Fianna Fáil’s Dublin spokesperson and Dublin Fingal candidate Senator Darragh O’Brien is calling for the establishment of a Fingal Villages Forum to protect and enhance the unique aspect of rural villages in the area. The Forum should be made up of residents and other relevant stakeholders, he said.
“It is crucially important that our rural villages and communities are supported so they do not fall into decline and can continue to play a vibrant role in North Dublin. There is no point in bandying about phrases such as Social Inclusion, High Quality Design, Settlement Strategy, Necessary Infrastructure and Developing a Sense of Place, Identity and Character, if we don’t apply them to all our rural villages and communities, and then ensure that those principles are actually enshrined in the heart of those communities.”
Senator O’Brien went on to call for an integrated rural transport system: “Transport links from our rural villages of Ballyboughal, St Margaret’s, Rivermeade, Garristown, Naul, Oldtown, Kilsallaghan, Balscadden, Balrothery and Rolestown need to be vastly improved.
“There has to be an integrated approach between land use and transport services, such as roads, paths, cycle ways and public transport, rather than just talk about it.
I am totally committed to expanding our rural transport network to ensure better and much needed connectivity from these areas to our major towns, to the airport and on to Dublin city-centre.
“I believe that Fingal county council’s rural housing policy is too restrictive and makes it far too difficult for young people from our rural communities to set up home and raise a family in the areas from which they come. Housing policy must reflect people’s commitment to live in Fingal, and they must be supported in that. I cannot for the life of me understand where this notion that local people must be obstructed from living locally came from. It is wrong.
“Of course local housing must be on an agreed, appropriate scale and character to respect, enhance and integrate with that of the community, but the spirit of the planning process should be one of accommodating and working positively with local applicants, instead of hindering and refusing them. A forum could investigate and copperfasten a proper rural villages policy,” concluded Senator O’Brien.