O’Brien demands commitment on temporary accommodation for new Fingal Educate Together Secondary School
A site has been identified for new Educate Together but must be opened this September in temporary premises
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that while it must be welcomed that a site has now been found to develop a new post-primary Educate Together school in Malahide/Portmarnock, the school must be opened in temporary accommodation by September to alleviate the pressure on pupil enrolments in secondary schools across Fingal.
In information received by the Deputy through a tabled Parliamentary Question, the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton has confirmed that a suitable site has been identified to progress with the proposed school development in Malahide/Portmarnock.
The Deputy said, “There is already an acute shortage of secondary school places in Kinsealy, Malahide & Portmarnock. Parents have been left in an unacceptable position that their children cannot get secondary school places in the area where they live.
“We can only expect that the current chronic shortage of places in our schools will rise in the coming years if this Government does not act now.
"The provision of a new post-primary school in the Malahide/Portmarnock area was first promised over two years ago and was originally scheduled to last September. It is welcome that a suitable permanent site has finally been identified and while the location has not been made known yet, I will be providing an update as soon as the information is disclosed.
"It’s my understanding that this school will open this coming September in temporary accommodation. I have asked the Minister to give a formal commitment that this is the case and I will keep constituents informed of any progress in this regard.
“A lot of local people have long campaigned for the development of this school and they have my full support, I will continue to place pressure on the Minister to ensure that there are no unacceptable delays in opening the school in temporary accommodation,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
- Cost Rental Pilot Project first announced in 2015 has yet to go to tender -
Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien has criticized the Government for the three-year delay in progressing an affordable rental scheme.
A reply to a Parliamentary Question put down by Deputy O’Brien has shown that the project still has yet to go to tender, the number of units involved remains unknown and no eligibility criteria has been published.
The project was first announced in October 2015 and again most recently in January.
Deputy O’Brien said, “Rents have soared across the country, particularly in the cities and large urban areas. Since the Government announced their pilot project rents have increased by 10% or more per annum in Dublin.
“Dublin rents are now €4,500 higher than the previous peak in 2007. Ordinary workers and young people are struggling to find somewhere to live and are finding it impossible to save for a home of their own. Despite this the Government has failed to move on a scheme it announced three years ago.
“The fact that we still don’t know how many units will be provided, who will be able to apply and what the criteria will be is a damming indictment of Government inaction on this crisis. We’ve seen an unprecedented amount of spin from Government on housing but little in the way of substantive action.
“If we don’t make affordable housing a reality for buyers and renters we will condemn a generation to uncertainty and damage our own economic prospects. The scheme should be expedited as a matter of urgency by the Government. It’s not acceptable to continuously announce projects which end up going nowhere,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Members and supporters gathered on Tuesday night in the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords for the selection convention which was chaired by the Party’s Deputy Leader, Dara Calleary TD.
Speaking following the convention, Deputy Darragh O’Brien said, “I am absolutely honoured to have been unanimously selected to contest the next General Election as a candidate in Dublin Fingal along with my colleague Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee.
“Born and bred in Dublin, there are a number of serious matters that I strongly believe require attention in our county. In my new role as the party’s Housing Spokesperson I consider it crucially important to address the current crisis.
“House prices are being driven higher and higher while 10,000 people in Fingal remain in need of social housing under this Government. Its policies must change to better reflect the needs of ordinary people.
“The issues which remain in effectively policing Fingal and protecting our community are in urgent need of resolution – I will be maintaining pressure the Minister to reverse these cuts to Garda resources which are neglecting the safety of residents.
“I look forward to the work ahead and continuing to represent the people of Dublin Fingal.”
“I'm delighted to have been selected along with Darragh O’Brien TD to contest the next General Election for Fianna Fáil,” said the Party’s Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee.
“I hear from young parents in Fingal all too often regarding the difficulties in childcare, school places and housing costs in our area.
“Raising a family can be a struggle and this Government don’t appear to recognise that. I aim to take a seat in Dáil Éireann to represent the hard working families in our community; those that are crying out for support but are continually neglected.
“Protecting the biodiversity of the unique peninsula in the North County and our local environment more generally is something I am particularly conscious of and that I believe warrants more political influence in maintaining.
“I believe that I can inject a new energy and freshness into politics by playing my part in securing the two seats necessary to achieve a fair and positive vision for the future of our country."
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the commitment to construct a number of schools in Fingal should be cautiously welcomed considered they have been previously announced and little movement made on their development.
