Dublin cycling officer retains job

 

Ireland's only local authority cycling officer’s jobs is safe for another six months after Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan asked Dublin City Council to extend the employment contract.

There was consternation among the capital’s cycling community when it emerged at the weekend that Ciarán Fallon was set to lose his job before Christmas because Dublin City Council had been instructed by Mr Hogan’s Department not to fund the position any further.

However, Mr Hogan today granted Mr Fallon a reprieve by asking the local authority to extend the cycling officer’s post for a six month period. He also requested that the Council consult with the National Transport Authority and report back “on how the promotion of cycling

in Dublin should be addressed in the longer term”, a spokesman for the Department confirmed.

Funding for the post was initially provided against official advice by Mr Hogan’s predecessor as environment minister, John Gormley of the Green Party.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council confirmed that it was the Council’s intention that Mr Fallon should continue as the cycling officer. The spokesman also said the Council would consult with the NTA, as requested by Mr Hogan.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin South-East Eoghan Murphy, who lobbied for the retention of the position, welcomed what he described as a “positive result” today.

“It is of the utmost importance that we have someone dedicated to this role. The Dublinbikes scheme has proved to be a very popular initiative from Dublin City Council, with an annual turnover in excess of €400,000. It is crucial that we have someone with the right vision at the helm of the operation ensuring its continued success,” Mr Murphy said.

“A dedicated cycling officer is the very least that the city needs if we are to follow in the steps of other bike friendly European cities by providing a cheap, congestion free and healthy commuting option.”