Following the launch of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, I wish to make my constituents aware of a series of an Ireland 2016 workshop taking place in the South Dublin Co. Co. area in Tallaght Stadium on June 2nd at 7pm.
Local authorities are currently reaching out to communities to seek ideas on the development of a 2016 centenary programme for every county. Dedicated coordinators have been appointed in each local authority and they are working closely with the Ireland 2016 team in my Department to ensure the maximum participation of communities. This will be achieved initially by holding a series of 2016 public consultations in every county in the country, a process which is already underway.
Updates on the schedule of workshops as well as further information in relation to the Ireland 2016 Programme, will be provided on www.ireland.ie If you have any queries in relation to the Community Participation strand, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 6449788. You can also contact my office on 016183179 or email@example.com for further information on the 2016 Programme.
Senator Cáit Keane Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna Script Commencement Motion April 29th 2015:
I am raising the issue of the lack of permanent school building for the pupils of Gaelscoil Chonc Liamhna in Knocklyon, Dublin 16. The Parents of the school are seeking a permanent building for their school. The school has been open 17 years now and since that time, the pupils from the school have been taught in pre-fabs and temporary buildings. As the Minister will be aware, temporary structures give rise to health and safety concerns and are inappropriate in cold weather conditions as we frequently get in Ireland. Water, heating and insulation concerns are ongoing and this is unacceptable in this day and age. Children’s health is being put at risk.
I have campaigned on this issue for many years while I was an elected member of South Dublin County Council and I am continuing to do so having made numerous representations to the Department on this issue. I know that parents of pupils attending the school are growing impatient and frustrated at the lack of developments in relation to the acquisition of a site and commencement of any building works.
Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has said that unused upper floor commercial space in Dublin could help to reduce the numbers of people currently in emergency accommodation. Senator Keane was speaking after figures released by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that the rough sleeper figures for Dublin are down 38% but the numbers in emergency accommodation is not decreasing.
“The first count of rough sleepers in Dublin since the Government activated its plan on reducing rough sleeping, shows that the numbers are down 38%. The plan is working but we can do more. A total of 1,872 adults were found to be in emergency accommodation. These people can find it difficult to move on to rented accommodation. I am supporting the call made by CEO of The Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle, that unused upper floor commercial space in Dublin city could be remodelled and used as residential accommodation.
“I would like to see a full audit of unused commercial space in Dublin and I urge Dublin City Council to consider carry out such a review. Once we know the scale of the unused commercial space, we could consider if some of the buildings might be appropriate to convert to residential accommodation and turned around faster than waiting for new build to come on stream. .Anything is better than the streets and I think that unused commercial space, while not a long term solution, could help reduce the rough sleeper numbers further.
“In the meanwhile the Government must persist with its plan to reduce the numbers, as it is clearly working. 271 additional emergency beds were provided at the turn of the year and the establishment of the ‘Nite Café’ has been a useful contact point for homeless people who do not want to be placed in emergency accommodation, provide food, a rest area and showers. Dublin City Council is also re-examining its vacant properties currently scheduled for demolition with a view to refurbishing some of them on a temporary basis.
The Government’s Social Housing Strategy intends the delivery of over 110,000 social housing tenancies over a six-year period, through the provision of 35,000 new social housing units, and by meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Schemes. Thinking outside the box has been key to alleviating rough sleeping in Dublin and I believe that unused upper floor commercial space could form part of the solution.”