Dublin city recovery team revamp after just four days

Lack of women and councillors on taskforce ‘unacceptable’, according to representatives

A taskforce set up just four days ago to steer the recovery of Dublin city from the Covid-19 pandemic will be reconstituted following the annoyance of councillors over its gender balance and political representation.

The council last week announced the establishment of the taskforce to help get the city back on its feet once Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The group, headed by council chief executive Owen Keegan, was made up of senior council officials along with one councillor, Fianna Fáil's Claire O'Connor, who chairs the economic development and enterprise committee.

Of the other seven members of the committee, just one was female, Mary Taylor, executive manager of the south side of the city.

Councillors on Monday night demanded there would be more councillors and more women on the taskforce

A cross-party emergency motion stated “the current proposed membership on both gender and political representation levels is unacceptable.”

The taskforce will now include the chairwoman of the council's arts and culture committee Cat O'Driscoll of the Social Democrats, traffic and transport chairman Independent Cllr Christy Burke and Green Party Cllr Michael Pidgeon who chairs the climate-change committee. The councillors are also seeking a 50-50 gender balance on the committee.

The taskforce aims to “shape a physical, economic, social and cultural recovery strategy for the city post-Covid-19”.

Public toilets

Its primary focus will be on the city’s economic core, specifically the non-residential areas between the Royal and Grand Canals to the north and south, and from the docklands in the east to Heuston station in the west.

The taskforce will co-ordinate internal council services involved in the recovery as well as liaising with the city’s businesses, social and cultural organisations and gardaí.

Chief among its plans will be the promotion of outdoor trading and dining, rollout of public toilets, events organisation, a policing and safety strategy, and promoting and “lobbying on behalf of the city centre”.

Strategies will also be devised for transportation.

“The overall objective is to contribute to the recovery of the city centre by creating a roadmap for the delivery of the city council’s vision in line with the Government’s plans for relaxing Covid-19 restrictions and for reopening the economy,” the council said.

The initiative will continue until December 31st, at which stage it will be subject to review.