- DART Underground must be prioritised -
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal Darragh O’Brien says the Government must start investing in capital rail projects before the current system buckles under the pressure. Deputy O’Brien was speaking following a meeting which he arranged with senior management in Irish Rail about the northern commuter line, which serves Balbriggan, Skerries, Lusk/Rush, Donabate; and Malahide and Portmarnock.
Irish Rail confirmed that while small service improvements can be expected later in the year, it says significant investment is needed to increase capacity and provide more frequent and reliable services.
Deputy O’Brien commented, “Fine Gael in Government has allowed transport infrastructure to fall off the agenda completely. The result has seen commuters facing packed carriages, delayed services, increased congestion in stations and a frustrating journey to and from town. Irish Rail is doing its best to address these issues but the fact of the matter is that there needs to be a complete infrastructure overhaul.
“Commuters in towns like Donabate, Rush, Lusk and Balbriggan have reported a serious deterioration in services in the mornings and evenings, and unfortunately there will not be any significant improvements until the Government gets its act together and wakes up to the seriousness of the situation.
“I want more than token gestures and pie in the sky promises. DART Underground and the DART extension to Balbriggan are essential projects that need to be undertaken as a matter of urgency. Our rail network in the capital and the commuter counties is already creaking under the strain.
“Fianna Fáil is fully committed to these projects. We need to see the same determination from Government on this issue. I along with my colleagues in Fingal County Council will continue to pursue these matters with the Transport Minister in the Dáil so that commuter services in north Dublin can be transformed for the benefit of everyone living in this area”.
-Co- operation, peace & prosperity must remain at the heart of the European Union -
Fianna Fáil Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that today's 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is an important date in the history of the European Union and serves as a reminder that it stands for unity, peace and prosperity.
“The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is an important milestone and my Party and I remain steadfast in our commitment to the European project and the principles upon which it was founded,” he commented.
“The European Union has been a catalyst for peace and prosperity. It has enabled countries which were once rival nations to forge common bonds and build relationships based on ideals of unity and interdependence.
“Our membership of the EU has transformed Ireland into an outward looking, dynamic society with an open and diverse economy. The benefits of the EU can be seen in our improved labour laws and working conditions; in our transport infrastructure; in the access that our businesses enjoy to a market of over 500 million people; in the freedom in which we can travel, work and study in other member states; and in the peace process in Northern Ireland in which the EU played a significant financial and diplomatic role.
“Undoubtedly, the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome comes at a difficult time for the European Project. Brexit, the ongoing threat of terrorism and extremism, and a widening gulf between the EU and its citizens cannot be overlooked.
“It is clear that the EU is in need of reform and a period of reflection is required to determine how the EU can be modified and improved to best serve its citizens.
“Nevertheless, we must remember that the Treaty of Rome was the beginning of what is now the European Union. Its significance in sowing the seed for a peaceful and prosperous Europe is something that we should celebrate and I and Fianna Fáil Party strongly believe that although imperfect, the European Union has been a transformative force for socio-economic good."
My colleague Cllr Brian Dennehy and I have received a notice from Fingal County Council in relation to an application the council has received from Eir for permission to temporarily close a road in the Oldtown/Ballyboughal area for the purpose of carrying out upgrade works to the Eir Network.
It is proposed that the road will be closed from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday 17th April until Friday 21st April 2017.
The road in question is:
L1100 Roscall Road.
Alternative routes available for vehicular traffic are as follows:
• Motorists travelling east along the L1070 wishing to travel south along the L1100 Roscall Road should continue along the L1070 to the R132 taking a right turn onto the R132 and a right turn onto the R129.
• Motorists travelling west along the L1070 wishing to travel south along the L1100 Roscall Road should continue along the L1070 to the R108 taking a left turn onto the R108 and a left turn onto the R129.
• Motorists travelling east along the R129 wishing to travel north along the L1100 Roscall Road should continue along the R129 to the R132 taking a left turn onto the R132 and a left turn onto the L1070.
• Motorists travelling west along the R129 wishing to travel north along the L1100 Roscall Road should continue along the R129 to the R108 taking a right turn onto the R108 and a right turn onto the L1070.
Local access for residents and businesses will be maintained at all times.
Any person may lodge an objection in writing with the Senior Executive Officer, Operations Unit, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 to arrive no later than
4.00pm on Friday 31st March 2017.
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the already over-subscribed secondary schools in Dublin Fingal look likely to experience further pressure in the forthcoming school term.
In information received by the Deputy through a tabled Parliamentary Question, the Minister for Education has confirmed that both proposed developments promised by Government in Malahide/Portmarnock and Swords are yet to even begin works.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, “The provision of a new secondary school for the Malahide/Portmarnock and Swords areas of County Dublin were announced in November 2015. Over the past 18 months, I have continually raised the urgent necessity for the provision of these secondary school places in the North County.
“The idea that either of these schools will open as scheduled in September 2017, has now become farcical given the details the Minister has provided to me. In fact, while the lack of sufficient capacity in our schools continues to grow, no progress has been made in identifying or acquiring sites to go ahead with construction.
“It appears that the Minister and his Department are more concerned with finding “suitable interim accommodation” for pupils, rather than focusing on moving forward to complete the permanent construction.
“Fingal is the fastest-growing area in the country and the number of people living in the area has increased by 8pc in the past five years. This rise in population has exacerbated the chronic shortage of school places in the North County.
“It’s important to recognise too that pupil enrollments at both primary and secondary levels are expected to increase, particularly in light of the high birth rates in recent years. This will place significant pressure on our education system and on the current teacher supply unless decisive action is taken by Government.
“Parents are becoming increasingly anxious about whether there will be a place for their children come September. This process has been ongoing for some time, and it’s high time the Minister takes the initiative to put parent’s minds at ease," concluded Deputy O'Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O'Brien TD has offered his sympathies to the British Ambassador following this afternoon’s attack in the vicinity of Westminster, London.
Commenting following the attack which has left at least four people dead, including two police officers and a number of others injured, Deputy O'Brien commented, “I condemn this appalling attack in the strongest possible terms. These acts of violence are intended as an attack on democratic values and must be resisted and rejected on that basis.
“Exactly 12 months to the day since 35 people were killed in the Brussels airport attacks, today’s events are an terrible reminder of how very real the challenge is to protect citizens while respecting human rights and protecting basic freedoms.
“I have passed on the sympathies of my party directly to the British Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Robin Barnett."