Rate Cuts for Local Sports Clubs On the Way

September 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kilmacud Crokes 1

This week at Cabinet the Government agreed to proceed with legislation that will exempt local sports clubs from paying commercial rates on the non-profit parts of their building.

The Government proposal will make sports clubs exempt from paying rates on non-commercial buildings on their grounds. At present, any club that has a bar or shop facility is liable to pay rates based on the entire value of their premises. The Government proposal will exclude non-commercial buildings, such as dressing rooms, indoor courts and gymnasiums, from the overall rates process.

Many local clubs will stand to benefit from this proposal including our GAA Clubs like Kilmacud Crokes, Naomh Olaf or Ballinteer St. John’s and rugby clubs such as De La Salle Palmerston F.C., and Bective Rangers F.C.

This is a welcome development for sports clubs across South Dublin who are integral to our community, especially the health and wellbeing our young people, and often operate on tight budgets. The Government has clearly listened to and considered the views of sports clubs that are struggling financially and recognises their need for financial relief at this time.

Local sports clubs have made it clear to me that the current situation has placed an unfair financial burden on them. I’m glad the Government is acting to make the rate system fairer for the benefit of sports clubs and their members.

It will free up vital funds within clubs which can now be channelled into buying new equipment, improving facilities or encouraging new members to join.

It is another indication of how we are working hard to give back to local communities as the economy recovers, and I hope the knock-on effect will be an increase in participation in sports among young people.

Steering Group to Advise on Energy Policy Paper Announced

September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Green Energy

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White T.D., today opened the next phase of the public consultation process as part of the development of a White Paper on Energy Policy.

At the event, Minister White announced that he will chair a Steering Group that will advise on the finalisation of the Energy Policy Paper. He confirmed that John Fitzgerald (ESRI),  Brian Motherway (SEAI), and Helen Donoghue (IIEA) are pleased to participate on the Steering Group, together with three officials from the Department.

The launch event was held today in Dublin and was attended by over 150 stakeholders. In welcoming the attendees, the Minister noted the timeliness of the event, one day after the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York, attended by over 120 Heads of State and Government.  The Minister also reviewed progress to date and set out the next steps towards the development of a definitive Energy Policy Paper for publication by September 2015. The event follows the launch of the public consultation process with the publication of the Energy Policy Green Paper in May by the Minister’s predecessor, Mr. Pat Rabbitte, TD, which has stirred an enthusiastic debate on energy policy in Ireland across a diverse range of stakeholders. The consultation resulted in over 1,200 responses being received by the July closing date. The significant response demonstrates the strong interest in choosing the optimal route for future energy policy.

Minister White said, “My Department has conducted an initial analysis of the valuable contributions made by interested parties. The key issues raised in relation to each of the areas set out in the Green Paper have been identified.  This launch event today kicks off further engagement with stakeholders, as I had previously indicated in July. My officials will host several events with stakeholders on all of the priorities set out in the Green Paper, to ensure that all of the issues identified in the submissions are fully understood.  We want to be sure that the assumptions on which the White Paper will be written are tested and accurate. As I said in July following the great interest shown in the development of a fit-for-purpose Energy Policy, there is an absolute necessity for the White Paper to set a balanced, robust and enabling framework for Ireland’s Energy transition.  I want a dynamic and responsive evidence based framework that will allow all of us to steer the appropriate course as we seek to deal with sustainability, security and competitiveness challenges and opportunities.” 

The Minister went on to say, “Energy Policy is first and foremost about people – we need to ensure a safe, sustainable, economic and cost-effective energy sector, no matter who the consumer is, be they householders, small start-up businesses, multi-nationals – or one of our younger citizens needing access to a warm comfortable room for play, study or rest. We must develop an energy policy that underpins the social recovery that is underway and that facilitates further economic development for the betterment of society as a whole. We must not lose sight of this main goal, because an energy policy developed with this main aim in mind will be sustainable in the long term.” 

