Dublin

Kissing Gates in Dublin: Access to Information on the Environment

In August 2021, I sent a request under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations to five public bodies:

  • Dublin City Council (DCC)
  • South Dublin County Council (SDCC)
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council (DLR)
  • Fingal County Council (FCC)
  • Office of Public Works (OPW)
  • Waterways Ireland (WI)

AIE Requests are similar in some ways to Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests, but there are crucial differences: while FOI exists under Irish legislation, AIE arises from EU legislation. Therefore, the Irish State is bound by EU obligations in respect of AIE; however, the government of the day can amend FOI legislation, as it has in the past and proposes to do so again. There are also differences in the public bodies which are covered by AIE and FOI, with more bodies subject to the AIE Regulations. On the other hand, FOI legislation may capture more kinds of records held by public bodies, above and beyond environmental information.

I sent the below request to each of the public bodies. The replies and responses I’ve received have been.. diverse.

I am making the following request under Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations.

Please provide information with details of all barriers/gates on pedestrian routes within the [Council/Dublin] area, including: on roads, paths, lanes, at any pedestrian entry and exit points to parks, and at any locations within within parks.

This requested information to be broken down by location and by type of barrier/gate – the requested information to include, but not be limited to:

Gates
– ‘Kissing gates’
– Swing gates
– Styles
– A-frames
K-frames
All other barrier/gate types
– All locations of such barriers/gates

I am requesting the above information be provided in electronic format.

Essentially, I want to find out where and how many kissing gates and other barriers there are within Dublin City and County. It seems such a simple request.

I plan on providing updates in respect of each public body’s response in separate posts here, which will be grouped together under the “kissing gates” tag.

Wish me luck.

The battle of the bollards II: Battle harder (Please help!) in

Could I again ask a huge favour of anyone in Dublin 7 (or who is Dublin 7-adjacent)? This request is part of my nerdiness and also my need to feel safe while cycling (since walking leaves me in pain), so if you can help I would be hugely grateful.

Earlier this year, Dublin City Council put in a couple of changes in Dublin 7, including the below change to Grangegorman. I think this intervention improves safety and is a benefit to the community, but there is a lot of strong opposition.

It is looking likely that Dublin City Council will remove this in January 2021: 

  • On Grangegorman, bollards and tree planters were installed in July outside the TUD campus to make the street a pedestrian-friendly “quiet way” and prevent motor vehicles travelling through Grangegorman. Vehicles still have full access, but have to go back the way they came (so, it’s like a cul de sac if you’re driving).

People opposed to the changes are continuing to contact Council officials and local Councillors in significant numbers – so if you support the changes I’m asking you to please share your views, too. (I’m also asking for selfish reasons, because this street has been so hostile for anyone walking or cycling, that I’ve mostly avoided it – but now, is finally safely accessible.)

Below are the email addresses, and further below I’ve included some of the key points I think are relevant – please feel free to use these if you’re emailing your representatives.

Thanks a million, and if you want to chat about this please do give me a shout. :)

Dublin City Council email address

covidmobility@dublincity.ie

Councillor email addresses 

janice.boylan@dublincity.ie
christy.burke@dublincity.ie
Joe.costello@dublincity.ie
anthonyc.flynn@dublincity.ie
janet.horner@greenparty.ie
cllr.darcylonergan@gmail.com
raymcadam@gmail.com
eimer.mccormack@dublincity.ie
seamas.mcgrattan@dublincity.ie
declan.meenagh@dublincity.ie
cat.odriscoll@socialdemocrats.ie
colm.orourke@dublincity.ie
cieran.perry@gmail.com
nialring@eircom.net

Grangegorman key points 

  • Bollards and tree planters installed on Grangegorman: access only for motor vehicles (no through traffic).
  • Part of a trial to make the street quieter and safer for pedestrians.
  • Previously, this route has been used as a ‘rat run’
  • Residential area, schools and TUD campus
  • Expressing: my support for this measure
  • Asking: for your full support as a Councillor to this trial continuing beyond January 2021.

Grangegorman trial. Image: Dublin City Council

At the Copa Grangegorman. Image: Dublin City Council.

The battle of the bollards (Please help!)

Could I ask a huge favour of anyone in Dublin 7 (or who is Dublin 7-adjacent)?

