Clonkeen College

I am vehemently opposed to Christian Brothers’ plan to sell off the majority of the playing fields site at Clonkeen College to a developer.

In the past fortnight, I have met with the School Principal and Deputy Principal to discuss the situation. Following those discussions, I wrote to Brother Garvey and to Minister Bruton seeking a resolution. I have received a response from Brother Garvey and have passed that on to the Chairman of the Board of Management. I also requested a meeting with Brother Garvey but he has yet to respond to that request. This morning, along with Cllr. Patricia Stewart and my Special Adviser, I met with members of the Board of Management and advised them that they should urgently seek legal representation.

Clonkeen College has a long history of using these fields and, under the principle of promissory estoppel, they have an understanding that they can continue to use this land in this way into the future. There has been significant investment on the site, both on the school building but also the recently concluded drainage, seeding and fencing of the playing fields themselves. This investment needs to be protected.

These playing fields are absolutely irreplaceable in the locality. There are no alternatives; the fields are a significant public amenity as well as being vital to the wellbeing and fitness of the school students, and a key resource for their physical education. The school community and the community of the greater area would be adversely affected if this land was to be sold.

The Christian Brothers justify the sale of the lands by saying the money is needed to make their outstanding payment to redress scheme. Why these lands? Why penalise the children of Clonkeen College, current and future to pay for the sins of members of the Christian Brothers congregation in the past? It is unacceptable.

I will continue to work with the school and the Minister for Education and Skills to explore every avenue to protect these pitches.



Patronage of New Primary School in Dun Laoghaire Awarded to Educate Together

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and TD for Dun Laoghaire constituency, has welcomed the news that Educate Together has been awarded the patronage of Dun Laoghaire’s new primary school, to be opened in September 2017.

“Dún Laoghaire is growing and thriving thanks to the hard work of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber, Dún Laoghaire BID, Digital Dún Laoghaire and other local driving forces. This is bringing new people into the area.

“The changing demographic has been reflected in the decision about the patronage of this new school. The Educate Together movement began in Dalkey almost 40 years ago. From one school they have grown to, not just a national body, but an international body, with their first school in the UK opening in 2014. It is fitting that they have been awarded patronage of this new school.

“In accordance with the Programme for Partnership Government, the Government has a strong commitment to increase the number of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country. This will continue as more schools are built to accommodate our growing population.

“As a former teacher, education is always on my radar and this new primary school is a vital addition to the area. Parental preference and demand played a big part in deciding patronage following a public consultation in late 2016. I am delighted that people took the opportunity to be part of that consultation and have their views reflected in the decision.

“September 2017 will be a special time for the students of Dun Laoghaire Educate Together Primary School, and their parents and families who have campaigned for this school for a long time. I look forward to seeing smiling faces at the school gates.


Monkstown Village Improvement Scheme

After a long wait, the Monkstown Village Traffic Improvement Scheme is due to start shortly.

Cllr. Patricia Stewart and I have been working on this for several years now so it is very good news to hear that contractors will be on site soon. The scheme presents an opportunity to improve and enhance the public realm in this conservation area whilst improving road safety.

The major elements of the scheme are:
• A signalised pedestrian crossing at Spar
• An increased area of granite at the “Ring” with extra planting and seating
• Two-way road in front of the church
• One-way (and left only) in front of Goggins; one-way on Clifton Avenue (towards the sea)
• Narrowing of the carriageway through the village and widening of footpath
• Parking bays will be indented and surfaced with cobble sets
• Raised flower beds in the Crescent to provide an attractive separation from the road
• A crossing point is being added at Avoca which will incorporate seating and planting
• The existing overhead cables will be removed and the poles relocated
• Street furniture will be rationalised & decorative lighting added
• Loading bays will be reduced in size resulting in no loss of parking as a result of the new scheme

This scheme aims primarily to improve road safety but it will also visually enhance Monkstown.

