Tag Archives: Clare Daly

Living on boats in Dublin

Clare Daly [Socialist, Dublin North] elicited some information via written answers on 10 July 2013; h/t KildareStreet.

Clare Daly: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the recommendations of the Waterways Ireland consultation process on utilising Dublin’s waterways and the reason recommendations for the development for spaces for houseboats were not implemented; and his plans for same.

Jimmy Deenihan [FG; Kerry North/West Limerick]: I wish to advise the Deputy that Waterways Ireland is committed to utilising Ireland’s waterways to the greatest extent possible. In relation to the Deputy’s query regarding utilising Dublin’s waterways for the development for spaces for houseboats, I am informed that Waterways Ireland has plans to develop provision for houseboats in the Dublin City area on the existing floating moorings at Grand Canal Dock in Ringsend.

The Deputy should be aware that when Waterways Ireland applied to the Dublin Docklands Development Authority for permission to install floating moorings around the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre to provide approximately 55 berths for boats/vessels back in 2003, the Authority issued a Certificate of approval under Section 25 of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act, 1997 which included the condition that ‘This Certificate permits the use of the 55 berths for boats/vessels used solely for amenity on the waterways and not as permanent residential or commercial units’. Waterways Ireland is currently in discussion with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority with the aim of having 25 berths designated for permanent residential or commercial use at Grand Canal Dock.

Second h/t to Clare Daly. I trust that Waterways Ireland will auction the residential berths to maximise the revenue from these prime city-centre locations.

Residential boating

Thanks to KildareStreet.com for alerting me to this written Dáil answer, to two questions, on Inland Waterways Development on 30 May 2013.

Clare Daly [Socialist Party, Dublin North]: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will engage with local stakeholders to develop a waterways strategy that facilitates those who want to live on houseboats.

Clare Daly [Socialist Party, Dublin North]: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will outline the contact he has had with Waterways Ireland to promote and facilitate houseboats as an alternative lifestyle choice, potential amenity and tourist asset.

Jimmy Deenihan [FG Kerry North/West Limerick]: I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 36 together. As the Deputy will be aware, I directly engage with Waterways Ireland through the Inland Waterways meetings of the North South Ministerial Council. I should say that officials in my Department also have ongoing engagement with Waterways Ireland and meet directly with the organisation on a regular basis. The issues referred to by the Deputy are operational matters for Waterways Ireland. However, I have been informed by Waterways Ireland that they have installed facilities for houseboats at Shannon Harbour and are in the process of developing facilities at Lowtown and Sallins.

I am also informed that Waterways Ireland is currently in negotiations in relation to the change of use of berths in Grand Canal Dock from short term mooring to long term mooring to facilitate houseboats. These developments are part of Waterways Ireland’s recognition of the potential amenity, tourism and lifestyle benefits that well managed houseboat locations with suitable houseboats can bring to the navigation network within its remit.

As regards engagement with local stakeholders in the development of a water strategy that facilitates houseboat dwellers, again this is an operational matter for Waterways Ireland. I encourage and support such engagement with local stakeholders. Waterways Ireland has informed me that they will continue to take into account the views of all its stakeholders when formulating policy in relation to the use of the waterways.

So “well managed houseboat locations with suitable houseboats”? Some current adopters of the “alternative lifestyle choice” may be worried about that. I don’t know what Ms Daly hoped to achieve there, but I don’t think Jimmy Deenihan was giving much away.

 

Socialists, boat-owners and taxpayers

According to the wonderful KildareStreet.com, on 25 April 2013 Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht [FG Kerry North/West Limerick] and prominent supporter of the Lartigue monorail, answered two written questions by Clare Daly [Socialist, Dublin North]:

31. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will ensure that Waterways Ireland will respect the rights of citizens who have lived on residential barges in Lowtown, County Kildare, for more than a decade. [19163/13]

38. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the dealings he has had with Waterways Ireland in relation to the Lowtown Marina, County Kildare, with particular reference to safeguarding the homes of boat dwellers who have resided there for more than a decade. [19164/13]

Jimmy Deenihan gave no ground:

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 38 together.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the issues referred to relate to operational day to day matters for Waterways Ireland, for which I have no direct responsibility. However, the Deputy can be assured that Waterways Ireland respects the rights of all users of the navigations under its remit. I am advised by Waterways Ireland that it has carried out significant improvements in the Lowtown area over the last number of years. A new amenity block, including toilets and showers, has been provided, as well as new moorings and other facilities. Some of the moorings at Lowtown have access to electricity, water and lighting and Waterways Ireland would encourage all boat permit holders in the area to avail of these facilities. Boat dwellers can be accommodated on the new moorings under an Extended Mooring Permit.

Waterways Ireland has also endeavoured to regularise the ownership and lease arrangements at Lowtown Marina and it continues to work closely with the owners of the adjacent boat yard in that regard. I am informed that unsafe moorings currently in place there have to be removed, for health and safety reasons.

I am advised that throughout this period when works were planned and underway, Waterways Ireland communicated updates on developments by letter to all permit holders, including barge dwellers, with regard to mooring locations and extended mooring permits. It also responded to queries from a number of individual barge dwellers by email, letter, phone and onsite meetings. In addition, press releases were issued to local media. This approach to communicating with stakeholders will continue.

It would be interesting to know what rights Clare Daly thinks might be infringed, what obligation the taxpayer is assumed to have towards boat dwellers, how much the boat dwellers are paying to the taxpayer and what proportion of the costs of the waterways those users are covering. My own view is that the taxpayer is not obliged to subsidise boat-owners, and that a rational taxpayer might choose to devote resources to some other end, but then I never have understood socialism, save as explained by P G Wodehouse’s Psmyth in Mike:

I am with you, Comrade Jackson. You won’t mind my calling you Comrade, will you? I’ve just become a Socialist. It’s a great scheme. You ought to be one. You work for the equal distribution of property, and start by collaring all you can and sitting on it.

 

 

WI, Clare Daly, Lowtown

Update from Clare Daly TD here.