• Don't erase Anna and Fanny Parnell from history
    Part of the investment will include a tour "which will celebrate the life and times of Charles Stewart Parnell at Avondale House" This is a worthy and worthwhile initiative. On the other hand it could create a situation where 2 Irish women who did immense campaigning for Womens rights in Ireland Anna and Fanny Parnell get erased from history. Anna Parnell was an Irish nationalist who founded the Ladies Land League in 1880. The Ladies Land League took over the work of the Irish Land League when its male leaders were jailed. The Ladies Land League continued the Land League campaigns against landlordism in Ireland and was organised in 6 countries with 321 branches. Anna Parnell was its effective leader and lead it in many campaigns providing welfare and assistance to many Irish people. Fanny Parnell was an Irish nationalist and poet who wrote extensive about Irish nationalism and poverty in Ireland. She cofounded the Ladies Land League with her Sister Anna in 1880. In investing 8 million in a tourist attraction "which will celebrate the life and times of Charles Stewart Parnell at Avondale House" it is really important not to erase the important legacy of his Sisters. Pictures of Anna and Fanny Parnell above Further information on Anna and Fanny Parnell https://www.historyireland.com/home-rule/anna-fanny-parnell/ http://www.countywicklowheritage.org/page_id__93_path__0p3p.aspx
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    Created by Ian McGahon Picture
  • RTE must end the broadcasting of AA Roadwatch immediately
    RTE allows the AA to broadcast its “Roadwatch” segment on national radio 150 times per week. This is deeply inappropriate and unethical and is in breach of RTE’s own rules on sponsorship. RTE must end the practice immediately. The AA is not an impartial provider of neutral information. It is a political lobbyist on behalf of the car industry - its primary function is to lobby Government. It is also a multi-national insurance company with annual revenue of over €1 billion. AA Roadwatch performs no useful function. It serves only as an advertisement for the AA and the normalisation of car culture. Its prevalence on the airwaves suggests sitting in daily gridlock is a normal and inevitable part of the human experience. Every day, numerous times an hour, our national broadcaster places the reporting of daily rush hour traffic next to news items of national and international significance. Besides the fact that the “service” provided by AA Roadwatch is of little or no value (“it’s slow but moving at the Jack Lynch Tunnel”), it is a clear breach of RTE’s sponsorship guidelines (sponsorship is defined a contribution made in return for promotion of the sponsor’s name). 1. No sponsorship of news programmes is allowed. 2. “A sponsor must not have any editorial input or involvement in programming” 3. “Any body whose intents are wholly or mainly political in nature may not be a sponsor”. RTE must end the broadcast of AA Roadwatch immediately. Many thanks to William Campbell of Here's How for his work on this. I highly recommend his podcast on this topic.
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    Created by Paddy Monahan
  • Get Galway moving in 2020
    Imagine if Ireland was able to implement a single policy that could reduce traffic, combat climate change, let people take up jobs they couldn’t before, make life in rural Ireland easier and reduce the cost of living all at once. And it only took a year or two to get it up and running. It may sound too good to be true but free public transport could do all this and we want to pilot it in Galway during 2020. Dear Minister Ross, Minister Bruton, and Minister Donohue, We, the people of Galway, ask you to trial free-fare public transport in Galway during 2020. This a policy that has been piloted across Europe and is working. In Aubagne, a French city of 100,000 people, public transport ridership increased by 142% and car trips decreased by 10% once free public transport was introduced. Overall, there was a reduction in public expenditure per journey of 48% from €3.93 to €2.04. This policy of fare-free public transport could allow the following outcomes across Ireland: * Reduction in traffic and commute time in cities and counties * Reducing our climate emissions and contributing towards our stated ambition to make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change * Increased economic activity and lower social welfare costs through improved social mobility and access to jobs and lower cost housing * Improved rural mobility with better public transport options in rural Ireland * Reduced cost of living through lower fares and giving families the option of giving up second cars With Galway welcoming the world to the European Capital of Culture in 2020, and our well-documented traffic problems, Galway 2020 is the perfect place and time to pilot this policy. We respectfully request that the Department of Transport and Department of Climate Action would immediately begin design and costing a pilot for free-fare public transport in Galway during 2020 and that the Department of Finance would allocate for this pilot in the 2020 Finance Bill or as part of the Climate Action Fund. We would ask that this pilot allows for: * An increase in bus capacity in Galway city and county so that buses are more frequent and reliable * A redesign of the route network including multiple crossings of the bridges and avoiding all bus traffic going through the city centre * The addition of new buses designs with modern interiors (similar to BRT designs like Glider in Belfast) that make the bus experience more pleasant * A proper study of the economic, environmental and social outcomes of the pilot. We are available to meet with you at your earliest convenience to outline our request and work with you to make it happen. Yours sincerely, Galway Free Public Transport Campaign
