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2016 was a great year for the Dundrum ARCH Club, as the Club celebrated its ruby anniversary. Founded by seven parents, the club first opened its doors in October 1976. At the time the Arch Club was unique in catering for the social needs of people with intellectual disabilities in the community.
From its humble beginning in 1976 the club has grown from about 30 members to over 100; As well as regular events such as concerts, movies and an annual trip, the group regularly attend weekly get-togethers in Ballinteer Community School, a premises generously lent free of charge by the school.
On Wednesday evenings, there is a great sense of fun, friendship and activity. The club has a team of over 100 loyal volunteers, who bring members to and from their homes. All volunteers bring a commitment and a passion for the club.
As they celebrated their 40th anniversary the club could reflect on the lifelong friendships and memories that have come about through people’s involvement and be proud of the real difference they have made in people’s lives.
On September 17th last club members and volunteers arrived at the Royal Marine hotel in Dun Laoghaire to celebrate the proud past and look to a bright future. I was privileged to be a guest of honour as Mayor of Dundrum (a community honour from the Dundrum Arts and Culture Festival). At the Club’s colourful Halloween celebrations I also 0had the honour to present prizes for the most creative costumes – selecting those was a hard job for the judges. 2017 promises to be an even better year for the Club, with new activities added to the programme. Have a great year, Dundrum Arch Club!

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If you’re looking for a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours this Saturday, the ‘Historic Dundrum’ tour could be just the thing. 

John Lennon from the Dundrum Historical Society has been giving the tour every Saturday afternoon as part of the Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown Summer of Heritage. John clearly has deep affection for Dundrum and a matching deep knowledge of the place, it’s past, it’s people, it’s story.

photo 1

I went on John’s Saturday tour recently and listened in awe to stories of Dundrum spanning a thousand years. We began at Dundrum Castle, which is privately owned still as it has always been, and heard the 600 year adventure of the current building.

We heard of the time when records showed there were 8 families in Dundrum and 2 in Churchtown, of the murders that decimated that tiny population and kept Dundrum as a fearful place for settlers from the city.

Dundrum castle

We heard the fascinating story of the Dun Emer Craft Guild, whose founder members included the Yeats sisters. The account of the eventually successful efforts to secure the set up of the present library just one hundred years ago this month will surely interest everyone in our area. A highlight of the tour is St. Nahi’s Church, it’s fascinating interior and the many stories of those buried in the Churchyard. For me, seeing the embroidered panels by Lily Yeats in the church and learning for the first time about the Yeats sisters’ links to Dundrum were highlights of a most enjoyable afternoon.

Embroidered panel, St. nahi's church

All the details at www.dlrevents.ie

 

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Have you ever heard of Aarhaus? It’s worth your while to find out more!

July 8, 2014

Aarhaus is a town in Denmark, where a ground breaking Treaty, the Aarhaus Convention, was signed in 1998, giving citizens a truly radical set of rights in respect of the protection of our environment. Ireland ratified this Treaty in 2012. The full title of this International Treaty is the Convention on Access to Information, Public […]

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Poor housing, overcrowding and homelessness really hurt children

May 20, 2014

Research tells us that the effects of poor housing conditions, overcrowding and homelessness include:  Missing school much more often on account of sickness or being moved from place to place Damaging the ability to learn at school and study at home Much higher risk of severe ill health and disability Higher risk of behavioural and […]

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Housing : The Case for a New Approach

May 19, 2014

Huge thanks to Professor P.J Drudy, Emirtus Professor of Economics in Trinity College Dublin, who has kindly taken the time to share his paper on housing here as a guest blog. It’s radical new thinking on housing provision, thought-provoking and vital to debate on our housing crisis. (Extract of  paper to the Statistical and Social […]

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Independent Councillors can have more power to act

May 15, 2014

Frank McDonald hit the nail on the head during yesterday’s ( (May 14th) edition of The Right Hook on Newstalk when he said that what good councils need are councillors who are articulate and free to voice people’s fears and wishes. I would add that councillors need to have the capacity to understand policy development and know […]

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Foundations for the future: How the housing crisis is affecting our children

May 13, 2014

We are experiencing a critical housing crisis right across Ireland, with the number of homeless people and families on social housing waiting lists growing rapidly.  At the beginning of this year, there were over 4,000 families on the social housing waiting list in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown alone, and as new figures just out staggering increases in rent […]

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The Local Property Tax – we need a fairer way

May 10, 2014

The LPT is an unfair way of levying a tax on people’s homes, especially in the Dublin area. Property prices have risen by almost 20% in our area in the past year. There is no doubt that they will continue to rise, on account of the lack of supply of homes, and credit restrictions. When […]

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I pledge to support our homeless service budget!

