Working for Amenities

  • Worked on Council to deliver Eadestown and Kill playgrounds
  • Dealt with Council, Parish and Community to deliver Sallins playground
  • Playgrounds on way for Prosperous
  • New Den under construction for Sallins scouts
  • Long time supporter of Greenway on both Kildare canal lines;
  • €1.7 million funding now secured for Naas to Dublin Grand Canal.
  • Royal Canal greenway in development from Maynooth to Fureys
  • Park & Ride expansion urgently needed in Sallins & Maynooth
  • Supported Clane Athletics Club in application for running track
  • Fully supported development of Kerdiffstown into public park
  • Champion of 33 acres amenity lands on canal at Sallins
  • GAA and soccer teams now training on the site
  • Recognise Equine industry a unique asset to Kildare
  • Opposed to road through St. Catherine’s Park
  • Amenities need to be part of future housing planning

Proven Track Record on Environmental Issues

Proven Track Record on the Environment

  • Campaigning for better public transport since 2004
  • Secured recycling bins in Sallins in 2008
  • Was giving talks on “five mile rule” re local produce in 2005
  • Proposed cycle lanes and “staying alive 1.5” campaign when on council
  • Supported remediation of Kerdiffstown from landfill into public park
  • Vice Chair of the Environment & Climate Action Oireachtas Committee
  • Led for Fianna Fáil on the climate change Dáil debates
  • Over the past Dáil term I supported the following measures:
    • A ban on dangerous microbeads
    • A ban on fracking
    • A ban on further exploration of fossil fuels
    • Restrictions on single use plastics
    • Micro-generation solar schemes for clubs and communities

Minister must address concerns about Leixlip Water Treatment Plant

Following the boil water notice which was in place for several areas in Kildare North, I have asked Minister Eoghan Murphy to advise on the measures being taken to reassure the public that water is appropriately treated and fit for consumption at both the Leixlip and Ballymore Eustace water plants.

A report by the Environmental Protection Agency has reviewed last weeks incident and recommended that Irish Water use extra disinfection techniques at the Leixlip plant as added protection. It is very concerning that alarms at the plant were not responded to and Irish Water have some serious failings to address if the public are to have any confidence in their water supply.

The Minister must act on this report and ensure that Irish Water improve their management of plants and response to emergencies.

Progress on Greenway Welcomed

The plan to develop a 221km greenway all the way from Dublin city centre to Shannon harbour and right across County Kildare progressed today. The Chief Executive of Kildare County Council published his report following the submissions process, during which both Deputy Lawless and his colleague Cllr. Carmel Kelly had assisted a number of local groups and residents in participating in the consultation.

The publication of the report is great news for the entire county, but particularly for all of the towns and villages along the greenway route including Ardclough, Sallins, Naas, Prosperous, Robertstown and beyond. This will compliment the great success of the Royal Canal Greenway through Maynooth, Leixlip and Kilcock in the northern part of Kildare. The boost to tourism, recreation and the local economy that greenway’s such as these bring to an area is significant.

James and Cllr Carmel Kelly pictured at their information event on the public consultation

Commenting, Deputy Lawless thanked all of the stakeholders for bringing it to this stage and all those who made submissions. He congratulated the council on moving quickly through the planning process and taking on board feedback from local residents.

The changes made after the consultation phase are as follows:

  • Sallins village – following significant local feedback the route will now not go down Chapel Lane and across the main square. Instead it will more closely follow the path of the canal past Lock13 & Bridgewater. This will enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety while better integrating with local business and hospitality premises. A Village Centre Traffic Management Plan will also be developed to compliment the new routes.
  • The spike of the route from Sallins into Naas harbour is covered under a separate planning proposal which is at an advanced stage and will go on display in April. This will allow the Naas section to be integrated into the full route.
  • All signage will be bilingual and will also contain heritage information packs.
  • The route will be fully wheelchair and buggy accessible.
  • Marker distance posts will be positioned at 5k intervals along the route.
  • The proposed pedestrian bridge at Sallins will be a high level fixed bridge. The width of the canal will not be reduced at this location and the proposed bridge will have a width and clearance sufficient to permit passage of boats with larger wheel houses.
  • The proposed new swing bridge to the west of Landenstown may be replaced by a mechanically operated lifting bridge (similar to that at Levitstown on the Barrow Navigation) subject to consultation with Waterways Ireland and Canal user groups.
The planned route of the new greenway.

Waste Reduction Bill to be Supported at Committee Stage

Compostable Cups from Zeus Packaging Leading the way in innovation

Compostable Cups from Zeus Packaging Leading the way in innovation

I was delighted to speak in support of the Waste Reduction Bill at Committee Stage last week. You can read my full transcript here. I support the principles of this bill, and we have consistently been and remain a firm defender of Ireland’s natural environment. We firmly support efforts to encourgage recycling and reduce waste. Continue Reading →

Sallins Playground – Planning Application Underway

The Sallins playground has taken a step closer to construction with the publication today of the planning documents by which the council seeks a “Part 8” approval to proceed with the project.

Outline location for the Sallins community playground.

Location for the Sallins community playground.

These documents are quite technical in nature but show the exact location of the proposed playground and deal with all the environmental and planning considerations that may be relevant. These proposals are on display both in the council offices and in Café Grange and any interested parties can make a submission up to the 29th September. If you support the playground I would encourage you to email a supporting submission, details how to do so are at the end. Note these documents do not get into the detailed design of the playground itself, but if you had any thoughts on that, this would also be a good time to send them to the council. I attach here all the relevant documentation. I also want to again acknowledge that the proposed playground is to be built on land owned by Sallins parish and I want to thank them for their very decent and generous accommodation in enabling this project to happen. The below image indicates the exact location where the playground is intended to sit between the church, community centre and national school. sallins_playground_location

You can review the various documentation at these links sallins-playground-part-8-application-report, sallins-playground-part-8-final-location-map-a3l-1, sallins-playground-part-8-final-a1-l-1.

The detailed design of the playground is subject to a tender process and will come after this. However it will satisfy the following high level specification:

    • The playground will cater for 1-12 years old.
    • It will contain a range of equipment for children from 1-6 and 6-12 years. The equipment may include the following. Swings, Slides, Rockers, Seesaw, Play Panels, Multi Play Units, Sand & Water Play & landscaping.
    • It is envisaged that the grass contained within the existing site will be retained where possible.
    • Additional surfaces which may be used in the design of the playground are rubber surfacing, woodchip and sand.
    • The design may also contain landscape features such as mounding, sand pit, planting and living willow structures and tree and shrub planting.
    • It is likely the construction of the playground will take 12-16weeks from starting on site to completion and opening. This timeframe is dependent on weather and ground conditions.
    • Equipment with  varying heights will be used throughout the playground to a maximum height of 5.5m
    • any surface water drainage which may be necessary will be attenuated on site.

The relevant contact is Simon Wallace, Senior Executive Parks Superintendent, Kildare County Council, Devoy Park, Naas, Co. Kildare before 4.00 p.m. on Friday 29th  September 2017.  Submissions should be clearly headed “Sallins Community Playground”  and you can send them by post or email them to swallace@kildarecoco.ie.