Taoiseach’s spin on doubling Ireland’s diplomatic presence finally exposed – FF - Leo once again prioritises spin over substance -
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the Taoiseach’s announcement to double Ireland’s global footprint is another example of this Government publicising plans that lack substance or roadmap for delivery.
O’Brien made his comments following Foreign Affairs and Trade questions in the Dáil earlier this week.
He said, “While visiting Canada in August the Taoiseach announced plans to double Ireland’s global footprint by the year 2025.
“Based on the responses that I have received both in the Dáil yesterday and through tabled Parliamentary Questions, I can only infer that the Taoiseach made this announcement prior to any consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and without undertaking any analysis of what it would involve or indeed cost.
“In fact, during questions in the Dáil this week I was informed that doubling our global footprint would not necessarily mean doubling our presence overseas in any literal sense.
“This response not only seems outright odd but also highlights a worrying disconnect between the Taoiseach and the Department regarding this issue.
“In truth, there is no plan in place, no targets set and no newly identified markets or regions in which to expand or increase our global footprint.
“Announcing a strategy without having a concrete and detailed plan in place is disingenuous and once again demonstrates Taoiseach Varadkar’s well established fondness for PR.
“Today marks the Taoiseach’s first 100 days in office and it’s hard to envisage what real tangible action has been achieved on this and other important announcements.
“Significantly increasing our diplomatic presence overseas will certainly not be achieved with sound-bites or slogans; we need a roadmap as to how the Taoiseach’s strategy is to be achieved.
Deputy O’Brien concluded, “The Taoiseach would be better advised to involve himself in the substance of this proposal, in particular how much it will cost, rather than repeatedly re-hashing non-plans in an effort to make it appear like substantive action is being taken."
Fingal County Council is to submit application to An Bord Pleanala
to move forward with cycleway
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has welcomed news that an application is to be made to An Bord Pleanála later this month to move forward with the long-awaited Newbridge Demesne walkway/cycleway to Malahide, on the inner estuary otherwise known as the Broadmeadows Way.
O’Brien commented, “"This will be a coastal greenway that is unlike anything previously seen in Ireland and has been a priority for Cllr Eoghan O'Brien and I for the past 10 years. It has the potential to be a magnificent amenity for locals and tourists alike.
“Cllr Eoghan O’Brien in Malahide and Cllr Adrian Henchy in Donabate have both been integral to the campaign to date and we very much look forward to the next stages and eventual completion of this project.
"Eoghan has further advised me that the funding has been successfully secured for the Baldoyle to Portmarnock section of this project and that work on this will commence shortly.
"While this is significant progress the Government must now commit to providing the funding to complete the whole project.
"I will continue to pursue Government to grant the funding required to deliver this project, and the next phase of the cycleway on through Rush, Skerries and on to Balbriggan," concluded Deputy O'Brien.
I have received a notice from Fingal County Council in relation to the traffic disruption at Forest Road , Swords, from Tuesday 19th September to Friday 22nd September 2017 arising from emergency works to repair burst water main.
As a result of a trunk water main burst on Forest Road, Swords between Oulart and Hawthorn Park, emergency works are now planned to repair the main. The works are scheduled to commence at 09:30am on Tuesday 19th September 2017 and are expected to take 4 days to complete – to be re-opened by 4pm, Friday, 22nd September 2017.
Forest Road will be closed to vehicular traffic during this time between Boroimhe and River Valley Road. There will be local access to The Nurseries, Boru Court and Oulart from the Forest Road at Boroimhe and local access to Hawthorn Park from the Forest Road at River Valley Road.
Pedestrian access past the works on Forest Road will be maintained at all times but it may be necessary to close the laneway between River Valley Grove and Forest Road.
A Traffic Management-Plan is provided in the link below indicating traffic diversion routes. The repair works will be undertaken by Fingal County Council on behalf of Irish Water and further information may be obtained by contacting Irish Water through one of the channels below.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O'Brien TD has welcomed the verdict reached in this afternoon’s mass trial in Cairo which has acquitted Dublin man, Ibrahim Halawa of all charges.
21 year old Ibrahim was arrested in Cairo during anti-government protests in 2013 and had entered a fifth year of detention in Egyptian jail awaiting trial.
Commenting on the news, Deputy O’Brien said, “This afternoon’s news from Cairo has been long awaited and I have no doubt that this is a hugely emotional time for Ibrahim and the Halawa family, who tirelessly campaigned for his release.
“While today’s news is so widely welcomed it is important to remember that Ibrahim has spent over four years of young life detained in Egyptian jail.
“While on a diplomatic trip to Cairo earlier this year, I had the opportunity to speak with Ibrahim in person and it was clear that those years of detention awaiting trial have taken a toll on his wellbeing.
"This entire ordeal has been deeply traumatising, not only for Ibrahim but also for his family and loved ones. The suffering endured by Ibrahim can now finally be brought to an end.
“I am relieved that he will now be free from detention to focus on regaining his full health. I look forward to Ibrahim’s immediate release and return to his family and friends in Ireland,” concluded the Deputy.
New figures show there are no community Gardaí
in Malahide and just 2 in Balbriggan
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the decrease in number of community Gardaí across Fingal is part of a growing threat to the safety and protection of the local community.
In information received by the Deputy through Parliamentary Question, the number of full time community Gardaí in Fingal has been reduced to 12 for a population of almost 300,000.
Commenting on the figures Deputy O’Brien said, “Not only is Malahide left without a Garda Station after 9pm each night, I have now learned through Parliamentary Question that there is not a single community Garda assigned to the station which serves Malahide, Portmamnock and Kinseally.
"In 2014 there were six community Gardaí in Malahide, there has been a year-on-year decrease since which has left us with zero in the area.
“The presence of Community Gardaí is hugely important and they play a significant role in towns and villages across the county. They build up relationships with local people and are involved in crime prevention measures like Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert.
He added, “Since 2011 there has been an 8% increase in the size of the local population, yet the Department of Justice continues to ignore the need to increase Garda resources in the area
"Over the past 5 years Garda numbers have been cut in the Dublin Fingal area by over 20%. Further to this is the closure of Rush and the downgrading of Malahide.
“Despite the fact that Swords has transformed into the busiest district in the Capital, the area has lost 12 full-time Gardaí while there has been a marked decrease in the number of community Gardaí also.
“Furthermore, the entire Balbriggan area, which has a population of roughly 50,000, is served by just two community Gardaí. Quite shockingly there are none whatsoever operating in Lusk.
"Once the Dáil resumes next Wednesday, I will be seeking assurances from Minister that these dramatic and unacceptable reductions in Community Gardaí will be addressed.
"Fingal must be better protected by Garda resources to adequately target crime prevention and rebuild public confidence," concluded Deputy O'Brien.