Here is the lawful accurate honest submission I made to DCC on Friday 7th April. Today (Tuesday) I received a legal threat from BID/Dublintown.
Submission against the renewal of BID on behalf of BID members
Please find submission in relation to the BID renewal scheme.
1 This scheme is a grossly unfair scheme in that it uses a form of conscription to unjustly apply a double rate on many hard pressed businesses. Since its inception the BID scheme has steadily lost the confidence of its conscripted members. It has no impact whatsoever in any positive way on the City, on the cleaning of the city, on the security of the city and indeed on the commerce of the city. It simply duplicates in an amateurish way what Dublin City Council do very professionally. Indeed, the only professional thing the BID company does i.e. Dublintown is market and promote itself very well. It contravenes also, the promotion of Dublin City Council and central Government that Dublin is a growing European capital city. The current Dublintown branding, is a gimmick and misleading. They also are inclined to engage themselves in the rebranding of entire neighborhoods and business districts without any consent or indeed engagement with local residents, local business or indeed Dublin City Council itself. This has annoyed greatly, historians, and many residents and citizens of the city who do not want to see this historic city branded in this cheap and tacky way. Visitors do not come to Dublin to shop in tacky renamed districts like Dublintown’s South William Street Creative Quarter or the ridiculously named ‘Dame District’ or the bizarre title ‘Dublin 1’. Equally their purple flag status is more attuned to a British shopping centre district than it is to our historical city. Again, all of this is smoke and mirrors and fakery that are intended by Dublintown/BID to give the company a sense of purpose.
2 The members of BID over the past number of years have contacted me personally inter hundreds complaining about the unfair nature of the BID levy. Not only was this during the times of deep austerity but this is also in most recent times when the economy of the city is beginning to show signs of rebound and recovery. Many complain that Dublintown/BID and its staff act as if they are an authority and many shop owners and businesses feel actually intimidated by them. When BID has been asked to account for itself or is in any way challenged by many of its members it simply behaves in a hostile and threatening manner towards them. It is a non-transparent organisation and has refused on many occasions even in its own AGM, to supply vital information to its own members.
The arrogance of BID towards it members and indeed towards many communities in the city is breathtakingly disrespectful.
3. BID is represented on many of DCC’s forums and many many businesses feel that the BID view on these forums is contrary to their own views particularly in relation to the promotion of injection rooms within the city center and also with regards the transport and traffic rearrangements that are taking place within the city center. Many feel that the BID company Dublintown is entirely out of touch with the cities struggling economy. The potential danger that the new traffic arrangements pose to businesses and customers. It is quite obvious that the BID company Dublintown do not represent its members nor do they represent the business community there is very very little support, if any, for the renewal of the BID at this stage.
4 As a member of the BID board from 2014-2017 I myself experienced first hand the attitude of the executive of the BID and its Board. I am on record, I have written in the media on the issue and I wish to state here in my submission that it is my firm belief that Dublintown/BID is simply a private enterprise solely engaged with its own self-obsession. At board meetings, I was treated appallingly from the moment I arrived at the company. I was hindered in every single way possible in my attempts to get clarity and transparency and good governance into the company. At AGM’s that were attended by and large, by mainly staff and board members, the members who attended these meetings seeking answers were simply dismissed as cranks. They were not valued as members, they were not valued as individuals and in many incidences I witnessed the BID executive simply laughing and sneering at members while they pressed for answers to questions because the executive knew that an unjust law, the BID levy, was on their side and they could press gang members and use legal instrument to extract an unfair rate and then proceed to squander this money on trivia and amateur public spectacle in the form of ‘Dine in Dublin’, ‘Christmas in Dublin’ and ‘Dublintown Fashion week’ . This amounted to a visual pollutant on our streets to the great annoyance of many local businesses who saw their money being wasted in this manner on the promotion of Dublintown rather than on the city center and their businesses.