The consultation process now continues with further engagement at various stakeholder events between now and the end of the year.  Drafting of the White Paper will follow in the first half of 2015 with a view to publication of a finalised White Paper by September. The new Energy Policy Framework will be timely in that it will be guided by Ireland’s input to the EU’s 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy policies and the preparations for the UN’s COP21 in Paris (the 21st Conference of the Parties within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in November next year.








Launching Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

Today I launched Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week with Anne Doyle. Carbon Monoxide is highly dangerous. You can’t see it or smell it. In fact it is often called “the silent killer”. You can protect your home from the dangers of this deadly gas by taking preventive measures and by learning to recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Check the website http://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/ for more information and keep your home safe from the build-up of dangerous carbon monoxide.

State of the Art ESB Control Centre Opens in Dublin South

September 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

ESB Chief Executive, Pat O'Doherty, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD and Jerry O'Sullivan, Managing Director ESB Networks Ltd at the launch of the ESB Networks new electricity Distribution Control Centre in South Dublin. The Control Centre, constructed at a cost of 4 million euro is among the most advanced in Europe and puts Ireland at the forefront of centralised electricity control.Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2014

ESB Chief Executive, Pat O’Doherty, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD and Jerry O’Sullivan, Managing Director ESB Networks Ltd at the launch of the ESB Networks new electricity Distribution Control Centre in South Dublin. Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2014

I was delighted to open the  ESB Networks new electricity distribution control centre in Dublin South on Friday, which provides the capacity to centrally control Ireland’s electricity distribution network.

The new control centre places Ireland firmly at the forefront of smart grid development by significantly enhancing the way in which energy can be managed, right across the system. As well as bringing benefits for existing Irish customers, it will increase Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for overseas business.

The new control centre uses state-of-the-art technology to centrally manage electricity flows around the network, allowing safer management of the system and faster restoration of power following power outages and storms. By allowing operatives to centrally change the flow of electricity at remote points on the network, it advances ESB Network’s smart network strategy and paves the way for further increases in distributed renewable generation on the system.

Constructed at a cost of €4m, the centre is among the most advanced in Europe, and has already become a reference site for global utilities seeking to upgrade their own control centres. The centre was custom-designed by ESB Networks, ESB International and French design company Ink Design.

Culture Night in Dublin South (Sept. 19th)

September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment


Tomorrow night (Fri. September 19th) is Culture Night. Dublin South/Rathdown will be buzzing with over twelve unique events taking place across our locality. Please find below information on each of the events and see what takes your fancy.

Tiny Plays for Dundrum at the Mill Theatre

Phone: 01 296 9340, Website: http://www.milltheatre.ie/

In 2012, Fishamble: The New Play Company, and Mill Theatre Dundrum, ran a mentorship scheme for emerging playwrights and directors, with the support of DLRCC. The participants produced a series of “Tiny Plays” first performed in December 2012 at Mill Theatre Dundrum. The Mill is delighted to welcome back “Tiny Plays for Dundrum” for Culture Night 2014 using actors and directors from the Dundrum area, with lighting, sound and production by the Mill Theatre. Each tiny play is complete in itself reflecting the very real changes in Irish Society; conflict and resolution , laughter and tears in small perfect packages. Drop in, no booking required. Performances at 7.30pm and 8.30pm, Main Auditorium


Come and experience Culture Night at Airfield. We will be opening the house and gardens for some tours, talks and activities from 5pm-10pm with last admissions at 9pm. Explore our heritage exhibition and discover the lives of the Overend family with archival footage taken by the family. Step back in time and don some Victorian clothing with our of range costumes and props. Meet our gardeners and growers for some interesting talks and tips. We will have our nature expert on hand to introduce you to the wildlife of Airfield while education team will be holding a number of nature based activities for young children to get involved in. No booking required. Events & tours are drop-in, first-come first-served.

Ballyroan Library

Time: 7:30pm–9pm, Phone: 01 494 1900, Website: http://www.southdublinlibraries.ie

Ballyroan Library is proud to present “Was the Great War a Good War for Ireland?” – a talk by Pádraig Yeates. Pádraig is a journalist, publicist, trade union activist and author of the acclaimed “A City in Wartime: Dublin 1914–18.

