Our Local parks and your City Council

 
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During the course of the local elections campaign, many of you have asked me about the parks in the area. These are wholly the responsibility of your city council and therefore very relevant for councillors.The principal ones are Bushy Park, Harolds Cross Park, Mount Argus Park and Ceannt Park. I think generally the council keeps these very well.
However there are many subsidiary parks in particular at Eaton Square, the circle at Corrib Road, Neagh Road and Priory Road. A common issue raised with me  is that Council does little with the subsidiary parks, apart from cutting the grass (sometimes not that frequently) during the growing season. I am told that in the past, some of these parks had some benches. I have also been asked whether some effort could be made to put some flower displays into these parks. I think the suggestions you have made are worth exploring. If elected to your council, I plan to ask if some pilot schemes could be initiated with subsidiary parks, in cases where local residents would welcome some improvements. Given resource shortages in the council, it may only be possible to achieve something with some input from residents’ committees.   

I am fully aware of the concerns about dog fouling in parks, particularly areas where children play. This issue will really only be resolved when all dog owners behave in a responsible manner. However I believe the Council should target its enforcement activities on these areas.

Our Local parks and your City Council

Local concerns on school places

 
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During the campaign, many parents have expressed concern to me  about lack of school places in the south city for their children at both primary and post primary level. As a parent of two primary school children, I am very alive to this for my own family.
It is recognized by government that there are particular problems in the south city, beyond those which prevail generally. I am aware that steps are being taken to provide a new Educate Together school and to significantly expand capacity as part of an amalgamation of existing schools. There are also proposals to increase capacity at existing schools. The key proposals do not seem to relate directly to the Rathgar Rathmines area. My colleague Eoghan Murphy T.D. has some further information on the topic at www.eoghanmurphy.ie

I am aware that Educate Together are anxious to assist in resolving the issue and I have met with them so that I understand their proposals better. 
 

I am not clear that the City Council has a significant input on this issue. However I suspect that City Council could help in the identification of further possible sites. It also has a role in processing planning applications expeditiously, but obviously having regard to submissions made by interested parties. I believe it is essential that our new council focusses on what it can contribute to resolving this situation. If elected I propose to question city management on this topic.

Local concerns on school places

Local Area Enhancement Scheme announced

Terenure and Harold’s Cross community groups to benefit from Public Area

Enhancement Scheme

€105,000 for Dublin City Council

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Fine Gael Local Election Candidate Samantha Long has welcomed the announcement of

€105,000 in funding to Dublin City Council to support community groups to enhance

their areas. The funding comes as part of a €3 million Public Area Enhancement Scheme

announced by Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government,

Phil Hogan TD.

“2014 has been a challenging year so far for local authorities in terms of managing their

public spaces due to the inclement weather conditions we have experienced. Towns and

cities across the country will be hoping for another very successful tourist season this year,

following on from the success of Gathering Ireland in 2013. This additional, once-off fund is

being provided to support local authorities’ efforts to prepare and maintain their public areas

in an effort to maximise the economic benefits that can flow from increased visitors to their

towns, cities and counties,” Samantha explained.

“This additional funding for Terenure and Harold’s Cross can be used for clean-up of parks and recreational areas

or even the cleaning and making safe of derelict buildings. All work undertaken should

be additional to work already planned and must also be supplemented with 25% matching

funding from the local authority,” she continued.

“The Minister has asked that this funding be used to undertake work in cooperation with

community based groups where possible. The work of these groups is also crucial to the

tourism potential of this country, as it ensures our cities, towns and villages look their best for

visitors.”

ENDS

Aside

Terenure College Rugby Club – Development of Lakelands Park

I am following closely the December 2013 submission by Terenure College Rugby Club seeking permission to develop their facilities. I am fully supportive of the proposal in principle, but I am aware there is widespread local concern about a fence potentially blocking access to Lakelands Park and I have written to the council raising concerns about this, as requested by local residents. The council have now raised a number of requirements for additional information, principally the likely level of use of the two pitches, concerns about the brightness of floodlights, the maintenance of access to Lakelands Park and the impact on wildlife, in particular a bat colony in Lakelands Park. The matter will remain in suspense until the club authorities respond to these queries. It is very clear from paper generated by the council itself that it has concerns about access to Lakelands Park. I will update here as details become available, and I hope that the development will proceed for the good of the club, it’s neighbours, and the wider community.