5 The BID was initially set up by people who had great love, great pride and great concern for Dublin city. The BID was designed and initiated to create a greener, cleaner safer environment and to promote the best that this city has to offer. None of its founding members are in favour of the BID today, as a matter of fact, they are on public record that the whole thing is gaudy and should be stopped. The BID/Dublintown got itself involved with the issues of drug taking on our city center streets. It failed entirely to impact in any positive way and instead got into bed with what can only be described as the pro-drugs lobby and promoted and supported drug injection centres in our city centre rather than treatment and detox centres. During my time as a board member of the BID the CEO never made me aware as a board member that he was actually on the Board of the Anna Livia Drug Centre, I only learned this recently. Even when making statements about the issues of drugs on our streets, the CEO failed to mention that he was a member of the Board of the Anna Livia Drugs project. In a nutshell, this organisation BID/Dublintown is more about ego and personality than it is about principles or enhancing the cities economy and the cities offering. Indeed, the CEO himself, has on a number of occasions attacked his own members both verbally and physically and at present An Garda Siochána are investigating a complaint of assault against the CEO.
6 In conclusion, as the person in charge of the oversight of the BID renewal scheme, I am now calling on you to make public and transparent a full and correct list of the register of those who are eligible to vote in the BID renewal scheme. This document to supply the business and the individual who the vote is made out to. That all votes handed out are numbered, stamped and secure. That no individual or company can sign multi-votes. That every single member be made aware that they can attend the count of the vote. The Dublintown be informed that they cannot use any monies belonging to the company in the promotion of a YES vote. That Dublin City Council as the agent and officers charged with this plebiscite make it known by public announcement press statement that there is a vast group of businesses who have formed themselves into a VOTE NO campaign against the BID renewal and that this campaign be given parity of esteem and the same facilities and platform that Dublin City Council affords the BID company Dublintown and assists it in all of its efforts for due process, balance and equal rights and equality in this election process.
It also should be noted, that I as an Independent Dublin City Councillor and former member of the BID board will be initiating a campaign on behalf of many members of the BID called the RIGHT TO EXIT THE BID COMPANY and I will be seeking permission to erect posters, distribute leaflets, hold public meetings in our effort to have the renewal of BID voted out.
Also, I have the full informed consent of many members to use the logos of their own company and paraphernalia in their campaign for a NO vote and there is no copyright infringements.
Dublin City Council has an obligation in law to inform every single member of the BID that they have the right to VOTE NO and that this is of extreme importance and they must do this by a public campaign. They have the financial resources to do this from the membership subscription.
Also, the law agent Terence O Keefe of DCC, be informed of all of these matters and also that he make a public statement that clarifies this complete renewal process.
Yours sincerely, Cllr Mannix Flynn
The bullyboys of Dublintown/BID are trying to censor us, close down a democratic right for a NO campaign in the forthcoming renewal scheme for the BID (Business Improvement District). Hundreds of small struggling businesses are forced to pay a double rate that is grossly unfair. They have asked me to represent them and create a campaign on their behalf in support of their right to Exit the BID by voting NO to the BID scheme renewal in June/July 2017.
I served on the BID board for two and a half years, so I’m in a strong position to have a valid and honest opinion based on facts.
The members of the company have given me the right to use what they see as their intellectual property – logos, etc, in order to get their message across. That they no longer want to be part of the BID. They no longer want this company demanding money off of them under legal threat.
These are genuine people who are conscripted into the BID scheme and they find it grossly unfair. On the other hand, the BID company is an ego trip with a grandiose idea of itself spending large amounts of money on self-promotion while the business district is in shambles and shops are emptying.
It’s a sorry day when public money is used by a private company to try and close down free speech, independent opinion, and democratic process. Dublintown/BID was set up by statute. Dublin City Council’s Rates Department collect a rate on it’s behalf. It is in fact a public entity and has to be open to full scrutiny and challenges from all of us, especially elected representatives.
We are all too aware in this country of what’s going on in the institutions and the so-called trusted entities. The BID company – Dublintown, does not have the confidence of the vast majority of its members and that is obvious in their attempts to legally bully anyone who gets in their way and especially those who I support in their right to exit the BID.
