DCC Notes for SEAC September 2018

The Sandymount Green proposal

By Alexander Kearney

After its annual break in August, the South East Area Committee (SEAC) resumed its monthly meetings on the 10th September 2018, with Rose Kenny attending as South East Area Manager. Ruairí McGinley (Independent) assumed the role of Chairman, after SEAC elected him to the position in July. He takes over from Cllr Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael).

Fitzwilliam Cycle Route:

Proceedings began with a brief presentation on the Fitzwilliam Cycle Route by Joe Seymour, Director at Aecom consultants, and Christopher Manzira, Senior City Council Engineer. This followed a more detailed route presentation to SEAC in July. Non-statutory consultation will conclude on the 12th October (contact: fitzwilliamimprovements@dublincity.ie).

It is envisaged that detailed design work will begin during October / November; procurement over the Christmas period; with construction to follow in Spring next year.

Several councillors raised safety and car parking concerns on behalf of local residents. Both Cllr Frank Kennedy (Fianna Fáil) and Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour) referred to the divisive nature of previous cycling proposals before the committee. The Fitzwilliam Cycle Route will next be on the agenda at the November SEAC meeting.

Report on Sandymount Green Proposal:

Helen Smirnova, Senior Executive City Council Engineer, presented a long-awaited report on proposed pedestrian and cycling enhancements to Sandymount Green. These would involve a signalised pedestrian crossing on the West side of the Green, and two raised zebra crossings on its North East and South East sides.

Nine car parking spaces would be lost, but Ms Smirnova observed that, “We anticipate that this will be offset by increasing numbers of users who choose to walk or cycle through the Green.” Ms Smirnova told councillors that if they consulted their constituents over the next four to eight weeks, a tender could go out with a view to implementation next Summer (Autumn at the latest). The total cost was estimated at around €200,000. Cllr McCartan said, “It was the first time I’ve seen a project of this scale receive unanimous approval from the traffic advisory group.”

The following items were raised under questions and motions to the Council.


Cllr McCartan successfully advanced a motion that SEAC express its concern to the National Transport Authority (NTA) about the possible rerouting of the No. 1 bus, and the by-passing of Sandymount village. Cllr Freehill also passed a motion calling on the government to establish a department within local authorities to liaise with the NTA and communities on local journey patterns, share research materials, and to examine proposal impacts. The Chair read out an emergency motion from Cllr Claire O’Connor (Fianna Fáil) that SEAC write to the NTA, asking them to extend the deadline of the public consultation period for BusConnects.


Cllr Mannix Flynn (Independent) asked the Area Manager to, “issue a full report regarding the recent rat infestation in certain flat complexes within the South East Area.” The Council explained that, “This summer, Dublin, like most major cities in Europe, has suffered a rodent infestation. The long spell of very warm weather apparently has increased their breeding… The problem is not particular to the South East Area but is a city-wide issue and whilst we will never eradicate it completely, the city council and the Health Services Executive (HSE) work hard to alleviate it.”


Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) placed a motion that SEAC request a report from the Area Manager on the conservation status of the old tramway sheds, yard and houses at Gilford Road, Gilford Cottages, Sandymount. He was informed that they were zoned Objective ‘Z2’ and are afforded conservation / protection under Chapter 11, Section, Architectural Conservation Areas and Conservation Areas of the 2016-2022 Development Plan. They are not, however, on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The Z2 Zoning Objective is considered adequate conservation protection for the area at present, pending a future assessment.


Both Cllrs Claire Byrne (Green) and Kennedy asked the Area Manager to outline the bye-laws governing the long-stay parking of camper vans in public car parks. Cllr Kennedy referred to an email from a constituent, who claimed to have counted over 80-100 camper vans in the public car park opposite Strasburg Terrace, Irishtown, during a two-month period. The email stated that, “whilst most of the campers are mature and do act responsibility, there have been a number of public order issues with younger campers, mainly at night.” 

The Council responded that, “There are no parking controls at Strasburg Terrace and no action that can be taken with regard to parking enforcement regulations. As “temporary dwellings” they may, in certain circumstances, be subject to enforcement and removal under Section 69 of the Roads Act if placed or retained on a national road.”


Issues affecting cyclists and pedestrians have become increasingly prominent in councillors’ questions.

Cllr Byrne called on the Area Manager to, “once again seek a solution to the challenges to both cyclists and pedestrians at the junction of the Grand Canal Cycle route and Leeson Street Bridge.” She was informed that, “The Environment and Transportation Department is currently developing proposals to improve connectivity for cyclists between Eustace Bridge / Adelaide Road waiting area and the Leeson Street / Fitzwilliam Street junction.”

Both Cllrs McCartan and Byrne asked questions in relation to the cobblestones on Clanwilliam Terrace and cyclists. An email from one of Cllr McCartan’s constituents claimed, “The road is used daily by a large number of cyclists but is unfit for purpose as it is paved with cobblestones…” The Council responded that, “Cobbled streets are considered to be material assets of significant architectural and conservation interests. Consideration will be given to the development of alternative surfaces for cyclists along Grand Canal Quay.”

Cllr Chris Andrews (Fianna Fáil) asked the Area Manager to examine the crossing at the junction of Grand Canal Street Upper and Grand Canal Street Lower and Clanwilliam Place, with respect to cyclists, and the safe crossing of parents and children to school on Haddington road. He was told the Area Engineer would, “investigate and monitor” and, “see if there are ways of improving the shared space between the crossings and the cycle paths.”

Cllr Kennedy highlighted a question he had first asked at the November 2017 SEAC meeting regarding, “the wholly inadequate provision of cycling tracks and cycling paths in the South Inner City Area from Sandymount to the City Centre”, which, “has now reached crisis point.” Returning to the subject for a third time at SEAC, he asked that he now receive, “a comprehensive response to my questions.” The answer came that, “Consideration will be given to inclusion of the East Coast Trail in the 2019 to 2021 Capital Programme subject to the availability of staff. The National Transport Authority is committed to funding the delivery of the scheme.” 

G’ing up Eglinton Road:

Cllr McCartan asked the Area Manager to notify Dublin Bus about the incorrect spelling of Eglinton Road on routes serving the Donnybrook area, including Nos. 39a, 46a, and 145. He observed that the public intercom system also mispronounced Eglinton as ‘Eglington’ road. He was told that Dublin Bus were duly notified on the 13th August 2018.