Decision by An Bord Pleanala to keep childcare facility on Carpenterstown Road is good news

I am delighted to see that An Bord Pleanala has rejected the attempt by the developers of the Bracken Park estate on the Carpenterstown Road to turn a building which is supposed to be used for childcare into two five bedroom houses, and then sell them off. Both Fingal County Council and now An Bord Pleanala have rejected this attempt. The Carpenterstown area has an extremely young population – we should be providing more childcare facilities there, not less.

Under the law, when a large new estate is built, the developer is obliged to build a childcare facility as part of the planning permission. In the case of the Bracken Park estate, the developer built a childcare facility, but it has never opened. The developer has twice sought planning permission to turn the childcare facility building into two houses, which it could then sell off.

I had previously raised a concern about this practice in Fingal Council meetings, as it is a way for developers to avoid their obligations under the law and make a quick profit. It would also mean that those who are purchasing homes in new developments may face difficulties in obtaining childcare, which in turn would make it difficult for both parents be in paid employment, should they choose to do so.

Fingal County Council originally rejected the developers proposal, as they were worried that it would set a precedent that other developers would simply not open the childcare facilities they had built and later try and turn them into houses to sell. I hope this decision sends out a strong message to developers that they won’t be able to do this.

Following this decision, it is essential that the developer acts to find a childcare provider so that this facility can finally be opened. There’s huge demand for childcare in the area – parents deserve essential facilities like this, particularly when the estate was marketed on the basis that there would be childcare available.

Successful Sports Capital Grant application for Porterstown Park

I am delighted that €150,000 has been awarded towards the provision of a synthetic pitch and running track at Porterstown Park. The clubs were granted the money through the Sports Capital Grant scheme, run by the Department of Transport and Sport. The pitch and running track will be used by Metro St. Brigid’s Athletics Club and Castleknock Celtic. It will represent an important new facility for both clubs.

Fingal County Council was closely supporting this application and the new pitch and track will form part of the Council’s long term redevelopment of the Park. In recent months, the Council has undertaken an extension of one of the GAA pitches and work is currently ongoing to provide a new cricket pitch. The car park has also been extended to take cars off the Porterstown Road.

Porterstown Park is a huge resource for people all over Carpenterstown. It is particularly significant that such a wide range of sports are facilitated in the one area. Fingal County Council will continue to support the development of the park and the diverse types of sporting activity that take place there.

Fingal commitment to improve road safety measures at Scoil Cholim NS is welcome

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I’ve been in touch with parents and teachers at Scoil Cholim NS regarding road safety concerns for children arriving and leaving the school each day. I recently visited Scoil Cholim during the morning school run along with some parents to see the issues for myself.

There is significant concern that some people are parking outside the entrance to the school by pulling up on the cycle path that many parents and children use each morning. This causes a real risk as it blocks lines of sight and forces pedestrians and cyclists back onto the footpath. I’ve requested the installation of bollards to prevent motorists being able to park up on this cycle lane.

I’ve also requested that the pedestrian barriers at the Porterstown Road – Diswellstown Road cross roads be extended. This is now an extremely busy crossing point with students going to both Scoil Cholim and Luttrellstown Community College. The current barriers are very short and really do nothing to control the movement of students across the point at busy times. Something similar was done at St Mochta’s NS last year and it made crossing significantly safer.

Fingal County Council have committed to examining the traffic issues that I have highlighted and to look at the provision of funding for these measures in next year’s Budget. I will be arguing strongly that these measures are implemented, as there are now two busy schools on the Luttrellstown campus and it is essential we take all measures to make access to it safe for students and parents.

Carpenterstown Road Traffic Calming: Public Submissions

Carpenterstown Road -Proposed Traffic Calming Scheme.

Following pressure over the last year from myself and other councillors, the Council has agreed to undertake traffic calming measures at the Carpenter Pub roundabout and have provided the necessary funding for these.

The proposal includes a number of ramps between the Carpenter roundabout and the Coolmine Station roundabout, and also between the Carpenter roundabout and the entrance to Burnell Park estate.

