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Gary Gannon TD

Lack of leadership responsible for decline of Dublin city 

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has called for statements to be made in the Dáil following the RTÉ Prime Time special on Dublin’s O’Connell Street last night.

Deputy Gannon, who represents Dublin Central, said:

“The deeply unflattering depiction of our capital’s main thoroughfare in the report will come as little surprise to north inner city residents or those who use O’Connell Street on a regular basis.

“The issues raised in the report, including anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and heavy littering, are all symptomatic of a wider problem that has resulted in the decline and decay of once thriving parts of our city.

“While I am proud to represent O’Connell Street, this area has long suffered from neglect due to a lack of leadership. As a former Dublin city councillor, I have seen dozens of plans drawn up for the area that have come to nothing.

“The reality is that city councils only have an illusion of power, with unelected officials making decisions they’ll never be held accountable for. At a minimum, Dublin urgently needs a directly elected mayor with executive powers who would be answerable to the public and the Government.

“For over a year, I have been asking the Oireachtas Business Committee to allow statements on Dublin city to be heard in the Dáil. Despite receiving a positive response to my request last year, and again last month, the Taoiseach informed me today that this may not happen until at least mid-November.

“It is unacceptable that it is taking such an inordinate amount of time to schedule the bare minimum – statements, on the problems blighting Dublin, in the Dáil. These statements will be just a first step in our efforts to achieve collective political responsibility for our capital city.

“In the absence of leadership, a multi-departmental approach, driven by our national parliament, is required to stem the decline of our beautiful and historic city.”

October 19, 2022

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