On Wednesday, I attended a briefing for local councillors regarding the OPW Preliminary Flood Risk Management Options document for the Strawberry Beds.
This document highlights 8 flood risk areas along the River Liffey between Lucan and Chapelizod, and sets out potential alleviation measures for each area, along with costings. In most of the areas, the preferred option is the construction of a flood wall.
The document is solely in draft stage at the moment, which is why the public consultation process is being run. Once the final strategy has been determined, the document will be published.
If you have any queries on this, please get in touch.
Volunteers with some of the rubbish collected on the annual Dublin West Green Party Royal Canal Clean-Up
I want to thank all the volunteers who were out with us this evening for our Annual Royal Canal Clean-Up. We worked a stretch of the Canal between the 12th Lock and Coolmine Train Station, picking up cans, glass, plastic bottles and other rubbish. We got a significant amount of waste collected, which Fingal County Council is now going to dispose of.
What is particularly positive is that, in the eight years we have been doing this, I’ve never seen the canal bank so lightly littered. There was significantly less waste this year than on previous occasions. This is a good sign and suggests people are valuing the Canal more
The Royal Canal continues to be a significant amenity for Dublin 15 residents and a potential tourist attraction for visitors interested in walking or cycling holidays. In the context of the new Fingal County Development Plan, I’m going to continue to work to ensure that it is protected for everyone’s enjoyment.
The annual Dublin West Green Party Royal Canal-Clean Up will take place on Wednesday, 17th June, meeting at 7:00pm at Castleknock Train Station.
We plan to work on the stretch to the 12th Lock and towards Coolmine Station.
Gloves and bags will be provided.
Hope to see you on the 17th.
I’m pleased to see that, following lobbying by myself and other councillors, the draft Fingal Tourism Strategy has been substantially altered to include more references to a significant number of new action points relevant to the Dublin 15 area. At the March meeting of Fingal County Council, I raised my concern that the original draft had very few concrete Action Points relevant to West Dublin, with the main focus of the document being on the North County and coastal areas of Fingal.
I particularly welcome the new Action Points that I called for on a potential Liffey Valley Greenway, a Liffey Valley Discovery Centre and the increased usage of the Royal Canal. I was also pleased to see the highlighting of the promotion of the Sports Campus as a high quality training centre.
I want to thank the Council officials and the team drafting the Strategy for responding to the concerns I raised when the first draft was placed before the Council. Tourism can be a key driver in providing employment across Fingal. In doing so, it can provide improved facilities for everyone in the area. It is important that the facilities in the Dublin 15 are properly recognised in the wider scope of Fingal and that the Council promotes this part of Fingal to the same extent as the rest of the county.
The Draft Fingal Tourism Strategy was discussed at the recent meeting of Fingal County Council. At the meeting, I called for significant changes to be made to the draft strategy to ensure that Dublin 15 is adequately represented in the document.
Fingal County Council has drafted a comprehensive document, designed to encourage more international and domestic tourists to our region. However, I was disappointed to see how few of the ‘Strategic Objectives’ within the document were related to Dublin 15, particularly in comparison to the North County area of Fingal.
The Draft Strategy goes into great detail about a coastal greenway, but makes very little reference to developing the potential of either the Liffey Valley or the Royal Canal. I would argue that these have as much potential as a coastal greenway. Indeed, as they are far closer to Dublin, they would be more accessible for short stay international visitors. I have called on the Council to include specific reference to developing the potential of the Liffey Valley and the Royal Canal as strategic objectives.
The other area I’ve called on the Council to place a greater focus on is sports tourism. I think the range of facilities available in the Sports Campus at Abbotstown offers extensive opportunities for the future. In particular, international teams may wish to avail of these facilities for training before attending major sporting competitions in the UK or other parts of Europe. I know that prior to the 2012 Olympics in London, we had some success in this area, but the Sports Campus has a much greater range of facilities now. I think the draft strategy should make reference to proactively marketing this area.
Tourism offers Fingal a real opportunity for economic development. It’s vital that since the Council is placing such an emphasis on the issue, that focus must include all parts of Fingal, and that the potential for tourism in Dublin 15 is sufficiently recognised.
St. Catherine’s Park is a key resource within the Liffey Valley
I’m delighted that Fingal County Council has agreed to my motion to reconvene the Liffey Valley Management Advisory Committee. I’ve been campaigning to have this committee re-established for a number of years. This committee has actually not met for the last four years, and prior to that, its meetings were extremely infrequent. The Advisory Committee is made of councillors from the Dublin 15 area and also councillors from the Lucan area of South Dublin County Council. It also comprises representatives from residents living in the valley.
A similar motion was recently passed by South Dublin County Council.
The Liffey Valley is a huge resource for the people of Dublin 15 and the wider Dublin area. However, the area still faces many challenges. Last year, a large parcel of land at St. Edmundsbury near Lucan was sold to a private investor. On a number of occasions in recent years, heavy rains have generated severe flooding along the Strawberry Beds. There is also the issue of extending the Special Amenity Area Order to a wider range of land.
In the longer term, the idea of the creating a Liffey Valley National Park should still be progressed. The Office of Public Works has already compiled a detailed report –Towards a Liffey Valley National Park – but this requires a strategic direction and coordinated progress between the local authorities and government bodies involved. The decision to re-establish the Liffey Valley Management Advisory Committee gives us the opportunity to achieve this.
We need better signage along the Royal Canal greenway, to remind all users that it is a shared space.
I’ve asked Fingal County Council to consider erecting ‘shared space’ signs along the new the Royal Canal greenway between Ashtown and the 12th Lock. This new space is proving to be extremely popular with many walkers, joggers, cyclists and anglers using it.
However, the heavy amount of traffic is causing a few problems. I’ve already seen a few close shaves where cyclists have nearly run over pedestrians, or dogs on leads have almost collided with bicycles. I think sometimes people forget that this is actually a shared space – it’s neither a cyclepath nor a pedestrian route. While the Council has installed a small number of very small and hard to read signs setting out the rules of use, I’ve suggested a much clearer sign that emphasises the ‘shared space’ element.
At a recent meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee, my proposal was strongly supported by other councillors, but the Council management seemed unwilling to consider the new signs. I hope it won’t take a serious accident for them to see the need to improve on the existing signs. Since the Council has taken the steps to encourage more people to use this fantastic recourse, it needs to ensure that people are able to use it in as safe a way as possible.
Tomorrow I’ll be launching my local election campaign for the Castleknock ward in Browne’s Restaurant in Blanchardstown.
I’ll be joined by Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader and our Dublin Euro election candidate.
If you’re interested in hearing my vision for Dublin 15 and the key issues I intend to prioritise if I’m elected to Fingal County Council, feel free to drop in.
Following the launch myself, Eamon and local volunteers will be undertaking our annual Royal Canal Clean-Up. We will be meeting at 1:00pm at Castleknock Train Station and cleaning the stretch of the canal between the 12th Lock and Coolmine Station, till about 3:00pm.
Hope to see you tomorrow.