1st November, 2013

The Drainage Division of Dublin City Council will be undertaking minor excavation works along Leix Road and Dowth Avenue across the next four weeks. Engineers will be digging some trial openings along both streets in order to assess the feasibility of the Council’s preferred flood alleviation plan for Cabra East. It is currently envisaged that a 600mm pipe would be laid along Leix Road and Dowth Avenue to connect up with the existing drainage infrastructure on the Cabra Road. Officials from the Drainage Division are expected to report back to local Councillors in October on their findings from the trial openings and to outline when the laying of such pipe-work could be started. Let me assure you that as soon as this information is available, I will be in touch with you to outline the situation in further detail.

On Friday October 4th, you will have the opportunity to vote for the abolition of the Seanad, which would reduce the number of national politicians by almost a third. It will save €20million per year – money that could pay for more doctors and teachers and other important public services. Families and businesses are making big sacrifices to keep going. I believe they have a right to expect politicians to do the same. I do not believe the Seanad is working. Indeed, all attempts to reform it in the past have failed. It is simply a luxury we can no longer afford. After ten reports calling for reform and with no action taken, I believe it is reasonable to conclude that those who now say “reform” really mean ‘stay the same’. Almost no other country of our size has two separate bodies in Parliament. Progressive small countries like Denmark and Sweden have shown that they can manage their affairs better at less cost with single chamber parliaments. I believe now is the time to make that change in Ireland too and put the money where it is most needed. On Friday October 4th, you will also have the opportunity to vote to establish a Court of Appeal. By voting YES, you will provide for the establishment of a Court of Appeal that will hear both civil and criminal appeals. This will modernise our court system, align Ireland with international best practice and bring our courts into the 21st Century. 

Officials in Dublin City Council’s Parks Department and Housing Section have been liaising with local Gardai in order to develop a co-ordinated approach to identify locations where materials are being stored for Halloween bonfires and arrange for their removal. Indeed, residents have been in touch with me in recent days about materials being collected and stored in a number of locations across the Cabra district. If you have information about locations where materials are being stored or premises that are supplying materials, they can be reported to the City Council’s litter hotline on 1800 248348. 

Local residents have expressed their concern about the recent increase in the number of burglaries that occurred as well as the prevalence of drug dealing taking place across Cabra. I have since met with the local Superintendent who advised me that his officers are involved in a number of highly focused operations across the Cabra district. Indeed, these operations have led to the arrest of members of prominent gangs who were involved in burglaries from homes and local businesses. More than 1000 stop and searches have been carried out by Gardai under the Misuse of Drugs Act in an effort to catch some of those responsible for drug dealing in the area. In excess of €1m worth of heroin was recently seized by Gardai and further arrests took place in respect of this. Further targeted Garda operations will remain in place as part of the Gardai’s effort to prevent further problems with anti-social behaviour.