25 years of Community Radio in Ireland

Great to attend the National Community Radio Day event in Phoenix Park today with Cllr Pamela Conroy and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Craol Community Radio Ireland.

Community radio plays such an important role across many villages and towns across Ireland, bringing people together and promoting a more inclusive and open society where collaboration and integration is celebrated and valued.

Lovely to talk to 92.5 Phoenix FM too! 🎙

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

This week, I signed the regulations for the Gender Pay Gap Information Act. These regulations require organisations with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap for the first time in 2022, and state the reasons why such a gap exists in their company and set out what practical measures they will take to eliminate or reduce that gap.

In 2024, organisations with more than 150 employees will be required by law to report on their gender pay gap and, in 2025, organisations with more than 50 employees. This incremental approach will allow smaller companies the time to learn from larger companies who have greater capacity to implement the new reporting measures sooner.

For more information on how to report on the Gender Pay Gap, visit gov.ie/genderpaygap

Visit to Powerstown Educate Together National School

Really enjoyed my visit to Powerstown Educate Together, Tyrrelstown, D15 on Friday.

I had the opportunity to see the forest and garden projects and meet with the school’s picker pal’s . I was also given some great lessons on Mexico.

I also learnt that the school carried out a cycle survey for #bikeweek, and are running a competition for the schools new GAA jersey – can’t wait to see the finished design!

Thank you to Principal Helena Trench and the Student Council for showing me around.

Half price public transport for young people

From 9 May, young people can enjoy 50% cheaper public transport fares!

I was delighted to work with young people on this Young Adult Card proposal, which will make public transport more affordable and attractive to young people. This permanent 50% fare reduction for students and young people aged 19-23 applies to all subsidised journeys on Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland and Local Link. Huge thanks to Comhairle na nÓg who championed this national policy – one by young people, for young people. This would not be happening without their work.

This is going to make a real difference to so many young people in Ireland, whether they’re commuting to college or work, or just hanging out with friends.

We’ve also reduced fares across Ireland by 20% so that everyone can benefit from reduced public transport costs. This is the first national public transport reduction in 75 year

Children starting school in September can collect their free book bag from Blanchardstown Library

It was great to visit Blanchardstown Library the other week and meet with the staff, children and their parents/guardians from Home Start creche who were joining the library and collecting their free book bag. 📕

As part of the My Little Library initiative, all children starting primary school in September are invited to their local library to pick up their own free bag of books and join the library.📚

I would encourage anyone who has never been down to the library before, to head down and learn about what the library has to offer children (and adults too).

Free books for children starting school

I was delighted to announce a really exciting initiative for children this week. The My Little Library initiative will see more than 60,000 children starting school in September invited to collect a free bag of books from their local library.

Children’s books open really important pathways to learning about friendship, love and adventure, and allow children to expand their worlds with wonder and curiosity. I hope this initiative will help to encourage a new generation on a life-long love of reading and stories. It is by introducing children to reading at an early age, that we can help to inspire young minds, and open them up to a world of possibilities. Full details here.

Historic ban on fur farming

I very much welcome the passing of the final stages of the Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021, which took place in the Seanad on 29 March.

This Bill, once enacted, will implement a ban on fur farming – something which the Green Party has long campaigned for, along with many members of the public who believe in protecting animal welfare. I am especially pleased that the Bill had such strong cross-party support, signalling a progressive shift in how we view the treatment of animals in Ireland.

Under this new legislation, the three active farms in Ireland that still breed and rear mink for the purposes of pelting for the fur industry, will be closed. Those farms will receive compensation for their losses incurred as a result of this new law.

I’d like to thank my colleague Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Senator Pippa Hackett for her work on this really important legislation, and commend all those who have campaigned so passionately on the issue.

2022 Programme of Works

At the February Area Committee Meeting the Dublin 15 County Councillors approved the Castleknock/Mulhuddart Ongar operations areas programme of works for 2022.

Works totalling € 1,959,000 will be carried out in 2022. A summary of the work can be seen on the table below.

DescriptionBudget
Restoration Improvement Works & Maintenance€ 840,000
Minor Works Improvement Programme€ 403,000
Traffic Management Schemes€ 320,000
Parks and Open Spaces€ 335,000
Public Lighting€ 61,000

Restoration Improvement Works and Maintenance

The areas which will have restoration improvement works and maintenance in 2022 are – Rugged Lane, Tower Road, Ramor Park and Hazel Lawn, Coolmine Road, Ashfield Gardens and Grove, Charnwood Avenue, Maple Avenue and Lawn, Deerpark Road, The Boulevard in Tyrellstown and College Park.

Footpath Improvement Works

The following areas have been allocated € 25,000 each for foothpath improvement works – Dunsandle/Peck’s Lane, Park Drive/Avenue, Clonsilla Road, Hunter’s Run – Deerhaven, Hartstown – Oakview, Huntstown – Ashfield, Castlecurragh Road, Mulhuddart Village, St. Margaret’s Road, Ramor Park/Rushbrook, Carpenterstown – Laverna and Sycamore.

There has also been € 103,000 allocated to the repair of cycle paths in Littlepace (L3025), Laraghcon, Kilshane Way and Melville Way.

Traffic Management Schemes

The traffic management schemes for 2022 fall under five categories – traffic signals, traffic calming, traffic calming replacements, vehicle activated signs and bus disabled bay parking. I’ve set out the details in the table below.

LocationDescriptionBudget
   
Traffic signals  
Entrance to Allendale SquareRaised zebra crossing€ 60,000
Grove Road – Snugborough RoadUpgrade all signals to LED and MOVA. Upgrade civil works€ 110,000
Beechpark AvenueRaised zebra crossing€ 230,000
   
Traffic Calming  
St Mochta’s1 new ramp€ 3,000
Castleknock Avenue10 new ramps€ 30,000
Lower Road4 new ramps€ 12,000
Lohunda DownsRefuge island€ 9,000
   
Traffic Calming Replacements  
Mulhuddart Road – outside Saddlers EstateCushion replacement€ 13,000
   
Vehicle Activated Signs  
L3125 Littlepace Distributor Rd2 new VAS€ 7,000
Waterville Road2 new VAS € 7,000
   
Bus Disabled Parking Bay  
Mulhuddart VillageInstall disabled bay for bus€ 9,000

Parks and Open Spaces

Lots of work has been listed for 2022 in the parks and open spaces throughout Dublin 15. General improvement works which will be carried out throughout the area include tree planting, tree works, annual bulb planning, sowing of wildflower areas and maintenance, floral displays (replating in villages and new planters to be installed in new location, hot foam application (which replaces pesticide use), replacement/upgrade of bins in open spaces and the installation of benches.

Specific works have been listed for various areas in Dublin 15. This work include pollinator planning scheme, repairs of footpaths in open spaces, additional planting as well as installation of adult exercise equipment in Whitestown.

Public Lighting

New lighting will be installed in the following five locations this year – Woodvale Grove, Glenville Road to Brompton, Whitestown Avenue – Whitestown Park, Porterstown Road – Castleknock Hotel and Roselawn Drive – Hazel Lawn.