Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Training Opportunities for Dublin Craftworkers

An initiative of the Lord Mayor’s Commision on Employment coming to fruition.

The Lord Mayor’s Commission on Employment successfully joined forces with Tipperary Institute to secure 20 places for unemployed craftworkers in the Dublin City Council Administrative Area in an exciting project CESBEM II (Competence Enhancement in Sustainable Building Through European Mobility).
The CESBEM II Project has received European funding under the Lifelong Learning, Leonardo Da Vinci (People in the Labour Market) Programme.
CESBEM II is aimed at those in the construction Sector and provides upskilling in the field of energy efficiency in buildings. Training will be hosted by *KOMZET Germany, Centre of Vocational Excellence in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, with a special emphasis on timber construction. The training in Germany is planned to last for 2 weeks. Twenty people from Dublin will participate in the project which will commence in February 2011. Preparation for participants will consist of approximately 40 hours training in German language and culture.

Application forms are available from the Economic Development Department, Floor 3, Block 4, Civic Offices, D8. ( Tel : 222 0100 or email : ) or can be downloaded here

The closing date for completed applications is 13th December, 2010.

Support Provided
The following support will be provided to participants ;

‐ Travel Costs
‐ Accommodation and Subsistence Costs
‐ Language and Cultural Training
‐ Technical Training Costs

Tipperary Institute will provide all travel documents (tickets etc.) and work with KOZMET to arrange accommodation and subsistence facilities. Participants will NOT be able to make their own travel or accommodation arrangements as these will all be managed by
Tipperary Institute and KOZMET.

The CESBEM Programme exposes the participants to all aspects of sustainable building construction. As a result of completing the programme the participants will ;

• Acquire new theoretical and practical knowledge in energy efficiency in buildings,
• Have been upskilled so that they can apply the new construction techniques in line with new buildings regulations and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive(EPBD).
• Be in a position to maintain or develop new employment opportunities in the construction sector in Ireland.
• Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from Tipperary Institute, the Europass Mobility Document and the German partner’s Certificate of Completion in sustainable Building.

Training Programme
• Technical training ( delivered in English) will occur over a two week period. Training will be a mixture of lectures, practical skills and site visits. The following subjects will be covered ;
• Timber construction systems – common methods and standards
• Air tightness – theory and practical demonstration and blower door testing
• Timber and earth construction methods
• Computer applications and simulation tools
• Timber product quality
• Building Physical and biology – thermal bridges, condensation
• Heating and ventilation Systems
• Design Principles
• Insulation Materials

Importance of Energy Efficiency and Opportunities
The 2008 FAS Irish Labour Market Review noted “the construction sector has seen the largest number of job losses” and that training was required to upskill people in this field. Energy Rating of Buildings is now a part of construction sector in Ireland, so increased knowledge in the area represents a benefit.
Announced in the Government’s Infrastructural Investments 2010 – 2016 the National Retrofit Programme is a national priority and aims to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to one million residential, public and commercial buildings in Ireland and could create up to 32,000 building industry jobs and help drive economic recovery..

The need for upskilling in the field of sustainable building is driven by :
• Ireland committed to 20% savings in energy consumption by 2020. Highly efficient buildings will be needed. Over 1 million existing houses will require upgrading in terms of efficiency.
• New Building Regulations require highly efficient buildings, therefore good construction techniques are vital. By 2013 Building Regulations will require houses to meet the Passive Haus standard.
• The significant levels of unemployment in the construction sector requires personnel to upskill and develop new areas of expertise.
• Energy Rating of Buildings is now a part of construction sector in Ireland.

Further information
Training Programme overview and terms and conditions are available at the following link or from the Economic Development Department, Floor 3, Block 4, Civic Offices, D8.
( Tel : 222 0100 or email :

Link to CESBEM Website

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi Release Welcome

Lord Mayor Cllr Emer Costello with Burmese National, Wai Yan Maung, at the opening of the Book of Solidarity for Aung San Suu Kyi in City Hall. 17 August 2009
Aung San Suu Kiu Event, City Hall - 17.08.09 020

The release of the Burmese, Pro-Democracy Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi is very welcome. It is a cause for celebration all across the world, and particularly in Dublin as Aung San Suu Kyi was bestowed with the Freedom of Dublin City in 2000 by the then Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Freehill. Hopebully, she will shortly be in a position to travel to Dublin to sign the Roll of Freemen in person.

