Vacant houses are a scandal, government inaction inexcusable!

Local representative Declan Meenagh has said that the thousands of vacant homes lying idle around the country remain the low hanging fruit option still underutilised by Government to deal with the housing crisis. It follows the release of new figures from the Department of Housing this week.

Declan said:

“Amid the release of new housing figures this week, there was a noticeable absence of detail of any action taken on the vacant housing front, with just a general reference to ‘voids’ included in the stock brought into use in 2017.

“This would also only cover the Local Authority empty units and does not take into account private dwellings.

“We know that there are thousands of vacant properties currently gathering dust around the country that could be used for the provision of homes in the midst of this crisis, but we are not seeing enough urgency on it.

“It has been said for some time that we need to drill down into the reasons that these properties are lying idle, but there is still no sign of the Government’s Vacant Homes strategy that was promised last year.

“With nearly 11% of total housing stock vacant here, bringing these homes back into use is the low hanging fruit option still underutilised by Government.

“Making use of existing vacant dwellings can, and must, be a quick win and a real solution for those families who have no home or are at risk of losing theirs.”

Fianna Fail conversion on affordable housing welcome but far too late

Labour Representative Declan Meenagh has said that reports that Fianna Fáil will pursue an affordable housing plan in their manifesto is welcome, but far too late!

Declan said:

“For the last two years Labour has called for a State Agency to drive the delivery of affordable housing. It has been clear for some time that the private market has completely failed in housing.

“Reports today that Fianna Fáil will adopt the same approach is welcome but comes too late to make any difference this year. In fact, it wouldn’t have any impact until after the next election if it is to be part of their manifesto.

“Supporting Fine Gael for the last 20 months, Fianna Fáil could have ensured such a housing body was set up and active as Labour has consistently proposed.

“Instead Fianna Fáil were happy to support the Government, and their only idea before the last Budget was tax cuts for developers.

“It is quite clear that any strategy to tackle this crisis must also include a national Affordable Housing Scheme. We have heard mutterings from Government on this over the past year but as yet, no concrete plans. In the meantime local authorities are giving planning permissions for new developments without any conditions on affordable housing.

“With supply at an all-time low, the State needs pick up the slack from where private developers have failed. There are simply not enough homes being built.

“In NAMA, we have an existing body with the resources and expertise to drive the development of affordable housing. It’s time now for action, not just leaked plans.”

Deadline for Commission on the Future of Policing and Public Meeting

The deadline for submission to the public consultation of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland is 31st January, 2018.  Submissions (with attached files) can be made at  On the website you can also read the terms of reference and some other information which gives a good sense of how the Commission is approaching its task. 

There is a public meeting on the consultation

When: Monday, 22 January (6.30pm for 7pm), 

Where: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin 8. Town Hall meeting

Department of Education advice needed for schools on flu outbreak

As schools across the country prepare to re-open next week following the Christmas break, Labour Party Local Area representative Declan Meenagh, has said that the Departments of Health and Education need to immediately issue clear advice on the flu outbreak so that it is comprehensively circulated over the weekend.

Local Area Rep for Cabra/Finglas Declan Meenagh said:

“With schools due to re-open across the country next week, there is understandably concern among parents that their children may be at increased risk of catching the flu.

“As children up to the age of 15 are considered to be at risk from the so-called ‘Aussie flu’ that we have been seeing in Ireland this winter- it is vital that the warnings of doctors and medical experts are heeded, and children showing symptoms of flu are kept home from school.

“We have heard warnings from the Clinical Director at Temple Street Children’s Hospital that the current virus has not yet peaked, who has also expressed concern that a flu outbreak could occur when schools re-open.

“Parents should be advised on what to look out for, and the Departments of Health and Education need to issue clear advice on this issue immediately so that it is comprehensively circulated over the weekend.

“Parents need peace of mind that their children won’t be exposed to the risk of catching the flu from other children who may be showing signs of the virus.

“The health service is already stretched to capacity at the moment with several hundred people waiting for a hospital bed, and every effort must be made before schools re-open next week to prevent further pressure being piled on the system."


