- Monday, 23rd July, 8pm – Seabury Parish Centre, Malahide –
“This is an opportunity for the people of Malahide and surrounding communities to air their concerns about proposed changes to bus routes,” said local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien as he invited local residents to his public meeting on Bus Connects which takes place on Monday, 23rd July at 8pm in Seabury Parish Centre, Malahide.
“There has been much debate and discussion about the recent proposals to change and augment the Dublin Bus network, especially in the North County.
“This is the first in a series of meetings I, and the local Fianna Fáil organisation, will be hosting across North County Dublin. It’s imperative that people have their say.
“Both myself and Cllr. Eoghan O’Brien believe that we need to allow local people have their say on these proposed changes, and that’s why it’s essential that as many people as possible turn up on the night.
“On the night, we will go through the proposed changes, give our thoughts and opinions on the changes, and give space for local residents to give us their thoughts.
“In addition, we will be providing information and guidance to residents who wish to make formal submissions to the Bus Connects consultation. Submissions can be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback from all our public meetings will be incorporated into our own submission.
“Bus services in Dublin need improving; there is no point shying away from that fact, but they must be changed in consultation with the people directly affected – the commuters.
“Dublin Bus is an integral part of life in North Dublin. Whether you are going to work, school, the local shops or to the hospital, we rely on a quality bus network to keep us moving.
“We’re looking for a big crowd on the night to ensure that we, as your local public representatives, have the best picture of what the local community want and need from their bus service,” concluded O’Brien.
Local Authority data reveals that 5,559 private sector homes
have been purchased since 2011
Data received through Freedom of Information requests made to each of the 31 Local Authorities and collated by Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien has found that Fine Gael led Governments have spent close to €1bn of tax payer’s money on purchasing homes from the private housing sector since 2011.
The average cost of a unit purchased was €162,000, rising to €221,000 in Dublin. According to the Department of Housing’s own figures, it would have cost €22,000 less (€199,000) to have built an entirely new unit in Dublin during the same period.
In Cork, the average price paid for a unit was €191,000 but to have built a new home would have saved €36,000 of tax payer’s money, costing a total €155,000.
Ireland’s Local Authorities have built just 2,354 new units since 2011.
Deputy O’Brien said, “In the midst of the worst housing crisis to have gripped the country, the right wing orthodoxy of Fine Gael has prevented the sort of response needed to deal with the crisis.
“This data has revealed that Government has spent just short of €1bn in tax payer’s money to purchase 5,559 homes, pricing families trying to buy their own homes out of the market without adding to the national stock.
“Not only has the FG plan driven up house prices generally but in many instances it would have been significantly cheaper for the State to build new social homes.
“Take Dublin for example; it would have been €29m less expensive to build the same number of units than the Government chose to buy instead. It would have been over €17m cheaper to build the same amount of units in Cork.
“This sad narrative is the very same in every county up and down the country; no vision whatsoever to bring new housing stock on stream and a severe overreliance on the private sector.
“Affordable housing needs to be at the core of the forthcoming Budget and we will fight hard to force FG towards adopting a Comprehensive Affordable Housing Scheme.
He concluded, “Fine Gael need to realise that this crisis requires them to set aside their orthodoxy and invest in new stock real affordability measures.”
BusConnects Proposed Services
Costs and Delivery
These proposals are not final. The NTA will be accepting public views from 16th July to 14th September and submissions should be made to email@example.com. The full proposal can be seen at www.busconnects.ie
Cllr Eoghan O'Brien and I intend on holding a public meeting in Seabury Parish Centre on the 23rd July @8pm on the proposed changes to Dublin Bus, if you are free do come along, do please let any of your neighbours or friends know also. All are welcome.
New bill will help strengthen corporate governance & quality of life for
some 500,000 living in multi-unit developments
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD has today introduced a new bill in Dáil Éireann that is aimed at establishing an Ombudsman for Owner Management Companies (OMCs).
The Ombudsman will be based within the Property Services Regulatory Authority with an estimated running cost of €500,000 per annum. This body will help in training board members, assist in dispute reconciliation and make recommendations on the future development of the housing sector.
