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Lucan Update December 2023

Updated: Jan 11

Stories in brief below, including some not in video. Video posted 18th December - this updated version 31st December 2023.




Swimming Pool Report (further updated 31st December - see end of report below)


I posted last week that the pool project would not now be completed by the end of the year, meaning we still have no idea as to when the designated management company Aura Leisure Services can fit out the facility, train staff and finally open to the public.


I've a motion down for the Area Committee on Tuesday 19th December and the wording is as follows:


UPDATE - MOTION PASSED


That the Chief Executive provides full information to the elected members and the people of Lucan for the reasons behind the latest in a series of completion delays for Lucan Swimming Pool, outlining the latest estimated completion date, outlining the penalty clauses that have been invoked with the contractor to date, and commits to holding a special meeting in the New Year to forensically examine all the contractual and management failures that led to this delay so as to avoid such debacles happening again on major projects involving this local authority.


REPORT:

"Following receipt of proposed programme revisions from the contractor, a detailed update is being prepared in advance of both the site visit for Councillors and a proposed meeting for local Elected members with the operating partners which had to be rescheduled. The programme revisions relate to continued challenges for the contractor in combining the required alignment of utility connections, sub-contractor availability and supply of key materials as well as having to carry out some minor corrective works. This will impact on the most recent projected timeline for completion of the facility, but our only viable option is to continue to try to work with the contractor to get this project over the line as soon as practically possible."


The meeting with Aura Leisure did not take place in November due to a clash with a traffic management meeting which I alerted SDCC to but which they did nothing about.


This is due to be rescheduled and we are also being told that our long-standing request to have a site visit to the pool facility should be arranged soon.


But SDCC cannot give a completion date at this time which is maybe just as well given every timeline provided so far has been well off the mark.


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R136 Grange Castle Road Traffic Calming and Parking For Kishoge Train Station


The non-statutory consultation is over and at Tuesday's Area Committee Meeting, South Dublin County Council will present its report to members. I already have much of this information from an earlier briefing and you can see my report at this link. I will update this article with the full presentation and range of drawings once they are formally published at the meeting.


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Tullyhall estate taking in charge process


The formal consultation process to take in charge the newer parts of Tullyhall estate has now gone live. Click here to see all the relevant details and the link to the Consultation Portal.

I've been raising taking in charge issues for parts of this estate since 2021 and most recently there were concerns about two green areas not being cut in Tullyhall Drive and Tullyhall Mews. I put in multiple queries about the matter this year following residents getting in touch and the Council's stock response continued to be that the area wasn't in its charge. I then started asking about the bond amount held in trust and the process for SDCC to take in charge. This culminated in my motion tabled in October calling on SDCC to initiate the taking in charge process. This went live on the 14th of December with a submissions deadline of 24th January.


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Griffeen Glen Road sewerage smell


I was recently contacted by local residents about this issue and contacted Irish Water initially. The reply back from Irish Water was as follows:

"Local Authority Department advised that SDCC Pollution Section have confirmed that a number of houses have their complete foul system connected by the Developer to the 600mm surface water sewer. The smell is going backwards to the gullies. This is a difficult issue to solve but it is being worked on. The problem was discovered as part of an Uisce Éireann funded project to clear up miss-connections in the Lucan area. This is a SDCC issue which is known to them, so any further enquiries should be addressed directly to SDCC Pollution Section. Not an Uisce Éireann issue."

I've subsequently queried SDCC for a follow up, asking for an indication as to when such works will be completed. Ticket ID 1818591.


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Street cleaning request - Answer due after 6pm 19th December (Updated below)


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

QUESTION NO.11

QUESTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

To ask the Chief Executive why street cleaning services do not appear to be operating in the Lucan, North Clondalkin and Palmerstown areas in December and, given that it is a busy period, with potential for a lot of additional litter, whether areas previously designated as blackspots - such as Griffeen Rd and Griffeen Avenue - could be scheduled for ad hoc cleans just before and/or just after Christmas?

REPLY:

Street cleaning services have continued to be provided as normal in the Lucan / Palmerstown / North Clondalkin area throughout the course of December and these services include the daily cleaning of Lucan and Palmerstown Villages, the daily provision of the street litter bin service in these areas, the provision of the road sweeping service by Oxigen Environmental Ltd, the operation of clean up crews to clean bring bank sites and to collect illegally dumped items as well as the regular cleaning and servicing of litter bins in public parks in these areas.  These services will also continue to be provided over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.  The roads mentioned here of Griffeen Road and Griffeen Avenue will be examined and cleansing arranged there as required.


