Thoughts of Fine Gael on Dublin City Council in October

The Fine Gael Group at Dublin City Council met on Saturday in the Mansion House.

FINE GAEL BRAND

There was a discussion around what we could do to strengthen the Fine Gael brand in Dublin. We decided to arrange a meeting of the group with Mark Mortell and I am to meet Enda Kenny myself. Contact with the parliamentary party in Dublin and with Fine Gael Council Groups across the area will be arranged. I have already discussed the issues with Senator Frances Fitzgerald, Lucyloo and with some councillors in Fingal. My view is that a unified approach to Dublin issues is important. There are differences in approach with regard to the incinerator and waste management. Action will speak a lot clearer than words. Fine Gael is safe on the economy and in Richard Bruton, Michael Noonan, Limerick O’Donnell, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, Fine Gael have shown a core competence absent in Fianna Fail. Kenny’s job as leader is to pick the best people he has and place them where they will be most effective irrespective of personal relationships. He has done that.

ENDA KENNY – is better

Kenny is better than Cowen and Gilmore on the economy.( Cowen is a failure and Gilmore’s comical interview in the Evening Herald last week should be compulsory reading before anyone contemplates voting.).

KENNY – will put country first

Enda Kenny can read the polls, Bill can read the polls. We need to let Kenny be himself to reassure people that here is a decent Irishman with good instincts who surrounds himself with competence. His Front Bench Team have the responsibility to nuance policy. Honesty and competence should be our theme. No crap – to quote Albert! With the IMF around, Kenny needs to put the country first and have as much openness and transparency as possible. The mirage of apparent competence enveloping Brian Lenihan has cleared leaving the tatters remnants of an economy smouldering in the background.

SELECTION CONVENTIONS

Selection conventions should be fast tracked through un-contentious Dublin city constituencies. Where there should be two candidates, the National Executive Council should sort this out immediately. Our group will pass this view on to Phil Hogan and Brian Murphy. There is a demand among the grass root membership that these issues be fast-tracked.

COMMUNICATIONS

We will also improve communication with Head Office and make this operation much more efficient. Rance, please note.

LORD MAYOR GERRY BREEN

Lord Mayor Gerry Breen is organizing a special fare for business in the Oak Room at the Mansion House to stimulate centre city business. The Lord Mayor is doing walking tours of city businesses to remain in contact and encourage business and enterprise. He also has five village development officers appointed through FAS to stimulate city villages – Raheny, Ringsend, Rathmines, Clontarf, Finglas etc. gerry Breen has been delivering on his mayoral intentions to encourage business and employment in the city as the theme of his term. A new website for the Lard Mayor has been inaugurated.

RUAIRI McGINLEY – City Budget

Ruairi McGinley our finance expert told us that there is a €19 million shortfall in the budget which includes a reduction of €9 million from central funding and €10 million from city services including parking. Users of parking tag.ie will find a fee reduction during the Christmas period to stimulate business activity.

TAXIs

Ruairi McGinley to represent us at meeting with Taxi Regulator. I have set out my views on Taxis on Newstal Radio and here a few months ago.

DEVELOPMENT PLAN – remaining issues

The issues of height, density and distance from main transport hubs are a core issue in the development plan and Councillors Mary O’Shea, Naoise O’Muiri and Ruairi McGinley are our negotiating team in the event of a compromise being necessary. I gave my opinion in favour of more height with the same density to give a better environment and also a 1 km radius for this policy in principle around main transport hubs. I think that Eoin Murphy may not agree with me.

Z9 and Z15 are special issues. I made a plea for respect and even handedness in dealing with institutional lands. I am opposed to development of City Sports grounds that includes partial sell-offs for housing to fund expansion. Once the land is gone, there is no turning back.

FREEDOM OF CITY

Freedom of the City is the prerogative of the Lord Mayor. I support Christine Buckley but I do not have the call. I also suggested Kevin Myers for a Lord Mayor’s award but I may be isolated there. I do not agree with Myers on his Col Myers OBE role but much of what he writes on Irish 20th Century history should be written and addressed instead of buried in a slag heap of propaganda.

1916

Councillor Ray McAdam is nominated to the 1916 Commemoration Committee in the city.

ELECTED MAYO R of DUBLIN

The issue of the directly elected Dublin Mayor was discussed and we are ready to contest even if we disagree with the details of the legislation.

BEIJING – twinning

Twinning with Beijing was supported by the group. We will have to discuss this with the other parties to try to get sufficient support. I am on record on this site to support this project.

NAOISE O’MUIRI

Naoise wanted to discuss Mountjoy Prison, Mater adult and Paediatric Hospitals Roads and other mayor issues. I referred him to my website where I have committed myself to solutions to many city problems.

Naoise O’Muiri is a hugely talented man and a brief perusal of his CV on the net will testify to that. He places himself in the political centre. He, like Senator Pascal Donohue, would add considerably to national life if he can get elected to Dail Eireann.

CLARE BYRNE

Congratulations on your new baby. We send our best wishes and hope you are getting some sleep!