On Feb 1st 2017 Kieran Mulvey updated the local community on the Government’s taskforce for the north inner city. More than 150 people turned out to hear the Government’s response to our submissions and their plans for the area.
Unfortunately, the Presentation disappointed in its broad approach. It was vague and un-costed, rehashed old themes and lacked any new concrete commitments. It raised more questions than it answered.
The presentation had glaring omissions in the areas of housing, community facilities, integration of new communities, youth services and supports for the elderly.
There were no firm commitments outside of previously announced projects and gave the impression that there will be no additional resources or budgetary increases in 2017.
Mary welcomes the admission that the Governments boundary for the Docklands Strategic Development Zone was a mistake and has a ghettoising affect. Mary had called for a re-drawing of the SDZ boundary when the Government were setting it so that it would include the north inner city but the Government refused. The Government should go further than just acknowledging their mistake and they should correct the mistake.
The presentation proposed re-branding or re-naming the area. The north inner city of Dublin is a historically rich community that should be supported and promoted not re-branded. The area does not need a name change. It needs a sea change in attitude from the Government. Rebranding is not the solution and exposes the Governments superficial approach to the issues and the area.
The Government proposes engaging private businesses to help solve employment issues but the Government should first lead by example by tackling fundamental issues around housing, community facilities, services for young people, the elderly and new communities.
The Government already missed its own deadline of November 2016 to publish its report. The Taoiseach and the Government need to get serious about implementing real solutions and not just use the north inner city as a backdrop for PR opportunities.