Terenure College Rugby Club – Development of Lakelands Park

One candidate’s path to date

The following article was published in the Spring 2014 Edition of Branch Lines magazine – a publication for Fine Gael members

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(l-r Samantha Long, candidate Ellen O’Connor and Minister Frances Fitzgerald)

Two years ago, I treated myself to a 40th birthday present which was both practical, rewarding and great value – membership of Fine Gael. On reflection, that decision had been over 30 years in the making, ever since watching Dr. Garret Fitzgerald on television during my formative years in secondary school.

Growing up in provincial Ireland in the 70’s and 80’s, society and cultural traditions led me to believe that politics was the preserve of others. Although my Dublin parents were successful businesspeople, their working class roots inferred that the world of real decision making was for people who weren’t like my family, although their commitment to us, to hard work, and to their community told me otherwise.  At secondary school, our principal Sr. Colette was often exacerbated by my insistence to speak up on the topics of the day, putting paid to her motto of “Uniformity and Conformity”. By 1989, she had begun to listen and made me Head Girl of our 600 pupil school, Mercy College Sligo.

Our earlier history is both sad and interesting, and became a topic of national importance in 2013. My twin sister Etta and I were born into the Magdalene Laundries regime in 1972. At the age of 9 months we were adopted together by Eamonn and the late Anne Thornton, and 4 years later they were surprised and delighted at the arrival of their biological son, our brother Len.  As toddlers, Dad’s business brought us to Sligo – we arrived for a summer holiday in Rosses Point, but ended up staying for 15 years, moving back to Dublin having completed our Leaving Certificate.

At the age of 21, Etta began the process of tracing our birth mother, and we were reunited through our social worker two years later. Nothing prepared us for what we found. We had anticipated finding a woman who had moved on, married, and perhaps had further children. Instead, we were crashed into the world of Institutional Ireland. Margaret had been committed to High Park Industrial School at age 2, and onwards to Gloucester St. Laundry for the rest of her life. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 51, having spent her whole life inside. We were glad to know her for a few short years, and are very proud of our legacy.

Etta has lived in New York for almost 20 years, where she is enjoying a very successful career in the literary field. We each have two children, and Len has three, he has lived in Canada for some years. After school, I studied marketing, continuing on to a career in hotel management for twenty years. My initial 3 years Executive Management Training at The Westbury was fantastic fun, and a superb learning experience.  I realised that the years helping Mum in our family B&B on the Donegal Road in Sligo made me very comfortable with, and fond of dealing with the public and that continues today. My husband Derrick says I have a skill for getting people to tell me their life story, without asking.

We migrated westwards again for a few years after our marriage, my husband enjoying his career as a classical guitar teacher, and myself again in hospitality in Co. Leitrim. It was a wonderful experience, so welcoming and a total change of pace. When the children were born, the demands and family unfriendly hours of the hotel industry caused a re-think, not to mention the recession. However terribly the recession bites in the cities, the opportunities in rural Ireland are fewer and we read the signs – time to come back home to Dublin. I often think that moving around, being a “blow-in” gives me an edge which is useful in politics. I am happy to continually introduce myself to new people, surroundings, and challenges, and don’t take anything for granted.

When I decided to join Fine Gael, I did so online one day during the children’s Christmas school holidays in 2011. I had been a news junkie and a political watcher all of my life, and wanted to get involved, somehow. Fine Gael was the obvious choice for me. Living in Leitrim there had been easy local access to public representatives, and the Fine Gael councillors I met in Longford and Leitrim were great community people, as were the TDs. They were subliminally planting a belief that I might be the type of person who could try this too.

In January 2012, I replied to an advert to attend a national conference in Dublin Castle entitled “How to Elect more Women”, which excited me. This was a prequel to the Electoral Funding Bill, which eventually paved the way towards gender quotas, which have been controversial, but like any cultural change, if we merely hope it will happen, that will be much too slow.  I don’t necessarily believe that one will be a better or worse public representative based on one’s gender, however if our parliament aspires to represent its citizens, then the gender balance must surely be indicitave of that. I rarely get annoyed, however it insults me when commentators mention token candidates when referring to women on the ticket. Getting onto the ballot paper is step one, then you need to go out there and convince the electorate to vote for you – no mean feat, and I congratulate each of you who has achieved that aim.

