Long-overdue resources for children with Down Syndrome

“I am delighted to learn that children with Down Syndrome and mild learning disabilities will now have access to the teaching resources they require,” says Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire.

“It is wonderful news that 30 minutes per day of teaching resources per week for children with Down Syndrome and mild learning disabilities will now be allocated with immediate effect.

“I have been campaigning strongly for this change and have raised it directly with the Taoiseach and made a presentation to him.

“I have first-hand experience of this issue as a former school Principal and I know the difference this decision will make to the lives of the families involved.

“Last Saturday, I launched a photo exhibition that offers people the chance to see children with Down syndrome for the unique individuals that they are. Today’s announcement will help children with Down Syndrome realise their own educational potential.

“This decision is effective immediately and the posts will be advertised immediately.”

National Spring Clean 2015 Comes to Dun Laoghaire

An Taisce’s National Spring Clean is now in its 17th year and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is encouraging everyone to do their bit to make it even bigger and better! Local residents can once again play a part in keeping their community tidy by participating in the Annual Spring Clean which runs through the month of April.

The Council is supporting this important campaign by providing litter pickers and gloves, and will be arranging extra resources to pick up waste from weekend clean-ups in April. Groups who wish to be involved in the National Spring Clean should nominate a particular weekend in April for their area so that the Council can schedule a pickup on the following Monday or Tuesday.

Participating groups must register in advance with the Council and can only use the clean-up bags that are provided by the Council, which will be registered to your clean-up team. Waste presented in bags that are not provided by the Council will not be collected. Green waste is not eligible for collection.

All you have to do to register your community clean-up is email or ring the Council with your choice of weekend: environ@dlrcoco.ie or 01 205 4817. You can choose from April 5th / 6th, 11th / 12th, 18th / 29th or the 25th / 26th.

Don’t forget

Participants can only use the clean-up bags that are provided by the Council which will be registered to your clean-up team. If waste is presented and it is not in blue Council bags – the Council will not collect this waste.

Green waste (grass cuttings, leaves, hedge trimmings, branches, etc.) – the Council will not collect this waste.

Local Events in DLR Urged to Apply For Community Tourism Grants

Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative – Application Form (pdf -103kb)

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has today announced that applications for funding are now being sought under the Community Tourism Initiative for the Diaspora.  The initiative, launched last year, builds on the community involvement legacy of The Gathering 2013 and is a joint partnership between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, IPB Insurance and Fáilte Ireland.

Now in its second year, the scheme provides a national fund of €1m to support local community-based events and festivals each year.

Administered locally by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the application process for 2015 is now open and will close on March 31st 2015. Interested parties are advised to contact William Morton, 2047942 or email: wmorton@dlrcoco.ie to apply.

Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative – Application Form (pdf -103kb)

Announcing this year’s funding, Richard Shakespeare from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council emphasised:

“We all witnessed the benefits from The Gathering and this scheme gives us an opportunity to build on its legacy. The Community Tourism Initiative allows us to sustain many of the grass roots networks which sprang to life during The Gathering in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and sustain an infrastructure of events and relationships which will have long term tourism and social benefits for this region for many years to come.

For that reason, I would urge anyone out there with a good idea or interesting event, which would help us to reach out to the diaspora, to get in touch with us and make an application”.

Local authorities throughout the country are now accepting applications in order to determine those local events with the best potential to have the impact and long-term potential to make a difference.  The initiative is being administered at local level with the grant applications and awards being decided in accordance with agreed national criteria.

2015 Sports Capital Programme Now Open for Applications

The 2015 Sports Capital Programme is now open for applications and the deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 24 April 2015. Registrations will close at 5pm on Friday 10 April 2015.

The programme allocates €40m of funding to sports infrastructure around the country and applications from clubs can be made online at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie before 24 April.

Among the facilities funded by the scheme are natural grass sports pitches; tracks and courts (including pitch drainage); floodlighting, artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas; security fencing, ball stop netting and goal posts, hurling walls/handball alleys; building or refurbishment of dressing rooms, showers and toilets; building or refurbishment of sports halls and gyms; non-personal sports equipment including lawn mowers and defibrillators – anything set in the ground (such as goal posts) is not considered equipment; and any other capital projects that are clearly sporting in nature and that will increase participation in sport or improve performance.

