Inchicore housing: Commitment to scoping report secured

Junior Minister Catherine Byrne says lobbying for report ongoing for several months

Minister of State Catherine Byrne  hosts a meeting on Monday on a proposed development on the site of St Michael’s Estate, Inchicore, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Minister of State Catherine Byrne hosts a meeting on Monday on a proposed development on the site of St Michael’s Estate, Inchicore, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

The Government has committed to carrying out a scoping report on urban regeneration in the Inchicore and Kilmainham areas of Dublin city, following representations from Minister of State Catherine Byrne.

Ms Byrne was at the centre of a recent controversy when she indicated she might vote against Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in a no-confidence motion, due to her opposition to a housing development in her constituency.

The two had clashed over a large cost-rental housing development planned in Inchicore.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had warned Ms Byrne he would sack her from her position if she voted against the Government. Shortly before the vote she released a statement outlining that she would back Mr Murphy, following meetings with the Minister and Mr Varadkar.

Speaking at a public meeting in Inchicore on a housing development planned for the area on Monday evening, Minister of State Catherine Byrne announced she had received a commitment for a report into the regeneration of the south central Dublin area. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
Speaking at a public meeting in Inchicore on a housing development planned for the area on Monday evening, Minister of State Catherine Byrne announced she had received a commitment for a report into the regeneration of the south central Dublin area. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Speaking at a public meeting in Inchicore on the controversial housing development on Monday, Ms Byrne announced she had received a commitment for a report into the regeneration of the south central Dublin area.

Kieran Mulvey

In 2016, Kieran Mulvey was appointed to draw up recommendations for the regeneration of the north inner city, after a series of shootings related to the Hutch-Kinahan gang feud.

In a letter to Ms Byrne, Minister of State for housing and urban development Damien English said he had been tasked with “advancing a similar initiative in the Inchicore and Kilmainham area”.

The letter, received on Monday, said an independent expert would be appointed to make recommendations on how to tackle social and economic problems in the area. The expert will have a four-month deadline to complete a report.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Byrne said the process of lobbying for the report had been ongoing for several months.

She said there had been no “horse trading” in a meeting she had with Mr Varadkar over the no-confidence vote against Mr Murphy.

Tied to investment

“The process has been going on for a couple of months. When push comes to shove I feel maybe there was an opportunity for them to listen to what I was saying,” she said. The recommendations of the report would likely be tied to future investment, she added.

Gerry Jeffers chairs a meeting in Inchicore on Monday regarding a proposed development on the site of St Michael’s Estate. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
Gerry Jeffers chairs a meeting in Inchicore on Monday regarding a proposed development on the site of St Michael’s Estate. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

“There is no point in having it unless it’s going to produce a funding source, I think that commitment is very clear from the Taoiseach now, and Minister Murphy,” she said.

Dublin City Council had also committed to hold three public meetings consulting locals over the planned cost-rental housing development, Ms Byrne said. Some 30 per cent of the 470 homes will be social housing.