Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Darragh O’Brien has expressed his condolences following the death of the former Israeli Prime Minister, President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres.
Speaking on the passing of Mr Peres, Deputy O’Brien said, “On behalf of my party colleagues, I wish to express our condolences to the family and friends of Shimon Peres and to the people of Israel.
“As a leadership figure since before the establishment of the state of Israel, he was a prominent presence in the politics and life of the country for seven decades.
Respected by Israelis as one of the country's founding generation, he was a figure who came to believe in and strongly advocate the cause of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. He was one of the key architects of the Oslo peace accords for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize. He continued to advocate for a two state solution in the region right up until his withdrawal from public life.
“While the situation in the Middle East remains precarious, Mr Peres did much to advance peace in the region and has left a lasting legacy and an undeniable mark on global history.”
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has congratulated the Tidy Towns Committee in Skerries and all involved in winning overall national Tidy Town in this year’s competition.
Skerries in North County Dublin has been named the 2016 Tidiest Town after more than 850 towns and villages across Ireland entered the contest.
Speaking following this morning’s announcement Deputy O’Brien said, “Skerries is a magnificient town, and today’s win is an enormous source of pride for all in Dublin Fingal.
“The volunteers that secured the top honours are a credit to our entire community. Their tireless and yearlong commitment and enthusiasm for the betterment of our locality, is encouraging. It is a further reminder of the importance of community spirit.
“In efforts towards preparation for the competition, strong links have been formed between various civic and voluntary groups in the Skerries area since the establishment of the Tidy Towns committee.” added O’Brien.
“I must also praise our local business owners; there are stacks of great restaurants and lots of vibrant shops on our historical streets which are helped to be maintained by the good work of Fingal County Council.
“The continued and collective contribution of so many secured this national accolade and recognition.”
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has said that the Minister for Transport is potentially undermining the conditions granted by An Bord Pleanála to protect local residents in relation to the North runway at Dublin Airport.
The Minister stated earlier this week that any power to regulate night-time operations at the airport will now be given to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). He further added that a Cabinet review will now be undertaken to establish the demand, if any, to develop a third terminal at Dublin Airport.
Speaking following the news, Deputy O’Brien said, “I struggle to comprehend the rationale behind the Minister’s decision to grant regulative power to the IAA. An Bord Pleanála is the State’s independent, statutory, quasi-judicial body which was established to decide on appeals from planning decisions nationwide. Surely removing this authority is a challenge to the democratic process.
“Any reduction of the current restrictions on night-time use of the airport could dramatically affect those in the immediate locality. I have stated numerous times that I do not support the DAA in their decision to appeal the imposed stipulations of An Bord Pleanala outlined in 2007. I have previously called on the DAA to reconsider their application to achieve unrestricted use of the North runway.
“Minister Ross' idea of an appropriate response to the status quo is to pervert the due planning process and without engaging meaningfully with residents in St. Margarets, Malahide and neighbouring areas.
“The development of a second at Dublin Airport will allow it 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 expansion however; the very genuine and serious concerns of residents must be taken into account and fully protected."
Portmarnock Bridge will be open to traffic this Thursday. See below update which I have just received from Fingal County Council.
"Works have progressed at a satisfactory rate and the current position is that the Bridge will be open to traffic on Thursday morning.
There is a possibility that this may be brought forward, if so I will issue a further update.
Discussions are taking place with Dublin Bus to ensure original routes will be in place.
A stop/go system will be necessary to allow outstanding works to be completed.
It is not yet clear for how long this will be required.
Stephen Peppard / Fingal County Council."
Fianna Fail TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has said the staff and management at the Oberstown youth detention facility must be at the core of the forthcoming review process.
In light of concerns and recent controversy a review of operations was ordered this week by the Board at the facility and will be carried out by two external experts.
Speaking on the decision, Deputy O’Brien said, “This review provides a critical opportunity to observe the standard of services that are being provided at the national facility. There have been a number of very violent incidents in the last year that have left both staff and children traumatised.
“The committed staff that are working in a challenging environment at Oberstown must be engaged with meaningfully to determine how best to make improvements. Their concerns regarding health and safety must be heard, strongly considered and an appropriate solution reached.
“HIQA’s report of the facility back in June proved a damning read and the significant deficits in staffing, psychiatric services and safety must now be adequately addressed,” added the Fianna Fail TD.
“I expect that this review will answer the very serious and important questions, which have been raised by staff over recent weeks. In the interest of all involved, the primary focus of this review must remain on moving forward to establish better quality practices.
Please see below the most recent update that I and Cllr. Eoghan O'Brien have received from Fingal County Council regarding the Portmarnock bridge closure on the R106.
Works continued over the weekend. The new Bridge Deck was put in place (see photo) and Bord Gais have been on site since yesterday.
The Shuttle Bus service will continue this week, it was also left in place yesterday.
Traffic continues to be managed in accordance with the agreed Plan.
It is expected that the Bridge will reopen to traffic before the weekend and all efforts are being made to bring this timeline forward.
There will be a further update tomorrow.
Fingal County Council