I was honoured to receive an invitation to the Mansion House for a birthday party, organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, a Council I had the pleasure of being a delegate to representing my members in the Amalgamated Union of Woodworkers (ASW).

The birthday party was for none other than Sam Nolan, another carpenter, who was celebrating his 80th birthday.

Amazingly when, as a young apprentice carpenter working for A.J. Jennings, Albert Road, Glenageary, Sam Nolan’s path and mine crossed without either of us ever expecting to meet again in Dublin’s Mansion House so many years later.

Why? You might ask was the reason we met before was through our membership of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers.
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It is terrible to see how cut backs and underfunding of important Community projects is forcing more and more hard working Community Activists to add to their workload by having to go out and fundraise at night to try to keep their projects afloat.


One such group is the Walkinstown / Greenhill’s Resource Centre who organized a successful Bingo session in the Kestrel Pub last Monday (13th September 2010).

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Portobello Party

Great to see more and more organised groups using Parks and open Public Spaces for Community events and fun days (see Corrib, Kilmainham, Eaton Square and Harold’s Cross).


The beautiful Harold’s Cross Park was again the setting for The Portobello Educate Together Multi-Denominational School start up group who held a Family Fun Day and Teddy Bears’ Picnic party on site. They wish to highlight their demands for a new Educate Together School to cater for children in the Dublin 2, 6, 8 and 12 districts.


If you wish to get involved or to contact them this is their web site: www.portobellomds.org


To see the parents and children enjoying the day you can see my pictures HERE.

Tidy Towns

The report of the Tidy Towns committee on the entry from Terenure is now available HERE

The report is very encouraging and I think gives great encouragement to all who work so hard at making Terenure a pleasnat environment to live in.

Here are some of the positive comments from the report:

"Thank you for entry to the 2010 TidyTowns Competition, Terenure. As expected, your performance continues to improve!  It is noted from your entry form that your overall development approach is very good, with representatives from 5 Residents Associations and the Terenure Traders Association. ...

Terenure Village is a lovely mix of old and new buildings and it is heartening to see that levels of vacancy remain low. Traders are to be congratulated on the appearance of their premises, the vast majority of which were presented to a high standard. ....

The urban planning and architecture of Terenure provide real identity and character. During the adjudication, the highly original Yewland Terrace (with its garden sheds out the front!) was observed while the housing and central space in Eaton Square was admired. We note the comments in the 2009 report of the desirability of a central open space in Terenure and perhaps this issue could be considered in the village improvement plan that is to be drawn up by Dublin City Council. We also welcome the objective to eliminate surplus signage as this can add significantly to clutter in the streetscape....

The projects undertaken by the Committee were observed during adjudication. The planting at the base of trees in the car park and in the residential areas (such as Greenland Avenue and Parkmore Drive) were noted, as were the Flower boxes at the entrance to Harrowville Park and Terenure which added a lovely splash of summer colour. Hanging baskets were also observed at Yewlands Terrace and on a number of commercial premises which also improved the appearance of Terenure...

Only very small amounts of litter were noted in Terenure village during adjudication. This is a most impressive performance given that Terenure is an urban village which experiences very high volumes of through traffic on a daily basis. The Bring Bank in the car park was also checked and the adjudicator was pleased to note that litter was not in evidence. Given your strong performance under this category, it is recommended that you continue your current approach to litter control for 2011.....

There were some most impressive residential areas observed on the day of adjudication. These included Greenlea Avenue which had lovely planted flower beds to be seen. On nearby Parkmore Drive, a number of householders were observed sweeping and tending to flower beds outside their houses during adjudication. Laverna Road / Grove were also inspected and while these areas were well maintained, it was noted that very little planting was in evidence. Lakelands was reasonable, but the crumbling footpaths (presumably caused by tree roots) and graffiti at the entrance detracted from its appearance somewhat. Yewlands Terrace is quite impressive with some nice planting observed. Finally, Eaton Square was visited and there is no question that
it is a lovely mature residential area and the central open space is most attractive. However, it is considered that it could be improved further if the seats were repaired / painted and the litter bins were cleaned....

