Adopt a newly planted tree! 🌳

Just like new residents, new trees want to put down roots!

Many new trees have been planted throughout Skerries this year. And they need our help! It has not been raining much, and the forecast indicates very little rain on the way.

Earlier this year we saw many newly planted trees appear in the new housing estates (Ballygossan, Barnageeragh, Hamilton Hill) and alongside what are now known as Barnageeragh Road (previously the Distributor Road) and Harrison Cove Road (previously Northcliffe Heights). There are also some recently planted trees near Prosper Fingal that need watering.

It’s great to have lots of trees but they all need minding, especially in the first year.

Fingal County Council tell us that in more normal times they would always water newly planted trees over the first two summers after planting.  Regrettably the Council  is not in a position to carry out watering at this time as it is not a work task that can be done on the scale required while maintaining the recommended physical distancing.

These are very unusual times and Skerries must look to the great volunteering spirit of its residents to help.  If we can water the new trees outside, or near our homes we can save these trees, but it must be done in a way that keeps people safe.

Let’s adopt a tree!

tree being watered

Give one of the newly planted trees some water (at least 5l at a time, ideally 1.5 gallons) every second day. You could, for instance, fill an empty large water container (or 2-3 two-litre bottles), put them in your backpack and bring them with you when out on your walk, then water a tree that seems to not have been watered yet by another adopter. Let’s keep our trees healthy! But keep ourselves healthy too, by keeping our distance.

Good to see that residents in Barnageeragh Cove have got the ball rolling on this as have residents in the town centre and a number of individual tree water bearers around the estates.

Skerries Community Association

Skerries Tidy Towns

Sustainable Skerries

The Skerries Tree Preservation Group

COVID-19 Help Information

Self-Isolation Skerries volunteer group

  • Are you self-isolating owing to health concerns from the Coronavirus?
  • Home alone and unable to go to the shops / chemists?

If so, we are here to help.

We are a group of local Skerries residents, working with the Skerries Community Association and Age Friendly Skerries, willing to help you.

Our services include:

  • Shopping service / collection
  • Prescription collection

If you are in need of some assistance please text or call

085 81 28 509

083 01 05 946

Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Disclaimer:

In using this service, clients understand that this is an informal group of local volunteers. We will be strictly adhering to health guidelines as outlined by the HSE in order to protect both the volunteers, and those we will be helping, from any spread of the virus.

Leaflets with the above text are being delivered by volunteers to Skerries households from 14 to 16 March and are kindly sponsored by the Image Depot Skerries and the Skerries Community Association.

Image of the COVID-19 leaflet being delivered to Skerries households (text is the same as this post).

Two Tree Talks in Skerries on 12 March 2020

Skerries welcomes Éanna Ní Lamhna (The Tree Council) & Kevin Halpenny (Fingal County Council) for a Tree- and Biodiversity- Focused Evening

About this Event

Are you interested in trees and how they can contribute to life and biodiversity in our town?

On Thursday 12 March, at 8 p.m. sharp (doors open at 7.40), in the Little Theatre, well-known environmentalist and media personality Éanna Ní Lamhna (Vice Chair of The Tree Council) will talk about “The Importance of Trees” – followed by a presentation by Fingal County Council’s Parks Superintendent Kevin Halpenny.

Kevin is in charge of the current review of Fingal’s Tree Strategy and will be talking about “Biodiversity and the Draft Fingal Tree Strategy.”

After the two presentations, there will be time for discussion and questions and answers. 

This promises to be a very interesting evening. It is organised by a number of groups with an active interest in trees in Skerries: The Skerries Community Association, Skerries Tidy Towns, Crann Padraig, and Sustainable Skerries. The organisers hope it will inform significantly their input into the draft Tree Strategy, which is currently being drawn up.

Bus Connects and Skerries

The following is a copy of the comments made by Skerries Community Association in the recent round of consultations.

Skerries Community Association CLG
Registered Office:
Skerries Community Centre
Dublin Road
Skerries, Co. Dublin

www.skerriesca.com

10 December 2019

 

To: BusConnects

 

KEY ISSUES IN RELATION TO BUS CONNECTS AND SKERRIES

On behalf of Skerries Community Association [www.skerriesca.com] I welcome the opportunity to comments on the revised BusConnects proposals for north Fingal in particular the likely effects on service quality they imply for people in this area.

