Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien TD has criticised the Housing Minister for failing to take responsibility for the boil water notice which has been imposed in the greater Dublin area
Today Irish Water told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning & Local Government that work to upgrade the Leixlip water plant, which is the cause of a large-scale boil water notice will not be completed until next year.
Speaking after today’s meeting, Deputy O’Brien said, “Minister Murphy failed to step up to address the situation where hundreds of thousands of people were forced to boil their water for routine household duties, and here we are now, back at square one. The Minister should have intervened and taken action, but he didn’t and now over 600,000 people are inconvenienced again.
“It’s less than a fortnight since the last boil water notice was lifted. This is a ridiculous situation for a first world country to find itself in and there are serious questions for Minister Murphy to answer. There has been a real breakdown in confidence with households now dependent on bottled water to cook with and drink.
“It’s clear that lessons have not been learned from previous incidents and that warnings from the EPA as far back as March were not heeded. Minister Murphy needs to take control of this very serious issue – or people’s health will be put at risk.
“It’s highly inexcusable that this has happened again, and urgent action must be taken to and prevent similar incidents in the future”, concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has criticized Irish Water for their failure to implement warnings from a March 2019 EPA report which led to last week’s Boil water notice in the Dublin area.
Some 615,000 households were affected by the notice due to issues with the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant. The comments come after a detailed EPA review of last week’s incident.
Deputy O’Brien said: “The review clearly points to serious failings by Irish Water to heed warnings from the EPA as far back as March. The result has been massive disruption to hundreds of thousands of households and businesses. The report found that Irish Water and Fingal County Council had failed to implement the main recommendations of the EPA’s previous audit of Leixlip Water Treatment Plant in March 2019.
“In particular there was a failure to install automatic shutdown when critical plant alarms are not responded to, as previously recommended, which was a contributory factor to the incident. I am pleased to see that the automatic shutdown system has now been put in place, as was recommended last March. It is just a pity that it took the events of last week to make this happen.”
“Next week officials from Irish Water are due before an Oireachtas committee. I will use this opportunity to grill them over why these recommendations were not acted upon in a timely manner. Furthermore, what steps have Irish Water taken to ensure the problems will not emerge again and that the EPA report will be fully implemented, particularly the recommendation to improve and enhance the Leixlip plant by including Ultraviolet technologies in the water treatment process. Minister Murphy needs to take responsibility and ensure Irish Water for fills its duties and have the resources to do so. ” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has criticised the government following news that the number of homeless children in the State has reached the highest ever level.
The number of homeless people in the State according to latest official figures show 10,397 people are currently living in emergency accommodation.
The figures show an increase of 59 people last month compared to statistics from August, an average increase of around two people every day.
Some 3,873 children are now living without a home in Ireland, according to the Department of Housing homeless statistics for September.
Deputy O’Brien said: "This government continue to fail in one of the most basic needs for our people, a safe and secure home. Rebuilding Ireland is failing our children and change is now needed.
“This is the highest ever number of children in emergency accommodation to date and have passed a previous peak of 3,867 children in July 2018. The number of adults recorded as homeless also increased slightly up to 6,524 in September.
“There were 4,370 adults and 2,872 children homeless in Dublin and there are now 148 people living in emergency accommodation who are 65 years of age or older, the figures show,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
The Planning & Development (First Time Buyers) Bill 2019 will allow local authorities to earmark a certain percentage of zoned land (up to 30% at the discretion of the local authority) for first time buyers.
Deputy O’Brien said: “We are in the middle of a home ownership crisis in Ireland. Ireland has already fallen from a world leader to behind the EU average ownership rate of 69% under FG. Now Direct competition from massive institutional investors will mean many first-time buyers don’t have a chance of owning a home in certain parts of Ireland.
“I have come across several instances where estates and developments have been bought on whole by institutional investors leaving first time buyers and movers behind. Without clear guidelines and safeguards in place this will create high rent only parts of Dublin and other cities”.
The bill comes after spending from institutional investors soared in 2018 including snapping up developments where first-time buyers had already put down deposits.
“Our bill will level the playing field for first time buyers. It will operate on a similar basis to current Part V provisions which ensure that 10% of the units are set aside for social housing. For example, a development of 10 units must have to 3 units available for first time buyers to purchase.
“Each local authority must also review their housing strategy to set out its requirements for rental units over the lifetime of its housing plan. This will ensure a full picture of the housing market is considered when the council sets out its future.”
“We should encourage appropriate investment but not anywhere and not at any price. FF bill will allow for exemptions from the 30% First Time Buyers rule for Build to Rent developments once they are part of the Local Authority Housing strategy. This will allow developments such as Clancy Quay to proceed if they are in line with the Councils housing strategy. However, it will prevent developments that are not earmarked as just Build to Rent from being bought up by institutional investors when they go to the market.” Deputy O’Brien concluded.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing and local TD, Darragh O’Brien has welcomed changes announced today to the revised Bus Connects routes in Dublin.
There has been much debate and discussion about the recent proposals to change and augment the Dublin Bus network, especially in the North County.
Deputy O’Brien said: “I want to welcome the significant changes made to the BusConnects routes in Dublin Fingal. These changes address most of the concerns that I and my colleagues along with residents all across the North County raised during the consultation process.
“We now have direct buses back from Donabate and Portrane, Skerries, Rush, Lusk, Kinsealy, Portmarnock and the Seabury area of Malahide, there will also be a direct bus service for the Rolestown area and increased services to Swords
“I am delighted to see the changes to the Bus Connects routes in Dublin today. Over 50,000 submissions were submitted by the public on this very important issue and it is one which my party has worked very hard on with the people of North County Dublin to get agreement on.
“Last summer we have been providing information and guidance to residents who wanted to make formal submissions to the Bus Connects consultation. Feedback from all our public meetings was incorporated into our own submission. There was a large volume of responses on this issue, so I am pleased today to see important changes to the routes.
“It’s clear from the large number of people who attended our meetings that many local residents had legitimate concerns about how the proposals would affect their local bus services, I hope that today’s announcement will help to ease those fears,”
“I would like to thank Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, Cllr Adrian Henchy, Cllr Brian Dennehy, Cllr Brigid Manton and Cllr Darragh Butler for all their hard work on this with me and to thank everyone who attended the public meetings that I and my colleagues hosted,”
“The revised plan is now out for public consultation and I would encourage everyone to engage. I will be reviewing proposal in detail and intend to raise any remaining issues with BusConnects. People can view the new plan on the BusConnects website. I've included the link below. It's user friendly and very informative. Be assured I and my colleagues will continue to push for improvements in our bus services and for real investment in public transport infrastructure in Dublin," concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Note to Editor: Please see below the link for the Future Bus Route Mapper.