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    Created by Niall Ó Tuathail Picture
  • Protection of Toon Valley Woodland
    Following the recent destruction of a significant portion of the old-growth oak woodlands at Silvergrove, Toon Valley, Macroom, Co. Cork, the vulnerability of this precious place has been highlighted. In a 2008 native woodland survey conducted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Toon Woods, a patchwork mosaic of various woodland types, was deemed to be the highest scoring unprotected site in the country. Yet in just a few weeks last December, large swathes of these woods were destroyed under license. In a classic Irish exaggeration, thinning became virtual clear-felling. In addition, further sections of woodland have even been cleared and converted to grazing, with cattle seen amid the ruined trees. This is in direct contravention of the thinning licence which never mentioned stump removal or planting of grass-seed. It is a mere example of what can happen when full legal protection is withheld. Toon woods contain one of Ireland's strongest surviving colonies of critically endangered red squirrels, who were hibernating when their homes were cut down. They lost their shelter and their winter stores. How many will survive? There have already been reports of injuries and deaths, with one squirrel found in a ditch a few miles from the site likely a refugee from Silvergrove. After Christmas, locals were traumatised to witness the destruction. What had always been a magnificently beautiful place, with moss-covered oaks and dozens of rare plants forming a magical scene for holiday walks, had become a war zone of broken trees, piles of debris, mud and stumps. The much-loved red squirrels, whose prominence brought such magic to the place, now wandered the roads in a dazed manner, a forlorn sight indeed. The ancient oak woodland, ecologically an extension of the Gearagh, is well-known to sustain other critically endangered species aside from red squirrels. A nationally important lesser horseshoe bat maternity roost exists only a few hundred metres from the destroyed area, while the pristine Toon river provides habitat for freshwater pearl mussels, another red-listed species. One ecologist who visited the site noted the absence of infrastructure to prevent soil run-off into the Toon river, threatening the freshwater mussel which cannot tolerate silt, as well as the nearby Gearagh, a Natura 2000 site into which the Toon flows. I urge you to immediately sign the appropriate documentation supplied to you by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and confer full NHA status on the Toon woods, as was proposed by then Chief Scientist Dr John Cross in 2013, following a survey commissioned by NPWS. To save what is left, it is imperative now that the felled portion of the wood is allowed to regenerate. All stumps must be left in situ and the area which has been converted into grassland must be replanted with locally sourced saplings. As climate change poses such a major threat to our future well-being, the protection of our ancient oak woodlands is essential. They account for less than 2% of our forests and contain our most endangered species. Most of Toon woods are still intact but they are in urgent need of your intervention. As you are aware your office is presently in the process of accepting submissions to the National Heritage Plan. With that in mind, please note, there are numerous, scientifically outstanding proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHA) and candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) still awaiting full designation, many since 1995. I urge you to fast-track the required legislative process to ensure these sites, and particularly the Toon Woods, be fully protected as required under the Habitats Directive. It is ludicrous that many of these outstanding Natural Heritage Sites have been left sitting in ‘unprotected limbo’ for over twenty five years. I appeal to you to act now and fully implement the required protective legislation for all of these unprotected but proposed NHA sites, starting with the site at the very top of the list because of its outstanding scientific qualities, as well as cultural value, The Toon Woods. Footnote: Although a felling license was issued by the Forestry Service for thinning, tending and creation of open spaces at this site (No. GFL 20650) this was so abused that following a public outcry the license has been suspended. Dr Jenni Roche, Senior Woodland Ecologist, Scientific Unit, at the NPWS is fully aware of the present situation and as her department is under the Minister’s remit she would be in a position to provide you with further detailed information. Thanking you in anticipation of a positive response
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    Created by Protect The Gearagh Picture
  • BAN SINGLE USE PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS IN IRELAND
    This is important as we are losing our natural habitat to plastic. Our wildlife, marine life, our plantlife, our oceans, rivers .... our lives are awash with plastic. We must break the cycle and make the changes before it's too late.
