- Politicians passing responsibility to Garda Commissioner to make the decision -
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that he is beyond disappointed that, four months after Rush Garda Station was placed on a list for reopening, no progress has been made.
Deputy O’Brien was commenting after receiving a reply to a parliamentary question he submitted to the Minister for Justice and Equality seeking an update on the opening of Rush station.
“It’s clear from the Minister’s reply that the impetus to reopen Rush Garda Station from a political level has been lost, and it’s now being pushed back onto the Garda Commissioner to make a decision.
“The Minister, in his reply, states that “if a second station is to be reopened in Dublin, the report indicates that the Commissioner is likely, subject to further analysis, likely to recommend that the former station at Rush to be included in the pilot scheme.
“This is a statement full of multiple caveats that is designed to let the politicians off the hook, and it’s very disappointing to me, but more importantly to the people of Rush.
“Rush is a major urban area in North County Dublin. With a population of over 10,000, it needs a full time Garda station. Its population over the next number of years is only going to rise.
“It made no sense to me when the station was closed a number of years ago, and I opposed it from the get go.
“Crime is an issue in Rush. There can be no getting away from this fact. There have been a number of very serious incidents over the past number of months, and without a full time Garda station with additional Garda resources, the level of criminal activity will only grow.
“Those who used the potential reopening of Rush Garda Station’s to provide cover for Minister Ross’ political campaign to reopen his local station in Stepaside need to deliver on their commitments and ensure that the people of Rush get the Garda support they urgently need,” concluded O’Brien.
Promised development new secondary school in Malahide/Portmarnock delayed further
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the explanation provided by the Minister for Education as to why the proposed new post primary school in Malahide/Portmarnock is deferred is an insult to all those who have long campaigned for it's development.
In information received by the Deputy through a tabled Parliamentary Question, the Minister for Education has confirmed that the school which was scheduled to open this September in Malahide/Portmarnock will now not open until at earliest, September 2018.
Deputy O’Brien said, “The provision of a new secondary school for the Malahide/Portmarnock was originally announced over two years ago. Throughout this time,I have raised the urgent necessity for the provision of this secondary school and others including a post-primary school in Swords.
“The Government has flipped flopped on its explanation for yet again deferring the schools development by 15 months. The Minister previously confirmed to me that they would more likely open the school a full 12 months behind schedule due to a lack of suitable site but now it’s claimed that this decision to defer was reached by the patron body “in the best interests."
“This is simply not the case. From my engagement with those involved locally, the delay in fact lay the Department's inability to acquire a suitable site for this school. It seems the Minister is attempting to offload any responsibility for this unacceptable delay in development.
He added, “The surge in population in the North County in recent years has exacerbated the chronic shortage of school places. Given Fingal is a particularly young population combined with high birth rates, it can only be expected that the current lack of sufficient capacity in our schools will continue to worsen and come under significant pressure.
“If decisive action is not taken by the Department very soon, pupil enrollments in both primary and secondary schools across Fingal will be unable to meet demand in the next school year.
He concluded, “Parents are becoming increasingly fearful about whether there will be a school place for their children come September; this update of a further delay through no fault of those relentlessly campaigning for the development, will now add more stress.”
International community must do more to bring an end to on-going violence
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the upsurge in violence in the Myanmar’s Rakhine state against the Rohingya ethnic minority tell a tale of unspeakable horrors.
Since violence erupted between security forces and the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar on August 25th, thousands of people have been killed, more than 600,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh while hundreds of thousands more remain in the conflict zone.
Deputy O’Brien explained, “Over recent months reports have emerged of appalling crimes against humanity including extrajudicial killing and sexual violence against a population described as the “most persecuted minority” in the world.
This community have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.
“Despite global condemnation, the Rohingya people continue to suffer what is becoming widely known as a campaign of ethnic cleansing at the hands of military led clearance operations.
“The crime of genocide can be defined as the deliberate destruction of a community in whole or even in part and there is strong evidence consistent with this in Myanmar.
He added, “Expressing outrage is simply not enough and the European Union, the United Nations and the wider international community must use every legal, political and diplomatic mechanisms at their disposal to protect the Rohingya and bring about an end to this violence.
“When we consider historic events such as the atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia, we are reminded of what immorality can unfold when the international community fails in its duty to protect innocent civilians.
