Tag Archive for 'gormley'

Press Release – Action required on law reform report on management companies – O’Gorman


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the Government to quickly take action on responding to the report of the Law Reform Commission on management companies.

“The abuse of the rights of homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, that has occurred due to the use of management companies has been a major negative side effect of the building boom. That is why this report on ‘multi-unit developments’ by the Law Reform Commission is so important. Prior to the General Election, this was an issue the Green Party highlighted and I know that my party colleague, the Minister for the Environment John Gormley, is eager to engage with the other relevant departments – Justice and Enterprise & Employment, in order to get the various recommendations implemented into legislation as quickly as possible”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The recommendations contained in the report cover a broad area including company law, planning issues, questions of title and conveyancing, and the role of developers. A key element is a draft Multi-Unit Development Bill. I will be urging John Gormley to act quickly to get this legislation passed and to address the many serious issues faced by homeowners in relations to management companies”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Carbon Shame! I emit 5.69 tonnes of CO2 per annum

I’m suffering from a major bout of ‘carbon shame’. I’ve just calculated my yearly emissions using the new carbon calculator on the www.change.ie website, set up by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley. After inputting my details about travel, household heating and flights etc, my yearly carbon emissions were calculated at 5.69 tonnes. While this is a good bit below the average person’s yearly emissions which is 8 tonnes, it was still considerably more than I was expecting, especially as in only use public transport. Now I can’t feel self righteous as I sit on a crowded bus anymore.

The website is a great idea as not only does it tell you how much you pollute, but it also gives tips on how to cut down your emissions. For example, I’m taking a long hall flight to Vancouver this September to go to a friends wedding. This adds an extra 1.6 tonnes to my yearly total. If I cut out any long distance plane flights next year, I will cut my emissions to 4 tonnes, half the average persons and a good bit more respectable.

The www.change.ie website and the carbon calculator form part of a national campaign initiated by the Minister for the Environment to highlight the dangers of climate change.

While the Government can do a lot about tackling climate change, such as changing the taxation of cars and introducing grants for insulation, real progress against global warming will only be made when each individual plays their own part. That’s why this website is so important as it allows each of us to see the amount of pollution we are creating, but also gives tips on how we can reduce this. I would urge everyone 15 to log onto the website, www.change.ie and get calculating their own carbon footprint.

Press Release – Graffiti Reduction Programme a welcome boost for local communities – O’Gorman


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley TD, that he is to launch a joint programme with the Department of Justice to support local communities in dealing with graffiti.

“Across Laurel Lodge, Carpenterstown, Castleknock and Blanchardstown, a regular complaint I am hearing from residents is that graffiti is becoming more and more common. It is affecting both public and private property. It’s great to see a Minister who is committed to tackling within communities. John Gormley regularly raised the issue of graffiti while the Green Party was in opposition – now as Minister he is rolling out a programme to deal with it”.

The first set of funds to be allocated will be ring-fenced to RAPID areas, while from May on, all communities will be able to apply for the grants.

“The key aspect of this programme will be funding local community groups to take their own initiatives to deal with the problem. This takes account of the fact that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach may not be suitable to dealing with the issue. Minister Gormley has provided a budget of € 3.75 million to back the scheme.

“This funding will support a range of practices such as graffiti removal, targeted initiatives against graffiti offenders, better types of landscape design and community art projects to divert young persons from vandalism in the first place. As such, the scheme has a broadly positive focus. I would urge local groups in Dublin 15 to investigate if the programme would be of benefit to their activities”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Note to Editors

Community Graffiti Reduction Programme
The Community Graffiti Reduction Programme is a new national initiative following on from a pilot project carried out by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. It aims:
– To support an immediate reduction in the extent and impact of graffiti within the communities who participate in the programme;
– To develop local mechanisms within these communities to support the long-term reduction of incidences of graffiti.

The programme is sponsored by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. It will be managed and delivered by Pobal. In 2008 up to €3.75 million is being made available to fund projects.
Local groups (including tidy towns groups) or consortia of groups and state agencies, with at least three years experience of working on environmental and community safety issues, are eligible to apply for funding.

The programme will fund the following range of activities:

• Graffiti removal: Practical identification and removal of any graffiti within a public space, or on private property which is visible from a public space.

• Identification of improved landscape design. This will include work with Local Authorities, businesses or others to identify methods to reduce the targeting of individual sites for graffiti and the impact of graffiti on these sites by the improvement of planting, fencing and other arrangements.

