Monthly Archive for November, 2013

I’m proud to be in a political party that Mary Hanafin doesn’t recognise as a party!

 

So, Mary Hanafin doesn’t think that the Green Party are a proper party! This pleases me.

She sees us as being made up of “[…] different groups with diverse interests in the environment, nature, farming and so on,”

And she’s not wrong in this. The Green Party is a coalition of voices and views. But we are united around our 7 basic principles – principles we aspire to have implemented through policy. And we allow and even encourage discussion and debate within the Party as to the policies we adopt. We think this is a good thing – the wider the range of views canvassed, the better the resulting policies will be.

There once was a time when Fianna Fail was seen as a coalition of peoples as well – catching all from the small rural farmer to the urban middle class. But diversity of views died away in the Haughey and Ahern years: Uno Duce – Una Voce.

And during those Ahern years, Mary Hanafin was right at the centre of the system as Minister for State for Children, Chief Whip, Minister for Education and Minister for Social Affairs. So I see her view of the Green Party as being reflective of a very different approach to what politics should be. She understands the political party as a hierarchical and ridged device where decisions are centralised and filtered out to the unquestioning rank and file. We see the political party as a means of bringing people together and providing them with a platform to achieve policy change in different areas, but underlined by basic principles.

Clearly this  isn’t what Mary Hanafin thinks a political party is about, but it’s an approach to politics I’m proud to be part of.

Porterstown Road Closure

Fingal County Council are currently undertaking a public consultation on closing the public right of way along the Porterstown Road and replacing this with a pedestrian bridge over the railway line.

Public submissions must be in by the 13th Dec about the road closure and the 6th January regarding the bridge. Please note that these are two separate applications, and it is important that both are responded to.

I know this is an issue that many residents along the Porterstown Road and in the Village estate are particularly concerned about.

For a link to the full details, see the Fingal County Council Website here.

Fingal County Council must act to secure electric car charging infrastructure for Dublin 15

No public e-car charge points (green pin) have been provided in Dublin 15

In recent weeks I have been contacted by e-car users in the Dublin 15 area, who are concerned that Dublin 15 is losing out on the ESB’s allocation of public e-car charge points. This infrastructure is essential for the long term viability of the e-car project. While there are currently three charge points in Dublin 15 (Coolmine Train Station, Castleknock Hotel, Hutton & Meade Ballycoolin), all are on private property, which limits their accessibility. This contrasts significantly with the number of public charge points across the north county area of Fingal.

I’ve written to Fingal County Council to find out what has been the total take up by the  Council of the initial allocation of 1500 public charge points by the ESB and further, to see how many public charge points does the Council intend to locate in the Dublin 15 area and where will these be placed.

On the other hand, it is good to see a new private charge point being provided at the Castleknock Hotel in recent weeks. Local e-car users are pleased with this development, particularly as the charge point at Coolmine Train Station has been out of action for a number of months. However, e-car users really want to see public charge points located across Dublin 15.

Public lighting vital for Tir na nOg park in Carpenterstown

I’ve written to Fingal County Council on called on them to install public lighting on the footpath through the Tir na nOg park in Carpenterstown

Tir na nOg park is a great amenity space for residents in Carpenterstown. It is used as a training ground for young GAA teams. It also acts as a shortcut for people travelling between any of the estates off the Diswellstown Road and the shops at the Carpenter Pub.

However, the park has absolutely no internal lighting. The only source of light is that which comes from some lights within the perimeter of Castleknock Community College. The lack of lighting is a hazard due to the uneven surface on the path. Further, the fact that the park is so dark is a security concern for people walking through it, particularly on winter evenings.

While everyone accepts that the capital budget of Fingal County Council is tight, I believe that the Council needs to look at installing public lighting in the park, particularly along the path running beside the boundary with Castleknock Community College, which is the most used route in the park.