- Special meeting scheduled for this Wednesday -
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien says the Government is failing to crack down on crime in Fingal, and needs to come up with new measures to protect communities in the North County.
The party brought forward a motion in the Dáil this month calling for additional Garda numbers across Dublin city and county. Fianna Fáil used its Private Members time in the Dáil to highlight the decrease in Garda resources in the Capital.
Deputy O’Brien explained, “It’s no coincidence that there has been a spike in crime in parts of Fingal which have seen their local Garda station either closed, operating on a part-time basis or without a Garda presence altogether.
“There has been a steady decline in the number of Gardaí stationed in Fingal and across Dublin which must be reversed. Donabate and Portane; a population of over 11,000 remains without any Garda presence.
“The presence of local Gardaí cannot be underestimated, not only does it provide a sense of security in communities, it also acts as a deterrent to criminals.
“However, this Government has ignored the seriousness of the issue and has been stalling on important initiatives such as the re-opening of Rush Garda Station.
“Fianna Fáil brought this issue to the floor of the Dáil this month by putting down a special motion. We are calling for additional resources for Gardaí and are also seeking additional measures to crackdown on repeat offenders.
“We want to see electronic monitoring a condition of bail for anyone convicted of a serious offence in the previous 10 years. These measures, coupled with additional CCTV, will help prevent criminals from targeting vulnerable people.
“I will be addressing these issues along with our party Spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan and local Councillor Eoghan O’Brien at a public meeting that I am hosting this Wednesday evening.
“The meeting is being held in St Sylvester’s Parish Centre, Malahide at 7:30pm.
“People should not have to live in fear in their own homes. We need to see the Government get tough on criminals and protect our communities”, concluded Deputy O’Brien.
- The development of East Coast Greenway depends on Government fund allocation -
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has called on the Government to allocate a proportion of the Greenway Strategy fund outlined in the National Development Plan, to move forward with the long-awaited Newbridge Demesne walkway/cycleway to Malahide, on the inner estuary otherwise known as the Broadmeadows Way.
The Deputy was speaking this week following the Government’s announcement of its National Planning Framework, he said, “The east coastal greenway has the potential to be a magnificent amenity for locals and tourists alike.
This project which will be unlike anything previously seen in Ireland has been a priority for Cllr Eoghan O'Brien, Cllr Adrian Henchy and I for the past 10 years.
“The funding has been previously secured for the Baldoyle to Portmarnock section of this project however; I am calling now on the Government to commit to provide some of €56m in funding ring fenced under its Greenway Strategy to complete the whole project.
“Activity breaks are growing in popularity while more and more people, families in particular, are choosing to holiday at home.
O’Brien concluded, “Our picturesque county is on the doorstep of a major international airport and this provides a unique opportunity for Fingal to benefit from a spike in tourist attraction should this Greenway be prioritised by Government.”
Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has said that the Government’s claims included in the National Planning Framework, that they plan to extend existing DART lines and introduce DART services to Donabate, Rush/Lusk, Skerries and Balbriggan, are encouraging noises but they are meaningless without addressing the issue of capacity on this train line.
Commenting this week, O’Brien said, “The Northside transport hub in Connolly is already struggling while it is operating at full capacity. We need to be able to get more trains into the city per hour and this can only be done if the existing hub in Connolly station is expanded.
“The Government’s plans for Fingal DART services fail to address the crux of the problem – capacity at Connolly.
“I have been in regular contact with senior representatives in Iarnrod Eireann and it’s my belief that extending DART services without increasing capacity to take more trains into the city does not result in an overall improvement to service.
“The Government’s decision to omit DART underground from the National Planning Framework is unbelievably short-sighted. The DART Interconnector must be a crucial element of any plan to improve rail infrastructure in the Capital and particularly in the North County.
“As a daily rail commuter into the city myself, it is obvious to every commuter that the capacity issues in Connolly need to be addressed.
“If the Government actually take action on the plans as they stand, the people of Fingal can only expect to find it increasingly difficult to travel into the city by train in any reasonable time frame.”
He concluded, “Poor planning and ill throughout Government announcements will do little or nothing to form a sustainable public transport service in North County Dublin.”
Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the net result of Friday’s re-announcement of the project formerly known as Metro North, will be additional delays as it will not now be progressed until 2027 at the earliest.