• Targeted initiatives (including training initiatives) to work with young adult offenders or young adults at risk to include them in anti-graffiti activities.

• Educational initiatives on graffiti with broad groups of young people within the targeted area. This may include work with youth groups, sporting groups, clubs, schools etc to educate children on the effects and impact of graffiti on the quality of life of local communities, initiatives to change young people*s perceptions of graffiti, or work to broaden the understanding of young people of graffiti as an issue of environmental degradation.

• Supporting businesses in self-help to stop or remove graffiti. As part of a wider initiative, funds can be made available to supply business with graffiti cleaning kits, or to offer advice and support on preventative anti-graffiti measures.

• Community arts projects to divert young people from destructive graffiti. These can include collaborative work with groups of children and young people on arts projects and on the creation of outdoor and publicly visible arts projects, which offer outlets for artistic creation without the negative effects of graffiti.

Funding Phases and Mechanisms

Funding will be allocated in two phases. The first phase, Scheme A, will be confined to RAPID (Revitalising Areas through Planning, Investment and Development) areas only. The second phase, Scheme B, will be available nationally.

Under Scheme A, eligible groups may access an immediate budget (€30,000) to begin graffiti removal activities. This will be followed by the national Scheme B which will support longer-term and more varied actions to reduce and control graffiti.
Under scheme B, grants of between €50,000 and €150,000 are available.
Scheme B will commence in May 2008.

New Draft Urban Planning Guidelines are a break with past planning mistakes

I was very pleased to see the new Draft Sustainable Residential Development Planning Guidelines, published yesterday by John Gormley.

I reckon that Dublin 15 is a prime example of how to mess up urban planning. The crises we have experienced with insufficient school places and inadequate public transport can all be traced back to the complete failure to properly plan the expansion of residential development in Dublin 15. It has been us as residents that have suffered the consequences of these huge blunders.

John Gormley has published new draft guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas. These will give detailed guidance to local authorities in how they permit future residential building in their area.

Speaking with the experiences of Dublin 15 in mind, a number of key aspects to the new guidelines stick out. They state that no substantial residential development should proceed without an assessment of existing schools capacity or the provision of new school facilities at the same time as the development. Further, they call for restrictions on residential development without either adequate existing public transport provision or new public transport being provided, again at the same time as the development. The guidelines also demand adequate provision at convenient locations for retail, health and other community facilities. These three points in particular could have been written in response to the problems that have occurred in Dublin 15.

The draft guidelines are available for inspection at the Department of Environment’s website, www.environ.ie. All members of the public have the right to comment or make submissions on the draft guidelines up to the 30th April.

These new guidelines are part of a wide-ranging effort by Minister Gormley to reform planning in Ireland and ensure that the planning process is about creating communities, not profiting developers. I see them as a real break with past mistakes. My only regret is that these guidelines are being published now, rather than 15 years ago.

Tuffy’s stance on inefficient light-bulbs is disappointing

I’m very pleased to see that the EU Commission has rowed in behind Minister John Gormley’s blan to phase out the use of traditional inefficient light-bulbs. This project is an important step in Ireland tackling its high level of carbon dioxide emissions. Not only will the measure be good for the environment, but it will also save consumers money as the energy efficient CFL bulbs last much longer. John now intends to implement a public consultation programme to ensure that the phase out of the old bulbs occurs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

At the same time I have to say I’ve been really disappointed by some of the comments coming from Jonna Tuffy TD, the Labour spokesperson on the Environment. It’s stated Labour Party policy to ban inefficient bulbs by 2012. I would have expected Labour to have welcomed Minister Gormley’s proposal to get rid of them more quickly. Instead, Deputy Tuffy has issued a tirade of press releases attacking the proposal( here, here and here). Indeed, in her most recent statements, she seems to be saying that the European Commission is not supporting Minister Gormley, despite the fact that the Minister met with both Commissioner Verheugen and Commissioner Dimas, who indicated their agreement.

From what I can make out, Deputy Tuffy wants a much longer time period taken to implement the change to CFL bulbs. Has anyone told her that climate change needs to be tackled now? Ironically, after the publication of the last report from the International Panel on Climate Change, Deputy Tuffy released a press release calling for “immediate action on climate change agenda”. Yet now she seems determined to put every roadblock she can find in the way of John Gormley’s proposal – a measure that will make a significant cut in our carbon emissions.

i reckon Deputy Tuffy needs to decide if she is serious about tackling climate change or if she and the Labour Party are going to spend the next 5 years playing politics with this all important issue.