Category Archives: Leopardstown

Every effort must be made to safeguard Vodafone jobs

Fine Gael Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Friday) joined her Party colleagues in calling on the Communications Minister, Pat Rabbitte to do all in his power to ensure that the 300 Vodafone jobs that are at risk of being lost to Newry are retained in the State.

Deputy Mitchell O’Connor went on to say that the meeting that is set to take place next week between the Communications Minister and the CEO of Vodafone, Mr Jeroen Hoencamp, presents the perfect opportunity for the case to be made for retaining the jobs in Dublin and Dundalk.

“It is of great concern to me that there is a very real threat to 300 Vodafone jobs which provide customer care services at Leopardstown in Dublin and in Dundalk. This is on the back of 140 jobs lost at the company last May when the decision was taken to move call centres from Ireland to Egypt and India.

“Ireland is at a critical stage of rebuilding its economy and encouraging inward investment. Confidence is growing and we have seen a significant number of foreign companies choosing Ireland as their preferred destination for business development. Only yesterday, we had the announcement of a €200 million expansion of the Amgen plant in Dun Laoghaire after just a year in business.

“This move by Vodafone flies in the face of what every individual in the country is attempting to do; get Ireland Inc. back up and in business. Assiduous attempts are being made on all sides to undo the damage inflicted on us in recent years and to get our people back to work. It has not escaped my attention that people are more conscientious in buying Irish and in supporting shops in their local economy in an effort to create and retain jobs. I am seriously disheartened by Vodafone’s plans in this regard.

“The Minster for Communication’s commitment to meet with the CEO of Vodafone next week signals some light in what is a dark situation for the employees whose jobs are at risk. I am hopeful that a satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at and that ultimately the jobs in Dublin and Dundalk will be retained.”

Funding will improve situation for all commuters in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

€1m for new cycle facilities, better access for walkers and new road.

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has welcomed the announcement of €1 million in funding from the Department of Transport to go towards improving transport infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown. This is part of a new round of funding of €12 million for more than a hundred projects in the Greater Dublin Area under the Sustainable Transport Measures Programme 2012.

“I am delighted that this funding has been made available to improve facilities for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown. One million euro had been provided, €600,000 of which will be used to improve the junction and signalling at the junction of Upper Kilmacud Road and Blackthorn Junction. This will include new cycle facilities and better access for pedestrians and cyclists at Sandyford Luas stop.

“Design works on a new road from Leopardstown Road to Sandyford Business District will also be carried out which will go towards improving the situation for people travelling this route, helping to shorten journey times and make life that bit easier.

“Work on designing a new cycle and walking link from Belfield campus to the Dart will also be carried out. These days more and more people are opting for local transport or are taking to their bikes. It is important that we encourage these trends by making sure that the facilities and pathways that cyclists and pedestrian use are up to scratch.

“Despite the constraints on his Department, the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, has made a concerted effort to ensure that smaller projects that will have a big impact locally are adequately funded.

“By providing €12 million for more than 100 road, bus, cycle and pedestrian projects in the Greater Dublin Area, the Minister is addressing the needs of all commuters, by seeking out the ways to best improve means of transport while encouraging more sustainable ways of travelling.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor raises concerns over development of Cherrywood

New villages could have negative impact on established areas like Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey, Blackrock and Glasthule.

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has made a submission to Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council outlining concerns over the impact the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone could have on Dun Laoghaire and the surrounding areas.

“The Draft Planning Scheme for the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone details a 264 hectare green field site for development which would consist of three new villages, served by a town centre, with the capacity for three primary schools and two post primary schools.

Considering what is happening in areas such as Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey, Blackrock, Shankill, Ballybrack and Glasthule at the moment, the fact that the proposal is not anchored within an overall strategy for region and the possible negative impact it may have on surrounding towns and villages, is a cause of genuine concern.

“Too often we have seen the development of areas in isolation without any real reference to surrounding towns and settlements. The effects of the recession are already evident on the main streets of these towns with many retail outlets and offices closed down. Retailers argue, with conviction, that this development will draw customers from their towns and villages, especially at weekends, compounding an already difficult trading environment.

“Consideration must also be given to how a major population move to Cherrywood will impact on house prices and school pupil numbers in the already established centres. In the last few months a private primary school has closed in Dun Laoghaire town and I am aware of four other State primary schools in the Dun Laoghaire Electoral Area Ward that are set to lose significant pupil numbers. There is also pupil capacity in a number of our State run secondary schools in the area.

“The water supply to the development is also a cause for concern as the security of supply from Roundwood Water Treatment Works, which Cherrywood area is totally reliant upon, may not sustain a development of this scale.

“While the initial plan put forward in 2009 was appropriate, we are now living in very different times and must ask ourselves if this development is the best strategy at this time. We already have an oversupply of unfinished office blocks and apartment units, many of which are empty, in place such as Leopardstown. It is my strong belief that we should get our existing towns back up and running before embarking on new developments such as this.”