The March Report of the Crumlin Area Office is now available below. It covers a range of activities includes detals of local planning applications. If you have any questions about the information in the report you can post a comment or get in touch with me directly.

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 Eric Byrne speaking at council meetingAfter some hard work with council officals I am delighted to let you know that  the swimming pool in Crumlin will not be closing on January 1st.
 
Having succeeded in getting a commitment from the City Manager John Tierney not to close the pool, a stay for 6 months has been granted to allow the community time to develop proposals that will allow the pool to say open as a viable stand alone pool financially sustainable.
 
Although this places a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the community I have no doubt that with a proper commitment by a working committee of the "Save Our Pool" campaign enough of innovative and cost effective ways can be found to have the pool remain in Crumlin as a viable and financially sustainable project.
I wish the project well, and look forward to working with all interested parties to try and ensure  we keep this amenity in our community.
You can watch a video of the relevant council meeting here
 
If you click on Index Points, and then on Cllr Eric Byrne you can view the debate.

As you may know, Pearse Park swimming pool has often been closed because of its poor state of repair. Opened in 1977, it is 39 years old and the oldest Local Authority pool in the country. Not surprisingly, its filtration system has required replacing. Today, given the state of Dublin City Council's finances, is it is doubtful whether the pool can remain open into the foreseeable future.

Of immediate concern to the pool’s loyal band of regular swimmers are their options if the pool does close. Therefore, I am working with Dublin City Council to ensure that these people will be facilitated at the new City Council Multi Purpose Pool and Leisure Centre in Rathmines.

But, the future of the Pearse Park Pool is also of concern to the wider community – as is the lack of facilities in the park more generally. Last year I circulated a leaflet outlining a proposal that would have allowed for the development of a leisure centre with a new pool, gym facilities, a crèche, and the retention of facilities for sporting clubs that use the existing park. As I indicated at the time, any delay in forwarding that proposal could mean nothing would be developed. And, unfortunately, that has happened – with the sole exception of a modified version of the crèche. 
 
Where do we go from here? On the one hand, the government starved Dublin City Council of funds when we had a boom. Now that we are in recession, the Council’s income, which comes mainly from business levies, has dried up. On the other hand, there are numerous voluntary groups and individuals, who through boom and bust year after year, have given their time and energy to make Crumlin a better place to live.  
 
The plan I outlined last year was for a Pearse Park that served all the people of Crumlin – the young and old, the sporty and not so sporty. We need a park that is welcoming, interesting and safe. We need to get together to work towards making this vision a reality.

Crumlin HospitalOur Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin has been much in the news lately. The impact of cutbacks on the care of sick and vulnerable children is happening at the same time that the government is pumping millions of euro into discredited banks. This is further evidence of how out of touch this Fianna Fail/Green government is. 
 
As we campaign and lobby for proper levels of services for patients currently attending the hospital, we need to start thinking about the long term future of the Pediatric facilities at Crumlin. 
 
As you may know the Hospital authorities have, until recently, refused to cooperate with planning for the proposed new National Children's Hospital based at the Mater Hospital. There are signs that this is now changing. The recent announcement that architects have been appointed and 2014 set for completion coincided with indications that Crumlin will cooperate with the process. This effectively means that it almost certain that Crumlin Hospital will no longer exist as a National Children's Hospital in five years time. 
 
Given this reality, it is vitally important that we start to think about the best ways we can use the facilities at Crumlin in the future. 

Ballymun Leisure CentreI have posted here before about the potential development of Pearse Park. It is an issue that has raised a lot of comment, and at times some heated discussion.

My own position has always been that the people of Crumlin and Drimnagh deserve first class, accessible and affordable lesiure facilities, and that Pearse Park was an ideal place to situate such facilties. A plan was developed that allowed for the retention of much of the green space of the park, while replacing the current derelict pool with a modern leisure centre, including a pool and a gym. 

The issue of funding for this development was and still remains a stumbling block. Again my position on this has been clear - I believe that the City Council should be properly funded by the Government in order that it can deliver decent services to the people of this city.

However this government has not and will not provide this funding, which means that if we are to improve such facilities we we will need to find alternative ways of obtaining funding. There was a proposal last year to sell off a strip of land on one side of the park in order to get the money to develop a leisure centre, as well providing  facilities for all the clubs who currently use the park. This would have left 90% of the park  in public ownership.

As I have said, ideally the money would be provided through the funding the council receives from the government. In the absence of that , I feel strongly that it is the people from the local community who should have their say about any alternative proposals to fund the development. 

Recently I came across a poster for events in the Ballymun Leisure Centre which you can view here. It gives some idea of what we should be aiming for in Pearse Park. You can see more about the centre here

 

 Ballymun Leisure Center
 Ballymun Leisure Centre