The plans are on display in the Fingal offices in Blanchardstown, and will also be available online.

If you want to make a submission about the proposal, write to Mr. Michael Carroll, Administrative Officer, Operations Department, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Submission must be made before 4:30pm, Friday 17th July.

Tir na nOg Park – Follow Up


Following on from the attack in Tir na nOg Park a few weeks ago, I’ve been working on a number of fronts to improve security in the area.

I previously mentioned that the Council are seriously considering the installation of lighting along the path that runs beside the boundary with CCC. Also, following requests from myself and other councillors, significant cutting back of trees and shrubs has taken place, which will significantly improve visibility in the area.

I also contacted the Gardai regarding security in the park generally. As you see from the response below, extra patrols have been provided in both marked and unmarked cars. The Community Gardai have been liaising with local residents about enhanced security in the area.

I will update further once the lights for Tir na nOg Park are confirmed.

Response – Gardai – Tir na nOg

Update: Tir na nOg Park

At the local area committee of Fingal County Council yesterday, myself and other councillors raised last weekend’s vicious assault in Tir na nOg Park. The Council Management stated that the costings for putting lights along the pathway at the boundary of Tir na nOg Park and Castleknock Community College were currently being drawn up. The are reasonably confident that the work would be included in the works budget for 2015. This is a really positive development as previously, my efforts to call for lighting here were rejected out of hand.

The Council also confirmed that extensive tree pruning and thinning would continue, particularly around the entrance with CCC/The Carpenter.

I’ve also written to the Superintendent in Blanch Garda Station to get an update on the investigation into the particular crime, and to highlight wider issues of anti-social behaviour that has taken place in Tir na nOg over the last few months.

We are just entering the 2015 budgetary process at the moment, so I’ll keep up the pressure to ensure that money is allocated for the public lighting.

I’ll post again when I have more details.

Serious attack in Tir na nOg Park


Over the weekend a serious assault took place on a young woman in Tir na nOg Park, Carpenterstown. I understand the specific issue is being investigated by the Gardai.

I’ve received extensive contacts for locals concerned about the risks to personal safety created by the current condition of Tir na nOg Park due to the lack of lighting and the overgrown bushes in the area. The issue of lighting is one I raised with the Council last year, prior to being elected.

I was in touch with Council management yesterday in the wake of this assault to see how can these security issues be addressed.

The Council have committed to continue to cut back any hedges/bushes that are a risk of concealing anti-social behaviour, with a particular emphasis on those at the entrances to the park.

Regarding lighting, the Council have been reluctant to install them within the park on the basis of cost and their argument that they do not wish to encourage people into public parks at night. This latter argument cannot be accepted as this pathway is the main route people use when walking between the Diswellstown Road and the Carpenter/Spar. Therefore, the Council has a duty to make it as safe as possible.

I’ve a motion coming up at the next relevant area committee meeting of Fingal CC and I will strongly make the point that there must be some lights installed in the park, particularly along the pathway.

I’ll post an update when I have more information.

New Education Minister needs to clarify meeting date and funding situation for St. Mochta’s NS


I’ve written to the new Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to gain clarification about when the Department of Education intends to meet with the Board of St. Mochta’s NS to give final sign off on the plans to rebuild the school. The school has had its design plan and budget for the rebuild completed for a number of months. However, it has been waiting for an appointment with the Department in order to go through these plans so it can then move onto the next stage and be in line to receive funding.


This appointment has been pushed back on a significant number of occasions since the start of the year. Parents and teachers in the school are becoming increasingly concerned about the additional delays that are attributable to the Department. I wrote to Ruairi Quinn shortly before he resigned to see why the Department was dragging its feet, but while the Minister acknowledged my query, he did not give me specific information.


While this situation continues, the pupils in the school have to learn in overcrowded and damp facilities, which are totally unacceptable. Minister O’Sullivan needs to act quickly and secure a meeting for St. Mochta’s with the Department.