April 29, 2014

I am delighted to sign up to the Focus Ireland pledge to vote against any reduction in homeless services or budget until there is demonstrable reduction in the number of people who are homeless in our community. I strongly hope that all my fellow candidates in Dun-Loaghaire Rathdown will do the same. I commend Focus […]

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Fernhill Gardens – a public park for the people of Dublin?

April 23, 2014

Fernhill Gardens were acquired in 1937 by Mr. Ralph Walker and his wife Susan who built an amazing collection of trees and shrubs over the next 60 years. It is now without doubt the best arboretum in South County Dublin, with in excess of thirty acres planted with rare shrubs, trees, ferns and herbaceous plants. […]

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Designing Communities that work for Everyone – a conversation with John Dolan, CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland

April 2, 2014

I have been talking to John Dolan, CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland, about the difference that local authorities can make for people with disabilities. John believes that the spaces and places that work for people with disabilities will result in communities are better for everyone. With creative thinking, and imaginative planning, communities and […]

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The Local Elections Matter Because Local Communities Matter

March 14, 2014

The place where we live influences our lives in a big way. We forge relationships with neighbours, local businesses, community groups, and local services. The place where we live is an important part of our identity. The decisions of the Council shape our space – our footpaths, lighting, open spaces, roads, amenities, car parking, community […]

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Council Matters at Dublin City FM

March 14, 2014

  Local radio is a such a great asset for local communities and for people who want to share views and explore local issues. Thanks very much to Michael Fitzgerald at Dublin City FM for inviting me to take part in the “Council Matters” programme.  You can watch our conversation above or click here:  

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Water Taxes & Water as a Human Right: Concerned Citizens come Together in Europe

March 14, 2014

Irish citizens are waiting anxiously to see what they will have to pay when the new water charges are fixed. We have been promised a consultation about the level of those charges, and about the level of ‘free’ allowance for each person. Water is a basic human need and the allowances and charges must reflect […]

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Who Will You Trust to Represent You in the Local Elections 2014?

February 5, 2014

Trust in elected representatives is a basic necessity in a healthy democracy.  All around the world we see what happens when trust breaks down, when people feel let down, when their expectations have not been met and their hopes are undermined. Trust in politicians is especially hard to build and easy to breach. Politicians who […]

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Do We Need the New Dun Laoghaire Library and Cultural Centre ?

February 5, 2014

Anyone listening to Pat Kenny’s Newstalk programme last Monday (27th of January) will have heard a local businessman who was very annoyed about the new Dun Laoghaire Library and Cultural Centre.  He questioned the need for the building, the cost, and the lack of influence of the local Councillors on the decisions about the library and […]

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Our Community, Our Taxes, Our Priorities – The Idea of Participatory Budgeting

January 28, 2014

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a big name for a simple idea – that local people should be involved in making decisions on how a percentage of their local taxes are spent. It gives local people a way of deciding on and selecting projects and services for their neighbourhood.  Residents and community groups make proposals and […]

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Knowing Our Area – Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

January 23, 2014

Planning well for the people in our Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area means having good information about the profile of the people and their needs. There is really valuable information drawn from the 2011 Census in a report commissioned by the Southside Partnership DLR – Have a look HERE. For Example…. DLR is the most affluent […]

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Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Budget 2014 – What is in there?

January 23, 2014

The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Budget 2014 was passed by the Council on Thursday 9th of January. The budget provides just over €165 million euros in 2014 for services including housing, roads, community grants, business supports, arts and cultural projects, education and many other programmes. It is great to hear that DLR is going to set […]

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Local Government Reform Bill 2014

January 17, 2014

Do major changes really lie ahead for local government? The Local Government Reform Bill proposes major changes to our system of Local Government.  The Bill was introduced to the Oireachtas last October by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, T.D.  It will become law shortly.  The Bill will mean that […]

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