Oral Hearing finishes it work.

December 14, 2009

The Oral Hearing finished Wednesday 9 December. In about 4 months An Bord Pleanála will publish their ruling on the Port Company’s application to infill part of the Bay.

Campaign group Dublin Bay Watch have been in touch with their supporters and intend to distribute a leaflet to homes in the new year.  The leaflet will give further details of the Oral Hearing and the many individuals and businesses that assisted Dublin Bay Watch over the years.

Now all we can do is wait.  On a final note, great work by all the residents, Dublin Bay Watch team, Clontarf Residents’ Association representatives, and all the NGOs, and An Taisce who put in time and effort to save this valuable and wonderful resource for future generations.


Dublin Port challenges Dublin City Parks Dept. evidence at oral hearing

December 5, 2009

The Oral Hearing on the Dublin Bay infill application resumed Monday 30th December.

And Dublin Port Company surprised all in attendance at by submitting new evidence on wild bird numbers to the Oral Hearing on the expansion of Dublin Port.  The report was titled ‘Winter Bird Surveys in Dublin Port and Tolka Estuary, Sept to Nov. ’08’ written by Natura Environmental Consultants.

Legal representation for the Port Company took some time on Wednesday cross-examining Dublin City Parks Dept.  This examination appeared to attempt to prove that the area to be infilled was not a significant site for the protected species. 

This area being challenged by the Port is designation as a Special Protection Area under EU Law;  my opinion is that the time for this discussion was with the Parks and Wildlife and EU when the designation process was underway in 2008.

See my notes from the hearing Monday 30 Nov., to Wednesday 2nd December.  Meeting to resume 7th December, with An Taisce submitting further evidence and cross-examination by Dublin Port of various other witnesses.

Dublin Port Economic Study Doesn’t Justify Dublin Bay Reclamation, claim Labour Party

October 29, 2009

Speaking at a public information meeting hosted by the Labour Party – “Dublin Bay: What Next” in the Clontarf Castle Hotel on Wednesday 28 October, Labour Party representatives, Cllr. Aodháin Ó Ríordáin and Bronwen Maher said the Labour Party is steadfastly opposed to the unnecessary reclamation of 21 hectares at the top of the Tolka Estuary Read the rest of this entry »

Dublin Bay: What Next? – Invitation to public meeting

October 21, 2009

Clontarf CastleDublin Bay: What Next?

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Clontarf Castle


Admission Free – All Welcome



Cllr. Dermot Lacey – Chair Dublin Bay Task Force

Bronwen Maher – Labour Party, Dublin North Central 

Chair Cllr. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Clontarf Ward

 The meeting has been organised by the Labour Party to provide up to date information for local residents on the adjourned Oral Hearing; and on the work of the Dublin Bay Task Force.  Cllr. Dermot Lacey, has been recently appointed chair of the Dublin Bay Task Force, and locals will have the opportunity to meet him and give him their views on the Bay.  I will give a report on the Oral Hearing before it was adjourned, and discuss what needs to be done to project the Bay.

Oral hearing to reconvene

October 9, 2009

Bronwen on Clontarf promenadeThis week An Bord Pleanála wrote to anyone who lodged an observation or objection to the Dublin Port’s infill plan.  See application reference 29N.PA0007 on the An Bord Pleanála website. 

Got my letter yesterday to inform me that the oral hearing is to reconvene.  The hearing was adjourned following conflict of interest claims by Dublin Port against An Bord Pleanála.  According to the correspondence received yesterday, the board’s inspector has fully investiated the allegations and has declared them unfounded.  As soon as I have a date for the new hearing I’ll be in touch.

Dublin Bay Task Force report to Minister

September 18, 2009

Minister John Gormley TD and Bronwen Maher at launch of Dublin Bay Task Force July 2008The Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley TD, formally launched the Dublin Bay Task Force in Dún Laoghaire in July 2008. 

He asked the Dublin Regional Authority to establish the Task Force in May of that year, and I was privileged to be elected the first Chair by my fellow members of the Dublin Regional Authority. 

My term of office ran from 2008 to 2009, and at my ultimate meeting we finalised a comprehensive report for the Minister, making recommendations on a management structure for the Bay. 

We proposed a streamlined and cost effective way to put in place a plan for the future protection of the Bay that involved best practice recommended by the EU and UN for Coastal Zone Management. 

The Dublin Regional Authority at its meeting in September 2009, endorsed the recommendations.  We now await a response and directions from the Minister.

Read the report here……..

Oral Hearing adjourned indefinitely, following conflict of interest claim by Dublin Port

September 10, 2009

An Bord Pleanála Oral Hearing has now been adjourned indefinitely, following this morning’s adjournment. 

