Archive for the 'Blog' Category

NTA plans to provide ‘real time bus monitor’ at Clonsilla Station

 

The National Transport Authority has confirmed to me that it plans to provide a real time bus monitor at the city-bound bus stop beside Clonsilla Train Station and that it will give consideration to a second monitor in Clonsilla village.

There are currently no city-bound real time bus monitors in the Clonsilla area. As the village is served by the 39 bus route, which is far less frequent than the 39a route, it is important that commuters waiting at bus stops are given good notice of the arrival of buses. I wrote to the National Transport Authority and suggested that they install bus monitors in two specific locations – one at the bus stop beside Clonsilla Train Station and at the other at the stop in the middle of the village.

The NTA has responded by saying that they have identified the stop beside Clonsilla Station as a location for a real time monitor. They are currently awaiting funding for the next round of installations. The NTA also stated that they will consider the second stop in Clonsilla village in future phases of installations.

I welcome these commitments from the NTA. Placing a real time monitor beside Clonsilla Train Station will allow for better connectivity between bus and train routes in the area and would be of real benefit to commuters. I am calling on the Minister for Transport to rapidly provided the funding for the next found of real time monitor installations.

 

Reply – NTA – real time monitors in Clonsilla

Support our campaign to amend the Constitution to prevent privatization of water

Yesterday, the Green Party launched our ‘Our Water’ campaign, to encourage the Government to hold a referendum in the next year to put an article into the Constitution that would prohibit the privatization of Irish Water.

 

We are calling on the Government to hold a referendum on public ownership of water as a priority, before the end of their term of office. We wish to see the inclusion of the following new Article 10.5 into Bunreacht na hÉireann, which would state:

 

“The State shall treat drinking water as an essential resource and in the interests of the common good the State shall not provide for the privatisation or commercialisation of water services for the people”.  

 

There’s been a huge groundswell of public anxiety about water charges in the last few months. Much of this is based on uncertainty about the future of Irish Water – will it continue to raise its prices and will it one day be sold off to an international corporation. We can answer this second question now but changing the Constitution to ensure that this will never happen.

 

Enda Kenny himself said that any move to privatize water in this country would have “disastrous consequences”. We completely agree. But it’s not enough for the Taoiseach to make statements like that. He can take the issue of possible future privatisation off the table by bringing forward this referendum to amend the Constitution to ensure that water remains a public resource. The Government must act to provide the public with this level of reassurance.

 

You can sign the petition here and watch the campaign video (narrated by Dick Warner) here. The hash tag we are using for the campaign is #OurWater

Support Focus Ireland’s ‘Shine a Light’ Campaign

My bed for the night in the Iveagh Gardens

My bed for the night in the Iveagh Gardens

Last weekend, myself and a number of other councillors from Fingal slept out for the night in the Iveagh Gardens as part of Focus Irelands ‘Shine a Light’ campaign.

 

As a newly elected councillor, the homelessness crisis across Dublin is the most pressing and challenging issues that I and fellow councillors have to deal with. I decided to participate in Shine a Light this year to support the vital work that organisations like Focus Ireland undertake and to raise awareness about homelessness. Also, I wanted to get even a brief sense of what it is like for rough-sleepers in Dublin.

 

While the night started with lashing rain, by the time we were settling down to sleep he had cleared up and it was a mild night, with a bit of wind. As such, I avoided getting soaked. I couldn’t imagine having to manage like that night after night.

If you want to support Focus Ireland’s great work, you can sponsor my sleep-out here.

Fingal installs noise pollution monitor at Laurel Lodge

 

Thanks to Fingal County Council for installing a noise pollution monitor in Laurel Lodge at my request.

 

Houses on a number of roads in Laurel Lodge close to the M50 have suffered badly from noise pollution from the M50 over the last number of years. Myself and other local councillors are currently working together to assist residents and try and have the National Roads Authority deal with this matter.

My vote on the Local Property Tax adjustment

 

At yesterday’s meeting of Fingal County Council, we voted on the adjustment to the Local Property Tax (LTP) rate. There were two different proposals. One, to reduce it by the full 15% allowable, and the second to reduce it by 10% this year and request that the remaining money be dedicated towards addressing homelessness and community projects.

 

It was a difficult decision.  In the wider context, the sum of money we are talking about – €7.8 million, is relatively small. But with the economy in its present state, even small amounts of money back in peoples pocket makes a difference.

 

At the same time, money spent by the Council, and targeted at homelessness, something I think most people agree is the biggest challenge we face in the Dublin are, can have a real impact on the most vulnerable in society.

 

During the Local Election campaign, I did not make any pledges on the Property Tax, as I wanted to see what position Fingal’s budget was in before I made any decision. I wanted to see people get relief in the level of tax they are paying, but also protect some level of investment. That’s why I voted for the 10% cut in the LPT rate, with the remaining €1.9 million being invested in services, particularly homelessness. From my point of view, this was the fairest way to approach the issue.

 

However, a substantial majority of councillors (31) voted for the full 15% cut, and this was the figure that was passed.

Local Election Campaign Launch & Royal Canal Clean-Up

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.

Fingal councillors vote against Dublin Mayor plebiscite shows shocking contempt for voters

Yesterday’s decision by Fingal councillors to deny Dubliners the right to vote on proposals for a directly elected mayor was outrageous. While it is fair enough that some councillors may disagree with the idea itself, the fact that they have prevented the electorate having a say on the matter shows complete contempt for the views of the people who elected them

What was particularly shocking was the view expressed by many of the councillors that Fingal operates separately from the rest of Dublin and that we can survive as well, if not better, on our own. Fingal’s prosperity is absolutely linked with that of our capital city. Decisions made about planning, housing, public transport and waste collection impact upon us all. A counter motion, supported by nearly all councillors, that Dublin city should go ahead with a vote for a directly elected mayor, would be hugely damaging for Fingal and put us at a massive competitive disadvantage.

What this decision shows is that too many of the sitting councillors in Fingal have become too accustomed to the perks of their position, and have no interest in even considering reform. At the local elections in May, we need to elect new councillors who want to improve how local government works, for the benefit of all the citizens of Dublin. If I am elected, I pledge to do what I can to see yesterday’s decision about the directly elected Mayor reversed.

Slip road to Total Fitness Gym site needs to be blocked off due to security concerns

Roderic O'Gorman calls for slip road to Total Fitness gym be closed due to security concerns

I’m calling for the slip road down to the Total Fitness gym site, which is off the N3/Connolly Hospital entrance, to be blocked off until the site has been sold and is use again.  At present, the road often has a number of cars parked on it. There is significant concern that the location, which is raised up over the N3, is being used as an observation post by burglars, from where they can keep watch on nearby estates and houses along the N3. This concern has also been expressed by the Gardai.

In order to prevent this risk, I believe that the slip road should be temporarily blocked off until the site has been sold and the slip road is in regular use again. I’ve written to Fingal County Council and requested that they examine undertaking the road closure.