You will know be aware of some very significant changes that are being proposed by the National Transport Authority under the BusConnects proposals to our bus services. These changes would see a reduction in bus services for the Malahide area and indeed reduction in services to the city for most of North County Dublin.
Earlier this week Cllr. Eoghan O'Brien and I hosted a BusConnects information evening in Seabury Parish Centre attended by nearly 500 people. We would like to thank everyone for coming to this important meeting. The massive attendance on the night showed the level of opposition to these proposed changes.
For your convenience, I have attached a DRAFT submission that Eoghan and I have prepared. You may find this useful and wish copy items from it, add your own views to it, or indeed use it in full. It is really important that you put your full name and address on the submission when you email it to the NTA.
This submission focuses very much on the negative impact that the proposals will have on the Malahide area. We have also prepared specific draft submissions for all other towns in Dublin Fingal.
Make sure you spread the word. We need to ensure that we maximise the number of submissions made to the National Transport Authority. Email your submission to ;
Be assured that Eoghan and I are 100% behind the community on this and will be doing everything we can to ensure that our bus services are improved and enhanced, not reduced, and that the negative aspects of the BusConnects proposals are eliminated.
I will keep you informed of progress and I will stay in touch. In the meantime if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact myself or Eoghan. My direct office number is 01-6183802 and my mobile is 086-2519893.
Fianna Fáil’s Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the failure of the Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy to stem the homelessness crisis is one of the main reasons why the public are becoming disenchanted with politics and with politicians.
Deputy O’Brien was commenting following the release of the latest homelessness figures which counts 9,872 as being homeless, including 3,824 children.
“They make grim reading with no progress made in terms of stemming the flow of families presenting as homeless or moving people out of emergency accommodation into long term housing.
“Consistent increases in the overall homelessness numbers over the past five years despite regular announcements of plans and strategies have destroyed confidence in the ability of the political system to deliver.
“People are being turned off politics and politicians by the inability of Government Ministers to keep their promises on housing and to make progress.
“Successive Housing Ministers have launched plan after plan and every single one of them has failed to stem the homelessness crisis.
“You really can’t blame citizens for feeling disenchanted with a political system that continually fails on an issue that, to most people, is easy to fix.
“Building homes for people isn’t rocket science. The State has, in the past, done that, and done it well.
“The twin issues of supply and affordability must be dealt with. Until more public housing comes on stream, we will never truly get ahead on the homelessness crisis.
“It’s now very likely that the 2018 public housing output will barely match the paltry number, less than 800, of public housing units brought on stream in 2017. The Minister must focus on delivery and overcome the clear blockages in the system that are stopping public housing being built.
“The homelessness and overall crises is a scar on Ireland’s record. At what point will Minister Murphy realise that plans aren’t what people want, they want shovels in the ground building homes for the 9,872 mums, dads and children that are languishing today in emergency accommodation,” concluded O’Brien.
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the large number of people who turned out for his public meeting last night on the proposed Bus Connects changes to Malahide services is proof that there is considerable concern in the local community.
Deputy O’Brien was commenting after over 400 local residents packed into the Seabury Parish Centre to raise their concerns about the proposals to buses servicing Seabury and wider Malahide area. The meeting was co-hosted with local Malahide Councillor, Eoghan O’Brien.
“It’s clear from the large number of people who attended the meeting that many local residents have legitimate concerns about how the proposals will affect their local bus services.
“The fact that over 400 attended on a warm evening in the middle of summer tells its own story. The community values its current bus services, and there is a concern that the proposed changes will lead to a reduction in both frequency and connectivity.
“This is the first in a series of public information meetings that I, and local Fianna Fáil councillors, will be hosting throughout Dublin Fingal.
“We need to ensure that there is full public consultation on the proposals, and that local people have the opportunity to raise their concerns about their bus services.
“I am aware that Bus Connects has proposed a number of public consultation meetings for the month of August. I think this is very short-sighted. WE need the maximum number of residents taking part in the process to ensure that as many opinions are taken into account.
“Based on the feedback from last night’s public meeting, and in addition to feedback from future meetings, I, and the local Fianna Fáil organisation, will be compiling all the responses and making a detailed submission. It will be available on my website once it has been submitted,” concluded O’Brien.
- Staff shortages and high turnover undermining oversight of housing delivery -
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing Darragh O’Brien TD has called for a review of the Housing Delivery Office.
The office was established under Re-Building Ireland in August 2016 to support the accelerated delivery of housing across the social and private sectors.
Working with the broader Housing and Planning Divisions in the Department of Housing, other key agencies, local authorities and the construction sector, the aim of the office was to support the roll-out of complex projects, including identifying and resolving barriers to delivery.
However, PQ replies have revealed staff shortages and high turnover within the unit undermining its capacity to carry out its role.
Deputy O’Brien said, “There are currently only three people working in the Housing Delivery Office. This is extraordinary considering the huge remit the office currently has. What’s even more worrying is the fact that the office has actually lost staff since it was first established two years ago, down from four posts. Many of the original members of staff have left the office since its establishment.
“The loss of staff and turnover is obviously having an impact on its ability to carry out its work. This means that a critical part of the Re-Building Ireland plan is simply not working. Instead of expanding and building up its experience and expertise it is instead losing staff. This means its ability to learn lessons from previous plans and address blockages is being lost. Given that six local authorities failed to build a single social home last year its clear the office has major issues to address.
“The office should be reviewed as a matter of urgency and the reasons for such loss of staff need to be addressed. We need oversight of delivery and co-ordination between the various stakeholders to ensure housing targets are met.
“Given the abysmal levels of social housing construction this must be a priority. Two years on from Re-Building Ireland we have seen massaged housing figures and a continued social housing crisis. We cannot afford to allow blockages and institutional problems to delay construction in the middle of a housing crisis,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.
- 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: email@example.com. 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.”