Archive for May, 2009



Cllr. Donnelly welcomes Green Party Leader’s clampdown on rogue builders

13th May 2009

-Developers who leave housing estates unfinished to be targeted

Green Party candidate Cllr. Dominick Donnelly has welcomed moves by Environment Minister and Green Party Leader John Gormley to clamp down on rogue builders who leave housing estates and apartment blocks unfinished.

For the first time, Councils will be able to share information on bad builders and apply it to planning decisions, ensuring that those with a history of unfinished projects will be unable to get planning permission for their next project.

Green candidate Dominick Donnelly who is running for election to Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council said: “The issue of unfinished estates, with poor roads, neglected green areas and lack of lighting has been coming up on the doors again and again. Many of the housing estates built during the boom were never properly finished, leaving those who paid high prices for their houses to put up with neglected and in some cases, dangerous roads, footpaths and green areas.”

The clampdown initiated by Minister Gormley will result in a national system to share information between Councils, who can track a developer or builder’s previous record. Currently, local authorities cannot take a developer’s track record into account when considering planning permission, allowing rogue developers to reoffend.  

“These welcome moves will encourage developers to finish off roads and footpaths and to finish garden landscaping, if they want to get permission for their next project,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

The new planning laws will come into effect under the Planning bill 2009, which is currently being finalised by Minster Gormley.

Cllr. Donnelly calls for directly elected mayor for County Cork

13 May 2009

Cork County Council should follow Dublin’s lead and elect a powerful mayor

Green Party county council candidate and former Mayor of Passage West, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly has said that people in County Cork would benefit from a powerful directly elected mayor with powers to direct transport, planning and other local services.

Following the announcement by Minister for Local Government John Gormley that Dubliners will be voting for a mayor with a range of new powers next summer, Cllr. Donnelly said: “Our county deserves a mayor with real powers, elected by the people – and answerable to them. We would benefit from an elected mayor that could better steer policies to create jobs and improve local services in our area.  I hope that Dublin is just a starting point for powerful mayors and I encourage people to support my campaign for a directly elected mayor for County Cork.”

“The green paper on local government reform, published by Minister Gormley last April, was in favour of directly elected mayors in cities and counties. It also recommended that the democratic policy making function of local government would be strengthened by giving important powers of initiation – budgets, development plans etc, to the mayor.  I hope that the forthcoming white paper which is due to be published soon will support this recommendation and I ask people to give me their support so I can convince John Gormley that County Cork needs a directly elected mayor,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

Links:

More details on Minister Gormley’s announcement can be found at: http://www.greenparty.ie/en/news/latest_news/elected_mayor_for_dublin_next_summer

The government’s green paper on local government reform can be accessed at: http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/LocalGovernmentReform/

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes announcement of new weekly bus service from Passage West to Carrigaline, under the Rural Transport Scheme

11th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, has welcomed the announcement by South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD) of a new weekly bus service from Passage West to Carrigaline, via Monkstown and Ringaskiddy, under the Rural Transport Scheme.

Cllr. Donnelly, who is a director of SECAD, said: “This new bus service, which will run on a Friday and which will start in mid-June, is wonderful news for the communities of Passage West, Monkstown, Ringaskiddy, Shanbally and Carrigaline.  The Rural Transport Scheme is primarily aimed at older members of the community, and it will be wonderful for them to be able to access Carrigaline, even if it is only once a week.  All of the new services which SECAD have started under the Rural Transport Scheme over the past year or so have been successful, with increasing numbers availing of the service, and I have no doubt that the Passage West to Carrigaline service will be just as successful.”

“I first put a motion before Passage West Town Council on the issue of starting a bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline about four years ago, and there was a follow up meeting between the town council and Joe Fitzgerald of Bus Eireann on this issue, but in the intervening years we have heard nothing back from Bus Eireann.  It is ludicrous that there is no public transport service linking the communities of Passage West, Monkstown and Ringaskiddy with Carrigaline.  This has caused major problems for the communities over the years, and has led to a very high level of car dependency in the area, which is simply not sustainable into the future.  I do hope that this new service will show to Bus Eireann that there is a demand for such a service, and that they will finally establish a full daily service along this route,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes Government announcement of funding of €2.9 Million for Private House Grants for Older People and People with a Disability for South Cork

11th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, has welcomed the recent announcement by Mr. Michael Finneran, T.D., Minister for Housing and Local Services, that his Department has allocated €2.9 million for the funding of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability in private houses for 2009 in Sout Cork, out of a total national allocation of €79.5 million.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “These schemes are vitally important in assisting older people and people with a disability to continue to live in their own homes and communities with the dignity that they deserve. There was a record level of activity under these schemes during 2008, and this year’s funding allocation allows for a high level of activity also. This funding is vital to give the elderly and those with disabilities to continue to live independently in their own homes.”