Useful Links.

The 2015 guide to filling out the online application form, including the terms and conditions.

The Sports Capital Programme YouTube channel has guides to the registration and application processes.

blank sample application form is available for download.

We need to turn off the tap of cheap alcohol

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, today (Thursday) said that a new initiative supporting the Government’s Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is a welcome addition to the national debate on the harm caused by alcohol abuse.

“Alcohol abuse is a public health issue that requires the input from many parts of society. It is great to see the people behind Alcohol Action Ireland taking such a proactive approach.

“The Alcohol Health Alliance, which was set up by The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and Alcohol Action Ireland, will bring together a wide range of public health campaigners including medical professionals, NGOs and charities whose mission is to reduce the damage caused to health by alcohol misuse.

“Yesterday there were 1,500 people in hospital beds due to alcohol related illnesses. We need to turn off the tap of cheap alcohol and the minimum unit pricing measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will contribute towards that goal.

“This Government is serious about tackling Public Health Issues. We did not back down on plain packaging and similarly will not about minimum unit pricing

After school care can cut childcare costs

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said today (Wednesday) that keeping schools open before and after classes could significantly reduce the childcare costs of working parents and provide an important extra dimension to the primary education system.

“An Afterschool facility within the school can provide a fun and safe environment for children while parents work. Children are supervised by a team of experienced and qualified childcare staff who would ensure both the children’s safety and also enjoyment by offering activities including arts and crafts, board games, team sports, party games and outdoor games, and even movie time.

“I have proposed this childcare alternative to the Taoiseach and Minister for Children, James Reilly TD and have invited them along with the recently established Interdepartmental Group out to see the successful working example of after school care in the Harold School in Glasthule. I launched this childcare alternative in 2009 while I was Principal and it has gone from strength to strength. It now even offers a pre-school club called the Rise and Shine Club.

“After-school care is currently provided by one in six primary schools, but the programmes are not coordinated on a national level. Only six percent of primary schools are owned by the State and the vast majority are in private ownership. The arrangements would need the cooperation of principals, teachers, management and parents groups.

“Hard-pressed parents would greatly benefit from this practical plan which could quite easily be trialled on a nationwide basis. It is simple, community led and cost effective.

By providing the after school care in the school facility we are eliminating additional travel, costs and stress on the parents and children.”

Public Meeting on the new Charities’ Regulatory Authority

I would like to invite you to a Public Meeting on the new Charities’ Regulatory Authority on Thursday, March 12th at 7pm in Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Killiney.

I would greatly appreciate if you could circulate the invite to colleagues and other interested groups. It promises to be an interesting and informative evening with keynote speaker Mr. Ivan Cooper, Director of Advocacy, The Wheel. The Wheel is Ireland’s support and representative umbrella network for community, voluntary and charitable organisations. Mr. Cooper will give a presentation on how to register and what impact the new Regulator will have on the charity sector.

It will start at 7pm sharp. There will be a Q+A session after the keynote speaker’s presentation. Please RSVP to mary.mitchelloconnor@oir.ie by Tuesday, March 10th. Please note that there is no cover charge for this conference.

If you have any questions about the event, or if I can be of assistance on any other local/national matter, please contact my Blackrock Constituency Office on 01 210 9161.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD

Draft County Development Plan 2016-2022 Consultation

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council would like residents, businesses, community groups and organisations and children (or groups or associations representing the interests of children) to give their views on the Draft County Development Plan 2016 – 2022.

The Draft Plan sets out Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s policies for the continuing sustainable development of the County for the coming years and has been prepared following a period of intensive consultation, which took the form of:

  • public displays and open days
  • meetings with stakeholders and service providers
  • written submissions
  • a series of briefing sessions for local Councillors
  • a number of special Council meetings on the Chief Executive’s Draft Plan
  • the making of the Draft County Development Plan


Why The Council Are Consulting

Your input in developing the Plan is important to ensure that the Final Plan both reflects, and responds to, public concerns and aspirations, as well as addressing the National and Regional strategies and guidelines required of us by legislation.

