Special Council Meeting Requested Regarding Sea Wall

03 Nov 2015

We updated you late last night that the motion put forward by local councillors, Damian O'Farrell and Tom Brabazon had not been accepted onto the agenda for the council meeting last night.

Following on from this Cllr. O' Farrell has informed us that he is requesting a Special Council Meeting for next Wednesday 11th November. He has released the email that he sent to his fellow councillors seeking their support in this matter. The text is copied below:

I want to thank you for your forbearance tonight as I attempted to raise the matter / have a debate on the ongoing flood defence construction work near St Anne's Park.  As I mentioned I tried to raise the matter at our last area meeting during Lord Mayor's business tonight ( I had emailed the Lord Mayor earlier in the day) also as a topical issue also and as an emergency motion. Thank you to Councillors who co-signed that. I was particularly disappointed not to have my emergency motion accepted when the work is ongoing and similar emergency motions in respect of work that is 'ongoing' have been accepted in the past. The Lord Mayor referred to an information meeting being held by DCC this Thursday again I attempted to have this meeting as a special meeting in order to debate this matter but this wasn't permitted also.  Many local Councillors have made requests that just one or one resident observers be allowed attend, these requests were denied. And finally it was requested that the information be webcast, also denied. Tonight's meeting was advertised on social media and I've had over 30 emails tonight from people who are very annoyed with the treatment this issue received tonight. 

Unfortunately I was reluctantly left with no option but to formally request a special council meeting for next week (Wed 11th). I made a request through the Lord Mayor tonight with the 5 required signatures (thank you to those Councillors who signed request) and I'm sure everything is in order. At this point It is my intention to request a public mandate for this Special Council meeting at a public meeting I'm involved in organising this Wednesday night 4th November and to finalise a decision in conjunction with local resident / interest groups after the DCC organised information meeting on 5th November. I spoke to Vincent Norton tonight and will keep in touch with him over the next few days.  

The main reason I am emailing you tonight is to apologise in advance if we have to journey into City Hall next week for a one item agenda meeting. I am certainly not trying to be difficult and I'm aware of the time pressure you are all under but in fairness I tried every other option available to me. I had a good chat with Jim Keogan tonight and I hope I clarified where I am coming from....  

There is no doubt that this Part 8 went through a process and I accept that however, there is a feeling locally which I agree with that a specific area of this  amenity has been damaged contrary to previous commitments i.e. preserve the amenity, e.g. notwithstanding the height levels the wall itself which is situated in a buffer zone of a Special Area of Conservation is nothing but an ugly concrete panel and there was originally no plans to 'aesthetically enhance' the wall. DCC have since recently promised to reconsider this. What I am basically saying is that there are two sides to this story and the community deserve to have this matter debated in City Hall at the very least.  

There are exciting flood defence proposals coming down the track and I know that locals are very appreciative of the work being carried out by DCC engineers and staff etc. Since the debacle in 2011 trust has had to be built up again. Flood work in this area is a collaborative process and its important that dialogue is maintained as we are not dealing with different groups but with the one greater community. Rightly or wrongly we have an issue that needs to be addressed. This matter can be rectified easily enough I'm sure. 

The following is the Emergency Motion that was put forward by Cllr. O’ Farrell and Cllr. Brabazon, which was unfortunately rejected;

That this Council honours the commitment given to the Northside community that any future flood defence would preserve the amenity and protect the environment.  There is an ongoing DCC flood defence programme on the north side of Dublin Bay that is based upon a collaborative approach with the stakeholders and commitments to this effect were given by Dublin City Council management as well as being proposed and ratified by Dublin City Council members at City Hall. The present flood wall construction opposite St Anne's Park is clearly in breach of these commitments and an amenity directly bordering our UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Natural Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area (EU Birds Directive) and a Special Area of Conservation has been damaged. We are calling on the CEO, Dublin City Council to rectify this matter immediately.