New National Skills Strategy key pillar in our plan to Keep the Recovery going

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire Mary Mitchell O’Connor has said the new National Skills Strategy 2025 – Ireland’s Future is a key pillar in Fine Gael’s plan to keep the recovery going.

“I was delighted to see this strategy launched here at the Blackrock Further Education Institute today by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Education and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation.

“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the recovery going and the first step of that plan is the creation of more and better jobs. This requires a well-educated and well-skilled workforce.

“The strategy launched today identifies Ireland’s current skills profile and provides a strategic vision and specific objectives for Ireland’s future skills requirements.

“I particularly welcome the Government’s commitment today to provide 50,000 modern apprenticeship and traineeship places to 2020. This is an important step towards Fine Gael’s plan to reach full employment.

“More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all. This will ensure more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”

Enter the National Enterprise Awards 2016!

Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is looking for a business to represent our County at the National Enterprise Awards Finals which will take place on 26th May 2016.

The Awards – organised by the National network of Local Enterprise Offices – celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector. The awards recognise and celebrate the success stories of small business owners from all over the country.In addition to enjoying extensive media coverage, National Finalists will compete for a €20,000 Prize Fund on this date.

The winner of the 2015 National Enterprise Awards was Kilkenny-based MyBio. Past winners down through the years have included Irish Yogurts from West Cork, Hot Irishman Irish Coffee from Carlow and Grouse Recording Studios from Westmeath. See List Winners from the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 2015 County Finals.


STAGE 1:   The Local Competition: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Final
Prize Fund of €10,000. Appy by 4pm, Wednesday, 10th February.          

Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown will host a County Final which will take place on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire as part of our Enterprise Week 2016 activities. Six county finalists will compete for a prize fund of €10,000 and the overall winner will represent the county at the National Finals.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applications will only be accepted from businesses which employ no more than 10 employees
  • All applicants must be current clients of LEO DLR (i.e must have received at least one of LEO DLR’s supports).
  • LEO DLR clients who have transferred to Enterprise Ireland within the last 12 months are also eligible & Previous County finalists are eligible to enter

Selection Process:

  • All completed entries received from eligible businesses by the submission deadline will be reviewed; 12 entrants will then be invited to interview which will take place on Wednesday, 17th February in Dún Laoghaire. Following these interviews, six finalist businesses will be selected to be compete for the County final prize fund of €10,000. We will arrange for a short promotional video of each finalist to be shot duting the week beginning 22nd February prior to the staging of the awards ceremony on Tuesday, 8th March.

How to Enter the National Enterprise Awards

To enter you must complete the NEA 2016 Application Form (All submissions should be in typed format.)

Application forms are to be returned, together with a current Business Plan and Financial Statements for the most recent accounting period by email to (please send signed copy) or by post to:

Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
County Hall
Marine Road
Dún Laoghaire
Co. Dublin

The deadline for receipt of applications is 4pm on Wednesday, 10th February 2016.
Please contact Aimee O’Brien on (01) 204 7083 / with any queries.
We look forward to receiving your entry!

New measures to support Ireland’s 1,300 post offices

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said that the agreements reached as part of the Post Office Network Business Development Group report, including the introduction of eAccounts, will support rural post offices in Dun Laoghaire in the future.

“While post offices remain central to Irish communities, there is a challenge to ensure that they remain competitive. The Business Development Group was asked to identify new business opportunities for the post office network and has reported back with a number of recommendations.

“Post offices need to offer more to customers, including online banking, direct debits and ATM cards. I therefore very much welcome the news that eAccounts are to be rolled out in 2016.

“As a result of this report an investigation will also take place into the feasibility of offering motor tax services in post offices.

“A renewal process is to take place over the next six months and this review will address branch modernisation; the streamlining of products; postmaster payments and training for post office staff.

“Financially supporting at-risk post offices for a number of years is another recommendation of the report and one that would make a significant difference.