Some of the approach roads into Terenure are particularly impressive, with Templeogue Road perhaps reaching the highest standard. Here, the mature trees, nature stone walls and park (on one side) combine to provide a strong contrast to the urban village of Terenure....

General Impression:

Terenure continues to improve each year and this is clearly due to the hard work and organisation of the
Committee and the support that they enjoy at a local level. Keep up the good work."

Dial to Stop Drugs
Just received the following update about the scheme:

September 15th, 2010

The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing campaign has been running for almost two years and in that time has generated over 7,000 calls and almost 2,000 reports to the Garda National Drug Unit. It has led to seizures and arrests across most of the country and has helped to further partnership approaches between local communities and the Gardaí in tackling drug dealing.

Dial to Stop Drug Dealing is one of the most successful projects of its kind with over fifteen local and regional Drugs Task Forces participating and all having organised at least one promotional six-week campaign in their area.

The Office of the Minister of Drugs has been developing a set of proposals for a boost to the campaign. A short summary of what’s planned, as follows:

•    Participating Task Forces. All task forces have been invited to participate. We are looking for confirmation by September 27th.
•    Timing. The boost will be rolled out in two phases over 6-8 weeks from the end of September/early October to mid/end of November.  The first phase will be a two-week national promotion boost followed by the participating regional and local campaigns.

•    There will be a  National Phase which will involve a combination of news pr, feature pr and national radio advertising over a two week period which will be followed by a

•    Drugs Task Force Phase. Each local and regional campaign has a budget to cover at least 30,000 leaflets, 500 posters, 5,000 cards and a certain amount of radio or poster advertising support. The exact budget will be confirmed once the number of participating task forces is known.

•    Message and brand testing/No change
o    Dial 1800 22 22 00 and tell us what you know.
o    any level of drug dealing in local communities is unacceptable
o    second-hand information is good
o    the number is free
o    callers/responders remain anonymous
o    callers/responders may talk to Gardai, if they want
o    the group requesting the information is an alliance of local organisations

•    Aims & Objectives/No change
o    generate calls to the number.
o    gather as much good information as possible.
o    further build up partnership approaches between local communities and the Gardaí in tackling drug dealing.
o    strongly promote the message that any level of drug dealing in local communities is unacceptable.
o    provide a mechanism for people living in such communities through which they can provide any information they have on such activity in a safe and non-threatening way.

•    Key Target Audiences & Insights/No change
o    those currently or recently involved in drug dealing/drugs misuse.
o    direct Family members of those involved in drug dealing/drugs misuse.
o    those living in communities with active drug dealing.
•    Strategy & Tactics that work best.
o    Community Support drives response. The more the campaign is supported and endorsed by community stakeholders such as schools, youth groups, community groups, local media and businesses the more successful it will be.
o    Visibility drives response. The more visible the campaign is the greater the response. Securing the support of local advertisers to allow display of materials especially high impact locations will add great value to the response.
o    Pr drives response. The more pr coverage the better the response will be. The more champions the better the coverage.
o    Good Information drives response. People have questions they need answered before they make a call so answers to their questions, who we are, what the campaign is trying to achieve, how it works, making the call etc. must be available. The leaflet is key to this.
o    Good feedback drives response. The more people hear about good outcomes from the campaign the better the response will be. Ask you local garda rep to feed back on a regular basis.

•    Call Management/No Change. A call centre providing 24/7 service will be contracted to handle response. All information supplied will be sent by the call centre to the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) email address.

•    PCC Tasks. PCC will support each task force, agree campaign actions, supply materials, organise advertising, provide Pr support and supply feedback on calls and reports. They can:
o    train the campaign spokesperson, if necessary  
o    help coordinate local pr, draft press release etc.
o    train the call centre in any local issues.

•    PCC Team. The same core team is still in place: John Sutton (Project Manager) Edel Hackett (Pr support) and Susan Smith (materials and advertising).

For further information contact
John Sutton
Public Communications Centre
22 South Great Georges Street,
Dublin 2
Tel: 01-6794173
Mob; 087 9561168
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.