Council for Dublin Port interrupted this morning’s hearing to state that Dublin Port Company had discovered that a company, that works for Drogheda Port Company, (who wish to build a port at Bremore), also works/advises An Bord Pleanála. 

An Taisce and Legal Council for the Clontarf Residents and Dublin Bay Watch indicated that they would seek any costs arising from this startling development.

The Oral Hearing re-convened at 2.30pm however as I predicted the Inspector was not in a position to continue the hearing.

I will post more information on the company and its involvement with both An Bord Pleanála and Drogheda Port Company should I get it.

Oral Hearing kicks off with strong challenge by both An Taisce and Legal Council for residents

September 9, 2009

The Oral Hearing kicked off with statements by both An Taisce and Legal Council for Dublin Bay Watch and the Clontarf Residents Association.

An Taisce LogoIan Lumney BL, An Taisce, challenged the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement and failure to address the issue of climate change and CO2 levels. 

portaerialDonal O Laoire BL,  representing the residents and Dublin Bay Watch, stated that economic arguments could not be used as a reason for allowing the expansion to go ahead as application will be considered under the Birds Directive and not the Habitats Directive. 

To date we have heard submissions from Dublin Port (lasting 3 and a half days), Dublin City Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Bird Watch Ireland, Dublin Transportation Office, Irish Seal Sanctuary, and Concerned Blackheath Park Residents.

I have been able to attend two full days so far, and read my summary of these presentations here.

DBW-Sept-08-Page-1thbThe Oral Hearing next sits on Thursday 10th, starting with statements from Dublin Bay Watch and Clontarf Residents Association. I understand that this will be a joint presentation and will take at least three hours.

Following on we will hear submissions from local TDs, Senators and Councillors and political parties. On Friday we will also hear evidence from shipping experts representing Bremore Ireland Port Limited.

Monday 14 September– the cross questions of all parties will commence, with the final module being the presentations from individuals and households and cross-questioning.

The Inspector intends for the hearing to take two weeks from 3 September, and depending on the number of individuals and residents wishing to speak, I believe we could reach this target, and even finish by Tuesday 15.

Oral Hearing on Dublin Port Company application to infill and develop 95 acres of the North Inner Bay

September 2, 2009

The An Bord Pleanála oral hearing kicks off tomorrow, at 11am in The Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

If you have an interest in protecting Dublin Bay please come along, the hearing is open to the public and should last between two to three weeks.

The Port Company will give evidence first, followed by other statutory bodies, then NGO, such as Dubin Bay Watch and Bird Watch Ireland, then the residents associations, public representative and finally individuals.

I will post regular updates on the proceeding on my blog.

Green Ministers must oppose ‘ominous’ Dept. of Transport report supporting expansion of Dublin Port

August 8, 2009

View of Dublin Port from ClontarfPress Statement
The Dept. of Transport commissioned Indecon Report on the future of Dublin Port, published yesterday, must be opposed by the two Green Party Ministers – claims former Clontarf councillor and Chair of Dublin Bay Task Force, Bronwen Maher.

Maher says “This is an extremely ominous report for local residents and environmentalists as it recommends the expansion of Dublin Port as a best-case economic scenario.”

“The two Green Party Ministers must make a case at the cabinet table against any further infill of Dublin Bay, as this goes entirely against Green Party policy. If the Greens sit back and allow Dublin Port to expand it will be yet another betrayal of their voters,” stated Maher.

“However looking at the economic argument is only part of the challenge. What is strange about Minister Noel Dempsey’s press statement on the port study, is that the Minister makes no mention of that fact that the port is located in an important EU recognised wild bird habitat, and any breach of this legislation will result in heavy fines for the State.”

“Sustainable development, as promoted by the Green Party Ministers, should also take into account social, and environmental considerations. The Green Ministers must put pressure on Government to oppose any further infill of Dublin Bay.”

Furthermore, last year, the Minister for the Environment has established a Dublin Bay Task Force to draw up a Plan for the sustainable development of Dublin Bay – and again any discussion around expanding Dublin Port must be placed in the context of a proper plan for the Bay which looks at not only the economic, but also the social and environmental future of the Bay.

Information – Bronwen Maher 087-784 1937
Note to Editor – Bronwen Maher was a member of Dublin City Council from 2004-2009. A former Green Party representative, and Chair of the Dublin Bay Task Force, Maher was also involved in the drawing up of Dublin City Council’s Dublin Bay Plan.

She continues to campaign against the infilling of Dublin Bay and will make a presentation at the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing to be held later this month.