 

The revised proposals are:

  • Retain 33x as it is, peak weekdays only direct to city via Dublin Tunnel
  • Retain 33a Balbriggan – Skerries – Swords – Airport, every half hour all day every day
  • Cancel all 33, no bus from Skerries/Rush/Lusk to Dublin city other than 33x; no off-peak service; no service via Santry, Whitehall and Drumcondra; so no service to key places such as DCU

 

Please note the following

  • In the last consultation, 33 was the route in the whole city/county that got most submissions, 698 in all, and 33x was 3rd highest with 645. So this area (Skerries/Rush/Lusk) is about 2.5% of Dublin population; and maybe 1.5% of bus users, but it generated 9% of submissions. As there were more submissions for 33 than for 33x,  restoring the 33x does not meet people’s needs. NTA said “you spoke, we listened” when they produced the second plan, but they don’t appear to have heard people in this area.
  • All other rail-based communities have good bus services. There will be “Spine” routes  to Howth, Dun Laoghaire, Bray, Blanchardstown and Maynooth. All rail towns. This recognises that the bus plays a supplementary role in all parts of the city/county. This is mainly due rail stations not being close enough for many users and/or bus taking a different route to the city. Both factors are relevant for Skerries.
  • NTA has stated that they have restored direct service to the city for all places within the M50 but have not done so for all outside. The latest plan is, by and large, good for Dublin city, but not for Fingal. We wish to point out that on the first round of consultations the area with the most negative response was Fingal.
  • As an example of mixed thinking, NTA has just doubled service from Newbridge/Naas to Dublin and cancelled local trips between these towns. For us, they want to do the very opposite.

Does Skerries need the 33?

  • It is used for trips to city centre by some people from Downside, Rush Rd. end of the town, who are too far from station to walk, and can’t get parking at station for off-peak travel, or else don’t have a car. Some town centre residents use it for the same reason
  • It is used for trips to third level colleges (DCU, St. Pat’s Teacher Training College) and hospitals (Beaumont, Highfield and Bons Secours)
  • Trips to employment in Turnapin/Santry area
  • There are a very significant number of people using this service who travel south of Airport, perhaps most are Rush and Lusk residents rather than Skerries, but there are certainly some from Skerries

What happens if the 33 service is withdrawn?

  • The alternative is to make a connection in Swords to the Spine route A4, which will run every 12 min. This means you must wait in Swords for the next A4 bus, adding up to 12 min to your journey. There could be loading problems, as so many people getting off the Skerries bus could fill the next A4 and leave some waiting longer.
  • Coming home is worse. Now, you get a 33, which leaves Abbey St. at a known time. Under BusConnects, you will get an A4 in city, but as it leaves Rathfarnham every 12min, it will be impossible to predict exactly what time it gets to your stop.  It will also be impossible to predict how long it takes to get to Swords. Bus from Swords to Skerries will be only every 30 min, so you could be waiting on the street in Swords for up to 29 min. Just to continue your journey home, whereby now you are simply staying on the one bus.

The need to provide really good bus (and rail and metro and tram etc etc) services has never been greater as the era of unlimited car transport is gradually coming to an end.

Realistic alternatives must be provided for people, especially those who do NOT have cars or do not want cars or cannot use cars.  Those who point to the train service that Skerries has, and claim that all is well therefore, do not live in Skerries and do not appreciate that the train does not serve all key destinations for the citizens of Skerries (not to mention the grotesque overcrowding on trains that will continue for years).

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael McKenna

Chairperson
Skerries Community Association

Age Friendly Skerries Community Transport Initiative

community carGo Car and Fingal County Council are working with Skerries Age Friendly Town to deliver a new community transport initiative for older people in the towns and hinterland of Skerries, and Howth. This pilot initiative is in response to the recent consultation & transport needs survey carried out in the area, it will run over a four-month trial period & is being supported by the Transport Coordination Unit for Louth, Meath, Fingal.
The service will enable older people to continue to be active in their community and to attend hospital, health and wellness appointments. The service will be volunteer led and will be available throughout the week and at weekends depending on availability of volunteers.
To avail of this service you need to

  • Be over 55 years
  • Register with Local Link (see address below)
  • Book in advance by phone, text, email or transport App

Volunteer Drivers Needed

If you are retired and find that you have time to spare, why not become a volunteer driver. If you would like to help get the project started please contact us at Flexibus on 046-9074830 or at the address below
Volunteers will be provided with training and will be Garda vetted before taking to the roads.