One of my first acts as Lord Mayor of Dublin last August was to open a Book of Solidarity to protest against the decision of Military Junta to continue her detention under house arrest for the most spurious of charges.

I said on that occasion that for me "Aung San Suu Kyi is a global icon of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of military repression, and she takes her rightful place in history amongst other great civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi who I know inspired her."

It is clear since her release that the campaign for democracy in Burma must continue. The Burma Action Support Group in Ireland have done great work in Ireland in highlighting the injustices to the people of Burma. I wish them well at this time, and pledge my support for their ongoing campaign for democracy in Burma.

I look forward to the day when Aung San Suu Kyi signs the Roll of Freemen of the City.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Phizzfest 2011 - Building on Success of 2010

Notice from the organising committee of Phizzfest

The Bohemian Lounge is booked for the first public meeting of Phizzfest 2011.
If you want to be a part of this exciting venture come along on

Wednesday 17th November

at 8.30pm

Mc Geoughs Bohemian Lounge (NCR)

Phizzfest 2010 wouldn’t have been the huge success it if it hadn’t been for so many getting involved in one way or another. – But we could have done with twice as many volunteers.

Phizzfest 2011 will not happen without you – we need your input to make it happen.

Make sure you don’t miss this important meeting

Sean McDermott Street Swimming Pool Saved

I am delighted that the three Dublin City Council swimming pools that were under threat of closure, Sean MacDermott Street, Crumlin and Coolock, have been saved. Dublin City Council has secured €600,000 from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport. This is very welcome news.
The survival of the pool in Sean McDermott Street is due to the commitment of the residents of the North Inner City who campaigned to keep their swimming pool open. During my term as Lord Mayor of Dublin last year, I prioritised saving the three swimming pools and together with Joe Costello TD we worked with local residents and groups to come up with solutions to save the pools. Indeed, I have even taken up swimming with Ger Toner's SOS Acqua Aerobics class.

The prospect of the pool at Sean McDermott Street having a secure future is wonderful news for the community.

The SOS Aqua Club which played such a vital role in saving the pool in Sean McDermott Street continues to operate and offers the following activities in Sean McDermott Street Swimming Pool:
Adult Swimming Classes: Mondays, 8.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. (€6 per class or 6 classes for €30)
Aqua-Aerobics: Tuesdays, 9.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. (€5 per sessions)

O'Devaney Gardens and Dominick Street Updates

It is now almost two and a half years since the proposed Public Private Partnership Regeneration Projects in O’Devaney Gardens and Dominick Street to be developed by McNamara collapsed (May 2008). Since then, Dublin City Council has been working to develop new plans to bring about much needed regeneration for the area. The City Council hopes to submit the final Environmental Impact Statements along with planning applications for the first phase to An Bord Pleanala for both projects in November.

Four blocks in O’Devaney Gardens were demolished in 2008. At its September meeting, Dublin City Council commenced the process for the demolition of a further five blocks in O’Devaney Gardens which will pave the way for the first phase of the new development to be carried out.
This will include the construction of 91 residential units (social and private housing) as well as the provision of a public park. The next stage of the development will be a mixed use commercial zone including a neighbourhood supermarket, smaller shop units, office space and community facilities and 29 residential units. The final phase of the project is for the development of 240 private residential units on the southern side of the site.

The overall height of the development will range from two to six storeys. It is anticipated that the first planning permission will be granted by late 2011, and that construction should start in 2012 with completion of the first residential units by 2013. I am a member of the O’Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board.

Joe and I are committed as both local residents and local public represenatives to continue to work with residents from the surrounding community and the residents of O’Devaney Gardens to ensure the delivery of a quality regeneration project which will provide the social and physical regeneration long promised and much overdue to the area.