This request is part of my nerdiness and also my need to feel safe while cycling (since walking leaves me in pain), so if you can help I would be hugely grateful.

In the last few days, Dublin City Council have put in a couple of changes in Dublin 7. I think they improve safety and are a benefit to the community, but there is a lot of strong opposition.

The changes are:

  1. On Manor Street, bollards have been put in to keep the cycle lane clear – this is outside Grano and DrinkStore, etc., where there have often been cars illegally parked.

These bollards have been put in as part of the Council’s Covid plan of temporary measures.

  1. On Grangegorman, bollards and tree planters have been installed outside the TUD campus to make the street a pedestrian-friendly “quiet way” and prevent motor vehicles travelling through Grangegorman. Vehicles still have full access, but have to go back the way they came (so, it’s like a cul de sac if you’re driving).

These changes are part of a four-week trial.

 

Some people opposed to the changes are contacting local Councillors in numbers, and so if you support the changes I’m asking you to tell your Councillors, too.

(I’m also asking for selfish reasons, because these streets have been so hostile for anyone walking or cycling, that I’ve mostly avoided them – but now, they might finally be safely accessible.)

I’ve listed local Councillor email addresses below, and further below I have included some of the key points I think are relevant – please feel free to use these if you’re emailing your representatives.

Thanks a million, and if you want to chat about this (or life in general) please do give me a shout. :)

 

Councillor email addresses 

janice.boylan@dublincity.ie
christy.burke@dublincity.ie
Joe.costello@dublincity.ie
anthonyc.flynn@dublincity.ie
janet.horner@greenparty.ie
raymcadam@gmail.com
nialring@eircom.net

If you can also CC covidmobility@dublincity.ie this will also go to the officials in Dublin City Council who are working on these projects.

 

Manor Street key points 

  • Bollards recently installed on the west side of Manor Street (along the northbound cycle lane, outside businesses including Manor DIY, The Green Door, Grano and DrinkStore).
  • Installed as a temporary measure under the Council’s interim Covid plan.
  • Allow access through, and to these places, safely by bike.
  • Previously, persistent illegal parking in the bike lane  resulted in danger to people cycling.
  • The bollards ensure greater safety for locals cycling on Manor Street and allow for safe access to businesses.
  • Expressing: my support for this measure
  • Asking: for your full support as a Councillor to this temporary change.

 

Grangegorman key points 

  • Bollards and tree planters installed on Grangegorman: access only for motor vehicles (no through traffic).
  • Part of a four-week trial to make the street quieter and safer for pedestrians.
  • Previously, this route has been used as a ‘rat run’
  • Residential area, schools and TUD campus
  • Expressing: my support for this measure
  • Asking: for your full support as a Councillor to this four-week trial.

 

Grangegorman trial. Image: Dublin City Council

At the Copa Grangegorman. Image: Dublin City Council.

Getting it first, but not getting it right: An example of journalistic failure?

  • You can contact Samaritans in Ireland on 1850 60 90 90 -or- 116 123 -or- jo@samaritans.org, and in Northern Ireland on 08457 90 90 90

 

Diario El Universo. Image: © Alfredo Molina/Creative Commons 3.0
Diario El Universo. Image: © Alfredo Molina/Creative Commons 3.0.
Image: © Alfredo Molina/Creative Commons 3.0

 

This morning, An Garda Síochána in Dublin closed of part of a city centre thoroughfare due to a major incident.

The incident, which had been unfolding from around mid-morning and which has reportedly now been resolved successfully, attracted significant attention among members of the public using Twitter. Some of these people posted written comments; some of these people posted images.

Not long afterwards, well-known Irish journalists, blogs, publications and broadcasters were on the story. They, too, posted comments and images of the incident on social media, as well as on their own websites.

Shortly after that, several members of the public (including me) posted comments, as well as replies, on Twitter to draw attention to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting on such incidents.

To their credit, some individuals and blogs removed their tweets and content from their websites. To their shame, the established media organisations did not; instead, they continued to update their social media accounts and online reports with live updates, photos, videos, embedded tweets, and so on. (To date, many of these remain available to view.)

Image: Screengrab: @Oireachtas_RX (Oireachtas Retort) - 11:46 AM, 1st July 2014

Image: Screengrab: @Oireachtas_RX (Oireachtas Retort) – 11:46 AM, 1st July 2014

 

The problems with the reporting on today’s incident

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