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    Created by Sinead Reilly Picture
  • Mandatory waste bins
    Illegal dumping and burning of rubbish is a massive problem for rural dwellers. It’s unsightly and attracts rodents (in the case of dumping) and toxic, raising dioxin levels (in the case of burning). The policing and reporting of it is cumbersome, costly and ineffective. Make it a mandatory requirement. If you’re living in a home and producing waste you must have some legitimate means of getting rid of your waste, similarly for farms and businesses. If you’re using the municipal waste and recycling services then you should be able to prove it with receipts. I realise waste services are expensive but the rubbishing of rural Ireland is a disgrace.
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    Created by John Cussen
  • No more Student and Transient Accommodation
    There is an over-concentration of student and transient accommodation in the Dublin Inner City. With regards to student accommodation, the city development plan states that the planning authority “will have regard to the pattern and distribution of student accommodation in the locality and resist the over concentration of such schemes in any one area”. In Dublin 8 alone the total number of student bed spaces in schemes either already inplace, under construction, approved or proposed within 250 metres of the proposed Sweeney Corner development is 1058. Extending the radius to 1km brings the total to 3752 bed spaces. In addition to student bed spaces, almost exclusively all other development in the area are providing for transient accommodation. This includes hotels recently built, under construction of approved at Kevin Street (Maldron), directly adjacent at Mill Street (Aloft), the Coombe (Hyatt), Vicar Street and Newmarket, as well as Staycity aparthotels directly adjacent and approved for the Tivoli site on Francis Street. Finally, 2 other sites in the immediate vicinity of Blackpitts and Donore Avenue which have planning approval in place for an apartment and office scheme respectively, are now back on the market advertising their suitability for hotel and/or student accommodation. Although the application in question at Sweeney’s Terrace provides for a number of build-to-rent apartments, it is still primarily a development of student accommodation. At this stage, it must be considered that there is sufficient student accommodation in the area, and accommodation of a more permanent nature must be encouraged in order to provide an appropriate diversity of accommodation types.
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    Created by Ronan Evers-Norton
  • Paperless Payslips for the Public Service
    Many schools, especially in the voluntary sector are underfunded and rely heavily on fund raising and voluntary contributions. Millions are being spent every year on sending pointless postage to teachers who either file the payslips away and never look at again or simply throw straight in the bin. This wastage needs to stop!
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    Created by Conor Desmond
  • Flemington Recreation Centre campaign
    There are other compelling reasons for Parks Department of Fingal Council to develop this space for recreation use. They are: - provide green space for Balbriggan ETNS school, Foroige and afterschool - space for young people to hang out, instead of within the nearby estates - a minipitch/ multi use games area would nicely complete this space - minipitch/ games area would provide an asset to Fingal Council's Balbriggan Sports Hub, which is based at Flemington Community Centre - many estates in the surrounding area do not have green spaces within, so this space could be put to good use in day time and evening time hours Please sign and share with your friends and neighbours!
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    Created by Garrett Mullan
  • Get 10% of promised SDZ houses in Dublin at Affordable prices
    Grand Canal Docks SDZ Affordable housing project in jeopardy Part 5 social housing delivery will not be delivered on site and possibly not within the Dockland SDZ or greater Dockland area. The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock SDZ planning scheme envisaged a model of sustainable inner-city regeneration incorporating socially inclusive urban neighbourhoods and by not delivering social housing on site or within the SDZ the spirit and the promise of the Docklands SDZ Scheme has been broken. “We have seen a lot of cranes in the Docklands but not a lot of homes. Particularly affordable homes.” ‘Affordable’ housing means different things in different places, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy says. Private developers must deliver affordable homes on lands benefitting from public funds. He added: “Affordable needs to mean affordable.” Economic recovery, and with it rising apartment costs, has had an impact upon “Part Vs”, to the legal rule that means developers have to sell 10 percent of homes in larger developments to the council for affordable housing, or make some equivalent arrangement. Part V: New developments are required to provide up to 10% of units (or equivalent land) for social housing to councils at ‘cost’. However, this has not resulted in any confirmed new social housing units in the SDZ (awaiting update from DCC), and to our knowledge none of the planned 2600 new residential units in the area are currently designated as social housing. Recently, DCC councillors have been informed that the costs of purchasing units in the Docklands area “well exceed the DPHCLG cost ceilings and are not deemed value for money”. Therefore, the City Council has determined that off-site provision (albeit in the ‘entire Docklands area’) be considered to comply with Part V. As a result, the local community has “lost out”, while developers in the Docklands are making an absolute fortune out of this site. Subsidised sites would always deliver affordable housing. Where significant public money is being brought to open up a site, affordability will have to be part of the