Monday, October 24, 2011

Statement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD and Cllr Jane Horgan Jones re: Clontarf Flood Defences Meeting

Statement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD and Cllr Jane Horgan Jones re: Clontarf Flood Defences Meeting

There are new developments in the Clontarf Flood Defences campaign every day, and we are endeavouring to keep you abreast of them as they happen. Thank you to everyone who has contacted us so far with your views – your correspondence on this issue is always very welcome and helpful.

As many of you will already know, City Council officials met with representatives from the Clontarf Business Association (CBA) and Clontarf Residents’ Association (CRA) last Friday evening. Local councillors were also in attendance. At this meeting, the Council officials outlined some changes to the defences that could potentially be made to address the real concerns raised by people in our community about the flood defence works.

· No clear plans or concrete proposals were put on the table by the Council on Friday, so there is no question of anything being accepted or rejected at this stage.
· Cllr Jane Horgan-Jones specifically said at the end of the meeting that nobody should be asked to indicate their position on these proposed changes now, and that wider and further consultation would be needed before any clear positions could be taken by the stakeholders involved, including the CRA, the CBA and public representatives.

As your local Labour Party representatives, we have received many emails over the past two days inquiring about our position after Friday’s meeting. Some local representatives spoke to the media afterwards indicating they would support ‘the revised plan’.

· This is not our position. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Right now, there is no ‘revised plan’ in existence, so talking of accepting or rejecting the suggested changes is premature in the extreme and, in our view, undermines the whole process.
· We did not speak to the media after Friday for precisely this reason. Neither of us has any interest in making political hay out of this issue. We are happy to support the CRA and the CBA in their engagement with the process that is currently ongoing and then to evaluate the results, along with Clontarf residents, to see if the Council can propose an acceptable solution to this crisis. If the Council cannot provide such a solution, then no tactic is off the table.

Neither of us represented this area when the planning process regarding these works was in train. Planning permission was granted in July 2008. Aodhan was first elected to represent Clontarf in 2009, while Jane became a councillor in April 2011. However, we are now working extremely hard every day to find the solution that residents all want – one that protects our homes from flooding but also preserves the amenity of our prom.

Please keep in touch with us on this issue.

Aodhán and Jane