“One thing is clear; should the international community continue to stand complicit we will continue to fail the destitute and unarmed Rohingya men, women and children.
Please see below the update that I have received from Irish Water regarding the Skerries Road, which will reopen to traffic on Friday 10th November at 10.00 am.
I know that these essential works have inconvenienced many people in Rush. I am glad that they will be finished ahead of the scheduled completion date.
See statement below from Irish Water.
"Irish Water are delighted to announce that works have been completed ahead of schedule on the R128 Rush-Skerries Road between Kilbush Lane and Palmer Road. The R128 Rush-Skerries Road will re-open to traffic on Friday, 10 November at approximately 10.00am. Dublin Bus services via Rush will resume at 1.00pm on Friday, 10 November.
Irish Water would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation during these essential works, which will end the discharge of untreated wastewater at Rush Beach."
My colleague Cllr Brian Dennehy and I have received a notice from Fingal County Council in relation to an application the council has received from Eir for permission to temporarily close a road in the Balbriggan/Gormanstown area for the purpose of carrying out works on the Eir Network to provide service for Eir Customers.
It is proposed that the road will be closed from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday 4th December until Friday 8th December 2017.
The road in question is:
Knocknagin Road, (L5160).
Alternative routes available for vehicular traffic are as follows:
• Motorists travelling northbound along R132 wishing to take the left turn onto L5160 Knocknagin Road should take the left turn at the junction of R132 and Flemington Lane onto Flemington Lane, then take the right turn at the junction of Flemington Lane and Bridgefoot Road, L1130 onto Bridgefoot Road, L1130, and continue along Bridgefoot Road, L1130.
• Motorists travelling southbound along R132 wishing to take the right turn onto L5160 Knocknagin Road should take the right turn at the junction of R132 and L1619 onto L1619, then take the left turn at the junction of L1619 and L1616 onto L1616, and continue onto Bridgefoot Road, L1130.
• Motorists travelling northbound along L1130, Bridgefoot Road wishing to take the right turn onto L5160, Knocknagin Road should take the right turn at the junction of L1616 and L1619 onto L1619, then take the right turn at the junction of L1619 and R132 onto R132, and continue along R132.
• Motorists travelling southbound along L1130 wishing to take the left turn onto L5160 Knocknagin Road should continue along L1130, then take the left turn at L1130 and Flemington Lane, L1135 onto Flemington Lane, L1135, and continue on Flemington Lane, L1135 to the R132.
Any person may lodge an objection in writing to the Senior Executive Officer, Balbriggan/Swords Operations Unit, Fingal County Council, to arrive no later than 4.00pm on Friday 10th November 2017.
FF pressure secures commitment to adopt roadmap on ODA contribution
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed a commitment given by Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, to develop a strategy towards achieving the UN target on Overseas Development Assistance.
Each year, Ireland as one of the 35 OECD member countries is expected to contribute a minimum net amount of 0.7% of its GNP.
O’Brien commented, “Ireland has a long and proud reputation among low income and marginalised countries. Our assistance in supporting these countries in terms of long term development and in responding to humanitarian crises is well known and well regarded.
“We have a moral obligation to support the world’s poorest people and contribute our share towards the UN’s target for international aid spending.
“In recent years rather than move closer to achieving this target Ireland has fallen further behind. Despite the fact this Government has committed to reaching a 0.7% target, the reality is that we remain very far off.
“The current ODA/GNP percentage is in the region of 0.3%, considerably less than 0.59% which was reached in 2008 when my party was in Government.
“I have been consistent in calling for a roadmap to be established that will set out how Ireland will reach its commitment of 0.7% ODA/GNP target. I am glad that the Government have finally committed to this.
“In order to allow our INGO’s to plan ahead and expand opportunity, a multi-annual funding framework must be outlined as part of this strategy.
“It is therefore crucial that the Government work in tandem with the INGO sector and parties across the political spectrum to ensure that we meet this target in an achievable and realistic timeframe.
“Ireland acted as a co-facilitator in the intergovernmental negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to forge new international commitments in a range of areas. My primary concern is that for new ones to be credible existing commitments must be met and a strategy is undoubtedly needed to achieve that.
He concluded, “Consequently, this strategy is important not only for low income countries that rely on Irish ODA, but also for protecting our long standing reputation among major world donors.”