Roderic O’Gorman TD and Cllr Pamela Conroy welcome Ireland’s first inclusive We-Go-Swing® to Millennium Park Playground

Dublin West TD and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman and Green Party councillor for Castleknock & Blanchardstown Pamela Conroy have welcomed the introduction of an inclusive We-Go-Swing® at Millennium Park Playground. The new addition is Ireland’s first inclusive wheelchair accessible swing, and was opened by Fingal County Council on Saturday, 18 December 2021.

The We-Go-Swing® is a revolutionary step forward in inclusive play experiences. Designed to be integrated into the playground setting, this swing lets kids of all abilities play together and experience the thrill of swinging. With no need to transfer, the We-Go-Swing opens up a whole new world of playground fun.

Roderic O’Gorman TD said:

“The new wheelchair accessible We-Go-Swing is a very welcome addition to Millennium Park, which will make the playground a place of fun and activity for all children, and for all abilities. The swing’s really innovative design allows children to swing together, helping them to play in an inclusive way that everyone can enjoy.

This new feature is another example of how accessibility and inclusion is becoming integral to the design of our public spaces and facilities, including children’s play areas. It is the first of its kind opened in Ireland, and I look forward to seeing playgrounds around the country mirroring what we have here in Blanchardstown.”

Cllr Pamela Conroy said:

“The need for accessible, inclusive play equipment in our parks is something I have been raising since my first Area Committee Meeting last year, and so I am delighted to see that Fingal County Council has sourced a piece of play equipment that is not only accessible for wheelchair users but one that is also inclusive.

The We-Go-Swing is designed so that multiple children of all abilities can swing together, helping to ensure that all children are included, and that no one child is singled out because they are different. It is a wonderful addition to the playground, that will further promote inclusion and acceptance in our community, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact the swing has on the experience of children and their families in the area.”

Blanchardstown ‘Co-Living’ planning decision is a direct result of Fine Gael policy

My submission to An Bord Pleanala on Brady’s Co-Living site (see the rest below)

I’m shocked and disappointed at the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission for this co-living development on the Brady’s Pub site, even though their own inspector recommended rejection. Co-living is the wrong model for Ireland and this suburban site is absolutely the wrong place for co-living.

This decision is a direct consequence of Fine Gael’s policies. The Guidelines that Minister Eoghan Murphy wrote in 2018 to allow for co-living developments and high density building out of the city centre are the direct basis on which An Bord Pleanala made this decision. There has been no thought put into the co-living model: what protections will be in place for the tenants who live in them, what can the buildings be used for if the rental companies sell them on in a few years?

Over the last few months, I’ve been working closely with local residents who will be directly impacted by this development. I put in an objection to An Bord Pleanala as I felt it was completely the wrong design for this location, and I spoke against it at Fingal County Council.

No doubt the Taoiseach and local Fine Gael reps will be criticising this particular decision. They need to understand that the decision is the direct result of their Government, their Minister and their policies.

Submission – Bradys – An BP [PDF]

Taking in Charge of Brandon Square (Waterville)

Late last year, I was contacted by a number of residents of Brandon Square, seeking an update on the ‘taking-in-charge’ process for the public roads, green areas and lighting that Fingal County Council was undertaking.

I submitted a motion about this to the Fingal Council meeting in December. You can look at the discussion of the issue with the Fingal engineers here.

While Fingal are willing to take the estate in charge, there is a complication in that some of the entrance road between the estate and the Waterville Road (along side Achill Square and the shops) is still privately owned. Fingal are currently contacting the owner of this strip of land to seek to resolve this. There is a further issue regarding the sewer system for the estate, some of which also travels across private land before it joins the public sewer.

I’ve asked the Council Engineer to update all councillors on their progress in getting the taking-in-charge process completed, and I will update residents when I have more information.

Thank you so much for your support

Cllr Daniel Whooley (Ongar LEA) and Cllr Roderic O’Gorman (Castleknock LEA)

I’m incredibly grateful for the support given to me by the communities in Castleknock, Blanchardstown, Carpenterstown, Clonsilla, Blakestown and Lucan North. I felt that this was the most positive election canvass I had ever done, but I was stunned by the size of the vote – 3,731 first preferences. This meant that I topped the poll and I was elected on the first count. My total number of votes was the third highest in the country (OK, I’m showing off now … I’ll stop).

