Week’s events: Cricket World Cup & Tourism Ireland, clamping and Phizzfest

25th January, 2015

This week I met with members of the Irish cricket team in advance of their departure for Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup. This will be the third consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup Ireland has participated in, following our phenomenal showing in 2007 and 2011, where we recorded famous wins over cricket-loving countries, Pakistan & Bangladesh (2007) and England (2011).   As the fastest growing team sport in Ireland, cricket is becoming increasingly visible here, adding to the global audience of 2.5 billion people in 220 countries that will be tuning in to watch the World Cup across February and March. This global audience will reap significant dividends for Tourism Ireland who have taken the decision to sponsor the team during the competition.  With the Ireland.com logo prominently displayed on the team’s playing shirt and training kit, the potential to persuade viewers to pay a visit to Ireland, to see what we have on offer and to contribute further to our economy recovery and job growth is immense. The team is in fantastic shape and are going out to win. I wish them the very best of luck in their endeavours.


Later in the week, I brought the Vehicle Clamping Bill 2014 into the Dáil. The Bill, when passed, see the National Transport Authority (NTA) regulate clamping wherever it is in operation, be that on public or private land, so that maximum clamp release charges can be set; appropriate advisory signage is in place and an appeals process is in place for motorist who are aggrieved by what they see as unfair procedures. Clamping allows landowners local authorities and State bodies to deal with nuisance and dangerous parking. It also allows for the effective use of what is often a limited resource. This Bill will ensure that consistency and transparency will become features of clamping and that unfair practices are eliminated.   On Friday, I attended the signing of the contract for development of a National Indoor Arena at the National Sports campus at Abbotstown. The signing of the contract and the commencement of work on the Arena addresses a significant gap in our national sporting infrastructure, which, when completed will provide world-class indoor training facilities in which our athletes for numerous disciplines can train and prepare for international competitions.


I also attended the Irish Travel Agents Association Awards in the Mansion House and outlined Government support for the sector in terms of our tax policy which is putting more money in people’s pockets and my Department’s aviation strategy, which I will be publishing shortly.


In the Dáil I had Topical Issue debates on the need to protected Aer Lingus slots at Heathrow in the event that a formal offer is made for the company; greeways; and an upgrade of the M7.  An emergency debate was also called on the possible future sale of Aer Lingus on Wednesday nighr.   I canvassed twice this week across Cabra.and also met with representatives of Phibsborough’s Community Art Festival Committee ‘Phizzfest’ about the difficulties being experienced by cyclists and pedestrians at Doyles’ Corner and other traffic hotspots across Phibsborough. I will be working with Phizzfest, Dublin City Council Traffic Department and the Gardai to come up with new measures to improve safety at the junction, as well as driver behaviour.   I had a meeting with Irish Water to discuss drainage improvement works across areas of Dublin Central that have been at risk of flooding in the past and finally, finished off the week with a visit to Cabra Community College on Kilkiernan Road to meet students and teachers who were busy doing IT tests while I was there.