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Spirit of Contradiction

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Public Inquiry
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NAMA Wine Lake

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****** Submission Deadline for Bus Connects Fri Sept 28th ******
Make a postal submission. Do not use the online survey as it can be manipulated and ignored !

The plan to re-organise the entire Dublin Bus network known as Bus Connects but really should be called Bus Disconnects has a submission deadline of Fri 28th Sept. This plan is a very thinly disguised plan to privatise the service. Already the NTA has given away 10% of the routes to a UK company which last year in the UK was voted the worst rail operator and whose CEO receives €2 million in salary.

The Dublin bus system needs to be greatly improved to be more like something you will find in mainland Europe and this would require most importantly more investment to buy more buses, new routes and increased frequency. It also needs more routes in a series of rings around the city. This plan is not doing any of this. It is NOT increasing any of these factors DESPITE the SPIN in the confusing information form Bus Connects. They say things like there will be a bus every 4 minutes on the A routes. On closer inspection the A routes each go to different areas completely, so 4 A routes means, the frequency for your A bus since you won't be using all 4, is actually 16 mins. But these times are quoted at peak hour. It disguises how they are stretching an under resourced system to do more than it can. The information is purposely mis-leading in order to spin it so that the public thinks what they are being offered is better than it is.

Additionally any area with a Dart or Luas will have significant reductions. The focus will be to serve these but total journey times will be longer and it will force more people on already over-crowded arteries at peak. For lots of people, they will need to take 2 bus or "connections" to get anywhere -even to the city centre especially from further out. This connection into a high speed backbone might work in a place like Netherlands or Switzerland where they have real and proper public transport systems, but will lead to much longer journeys at higher costs in the case of Ireland considering they don't plan to add anything into it and their only interest is to privatise it so that someone can milk the system rather than either a national or non-profit entity that might have public service as its objective. And just to be clear the NTA intends to put all these routes out to tender in the next few years.

Details for Postal Submission to National Transport Authority (NTA)
BusConnects Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign
National Transport Authority
Dun Sceine, Harcourt Lane
Dublin 2
D02 WT20
Note: The cost is the price of a stamp.

See also: Bus Connects Transport Plan Promises Much But Won’t Deliver | The Privatisation Agenda of Bus Connects Will Lead To Bus Disconnects

dublin / environment Wednesday August 12, 2009 16:12 by Gardener
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Dolphin's Barn Community Gardeners

Nurturing and reclaiming our city, our commons, our communities

Community Gardens are emerging throughout Dublin city. These small projects have large narratives. When we create community gardens we build alternative ways that our cities operate and can be made sustainable. We build positive spaces, social spaces and community. We address land use, workers rights and learn to collectively organise. We seed save, skill share, reclaim lost knowledge and recycle. We re-establish a relationship with the cycles of life, with nature and become aware of our deep connection to our environment and each other. Community Gardens are radical spaces and the good news is that they are on the increase.

Over the last 10 years the destructive development of Ireland has been driven by economic greed with little thought for communities, nature and our collective future. Our ecological foot print increased dramatically. In 2006 we were top of the list on our rubbish per capita per year of 31 countries surveyed in the EU. Our resource consumption and our waste creation had increased exponentially.

mayo / environment Wednesday July 08, 2009 00:03 by Andrew
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Postmodernism: Oil Refineries in Scenic Areas

I arrived in occupied Erris on Friday evening having travelled down to take part in a national meeting of Shell to Sea groups. It had been a busy week for the campaign as the state had reacted to the ongoing resistance to Shell in Erris by seizing fishing boats, sending 7 people to jail without trial and banning two more from Co. Mayo. Not only had hundreds of state forces including the police, navy, air force and possibly the army been deployed to suppress protest in Erris but those of us doing solidarity work elsewhere had found from time to time that we were being followed by the secret police.

national / environment Tuesday July 07, 2009 14:10 by Joe Higgins MEP
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Joe Higgins making his point to Gardaí in Rossport

The sinking of fisherman Pat O Donnel’s boat and the arrival of Shell Oil’s pipe laying ship, The Solitaire, in Broadhaven Bay, Mayo, has brought the Corrib Gas field very much back into the news.

Some media are once again highlighting the high costs of the Garda operation to protect the Shell operation. Occasional articles appear denigrating those who are opposing the Shell operation in its current form. There are frequent dark hints about ‘subversive’ forces driving the opposition.

It was always thus when mere peasants or proletarians dared to oppose the powerful vested interests of the economic and political establishment . One hundred years ago when Big Jim Larkin arrived from Liverpool to organise the downtrodden manual labourers of Belfast and Dublin, his message of hope to them was demonised as a subversive plot to destroy society.

national / environment Monday July 06, 2009 23:35 by MAOR Derry - Donegal
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Unite to Fight

New licences are about to be issued for the Oil and Gas fields off Donegal without resolving the terrible situation in Rossport. Demand a freeze on the Corrib Gas refinery project until the people of Ireland are consulted about whether we want to continue giving our gas and oil away to Shell.

mayo / environment Tuesday June 30, 2009 01:40 by Rudiger
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Judge leaving court after mocking presumption of innocence
Extract: One of the activists, Eoin Lawless, addressing the court following his remanding, stated that he believed he should be afforded the legal presumption of innocence before being proven guilty. Lawless was one of the activists arrested for merely crossing the road, and was leaving the area after being directed by a Public Order garda. Judge Devin's replied to Lawless' defence by inquiring, “Did you take up a law degree?” She then refused Lawless' defence argument, and remanded him to Castlerea.

This evening (Monday June 29th), Judge Mary Devins jailed seven Shell to Sea protesters at a special sitting of Ballina District Court. The seven protesters were arrested yesterday along with two others who were released on bail. The four women and three men who were jailed were remanded to appear at court this Friday, 3 July at 10:30 in the morning. The four women's cases will next be held in Court 44 in the Four Courts, while the three men's cases will be held in Harristown. Of the nine arrested yesterday, five were arrested for a lock-on, one for a climbing a tripod, and thee others for walking across a road. A full report on the circumstances of these arrests is available here

None of the protesters had previous convictions, yet they were refused normal bail conditions. The prosecuting garda sought to have all of the protesters remanded and Judge Devins agreed with the guard in all but two of the cases. The Judge predictably sided with the prosecution's argument that the activists were likely to re-offend, and some of the protesters, with overseas addresses, may not turn up for court. To date all Shell to Sea activists have showed up to court.

Judge Devins denied and/or deferred decisions on activists' legal aid, although it was evident that some of the protesters are not able to afford legal representation. Judge Devins said, “Legal aid can no longer be dished out like Smarties.” The two who were not remanded had to undertake an order to stay out of Co. Mayo and “not return to this county until the next court case.” The two who were allowed to leave were forced to pay the court €100.

In making these decisions Judge Devins has again clearly shown her disdain and bias against Shell to Sea protesters. Sending people to jail whose first offence is to be arrested for not obeying the directions of a guard is ridiculous and unprecedented. People up and down this country are arrested for this charge every weekend and do not end up in jail, so why are Shell to Sea cases special? If Judge Devins is really interested in saving money for the country by refusing legal aid, why is she wasting public money sending protesters to jail on minor public order offences? It seems that Judge Devins has seen the massive state repression going on down in Erris, and decided to get in on the act.

If you would like to send well wishes to the 7 in prison, please post them to the camp or email them to rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com
The camp address is Rossport Solidarity Camp, Glengad, Erris, Mayo.

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