Tuesday, December 19, 2006

O Riordain welcomes rejection of Alfie Byrne Road land rezoning

Dublin Deputy Lord Mayor Aodhan O’Riordain has welocmed the decision of the North Central Area Committee to reject Dublin City Council’s proposal to rezone sporting land at Alfie Byrne Road.

He said: “The City Council attempted to rezone these lands two years ago and this was rejected by the elected members.

“In a move which can only be described as undemocratic and arrogant, City Council management attempted to dispose of these lands at last month’s North Central Area Committee meeting in total disregard to the ongoing discussion process with the stakeholders who use Alfie Byrne Road as a football amenity’.

“Although this area is physically within the North Central area it is sporting clubs from the Central area that use it exclusively. City Council officials who in my view have deliberately allowed these facilities to deteriorate in order to facilitate rezoning have tried to outdo the councillors and cash in on these valuable lands. ‘

‘These actions are disgraceful, undemocratic and underhanded. Thankfully this issue had been reverted to the Central Area Committee for discussion and our unanimous rejection of the proppsal has been cemented by the North Central Area Committee’.

“These playing fields are a vital sporting amenity to the area and must be maintained. It is now the responsibility of Dublin City Council to upgrade these lands so that local football clubs can fulfill their potential.’

Friday, December 15, 2006


Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Aodhan O Riordain has criticised the failure of Minister McDowell’s record in tackling crime, after visiting the family of the late Gerry Byrne yesterday. Cllr O Riordain, a teacher in Sheriff Street, knows the Byrne family well and taught the sister of Gerry Byrne for three years. ‘The family are absolutely heartbroken and are struggling to make sense of what has just happened. Blood was still being cleared form the street outside the Mace in the IFSC this afternoon and the community are terrified about the repercussions of the shooting. ‘‘I have already received numerous calls from constituents who are extremely fearful about the current situation spiralling out of control and are terrified about their children being caught in the crossfire.’‘

Last month a neighbour of mine in Ballybough Ray Collins was gunned down in broad daylight, and this week has seen three murders in Dublin with numerous other non-fatal shooting incidents occuring in Cabra and Coburg Place also.‘It is clear that the current situation is spiralling out of control and I am extremely fearful that the gang feud which lead to Gerry Byrne being murdered last night will result in many more deaths over the coming months. The underlying tensions surrounding the feud have now been blown onto a new level and it is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice to reassure those living in fear in the locality that the State takes this crisis seriously.’

‘We need more than governmental gimmicks of a few gun wielding Gardai to reassure our citizens. We need the government in the short term to allocate extensive extra Garda manpower to potential trouble spots with a guarantee that they are there for the long hall. We also need the government to accept that their socially divisive policies have driven a wedge between the rich and poor in our society and that many young working class people are now finding the empowerment and the fulfilment they crave in criminality because our society refuses to respect them in a meaningful way.’

‘We still have one of the most unequal societies in the world. We have one of the largest child populations at risk of poverty in the western world. We have some of the poorest child literacy statistics in Europe with one in three children in disadvantaged areas having basic reading problems. We also have the second lowest percentage spend on education in Europe’

‘The minister’s policing polices have failed. His government have created a society that is steeped in disadvantage and this deprivation is now screaming so loud that not even he can ignore it. There will be another shooting and soon. It remains to be seen if the minister can move beyond kite-flying to prevent that from happening.’

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Aodhan O Riordain has urged Dubliners to purchase a book for children this Christmas. Speaking as his ‘Right to Read’ campaign gathers pace, Cllr O Riordain called on parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and indeed any adult who will be purchasing a gift for a child this Christmas, to buy them a book.

‘Unfortunately, our literacy statistics make uncomfortable reading, with one in three children in disadvantaged areas having basic reading problems. Therefore I believe it is the duty of adults to take on the responsibility of encouraging the development of a learning society by giving a book as part of their Christmas gifts to children this year.’

Cllr O Riordain has spent the last month distributing 20,000 free books to children across Dublin as part of his Right to Read Campaign. The campaign, which is focused on the local authorities response to educational disadvantage, has already achieved provision of €1 million from Dublin City Council for an improved library service and the establishment of homework clubs citywide.‘Giving a child the gift of reading is by far the most important gift that any child can receive. I encourage Dubliners to give children the gift of reading this Christmas’

Monday, December 04, 2006


The following motion in my name was passed by Dublin City Council tonight:

‘This council expresses its concern at the death of one its tenants, Terence Wheelock of Sean O Casey Avenue, as a result of injuries sustained in Garda custody in 2005. This Council calls for a full and independent inquiry to reach the full truth of the events surrounding Mr Wheelock’s death. This Council acknowledges the vital service that the Gardai provide in Dublin City. This Council believes that the rights of the Wheelock family and the reputation of the Gardaí are best served by an independent inquiry into those events.’

The motion was passed unanimously and members of the Wheelock family were in attendance in the public gallery.