Make a submission on this Draft CDP 2016-2022

The Draft Plan, Environmental Report,  Appropriate  Assessment Screening  and maps will be on display at the following locations from Monday 2nd March to Monday 11th May 2015 inclusive, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays:


  • The Concourse, County Hall, Dún Laoghaire (9.00am-5.00pm)
  • Council Offices, Dundrum Office Park (9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm)


Copies of the Draft  Plan [Written Statement, including Appendices, Environmental Report, Appropriate Assessment Screening  and Maps] will be available to purchase,Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays, at:-


  • Planning Counter, County Hall, Dún Laoghaire, [10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.]
  • Council Offices, Dundrum Office Park [9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm]


The documents may also be inspected at all branches of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Libraries.


The Draft Plan, Environmental Report,  Appropriate Assessment Screening and mapswill be available to view or download from the Council’s website, www.dlrcoco.ie  from 2nd March, 2015.



Public Information Days:


There will be several public information days when staff from the Council’s Planning & Enterprise Department will be available to answer questions and to assist in making a submission. The information days will take place on the dates and at the locations listed below:





Concourse, County Hall,
Marine Road,
Dún Laoghaire
Thursday 5th March, 2015



Tuesday 21st April, 2015

10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


Dundrum Council Offices, (Rear Bank of Ireland),
Main Street, Dundrum
Tuesday 31st  March, 2015



Thursday 30th April, 2015

10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


Blackrock Library
Main Street
Co Dublin
Thursday 12th March, 2015


Thursday  23rd April 2015

  2.00pm – 8.00pm


2.00pm – 8.00pm

Sandyford Community Centre,
Lambs Cross,
Dublin 18
Thursday 26th March 2015


Tuesday 28th April 2015


 10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm

10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm –  8.00pm

Stonebridge Community Facility,
7 Stonebridge Grove,
Off Stonebridge Road,
Co Dublin
Tuesday 10th  March 2015



Tuesday 14th April 2015

10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm



Kilmacud Glenalbyn Sports Club

Glenalbyn House


Co Dublin

Tuesday 24th March 2015



Thursday 16th April 2015

10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm


10.00am – 1.00pm

5.00pm – 8.00pm



Submissions/observations  may be made on or before Monday 11th May, 2015 as follows:-


  • In writing to Senior Executive Officer, Planning & Enterprise Department, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire.



NOTE:  All submissions should include your name and a contact address, a map (where appropriate) and, where relevant, details of any organisation, community group or company etc., which you represent.

Please make your submission by one medium only.


Data Protection

D́un Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act.   In order to assist Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in complying with the Data Protection Act please include your name and contact details on a separate page to the content of your submission/observation.


The Planning process is an open and public one.   In that context, all submission documents are made available for public inspection.   This information may also be placed on the Council’s website.






Dun Laoghaire comes together to combat obesity

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has commended the Dun Laoghaire Community for their engagement and passion in combating the issue of obesity. Deputy Mitchell O’Connor was speaking following a successful public meeting on obesity in Dun Laoghaire this morning (Monday).

“I was extremely pleased to host a very successful public meeting on “Obesity; how we can create a healthier Ireland” with guest speakers Prof. Donal O’Shea from Loughlinstown Obesity Clinic, Aoife Hearne from Operation Transformation and Barry Dempsey from the Irish Heart Foundation.

“The very high attendance of parents, schools, students, academics, healthcare professionals and local community workers is testament to the great concern the people of the Dun Laoghaire have when it comes to the issue of obesity.

“Obesity contributes to and escalates many chronic medical problems, including cancer. This is a problem that we must combat immediately. This was a feeling shared by all those in attendance who showed a real commitment to addressing obesity by learning more and playing their part.

“At the core of the obesity problem is our perception of normality. Our idea of what is normal has shifted and being overweight is now more common than unusual. We simply can’t let obesity become the new norm.

“As a nation, we are getting fatter to the point of a crisis. The number of premature deaths annually which are attributable to obesity currently stands at approximately 2,000. It is a shocking admission, but we stand to be the first generation who will bury our children and it is completely preventable.

“A healthy Ireland requires a whole-of-society approach to improving health and well-being. We need to protect, educate and offer healthy alternatives to our children. Obesity is a problem that will continue to grow, endangering every family, if it is ignored.

“I would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting. There were some very insightful contributions and it was clear that this is a problem that the people of Dun Laoghaire are taking very seriously.”