7th April, 2008

As a member of the Oireachtas representing the Cabra community, I am writing to give you an update on my work in Seanad Eireann on your behalf. I also want to update you on local matters that may be of interest to you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to raise any local or national matter with me.


As a Senator, I work on legislation and issues that are important nationally and which have an impact on our local community. The main areas that I am focusing on at the moment include:

  • The Dublin Transport Authority: Legislation is due later this month to set up an organisation to deliver strategic planning for the transport needs of the Dublin region.
  • Standards in rental accommodation: working to ensure that updated legislation is stronger to protect those living in and near private rental accommodation.
  • Health Service Executive Funding of Local Facilities: working to make sure that local health centres and facilities are not jeopardised by HSE cutbacks.


I will continue to raise the status of this school with the Minister for Education and Science. Each month, I press this issue in the Seanad and through our party in the Dail. Every time I raise the matter, the Minister informs me that her Department is seeking to source a new site for the school, without any further progress being highlighted. Unfortunately the reality is that, Gaelscoil Bharra is no nearer to having a permanent location for the education of young children. It is a disgrace that both children and staff have to work and study in such conditions, but I will continue to highlight this issue on a regular basis and I will continue to update you.


As a member of the Cabra Policing Forum, I am delighted that the Local Community Policing Unit has seen an
increase in its resources, thereby ensuring that there is effective and efficient policing in the Cabra community. I am aware of acts of anti-social behaviour in the Quarry Road area recently and I have contacted our local Community Policing Unit to ensure that there increased presence in the area, so that this sort of activity does not become a regular occurrence over the summer months. Iarnrod Eireann are also speaking with local developers in an effort to secure more effectively access to their land, thereby ensuring that vandals are prevented from using the line as a focus point to cause further anti-social behaviour. I am have contacted Iarnrod Eireann in relation to this and I will keep you updated as development occur.


Unfortunately the provision of a Luas line from St. Stephen’s Green to Liffey Junction via Grangegorman appears to have been delayed until 2020 at the earliest. The Minister for Transport has claimed that building the Luas and a Metro at the same time as being too disruptive to Central Dublin, so the Luas has been put on the long finger. This is another example of a Government with no clear plan for the provision of public transport facilities for north side of Dublin city. The people of Dublin Central deserve clarity on the construction plans for the delivery of these services along with dates for their opening. I will continue to raise the need for the provision of proper public transport for the people of Cabra and the rest of Dublin Central over the coming months in Seanad Eireann.


The current manually operated level crossing at Reilly Bridge cannot be a viable long term solution to the planned increase in rail traffic and road traffic management. I have raised this matter with Dublin City Council and I have been informed that the Traffic Department have examined a proposal for an underground tunnel to alleviate traffic congestion cannot be considered as an effective solution due. They have suggested that a flyover could be suitable solution but concerns still exist. The flyover proposal would allow Irish Rail to increase train frequency. However, height of the road behind the houses in Ratoath Estate could result in traffic over-looking the private areas of people’s homes. This report is due to be discussed by City Councillors over the comings weeks and no development will take place without public consultation. I will keep you informed of all developments as they occur.


Finally, I am honoured to be a new member of Seanad Eireann. Prior to my election I had rarely visited Leinster House to see the Houses of the Oireachtas and understand how they work. If you are interested in visiting our national parliament please contact me and I would be delighted to arrange a tour for you and any of your family or friends.

I am privileged to serve you in Seanad Eireann. If I can ever be of help to you please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely

Senator Paschal Donohoe