“An Post is one of Ireland’s most trusted brands and it is vital that we put our valued post office network on a sustainable footing into the future.

“The post office is a defining facility in rural villages in Dun Laoghaire and across the country. Implementing the recommendations of this report, though challenging, is very important. It is essential that we continue to create jobs in all parts of the country to provide business for post offices and to invest in vital services.

“Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will deliver more new jobs, spread right across the country, jobs that pay more than welfare, where hard work is rewarded. The plan will also deliver affordable, sustainable investments in services using the resources from growing employment.”

New Burglary Act will help keep repeat burglars off the streets

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has said that the new Burglary Act will help keep repeat burglars off the streets of Dun Laoghaire and improve the safety of our community.

“Yesterday the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, announced that the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015 has come into operation. This is an important new act and means that from today bail can be denied to repeat offenders.

“The problem of repeat burglaries is an issue for many people in Dun Laoghaire. Statistics provided by the Garda Síochána show that 75% of burglaries are committed by 25% of burglars. This important Act allows for bail to be denied, and consecutive sentences to be given, to repeat burglars. It’s my hope that the act will reduce crime rates in Dun Laoghaire and will be a key weapon in the battle against crime.

“Home is the place where we should all feel most safe and secure. This is why Minister Fitzgerald is targeting those who commit burglaries. This Bill will help to keep repeat burglars off the streets and to improve the safety of our communities.

“The new Burglary Act also provides an important additional layer of support to Gardaí in implementing Operation Thor. These new provisions for tougher sentences and stricter bail for repeat offenders will now be available when persons charged as part of Operation Thor come before the courts. Operation Thor, which was launched in November 2015, is a multi-strand national anti-crime and anti-burglary operation. It involves a broad range of activities to tackle crime, particularly burglaries.

“This Government has reopened Templemore after it was closed by Fianna Fáil; €46 million has been allocated for Garda vehicles, many of which will be high-power vehicles for targeted operations; €18 million is being provided for the refurbishment of Garda stations and €205 million has been invested in new technology for An Garda Síochána. This is part of an unprecedented allocation of €875 million in capital funding for the Justice sector.

“The economic recovery, brought about by the policies of this Government and the hard work of the Irish people, means we can now invest more in key public services, Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will deliver more and better new jobs and will allow us to continue targeted investment in areas like crime prevention.”

‘An Evening with Rachel Allen’ in aid of LauraLynn and the Blackrock Hospice

TV Chef Rachel Allen has teamed up with Fenelons Butchers in the Stillorgan Shopping Centre to host ‘An Evening with Rachel Allen’ charity fundraiser on Wed 2nd March 2016 at the Pavilion in Leopardstown Racecourse.

It’s being organised by Fenelons to celebrate 50 years in business and owner Clif Lenehan is hoping to raise €10,000 for LauraLynn and the Blackrock Hospice.

Rachel will be showing how to cook some fab seasonal dishes and with TV3’s Anna Daly as master of ceremonies and plenty of artisan food and craft stalls, a delicious demo evening is promised.

Tickets are €25 each, now available in-store and online at Please share and support these two great local charities doing wonderful work for families.

70 new jobs a great boost for Blackrock

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire Mary Mitchell O’Connor has welcomed the announcement of 70 new jobs in Blackrock by Irish medical technology company, 3D4Medical.

“It is great news that 3D4Medical – the world’s leading medical applications developer – has announced that the company will create 70 new highly skilled jobs over the next 18 months. The positions will be in the highly skilled technical, design and medical sectors including: software developers, 3D graphic artists and medical writers and experts, to build on the success of its world-renowned applications.

“The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton yesterday opened 3D4Medical’s new Global Headquarters here in Blackrock.

“3D4Medical is an indigenous Irish technology company that specialises in the development of medical applications for professional reference as well as student and patient education.

“The opening of the new global headquarters in Blackrock will allow 3D4Medical to more than treble the company’s workforce in Ireland.

“Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going and job creation is right at the centre of that plan. We are seeing economic progress, with over 135,000 more people at work, but we cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue. Our plan will deliver more new jobs, spread right across the country, jobs like those provided by 3D4Medical. More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all.

“3D4Medical has been supported by the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland and today’s announcement reflects the company’s strong growth in the global medical technology market and its commitment to continuing to grow its headquarters and maintain its R&D base in Ireland. It is also a vote of confidence in the services and workforce available in the Blackrock area and throughout Dublin.”

Almost half a million Euro awarded under 2016 DLR Grant Scheme

At the Council meeting held on Monday 11 January 2016, the Elected Members of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council approved the award of €492,659 in funding to a wide range of local groups and organisations under the dlr Grant Scheme 2016.

From over 340 applications which were received and assessed, 246 have been recommended to receive funding.

The total amount of funding included in the recommendations is €492,659, an increase of €47,000 on last year. The breakdown of funding across the various categories of grant is:

                Over €40,000 in Art grants

                Over €70,000 in Business Support

                Over €120,000 in Community grants

                Over €11,000 in Environment grants

                Over €130,000 in Event and Festival support

                Over €13,000 in Heritage grants

                Over €100,000 in Sports grants

The full list of recommended applications was presented to the Elected Members at the Council Meeting and will be available on the Council’s website.

All applicants will now be notified by the Council as to whether or not their application was successful.

Public Meeting Invite – How to Grow your Business Online, January 21st, 2016

I would like to invite you to a Public Meeting on How to Grow your Business Online. This meeting will take place in the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on Thursday, January 21st at 7pm.

I would greatly appreciate if you could circulate the enclosed invitation to colleagues, friends and family. It promises to be an interesting evening with a panel of expert speakers including:

  • Joan Mulvihill, CEO – Irish Internet Association 
  • David Curtin, CEO – IE Domain Registry
  • Darren Grant, Founder & Managing Director – Organic Supermarket
  • Dermot Casey, Venture Investment Leader – NDRC

There will be a Q+A session after the expert speakers’ presentations and we hope that you will gain valuable and practical information on how to grow your business online.

If attending the meeting please RSVP to so that the hotel can prepare adequately for the number of people attending. Please note that there is no cover charge for this public meeting.

Looking forward to meeting you on the night.

Yours sincerely,

Impressive second place finish for Dún Laoghaire in Irish Business Against Litter rankings

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council was delighted to see the town of Dún Laoghaire finish second out of the 40 towns and cities surveyed across the country – the town’s highest ever finish – in the most recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) rankings.
The results of the survey show Dún Laoghaire was awarded the ‘Cleaner than European Norms’ classification by the judging panel and provides further evidence of the Council’s commitment to maintaining a clean county.
The Council currently employs 59 staff in their cleansing section providing services such as graffiti removal, support for community clean-ups, emptying of litter bins, street sweeping, weed control, gully cleaning and the removal of abandoned cars.
Eighteen of these staff concentrate solely on cleaning the roads and footpaths throughout the county using 6 large, 2 mid-size and 2 small road sweepers.
Along with all of the other major town centres in the county, the streets in Dún Laoghaire are swept 7 days a week, with a dedicated pedestrian green machine also working in the town on a seven day rota.
Our recent county-wide installation of new solar powered, compacting ‘Smart Bins’ – which monitor real time levels of waste and inform staff when individual bins need to be emptied – has helped streamline our cleansing service.
The overall litter bin capacity has increased from 45,000 litres to over 250,000 litres, with a consequential reduction in energy output from the cleansing fleet by over 85,000 kWh per year through reduced travel costs.
Commenting on the results Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor congratulated the staff in the cleansing section for their hard work and said: “Projects such as the People’s Park, the Metals, Moran Park and the LexIcon are shining examples of not only the staff’s hard work but also the commitment of the business community and residents to continue to keep Dun Laoghaire litter free and are a credit to the community.”