More information contact Declan Meenagh, +353876806199

Below is the text of my submission on the draft Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.

I want everyone to take part in the transition to renewal energy and I strongly believe that rooftop solar is the best way to do that.

Public buildings like schools, libraries and community buildings should have solar panels and so should homes and businesses.

I find it hard to believe that the draft doesn’t include any payments for small-scale rooftop solar. Everyone has to be paly their part, not just big business and property developers.

I believe there is a moral argument for including everyone in this and a practical one. Everyone should be let save money and take part in renewals. Ireland is missing our targets already and unless we do something radical we will be fined by the EU>

The Government's Energy White Paper sets a target of reducing climate pollution from energy by 80-95% by 2050. The largest part of this is by electricity use. We need to give people a way to reduce their own emissions.

Ireland has been at the fore in international agreements in the past and we need to continue this with the Paris Agreement. We should use all options on the table and make more ambitious targets. Rooftop solar has to be part of this and it needs to be open to everyone in all our communities.  

We need more action on illegal dumping in Phibsboro[

In Phibsboro, The Navan Road and Cabra, I have gotten a lot of complaints about illegal dumping.  Most recently in Phibsboro, bags thave been illegally dumped.  


In light of the Minister for Environment Denis Naughten's announcement of an extra €650,000to deal with illegal dumping, I am calling for some extra funds to be spent in Phibsboro to deal with this issue. 

Through my work with Phibsboro Tidy Towns, I know the great work being done to improve the village, and I believe Illegal dumping is having a negative effect on this work.  The government and Dublin City Council need to do more to deal with this. 

Dublin City Council is responsible for managing litter and illegal dumping. If you are aware of illegal dumping, you can report it to the litter hotline, so that it can investigate and take any necessary enforcement action.  Call Dublin City Council on 01 222 2222 or email  Alternatively, you can report it to the 24-hour National Environmental Complaints Line 1850 365 121.

We also need to tackle the rising costs of bin service.  It is not sustainable to have competing bin providers driving the same streets, and we need to have tighter regulations on these providers.  The waiver for those who can't afford bin service needs to be re-introduced. 

Proposing Housing Cooperatives at Labour Party Conference

22nd April, 

We need public investment in housing to stop the crisis, but I believe Housing Cooperatives can be a better model for providing housing in the future.

At the conference, Brendan Howlin outlined his plan for our future focusing on the future of work, the environment and Brexit.  Labour is looking at a basic income, Introducing Electric Busses to Dublin Bus and banning Microbeads, and has published 20 Brexit Proposals


"Comrades and Friends,

We all know the housing situation is bad.

And we know that nothing this government has proposed is going to make it any better.

A do-nothing government is one thing.

But what we have in the area of housing is far worse than that.

This is a government whose housing policies are actively making things worse for people all over our country.

Worse for renters, worse for first-time buyers, worse for those struggling to find any home at all.

The Eurostat figures show that Irish people are now spending 5% more of their income on housing than they did ten years ago.

That’s a shocking statistic.

5% extra, and where’s it going?

To banks that won’t lend, and big companies that won’t contribute.

To the speculators that this government and their Fianna Fáil allies have always been in bed with.

Now if these parties had followed Labour’s advice and introduced proper rent controls much earlier;

We know that things would be very different and a great deal better.

But how do we change things now, after so much inaction and so many half-measures?

The sad truth, comrades, is that cooperatives alone can’t solve this crisis.

There’s no substitute for major investment in public social housing.

But what cooperatives can do is this:

They can provide us with a new model for our housing system;

One that values public good over private speculation.

That sees a home as a right and not an asset.

That grants people the dignity of a good place to live;

Without chaining them to skyrocketing rents or an impossible mortgage.

Comrades, as the great song says: which side are you on?

Labour at its best stands for doing things differently.

So let’s stand up to dodgy capital and to heartless speculation.