Having spent ten years speaking out for the rights of Margaret Bullen and her fellow Magdalene women, I know that my voice can make a difference. I now want to do the same for my locality – I so enjoy the community groups I work with as a volunteer – St Pius Summer Project, Childrens Mini Rugby, and Terenure Together 2030, a community and business network which is trying to make our area a better place to live and work for everyone. I am a member of the Third Age and Disability group on the project, and we were honoured to have An Taoiseach visit us earlier this February when he accepted my invitation to hear what we are trying to do, and to offer his encouragement.

I have enjoyed great support from the party membership since joining, even more since my nomination as a candidate in this years local elections in Dublin Bay South, Rathgar Rathmines LEA. Prior to that, I was involved with the Dublin South Central constituency, which also has a loyal and active membership, and wonderful public representatives. I wish my running mates Kate O’Connell and Dr. Paddy Smyth, and all Local and European candidates the very best in the future, and hope for the ultimate successful outcome for each of us, and the Fine Gael Party on May 23rd.

Samantha Long can be contacted at samantha.e.long@gmail.com, 086 2331489

Facebook.com/samanthalongfinegael Twitter@SamanthaELong

Two years ago, I treated myself to a 40th birthday present which was both practical, rewarding and great value – membership of Fine Gael. On reflection, that decision had been over 30 years in the making, ever since watching Dr. Garret Fitzgerald on television during my formative years in secondary school.

Growing up in provincial Ireland in the 70’s and 80’s, society and cultural traditions led me to believe that politics was the preserve of others. Although my Dublin parents were successful businesspeople, their working class roots inferred that the world of real decision making was for people who weren’t like my family, although their commitment to us, to hard work, and to their community told me otherwise.  At secondary school, our principal Sr. Colette was often exacerbated by my insistence to speak up on the topics of the day, putting paid to her motto of “Uniformity and Conformity”. By 1989, she had begun to listen and made me Head Girl of our 600 pupil school, Mercy College Sligo.

Our earlier history is both sad and interesting, and became a topic of national importance in 2013. My twin sister Etta and I were born into the Magdalene Laundries regime in 1972. At the age of 9 months we were adopted together by Eamonn and the late Anne Thornton, and 4 years later they were surprised and delighted at the arrival of their biological son, our brother Len.  As toddlers, Dad’s business brought us to Sligo – we arrived for a summer holiday in Rosses Point, but ended up staying for 15 years, moving back to Dublin having completed our Leaving Certificate.

At the age of 21, Etta began the process of tracing our birth mother, and we were reunited through our social worker two years later. Nothing prepared us for what we found. We had anticipated finding a woman who had moved on, married, and perhaps had further children. Instead, we were crashed into the world of Institutional Ireland. Margaret had been committed to High Park Industrial School at age 2, and onwards to Gloucester St. Laundry for the rest of her life. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 51, having spent her whole life inside. We were glad to know her for a few short years, and are very proud of our legacy.

Etta has lived in New York for almost 20 years, where she is enjoying a very successful career in the literary field. We each have two children, and Len has three, he has lived in Canada for some years. After school, I studied marketing, continuing on to a career in hotel management for twenty years. My initial 3 years Executive Management Training at The Westbury was fantastic fun, and a superb learning experience.  I realised that the years helping Mum in our family B&B on the Donegal Road in Sligo made me very comfortable with, and fond of dealing with the public and that continues today. My husband Derrick says I have a skill for getting people to tell me their life story, without asking.

We migrated westwards again for a few years after our marriage, my husband enjoying his career as a classical guitar teacher, and myself again in hospitality in Co. Leitrim. It was a wonderful experience, so welcoming and a total change of pace. When the children were born, the demands and family unfriendly hours of the hotel industry caused a re-think, not to mention the recession. However terribly the recession bites in the cities, the opportunities in rural Ireland are fewer and we read the signs – time to come back home to Dublin. I often think that moving around, being a “blow-in” gives me an edge which is useful in politics. I am happy to continually introduce myself to new people, surroundings, and challenges, and don’t take anything for granted.

When I decided to join Fine Gael, I did so online one day during the children’s Christmas school holidays in 2011. I had been a news junkie and a political watcher all of my life, and wanted to get involved, somehow. Fine Gael was the obvious choice for me. Living in Leitrim there had been easy local access to public representatives, and the Fine Gael councillors I met in Longford and Leitrim were great community people, as were the TDs. They were subliminally planting a belief that I might be the type of person who could try this too.

