Wednesday, March 31, 2010

St Jospeh's Fairview Losing Services for Aspergers Children - Where's their 'Bail Out'?

Teachers and Parents in St Joseph's CBS in Fairivew are seeking urgent help due to both the denial of Beechpark Services for students with Aspergers currently in their Outreach classes, and the removal of access to Beechpark for students coming into their school next year. They currently have thirteen boys diagnosed with Aspergers presently in their three Outreach classes. Eight of these students are presently under the care of Beechpark Services. However, they have not had access to Beechpark Services for five of their students.

Two of these students, one in 6th Year and one in 5th Year had their files closed in the past, and Beechpark never re-opened them. Furthermore, an application was made on behalf of a student in 4th Year to obtain support from Beechpark. Yet years on, despite his multiple needs and numerous requests, he is still merely “on the waiting list”. These students have multiple needs, and this extreme lack of support from Beechpark is impeding their development.

Furthermore Beechpark are claiming that they will remove their services for four students due to join their classes next year. These four students are presently in the Outreach classes of St Joseph’s National School (next to our Secondary School), and are currently under the care of Beechpark Services. However, the school have been informed that these children will not have access to Beechpark Services once they leave the ASD Unit in the National School and transition into the Unit in the Secondary School.

Guaranteed multi-disciplinary supports, including access to a Psychiatrist, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Psychologists are essential for the development of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, especially in their teenage years, when often mental health issues become exasperated. Hence, this denial of services is a disgraceful situation and needs immediate rectification.

I am calling on the Minister for Health and the Minister for Education to address this matter immediately and to return the services for these most vulnerable of children.

Monday, March 29, 2010

123 Re-Routed by Dublin Bus Without Any Consultation

123 Re-Routed by Dublin Bus Without Any Consultation
Statement from Cllr. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Monday March 29th 2010

Cllr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised the decision by Dublin Bus to re-route the popular 123 bus without any consolation with the local community or with local representatives. The route northward through Marino is an extremely important service for the elderly residents of Marino.

'Last year Dublin Bus took the decision not to continue to travel northward through Marino but rather to travel down Philipsburgh Avenue and directly down to the terminus on Griffith Avenue. As a result a long process was engaged in to resolve the issues that concerned Dublin Bus and many improvements were made by Dublin City Council to facilitate the reintroduction of the route through Marino.' Cllr Ó Ríordáin stated.

'However last week, without any notice, Dublin Bus have reverted to their previous position which again causes mayor upset to local elderly residents. I have started a local petition in Marino to campaign for the re-introduction of the original route and I am calling on Dublin Bus to re-engage with the City Council, the Local Community and the Local Representatives to resolve this matter as soon as possible'. Cllr Ó Ríordáin concluded.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



Following on the success of last week's protest, we are assembling again this Saturday at 12noon at 53 Clontarf Road to continue the pressure against the opening of Head Shops.

We also need to emphasise the fact that:

1. Stiffer legislation is needed to stamp out head shops
2. The Government`s Drug Strategy Funding must be ringfenced
3. Cuts to Drug Task Forces must be reversed
4. 25 Detox Beds is a pathetic response to 10,000 herion addicts

Lets make the protest last.

The Battle of Clontarf Must Go National!!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Head Shop Protest:
It was great to see such a large turnout at the Head Shop Protest at 53 Clontarf Road yesterday. If rumours are to be believed then the pressure generated by the protest may already have had the desired effect but we will wait and see. The next protest is for next Saturday at 12noon at the same location. You can sign up to the online petition here:
Appeal Against 100-Bed Private Hospital Proposal:
I organised two meetings with residents last week to help lodge an appeal against the proposed 100-bed Maternity Hospital on the Howth Road, The main concern is the impact that the development would have on the surrounding community, particularly in terms of traffic and transport. You can view the application here:

Local Media:
Myself and Labour Party Councillor Andrew Montague are determined to roll out the Dublin Bikes scheme to further afield. Read more here:

Lord Mayor's Commission on Employment:

I am a member of the Lord Mayors Commission on Employment which has been meeting regularly over the last number of months and has been so successful that Fine Gael are even beginning to steal some of its ideas - Brian Hayes getting excited over foreign students is a classic example. The commission are organising a conference for Friday the 23rd of April in Croke Park - for more details see

Spending Mother's Day with Leo Varadkar:

Woke up last Sunday realising that I had bought nothing for Mothers Day and that I had to run into Today fm for the Sam Smyth show. On the panel last Sunday was Leo Varadkar and Marion McKeown. Have a listen here, especially interesting is my description of the Huckle-Buck on the Late Late Show.....Leo had never heard of it! He'll never be Fine Gael leader with that sort of snobbery.....

Craobh Chiaran Dinner Dance
Had a great night last Tuesday at the Craobh Chiaran Dinner Dance. It was great to see All-Star Alan McCrabb given the Clubman of the year award. The women's football team certainly were high profile all night...great speech given by their manager....brought the house down...
After all that hectic activity, I'm off on a school trip to France with 28 children for 4 days.....Just to take a break from politics.....

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


‘The National Educational Welfare Board, established to monitor school attendance, is powerless to intervene as thousands of school days are being lost by four and five year olds every year.’ Cllr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, a Labour Councillor and North Inner City Principal, has stated

‘The Board, established under the Educational Welfare Act 2000, is required to investigate cases of school absenteeism. However one provision within the 2000 Education Welfare Act states that the functions of the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) are limited to children between the ages of six and sixteen. ‘

‘Crucially there is no statutory requirement for children to be enrolled in school before the age of six, which in effect means that teachers, principals and NEWB officers are powerless to intervene in a case of chronic absenteeism of a child who is enrolled in a school under that age.

‘At that most important developmental stage in a child's education, the infant years, the NEWB has no statutory grounds to intervene in a case of serious absenteeism which many educators point to as a key indication of child neglect. This is my view is tantamount to departmental neglect of children.’

’It is clear now that this legislation must be amended to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled in a school that the powers afforded to the NEWB under the Educational Welfare act can be enforced, regardless of the child's age. Such a change would ensure that those in the school community and those charged with the responsibility of monitoring school attendance can make the maximum difference at the earliest opportunity.’ Cllr Ó Ríordáin concluded.