4th November, 2013

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 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. If you have any difficulties in getting through to the litter hotline, please get in touch with me at

Residents have expressed their concern to me about the need for an improved visible Garda presence across the Phibsborough district. Much of these concerns relate to the increase in house burglaries and the level of drug dealing occurring across Phibsborough throughout the past six to eight weeks. I have since spoken to the Gardai in Mountjoy about the need for additional measures to be implemented in order to address these concerns. Local Gardai continue to be involved in a number of separate operations across the Phibsborough district have been put in place to tackle the anti-social behaviour, the amount of drug dealing and catching those responsible for the recent spate of burglaries of people’s homes. Officers have advised me that some of those responsible for the robberies have now been arrested and that files will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions shortly.  The Drugs Unit have also had some success in recent days following the seizure of large quantities of drugs and the subsequent arrest of a number of those involved in local dealing. The Gardai will be continuing to monitor this situation closely and I expect to update further on this operation in the coming weeks. Senior officers have re-iterated to me that the changes made to the Garda roster last year enables them to re-direct officers to problem areas and to greatly increase the visibility of policing there. 

Dublin City Council is currently examining the feasibility of introducing local temporary minor street play orders in residential districts across the city. Such orders would see car access being restricted in order to allow children play on a street during a specific period of time. A scheme similar to this has been successfully implemented in Bristol and following requests from some Councillors, the City Council is assessing whether the plan could be introduced here. The granting of a Temporary Play Street Order would enable residents on a given street to restrict access in order to facilitate supervised children play without the danger or inconvenience of through traffic. For example, if such a scheme is adopted, neighbours could formally close a street for a specified time period to enable local children to play freely. Other residents would continue to have car access during this time period but would be escorted onto the street by volunteer stewards. A report is expected to come before the City Council in the coming weeks and it will be a matter for Councillors to decide whether this scheme is introduced. 

Earlier this year Dublin City Council applied to the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government seeking the designation of eight ‘Quiet Areas’ across the city. This application formed part of the new Noise Action Plan adopted by Councillors. The aim of this plan is to preserve tranquil areas with existing low levels of environmental noise. Two of the areas identified are the Blessington Street Basin and Mount Bernard Park. Minister Hogan recently approved the City Council’s application and I understand that noise limits of 55 decibels will apply in respect of noise pollution. Such ‘quiet area’ designation will also be a consideration for future development nearby.