DCC Notes

Council Notes June_July 1
Sinn Féin now largest party on City Council
Sinn Féin is now the largest party on Dublin City Council. In May’s Local Elections, the party won 16 seats on the Council, leaving them as the largest party, but without a clear majority.

Sinn Féin will now govern the Council with the help of a coalition between the Greens, Labour and 11 independents. During the period of negotiations, Fine Gael, under its chief negotiator Cllr Kieran Binchy, pulled out of any deal, saying he was “putting policy ahead of the spoils.”

The new arrangement is set to leave housing as the Council’s top concern as well as the unemployment crisis. The arrangement will last for the next five years until the next round of local elections.

“Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had the opportunity to be part of this agreement, including the proportional allocation of Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions. But they chose to pull out,” said Sinn Féin’s City Council Deputy leader Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha. “It is Sinn Féin’s aim that the parties to this agreement on Dublin City Council will work together to achieve a budget for 2015 and subsequent years that is equitable, that adds no further to the financial burden on citizens.”

Sinn Féin have also pledged to fulfil their promises regarding property tax and water charges – saying they will be “working to reduce” the burdens of such taxes on local residents.
The make-up of the council is as such: 12 independents, eight Fine Gael representatives, eight Labour and three Green Party Councillors.

Christy Burke is the new Lord Mayor
Former Sinn Féin Councillor turned Independent Christy Burke is the city’s new Lord Mayor.
He was elected by Dublin City Council covering 2014–2015, after which point the office will rotate between the governing parties – with Sinn Féin holding the office for the 1916 centenary in 2016.

“The election of Christy Burke was well deserved. As someone who has worked hard on the City Council for 30 years I was very pleased to be able to support him,” said Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey. “While I do not share his Nationalist views, I respect him as a committed City Councillor and have always worked well with him.”

Mayor Burke started out in politics in the 1980s, working as anti-illegal drugs activist with Concerned Parents Against Drugs and was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1985. He spent a majority of his years as a political activist, speaking out on a number of contentious local issues, and even being jailed, along with the late Tony Gregory, for campaigning on behalf of traders in Moore Street, an episode that proved he was a formidable candidate. Mayor Burke was re-elected a number of times to Dublin City Council before parting ways with Sinn Féin in 2009. The Mayor will hold the office until the end of 2015.

Labour suffers hard blow in D4
A number of notable Councillors representing Pembroke/South-Dock lost their seats in May’s Local Elections.
Gerry Ashe, the former Labour Councillor, lost her seat shortly after the count began, followed by former Lord Mayor and Labour councillor Oisin Quinn. Henry Upton also had a disappointing day, losing his seat.
The losses were replicated nationally, where Labour saw a massive decrease in Council seats and a rise in seats for Sinn Féin and Independents.
New councillor appointments
There have been a number of important appointments to various local boards since the Local Elections.
Independent Cllr Mannix Flynn has been appointed to the Board of the Hugh Lane Gallery. Sinn Féin Cllr Chris Andrews was appointed to the Board of the East Link Bridge. Green Party Cllr Claire Byrne has been appointed to the Board of Holles Street Hospital.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Cllr Frank Kennedy and Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Cartan will be sitting on the Board of the Royal Hospital Donnybrook, while Fine Gael Cllr Kieran Binchy will be a member of the Grafton Street Committee. Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey was re-elected the leader of Labour group on the Council and appointed to the Regional Authority and Standing Committee of the Association of Irish Local Irish Government and to the Board of the Dublin City Business Improvements District Scheme.

New Traffic Arrangements for City Quays
Dublin City Council announced new traffic arrangements for the city’s quays. The new measure, called Smart Travel, integrates public transport, cycling and walking over the period of construction in the city.
“Dublin City Council is introducing this to facilitate the operation of the new Rosie Hackett public transport bridge,” said Brendan O’Brien of Dublin City Council. “The measure will facilitate the introduction of a contra flow bus lane, which will give buses priority access to the Rosie Hackett Bridge.”

The new arrangement will see the introduction of a permanent right turn ban from Custom House Quay to Talbot Memorial Bridge, changes to the junction layouts at the Butt Bridge and Matt Talbot Bridge to improve mobility for impaired and disabled people as well as pedestrians and cyclists. East-bound cycle lanes on Eden Quay and Custom House Quay will be widened and cyclists will be allowed to use bus lanes for west-bound cycling along the north quays.
For more information see the City Council website: Dublincitycouncil.ie

Pictured above: Sinn Fein’s Dublin City team.
Compiled by Liam Cahill