Metro Local Update – April 2008

5th April, 2008

Dear Constituent,

As a member of the Oireachtas representing your community, I am writing to update you on my work in Seanad Eireann. I also want to update you on local matters that may be of interest to you. Councillor Mary O’Shea and I are working on your behalf so please do not hesitate to contact either of us if you would like to raise any local or national matter.


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 has been published 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.
  • Our economic future: as someone who worked extensively in small and multinational businesses I am continually raising issues with the Government that I believe are important for our future economic success. These matters include the provision of broad band, public service reform and the role of our banking sector.


Several residents have raised with me the status of Metro North. I have received answers to a series of parliamentary questions on this project. They have confirmed that the target completion date for Metro North is 2013. The Rail Procurement Agency expect to lodge planning applications with An Bord Pleanala later this year. A Public Private Partnership process is now taking place to select companies to build the Metro and the operating company to run the project. The Department of Transport have also confirmed to me that funding for advance works for this project was approved by the Government in January 2008. They have indicated that the ‘required Exchequer funding is in place’ for this project.

It is very likely that the Government will class this project as ‘critical infrastructure’ at the start of the planning process. Under the 2006 Strategic Infrastructure Act this will allow them to apply for planning permission directly with An Bord Pleanala as opposed to Dublin City Council. This is provide a ‘fast track’ planning process for Metro North. The main implication of this for local residents is that there will only be one opportunity to make a submission or objection to this project on any matters of local concern. I will make use of my experience of An Bord Pleanala to work with residents to make constructive submissions on the impact of this project on the local community.


Substantial construction works on Griffith Avenue and along Drumcondra Road will have a huge impact on the local area. I have questioned Dublin City Council again as to whether the Rail Procurement Agency have lodged a specific traffic management plan with their Traffic Management Department. At time of writing such a plan has not been lodged. As a local representative I am very much aware that many of our local roads do not have the capacity or width to cope with the construction traffic that this project will cause. Councillor Mary O’Shea and I will continue to monitor this project to understand what traffic management plans are lodged by the RPA. We will do all possible to ensure that this plan recognises local road limitations and that the conditions of a future planning decision stipulate working hours that recognises families and their needs.


The facilities in this park continue to be an important amenity to local residents.  Dublin City Council have informed me that they intend to invest in expanding the size of the playground this year. This work is due to take place in the second half of this year.


The location of a Metro North station on the DCU lands on Griffith Avenue is likely to cause development of this site. I have written to the President of DCU to emphasise the need for transparency with the local community on any future plans for this site. He has written back to me stating that “ We undertook to engage with local consultation when we apply for planning permission to develop the site but as of now we have no planning permission and have only begun to look at master planning the site”.

It is clear that DCU will look to develop this land if planning permission is granted for a Metro station on this land. Councillor Mary O’ Shea and I will work to make sure that all local residents are represented in any plans for the future of this land.

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