Deputy O’Brien stated, “A recent submission made by the Apartment Owners Network and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland to the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, estimated that nearly 500,000 people live in multi-unit developments in Ireland.
“The majority of these developments are run by Owner Management Companies.
“I very much pay tribute to the volunteer efforts of those involved in an OMC, which is essential to maintaining a high standard of living for the residents in their complex. As it stands, the Department do not provide resources to assist with their work.
“These OMCs are governed by dense company law that many residents may not familiar with, must adhere to strict housing regulations and deal with the Department of Justices’ property rights.
“The Bill I have introduced today, if passed, will provide for the establishment of a new, central body focused on supporting the sector and advising those that lead these companies for the greater good of the development they live in.
“The core duties of the Ombudsman will include assisting with dispute resolution and the provision of both key training and advice services. It will also help develop updated policy in the area and highlight key issues of concern.
“It’s been promised that 35,000 new units will be built per annum up to the year 2040 and many of these, if built, will be run by such companies that will support. It is crucial that we are proactive in ensuring the highest level of governance is achieved and maintained.
“By introducing this Bill, we are proposing that an Ombudsman is formed to work for the half a million people living in apartment complexes and estates run by Owner Management Companies throughout the country,” O’Brien concluded.
Local Fianna Fáil TD and Chair of the Ireland, Egypt Friendship Group, Darragh O’Brien has welcomed the formal ratification of Irelands Air Service Agreement with Egypt.
The agreement which was signed at draft stage in 2014 was yesterday formally ratified in Dáil Éireann.
O’Brien commented, “By ratifying this agreement, direct flights between Ireland and Egypt can begin operating but in particular Egypt Air will now be in the position to consider using Dublin Airport as an international hub for their airline.
“During my visit to Egypt’s capital, Cairo last year I met with the Aviation Minister to discuss the potential this formal agreement had for opening up job opportunities in Fingal.
“The ratification of this contract is a significant step forward to securing more routes and subsequently more jobs through Dublin Airport.
“I wish to acknowledge the work of both our Ceann Comhaire and the Egyptian Ambassador in moving this forward. I very much look forward to welcoming Egypt Air to the airport and engaging with them on what Fingal has to offer,” he concluded.
Emergency ambulance services in Fingal must continue to be provided
by Swords and Blanchardstown crews
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has said that Government’s decision to finally support a motion raised by his party and debated in Dáil Éireann this month was needed for a long time.
The Deputy is optimistic that this cross party support will ensure the full retention of emergency services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade the North County.
O’Brien commented, “The almost 1,000 highly trained and skilled personnel working with Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) has been providing essential ambulance services to Dubliners in the North County for the past 120 years.
“The Brigade provides immediate, lifesaving medical assistance to members of the public in need of treatment 24/7, 365 days a year. Thousands of families in Fingal, including my own, have had experience of being protected by the members of the DFB.
“The HSE’s proposal to remove the delivery of Dublin’s ambulance service from Dublin Fire Brigade and instead merge the service with the National Ambulance Service could have an adverse effect on safeguarding those in our community.
“Staff should be lauded for their ability to respond to thousands of emergency calls across the capital every year, not denigrated, to have funding withdrawn, or to have their service run down.
“There should be 133 firefighters and paramedics as well as 36 officers on duty at all times maintaining front-line fire appliance. However, there is currently a deficit in staff and resources. We need at least another four ambulances within the service
“We need to send out a clear statement that the Dáil establishes policy and makes decisions on behalf of, and in the best interest of the people who elect us. I am pleased that Government have at last listened to opposition and have recognised the importance of this issue.
"It has been a pleasure for me over the past five years to work closely with both current and retired members of Dublin Fire Brigade. I hope we can move forward with an implementation plan with haste to ensure this service remains one of the best in Europe and that we further invest in the service.
He concluded, “Our motion, supported now by Government, reiterates our party’s firm commitment to the full retention of ambulance services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade across Dublin.”