If you have any further questions on the scheme, Cllr. Patricia Stewart is available to help you at 086 8291002 or at Alternatively, if I can be of assistance on this, or any local or national issue, please contact my office on 01-6312219 or by email to

All documentation and drawings can be found on:

Dun Laoghaire to get 14,800 new homes, 5,000 before 2021

Dun Laoghaire Fine Gael TD, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor welcomes Government funding that will deliver 14,800 new homes to the area.

The €40 million in funding for Dun Laoghaire represents Fine Gael’s commitment in the Programme for Government to increase access to public infrastructure and enable more housing to be developed.

Some 5,000 houses will be built in the area by 2021, with the potential for 14,800 houses to be built here in total in the long term.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “This funding will help deliver a strong mix of private, rental and social housing delivery at appropriate locations and create new and attractive local communities to live in at affordable prices and rents.”

“In recent months I have been at a number of significant jobs announcements in the constituency, most recently Microsoft, where 600 additional jobs will be created. I am acutely aware of the importance of quality housing stock in attracting companies and workers to the area and this funding will help to significantly increase the number of homes being built.

“These homes are important; we know there are housing and accommodation shortages in certain areas. Fine Gael is dedicated to improving the lives of families and children. Everyone has a right to a home and we are ensuring this is possible. We will continue this work throughout the 32nd Dáil” the Minister added.

“Together with other targeted and complementary measures under the Government’s Action Plan for Housing, the delivery of this housing in the next four years will have an extremely positive impact on the availability of housing in the short to medium term.”

“Through the work undertaken, we are now making progress in recalibrating a sector that has faced enormous challenges in recent years.

“Today’s announcement of the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation projects signals what can be achieved from a collaborative approach involving local authorities, public bodies and housing providers, working together to maximize the impact on housing development and delivery from the focussed use of available public funds.”

The Minister went on to say that Dun Laoghaire’s new funding represents an effective use of targeted funding to achieve real results for ordinary citizens, adding that the announcement will lead to the delivery of 23,000 housing units nationally by 2021 and an overall figure of over 69,000 housing units in the next ten to fifteen years in areas where the shortage of supply is critical.

“Through the projects announced today under LIHAF, together with the completion of our review of the Government’s Capital Plan and the development of a new National Planning Framework later this year, we will see further sustainable progress being made to address our housing needs and accelerate our economic and social recovery”.

This is a great example of ‘joined-up Government’ and has acted as the trigger to draw both public and private partners together to leverage much wider public and private sector investment.,” The Minister concluded.

Brexit meeting, next Monday, 6th March – hope to see you there!

On Monday next, March 6th, I will host a public meeting on Brexit in the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Killiney at 8pm.

The evening will feature a panel of guest speakers. Joining me on the night will be Mary Buckley, Executive Director with Enterprise Ireland, Kevin Sherry Executive Director with IDA Ireland, Nicola Byrne, Incoming President of the Irish Exporters Association and Lorraine Higgins, Head of Public Affairs with Retail Excellence Ireland.

I would be delighted to see you on the night, please join us for what promises to be an informative discussion.


EVO Payments International to add 50 new jobs in Dun Laoghaire as part of €9.1 million investment

EVO Payments International, a leading card payment service provider operating throughout North America and Europe, has announced the creation of 50 new jobs and the opening of a new Irish headquarters as part of a €9.1 million investment in the Irish market.
The new full-time positions, spanning sales and marketing, customer support and administration, will be based in the company’s new head office in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

EVO has begun recruiting for the new positions and expects to fill all roles this year. With extensive operations in North America and Europe, EVO employs over 2,000 professionals today.

The announcement was made by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor at an event in the company’s new headquarters today.

Operating under the BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) brand name in Ireland, EVO established a presence here in 2014 and works in partnership with Bank of Ireland in providing innovative card point of sale and online payment solutions for Irish SME and corporate businesses.
The company has played a central role in the accelerated growth of card and contactless payment adoption in the Irish market.

In just two years, the company has grown from five to 70 people. The addition of 50 new people will bring the Irish workforce to 120 people in 2017.