I’m absolutely delighted that Daniel Whooley will join me as a Green Party councillor for Ongar and Hartstown. It will be great to have to pair of us working as a Green-team for the Dublin 15 area. Daniel ran a passionate campaign and has earned the support of his constituents. In total following the election, there will now be five Green Party councillors on Fingal County Council.

Both myself and Daniel are looking forward to taking our posters down and getting back to work for people across our community. Public transport, housing, environmental protection and tackling anti-social behaviour will be our key concerns over the next few months.

 

Blanch Tidy Towns: 1st Clean-Up

Cllr Roderic O’Gorman taking part in the 1st Blanchardstown village Tidy Towns clean up

Last Autumn, myself and Colin Moore called together a meeting of residents of Blanchardstown village and surrounding areas, with a view to re-establishing a Tidy Towns group for the village.

I was delighted to see that work culminate last weekend with the first clean-up of the village. 20 volunteers shifted over 40 bags of rubbish, which was collected with the support of Fingal County Council.

We’ve a really strong committee formed, we are working on a 3 Year Action Plan for the village and we have received sponsorship from Ebay and particularly Supervalue in the village.

We are looking for more residents to get involved. The group is totally non-political – I’m there as a resident of the village, not as a Green. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact us on BlanchTidyTowns@gmail.com

Bike-sharing scheme for Dublin 15 launched

Taking one of the new Bleeper-Bikes for a test-ride.

On Friday I attended the launch of Fingal County Council’s pilot Bike Sharing Scheme in Dublin 15. Bleeper Bikes has been announced as the operator for the scheme.

This is a hugely important development for cycling in Dublin 15. For the first time, Fingal will be operating a bike sharing scheme. These are dockless bikes, so there won’t be a requirement for the ‘docking station’ infrastructure that Dublin Bikes needs. Instead, the bikes will lock to existing infrastructure. Fingal will be installing new Sheffield stands in some of the proposed locations.

The initial location for the bicycles during the pilot phase will be Tyrellstown, Blanchardstown Corporate Business Park, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown Village, Coolmine and Castleknock. It is planned to roll out further locations subsequently. As Bleeper Bikes also have a tender for dockless bikes in the city centre, people will be able to cycle from Dublin 15 and leave their bikes in the city too.

The announcement is a huge boost for cycling in Dublin 15. It provides new ways for residents to travel around our area. As a member of Fingal’s Transport Policy Committee, this is an issue that we have been progressing along with the Council management and our Road Safety Officer.

I am really looking forward to using the Bleeper Bikes myself as soon as they are rolled out.

 

Big changes to Snugborough Road bridge and junction proposed

Fingal County Council are bringing forward a proposal for a major change to the Snugborough Road bridge and junction. This proposal is currently out for public consultation. The key details are:

  • Upgrading the existing five-arm signalised junction at Snugborough Rd/N3 off-ramp/Blanchardstown Centre. Widen all road approaches, provide new high quality pedestrian/cyclist facilities and new public transport priority measures.
  • Removal of right hand turning movement from Waterville onto the Snugborough Road.
  • Removal of existing roundabout at Snugborough Rd/N3 on-ramp/Waterville and construction of 2 new signalised junctions in its place.
  • Construction of new bridge structures over the N3 and over the Tolka Valley.
  • Replace existing ramp access to Tolka Valley Park with access at similar grade.

Full details and images can be found here.

If you want to make a submission on this proposal, it can be made in writing to the Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department, Fingal County Council, Main Street, Swords, Co. Dublin. Submissions can also be made online here. The Council will consider all submissions before a final decision is made on the proposal.

The deadline is close of business on Thursday, 23rd February, 2017. Please feel free to forward me on a copy of your submission at rodericogorman@gmail.com

Update on Brady’s apartment proposal

Clarifications sought by Fingal planners from developer
Clarifications sought by Fingal planners from developer

I received a notification from Fingal in the last few days that the planners have again written to the developers of the proposed apartments at Brady’s, looking for ‘Clarification of Additional Information’.

I’m pleased to see that the specific issue that I raised in my own recent submission – the failure to include a shadow analysis for the Winter period – was one of the two points that the Council planners identified as lacking in what the developers have supplied to date.

It is essential that the planners are given the correct information about the impact of the proposed four storey apartment blocks on the surrounding existing homes.

Once the developers supply this, we shall have another opportunity to make submissions.