Tourism promotion of Dublin must include Dun Laoghair

Dun Laoghaire businesses to attend Tourism 2020- Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Event on Monday 3rd March

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said that tourism marketing for Dublin must promote Dun Laoghaire as a the attractive tourist destination it is. Deputy O’Connor was speaking in advance of her conference in Killiney Castle Hotel on Monday titled ‘Tourism 2020- Dun Laoghaire Rathdown- Improve Your Tourism Success’. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD will speak at the event. 

“Dun Laoghaire and the surrounding areas have a huge amount to offer to tourists. Situated between the mountains and the sea, Dun Laoghaire has unrivalled natural beauty in Dublin. Transport links are good and there is lots for tourists of all ages to see and do. Tourism marketing for Dublin focuses too much on the city centre. I really feel it is time for an increased marketing focus on our beautiful coastal areas, particularly given all we have to offer here in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. 

“Dun Laoghaire has huge future tourism potential with exciting plans for a Diaspora Centre and the potential for Dun Laoghaire to attract huge numbers of cruise ship tourists as part of the Harbour Masterplan. The Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta takes place in July and has huge potential to attract visitors to the area in the way that many previous yacht races have done. 

“I know that Dun Laoghaire town centre has gone through a difficult few years, but I am pleased to say that the business community is fighting back. The adoption of the Business Improvement District proposal is a great first step towards a bright future for the town. There are plenty of positive initiatives to improve footfall in the town such as the shopfront improvement scheme and incentives for business to occupy vacant commercial units.

“Businesses and shops in Dun Laoghaire know that increased tourism in the area is crucial to their future success. I am delighted that so many local businesses have signed up to attend my conference on business and tourism this coming Monday in Killiney. I look forward to working with businesses to help them capitalise on the opportunities presented by increasing our numbers of visitors to the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area in the years to come.” 

International Women’s Day Coffee Morning

To celebrate International Women’s Day

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and
The Marie Keating Foundation
invites you to an……


with expert advice from
The Marie Keating Foundation’s Breast Health Nurse
Ireland AM Stylist Barbara Stack and
well-known Nutritionist Louise Reynolds

Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel, Killiney, Thursday, March 6th, 11:00am

Please contact Deirdre at / 01 618 330 to RSVP

Mitchell O’Connor welcomes addition of peak time DART carriages

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has welcomed confirmation by John Reville of Irish Rail that peak time DART trains are to be provided with extra carriages.  Deputy Mitchell O’Connor has been lobbying Irish Rail regarding this issue and recently met with John Reville from Irish Rail. The Deputy outlined to Mr Reville the severity and extent of the overcrowding on rush hour DARTS, drawing on a survey, which she commissioned on the matter.

“I welcome the confirmation I have received from John Reville that the northbound 07.47 departure from Bray is now an eight carriage train which is the maximum size permissible. It had previously been a four and six carriage train.

“Mr Reville has also indicated to me that Irish Rail is strongly considering adding two carriages to the 07.54 departure from Bray, changing it from six carriages to eight. So instead of having 3 x 6 carriage trains we are moving towards a situation where we will have 1 x 6 carriage and 2 x 8 carriage trains.

“I am assured by Irish Rail that the additions of carriages will adequately cater for the demand at that time, which is easily the busiest part of the morning rush hour from south Dublin to the city centre.

“Mr Reville has informed me that he will be in Dun Laoghaire on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings this week to monitor the situation and that he will travel to the city centre on the two six carriage trains to gain a personal insight into the passenger loadings on these services. I am grateful to Mr Reville for his engagement on this issue and I look forward to hearing further from him on his findings.

“This is an important issue for commuters in the Dun Laoghaire constituency and I am determined that rush hour DART travellers will be able to travel in safety and comfort.”


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown- Improve Your Tourism Success

I am inviting you to a tourism conference on Monday, March 3 from 9 am until Noon in Fitzpatrick’s Hotel which I’ve organised for local businesses:

‘Tourism 2020-Dun Laoghaire Rathdown-Improve your Tourism Success’

While tourism in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown received a boost from last year’s ‘Gathering’, overall Dublin has been underperforming internationally as a tourism destination. So recently a new plan was launched aimed at increasing tourism numbers by 7% a year.

‘Destination Dublin-A Collective Strategy for Tourism Growth to 2020’ has highlighted the fact that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, with the mountains and the sea so close to the city, is a unique selling point for Dublin. Highlighting the attractions of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown will be key to promoting Dublin abroad and it is important that local business people involved in tourism know how you and your businesses can benefit and grow.

The conference is designed to inform you about the plan for promoting Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown as a tourism destination as well as giving you valuable information about the profile of the 21st century tourist. There will be discussion about the importance of innovation and collaboration and it will also be a networking opportunity for businesses involved in tourism.

Speakers at the Conference include: Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar T.D. and Keith McCormack of Failte Ireland as well as other tourism experts.

You can register for the conference by clicking here. Also please complete our tourism survey by clicking here.


Mitchell O’Connor excoriates tobacco industry in plain packaging debate

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire TD and Member of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Thursday) slammed the tobacco industry after its representatives appeared before the Committee today to argue against the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products.

“I was struck by the desperate arguments made by tobacco industry representatives in Leinster House today. We were told that plain packaging does not work and that education is the way forward to reduce smoking. It does not surprise me that the industry takes this approach. Like turkeys not voting for Christmas, the tobacco industry does not want to go down the road of plain packaging and further restriction on how they market their products. However we must put the health and wellbeing of our population over the profit motives of an industry whose products kill people.