Announcing the new jobs and additional investment in the company’s new offices in Dun Laoghaire, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor warmly welcomed the expansion, saying:

‘This is a great success story with a further 50 jobs being announced today. The alliance between EVO Payments International and Bank of Ireland brings together a world leading international payments technology company and a major Irish financial institution, and the result is a great win for Ireland. I am confident the company will get the required skills from our talented workforce, and I look forward to the business going from strength to strength in the future.’

Debit card spend in Ireland last year was over €30 billion, a 20 per cent increase year-on-year. Total card spend in Ireland is over €40 billion with an additional €13 billion spent online.

Speaking at the announcement today, Mr Brian Cleary, Managing Director of BOI Payment Acceptance Ireland and UK said:
‘We’re delighted to announce our additional investment and expansion in Ireland today. We’ve experienced rapid growth here over the past two years, driven mostly by the increasing use of card payments by Irish consumers, the adoption of new card payment technologies by Irish businesses to meet that demand, and a growing Irish economy. Equally, our strategic partnership with Bank of Ireland means we continue to deliver for more Irish businesses and consumers.

‘With over six million debit and credit cards in the market, debit card spend on the increase year-on-year and with over 35,000 Irish businesses offering contactless payment facilities, this number continues to grow. Our additional investment reinforces our commitment to rapidly expanding our presence in both the Irish and UK markets and will ensure we are well positioned to meet the demand for new and innovative payment solutions among consumers and businesses in Ireland,’ he said.

The project has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA.

Congratulating the company on its expansion, Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said: ‘Ireland is well positioned as a ‘payments’ hub within Europe and today’s expansion by EVO Payments International further strengthens this. There are huge opportunities for growth in this area as consumers continue to embrace technology in their daily lives. IDA Ireland is focussed on winning more business in this area in the coming months.’

Public Consultation on Sandymount / Merrion to Blackrock Corridor Study timeline extended

The National Transport Authority has recently extended the deadline for people to have their say on the proposed Sandymount/Merrion to Blackrock (and later potentially extended to Sandycove) travel corridor has been extended until 31 January 2017 at 5pm.

Full information on the proposals can be found on the link below:

Consultation on Sandymount / Merrion to Blackrock Corridor Study

This will impact everyone, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, public transport users, residents, businesses etc. so I would encourage you to read the proposal and make a submission if you would like to. Public consultation gives everyone a chance to have their voice heard.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor Opens New SIRO Headquarters & Welcomes 60 New Jobs

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD (@mitchelloconnor) officially opened SIRO’s new offices in Carrickmines, Co. Dublin today and welcomed the creation of 60 new jobs by the company over the past 12 months. SIRO (@SIROIreland) will now employ 120 people as it ramps up the construction of Ireland’s first 100% fibre-optic broadband network to 500,000 premises in 50 towns nationwide. The company also announced that it will invest €150 million in its network rollout in 2017, which will support 400 subcontractors working on the project around Ireland.

With over 40,000 premises passed to date in 17 regional towns, SIRO is Ireland’s largest Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) operator. FTTB is the gold standard for broadband connectivity internationally and SIRO will pass 55,000 premises by the end of the year. The wholesale broadband operator’s rollout will expand to over 30 towns during the course of 2017, as demand for services powered by SIRO grows.

Commenting at the office opening, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “Broadband connectivity is of vital importance to the Irish economy in terms of job creation and enabling Irish companies to compete online. I have seen the potential of the Gigabit society already when I opened the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which is powered by SIRO, this summer. It is an exemplar project which is already sowing the seeds for a vibrant digital economy in West Cork and transforming the broadband experience in the town. I am aware that other towns are hoping to replicate its success as part of SIRO’s rollout, which is a real boost for regional Ireland.”

Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, added: “We are delighted to move into our new home after doubling our headcount to 120 and outgrowing our old premises. It is our ambition to become Ireland’s new national telecoms infrastructure and I am excited by the calibre and enthusiasm of colleagues who have joined us to help build our unique 100% optical Fibre-to-the-Building network – the only solution capable of future-proofing Ireland’s broadband needs now and for the decades ahead.”