Dance and Fitness Classes

Time: 7pm – 8pm, Phone: 01 299 5610. Website: http://www.dlrleisureservices.ie/meadowbrook/

Dlr Leisure Services is delighted to invite visitors to sample free classes in zumba and aqua aerobics on Culture Night. Aqua Aerobics is at 7pm and Zumba is at 8pm. Call 01 299 5610 to book a place.

Films at the UCD Student Centre Cinema

Time: 5pm & 8pm, Phone: 01 716 3810, Website: www.ucd.ie/cinema

5pm – Next Goal Wins Dir: Mike Brett, Steve Jamison (2014)

When the American Samoan national soccer team suffered the world’s worst defeat, losing to Australia 31-0, these tiny islands crash-landed into last place in the FIFA world rankings, and became known as “the worst team in the world.” Despite having not won an official match for more than a decade, the team is held together by their pure love of soccer, deep faith, and American Samoan pride. Next Goal Wins delivers an intimate view of their miraculous efforts as they train for the next World Cup and a chance to redefine their international reputation.

8pm – Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête chinois) Dir: Cédric Klapisch (2014) Starring: Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cécile de France, Kelly Reilly, Sandrine Holt, Margaux Mansart, Pablo Mugnier-Jacob, Flore Bonaventura, Benoît Jacquot

Eleven years ago, L’Auberge espagnole (Pot Luck) introduced French finance student Xavier’s (Duris) Barcelona misadventures with a rambunctious assortment of European twentysomethings. 2005’s Russian Dolls found him juggling work and romance between London, St Petersburg and Paris. Third time out, Xavier, now 40 and newly divorced, follows his English ex-wife Wendy (Reilly) to New York to be near their kids, trying, yet again, to start over. Without missing a beat, Cédric Klapisch picks up his freewheeling relationship saga, the Big Apple proving fruitful terrain for his whimsical look at life, love, art and culture clashes (Xavier contending with Chinatown’s multicultural mix). Please book via the website http://www.ucd.ie/cinema Enquiries 01 716 3810

Gaslight, A Radio Play for Stage

Time: 7.30pm, Website: http://www.sandyfordlittletheatrecompany.ie

Presented by Sandyford Little Theatre, Gaslight, A Radio Play for Stage (Directed by Moira Walsh), is a thriller based on the classic film noir. It tells the story of a young woman, Paula, who falls in love with Gregory, a man several years her senior. She is swept along by his charm from their idyllic honeymoon in Milan to their perfect home in London. But Gregory’s love soon becomes sinister, driving his wife to doubt her sanity. Who is this Gregory and what is really his motive in marrying Paula? The immediacy of Paula’s fear is palpable and the unbearable suspense that is created by Gregory’s manipulation of Paula will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. 24 characters played by 7 actors with live singing, music and sound effects. The Band Stand, Dundrum Town Centre plaza (beside the lake). Outdoor performance (weather permitting), dress accordingly, no booking required.

Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum

Time: 5:30pm–7:30pm, Phone: 01 217 6130, Website: http://www.imaginosity.ie

After-hours family fun full of discovery and delight, as adults and children (0–9 yrs) can explore our interactive, educational museum, engaging in creative imaginative play. 3 floors of hands-on, exciting exhibits will entertain and educate. Booking essential.* *Please note that this event is now booked out.

Mount Anville Secondary School

Phone: 01 288 5313, Website: http://www.mountanville.ie

Choirs, orchestra, dance and art. Beautiful grounds and chapel featuring stained glass windows by renowned artist Harry Clarke. ‘Sacred Hearts + Minds’ exhibition which celebrates the contribution of the Sacred Heart order to education in Ireland.

