Tag Archives: Ciaran Cuffe

Graphic on the Green Party website

This afternoon.

Further to Green Party leader and TD Eamon Ryan’s comments about carpooling in rural Irish villages on Ireland AM on Wednesday

And the subsequent reporting of his comments on The Irish Times yesterday

The party has released the following statement:

“By now you’ve probably read the headline that Eamon Ryan wants to restrict cars in rural Ireland.

This headline has caused a flood of online fury – and rightly so, because a suggestion like that would be ridiculous and impractical. It would be tone-deaf to needs of our rural communities, and frankly insulting to people who are dealing with a total lack of any public transport on a daily basis.

But the truth is – this headline is totally inaccurate.

The Green Party does not stand for restricting car ownership, and to state otherwise is a huge misrepresentation of the party position and of Eamon’s comments.

What Eamon Ryan proposed was that car sharing could provide people in rural Ireland with extra options.

So cars AND car sharing.

The reason for this is simple. Lack of investment in rural transport means thousands of people are locked-in to car dependency. Meanwhile, thousands of young people have been locked-out of car ownership in rural Ireland because of sky-high insurance costs. People want and need options. They need a way of getting around that is much cheaper and may provide an alternative to the cost of owning and running one or more cars.

Car sharing schemes won’t work everywhere or for everyone, but there are rural communities who are already doing this. In Cahersiveen, locals have started a carpooling group, and Clare County Council are piloting a scheme as part of their Rural Development Strategy.

So what are the facts?

The fact is, the Green Party are the ONLY party proposing major public transport investment in rural Ireland, and we were the ONLY party to discuss our commitment to rural transport at our budget launch.

In our budget submission, we committed almost half a billion Euro to public transport. We are the only party with a costed budget to come anywhere close to the level of investment and ambition that will make an impact for people in rural areas.

That means new bus routes serving communities and areas that have never been served before.

It means a big increase in frequency of services on existing routes.

It means cheaper fares.

It means options.

And the Green Party proposal is for sustained investment at that level.

We deeply regret the hurt that has been caused to rural communities. We are facing a climate emergency, and the impact of that will disproportionately hit rural areas.

We want to prevent that. Carpooling is one idea that might work for some people in some areas. It’s not Green Party policy. It’s not even a Green Party idea – carpooling was debated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, where Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour all voted in favour.

When it comes to climate change, people in rural Ireland are sometimes made to feel like they are part of the problem. Rural Ireland is not part of the problem, but by investing significantly in rural communities, we believe rural Ireland can become a big part of the solution.’


Everyone stay cool.

*revs up welly-strewn Passat*


Earlier: Rota This

Previously: It Takes A Village


Dublin Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe tweetz:

Like to join me on a whistle-stop bike tour of decent public housing in Dublin tomorrow?

The bike tour will take place from 2pm until 4pm tomorrow, leaving from The Tram Café, Wolf Tone Square, Jervis Street, Dublin 1.

Bike tour of Dublin Housing (Open House Dublin)

Earlier: “What Is Going On At The Heart Of Government?”

Sandymount Strand in Dublin; Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe; David Browne, president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Building on Dublin’s Sandymount Strand and the Tolka Estuary could provide enough homes for 150,000 people, the president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has said.

David Browne, a director of RKD Architects, said the beach and estuary lands should be reclaimed from the sea for dense, sustainable apartment neighbourhoods, which would provide affordable homes over the next 50 years.

Reclaim Sandymount Strand for apartments, says architect (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)

Abercrombie’s new town plan for Dublin (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)

Dublin MEP Ciaran Cuffe thinks it could be damaging to the environment.

“I think it’s very controversial,” said Mr Cuffe. “Personally, I don’t think it’s viable. It involves building in the Dublin Bay biosphere which was a Unesco designation a few years ago.”

Green MEP says building homes on reclaimed land in Dublin Bay is not viable (Irish Examiner)

Save Poolbeg

This afternoon.

TU Dublin Grangegorman, Grangegorman Lower, Arran Quay, Dublin.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and cabinet colleagues launch the Government’s ‘Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown’.

