Minister O’Brien welcomes contract signing for Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together National School Site
Local Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the confirmation from the Department of Education that contracts have been signed for the acquisition of a four acre greenfield site at Broomfield, Malahide for a new permanent school for Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together National School.
Minister O’Brien paid tribute to Principal Emer Hoy and the Board of Management for their hard work in reaching this important milestone and said he would continue to work with them to ensure the project was progressed as quickly as possible.
Commenting he said, “This confirmation follows an extensive site identification and assessment exercise and is great news for the teachers, students and their parents and indeed all local groups who have campaigned for a new school for a long time.
Fingal has the youngest population in Ireland and is also the fastest growing local authority area in Ireland. We must ensure that our schools are fit for purpose for all our students.
“I look forward to seeing further details of the proposal but this is certainly a very significant step forward,” he concluded.
Mr Darragh O’Brien T.D., Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has today (25 June) made an order to provide a postal vote to electors who, because of a public health reason relating to Covid-19, cannot vote in person at the bye-election in Dublin Bay South on 8 July 2021. The making of the order means that an eligible person may apply to Dublin City Council to be entered on the supplement to the postal voters list on or before Friday 2 July 2021.
The order made by the Minister will assist electors who may be required to self-isolate or restrict their movements on foot of public health advice or may be required, by law, to quarantine, by allowing such electors to apply for inclusion in the supplement to the postal voters list for the bye-election.
Eligible persons should contact Dublin City Council for an application form or download it from www.voter.ie or www.dublincity.ie. Completed forms must be received by Dublin City Council on or before Friday 2 July 2021. The form may be posted to Franchise Section, Dublin City Council, Block 4, Floor 4, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin DO8 RF3F or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister O’Brien also welcomes the arrangements being put in place by the returning officer to ensure that the bye-election will be held in accordance with Covid-19 public health advice. The key measures that will be in place are: sanitisers will be available at all polling stations; voters will be asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing when they are in the polling station; the polling station will be sanitised at regular intervals; and a perspex screen will be set up at each presiding officer’s desk. Voters will also be asked to bring their own pen or pencil to mark the ballot paper, but pencils will also be available at the polling station if required by a voter. Further details are available at www.dublincityreturningofficer.com. In addition, Minister O’Brien has extended polling hours to the maximum available to further assist Covid-19 arrangements in polling stations. Polling stations will therefore be open from 7a.m. to 10.30p.m on polling day.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has written to Dublin City Council to confirm an allocation of €5m for the refurbishment and re-letting of 100 vacant or soon to be vacant homes this year in 2021.
This is in addition to the 370 vacant units planned for restoration in Dublin City this year under the Department’s void programme which was announced in May.
Minister O’Brien commended Dublin City Council for their strong engagement with the voids programme and their support in tackling vacancy.
Commenting he said, “There are approximately 100 homes vacant or soon to be vacant in flat complexes that are not are at an advanced stage in the Flat Complex Rebuild or Refurbishment programme.
“My Department and I have worked with Dublin City Council on a proposal to open up and refurbish these units to address the acute housing need in the City, while at the same time continuing as quickly as possible with overall regeneration plans.
“I do want to be very clear that the refurbishing and re-letting of these homes this year will have absolutely no delaying effect on the overall regeneration plans. Government and Dublin City Council are absolutely committed to the regeneration plans. Having witnessed first-hand the successful regeneration in St. Mary’s Mansions and St. Teresa's Gardens I know it is something that the residents of other complexes are eagerly awaiting.
“The reality is, we do not want to see any vacant homes when we are in the middle of a housing crisis. The homes which have been earmarked for refurbishment are not part of any proposal already submitted or scheduled to be submitted to the Department and will not require de-tenanting within the next five years,” concluded Minister O’Brien.
Past, present and future: Legacy of Custom House’s history honoured as part of new Visitor Centre conservation works
A month ago on 25 May, we marked the centenary of the 1921 Custom House fire during the War of Independence which claimed nine lives and nearly destroyed the landmark neo-classical building on the River Liffey’s north quay. Today, on 21 June, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage together mark the rich history of the 230-year-old building by incorporating into its fabric records that link these commemorative events – captured in a newspaper from the day – to the cross-organisational project team involved in the current conservation project at the Custom House Visitor Centre. The refurbishment of the Custom House Visitor Centre this year is carried out by the two Departments with the support of Fáilte Ireland and is a key Decade of Centenaries legacy project.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Mr Darragh O’Brien, T.D. placed the records chosen to symbolise the continuum between past, present and future in the Visitor Centre. Commenting on the occasion, the Minister said:
“It’s a special privilege for me to be a Government Minister based here in the Custom House, which is one of Ireland’s most remarkable buildings, and one steeped in such a rich and varied history. The opening, later this year, of a major new permanent Visitor Centre is something all of us have looked forward to.
It will give the public a chance to marvel at James Gandon’s architectural masterpiece, and as well an opportunity to immerse themselves in a formative part of our history, including a detailed account of the 1921 burning of the Custom House, one of the most seminal moments in the War of Independence. The opening, during the Centenary year of the burning of the Custom House, will be really significant for Dublin’s North Inner City and we hope to offer a very informative and very interesting visitor attraction.”
In the aftermath of the Custom House fire, the OPW reroofed and restored the building and skilfully reinstated its iconic dome from 1926-9. Through this, as well as through the continuous conservation of the building’s exterior and interior, it has ensured that the Custom House is preserved for generations to come.
Commending the work done by OPW’s Conservation Services, Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Mr Patrick O’Donovan, T.D. said:
“The Visitor Centre itself is an example of some of the finest neo-classical architecture in Europe and its reopening will ensure that this wonderful space is once more accessible to the public. The OPW design team, led by Conservation Services, have coordinated this sensitive refurbishment project. The OPW’s guide service team looks forward to sharing the rich history of this building with visitors and to taking them on a journey from its beginnings right to the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the attack carried out during the War of Independence. New exhibition and interpretation displays have been developed with eminent Irish historians, art historians and architectural historians and will feature, for example, architect James Gandon’s original desk as well as audio visual displays detailing the day of the fire that nearly destroyed the Custom House a hundred years ago.”
Local Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed funding of €270,067 for eight projects under the Community Monuments Fund.
The objective of the Community Monuments Fund which is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, is to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites.
Minister O’Brien paid tribute to Fingal County Council saying, “I would specifically like to thank Fingal County Council for their support of the Community Monuments Fund and for submitting a number of wonderful heritage projects under the scheme, all of which will be funded this year.
"These monuments provide a sense of place to our rural communities, villages and towns and cities across the country. With my colleague, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD, we have grown this Fund significantly from last year to have a real impact on communities across the land.
“I am also delighted to see so many archaeological monuments in private ownership benefitting and want to acknowledge the dedication of private owners as custodians of a significant share of our archaeological heritage. We are happy to be able to provide this support,” he concluded.