In January 2012, I replied to an advert to attend a national conference in Dublin Castle entitled “How to Elect more Women”, which excited me. This was a prequel to the Electoral Funding Bill, which eventually paved the way towards gender quotas, which have been controversial, but like any cultural change, if we merely hope it will happen, that will be much too slow.  I don’t necessarily believe that one will be a better or worse public representative based on one’s gender, however if our parliament aspires to represent its citizens, then the gender balance must surely be indicitave of that. I rarely get annoyed, however it insults me when commentators mention token candidates when referring to women on the ticket. Getting onto the ballot paper is step one, then you need to go out there and convince the electorate to vote for you – no mean feat, and I congratulate each of you who has achieved that aim.

Having spent ten years speaking out for the rights of Margaret Bullen and her fellow Magdalene women, I know that my voice can make a difference. I now want to do the same for my locality – I so enjoy the community groups I work with as a volunteer – St Pius Summer Project, Childrens Mini Rugby, and Terenure Together 2030, a community and business network which is trying to make our area a better place to live and work for everyone. I am a member of the Third Age and Disability group on the project, and we were honoured to have An Taoiseach visit us earlier this February when he accepted my invitation to hear what we are trying to do, and to offer his encouragement.

I have enjoyed great support from the party membership since joining, even more since my nomination as a candidate in this years local elections in Dublin Bay South, Rathgar Rathmines LEA. Prior to that, I was involved with the Dublin South Central constituency, which also has a loyal and active membership, and wonderful public representatives. I wish my running mates Kate O’Connell and Dr. Paddy Smyth, and all Local and European candidates the very best in the future, and hope for the ultimate successful outcome for each of us, and the Fine Gael Party on May 23rd.

Samantha Long can be contacted at samantha.e.long@gmail.com, 086 2331489

Facebook.com/samanthalongfinegael Twitter@SamanthaELong

Two years ago, I treated myself to a 40th birthday present which was both practical, rewarding and great value – membership of Fine Gael. On reflection, that decision had been over 30 years in the making, ever since watching Dr. Garret Fitzgerald on television during my formative years in secondary school.

Growing up in provincial Ireland in the 70’s and 80’s, society and cultural traditions led me to believe that politics was the preserve of others. Although my Dublin parents were successful businesspeople, their working class roots inferred that the world of real decision making was for people who weren’t like my family, although their commitment to us, to hard work, and to their community told me otherwise.  At secondary school, our principal Sr. Colette was often exacerbated by my insistence to speak up on the topics of the day, putting paid to her motto of “Uniformity and Conformity”. By 1989, she had begun to listen and made me Head Girl of our 600 pupil school, Mercy College Sligo.

Our earlier history is both sad and interesting, and became a topic of national importance in 2013. My twin sister Etta and I were born into the Magdalene Laundries regime in 1972. At the age of 9 months we were adopted together by Eamonn and the late Anne Thornton, and 4 years later they were surprised and delighted at the arrival of their biological son, our brother Len.  As toddlers, Dad’s business brought us to Sligo – we arrived for a summer holiday in Rosses Point, but ended up staying for 15 years, moving back to Dublin having completed our Leaving Certificate.

At the age of 21, Etta began the process of tracing our birth mother, and we were reunited through our social worker two years later. Nothing prepared us for what we found. We had anticipated finding a woman who had moved on, married, and perhaps had further children. Instead, we were crashed into the world of Institutional Ireland. Margaret had been committed to High Park Industrial School at age 2, and onwards to Gloucester St. Laundry for the rest of her life. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 51, having spent her whole life inside. We were glad to know her for a few short years, and are very proud of our legacy.

Etta has lived in New York for almost 20 years, where she is enjoying a very successful career in the literary field. We each have two children, and Len has three, he has lived in Canada for some years. After school, I studied marketing, continuing on to a career in hotel management for twenty years. My initial 3 years Executive Management Training at The Westbury was fantastic fun, and a superb learning experience.  I realised that the years helping Mum in our family B&B on the Donegal Road in Sligo made me very comfortable with, and fond of dealing with the public and that continues today. My husband Derrick says I have a skill for getting people to tell me their life story, without asking.

