What’s New

The Custom House is leading the way in making government buildings greener places to work. We’ve worked hard to reduce our energy use, emissions and waste. And on Monday we became the first Government Department to receive an award from the NSAI for Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

I was delighted to accept this certification on behalf of my Department. This Government has recently launched its Climate Action Plan (details here) and at the heart of this plan is the desire to protect our environment, minimise our carbon footprint and promote sustainable development. Under the EMS for the Custom House, we are making a small but valuable contribution to this plan. Our EMS allows us to identify our environmental impacts and to develop actions and procedures aimed at improving our performance. This will result in the use of less electricity, less waste generated and increased recycling, thus saving taxpayers’ money.

Continue reading here.

Marine Spatial Plan for Ireland

Posted December 13th, 2017

Minister Damien English and I published a roadmap for the development of Ireland’s first marine spatial plan (MSP). Marine Spatial Planning is a way of looking at how we use the marine area and planning how best to use it into the future. The MSP will try to balance the different demands for using the sea including the need to protect the marine environment.

It’s about planning when and where human activities take place at sea.  It’s about ensuring these activities are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Maritime spatial planning involves stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities. The MSP for Ireland, which will be developed over the next 3 years, will provide a coherent framework in which specific sectoral policies and objectives can be realised. It is intended to become a decision making tool for regulatory authorities and policy makers into the future in a number of ways.

“Ireland is a maritime nation and we derive so much of our cultural, social and economic identity from our relationship with the seas that surround us. We are fortunate to have one of the largest and richest marine resources of all EU Member States. We aim to double the value of our ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030 and increase the turnover from our ocean economy to exceed €6.4bn by 2020.”

For more information, go here.

I have opened a public consultation on the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, following its first full year of implementation.

The five key areas we are addressing, and would like feedback on, are:

  1. Addressing Homelessness
  2. Accelerating Social Housing
  3. Building More Homes
  4. Improving the Rental Sector
  5. Utilising Existing Housing

 

I am open to new ideas, big or small, on these or other issues that can increase housing supply at affordable prices.

The consultation will run until Friday, 11 August 2017.

To find out more or to make a submission, go here.

Dáil Debate on the Climate Change Bill

Posted February 12th, 2015

-Draft remarks-

To say that the Bill only has vague aspirations, as the Fianna Fail and Green Parties claims, is complete nonsense. It’s not too far away from their Bill at all, as many environmental advocates would admit. And let’s not forget, they didn’t prioritise the legislation when they were in power – and so it wasn’t adopted. They failed.

In their coalition, could they have done any better? It’s now a historical fact that they did worse. The Green Party’s central piece of legislation – their reason for being in government – was brought in when the Green Party had already announced they were leaving government, and it did not have support from its coalition partners Fianna Fail in the Seanad.

So it arrived way too late to have a chance of being adopted. And it was dead on arrival. And both Fianna Fail and the Green Party know it.
This government is making a start – taking the initiative. Which is a good thing. And it is only a start. Once we have the legislation in place we can then build on it.

Continue reading here.

Click here to see a video of my contribution.

Ideas for Stimulating Housing Supply

Posted February 6th, 2015

You can watch my contribution here.

Regarding the Central Bank decision on new mortgage rules, I think the clarity we now have is welcome. I’m not sure why the lengthy deliberation was needed on the new proposals.

I’m not entirely happy with the outcome – maybe I’m not meant to be. I think it is incredibly unfair on people looking to move in to their second home – which may be their first family home. The tiering is welcome, with a clear distinction between First Time Buyers and Buy-To-Lets. I do think that the value at which a first time buyer steps from 10% to 20% is too low for people in Dublin. Nevertheless, we have a decision from the Central Bank.

Now it’s up to us to act on the supply side. And quickly – if renters are not going to be the collateral damage from the Central Bank’s move.

I appreciate the building strategies underway and investments proposed. Responsibility also falls to DCC with their new development plan this year. But we in here need to think about incentives on the taxation side to help free up under-occupied housing stock.

Continue reading here.

PQ’s – Your questions answered

Posted October 3rd, 2014

Garda presence in Dublin, regulating house alarms – click here.

Irish Defense Forces resources and cooperation with NATO in Ukraine – click here.

Are tax rules for the self-employed fair? – click here.

Testing and state support for foetal abnormality screening – click here.

Rathgar Village Improvement Plan

Posted July 11th, 2014

Based on on-street engagement carried out during May 2014 and meetings held with business and residents’ groups, the themes for the workshop were “Moving through the village”, “Animating the village” and “The Image of the village”. Three work groups were formed and participants were asked to make suggestions for short, medium and long term goals under each theme, and then the group as a whole were asked to cast two votes each, prioritising the goals they would like to see achieved in the short, medium and long term.

Continue reading here.

To find out more about the plan click here.

 

PQ’s – Your questions answered

Posted July 10th, 2014

Gender identity, protecting au-pairs and a new idea to combat bike theft – click here.

The rugby world cup bid and performance numbers in the tourism sector – click here.

Auditing the medical profession and the variable rate mortgage problem – click here.

Using java training to upskill workers and the number of multi-denominational schools in Ireland – click here.

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.

 

The National Transport Authority will be installing 150 additional Real Time Passenger Information Displays at bus-stops this year. By the end of 2013 a total of 488 displays had been installed and locations have already been decided for 73 of the 2014 locations.

To see a full list of displays to be installed in the Greater Dublin Area this year, click here.

Locations in your area include:

Bus No.         Stop Location

1                     Adelaide Road Opposite Earlsfort Terrace

23                   Donnybrook Garda Station

30                   Lower Baggot Street Junction Pembroke Row

33                    Lower Rathmines Road Junction Military Road

43                    Merrion Road Junction Serpentine Avenue

44                    Merrion Road Junction Simmonscourt Road

45                    Morehampton Road Junction Bloomfield Avenue

46                    Morehampton Road Opposite Bloomfield Avenue

53                    Northumberland Road Junction Haddington Road

54                    Pembroke Road Opposite Elgin Road

56                    Rathgar Road Junction Lower Rathmines Road

57                    Rathgar Road Junction Upper Garville Avenue

65                    Terenure Road East Juntion Brighton Road

69                    Upper Leeson Street Junction Appian Way

70                    Upper Leeson Street Junction Mespil Road

 

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