SIRO has formed partnerships with BT, Carnsore Broadband, Digiweb, Vodafone and WestNet with more retailers expected to come on board in 2017 as the company drives competition in the wholesale broadband market. The network interconnect agreement between SIRO and BT is of particular importance as it lays the foundation for SIRO to enable multiple retail partners, such as rural fixed and wireless broadband providers, to access its 100% fibre-optic broadband network.

Using the existing ESB network, SIRO is delivered by fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds.

200 new jobs for Cherrywood with Enterpryze



Enterpryze announces 200 jobs funding round to facilitate rapid expansion into global markets

Indigenous Irish company leverages SAP Business One solution for SMEs around the world

Cherrywood based operation is a “model” for ambition for emerging Irish companies – Minister Mitchell O’Connor

Enterpryze, a new affordable and disruptive web and mobile based platform for SMEs, has today announced the creation of 200 jobs in Co. Dublin.
Welcomed by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., the expansion will facilitate the company’s rapid export-led growth over the next three years, following the successful launch of the SAP partnered solution earlier this year.

A sister-company of Milner Browne, which deploys and supports SAP Business One – the world’s most popular ERP solution – Enterpryze will create the 200 posts at its Cherrywood headquarters, with recruitment beginning immediately.

The jobs will be in the areas of sales, customer service, technical support and development as the company expands into new regions, including emerging markets. The company received significant Enterprise Ireland backing through its two-and-a-half-year R&D phase. Enterpryze is designed to significantly streamline business management processes for any type of organisation, from micro-companies to medium scale operations.

Founded by Morgan Browne, a 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, the solution includes several separate management applications for as little as €5 per month. They include Service, Deliver, Expense, Purchase, Sell, Timesheet, 360, Credit Control and Pipeline.

The simple interface, in addition to enabling smaller companies run the SAP solution across mobile and web, also allows SAP users to push their solution further into their business by dramatically reducing associated costs.

Speaking at the event, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I very much welcome today’s announcement by Enterpryze that they are creating 200 jobs in Cherrywood, Dublin. This is great news from a very young and rapidly expanding company. Enterpryze is a model of the type of company that can emerge from the indigenous sector. Home grown entrepreneurs are the backbone of this economy and, with the support of Enterprise Ireland, can start-up and expand and export while creating sustainable jobs. I want to congratulate Enterprise Ireland for their work with this company, especially through the R&D stage and wish the Enterpryze team every success for their bright future.”

Enterpryze CEO Morgan Browne said: “Enterpryze’s growth is based on an innovative solution that partners with one of the world’s leading business management software tools, SAP’s Business One. Traditionally, this global leading software has been available only for larger scale companies. But Enterpryze distils this disruptive solution for micro businesses for the first time. It enables them to streamline a wide range of management functions across a user-friendly system that saves significant time and cost.

“We have had huge support along the way and none of this would be possible without our own dedicated team and the support and guidance we received from Enterprise Ireland through our R&D stage. Nor would it have been possible without the support and backing of SAP. Given it is one of the world’s most trusted business-to-business brands, this is huge validation of what this solution will do for SMEs.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland has been working with Milner Browne since 2014 and it is a great pleasure to see this highly innovative SaaS company go from strength to strength. Supporting Irish companies with the ambition to scale globally is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and with the launch of its new Enterpryze software product, the company has the potential to continue to successfully scale its operations in Ireland and beyond. We look forward to working closely with Enterpryze to optimise their full growth potential, creating and sustaining jobs in Ireland.”

Fabrice Sala, Head of SAP Business One for EMEA said: “The combination of the Enterpryze solution and SAP Business One will help businesses from new market segments to run simpler, faster and better.”

Luis Murguia, Global Head of SAP Business One said: “Enterpryze, powered with SAP Business One, will bring the Digital Economy to the small business in a simple and affordable way. It’s a true game changer.”