Cutting Rathmines in two

 

Sir, – The decision by the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee to draw a line right up through Rathmines Road, dividing Rathmines into two different local electoral areas, will cut this distinct and historic Dublin township in two, to be served by two different city council local area committees. Such actions exemplify the folly of centralised decision-making in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, taken by a committee of experts with little current knowledge of the area (rather than possible historical memory of a student flatland in the 1970s).

Rathmines has changed over the past two decades and is now a growing family community, struggling to assert itself as a neighbourhood and to re-establish its urban village identity. In recent years, local elected representatives, with the community, succeeded in developing the Swan Leisure Centre as a great Rathmines public community facility. We are working to re-establish Rathmines Town Hall as a council area office and neighbourhood centre.

The terms of reference for this [working group] state that, “Local electoral areas should be designed . . . around urban villages or have a neighbourhood focal point.” Many submissions to this commission also emphasised the danger of drawing lines through neighbourhoods. So how can cutting Rathmines into two separate areas be justified? – Yours, etc,

Cllr MARY FREEHILL,

Labour,

Rathmines, Dublin 6.