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Cherbury Park sewerage issues


The middle part of Cherbury Park Road, being the lowest part of the estate, has had historical issues with sewerage in the past, leading to overflows in a number of properties. The most high profile related to a fault created with the building of the N4 beside the estate. A number of years back there were also tree root problems causing blockages and this problem reoccured recently.

Residents were on the case very quickly about this and I was also happy to assist in terms of putting pressure on Irish Water. The issue now appears to be addressed, including the trimming of roots, the lining of pipes and the fixing of a bad connection related to another development. Hopefully there will be no more issues.


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Lucan House (Italian Ambassador residence) sale to SDCC completed - subject to approval by Italian Court of Auditors


All the latest information can be found by clicking on this link. My late mother lived across the road from the entrance to these grounds and played in the wider Lucan Demesne as a child, so I have always had a long-standing interest in this former residence of Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan.


I first raised the issue of the Italians selling to the State in the early 2000s as a TD. This was somewhat controversial at the time, even though I clarified that this would only be if they were ever selling.

I subsequently played a small role as Mayor of South Dublin in 2018 in planting the seeds for the eventual sale during a meeting with the then-Ambassador Serpi to discuss some shared items of interest. I invited the then Chief Executive Danny McLoughlin along for this meeting, as in Irish local government County Managers have a lot more executive powers than Councillors. During the conversation, having learned that the Italians were looking at moving their consulate to Lucan (potentially at the stables behind the AIB) or eventually selling the Lucan House (having already investigated a likely sale price), I suggested to Ambassador Serpi that the Council should definitely be notified of any sale as it would be of immense value to the people of Lucan. The CEO then asked the Ambassador to give SDCC first option if they ever were to consider selling the property.

This issue then subsequently became tied up in discussions over who is responsible for fixing the damaged embassy wall near the Maxol. SDCC maintains that the Italian state should fix the wall, but the Italians are adamant that it was damaged because of pipework put in by the old Dublin County Council and also because of heavy vehicles parking on the footpath. I've posted separately about this here.

All in all good news for Lucan and any future heritage and tourism use of these high amenity lands will be subject to a consultation with the local community.


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Wall breach update


This article has also been updated following the news about the Lucan House sale and I will provide any further clarification as soon as it becomes available.


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AGP FC and use of Airlie Park (Updated)


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

MOTION NO. 23

MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

That the Chief Executive agrees to provide a workable solution to ensure that AGP FC is facilitated in safely providing a container and portaloo for its young members at the side of Pitch Number 4 on AGP 0, given that the need clearly exists and SDCC has been unable to provide such facilities; and ensures that the club should not be prevented from booking slots at Airlie Park pending a resolution of this matter.


REPORT: "SDCC provide 173 grass pitches around the county. These are allocated to local clubs on an annual basis. SDCC recognises the important services that these clubs provide, ensuring that active recreational needs are met in the community. They are also an important part of local community social interaction, health, and wellbeing.

Griffeen Valley Park (Esker Park) already contains a number of facilities that SDCC provide to a number of clubs as well as the general public. This includes 2 soccer pitches that are currently allocated to Arthur Griffith Park FC, (AGP FC). In addition, this park contains changing facilities, toilet facilities alongside an adjacent carpark. These facilities are in use by this club. They are located here: 53°20'46.8"N 6°27'02.6"W, which is within the park.

SDCC have provided AGP FC with a storage compound for the purposes of safely storing temporary goalposts. The facilities that the club have put into this storage area are unauthorised. Permission from SDCC was not sought for the installation of these facilities and no risk assessment or insurances were received from the people who carried out this work. This poses a high risk that is unacceptable in a SDCC park which has other facilities used by the public within the park.

SDCC have informed the club that they are in breach of their terms and conditions and have been asked to remove the unauthorised structures.

AGP FC will be contacted again in writing, with a request from SDCC to remove the unauthorised facilities. If they are not removed by the club, SDCC will make arrangements to remove them ourselves.

AGP FC were notified that access to our new facility at Airlie Park would be withheld until the issues with their grass pitches had been resolved. Similar emails were sent out to several clubs who had issues with their grass pitches, all of whom have either resolved their issues to date or are working with us to resolve their pitch issues."


There was a long discussion on this with several elected reps highlighting the issues involved and two of us pointing out that the storage issue and pitch use should have been considered separately.


The Council were not entirely supportive and had a lack of understanding of stay safe regulations regarding two adults needed to walk children to toilets in the distance but did indicate that a meeting was arranged with the club.


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"Bus Correct" User Survey


Over 800 responses so far. Anyone who hasn't done the survey yet can go to www.bit.ly/BusCorrect .