Tel: 046 907 4830
Freephone: 1800 303 707

Local Link Louth Meath Fingal 23 Mullaghboy Industrial Estate, Mullaghboy,
Navan, Co Meath C15 WKO9
Tel: 046 907 4830 Freephone: 1800 303 707 Email: imf@locallink.ie

Skerries Community Association – a way to be a part of the decision making in your town…

The following article was written by the SCA Chair, Michael McKenna, for Skerries News and published there in the issue dated 9 August 2019.

 

Whether it is a mini roundabout, a children’s playground, the plans for a new Drive thru fast food place, a road opening, a landfill opening, water supply problems and odours from the waste water treatment plant, lifts not working at the train station, it is likely that the SCA will be involved in trying to put together a response that reflects what is in the best interests of the town and its people.

And then there is the work done by SCA groups like Skerries Tidy Towns (should we ever stop singing their praises? No, we shouldn’t, especially since I am now an official litter picker under the Adopt a Patch initiative). Or other committees like  Age Friendly Skerries (reducing isolation for older residents); Town Twinning (Gallic/Gaelic cultural and social exchange now in its 25th year); Sustainable Skerries (empowering people to be more sustainable since 2008);  Skerries Cycling Initiative (fighting for the coastal cycle route and generally encouraging people to get on their bikes) etc.  The excellent daily Newsflash keeps us in touch with what’s going on in the area. We have unfortunately lost several groups in recent times: Skerries CoderDojo is dormant, Soundwaves is in abeyance and as the Rás Tailteann couldn’t find a sponsor this year so we had no Rás Stage End Committee in 2019.

Our Community Centre, which first opened in 1982, is an engine room of community activity.  Run by Manager Sharon Guinane and her team under the supervision of the Board of Management (all volunteers), the Centre is the physical manifestation of the SCA. Many of the sports and arts groups in the town depend on the SCA and the Community Centre for facilities to operate, and all are in need of additional space.

Apart from the professional manager of the Community Centre and her staff, everything the SCA does happens through voluntary effort.  Skerries should be proud of what has been achieved by its volunteers.

However (and there always is a “However,” isn’t there?) the volunteering effort needs to be continuously renewed, and we need to be adapting to changing circumstances to remain “fit for purpose” in meeting the challenges and to continue to make our great town even better.

The Directors of the SCA Board of Management play a crucial role here. Traditionally, most people who became directors of the Association were already members of one or more of the groups/committees under the umbrella of the SCA. This was useful to the board for keeping abreast of what was happening at committee level, but it often meant that committee demands limited the time many directors could apply to dealing with company business per se. With the number of active committees under the SCA now reduced to a handful, there is now some space around the board table, so to speak, and this gives us an opportunity to recruit some new directors who are not connected to SCA committee/groups. They would be in a better position to respond to the issues and challenges that arise from time to time. I’m thinking of things like the Town Park Development Plan, liaising with new communities and residents’ associations, new road layouts, facilities and services for young people, transport and traffic management issues and creating a more inclusive community. Other directors would then be freed up to focus on the company governance “stuff” such as revising our constitution (Articles and Memorandum of Association), GDPR, Finances and Accounts, Insurance, Website and PR, and so on. With 16 director positions (currently 3 vacancies), the work can be spread fairly so that no director is overloaded.

“The Association is representative of all interests. So we want to involve all members of the community in making Skerries a better place –socially, environmentally, culturally, recreationally and so on. Hence identifying local needs and problems is important. Then we have to take initiative to solve them. This may be on our own as a community or in co-operation with the county council or other statutory agencies.” [Jim Quigley, Chairperson SCA in an interview in 1982].