To wit:

The Government aims to bring 950,000 electric vehicles into circulation as part of the Climate Action Plan, which has been published this afternoon.

It also plans to introduce legislation to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and to roll out a nationwide charging system for electric vehicles.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton described the plan as “ambitious but realistic”.

He said it identified how Ireland would achieve its 2030 targets for carbon emissions, and put the country “on a trajectory to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050”.

Climate Action Plan ‘ambitious but realistic’ (RTÉ)



Cuffe localFormer Green Party TD and former Dublin City Councillor, Ciaran Cuffe, top, has written a blog post calling for the minutes of the meetings of the County and City Managers’ Association to be made public.

It follows a report in The Irish Times this morning that Dublin City Council, who has paid more than €32million to consultancy firm RPS for its services over the last ten years in relation to the proposed Poolbeg incinerator, is terminating its contract with RPS, after the European Commission found the contract didn’t conform with EU law.

Mr Cuffe writes:

“They’re one of the most powerful organisations in the country. Their 39 members have much of the responsibility for the spending of about €4billion a year on running local authorities, and around €3billion a year on capital expenditure. That’s serious money. Clearly they’ve a lot to talk about. And yet when you try and find out how often they meet or what decisions they make make it can be quite a challenge.”

“The Local Government Management Agency (pictured above) hosts the CCMA’s web pages which state that the CCMA works “to ensure that the influence of Managers is brought to bear on the development and implementation of relevant policy.” It goes to say that “CCMA represents its members on external committees, steering groups and organisations and develops evidence-based positions and makes submissions on relevant issues.” That all sounds good and worthy, but it would be useful if the minutes of their meetings and any associated reports were made available to the public so that we know what is discussed. Greater transparency could improve the quality of the decisions that are made, and reduce legal challenges and appeals.”

I served for over a decade on Dublin City Council as a councillor, and had the opportunity to watch managers exercise their power and influence over major investment decisions on transport, waste, water and other issues. After the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 was enacted, three new County Managers were appointed to the new counties of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin. These Managers meet on a regular basis to discuss matters of common concern. It stands to reason that these Managers have to liaise with each other and co-ordinate what they do, but the public interest would be better served if the minutes of these meetings were placed in the public domain. In theory the powers of the managers and those of the council are balanced, however the growing complexity of decision making means that many issues have been resolved before they are presented to the Council. I sometimes got the feeling that the meetings before the council meeting were the ones that really counted.”

All too often when it comes to the big decisions that will affect the city for the next hundred years there appears to be an over-emphasis on solutions that favour large new-build engineering projects. The future to our water woes requires a large new pipe to the River Shannon; The waste problem demands a major incinerator; Sewage treatment can be solved with another huge wastewater treatment plant in Ringsend, and on it goes. Might this be put down to the managers meeting in conclave on a regular basis? I suspect it is. On many occasions I’ve found myself arguing for conservation measures, rainwater harvesting, recycling instead of new mega-projects, yet the City Manager insisted on the silver bullet of the major project that will solve all our ills. I suspect this is partially due to the heavy engineering and administrative background of many of these individuals. It may also be influenced by the outsourcing of many of these large decisions to consultancy firms that like to present the single large solution to the problem.”

“The problem in these uncertain times is that we can’t quite predict the level of growth or demand that over the next five years, let alone the next twenty. This creates a challenge for decision-makers. It may mean that spending half a billion euro on building a pipe to the Shannon for Dublin’s future water supplies is not be the most cost-effective solution. Perhaps we should be investing money in fixing more of the leaks that waste 36% of our water before it gets to the taps. Perhaps we ought to have considered alternatives to a single large incinerator in Ringsend where the EU has had to call a halt to a client management and public relations contract that has cost us €30m before the project has even been built. Who knows?”

The CCMA Executive tells us that they lead on the key issues to be tackled – mainly “big picture” / high level issues. In fairness to them they did open a twitter account last April but it has only had nine tweets over the last eight months. That’s a start, at least, but in the twenty-first century in the interests of transparency the details of their deliberations should be available to all.”

Read the full post here.

Previously: ‘The Contract Did Not Confirm With EU Law’