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Esker Lane school zone footpath area request


UPDATED


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

MOTION NO.13

MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

That the Chief Executive arranges for a roads engineer to walk the areas along Esker Lane (South) indicated on the map so as to identify and schedule key accessibility upgrades such as footpath repair and dishing works for wheelchair users, visually impaired, buggy pushers and other vulnerable footpath users, this being the first part of what is a busy circular loop used to access Lucan and Esker ET National Schools, Gaelscoileanna Naomh Phadraig and Eiscir Riada, Colaiste Cois Life and the new swimming pool complex; the other areas to be highlighted in subsequent years; and if a statement can be made on the matter.


REPORT:

"Roads have reviewed this stretch of footpath and have recorded that some localised bay repairs are required but that the footpath in general is of a good standard.

The significant upgrade works are at the junctions where crossing quality is inconsistent and in each case provides a car priority layout.

Road maintenance are of the opinion that the upgrade of the junctions would benefit the community but this will have a significant cost, potentially extending to €300,000 to bring all junctions up to a pedestrian priority standard.

In the 2024 budget there is an additional footpath allocation of €100,000 per electoral area, we had identified this to be used for footpath repair but can re-allocate this to this particular section of road if the LEA cllrs are in agreement on this. "


Another less than helpful enquiry stating that Councillors need to sit together and agree a schedule of limited footpath works, even allowing for some extra funding allocated.


I argued that some limited works should at least be done and that a commitment be made for future years but no clarity was given. The discussion is available to see online but I find the lack of movement hugely frustrating.


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Crematorium planning application


The deadline has now closed for submissions but full details are available for anyone interested at this link.


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Bins request ACM November 2023


QUESTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

To ask the Manager for an update on the number of new/replacement litter bins provided in Lucan, North Clondalkin and Palmerstown since the start of 2023, including areas not in charge of the Council but working with developers such as Adamstown; and if a statement can be made on the matter.

REPLY:

There have been 4 bins installed at new locations with an additional 2 new locations identified for bins.  There have been 5 new bins provided where existing bins were absent for a prolonged period of time due to vandalism or removal during the course of footpath improvement works.  Bins are also replaced on occasions where they are found to be damaged.  The number of bins in this category for 2023 is approximately 10.

The request for 3 litter bins in the Adamstown area at the train station, Adamstown Park playground and at the bus stop at 110 Adamstown Avenue is being followed up with the relevant landowners.


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Need for planting at Weston Crescent


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

MOTION NO.21

MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

That the Chief Executive, further to this issue being raised in the past, puts in additional measures to reinstate or replicate the protective tree and hedging barrier between residents of Weston Crescent and McCoy Motors, taken down during the installation of a new street light, given that the minimal replanting has not done anything to block the necessary security lighting at this premises, resulting in unacceptable levels of bright light going into some of the homes opposite (photos attached); and if a statement can be made on the matter.

REPORT:

Representatives of both the PL and Public Realm Section met with residents of Weston Crescent and McCoys Motors on Wednesday 1st November last. The meeting was to discuss how best to resolve the matter of light spill from security lighting on the forecourt of McCoys onto the facade of the houses at the end of Weston Crescent. 

It was agreed that McCoys would modify the existing security lighting to eliminate the spill onto Weston Crescent, which is in fact the main issue here, according to residents. 

Public Realm also inspected the existing planting on Weston Crescent, installed by SDCC PL in Spring 2021 when the new columns were erected. Public Realm confirmed that the planting was entirely appropriate for the purpose at this location i.e. shrubbery to camouflage the fencing along McCoys property line. The plants are well established but we were informed that the growth time for this type of shrub is three to five years. The residents understood this point. The residents have direct contact details for the PL representatives at the meeting and will remain in contact with us to ensure that the security light spill issue is resolved satisfactorily. 


NB - this is the report but the item was not actually discussed as this particular meeting had a heavy agenda and ended on Motion 20, just one before this item. However there was not additional information that could be garnered at this stage so I pushed other items ahead of this at the December ACM.


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Rail services letter to NTA


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

MOTION NO.29

MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

That this Committee writes to the NTA and Irish Rail highlighting the need for an additional service to be put in alongside the current commuter service stopping at Adamstown station at 7.23, 7.42, 8.22 and 8.40, as well as providing additional carriages, in advance of the Kishoge station opening scheduled for next April - especially the 7.42 service - given the overcrowding that already occurs and the additional demand that will be created then, alongside the already increasing demand from the growing Adamstown area.

REPORT:

If this Motion is passed, letters will be issued to the NTA and Irish Rail in this regard.


Motion passed.