Music Classes at Kilternan School of Music

Phone: 086 258 2082, Website: http://www.kilternanschoolofmusic.com

On Culture Night Kilternan School of Music is delighted to open up the doors to give young and old the opportunity to try an instrument lesson. We will have free classes available in guitar, piano, violin, cello, clarinet, saxophone, and drums. We will also have singing lessons and if we get enough interest we will have some group singing for fun also.For junior infants to first class we will have pre instrumental classes where we will have fun with percussion instruments, sing and play musical games. It is sure to be a fun evening and we look forward to giving you a small taste of learning an instrument.Classes will be held from 5pm – 7pm on the 19th and will be in small groups or 20 minute individual slots.To book, email info@kilternanschoolofmusic.com putting “CULTURE NIGHT” in the subject line. Tell us about yourself/your child and what you are looking for and we will get back to you to confirm a time.

New music by Kian Geiselbrechtinger at the Mill Theatre

Time: 7.30pm, Phone: 01 296 9340. Website: http://www.milltheatre.ie

The Mill Theatre is pleased to present performance of new music by composer and performer Kian Geiselbrechtinger, taking place in the Maureen O’Hara Studio.7.30pm, no booking required.

Pearse Museum / St Enda’s Park

Time: 5pm–9pm, Phone: 01 493 4208, Website: http://www.heritageireland.ie

Visit the historic Georgian mansion where Patrick Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Rising, lived and ran his innovative school, Scoil Éanna. Free guided tours will be available and there will be live music in the background on the night.

UCD College of Science. Artists In Residence – Open Studios

Time: 10am – 5pm, Website: http://www.ucdartinscience.com

UCD Art In Science brings artists and scientists together to collaborate, inspire and communicate across their traditional boundaries. We offer a year long artists in residence programme, a collaborative module of exchange between students of Fine Art NCAD and UCD Science and a public engagement programme of exhibitions, performances and talks. Come and meet with the resident artists in their studios and find out more about their fascinating work in progress.

Anti-Bullying Training for Parents to take Place in Stillorgan

September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

I would like to alert local parents to a free anti-bullying session which will take place on Tuesday October 7th at the Stillorgan Park Hotel. I welcome the additional funding that Minister Jan O’Sullivan has provided to support the delivery of anti-bullying training sessions for parents of primary and secondary school children across Ireland. It’s positive that one of the sessions will take place in Stillorgan and will be open to parents of primary and secondary school children.

The Anti-Bullying Parent Training Programme is being run jointly by the National Parents Council Primary and the National Parents Council Post Primary.

Last year 105 such sessions took place and they were well received by parents. The aim of the training is to give parents more confidence in supporting their child with a bullying issue and guidance on how to engage with a school if bullying arises.

It’s important for parents to know that they’re not alone and that there are useful tools they can learn to support their child if they’re being bullied. Cyberbullying is a type of bullying which parents did not encounter when they were young and I’m glad that the sessions will provide advice regarding this problem.

The sessions will also provide insights for parents into how they can support their children in managing relationships, developing resilience and having empathy for others.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., today announced that additional funding of €55,000 is being provided to support the delivery of anti-bullying training sessions for parents in 2014. This is on top of the €60,000 announced earlier this year and brings the 2014 allocation to a total of €115,000.

For more information on this scheme go to: http://www.npc.ie/

HSE Purchases Mount Carmel Hospital

September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mount Carmel Hospital

I’m delighted to learn that the HSE, as I had suggested last February, has purchased the former Mount Carmel Hospital. The Churchtown campus will now be brought back to life as a much needed ‘step-down’ facility for patients who no longer need acute hospital care.

There is a distinct demographic pressure on the existing support and rehabilitation services for elderly patients in Dublin South. So there is real merit in the former Mount Carmel premises becoming a step down facility with support and rehabilitation services for elderly people.

It is expected that the new step down facility will open next year and will provide rehabilitation services for older patients who no longer require hospital care but might not have the supports to return home or are waiting on a nursing home place.

On a personal level and as a local TD, I was saddened by the closure of Mount Carmel but it’s really positive that the Mount Carmel campus will be now renewed as a health care facility that will serve the local community long into the future.


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