negotiations. The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock SDZ was made by the Elected Members of Dublin City Council in November 2013 and approved by An Bord Pleanála on the 16th May 2014 and will provide for 2,600 residential units and up to 360,000 sq. metres of office space, as well as retail, community and public amenity facilities which will create 23,000 jobs. If the SDZ were delivered under the proposed schemes, there would be 260 units available for the households eligible for these units. Funding is a major issue in relation to those social units. The theory is that DCC would acquire units at cost, rather than at market value. If 260 units were made available to DCC at an average cost of say €500,000, the total cost would be €130m. Can DCC realistically source funding of €130m from the DoHPLG?. The system as currently implemented appears to leave the balance of power with developers. Source: https://www.dublincity.ie/councilmeetings/documents/s21553/320%20DOCF%20Annual%20Report%202018.pdf Dublin City Council has said it prefers to take social housing on site, within the same complexes and estates as the private homes. But it is being priced out of the Docklands SDZ area, unable to purchase the homes on offer in new complexes there. In April, Executive Housing Manager Anthony Flynn said the council was talking to five developers about other options for how to get that Part V social housing. When councillors get updates about the Docklands, council planners often brush off queries relating to housing provision, Workers’ Party Councillor Eilís Ryan says. When they “are pushed on housing they don’t actually claim any responsibility for it”, Ryan says. Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) where a fast-track planning process allows developers to get planning consent within two months of application. Under the planning laws, Developer is required to provide 10 per cent of the apartments for sale to the council for social housing at a discounted price, if it secures planning permission. Changes made in 2015 mean councils can no longer take cash from the developer instead of social housing. Back in 2010 Mr Ahern said: “The fact that the Grand Canal Docks would be primarily used for housing met Government policy objectives to increase residential densities and provide social housing. Well done to the DDDA in the way social and affordable housing are an integral part of the plans. The Taoiseach also commended the authority for its commitment to a public procurement process in seeking joint-venture partners from the private sector, and said he was pleased it would be using its Section 25 powers to "fast-track" the development.” Progress to date The recent 2017 Review of the 2015 Dublin Docklands Social Infrastructure Audit 20151 very disappointingly demonstrates that in the past 3 years there has been little real progress on any of the social infrastructure recommended in the 2015 report. This situation, in the view of the Committee, is unacceptable and continues to fail to address Community needs. Instead large-scale office developments, and exclusive, gated residences have been progressed by commercial developers and have led to an environment that is not inviting to local residents. The Docklands Community requires that social infrastructure be prioritised immediately in order to maximise the sustainability and integration of the indigenous and new communities in the Docklands.
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    Created by Julia Svedoff
  • Save our green space Limerick
    We oppose the decision to introduce over 50 parking spaces in Russell Park, Hyde Road. Since the initial consultation in 2015, Limerick’s has drastically changed. Four years after original planning permission was sought, we now have many people living in this area, while many of the businesses whom requested the additional parking have ceased trading. Only 19 submissions were collected as part of the Part 8 planning application and residents do not feel that they were adequately consulted on this issue. Of note, there are many children and adults living with disabilities in the new Hyde Road apartments and they have serious safety concerns regarding the extra car traffic this will bring to the area. Considering the complete reversal of the final works on Davis Street from the finalised proposed plans, there is a set precedent for Limerick Council to halt construction work at this time. The Davis Street improvement infrastructure did not reflect or meet the proposed planning documents with no reason for this change given by Limerick Council. We call for greater linkage between Russell Park and The Peoples Park. This could also include the use of the iconic Park Kiosk to be used as a cultural hub for the surrounding area. We believe that we need to value our city’s green spaces and the enormous health, social and environmental benefits they bring to Limerick and its citizens.
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    Created by Elisa O'Donovan Picture
  • Establish a Public Parks Warden unit in Galway City
    Public parks, woods and other green spaces are more and more recognised as essential to the health of people and to the wellbeing of the planet. Sadly Galway city’s public parks are increasingly suffering from anti-social behaviour that is undermining all of the great work that has been undertaken over so many decades by volunteers of all ages. Issues such as litter, dumping, destruction of seating/tables and tree felling are undermining not only citizens’ enjoyment of our valuable green spaces but are also impacting negatively on wildlife species. It is well past time that Galway city follows the centuries-old example of Dublin and Belfast in having dedicated full time park wardens. Such on-the-ground staff could regularly carry out essential maintenance, act as tour guides, dramatically decrease acts of vandalism and in the process restore public confidence and usage of a rich diverse range of meadows, forests, wetlands and parks that would be the envy of most other European cities.
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    Created by Brendan Smith Picture