Cllr. Donnelly urges activists to apply for green funding from EU

8th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council, has urged environmental activists in South Cork to apply for EU funding to support projects on nature conservation and education. €1.7 billion will be provided by the EU in a programme designed to educate people on environmental matters.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “This is a golden opportunity to progress projects promoting environmental conservation and education. Some possible projects that could benefit from this funding are the development of a wildlife interpretive centre at Harper’s Island in the upper reaches of Cork Harbour, near Glouthaune, or the further enhancement of the Green Schools Project in schools in South Cork, or the expansion of National Tree Week to encourage the further planting of trees and the conservation of existing woodlands.”

“I am available to help any groups with their funding applications, and I will be working directly with a number of groups directly to help them receive the funding they deserve. This is great news for South Cork, but we must get our thinking caps on, get the ideas together and make sure the applications are done properly,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

Further Information: The following information is from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

The EU LIFE+ Programme 2007-2013 is a dedicated EU funding programme for environmental projects. Covering the period 2007-2013, Life+ will provide €1.7 billion for co-funded projects across the EU which are linked to nature conservation, environmental technology and the communication of environmental matters.

The European Commission is expected to issue its third annual call for proposals under the Life+ programme on 15 May 2009. The call will include full details and conditions regarding the submission of applications the closing date for which is expected to be 5 September 2009. Guidelines and applications forms for the 2009 Call will be available from 15 May 2009 at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/lifeplus.htm

In order to assist potential applicants, an information workshop, conducted by the EU Commission, will be held in the offices of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1 on 29th May 2009. Persons wishing to attend the workshop should contact: Brian Earley at Brian_Earley@environ.ie as soon as possible as places may be limited. Further information on the implementation of the LIFE+ Programme in Ireland is available at http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/SustainableDevelopment

Cllr. Donnelly expresses regret that Cork Swansea ferry service will not resume until 2010

6th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, has expressed regret that the new Cork to Swansea ferry service, which has been backed by a Cork based co-operative, will not now start its service until 2010.

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, who is an investor in the co-operative backing the ferry, said:  “It is a great pity that the operators were not able to get this service up and running this year.  However they were always going to be up against the wire time-wise, and the delays in sorting out the purchase of the ferry Julia in Finland have made it impossible to get up and running in time for the main season this year.  I wish to congratulate all of those who have put in enormous work to try to get this going this year, and we must all now be patient, and wait till next year to see this vital service up and running.”

“With the airline industry in an inevitable long slow decline due to climate change and rising oil prices, it is vital that our ferry and shipping links are developed.  We are an island, and shipping will be absolutely essential for trade and tourism in the years and decades to come.  Those behind the resumption of the Cork Swansea ferry service will be seen to be visionaries in the future.  It is the only form of international transport which the planet can sustain,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded.

Any posters erected before midnight should all receive fines of €150 each say Cork Greens

5th May 2009  11 pm

The Cork Green Party has expressed its absolute disgust at all the many candidates who have broken the law and started putting up their election posters before midnight of Tuesday night.  As of Tuesday evening there are countless posters around the city area, from members of all the main parties except the Green Party.

On behalf of his Green Party colleagues, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly said:  “Any candidate who started putting up their posters before midnight on Tuesday has shown a complete disregard for the law, and is therefore not fit to be elected.  The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government issued very clear instructions to all parties as to the rules around postering.  I have witnessed European election posters up well before midnight for Fine Gael (the so-called Law and Order party) candidates Sean Kelly and Colm Burke, Labour candidate Alan Kelly, Sinn Fein candidate Toireasa Ferris and independent candidate Kathy Synnott, as well as for local election candidates Seamus McGrath (Fianna Fail), Tim Lombard (Fine Gael) and Donncha O Laoghaire (Sinn Fein).  Cork City and County Councils must act on this, and must be seen to act on this.  Otherwise these cheats are just making a mockery of the law, and thereby the electorate, and they are clearly not fit for public office,” Cllr. Donnelly said.

“The City and County Councils must impose the fines of €150 for each poster.  To do otherwise would be negligent in the extreme, and would open the door to future gross neglect of the litter laws.  I have a number of photographs of posters taken before midnight on Tuesday, which will all be sent in to the relevant local authority, and I ask any members of the public with similar evidence to do likewise.  Each and all of the offences should be pursued, and the fines imposed should form part of the candidates official election expenditure.  In sport, if someone starts a race early they get disqualified, or at least a heavy penalty.  The same should apply to candidates who cannot abide by a very simple rule” Cllr. Donnelly concluded.

