Dublin South East

Gully Manager now on Twitter

Gully Manager now on Twitter

Posted April 15th, 2014

Pass this on to anyone you know who lives on a street affected by flooding or water pooling. Follow @GullyManager on Twitter.

Technology is shifting the balance of power from the state to the citizen, empowering the individual and giving him or her more of an understanding (and thus a say) in how our democracy works. At the level of local government it is making it easier to communicate with the city council to get things done.

A good example of this is the fixmystreet app, which I brought to Minister Hogan’s attention and which is currently being piloted in South County Dublin.

A new example from Dublin City Council is the Gully Manager account on Twitter. This is being managed by the Gully Cleaning Section – soon to be ‘Surface Water Maintenance Unit’. It’s a very simple innovation for the Council to communicate with the public this way and it is very welcome.

You can follow the DCC Gully Manager @GullyManager on Twitter to receive regular information on their work cleaning, unblocking and repairing gullies in the city.



SurveyMonkey opens local office – recruitment starts now

Posted April 10th, 2014

More than 50 people will be employed over the next 12 months

Recruitment starts immediately

SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading online questionnaire platform, today announced that it will open an office in Dublin, employing more than 50 people in the first twelve months of operations to support the company’s many existing Irish and European customers.

New employees will join the existing international team that is relocating to Dublin from the company’s Lisbon office.

SurveyMonkey is trusted by millions of companies, organisations and individuals around the world to gather the feedback they need to make better decisions. These customers use SurveyMonkey’s online and mobile platform to create, send and analyse questionnaires on any given topic.  Beyond market research, some of the most popular uses of the product are to gauge customer satisfaction and conduct employee performance reviews.  SurveyMonkey’s robust analytics engine enables at-a-glance data analysis to make smart, fast decisions.

The company will be hiring for a wide variety of roles ranging from account management to customer support.  Recruitment starts immediately and job positions can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/job-listings/


€600k funding available from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Posted April 9th, 2014

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has launched their nationwide search for people who have innovative ideas and new solutions to solve some of Ireland’s social and environmental problems.

The annual competition, now in its tenth year, has backed 169 social entrepreneurs to date and invested €5.4 million in direct funding to projects in areas ranging from community and active citizenship, education and learning, environment and sustainability and mental and physical health.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is the country’s largest and most active funder of social entrepreneurship and is this year providing €420,000 in funding to nine social entrepreneurs. A further €180,000 worth of support will also be made available to successful applicants, ensuring that they are equipped to scale and grow their organisations in order to impact as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Closing date for entries to the 2014 competition is 5pm on Monday, 28th April. Following a multi-stage review process, the winning nominees will be announced at a ceremony in November 2014.

For full details on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Programme, and to access the application form itself, please visit www.socialentrepreneurs.ie


Love the Lanes Initiative - Temple Bar

How can we reclaim Temple Bar’s laneways?

Posted April 4th, 2014

Dublin City Council & the Temple Bar Company are seeking new ideas to activate the back lanes of Temple Bar. The project will involve an open call for ideas, some of which will be trialled on the laneways and may become permanent. You could propose an event, an installation, a market, creative lighting…anything that would rejuvenate the lanes for people to enjoy.

Four laneways have been chosen – Copper Alley, Crampton Court, Bedford Lane & Adair Lane. The deadline for submissions is April 22nd and you can get more details about the project and making a submission here.

Diaspora Review

Engagement with the Irish Abroad – Public Consultation

Posted April 1st, 2014

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade is undertaking a review of Ireland’s Diaspora policy to examine all elements of our engagement with the Irish abroad. The Department is inviting submissions from all those at home or abroad who are interested in and affected by issues of emigration. Submissions on the wider question of engagement with the Diaspora are also welcome. Topics under consideration include:

  • Identifying the trends in the ongoing development of the Diaspora
  • Understanding the needs of different emigrant and Diaspora communities overseas and how to respond to these. These include new emigrants, the undocumented in the US and ageing emigrant communities.
  • The role of the Diaspora in economic in social and economic development in Ireland.
  • The continued importance and role of the Diaspora for peace on this island.
  • The status, rights and entitlements of emigrants and returning emigrants.
  • How the Government can best connect with the Irish abroad

The deadline for submissions is 23rd April. For more details on the consultation process and on making a submission, see here.

Flood Update

Flood Prevention Works – Update

Posted March 26th, 2014

Flood prevention works should be completed all the way to Ballsbridge by the end of Quarter 2 of this year. Flood prevention works between Ballsbridge and Donnybrook Bridge are scheduled to be completed in Quarter 2, 2015.

