I received notice from Dublin Bus yesterday evening that they have decided to amend their contingency plan for the closure of Whitechurch Road.
After consultation with the council, a temporary bus terminus has been set up at the entrance to Pearse Brothers Park on Taylor’s Lane – between the petrol station and the junction with Whitechurch Road.
The 15B will now terminate at this new bus stop.
I understand that this has begun this morning. I will continue to keep an eye on the situation.
Over the past few days, I’ve had calls and emails from residents concerned at how council work on Whitechurch Road will affect bus services in the area. Today is the first day of a contingency plan that will run until May 21.
I understand that there a number of elderly and disabled people in the Whitechurch area concerned that the new arrangements will add up to 20 minutes on to their journey. Having spoken to the Council and Dublin Bus regarding this, they too understand the difficulty and have promised to monitor the progress as works are ongoing.
From today, Whitechurch Road is closed between Taylor’s Lane and Whitechurch Green. A diversion is in place for motorists via Whitechurch Road, College Road and Grange Road. Access will remain for residents.
Dublin Bus say that Route 15B will terminate at Ballyboden Roundabout at Taylor’s Lane. Passengers travelling on the 116 and 161 can get their bus outside the Costcutters shop on Taylor’s Lane.
Please be assured that I’ll keep an eye on the situation.
It’s the final day of canvassing on my part in Dublin South. Over the past number of nights my team and I have been knocking on doors in Rathfarnham, Knocklyon and Ballyboden and I have to say that generally we have had a very positive response.
Tomorrow we go to the polls, and I sincerely hope that there will be a high turnout – and that is something that both the Yes and No side agree on. I urge anyone who has the opportunity to vote.
Polling stations will be open from 7am tomorrow morning and will stay open until 10pm that evening. Remember to bring your voting card and some sort of identification. I have had some concerned residents say that they had not received their polling card at the beginning of this week. If this is still the case, check you are on the register by clicking here and if you are then bring identification (driving licence, passport, etc.) to your local polling station.
I sincerely hope that people will fully consider what is at stake in this referendum, and I believe that the above advertisement (carried in some national newspapers this morning) should drive home the reasons to vote Yes tomorrow. Those campaigning for a No vote have said that this Treaty can be easily sent back to be renegotiated.
This is a totally naive position.
This Treaty which we vote on tomorrow is the culmination of hours, months, years of hard work by all 27 states in the EU, at some stages chaired by Ireland. If we were to ‘send it back’ there is no guarantee that we will get a better deal. In fact, we may become worse off. A Yes vote will mean that Ireland will continue to be an equal in the democratic process of the European Union. It will increase the say of the Oireachtas. It will enshrine workers rights. It will help protect trafficked women and children. It will promote public services. It will make the EU work more efficiently.
A vote No is a vote for the unknown.
Right now, for Ireland and for Europe, in this current economic climate, it is not a time for a step into the unknown, and as party leader Eamon Gilmore said, not the time to ‘throw a wobbly’.
I am continuing on the canvass trail as Labour seeks a Yes vote in Thursday’s referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. While many people I am meeting have views contrary to my own and my party’s, I’ve still found a majority that are in favour of the Treaty and look forward to a positive result.
However, I have still found that some of the fears peddled by the No campaigners have many ordinary voters confused about what is and is not in the Treaty. In order to make an informed decision, I feel it necessary to clear up what exactly are the facts.
The Treaty will lead to a Superstate
The opposite is the case. The Treaty explicitly states that the EU is given its power by the member states, and it can only operate in traditional areas (such as defence) by unanimity.
EU Law will be superior to Irish Law
This has actually been the case since we joined the EEC – but only with regard to matters upon which we have agreed to pool our sovereignty. The EU could not operate if this were not the case.
It will lead to privatisation of Health and Education
Nowhere in the Treaty is privatisation mentioned. In fact, the EU has no position on privatisation. Nothing changes with the Lisbon Treaty.
It will lead to taxes from Brussels
There is no change in Ireland’s taxation laws and any changes at EU level will require unanimity. The EU may try to negotiate a consolidated tax base but Ireland can have the option to opt out.
We will lose a Commissioner
We will lose a Commissioner for five out of every 15 years and this applies to all 27 countries equally. There are simply not enough positions to warrant 27 Commissioners and each commissioner is bound to represent the EU, rahter than their home State.
Our neutrality will be gone
There is no change in this aspect. Ireland has a triple lock in respect of getting involved militarily – it must be agreed by the government, by the Oireachtas, and must also have a UN mandate. The lack of a UN mandate meant that Ireland did not get involved in peacekeeping in FYR Macedonia. The UN supports our mission in Chad, which is specifically to protect refugees.
It’s too complex
There is no doubt that the Treaty is complex. But it needs to be in order to protect it from constant legal challenges. It is similar to complex legal documents, banking documents and everyday bills in the Oireachtas. We must rely on the summaries we are offered. The consolidated version of the Treaties by the IIEA is a relatively easy way of reading the Treaty, and failing this the Referendum Commission is an impartial organisation that seeks to inform.
The Treaty can be renegotiated
The negotiations around the Lisbon Treaty have been ongoing for eight years. There is no doubt that if we vote against the Treaty, Ireland will not get a better deal and our hand will be dealt a severe blow.
The Treaty will bring in abortion
Not true. Our abortion laws remain unchanged under Lisbon.
This is the same as the Constitution
Much of the Treaty is the same as the EU Constitution, but with some contentious aspects removed such as a common flag, common anthem, etc. Although the Constitution was voted down in France and the Netherlands, many seem to forget that it was favoured by the people of Spain and Luxembourg.
I hope this clears up a lot of the fears that have been raised by the No campaigners. For more on this, the Labour Party have a ‘Reality Check’ section of their website. It is extremely important that everyone knows exactly what is in this Treaty, and what the facts are.