Let’s build a cooperative housing system for the 21st century. "

Motion passed: 

"Conference condemns the failure of this government to propose real solutions to the housing crises.

Conference notes the Eurostat Report which finds in 2016 Irish people spent on average 24.6% on housing costs, a 5% increase over the previous 10 years.

Conference notes the success of housing cooperatives in other countries, particularly in Germany.

Conference calls on the Labour Party to develop a strong policy on housing cooperatives to include:
• Ways of keeping cooperative assets in cooperative ownership and preventing them from being sold for profit
• Government supports to develop housing cooperatives including loan guarantees and practical supports
• Ways for the Credit Union movement to get involved
• Work with PES to secure EU funding for housing cooperatives."

More DART and LUAS for north Dublin.

Below is the submission I made to the National Transport Authority on a proposal to serve the Airport with public transport, you can find more about the consultation here.  

I wish to support option C1, which is a combination of HR1 and LR3.  This option involves a DART line to the airport from Clongriffin as well as a Luas line from Cabra to the Airport and Swords.  

I support the mainline spur from Clongriffin to Airport as the DART network covers much of Dublin and, therefore, this option will bring a lot of people to the airport via the DART network.  

I also believe that LR3, the Cabra to the Airport and Swords line, is the best Light Rail option.  I think that to fully provide for the airport, both options should be used.

I live in Cabra and getting to Swords from Cabra via public transport currently requires getting into town.  This option would make this a lot easier.  

However, to reap the full benefits of the Luas line, it should include a stop at Glasnevin Cemetry.  This is a massive tourist attraction and with the increasing popularity of genealogy and the development of the visitor centre and redevelopment of the round tower, a LUAS station here would be very important.  

Film Festival Funding

Did you know that there is European Funding available for Film Festivals?

The total budget available for the co-financing of actions under the scheme is estimated at 3.25M euros

The EU financial contribution will take the form of a lump sum according to the number of European films in the programming between 19,000 and 77,000 euros

There are two deadlines for submission, depending on when the events are scheduled

  • 28/02/2014 for activities starting between 01/05/14 and 31/10/14;
  • 04/07/2014 for activities starting between 01/11/14 and 30/04/15.

Additional Information is available at:

Grant funding from the National Heritage Council

Are you involved in a non-profit organisations such as environmental NGOs, local community groups or a heritage and preservation societies?

700,000K euros  in Grant Aid for Heritage Projects is now available from the  National Heritage Council to support local projects in the fields of national heritage such as : monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens and parks and inland waterways.

Be quick as the deadline is fast approaching-> January 15th 2014

Further information is at:

€1 Million in funding for Youth & Community initiatives in 2014, apply online now, Closing date is January 17th!

The IPB Youth & Community Fund is open to all community or voluntary groups, local clubs or associations, not-for-profit and charitable organisations operating at a local level.

The maximum amount for which any one applicant may apply is €15,000. 
Applications for funding between €2,500 - €7,000 and €10,000 - €15,000 will be considered.

There is no requirement to seek matching funding
The application is basically in two main sections covering a number of questions:
a) Basic information about your organisation
b) Basic project information including the name of the initiative, the needs/problems to be addressed, the targeted population and who will benefit from the initiative.
The Fund will not cover? 
The IPB Youth & Community Fund will not cover items such as the purchase of a building or land; fundraising campaigns and appeals; travel; conference, tuition or course fees etc

Apply online at:

Closing date is January 17th !!!

Sports Capital Programme

The 2014 Sports Capital Programme will be open for applications from 12 noon on Friday, 17 January 2014.

Organisations must register by 5pm on Friday, 7 February 2014.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, 28 February 2014.

The Sports Capital Programme is now online in a system called OSCAR (Online Sports Capital Register).

This will be the only way to apply for grants under any future rounds of the Sports Capital Programme.  

Any organisation that wishes to make any future applications must first register online at WWW.SPORTSCAPITALPROGRAMME.IE.  

Register early to ensure that you can apply under future rounds of the SCP.  

Download additional information at:

If you have any further queries, do let me know