Call to action, all Dublin northsiders

 

Brendan Walsh

Dubliner                                 (Photo: Brendan Walsh)

 

It would appear the DublinTown/BID company is hell bent on generally demonising and othering the North side of this city.  I am a member of the DublinTown/BID board and I wish to entirely distance myself from the attached report that was presented at this afternoon’s financial meeting at Dublin City Council.

It seems that the CEO, Mr Richard Guiney, thinks he is running this city and that he can make generalised pronouncements as ‘fact’ regarding certain parts of the city.

Fear and crime in Ireland, not just Dublin, is a big issue. Fear of crime is a global issue and is well-documented, but it is seldom used to demonise an area, a neighbourhood, a community.  Somebody has to come to the defence of the great Northside of our city and the fantastic people that live and work there. DublinTown/BID was set up to improve area’s (the clue is in the name- Business Improvement District).  It was rebranded ‘We are DublinTown’ to be more inclusive and welcoming.  But when it starts to demonise and ridicule whole parts of the city, in my view, it is time to challenge Mr Guiney and his board and the whole idea of what DublinTown/BID  actually is.

As an Independent City Councillor, I have a deep loyalty to my city and its citizens and a duty to Dublin City Council.  Dublin City Council should come out and defend the city and the politicians of the Northside should come out and defend that part of the city against Mr Guiney’s and BID’s slurs about its character and good name.

Nobody has questioned DublinTown’s findings  in the attached report or where he got them from.  Nobody at the meeting today of the Finance SPC questioned him on them other than me.  On the contrary, they broadly endorsed Mr Guiney’s presentation, obviously completely unaware that he was going to present his report to the RTE news as a fait accompli. Of course, the media picked up on his negative portrayal of the Northside of our city in a sensationalist headline that doesn’t help this city in its many struggles. Or assist the many individuals and residents who go out every day to make the place a better place.

Twenty years ago, Limerick city was greatly damaged by this same kind of media coverage of reports like these and it has taken the citizens of Limerick to the present day to shrug off and counter the stigmatising of that great city.  As in Limerick, short term sensational headlines did most of the damage and DublinTown and Mr. Guiney are now engaged in that same practice and Dublin will suffer greatly as a result of their careless recklessness toward the businesses and citizens of this city.

The reputation of Dublin and in particular Dublin’s Northside is at stake here.

DublinTown/BID is not a statutory organisation.  It should not be given a carte blanche platform to put out these reports. I am constantly questioning DublinTown/BID and the manner in which it is allowed to conduct its business in this city.  It carries a big business agenda and ignores SMEs and shops and as, in this report, it recklessly ghettoises a large part of the commercial and residential district. In my opinion, this renders BID unfit for purpose as it is negatively branding the north side of the city and spreading more loathing and fear. Not even An Garda Siochána would put out such a report and description.

For an organisation like DublinTown/BID to be doing this is an agenda of destruction, disregard, and disrespect for the city’s northside. City dwellers, especially northsiders should stand up to this and defend their city from the likes of DublinTown/BID who exist on a rate payers’ levy that is akin to a ransom demand according to most small business who are in a deep financial struggle to even exist.

For a company that is given rate payers’ money and allowed do this with it without being challenged is an absolute disgrace. Shame on the DublinTown/BID company, its board and its CEO for this action and these outrageous statements.

They should unreservedly apologise to the northsiders of Dublin for undermining them and stigmatising them in such a fashion.  If they were to do this to Grafton Street or indeed, South William Street there would be an unmerciful outcry.  We need now to hear the real voice of the Northside. The real voice of all Dubliner’s who love their city.

Mr. Guiney of DublinTown, instead of creating unity and a shared city that we can all enjoy, is creating a city of divide and foreboding and this at the expense of the city and its citizens, and he gets rate payers’ money to do it.

Given the day that’s in it, Bloomsday, where we celebrate the greatness of our city in all its guises from the Monto to the Sandycove Martello tower – it’s time to defend Dublin in all its aches, pains and glories.

Up the Dubs.

Link to RTE report: http://m.rte.ie/news/2016/0616/796148-dublin-opinion/

To extinguish or not to extinguish, that is the question.

Off Grafton St. Dublin

Off Grafton St. Dublin

Today was the final day to raise concerns around the public right of way at Tangier Lane.

 

To Whom It May Concern,

I wish to raise some observations regarding the proposal to consider the extinguishment of the right of way at Tangier Lane Dublin 2.

While I understand that this process is being initiated in order to combat anti-social behaviour in the area, that anti social behaviour will simply go to the next laneway or the next street or the next cul-de-sac and, in my opinion, is not a valid way of dealing with public domain anti-social behaviour and is not a very sound reason for closing off these intricate and curious laneways that dot Dublin city.

In many instants where these orders have been carried out the public are the losers and many of these laneways simply end up as rather unkempt storage facilities for the many businesses operating in the laneways, while the public are met either with an inappropriate iron gate or a wooden gate which has very little aesthetic no relationship to the architecture or shop fronts in the area.

At present, Grafton St and its quarter are undergoing rejuvenation and major improvements.  Special architectural conservation legislation is rightly being applied to these environs and consideration needs to be taken of the negative impact that the closing down of Tangier lane would have on the vision for Grafton Street.  In my opinion, what is needed to combat anti-social behaviour is more public domain management and enforcement through rolling out of more effective community Gardai and an educational process.

Public lavatories and conveniences would go a long way to curtail much of what the users of Tangier lane have to witness as they go to and from work.  The many agencies that dispense needles to intravenous drug users could be informed much more effectively in relation to how much impact their product has when it is dumped in laneways by their many clients.

I note that this request came as a result of the BIDS company and representation to that company by a number of businesses in the area, indeed, I’ve spoken to staff at the Gaeity Theatre and listened to their concerns with regards health and safety.  Those same health and safety issues are evident on King Street as well as on Tangiers Lane.  Is it foreseeable that the next step we’ll be taking will be to extinguish public rights of way in main thoroughfares.

I can well understand the case for residents in residential areas wishing to have laneways at the backs of their houses made more secure from anti-social behaviour and burglary.  The case is somewhat different when it is laneways in the centre of our city where there are few residential populations.

Given that unacceptable social behaviour, the numbers of people who engage in it and where they congregate is on the rise, I feel that this whole issue of extinguishing public rights of way in residential and business areas and in general needs a special consideration

Finally, if this application is successful, I would respectfully ask that in the planning stages serious consideration be given to the gates that would be placed at the entrance of Tangier lane.  That the original old Irish enamel signage (in Gaelic and English) be retained and remain visible at the entrance and protected.  And that this gateway would be opened in the daytime and also within this consideration that a wrought Iron gate would be the appropriate material allowing visibility and the presence of Tangier lane to be retained as opposed to the situation for instance on Wicklow Street and other areas where solid gates have been used to block off completely all visibility of the laneways.  It should also be considered that the laneway not be used for extra storage of barrels and bottles and rubbish etc.

In conclusion, I would like to request an oral hearing in relation to this matter at this particular location.


Yours truly,

 

Cllr Mannix Flynn

Independent Cllr South East Area, Dublin

Tangier Lane Notice

Public Meeting Aungier Street Dublin

PUBLIC MEETING
Monday 20th May

7pm , The Carmelite Centre, Aungier Street

An opportunity to discuss local policing issues
Hosted by
Charlemont/Whitefriar Street Local Policing
Forum

For more information contact:
Carol Finlay: 086 8151507
e-mail: carol.finlay@dublincity.