killester’s legion hall update

Legion Hall, Killester, photo courtesy Patrick Hugh Lynch M.Lit

An Bord Pleanala have now given the go ahead for developing and building on the green space in Killester.  The development involves demolishing the old Legion  Hall, known locally as the Judo Hall, and the loss of considerable green open space, and building a commercial creche.

The astonishing aspect of this planning decision is that the area is zoned amenity, we have adequate childcare in Killester, and a similar application was turned down earlier last year.  Another feature of this area is that there are established rights of way across the green space.

For full details on the planning history see planning application no 3841/10, Site at Middle Third Terrace, and Abbeyfield, Killester, Dublin 5.  This site has been the focus of much planning activity for a number of years now, residents want to keep the green space in the between Middle Third and Abbeyfield, and argue that the zoning for the area should not allow a development of this type and scale. Continue reading


Irish Green Party in Government 2007 to 2011

The Irish Green Party entered Government in coalition with Fianna Fáil in June 2007, and exited in February 2011 just prior to the General Election campaign. The party suffered severe losses in both that General Election and the previous local and European Elections. It now faces the task of rebuilding both the organisation and public confidence in the party. This series of blogs covers some of the more momentous moments of the party’s time in office.

Political Angst – Where are all the women?

An interesting feature regarding female election candidates is that in Ireland one sees clustering of female candidates.  Adrian Kavanagh mentions this in the new Irish General Election 2010 facts and figures blog. This clustering breaks right down into local constituency level.  The higher the percentage of female candidates in poll position, the higher the number of female candidates will be run by all parties in that particular constituency.   When there is a strong threat to a seat by a female the opposing party will ensure they run an equally strong campaign, with female candidate.  The same dynamic occurred in the presidential election following Mary Robinson’s term of office.  Which proves that political parties can and will find female candidates for winnable seats when they need to!  All the usual hand wringing and excuses fly out the window. Continue reading

why are fairer societies also better at protecting the natural environment?

Why is it that some of the more equal societies are also better at looking after the environment?  Is it equality in itself that brings a greater care for environmental protection, or it is the other way around?  Do strong environmental policies by their very nature necessitate political and societal reforms that bring about a fairer distribution of resources?

The authors of Spirit Level’, Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett, highlighted the links between equality and environmental sustainability.  Although their evidence focused on a narrow area of activity, if one looks at EU measurements on compliance it is noticeable how the equal societies identified by Wilkinson and Pickett are also good at implementing EU policy on the environment.  This theme of social justice and environment policies is developed by George Monbiot.  In his article ‘Cold Hearted’ he alerts readers to fuel poverty in the UK and makes a strong case for the need for ‘perfect synergy’ between climate change and social justice policies. Continue reading

Ireland should follow Iceland with new constitution

Downtown Reykjavik, Image from

Iceland’s parliamentarians have voted for an assembly of ordinary people who will re-write the country’s constitution, and we should follow suit says Labour Party MEP Nessa Childers.

Eamon Gilmore has already indicated that a review of our constitution will be an important feature in any Labour government and Nessa has drawn a parallel between our experience and theirs, and says we should follow Iceland’s example: “Like us, the Icelanders have endured a terrible economical and political crisis. It is time to fundamentally reassess how our state operates. A revised constitution would establish a new social contract between the state institutions and all its citizens in a process that can help us on the road to national renewal and recovery. Read full text here

Irish Sea Region

The Dublin Regional Authority is leading the way on an important initiative for the Irish Sea Region.

The project involves Belfast, Merseyside the Isle of Man, University College Cork and the North West Development Agency in the UK, all are committed to developing a strong Irish Sea regional grouping.

A regional policy emphasising the importance of protecting marine ecology whilst developing economic links will also benefit Dublin Bay. Read more here

Callely controversy highlights lack of political reform

The ongoing revelations regarding Ivor Callely’s expenses claims highlights the lack of accountability and transparency in Irish politics. However only focusing on individual cases, such as Callely, allows the Government to avoid addressing the real issue – their unwillingness to bring public representatives financial accountability into line, at the very least, with  private sector regulations. Continue reading