Here is the legal letter that I’m putting into the public domain in the interest of openness and transparency. The submission that I made to Dublin City Council (2 days ago) is protected under the data protection act so it’s extremely odd that my correspondence in relation to this matter to Dublin City Council was handed over to the BID company.
(I will post my submission as a separate blog shortly)
Earlier today our printers received a legal letter telling them to stop printing posters Cllr for Mannix Flynn on foot of legal threat. This again is outrageous, underhand and legal bullying.
But I have no intention of stepping back of reneging on the many small businesses who asked for my support.
Join the campaign. Spread the word. Call into shops and support the small businesses and not self-serving entities like Dublintown/BID.
NO TO THE BID RENEWAL SCHEME.
Find out more on the No Campaign website http://www.notothebidcampaign
No 21 Aungier Street is designated under 4 different legal principles; National Monuments and Sites Act, Article 38 protecting all original materials and use, Section 19 Revenue Act amortising costs against tax and access to the public, 2000 planning and Development act on the list of the RPS (Record of Protected Structure)
- 1992 the building was recognised by Dublin Civic Trust as a late 17th century building. It was reported to the relevant department and was given status – protective status under the monument and sites act and registered as a National Monument.
- 1995 The Bord Pleanala reversed the demolition order on it. Because of its status, an appeal was made to the word and the Bord reversed the decision by DCC and the building was vested in the ownership of the Dublin Civic Trust.
- 1995-97 Research to prove historic and material significance – the dating of timber frame walls which are very early. The timber dating of the early staircase to 1680. This is the only full staircase of its kind going up 4 floors with 6 turns in it – it has early pear shaped balustrades the same as the ones in the Royal Hospital.
Number 21 Aungier Street is a substantial late 17th-century mansion one of the oldest recorded buildings in the city, a structure of outstanding architectural and historical significance, built during the 1660s on lands leased by Sir Francis Aungier to Robert Reading, Esq., an influential colleague of the Duke of Ormond, and was subsequently home to the Earls of Rosse, supporters of King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.
The building is a rare surviving example in Dublin of the transition in building technology from late medieval timber framing to brick and masonry construction.
It substantially retains its original plan and layout, consisting of four rooms, arranged around a centrally positioned staircase and two massive chimney stacks, flanked by smaller closet rooms.
The internal walls are timber-framed and are similar in character to those found in Numbers 9- 9A Aungier Street, a 17th-century mansion that has more recently come to light, a building recognised for its rarity by Dublin City Council, conservation department.
The staircase in No.21 survives intact, it rises six flights through the building, featuring squared newels, a wide heavy handrail and handsome pear-shaped balusters characteristic of the late 17th century and is the only means of accessing the upper floors.
Renovation of the building
In 1992, planning permission was granted for demolition of the building, which was subsequently overturned by An Bord Pleanála in acknowledgement of the mansion’s outstanding architectural significance. Through Dublin Civic Trust’s intervention, (then) Dublin Corporation arranged for a site swap with the developer who had originally purchased it from the Corporation, and subsequently vested the property in Dublin Civic Trust in 1995.
The Dublin Civic Trust undertook a major year-long programme of structural stabilisation, conservation and restoration as a pioneering built heritage demonstration project, which was grant aided by Dublin Corporation and the Department of Environment.
This included extensive steel and masonry bracing, reinstating the roof, repointing the late Georgian façade of c.1810, salvaging and refurbishing all original joinery elements, lime plaster wall and ceiling repairs, and the careful reinstatement of windows to exact historic profiles. A stand-out element of the works was the meticulous consolidation and repair of the rare original staircase and timber-framed walls.