The proposal for Dominck Street is to replace the current flat complex with a high quality mixed use development, to include approximately 180 residential units and community facilities, along with a variety of commercial uses. The height of the development will range from 3-6 storeys in total (or 2-5 storeys over ground level non residential/commercial use). The site will be developed in two phases. The first phase will be the development of 66 residential units including a community/neighbourhood centre on the cleared site on the eastern side of the street. The second phase will develop the remainder of the site with a mixture of private and social housing and commercial / non residential units.

It is hoped that the first phase will commence in 2011/12 and will be completed by 2014. The combined planning and construction timescale for the second phase is estimated to be from 2014 to 2019.

In the meantime we are working with Dublin City Council to resolve the issue of the continued employment of the Regeneration Workers on these projects to ensure that the valuable work of social regeneration can continue alongsie the physical regeneration.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Grangegorman: Extension of Deadline for Submissions (7th December)

The Government decision in September to proceed with the Grangegorman Project was most welcome. I am a member of the Grangegorman Development Agency and Joe Costello TD is a member of the Consultative Group. We have been working together for over ten years to help promote this project.

The deadline announced for submissions was originally 9th November. the Grangegorman Development Agency has issued a notice stating that "A number of wordprocessing errors in the Environmental Report accompanying the draft Strategic Plan have come to the attention of the GDA, and we have prepared a corrected version of that Report. In light of the above, the GDA has decided to put the draft Strategic Plan on public display for inspection with the associated Environmental Report, the corrected version of that Report, together also with the Appropriate Assessment Screening Report, for an extended period, during which interested parties continue to be, and are, invited to make written submissions or observations (or, if you have already made submissions or observations, further, or other, written submissions or observations), in relation to them others."

The new date for receipt of submissions is now 7th December .

Submissions can be made in writing to: Grangegorman Development Agency, St Brendan’s Hospital, Grangegorman, Dublin 7 or by email to

Despite the many false starts and delays, some progress has been made: I was delighted to officiate at the opening of the new (temporary) school for D7 Educate Together at the end of my term as Lord Mayor of Dublin in June 2010. Also, planning permission has been granted for the replacement mental health facility in the Northwest corner of the site, at the North Circular Road. Enabling works had commenced on the site. However, the contractor for this development was Pearse Ltd who have recently gone into liquidation and therefore new contractors will have to be appointed.

Further information on the project is avaialbe at

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Flood Warning: Risk of Coastal Flooding in Dublin this weekend – 7th and 8th November 2010

Press Release from Dublin City Council 4th November 2010

Motorists and property owners should be aware that there is a risk of coastal flooding in Dublin this weekend, advises Dublin City Council Local Flood forecasting agency. Dublin City Council has put in place a flood contingency plan to address this risk, in accordance with the City’s Emergency Plan. Car parks on the seafront at Clontarf and Sandymount will be closed from Sunday 7th until the evening of Monday 8th November. Motorists are advised not to leave cars in these areas, as they may be at risk from flooding, due to wave action. Local Road closures may be required and these will be identified closer to the weekend as more reliable weather forecasting is available.

The best available weather forecasts, in conjunction with the City’s tidal surge early warning system, suggest a severe low pressure off the west coast of Ireland in combination with southerly/easterly winds of 70km per hour gusting to 100km per hour over the coming days. This combination of high tides and low pressure increase the possibility of coastal flooding, particularly at high tide around midnight on Sunday 7th November and midday on Monday 8th November.

Normal high tides are predicted from Thursday 4th November to Tuesday 9th November. These high tides will not normally cause a coastal flooding risk unless accompanied by extreme weather.

Dublin City Council will start today to deploy temporary flood defences in potential at risk areas. Alerts will be issued through the radio and other media when more information becomes available.

Further reports will issue when more information is available. Advice on local flood protection for householders and businesses can be sourced from OPW at

Dublin City Council will continue to monitor weather predictions and update risk assessments in the coming days. The City Council is in close contact with Met Eireann, the Gardai and Health Service Executive so that all available information may be shared and necessary actions taken in accordance with inter agency emergency plans.