After a year as Chairperson of the SCA, I now want to get a conversation going with the wider community about how best to move forward. I think Jim Quigley’s description in 1982 of the role of the SCA is as valid now as it was then, but what I’m convinced we need to change is the way we go about meeting the challenges.

If you would like to get involved in the conversation email:  chair@skerriesca.com and let me have your thoughts. If you know someone who you think would make a good director, talk to them about nominating them for a director position.  SCA board meetings take place in The Old School (which is part of the Skerries Community Centre), once a month, September to July from 8-10 p.m. on a week night evening. Between meetings communications are done mainly via email and telephone. Time commitment in addition to meeting attendance is about two hours per week.

And please do come along to our AGM on 5th September in the Little Theatre, The Old School (starting 8 p.m), and join the debate – or just have a listen. About a week before that you should receive our annual flyer inviting you to the AGM and outlining what has happened over the past year.

It’s our town – let’s help shape its future together!

Michael McKenna has lived in Skerries since 2000. He joined Skerries Cycling Initiative and Skerries Guerrilla Gardeners around 2011. In 2014 he became a director of the SCA and served as company secretary from 2016-2018. He is chairperson since September 2018.

Posted in SCA

Notice of the 2019 SCA AGM to members

NOTICE is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Skerries Community Association CLG (SCA) will be held in the Little Theatre, Dublin Road, Skerries on Thursday the 5th of September 2019 at 8 pm to transact the Ordinary Business of the Company, that is to say: –

 

  1. To confirm the Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting
  2. To receive and adopt the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements for year ended 31 Dec. 2018
  3. To elect Directors to the Board
  4. To elect Members to Skerries Community Centre Board of Management
  5. To reappoint Dempsey Mullen as Auditors and to authorise the Directors to fix their remuneration
  6. To transact any other business proper to an Annual General Meeting of the Company.

Dated this the 15th of August 2019, by order of the Board, Secretary.

Click the link to open the AGM notice including the nomination form: notice AGM 2019

  • NOTE 1. No person other than a Director of the Company retiring at the meeting shall, unless recommended by the Directors, be eligible for election to the office of Director at any general meeting unless, not less than three (i.e. 1st September 2019) nor more than 21 days (i.e. 15th August 2019) before the date appointed for the meeting, there has been left at the registered office notice in writing, signed by a member duly qualified to attend and vote at the meeting for which notice is given, of his/her intention to propose such a person for election, and also Notice in writing signed by that person of his/her willingness to be elected. [A Nomination Form is provided below].
  • NOTE 2. The names of candidates who have consented to stand for election to the Board of Management of the Community Centre, together with the names of their proposers and seconders, shall be given in writing to the Secretary, and shall be posted on the Community Centre Notice Board at least three days prior (2 September 2019) to the holding of the Annual General Meeting. [See Nomination Form on the PDF below].
  • NOTE 3. Copies of the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements will be available to members at the Community Centre at least seven days prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting.

 

NB: Please return signed Nomination Form to the Community Centre by 2 September, 2019.

 

Planning appeal by Skerries Community Association to Fingal County Council’s decision to GRANT permission for a Drive-thru restaurant in Skerries

Click on the link below to see the full appeal made by Skerries Community Association regarding the permission for a Drive-thru restaurant in Skerries. The text (without the graphics) is also replicated on this page.

SCA Drive Thru appeal to ABP Fin 26 Mch

Dear Secretary,

This is the written planning appeal by Skerries Community Association with reference to Fingal County Council’s decision to GRANT permission in the case of application reference F18A/0340, for a Drive-thru restaurant in Skerries, Co. Dublin.

Consistent with the Fingal County Development Plan 2017 – 2023, Skerries Community Association supports the fair and transparent application of planning policies that seek to develop and improve, in a sustainable manner, the social, economic, environmental and cultural assets of the community. We do not believe that these objectives have been met in this case.

Grounds of Appeal:

During the subject planning procedure, Skerries Community Association made constructive written observations in response to the original submission for planning permission in respect of 3 important provisions:

1. The Local Setting and Zoning Objectives 2. The very close proximity to a local school 3. Conflicts with active modes of transport / pedestrian accessibility

Following the Manager’s Order and further submission of “Additional Information” by the applicant, Skerries Community Association became increasingly concerned that these planning provisions were not adequately considered. The Association then submitted further observations

Skerries Community Association: secretary@skerriesca.com / chair@skerriesca.com

re-iterating these points as grounds to REFUSE permission. However, the planning authority has since formulated a decision to GRANT permission and, in the view of the Association, did not sufficiently address our observations and the important planning provisions contained therein.

