16 April, 2007

In the drink

Sure what else would you be doing but dipping your feet in the water on an April morning?

A picture-perfect sunny morning last Thursday and Patricia McKenna, David Healy and Bronwen Maher joined me in the water after the photographer's invitation to get our feet wet. John Gormley's been around the block a bit longer than the rest of use and he wisely declined their request that he go for a paddle, and remained behind the cameras, although he had almost ended up in the briny after losing his balance for a moment on the old lifeboat slip.

That's the Granuaile behind us. She's the main vessel that the Commissioners of Irish Lights use to service the lighthouses and ships around our coast. I was one of the Commissioners for three years back in my Dublin City Council days. The Commissioners of Irish Lights were established by the Dublin Port Act 1867, but derive their origin and constitution from an Act of the Irish Parliament of 1786 for developing the Port of Dublin. The Commissioners of Irish Lights are a statutory body of 21 members, with perpetual succession, to provide and maintain Aids to Navigation around the coast of Ireland.

Our photo-shoot in Dun Laoghaire was to publish the Dublin Bay Bill, a project that I've been working on for the last year or so. I held a 'Dublin Bay Futures' Conference in the Kingston Hotel here in Dun Laoghaire last Spring, and the Bill was inspired by those discussions. Dublin Bay is under pressure from high-rise building proposals at the moment, but while all this construction is taking place, the Baths at Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire lie derelict.

We're proposing a new Dublin Bay Authority that would properly manage the Bay on behalf of the people of Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. Last Thursday at our launch in the Kingston we stated that this new Authority could carry out the following activites:

1. Regenerating the Baths around the Bay such as Dún Laoghaire, Blackrock and Clontarf.
2. Ensuring that the proposed ‘S2S’ (Sutton to Sandycove) walking and cycle route becomes a reality.
3. Providing greater access to the water for anglers, swimmers and boat users.
4. Protecting low-lying coastal areas from the risks of flooding due to climate change or natural events.
5. Developing the South Docks and
Poolpeg Peninsula as high amenity residential areas as the first phase of Dublin Port’s eventual removal from the City Centre.
6. Creation of a
Marine Park initially in the area between Sandycove and the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire.
7. Extending the Luas into
Poolbeg Peninsula.
8. Utilising the heated water from the Poolbeg Power Plants to provide district heating for apartments along the Liffey.
9. Ending the discharge of raw sewage into the Bay from the small number of remaining outlets while also resolving the capacity and odour problems at the Ringsend Plan.
10. Phasing out the parking of cars on the beaches of
Bull Island.

Ireland's Coast Zone Management Plan is still only in draft format, ten years after it was first produced. Our proposed Dublin Bay Authority would ensure that the Bay is better managed for future generations. It was great to get our Bill published, and it provides a taster for what the Greens would like to achieve if we're in Government after the election in a few weeks time.


Andrew said...

Great idea. It is amazing to have such an amenity and to just treat it is a "backdrop". Just look at cities such as Sydney, Rio and Cape Town they make such great use of their waterfronts: jogging, rollerblading and swimming etc. In Dublin you still have to struggle for a way to get on to the beach in many places (Booterstown etc.).

Also the fact that in modern day Ireland, two public baths lie in ruin is shocking. I love to hear foreigners / tourists getting off the Dart at Blackrock and wondering what the ancient ruins are behind them.

DUB in the DAM said...

Hello Ciarán

Just a quick few words in the way of support for your work. I live in amsterdam these days, but love visiting my folks back in Dun Laoghaire, I was living in Dalkey in 2002. So although abroad for many years, I remain connected to the place. Never enough can be done to improve on architecture and public services in the area. Indeed it is already a rare european beauty but much more can be done.

Just living in Holland has taught me a great deal about architecture, urban/social planning, personal spaces, design, the need for good public services and the good government which is needed to bring such things into reality.

As you may know I can not vote in national elections here in Holland, as I am not a dutch national. Only this week I inquired if I could therefore vote in the up-coming Irish elections. Sadly no as I am not (presently) a resident of Dublin. None the less "YOU HAVE MY VOTE" and I hope you will take some solace from its symbolic worth.

Green will always be the color of Ireland. Socially and politically, it always has been and always will be. For me 'in real terms' there is no other path. But we must remember, as is often the case: we have a little sobering up to do, before we get on with the job.

Ireland has in recent years provided much inspiration for other EEC nations. With the Green Party I am convinced it will continue to do so. Keep up the good work.

barrie said...

Its not a serious as the other quotes, but check out this site:

some really great ideas in there, watch the video.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, that story you told about Bertie in the Sorting Office in Sheriff Street. That wasn't Bertie, it was Albert Reynold. It's worth checking the facts before you throw the mud !


Brian Reynolds said...

Ciaran, whats wrong with the Devil anyhow. Ok he does seem to get a lot of negative PR.
Will global warming affect the climate in Hell?
Remember the Blues singer, Robert Johnston. Allegedly he went down to the crossroads and made a pact with the old Satan.And the Blues, is often referred to as the Devils Music.
Looking foreward to having the Party in this Govt, and making a big influence over the next few years.


Brian Reynolds
Co Cavan, Green Party Member