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School provision in Adamstown (relevant to all Lucan)


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

MOTION NO.30

MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty

That this Committee calls on the Minister for Education and her Departmental officials to urgently and proactively meet the growing needs for school places in Adamstown and the rest of Lucan, and in particular: - Fast-tracks the tender process for the new 32-classroom school already granted planning permission off Tandy's Lane in Adamstown; - Opens and staffs a temporary junior infants class for this school at a suitable location in September 2024 given the clear rising demand, including from newer estates such as Tandy's Lane, Hallwell, Gandon and Aderrig; given the need for places to accommodate junior infant children from the emergency homeless accommodation at Finnstown Castle Hotel; as well as the imminent demand for places for children who will arrive at the Ukrainian emergency modular accommodation at Backweston in April; - Plans in advance for an additional second level school for Lucan given the large cohort forced to send children to schools in Leixlip, Luttrelstown and beyond; and - Agrees to facilitate a meeting early in the New Year between members of this Committee and Departmental officials to outline future demographic pinch points and provide for an exchange of views and information. 

REPORT:

If this Motion is passed a letter will be sent to the Minister for Education in this regard.


Motion passed.


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Comhairle na nÓg query


My view is that we need more involvement from more schools in South Dublin and this question was tabled to ascertain the process as I had "too much business" to table this as a motion for discussion.


December 2023 Lucan/Palmerstown/North Clondalkin Area Committee Meeting

To ask the Chief Executive to report on how many schools are currently engaging with the Council in relation to actively promoting Comhairle na nÓg membership and interaction, and how this compares with five years ago?

___________________________

The process of forming a new Comhairle is as follows:

September

• Information is sent to all the schools, youth services and Alternative Learning Programmes in the county about the upcoming AGM/Youth Conference

• Schools nominate a key staff member to link with coordinators with questions/queries and to identify students

• Further communication about the Youth Conference is sent and how to register to a key staff person who sends it to the parent

• Parents' and young people's details are gathered from forms

• Services communicate with coordinators about hard-to-reach/seldom-heard young people to engage and they are sent relevant information and forms

October

• Registration forms are completed and returned by parents to coordinators

• Coordinators communicate with young people/parents with any further information they need to know

• AGM/Youth Conference takes place

• Delegates vote on the top issue for young people in the county and this becomes the work plan for the coming year

November/December

• Communication with Delegates about expressing interest in being a member of Comhairle

• Those that are interested come to an initial meeting to hear more about Comahirle and how it works.

• After this, meetings are held to form the group, elect roles, and develop the plan

• All communication is directly with young people/ parents

January

• Comhairle starts work on the topic selected at the AGM.

AGM/Youth Conference 2023

19 of the schools in the county area were represented in 2023, which is an increase of 1 school on the previous year.

1. Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin

2. Colaiste Eanna, Rathfarnham

3. Collinstown, Clondalkin

4. Firhouse Community College, Tallaght

5. Firhouse ETSS, Tallaght

6. Greenhills CC, Greenhills

7. Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole

8. Killinarden Community School, Tallaght

9. Kingswood Community College, Tallaght

10. Kishoge Community College Lucan

11. Lucan Community College, Lucan

12. Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght

13. Pobailscoil Iosolde, Palmerstown

14. St Aidan Community School, Tallaght

15. St Colmcille's, Knocklyon

16. St Joseph’s College, Lucan

17. St Mac Daras Community School, Templeogue

18. St Marks Community School, Tallaght

19. St Pauls Secondary School, Walkinstown

AGM/Youth Conference 2018

18 of the schools in South Dublin attended the AGM in 2018.

1. Adamstown Community College, Lucan

2. Cois Life, Lucan

3. Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin

4. Colaiste Cillian, Clondalkin

5. Colaiste de hÍde, Tallaght

6. Deansrath Community College, Clondalkin

7. Firhouse Community College, Tallaght

8. Firhouse ETSS, Tallaght

9. Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole

10. Killinarden Community School, Tallaght

11. Kingswood Community College, Tallaght

12. Kishoge Community College Lucan

13. Mount Seskin Community College, Tallaght

14. Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght

15. Pobailscoil Iosolde, Palmerstown

16. St Aidan Community School, Tallaght

17. St Pauls Secondary School, Walkinstown

18. Tallaght Community School, Tallaght

The engagement with Comhairle post-AGM is the responsibility of the members of Comhairle and not the school/youth service/ALP, as communication turns directly to the parents and young people.

Every effort is made to ensure a broad cross section of schools, youth services and ALPs send delegates to the AGM. However, attendance at the AGM can be dependent on specific Principals/teachers/youth workers and their level of interest in youth participation. Ultimately membership of the Comhairle is by self-selection, with officer posts voted for by the membership.


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ENDS

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