Week’s events; Dublin Discovery Trails, governance of out ports and tourism figs

26th June, 2015

This week I launched new Discovery Trails around the city with Fáilte Ireland; the aim of which is to open up areas of historical importance that will encourage exploration of some of the most interesting parts of the city. The new routes, which are along the Dubline, centre around four different themes: Rebellion, the Story of Dublin, Echoes of War, and Empire. The free app, which is available to download guides visitors along the routes, giving them the chance to uncover compelling stories of Dublin’s history through engaging audio guides and GPS-enabled maps.


I secured approval from Government for the Harbours Bill 2015 this week too which will provide the legal basis for control of our five Ports of Regional Significance – Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow – to be given over to local authorities. It will also further enhance the corporate governance structures of all of our ports ensuring that Board Directors have the relevant skillsets for their positions and that an equitable gender balance is achieved. It was great also to see Dublin Port Company announce a dividend payment of €8.8 million to the State for 2014; an indication of the strength of the company and the volume of trade happening there.


Tourism figures were equally strong, with an increase of 12.1% in the number of overseas visitors to Ireland registered for the first five months of the year. This puts us on track for 2015 being the best year ever on record. It is up to me, and Government, to pursue the right policies that will enable us to meet that target.


After a number of months work by the National Transport Authority, I was happy to see that a solution was arrived at this week to meet the transport needs of those affected by the recent Bus Eireann changes to the Expressway No. 7 Route. This follows on from a reconfiguration of services on the No.5 Route which sought to ensure that no town or village was left without services. This recognises the needs of local communities and the importance of maintaining connectivity in towns and villages across the country, despite people’s desire to get to their final destination as quickly as possible.


On Friday, I was out at St. Lawrence O’Toole NS with An Garda Siochana and the Coast Guard to highlight water safety with the kids as we get deeper in to the summer months. Later that day, I attended the launch of the Navan Road Primary Care Centre which puts a beautifully equipped local service in place for the local community. I know it’ll be a valuable asset and will alleviate pressure on our A&E units in the area.


I also called on the people of Sheridan Court and Towerview Cottages this week to see if there is any way in which I can be of assistance to them.


Sadly, news has been rolling in about another devastating tragedy this week involving the death of an Irish person overseas. The attack on a Tunisian hotel which has seen more than 20 people lose their lives is another unspeakable tragedy which follows on from the burial of the Berkeley balcony victims were sadly laid to rest this week.