“The long overdue project has been delayed by seven years and counting, with no definite timeline for development in sight.
“There is nothing in today’s announcement that brings its construction any closer. In fact, I suspect due to the addition of a south side section, it is likely to be even further delayed.
“Those living in North Dublin have been left waiting far too long for a project that has continually been mothballed by successive Fine Gael-led governments.
“As I have consistently noted, this transport link is absolutely essential to the socio-economic development of North Dublin. Traffic chaos ensues across our communities and today’s rehashed announcement if anything, brings us backwards.
"During the last Fianna Fáil government, full planning permission was secured, land was acquired and a Rail Procurement Order was obtained. Therefore, there is nothing but a sheer lack of political willingness holding back this project from getting started right away.
“It is frustrating and deeply regrettable that more than half a decade has been wasted by Fine Gael’s inaction. North Dublin is being repeatedly ignored.
“Giving the project a new name will do nothing to restore the public’s faith in it ever being delivered,” concluded O’Brien.
- Government re-announce 7 year old plan launched by Fianna Fáil -
Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the people of North County Dublin have been left waiting too long for a project that has been in the pipeline year after year.
It has been reported today that once again, changes are expected to be made to the long promised, long overdue transport project; Metro North.
Commenting on today’s reports, “The transport link to the airport and on to Swords is absolutely essential particularly as traffic gridlock continues to heighten across the city and surrounding suburbs.
“The Government bought themselves five years to dawdle by suggesting that they were reviewing the project.
"Subsequently, Paschal Donohue TD announced ‘Metro-Lite’ which was essentially a scaled back, less serviceable design of the original plans adopted by Fianna Faíl many years ago.
He added, “When we made moves on developing Metro North while in Government, Fianna Fáil secured full planning permission, acquired land and obtained a Rail Procurement Order.
“On that basis, Minister Ross should not encounter any delays in getting the project up and running immediately. There is no reason that this project cannot get started right away.
"Dublin Fingal has the youngest population in Ireland. A huge cohort of the 300,000 people living in our area rely daily on public transport and have seen no improvements whatsoever in the system over the past two Fine Gael led Governments. If anything we have gone backwards.
“It has taken Government seven years to finally see sense and revert back to Fianna Fáil’s original project plan.
“It is frustrating and deeply regrettable that seven years have been wasted by inaction and a lack of political will from this Government. Once again, North Dublin has been ignored.
“Much work will be needed to restore the public’s faith in this transport system ever being delivered. Repeated promises are no longer enough,” he concluded.
The Deputy was speaking yesterday during a special Dáil debate on the matter secured by Fianna Fáil’s team of Dublin TDs.
He said, “In the past 6 years there has been almost a 10% increase in the size of our local population, yet the Government have presided over significant decreases to essential resources in the area.
“In particular, I have been consistently campaigning for increases in Garda presence for the past 5 years since the number of Gardaí in our area have been cut by over 20%.
“Swords has transformed in recent years into one of the busiest districts in the Capital and the area has lost over 10 full-time Gardaí, In that regard I appreciate that the Minister has acknowledged this pressure and allocated 5 community Gardaí to the area.
“The further 5 which will be stationed in Balbriggan will go some way towards restoring a Garda presence to police and protect the town.
"I must acknowledge however, that information received by Fianna Fáil strongly indicates that there has been a steady decline in the number of Gardaí stationed in Fingal and across Dublin which must be reversed. Donabate and Portane; a population of over 11,000 remains without any Garda presence.
"Fine Gael has presided over a continuous erosion of the capacity of Gardaí in Dublin. All the while, the Minister's own constituency has experienced an increase - It is doubtful that this is some strange coincidence.
"The people of Fingal dealt with the full closure of Rush Garda Station, which remains closed despite any recent showboating to the contrary. The downgrading of Malahide and cuts across the board to Garda numbers have adversely impacted our area.
"Protecting the people of Dublin Fingal may not be a matter of priority to those in Government but I will continue to raise the importance of restoring a full Garda presence in the county.
Communities across Dublin Fingal will suffer if this Government presides over any further hit to Garda resources and must be better protected by Gardaí adequately targeting crime prevention and rebuilding public confidence," concluded Deputy O'Brien.