Dublin city councillors agreed at a meeting of their North-West Area Committee on Tuesday that bollards on Millmount Avenue and Millbourne Avenue in Drumcondra – put up as a trial last year to try to end rat-running between bigger roads in the area – should remain in place.
The process had been fraught, with some residents in the wider area expressing concerns about the impact on their streets, and others saying they were unhappy with the lack of transparency. Several turned up to watch the meeting.
Before they voted, some councillors said they wanted several criticisms to be put on record – even if they were to agree to keep the scheme.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Paul McAuliffe said he wanted officials to note concerns of staff at a local health centre about access, to set out the cost of the scheme, and to summarise the process that the council had gone through to put the bollards in.
The last would be especially useful, as several residents on other streets have asked if they can now get bollards to stop rat-running too, he said.
Labour Councillor Andrew Montague said the changes had inconvenienced some people. But there were positives, too, he said.
Children are walking to school more, and some people have decided to commute by bike rather than by car, Montague said. “That’s very much to be welcomed.”
Councillors also heard from Éamonn de Barra of Coiste Ghaelcholáiste Bhaile Munna, who is campaigning with others to set up a second-level Gaelscoil in Ballymun.
It would be part of the growing Gaelic quarter in the suburb, he said – and provide for the growth in students expected if extra housing planned for the area is built.
The group has been gathering support, and councillors at the meeting seemed warm to the idea. So far, 191 parents have said they are interested, and 29 have said they want to help out or join the school committee, said de Barra.
Now, they’re in early talks with the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB). Ideally, the school would be housed in the old Trinity Comprehensive building that CDETB currently occupies.
De Barra said it’s going to be a bumpy road, though, and he asked councillors for their support. “We need advocates for this school,” he said.
Independent Councillor Teresa Keegan asked when the social homes in an apartment block at Prospect Hill on Finglas Road will be ready for people to move into.
There are 58 homes in the block owned by Dublin City Council, according to a council report. Earlier this month, the council’s head of housing, Brendan Kenny, told councillors that the length of time it was taking to move people into those is “a scandal really”.
A lot of the delay was outside the council’s control, Kenny said. The apartments were supposed to be affordable, but during the crash, the council decided to make them social homes instead, he said.
But when they checked them out, “they weren’t fit for letting. There were serious defects, fire-safety defects,” he told councillors.
The receiver for McCabe Builders Limited, the firm that developed the apartments, got a contractor to fix them, but the council wasn’t happy with the work, said Kenny.
He said the council is confident that they’ll be fixed up and allocated by September.