These same grounds for refusing permission are repeated below and Skerries Community Association now appeals to An Bord Pleanála to overturn Fingal County Council’s decision in this case.

1. Zoning Objectives & Local Setting

In the “Additional Information” submission, the applicant affirms and agrees with the Local Authority’s view that “the proposed development is compliant with the ‘LC’ Land use Zoning Objective”. The SCA disagrees strongly. Specifically, a drive-thru restaurant is not compliant with the ‘LC’ zoning objective, including to “minimise the need for use of the private car and encourage pedestrians, cyclists and the use of public transport”.

In the Additional Information, the applicant says the development reinforces the “Skerries Point Shopping Centre retail viability….to serve current and future demand”. All zoned residential lands local to the centre (Barnageeragh Cove and Kellys Bay) are nearing completion and full occupancy. Future local demand growth will be modest. There are vacant units at the existing centre. The applicant seems to claim to support a “Local Centre” objective, while seeking to underpin “viability” of an under-occupied pre-existing local centre by attracting vehicular traffic to a drive-thru restaurant from beyond the local demand zone. This is clearly at odds with the zoning objective, which requires a local centre to be “at a scale to cater for both existing residential development and zoned undeveloped, now or in the future” as well as “encourage pedestrians, cyclists and the use of public transport”. This proposal clearly seeks to expand the capacity of the applicant’s “shopping centre” beyond the local demands and use for which the site is zoned. This is affirmed by the numerous vacant units at the existing centre, despite full occupancy of the local residential zones. Currently vacant units include large units suitable for a ‘walk-in’ restaurant that could “serve current and future demand”, should it exist.

Developing a drive-thru restaurant serves only to displace zone-compliant businesses. It is noted that there is already an appropriately scaled walk-in fast food amenity at Skerries Point that amply meet the needs of the local catchment and that Objective DMS107 outlines among other provisions that development proposals for fast food/takeaway outlets will be strictly controlled and all such proposals are required to address …..the cumulative effect of fast food outlets on the amenities of an area”. Despite the applicant’s decision to call the local centre a “shopping centre”, the local infrastructure cannot support a commercial remit beyond that for which the site is zoned. The proposed development is not zone-compliant and does not represent a “positive and complementary addition to the range of retail services currently being offered” as claimed. It is in fact a considerable threat to the proper functioning of a Local Centre and adjacent residential zones and schools.

Relevant Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023 Provisions Zoning: Local Centre – The aim is to ensure local centres contain a range of community, recreational and retail facilities, including medical/ dental surgeries and childcare facilities, at a scale to cater for both existing residential development and zoned undeveloped lands, as appropriate, … The development will strengthen local retail provision in accordance with the County Retail Strategy. Development Management Standards & Fast Food/Takeaway Outlets Fast food outlets have the potential to cause disturbance, nuisance and detract from the amenities of an area and as such, proposals for new or extended outlets will be carefully considered. Objective DMS107 – Development proposals for fast food/takeaway outlets will be strictly controlled and all such proposals are required to address the following:

• The cumulative effect of fast food outlets on the amenities of an area.

• The effect of the proposed development on the existing mix of land uses and activities in an area.

• Opening/operational hours of the facility.

• The location of vents and other external services and their impact on adjoining amenities in terms of noise/smell/visual impact. Objective ED54 – Prevent an over-supply or dominance of fast food outlets, takeaways, off licences, and betting offices in…..local centres to ensure that injury is not caused to the amenities of these …. centres through the loss of retail opportunities. Objective SKERRIES 12 – Continue to support the delivery of enhanced recreational, community, social, youth and educational facilities in the area.

