Week’s events: World Rememberance Day for Road Traffic Victims, Luas Cross City, Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance & Winter Ready campaign

16th November, 2014

With a more poignant, but sadly essential, start to the week than perhaps anyone would like, I took part in a remembrance day event for road traffic victims on Tuesday which was organised by the Road Safety Authority. Since records began in 1959, more than 23,500 people have died on Irish roads. The launch of ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’ was attended by Dr Laura Doherty and Michael O’Neill, both of whose lives have been irreversibly impacted by road traffic collision – the former acquiring a brain injury as a result of an accident and the latter having lost his daughter, Fiona  (21) and her 23-year-old boyfriend Dominic Wogan in a road traffic collision in 2001. It is up to Government to put the policies in place to ensure our roads are as safe as can be. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure we observe the rules and encourage others to do the same. There will be a number of commemorative events taking place around the country this Sunday to remember those we have lost on our roads, and the change that has brought to the lives of family and friends forever.


Thursday, saw the launch of the Winter Ready campaign. Myself, Minister Coveney and  Minister Coffey got the campaign off to a start with a press conference where we appealed to people to be prepared this winter, to know where help can be found when needed and to listen to the warnings that are being issued by the authorities and that are designed to keep them safe. We appealed to the media to work with us and to help get the message out. We can’t control the weather but we can strive to be ready for all eventualities. We have strongly felt the effects of extreme weather this week with an Orange Weather Alert being put in place by Met Éireann and flooding taking place in some areas. Make sure you log onto www.winterready.ie to find out what you can do to minimise the impact of inclement weather in the weeks and months ahead.


Friday morning I spent a couple of hours walking along the old Broadstone railway track, that was closed more than 60 years ago, and getting an update on how the Luas Cross City, which will run along that line, is progressing. When completed, in 2017, the LCC will increase Luas journeys from 30 million to 40 million each year. Having the Red and Green lines join up will significantly increase connectivity, make it easier for commuters to get around and ultimately play its part in reducing congestion.


In the afternoon, I announced the establishment of an exciting new tourism project for Dublin. The ‘Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance’, which will be led by the Chairman of Bord Bia, Michael Carey, will for the first time work to devise a unified brand and marketing strategy for Dublin. As it stands, we are losing market share to our competitor cities. Cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been able to grow their percentage of tourist bednights by 10%, 8% and 4% respectively, between 2008-2012, despite the recession. Dublin grew by only 1%. We have so much going on here but with as many as 300 different brands used to market Dublin, potential tourists are confused by what we have to offer. This Alliance will bring public and private sector, tourism related industries and branding and marketing experts together to maximise our potential, which will benefit the entire country and boost the number of jobs we are creating.


I met with residents from the North Strand this week to discuss works being undertaken by Irish Water to alleviate the risk they face from having their homes flooded. I will be meeting another group of residents from the Christ the King area of Cabra next week to discuss the problems they face and the potential solutions for the area.


Positive news came this week from the Gardaí in respect of the Small Area Policing initiative which has been in place across the Inner City. It is having a substantial impact on the ground with significant quantities of drugs being seized and numerous arrests being made.


Finally, I met with residents from Cabra West this morning (Friday) to discuss concerns they have about a proposed significant development close to their their homes.