Deputy O’Brien made the comments after Minister Bruton set out plans to build 42 new schools, despite not having delivered on previous school building commitments to date.
The Deputy said, “I've been raising the urgent need for extra school places in Dublin Fingal in Dáil Éireann for far too long now. I am glad that Fianna Fáil’s extensive lobbying for these schools builds had resulted in some progress on the need to extend school places in our area.
“The surge in population in the North County in recent years has exacerbated the chronic shortage of school places. Fingal is a particularly young population and 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.
“I am of course pleased to see any proposal to develop two schools for Swords, one in Donabate as well as a new secondary schools Swords & another in Malahide/Portmarnock - I am however, concerned that this is simply another announcement.
“Some of the school projects announced for our area this morning were previously promised two years ago. It is absolutely crucial that planning and design are undertaken immediately to allow construction start as soon as possible so that they can serve the future educational needs in the north county.
“These new school building projects are critically needed but the real test of today’s Government announcement will be the delivery,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Urgent need to address access to finance and planning rules to build affordable homes
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that Minister Eoghan Murphy must take urgent action following the findings of three residential construction cost reports which were published by the Department of Housing.
The reports, which compare the cost of construction and viability in Ireland with that in other European countries, were launched earlier today.
He said, “According to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office, house prices in Ireland rose 13% in 2017. This is further proof that the prospect of owning a home in this country is becoming increasingly out of reach and next to impossible for young couples and families starting out.
“Fianna Fáil has repeatedly called for an evidence based approach to addressing cost concerns and these reports point to some clear actions that need to be taken by the Minister.
“These three reports cannot be allowed to gather dust on the shelves alongside the other countless reports published by the Department including the Review of Taxation on the Rental Market.
“Why are people being forced to queue in the wind and rain for the slim possibility of buying a home even after saving hard for a mortgage? We witnessed this astonishing precedent earlier this week in Ongar, Dublin 15.
“The First Time Buyer Grant is driving house prices higher and higher because we’re not building and if the Minister isn’t prepared to amplify building then this will only continue to spiral. Fianna Fáil has been consistent in stating this fact.
“While today’s findings reveal that we are not necessarily out of line with construction costs in other European countries, the need to build more housing is placing substantial pressure on the State Apprenticeship Scheme.
“The Government must ensure we have the skills base to meet demand an ensure costs don’t spiral out of control.
“Other critical amendments are needed to strengthen the viability of building affordable homes such as addressing car parking regulations, and the degree of access to finance
“An ambitious new affordable housing scheme on State lands must form an essential part of the Government’s strategy in the coming months.
O’Brien concluded, “Otherwise these reports won’t be worth the paper they are written on.”
My colleague Cllr Brian Dennehy and I have received a notice from Fingal County Council in relation to an order the council has made to temporarily close a road in the Balbriggan area following an application from Jons Civil Engineering Company Limited.
The closure is to facilitate the construction of The Stephenstown Link Road Scheme.
These works are being carried out on behalf of Fingal County Council. The road will be closed from Monday 23rd April 2018 until Wednesday 18th July 2018.
The road in question is:
Clonard Street (between Harry Reynold's Road and the Naul Road)
Alternative routes available for vehicular traffic are as follows:
For people wishing to access Clonard Street West of the closure, from the Harry Reynold's Road direction:
All vehicular traffic wishing to access Clonard Street east of the closure will continue south-east on the Harry Reynold's Road to the roundabout.
At the roundabout traffic will take the second exit (signposted Naul (M1)) and continue to the next roundabout. At the next roundabout traffic will take the second exit (signposted Naul (M1)) heading towards the R122.
At the next roundabout traffic will take the second exit onto the R122 (signposted Balbriggan) followed by an immediate right turn onto Naul Road. Traffic will continue along Naul Road and onto
Clonard Street West of the closure.
For people wishing to access Clonard Street West of the closure to access Harry Reynolds Road, from Clonard Street, Naul Road and the R122;
From the closure point on Clonard Street traffic will continue west onto the Naul Road until its junction with the R122.
Traffic will then take a left turn onto the R122 followed by the first exit (signposted Balrothery) off the roundabout.
Traffic will carry on to the next roundabout and take the first exit and continue onto the next roundabout and again take the first exit onto Harry Reynolds Road.
Traffic will continue approx. 650m and Clonard Street east of the closure will be on the left-hand side.
Local access for residents and businesses will be maintained at all times.
Pedestrians will use the same routes on the footpaths already in place.