2. School Proximity

The applicant’s response to Additional Request No.1 is not satisfactory. It proposes that “responsibility for access to the proposed development should fundamentally lie with parents and guardians”. Indeed, the provisions of the Fingal Development Plan and Objective DMS108 is the mechanism through which the community, including parents, wishes to exercise that responsibility. Planners must also exercise their responsibility in this case. The facility is likely to be operated by a fast food franchise with significant marketing reach, including to children. The additional information details that elevated signs will be in full view of the school/childcare entrances as well as from recreational space used by teenagers in Kelly’s Bay & Barnageeragh Cove. Parents who are trying to protect and properly develop good dietary habits and wellbeing in their children will not appreciate having to compete with such messaging on a daily basis. Objectives such as DMS108 exist precisely to give parents the power to defend themselves against such pressures within their community, through the planning system.

Relevant Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023 Provisions Objective DMS108 – Give careful consideration to the appropriateness and location of fast food outlets in the vicinity of schools and, where considered appropriate, to restrict the opening of new fast food/takeaway outlets in close proximity to schools so as to protect the health and wellbeing of school-going children.

Image and proposed signage from additional information raises concerns.

3. Sustainable Transport

The Additional Information only highlights how the proposed layout will not only attract more vehicular traffic by design but will frustrate cycle and pedestrian access to other zone- compliant local amenities, schools and childcare in and adjacent to the Local Centre. It is positioned within a particularly sensitive site with respect to facilitating active modes of travel. There is a specific objective to develop a greenway through this zone (see relevant local objectives in the current County Development Plan). Skerries Community Association, through its Skerries Cycling Initiative promotes such developments and is particularly concerned that the proposal will block any future opportunity to facilitate a cycleway parallel to the railway track for a safe and uninterrupted cycle/pathway along Barnageeragh Road to the railway station. The very confined site straddles the margin between the railway line and the road. The additional information indicates no spatial provision to facilitate such sustainable transport to what is a Local Centre. On the contrary, the resulting road layout facilitates vehicular access to the drive-thru, frustrating access to zone-compliant facilities including a directly adjacent child care facility, specifically discouraging “pedestrians, cyclists and the use of public transport”.

Image from additional information showing no spatial provision for a cycle route along the railway line.

Relevant Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023 Provisions Zoning: Local Centre – The aim is to ensure local centres contain a range of community, recreational and retail facilities, at ……. locations which minimise the need for use of the private car and encourage pedestrians, cyclists and the use of public transport. Objective SKERRIES 10 – Promote and ensure a safe and convenient road, pedestrian and cycle system highlighting accessibility and connectivity both within the town as well as between the town and surrounding towns and villages. Objective MT17 – Improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity to schools and third level colleges and identify and minimise barriers to children walking and cycling to primary and secondary school Objective SKERRIES 11 – Promote and facilitate increased permeability and accessibility for those using active travel modes, prams, wheelchairs, personal scooters and other similar modes. Objective SKERRIES 13 – Promote and facilitate the development of the Balbriggan to Skerries cycling/walking Scheme along the Coast Road within the lifetime of this Development Plan. Objective MT21 – Ensure that as soon as possible, but by the end of the lifetime of the Development Plan the environment in the immediate vicinity of schools is a safe and attractive low speed (30kph) environment, and drop-off by car within a given distance restricted.

Skerries Community Association recommends that An Bord Pleanála refuse permission for this planning application.

Yours sincerely,

_______________________________ Date: ________________________

Michael McKenna, Chairperson

Skerries Community Association

Open Space in Barnageeragh Cove and Hamilton Hill – Information Evenings with Fingal County Council

Local residents of Barnageeragh Cove and Hamilton Hill are invited to information sessions this week, organised by Fingal County Council, regarding public parkland and amenities on the site which Winsac had intended for a petrol station/shop/fast food restaurant. The proposal is to relocate the Multi Use Games Amenity there. “Part of the green space behind the petrol station site includes a small historic landfill, closed since 1983 and which contains mainly soils and stone.” (from the County Council letter, dated 5 March 2019).

The draft proposals for this site are going to be on public display on Thursday 7 & Friday 8 March 2019, 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., Skerries Point Shopping Centre (former Boyle Sports unit). Invitations are being distributed in the relevant area.

Barnageeragh Cove Residents Association and Skerries Community Association were briefed by Fingal County Council officials on this matter on 4 March 2019.