Brian Byrne on Finglas Area Update September 2010


Older Persons Allocations 1st June to 31st August 2010

Category Housing Transfers
Points 0 0
Medical 0 1
Welfare 0 0
Homeless 0 0
Travellers 0 0
Detenanting 0
Surrendering Larger 0 1
Financial Contributions 0 0
Total 0 2

Housing Allocations 1st June to 31st August 2010.

Category Housing Transfers
Points 2 –
Medical 1 –
Welfare 1
Homeless 1 –
Travellers 1 –
Detenanting – 2
Maintenance Grounds – –
Surrendering Larger – –
Unable to afford
Total 6 2

Estate Management

19 complaints received and 9 interviews took place in the Finglas Area Office between June and August 2010.
There were 3 applications for exclusion orders before the Courts in July, 2 in the Hazelcroft area and 1 in Ratoath area, these cases were struck out as one of the people concerned is already in prison and a second person was dealt with by the Juvenile Liaison Officer and the third person was arrested outside the area in question.

Griffith Heights

Monitoring is continuing In Griffith Heights and Griffith Close. Further testing has taken place in Griffith Crescent and we are awaiting the results of these tests.

The Mediation process is scheduled to resume at the end of September.

Fairlawn Road

A new boundary wall has been completed at 74 -75 Fairlawn Road and repairs have been carried out to the palisade fencing of the site on Tolka Valley Road. The Housing Manager is currently preparing a design pack and proposals on this site, to-gether with a number of other vacant housing sites in the Finglas Area with a view to assessing any viable options available to us to utilise these sites either on a long-term or interim

Fairlawn Park

The area to the rear of numbers 1-8 Fairlawn Park has been released back to Dublin City Council by McCabe Builders. There is serious dumping at this location despite a leaflet drop to the houses backing on to the site. The handing back of the site has serious implications for residents in Prospect Hill and the Local Area Office. The Area Manager will meet with the Executive Manager, Development Department to discuss the problems. Any remediation of this site will obviously entail a significant financial implication for the area office and Dublin City Council.

A number of residents between 9 -25 Fairlawn Park have removed a section to the back boundary wall to fit a gate providing direct access to Prospect Hill. Our Planning Enforcement Section have informed us that legally as the gates open directly onto Prospect Hill it constitutes a civil matter between the residents and the Management Company of Prospect Hill.

Prospect Hill

The remaining affordable apartments in Prospect Hill have been offered for to people on the affordable housing panel on a rent to buy basis for three years. The apartments are furnished and the rent payable is approximately10% discounted off market rents with 80% of the rent paid deducted from the purchase price at the time of sale. We have been informed by the Affordable Housing Unit that there has been a lot of interest in this scheme. However, the Finglas Area Offices is receiving little or no queries locally in relation to the scheme, with any people interested ruled out as social welfare payments form part of their weekly income. The uptake on the scheme will be assessed in due course by the Affordable Housing Unit. Tony Flynn, Senior Executive Office will be attending the next meeting of the North West Area Committee which will give members an opportunity to discuss the matter with him.

Berryfield Road

The wall and railings around the play area in front of 24 Berryfield Road will be removed within the next three weeks. A high kerb will be left in place to prevent cars mounting the grassed area. Repairs will also be carried out to the grassed area as part of this work. The railings removed
are to be reused to repair again the damaged railings at Virgina. All of
the works outlined in this report will take place between now and the end of this year as quotes are received and a contractor appointed to carry out the works. If the removal of this play area at Berryfield does not present even further anti-social issues, we can discuss again options for the remaining play area.


The Area Office has set aside funding to close the right of way between 11 Barnamore Park and 97 Kippure Park. The area will be closed by the construction of a new wall to separate both estates at this location.
Development plans for the site are on hold.

Gortmore Avenue

Local residents have carried out excellent landscaping work in the Cul de Sac at Gortmore Avenue. They constructed a planting box, painted and fitted timber trellis to the boundary wall of Merville Court. They also carried out planting in front of the railings between Gortmore Avenue and St Helena’s Road. Dublin City Council supplied top soil and some hedging.

