Northwest Leaks – Damian Drum and the Northwest Area. Paul McAuliffe, Andrew Montague, Bessie and Dessie, john redmond and Jimmy O’Grady

I am going to do a regular Northwest Leaks column. Exposure will not suit all.

Damian Drum set the bar in the High Jump at Mellowes Road when Area Manager of Northwest. It is difficult for others to reach that standard. He invented the Finglas version of trhe Fosbury Flop to get over any jump, clear any obstacle and resolve any problem in the area. The Green redrawal of the area boundaries for Dublin City Council did nothing for logic or for managerial efficiencies. Gormley, you mucked the place up royally. Damian reminded me of a meeting with Chief Superintendent Peter Maguire at Santry when the concept of “Gangland” was referred to by him. This was dismissed by me and Peter and Damian was not best pleased. The guns situation in the city needs proper resourcing of a Special Task Force in the Gardai. This should be independent of any budget cuts. Special courts are needed for this plague because of witness intimidation. Monitoring police behaviour in this arena should be independent with nominees from the Political Parties, the legal professions and the JPCs across the greater Dublin Area. We have to guard against the 1970s heavy gang recurrence.

The story of gthe M50 Toll Bridge would be interesting if told in its entirety. This should have been a public project from the beginning and not a licience to print money just like the East Link especially when the evidence from the East Link was already well known.

Funding is in place for the next phase of Ballymun Regeneration until 2014 – so I have been told. Treasury Holdings is the development company involved in the Ballymun Shopping Centre. The principles – Richard Barrett and John Ronan are involved with REO and Battersea Power Station as the major REO shareholders. There they rely on NAMA and creditors forebareance to stay solvent. REOs debts (august) are £1.66 billion and the value of its properties are £1.05 billion + £39 million in cash and shareholders funds £755 million. REO owes NAMA £780 million.(Irish Times figures 30 Oct).

So we need Damian back lead the nuances of Finglas, Ballymun and Santry developmental evolution. The staff here are very good and the community events and cohesion achieved in the face of public denigration of the public service is remarkable. Where would you get people like Brian Mongey? Halloween brought out the best in them and this was clear to those who experienced the fun in Finglas Civic Buildings and in Ballymun Town Centre in front of AXIS. Job losses continue to stalk the area. Chartbusters is the latest business to close with the loss of 22 full-time and 65 part-time workers – now all gone. I am so sorry for people. I must say I am seething with anger at the ineptitude of Fianna Fail – all of them. Recently I have tried to explain to FF/PD councillor Paul McAuliffe how FF have destroyed the counjtry through a combination of arrogance, incompetence and hubris. Cowen – disaster as Finance Minister, Harney wasted millions on the health service. McAuliffe tried to argue that the waiting lists for surgical provcedures were down. Of course they are when you privatise the service and then pay on the double because the public hospitals are so badly run. But do you conclide that maybe this is a template for a more efficient service. No not Harney. No, just more gagging clauses and overpaid consultant contracts tied to tax incentives for private clinics. The HSE is a swollen sea of administrative flatulence swollen by huge numbers of Grade 8s with circular roles. This is mixed with a culture of concealment and gagging in hospitals. The end result is an amorphous mass of under accountable activities and disrepect for professionals which leads to demoralisation and consequent inefficiencies. The exit of senior people to early retirement recently just spells this out. But again nobody notices because ALL CONSULTANTS ARE GREEDY OVERPAID PRIVILEGED OAFS or so the propaganda goes. My response to you all is to tell you that the standards of medicine that I see from consultants in Beaumont and Connolly is most impressive. There may be things going on that I am unaware but what I see and witness myself is impressive. Are there mistakes? Of course. Are these discussed – Yes. Medical Diagnosis is an inaxact science in many cases. By the way, as a person Paul McAuliffe is a nice guy just like many politicians. However if you train a circus you know the result!

Back to Damian Drum.

I believe that the Dail constituencies should drive the city administrative areas. That way, the areas can be better and more effectively managed. Vincent Norton was less than gruntled that Councillors voted to preserve northwwest as the least worse option available at the time. I intend to make sure that BRL/Northwest Area is rationalised in the future into a high quality local service covering every age group. Primary Care facilities should be the remit of the Area Manager who could liaise with the HSE and local GPs and Community Care to improve the integration of activities for the local population.Currently, the city council provides many of the housing and recreational facilities for the elderly here. I would like to appoint Damian Drum to pilot this integration over 1 year to prove its efficacy.

The plans for Santry which Northwest was working prior to being Gormleyed are now a mystery to me. I will ask Northcentral for an update by area committee question and give you a report.

Willow Park Road and Cedarwood Rise – stoning of house and windows on week-end night from 10 pm to midnight have restarted. stones are being thrown from inside the new Poppintree Park. Residents have written letters of complaint about this and are frustrated by the continuance of the problem despite CCTV cameras working. I think that a special task force at Ballymun Garda Station will have to get to grips with the perpetrators. This is an area for the Ballymun Safety Forum to get resolution. Over to you Aileen!

Andrew Montague – Usually it is none of my business who rival parties select as candidates in elections. Bessie seems to have had an influence on the selection of Labour candidates.Montague who polled telephone numbers of votes in Santry at the Local Elections in an area where FF are traditionally very strong has been elbowed out and John Lyons who grew up in Poppintree has been selected as THE MAN. Andrew is a Green Social Democrat and has political instincts to the left of Bessie – not difficult. He is a major contributor to Dublin City Council and I have had to battle with him regularly. I may have a go at him because the OTT Green agenda on traffic, bikes etc drives me scatty but I RESPECT his integrity. I write this because I witness another Bessie related injustice in this constituency. John Lyons is a fine candidate but is less involved than Montague. Its up to Labour. Like Dessie Ellis, Andrew brings a different perspective to politics. PS I respect Dessie Ellis. He is an honest man.

John Redmond and Jimmy O’Grady were active in their yellow jackets stewarding the Halloween Festival in Finglas. fair dooos lads!