Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade has raised his concerns regarding the Dublin Airport Authority’s decision to seek an amendment to the conditions from An Bord Pleanála to secure unrestricted use of a second runway at the airport.
Speaking on the issue, Deputy O’Brien said, “On Monday, I was happy to meet with the Dublin Airport Authority together with colleagues from the Oireachtas and members of community groups representing Portmarnock, Malahide and Swords. The feedback from the residents of St Margaret's and The Ward was also raised. It was an important opportunity to engage with the various stakeholders and interests associated with these plans.
“One of conditions laid down by An Bord Pleanála when the planning permission was granted in 2007, stipulated that the total number of night-time flights at the airport cannot exceed 65 between 11pm and 7am once the new runway is built and that take-off and landing times were to be restricted to between 7am and 11pm.
“I am concerned that the airport authority now intends to enter a process to address these two conditions. I would like to make clear that I do not support the DAA in their decision to appeal and am therefore calling on the DAA to reconsider their application to achieve unrestricted use of the North runway.
“Since 2004, I have consistently supported the development of the airport. The airport is a major employer in North Dublin and the new runway has the capacity to create thousands of additional jobs, which I welcome.
“This project will allow the airport to grow for the benefit of the Irish economy by supporting additional trade, tourism and foreign direct investment in Ireland. I therefore fully support the development and expansion of the North Runway at Dublin Airport however; the very genuine and serious concerns of residents must be taken into account,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.
Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien says the Government’s decision to increase rent supplement, was one of his party’s priorities and in line with the Confidence and Supply Agreement with Fianna Fáil.
Commenting on the announcement Deputy O’Brien said, “A rent supplement increase was a very important feature of both our election manifesto and discussions with Fine Gael to secure a minority Government.
“Fianna Fáil negotiators fought for an increase in rent supplement during the minority Government talks which took place earlier this year. Despite fierce opposition we forced for this vital measure to be contained in the agreement between our party and Fine Gael.
“Too many families in my constituency have been troubled by the risk of losing their homes due to rapidly rising rents for some time now. From July 1st, a couple or one parent family with 3 children in Dublin-Fingal will now qualify for a rent supplement of €1,200 – an increase of €250 per month. My party colleagues and I hope that this increase will ensure families can stay in their homes and prevent more families falling into homelessness.
“The Government’s decision to increase rent supplement limits in major urban areas such as Dublin-Fingal will help but ultimately, the only long term solution to the crisis we are facing across Ireland, is an increased supply of houses.
“Fianna Fáil devised sensible proposals to help the most vulnerable, to ensure that families are not forced out of their homes, into hotels. While I welcome the increase in rent supplement, it is just one element of a much broader package of measures that are required to tackle the crisis in housing.
“The Government must now examine and implement the recommendations of the all-party Oireachtas Housing Committee without delay so that this emergency can be brought under control,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade , Darragh O'Brien TD has expressed his disappointment that Ibrahim Halawa’s case has been postponed for the fourteenth time.
The next trial date has been set for October 2nd.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, “I am very disappointed and gravely concerned that Ibrahim Halawa’s trial has been postponed for the fourteenth time. This situation is becoming increasingly absurd and cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely.
“I recently met with Ibrahim’s sister Somaia to discuss her brother’s case and she expressed her hope and belief that today would bring some conclusion to this long-running saga. I am sure that the Halawa family must be bitterly disappointed and disheartened by this further delay.
“Ibrahim is an Irish citizen and has been detained without trial for almost three years. I am calling on the Government to explore every option available to them to secure Ibrahim’s release. It is simply unacceptable that there appears no end in sight to this case, and at this point we can no longer trust that the next trial date, set for the 2nd October, will actually come to pass.
“My colleague Senator Mark Daly, Seanad Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade & the Diaspora, has raised this issue in the Seanad this morning and has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to appear before the Seanad next week to explain the further delay in this case. I hope that the Minister will make himself available in this regard.
“It is imperative that Ibrahim’s case is kept to the fore and that our opposition to this now indefensible situation is communicated to the Egyptian authorities in the clearest possible terms.”
Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a
new secondary school for the Malahide and Portmarnock areas of County Dublin,
as announced in November, 2015; if he has identified locations for these
proposed schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a
new secondary school for the Swords area of County Dublin, as announced in
November 2015; if he has identified locations for these proposed schools; and
if he will make a statement on the matter.
For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 30th June, 2016.
Reference Number: 18911/16, 18957/16
Minister Richard Bruton
I propose to take questions 18911/16, 18957/16 together.
My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where
the pressure for school places will arise. The GIS uses data from the Central
Statistics Office, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department of Social Protection
and information from my Department's own databases.
The outcome of the latest demographic exercises, based on the GIS, was the
announcement in November 2015 of the establishment of 13 new schools to open
nationwide in 2017 and 2018 to cater for increased demographic needs. One of
the new post-primary schools will serve the Swords school planning area and one
will serve the Malahide and Portmarnock school planning areas. Both new
schools will open in 2017 and both are included in my Department's six year
construction programme (2016-2021). Details on the progress of all projects on
this programme will be published on my Department's website and this will be
In April this year, my Department issued an invitation to all school patron
bodies and prospective patron bodies to apply for the patronage of the nine new
post-primary schools, including the schools to serve the areas referred to by
the Deputy. As part of the application process, prospective patrons must submit
completed parental preferences, including whether parents wish their children
to be educated through the medium of Irish or of English. The closing date for
receipt of applications to my Department was Wednesday 8th June.
My Department is currently assessing the applications received from the
prospective patrons and an assessment report will be prepared for the
consideration of the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). The Group will
then submit a report with recommendations to me for consideration and final
decision. I will announce the patronage of the schools following completion of
the process and the patronage assessment report will be published on my
My Department are liaising with Fingal County Council in accordance with the
Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the identification and acquisition
of suitable locations for these schools.
Agreement in principle has been reached in respect of a site for the new
post-primary school in Swords and my Department is currently progressing with
In relation to the new post-primary school to serve the Malahide and
Portmarnock areas, the technical feasibility of an identified site option is
currently being comprehensively assessed by officials from my Department in
liaison with officials from the Local Authority.
Due to commercial sensitivities relating to site acquisitions generally, I am,
unfortunately, not in a position to provide further details at this time. I
can, however, assure you that the site acquisitions for both of these schools
are being advanced by my Department and that pending the delivery of the
permanent school buildings, temporary accommodation will be provided.
Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien says the delay in initiating the Community Closed-Circuit Television Scheme which was detailed in the Programme for a Partnership Government, is unsatisfactory.
The Minister for Justice and Equality has confirmed to Deputy O’Brien that her Department has ‘instigated a review of the effectiveness of the Community CCTV Scheme in conjunction with the Garda authorities.'
Commenting on the issue, Deputy O’Brien said, “In the Dáil earlier this week, I raised the Minister’s commitment to provide investment in CCTV systems along the road network and in urban centers.
“I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially communities in Dublin Fingal, place on CCTV as a means of deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders. This was a programme commitment and to learn that development of the proposal will now depend on the outcome of a review is discouraging, most especially for the community groups interested in applying for funding.
“To begin review at this stage, when small villages and towns in North County Dublin are deeply troubled by crime, is not acceptable. This Government must do all it can to assist communities affected by crime and burglary.
“I will continue to question the matter and do my utmost to ensure that this scheme is introduced in full and as initially committed to as part the Programme for a Partnership Government,” concluded O’Brien.