Finglas Safety Forum

The next meeting of the Finglas Safety Forum is due to take place on Tuesday 14th September in the Finglas Civic Office at 7.30pm. The Assistant Commissioner, Michael Feehan met with representatives of agencies and residents in Finglas to build on the commitment of An Garda Síochána to local policing and to discuss setting up sub-fora of the Finglas Safety Forum in Finglas East, West and South. A sub-group consisting of local residents, Gardaí, Local Drugs Task Force and the Area Office will work up proposals on how this could be implemented.

Rents Update.

The Finglas Area Office continues to provide a rent assessment service for tenants living in the Finglas area. During the months of June, July and August 2010 the Rent Assessment Officer has conducted 183 rent assessments
for the Finglas area. Tenants are encouraged to contact the Finglas Area
Office with any information about changes in their financial situation.


The Housing Manager is again working with the Finglas Halloween Festival Committee, to stage this year’s Halloween Festival. An update can be given at the meeting on the proposed events as a number of meetings are currently taking place to confirm the events.

Funding has been granted to appoint contractors to a number of void properties in the area.
Work has commenced on an additional 10 houses that are currently void. See void report for details. A new voids module is now in operation to track the progress of returning vacancies to the housing stock. Finglas area staff are scheduled to be trained on this module in the coming weeks.

Staff Matters:

The Finglas Area Office has lost a considerable number of staff during the year due to re-deployment, retirements and career breaks. A full review of resources available and service delivery has been undertaken with a view to maintaining as much of our current service delivery as possible. Staff have been re-assigned roles and additional training will be provided for staff as required. We will continue to re-assess the situation on an
ongoing basis.

The primary function of all the staff in the Area Office is to be available to the residents in the Finglas area to deliver City Council Services. The public counter continues to be extremely busy with a wide variety of issues such as rents, allocations, transfers, anti-social, and waste management.
For the member’s information, the following are the specific duties assigned to each staff member:

Brian Byrne Housing Manager in addition to Projects Manager
Catherine Quinlan Officer Manager/Allocations Manager/ Anti-social Officer
Noel Fogarty Rent Assessment Officer
Mary Bellew, }
Karen Vaughan, } Team with responsibility for allocations
Emer Shanahan } rents and Estate Management,
James Hanlon } Drive Way Extension Programme, disposals/lettings etc
Karen Vaughan }
Marguerite Delaney All aspects of Health & Safety in North West Area
Offices and Facilities Management of the Finglas Civic Centre.
The main phone number for the Finglas Civic Offices is 2225400.

Other Matters.

Sadly Ria McDonald from Cloonlara died suddenly over the August Bank Holiday week-end.

As the Housing Manager and on behalf of all the staff in the Finglas Area Office, I wish to pay special tribute to Ria for her unstinting commitment to the Hazelcroft, Cloonlara, Fairlawn areas, to Finglas South in general and to the community of Finglas.

I first met Ria McDonald when I came to Finglas 10 years ago. The Finglas South Project started in the Cloonlara, Hazelcroft and Fairlawn area.
Miriam Flynn and I worked very closely with the Cloonlara, Hazelcroft and Fairlawn Environmental Group which was led by Ria on developing the Finglas South Plan. Ria individually had a huge input into this project.

She was never shy in criticising the City Council when required but also gave credit when due. Ria had the ability to see the big picture for her area and was not just concerned with what happened outside her door. She stood by the City Council when we closed down laneways and open spaces in the Cloonlara, Hazelcroft and Fairlawn area. These were not popular decisions. She fought a tough battle to secure a percentage of the infill affordable housing built on the open spaces for local people. She referred to these people as her children and many local people throughout Finglas South would not have a home but for the battles fought by Ria McDonnell.

She was involved in everything from making candy floss at the Halloween Festival to representing Finglas South at Co-operation Ireland functions in Hillsborough Castle and the setting up of the Finglas Safety Forum. She was a tremendous person to work with and despite our many differences at meetings, we both had tremendous respect for each other and our differences were always left behind after the meeting.

Ria has made a huge contribution to the people of Finglas South. Her involvement in projects such as Merville Court, driveway extensions, infill housing and many more community activities too numerous to mention cannot be measured. She was a wonderful woman and person to work along side and will be sorely missed and remembered fondly by all of the staff at Dublin City Council Finglas office.

Brian Byrne
Area Housing Manager