“One in two smokers will die from a smoking related illness. The industry needs 25 young people starting to smoke in Ireland every day to replace those who have quit or died from their smoking.

“The tobacco industry is an enormously profitable global business which despite its strenuous denials markets cigarettes to young people, young girls in particular. Research has found that young girls who were receptive to cigarette packaging in a light coloured, lipstick shaped box were four times more likely to be susceptible to smoking that those who were not. It sickens me to hear them brazenly protest that they are not targeting young people, yet 78% of new smokers in Ireland are under the age of 18.

“It is the Government’s responsibility to protect young people and encourage healthy behaviour. When I asked the tobacco representatives if they would be happy if their own children were smokers, they all replied no! Surely, they should be supportive then that we are protecting their children.

“The tobacco industry has also threatened to sue this Irish government if it implements plain packaging. The Minister for Health has rightly said he will not be intimidated by this sort of bullying. Today’s proceedings have confirmed for me, as Minister has previously attested, that the tobacco industry is an evil industry which will stop at nothing to make a profit. Sadly however, what may be a profit for them could ultimately result in a loss of life for another.”

Tobacco Industy Hearings at Health Committee

The Health and Children examines current and proposed health policy, evaluating and assessing the future planning of health services and scrutinising any proposed changes to the way healthcare is delivered in this country. Currently, the Bill on the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco is at Committee Stage.

This Bill is designed to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products and also determine the size and position of health warnings on cigarette packets. This measure will prohibit direct advertising of cigarettes to children. This is a welcome Bill introduced by this Government, which I am proud to be a part of.

Today, I will strongly question representatives from the smoking industry. This industry must be held accountable for the lifelong damage they are inflicting on the Irish People. They cannot attempt to say that this bill is not for the greater benefit of the people.

Below are the main questions I will be asking:

• 78% of new smokers in Ireland are under 18. So your business model couldn’t survive without children smoking. So do you really think anyone would believe you don’t want children and young people to start smoking?

• Do you agree that your products kill half their intended users?

• How much does your company spend annually in Ireland above and below the line promoting your products to retailers?

• Isn’t tobacco an enormously profitable global business which preys on the misery and illness it causes? How much profit did your company make globally last year? What profits did the company make in Ireland?

To John Player, ‘Your industry has to find a replacement for every person killed by your products. Do you accept that your industry, of which your company is a major part, has to have 25 young people starting to smoke in Ireland every day to replace those who have quit or died from their smoking?’

To PJ Carroll, ‘Knowing and acknowledging that “smoking is a cause of various serious and fatal diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular diseases”, how on earth can you, as a senior manager in PJ Carroll and the BAT Group, face your family members, your children, your parents knowing you are a purveyor of death, destruction and misery to so many peoples and families?’

To Forest Eireann, ‘Do you not think that the state, to which we all pay taxes, has a perfectly legitimate role in encouraging healthy behaviour across a wide range of areas such as tobacco, alcohol, fatty and sugary foods and so on, so as the costs we all pay for health care provision can be kept down?’

To JTI Ireland, ‘Research at the University of Stirling found that children who were receptive to your Silk Cut Superslims brand- and particularly its packaging in a light coloured, lipstick shaped box- were over four times more likely to be susceptible to smoking than those who were not. Is it not transparently obvious that this sort of colouring and packaging is aimed at hooking teenagers on to your product?’

Keep an eye on my website for further updates and press releases on my Health Committee work and progress made.


€1 million in road funding for Dun Laoghaire

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire TD, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has welcomed the allocation of more than €1 million in funding allocated for roads for the local area. As part of a scheme sanctioned by the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council can use up to 15% of the funding for the improvement of small local roads in the area.

“It is important that we continue to prioritise the upkeep of local roads in Dun Laoghaire, despite on-going pressures on road budgets. More than €1 million has been allocated under the Discretionary Grant for Dun Laoghaire; this money can be used to improve regional and local roads under the Local Authority’s remit.

“The Local Authority can also allocate up to €150,000, or 15%, of this funding towards the improvement of smaller local roads which are not officially under their remit, such as laneways.

“Minister Varadkar has prioritised the maintenance of existing roads, rather than the construction of new routes, over the last three years, as funding in his department continues to be constrained. I think this is a sensible approach, and I am sure that the €1 million in funding will be put to good use by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.”


SMEs Missing Vital Business Opportunities

Many SMEs missing vital business opportunities by not knowing the public procurement system – Mitchell O’Connor

Many small businesses are missing opportunities to secure public contracts, not because of red tape or because they don’t want them, but because they simply don’t know the procurement system. That’s according to Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor. Ahead of a conference she’s holding on the topic in Killiney on Tuesday morning, Deputy Mitchell-O’Connor said many businesses are missing potentially valuable contracts, when they don’t need to.

She said: “A survey I’ve undertaken of SMEs in my own constituency of Dun Laoghaire, has shown me that some businesses are losing out on public contracts unnecessarily. Some of the data is surprising, and shows a widespread disillusion with and misunderstanding of the procurement system. That’s a pity, when simply by informing yourself, you can put yourself in the frame for public sector contracts.

“According to my information, one in five businesses has never even tendered for a public contract, one in three thought it took too much time to tender and a third said it was too expensive. Many felt the deadlines were too tight, while more than a quarter of SMEs weren’t even registered on the Government’s e-tendering website. Many others felt the process was inefficient and many others said it was not transparent or open.

“This is why I’ve asked the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Brian Hayes TD – who is responsible for public procurement – to meet with small business owners in the Dun Laoghaire area, hear their concerns, and explain how the system works to them. It is only by understanding how things work that businesses can do what everyone needs to do in a recovery – maximise their opportunities.”