Taoiseach to lead taskforce for north inner-city Dublin

He and several ministers have visited the area to announce details

Enda Kenny, north inner-city Dublin, gnagland, economic taskforce, Paschal Donohoe, Katherine Zappone

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (centre) and Public Expenditure Minsiter Paschal Donohoe (left) arrive in Dublin's north inner-city | Image via @merrionstreet on Twitter

There has been mixed reaction to plans for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to take personal charge of a taskforce to lead the regeneration of Dublin's north inner-city.

He also announced €1.6m in extra funding for community projects, as part of a new bid to rejuvenate the area.

Former Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) chief Kieran Mulvey will work with local representatives to compile a list of recommendations on how to do so.

It has also been announced that Fitzgibbon Street garda station will be re-opened, with work on this to commence in the second half of 2016.

Those plans will then be given to the Taoiseach's ministerial taskforce to be put into action by a panel of seven ministers.

Local Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald says that long-term approach is needed to get to the root of the area's problems.

And local independent councillor Nial Ring says he believes there is now enough political willpower to make a lasting difference for residents.

The measures include:

  • an additional €1,000,000 package of investment, in sports facilities and projects in the area - to be made available for the duration of 2016
  • an extra €500,000 for small scale physical investments (focused on clean up of graffiti, derelict sites, litter) and local community and youth projects
  • additional funding of €100,000 for supports for drug related projects in the area
  • investment in arts-related projects
  • several new initiatives to support schools and young people in the north-east inner-city

It comes during the latest in a series of public visits by Mr Kenny to the capital's north inner-city.

But he has also visited and met with community groups in private on numerous occasions.

During a visit in June, he promised the establishment of an economic task force - and yesterday the Cabinet agreed to its establishment.

This evening Mr Kenny was accompanied by local deputy and Minister Paschal Donohoe, Minister Katherine Zappone, and Ministers of State Catherine Byrne, Damien English, Patrick O'Donovan and Michael Ring.

They again met with local community leaders. Mr Kenny outlined the economic taskforce and its membership.

However there is such a broad range of issues in the area for the taskforce to examine it could take 18 months to two years to complete its work.

Mr Kenny says Fitzgibbon Street garda station was closed for refurbishment rather than cutbacks - and he wants to get it back open as soon as possible.