This winter’s wet weather and high tides, as well as the  poor condition of the existing flood wall at Beatty’s Avenue, have meant that the OPW is slightly behind schedule at the present time. However, flood works to Donnybrook Bridge should still be completed during Quarter 2 of 2015. 

Major works have already been carried out in the Licensed Vintners Association, Anglesea Lane and Merrion Cricket Club – these have significantly improved the level of flood protection on Anglesea Road and its environs.

The Flood Division has recently surveyed the Merrion Cricket Club and the Licensed Vintners Association and found that existing embankment levels are above the required minimum 100-year flood level. The exception was a 4 metre section (4oo mm low) that is required for access to both the river and a flap valve attached to the Simmonscourt surface-water sewer (beside the Dodder embankment). The flap valve was attached after the flooding in October 2011 and prevents the river water from backing up the pipeline. This low section will be sandbagged by Dublin City Council in the event of a significant flood forecast.

By the end of 2015 flood alleviation measures should be completed all the way to the first Smurfit weir.

Dublin City Council completed its final report, Pluvial Study on Flooding, last year as part of its Dublin Flood Initiative (DFI) and the EU Flood Resilient City Project. The DFI has aimed to identify the risks, the areas at risk, the times when that risk might be highest and the appropriate response at local, community and household level. To read more about this, click here.

You can watch my recent comments on flooding in the Dáil here and read previous flood updates here.

Civil Service Accountability

Civil Service Accountability & Performance – Got Something to Say?

Posted March 24th, 2014

In January the government commenced an extensive public consultation process on strengthening Civil Service accountability and performance. Minister Howlin has published a consultation paper on this topic and has invited submissions from the public on how we can reform the current accountability arrangements, including:

  • reform of the legislative framework to provide greater clarity and certainty as to the roles and responsibilities of ministers and civil servants including accountability to parliament
  • development of a governing entity for the civil service
  • more effective accountability of senior management including exploring the publication of specific objectives
  • review robust governance frameworks for the Civil Service as a whole, and individual Government Departments

The deadline for submissions is 31st March. For more details on the consultation process and on making a submission, see here.


Summer Works Scheme

36 million in funding to improve and upgrade school buildings

Posted March 20th, 2014

The government has awarded almost 36 million to schools across the country to improve and upgrade existing school buildings under the Summer Works Scheme.

56 projects have been approved in Dublin across three categories (Gas, Electrical & Mechanical), including the following schools in your area:

  • Muckross Park College in Donnybrook – Mechanical
  • St Clare’s Convent on Harold’s Cross Road – Electrical
  • Ringsend College on Cambridge Road – Electrical
  • Rathmines College in Dublin 6 – Electrical

Funding awarded under round 2 of the Summer Works Scheme will be announced over the coming weeks when processing of applications has been completed.

More detailed information on this is available here.

Vacancies in the Tech Sector

Vacancies in the Tech Sector – Closing the Gap

Posted March 18th, 2014

In 2011, only 45% of the demand for ICT skills was being met domestically from our higher education programmes. This year the education system is expected to meet 60% of the demand for ICT skills. 

The skills gap in the tech sector is an issue I’ve been highlighting since I was first elected as a TD and in 2012 the government put in place a number of initiatives to help fill this gap as part of their first ICT Action Plan (including changes to the employment permits system, conversion programmes for graduates seeking to acquire programming skills and awareness building about opportunities in the ICT sector).

Last week the government published an ICT Skills Action Plan to take us up to 2018, when it is aimed to meet 74% of industry demands for ICT professionals domestically. You can read the full ICT Skills Plan 2014-2018 here.

There will also be a total of up to 2,000 work permits issued per year to ICT professionals with relevant skills in order to meet industry demands and there will be an increased focus on recent Irish emigrants and EEA nationals.

I previously raised the possibility of introducing a technology visa scheme: a specific visa for people working in the tech sector given the skills shortage in the country and the potential for spin off jobs from this growing industry. A specific technology visa has yet to be introduced but the Department of Justice and the Department of Jobs are going to investigate the potential for introducing a unified employment permit and visa applications system under the Action Plan for Jobs 2014. You can read the full 2014 Action Plan here and view the accompanying Table of Actions here. 



Walk in aid of St. Luke’s Hospital – This Saturday

Posted March 13th, 2014

Why not get the walking shoes on and come out and support Rathgar!

Rathgar Business Association are holding a sponsored walk in aid of St. Luke’s Hospital this Saturday 15th March at 11am.

The walk will start at the hospital and finish up in Rathgar Village where the Traders will supply cakes and refreshments.

The walk is open to all  - no sponsorship cards are required as a donation can be made on the day.

Get more details here.