Upon completion of the essential conservation works, Dublin Civic Trust sold the property under our Revolving Fund Scheme to a private owner who undertook to complete the building and operate it as a 15-bedroom heritage guesthouse with associated café at ground floor level. The grant of permission for this use (Ref: 2678/96), which operated until approximately the year 2000, was conditioned on reasonable public access being afforded to the first-floor level, in addition to full public access at ground floor level. Under the same grant, a planning condition required an agreement to be signed under Section 38 of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1963 (amended) stipulating the preservation of the original staircase, original timber beams and medieval timber partitions, original free standing chimney stacks, and the restored front and rear walls. A further condition requested that “no further subdivisions of the important ground and first floors shall be permitted.”
- On completion of the restoration in 1997 the Dublin Civic Trust – the building was launched by the then minister Liz Mc Manus – a section 38 agreement was drawn up protecting all original material identified and stating that this would not be removed or interfered with in the foreseeable future – this was signed by Dublin Corporation.
- Section 19 under the Revenue act was obtained on the building which entitled a would-be purchaser to amortise the restoration costs against their tax liability. This was subsequently used by the new owner.
Since approximately the year 2000 Number 21 was pressed into unauthorised use as a long-term hostel providing residential accommodation for the Immigration Service, and latterly to the Department of Justice as a step-down facility for young offenders. This use was in breach of the authorised guesthouse use which afforded public access to the property and facilitated the appreciation and enjoyment of its unique heritage features.
Irish Times, March 2nd 2017: Olivia O Kelly
Irish Times, March 26th 2017: Olivia O Kelly
Tonight before Dublin City Council meeting a motion will be tabled to discontinue the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s patronage of the Artane Band. This band form part of the institutional gulags that are directly connected to the Tuam mother and baby home, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and reform school system, the orphanages, Bethany Home and the many other sites and centres of injustice to children and women that are scattered around this country.
Please support our campaign to disband the Artane Band.
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL
Emergency Motion on behalf of Independent Cllr. Mannix Flynn (IND)
That this meeting of Dublin City Council calls on the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Brendan Carr, to withdraw the patronage of the Lord Mayor’s Office from the Artane Band.
This patronage causes grave offense and insult to the many who suffered child sexual abuse in the Artane Industrial School, Artane Boys Band and other such Christian Brother Institutions.
It is important to note that the present Artane Band was founded in the Artane Industrial school and continues to wear the insignia and uniform of that industrial school. Its origins are firmly rooted in the industrial school system and its legacy of crimes against children, further it is still connected to the Christian Brothers organization.
The Lord Mayor, Cllr. Brendan Carr, has continued to ignore the many who are campaigning for justice with regards to what happened in their childhoods in the Artane Industrial school and indeed the Artane Boys Band, where many young children were sexually, emotionally and physically abused, their suffering continues to this day
For the Lord Mayor and chairman of Dublin City Council to continue to be the patron of the Artane Band is an outrage and will bring Dublin City Council’s reputation into disrepute by supporting the legacy of child abuse that took place in Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band. It is important that Dublin City Council and the office of the Lord Mayor distance themselves from this band and its history, which are well documented in the Ryan Report.
It is not the children who are in the band at present, but rather the band that the children are in, and its association with crimes against children. The institution of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band are directly connected to the likes of the Tuam Mother and Baby Homes, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and Reform School system, the Bethany Home and Orphanage system and form a central part of the architecture of containment that was so unjust.
Dublin City Council in this instance is facilitating further harm and suffering to the many victims of child rape and cruelty perpetrated on them while in the Artane Industrial School, home of the Artane Boys Band.
It is a fact that many of those who were abused and child raped by Christian Brothers were members of the Artane Boys Band, now known as the Artane Band.
Time to repeal the patronage of the present Artane Band in the interest of justice
Cllr. Mannix Flynn
Final three days of Kamerino – the Catalan pop-up shop being housed at 18 Ormond Quay Upper until Sunday evening (5th March)
Friday: Shop is open tonight until 6.30pm
Saturday: 10am until 1.30pm (closed for workshop 1.30-2.20)
Late night opening Saturday 4th March: 8pm
Workshop: 1.30pm-2.30pm Saturday 4th March (Paper hat making)
Talk: 3pm Saturday 4th March 2017
Sunday: Final Day – 10am-6pm