We migrated westwards again for a few years after our marriage, my husband enjoying his career as a classical guitar teacher, and myself again in hospitality in Co. Leitrim. It was a wonderful experience, so welcoming and a total change of pace. When the children were born, the demands and family unfriendly hours of the hotel industry caused a re-think, not to mention the recession. However terribly the recession bites in the cities, the opportunities in rural Ireland are fewer and we read the signs – time to come back home to Dublin. I often think that moving around, being a “blow-in” gives me an edge which is useful in politics. I am happy to continually introduce myself to new people, surroundings, and challenges, and don’t take anything for granted.

When I decided to join Fine Gael, I did so online one day during the children’s Christmas school holidays in 2011. I had been a news junkie and a political watcher all of my life, and wanted to get involved, somehow. Fine Gael was the obvious choice for me. Living in Leitrim there had been easy local access to public representatives, and the Fine Gael councillors I met in Longford and Leitrim were great community people, as were the TDs. They were subliminally planting a belief that I might be the type of person who could try this too.

In January 2012, I replied to an advert to attend a national conference in Dublin Castle entitled “How to Elect more Women”, which excited me. This was a prequel to the Electoral Funding Bill, which eventually paved the way towards gender quotas, which have been controversial, but like any cultural change, if we merely hope it will happen, that will be much too slow.  I don’t necessarily believe that one will be a better or worse public representative based on one’s gender, however if our parliament aspires to represent its citizens, then the gender balance must surely be indicitave of that. I rarely get annoyed, however it insults me when commentators mention token candidates when referring to women on the ticket. Getting onto the ballot paper is step one, then you need to go out there and convince the electorate to vote for you – no mean feat, and I congratulate each of you who has achieved that aim.

Having spent ten years speaking out for the rights of Margaret Bullen and her fellow Magdalene women, I know that my voice can make a difference. I now want to do the same for my locality – I so enjoy the community groups I work with as a volunteer – St Pius Summer Project, Childrens Mini Rugby, and Terenure Together 2030, a community and business network which is trying to make our area a better place to live and work for everyone. I am a member of the Third Age and Disability group on the project, and we were honoured to have An Taoiseach visit us earlier this February when he accepted my invitation to hear what we are trying to do, and to offer his encouragement.

I have enjoyed great support from the party membership since joining, even more since my nomination as a candidate in this years local elections in Dublin Bay South, Rathgar Rathmines LEA. Prior to that, I was involved with the Dublin South Central constituency, which also has a loyal and active membership, and wonderful public representatives. I wish my running mates Kate O’Connell and Dr. Paddy Smyth, and all Local and European candidates the very best in the future, and hope for the ultimate successful outcome for each of us, and the Fine Gael Party on May 23rd.

Samantha Long can be contacted at samantha.e.long@gmail.com, 086 2331489

Facebook.com/samanthalongfinegael Twitter@SamanthaELong

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One candidate’s path to date

#Panti at the Abbey

panti

#Panti at the Abbey

Rory O’Neill’s oration at The Abbey must be the greatest Irish human rights speech of our time. My husband has been urging me to watch all day, once we had 10 quiet minutes to enjoy it together. He knew I would.

When Panti talked about feeling opressed, I thought about so many of us who might feel like that. Panti is drop dead gorgeous, yet felt oppressed by The Lads throwing the milk carton. Of course, because that behaviour is abusive and oppressive.

I don’t belong to the hip set. I care deeply about people though, and how they can be made feel, by other people. I’m intelligent, and I think about identity – what I am, what I’m supposed to be. My own children call me a Tomboy, although I am hugely maternal and feminine, on my terms.

I laugh when I hear people say “some of my best friends are gay”.To me, that sounds like ” I like Labradoodles”.

I can’t say anything to match what Rory, Panti says is in the link above. When I watched the original Saturday Night Show on RTE I remember Panti’s performance as a Tour de Force, so fabulous – I realised how much I hadn’t experienced, how many lives are lived.

All allowed.

When RTE paid out that money last week I was stunned. No free speech. No investigtion.

And so it rolls on. Congratulations Panti, and all who support you. The brave new world in Ireland is a difficult birth.

Believe me.

Link

Our personal Magdalene history in the press,by request

Samantha Long
Our personal Magdalene history in the press,by request