[ENDS]

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly (Carrigaline area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council), on behalf of fellow Green Party candidates Mick Murphy (Cork City South West), Mary Ryder (Cork City South Central), Stephen Crowley (Cork City South East) and Mark Collins (Macroom area of Cork County Council).

The people of Cork will not be taken in by Indaver’s flowery language, says Cllr. Donnelly

5th May 2009

As the second week of the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the application by Indaver Ireland to build two incinerators in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork begins, the Green Party’s candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, has criticised Indaver for trying to hide from the public the true magnitude of the effects their incinerators would have.

“For most of last week, when Indaver were presenting their case to An Bord Pleanála, their “experts” hid behind impenetrable and obscure language, which the ordinary members of the public had no hope in understanding.  In fact the Inspector reprimanded them for this.  When Indaver did eventually condescend to speak in more ordinary language, they made it sound as if what they planned to build would have no more impact on the people of Cork than if they were planting a flower garden.  They claimed their incinerators would have such little effect on health, visual amenity, traffic, property values, wildlife, pollution, etc, that any community should be welcoming them with open arms ,” Cllr. Donnelly said.

“However the people of Cork are not so gullible as to be taken in by this hogwash.  The communities around the lower harbour are resolute in their opposition to Indaver’s proposal, and have very good reasons for opposing these incinerators so vehemently.  We know that these incinerators would have permanent detrimental effects on the quality of life of those living anywhere close to Cork Harbour, and we are not willing to accept those risks.  We know that incinerators are bad for our health, particularly for young children and the unborn.  We now that this will create a bad perception of Cork Harbour as the country’s dumping ground.  We know that building incinerators at the end of a peninsula with only one main road in makes no planning sense.  We know that the scale of the building proposed would be a permanent blot on the wonderful visual landscape of Cork Harbour.  However we also know that we will do everything in our power to prevent this happening, as we have clearly shown over the past eight years,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded.

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes the Government’s setting up of an Inter-Departmental Marine Co-ordinating Group

2nd May 2009

The Green Party’s candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of State with special responsibility for forestry, fisheries and the marine, Tony Killeen, that the Government has set up a high-level Inter-Departmental Marine Co-ordinating Group.

“As a public representative alongside the second largest natural harbour in the world, Cork Harbour, I welcome this initiative from the Government. It shows that the Government are taking maritime matters seriously. As an island nation, we have not always given maritime matters the attention we should have, but the sea is one of our greatest assets, and we are completely dependent on shipping for a huge proportion of our international trade,” Cllr. Donnelly said.

“With the twin problems of climate change and peak oil signalling the inevitable demise of air travel over the next couple of decades, we will once again have to look more to the sea for most, if not all, of our international trade and travel. Also much or our energy will be coming from the sea in the near future, with the technology for both wave and tidal power developing apace, as well as off-shore wind power. In Cork Harbour we have the prospect of the Marine and Energy Research Cluster (MERC) developing in Ringaskiddy, alongside the National Maritime College of Ireland, as well as the resumption of a ferry service between Cork and Swansea during the summer (Fastnet Line). Maritime matters will be even more central to our economic wellbeing in the future, and it is important that the Government take maritime issues seriously now to plan for that future,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded.

Cllr. Donnelly congratulates Tesco workers in Douglas, as their strike is over

1st May 2009

At direct talks between Tesco management and the Mandate union in the Labour Relations Commission yesterday evening, agreement was reached on the transfer of staff from the old shop to the new Tesco Extra shop in Douglas.  The Green Party’s candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, congratulated all sides in bringing the dispute to a speedy resolution.  It just remains for Tesco and Mandate to go back to the LRC next Thursday to sign off on the agreement.

“The long-standing workers at Tesco in Douglas are delighted that they can now transfer to the new shop with all their terms and conditions intact.  This is all they wanted all along, and why Tesco was trying to bully them in to accepting lesser terms and conditions, when Tesco is highly profitable, is a symptom of a corporate greed culture which must be challenged, whenever it rears its ugly head,” Cllr. Donnelly said.

“The workers were absolutely delighted with the support they received from the people and businesses of the Douglas area, without whom this result would not have been possible.  This dispute was a classic case of people power – when people stand together to fight for what they believe to be right, anything can be achieved,”  Cllr. Donnelly added.


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