win

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Cllr Emer Costello has offered her warmest congratulations to Ballyfermot College graduate Richard Baneham on his Oscar win in the ‘Best Visual Effects’ category.

Lord Mayor Costello says “The Oscar win is a well-deserved triumph for Richard and the visual effects teams he worked with on the magical film ‘Avatar’. It is also a world-wide recognition for Ballyfermot College and for the technical knowledge and expertise that exist in Ireland.”

Lord Mayor Costello also congratulated the other Irish nominees whose work was recognised with Academy Award nominations. These included the team behind the animated film ‘The Secret of Kells’, Brown Bag for ‘Granny O’Grimm’ the Bray-based Octagon Films for ‘The Door’ and Peter J. Devlon for his sound mixing work on ‘Star Trek’.

“The Irish nominees were all in cutting edge technical categories and three nominees came from just one place – Ballyfermot College, Dublin. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to show-case our talents and shows how much innovation and creativity Ireland has.”

Lets be smarter and greener says Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Emer Costello

bDublin’s Lord Mayor Emer Costello today called for the creation of a smart green city economy. Speaking at the annual Spirit of Ireland Awards in San Jose California she said : “Today we face significant challenges in terms of the economy and public services. But these challenges are also opportunities. The challenges of today can help us rethink the way in which we run our societies and our communities. We can “green” our communities and public services thus achieving efficiency, reducing cost but also securing a more sustainable future where our footprint on this planet is more in harmony with the needs of our delicate planet eco-systems.
We can be “ smarter” in how we apply technology in business, in public services, in the home, the school, the hospital and community. By being smart in how we do things we can be more efficient , pool expertise and knowledge, and create more time in a busy world for people to be with family and one another.By being smart in this sense we can improve the quality of our lives.”

The Spirit of Ireland Award went to Bob Hennessey of Co. Tipperary for his work over the last three decades in his adopted USA. Bob has worked tirelessly to promote conservation while at the same time create jobs, provide education and secure futures for thousands of high school dropouts. The Lord Mayor as Guest of honour at the event delivered the keynote speech. In her words she acknowledged the key role played by innovators such as John Harnett of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. She welcomed the establishment of an Irish Innovation Centre in San Jose which provides a gateway for new creative Irish companies to enter the Amercian and Silicon Valley markets.

Over the last few days the Lord Mayor has led a mission of civic and business leaders to develop opportunities for co-operation around the smart green economy and the cultural industries. The visit comes against the background of Oscar nominations for three Irish companies in the creative field of animated film. The Lord Mayor told some 400 business and Irish community leaders at the Awards that future economic and social progress lies in innovative colloboration between major cities around the globe. She remarked “The economic co-operation that has existed between our two countries has shaped the economic well being of both. Over the last 24 years your companies have created hundreds of thosuands of jobs in Ireland. When people work together it is a two way street and today we are proud of the fact that Irish entrpreneurs here in Silicon valley have helped create some 90,000 jobs here.”

San Jose is the 10 largest city in America and is the capital of California’s Silicon valley. The city has pioneered partnership agreements with companies in the clean tech and smart business areas allowing them to testbed their products within the city infrastructure. Dublin has just entered into similar agreements with companies in Dublin . The objective is to provide a practical problem focused opportunity within which new products and services can be developed and tested. These products help create jobs locally and provide global commercial opportunities.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

International Women's Day - DCC Events

International Women’s Day, 8th March, is a global day of celebration where women from all countries and of different political, economic, social, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds
can join together to reflect on the struggle for equality over the past century, celebrate the achievements to date and identify the challenges for the future.
In July 2007 the Members of Dublin City Council unanimously passed a motion agreeing to initiate a City Council programme of activities each year to “promote women’s participation in the political, economic and social life of Dublin City” . An all-party steering committee was established to develop an annual programme from 2008.
This year’s impressive and exciting programme of events builds on the success of the previous two years. The Dublin City Council International Women’s Day Programme is now firmly embedded in the annual calendar of the City.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the extensive programme of events for 2010, the Members of the IWD Working Group, Dublin City Council staff from Dublin City Libraries, Community Development and City Manager’s Departments for their ongoing support and commitment to this project.

Download International Women's Day Programme

Bohemian Football Club Honoured by Lord Mayor