Robert Michael Foley
There was a time when every family payed a just rent to the Dublin Corporation. People were happy and the rented houses were of good quality. We need to get back to more affordable rents.
Homelessness is a big social issue that needs an outside-the-box solution. Dublin City Council and the government of this country are not interested. There needs to be a workable solution to this matter. I have done some work with homeless people, and I talk to at least three homeless people every day.
In my mind we need more Luas-type systems. But not at all costs, and not with the removal of mature trees, and not with the removal of public open spaces. There has to be more transport, but not at all costs to communities.
My vision is people cycling to work, or school or college, families out cycling, all in a safe cycle street or route only for bikes. No no no no cars or trucks or buses. There would be a dedicated number of routes through the city for people on bikes. Happy days for all if we can do this.
Climate change is a very urgent and important matter that cannot wait. My immediate part solution is simple. If we in this country were to wake up in the morning and do one thing to reduce the effects of climate change, I would say we should get rid of every plastic item in our houses and workplaces. This would have a major impact on the planet. The question needs action on a number of fronts by our goverment, and if there is not action within the next two years, the government will be fined by the EU.
This is my favourite topic. Litter, dumping, dog shit. The first thing I would say is it starts at all families' kitchen tables. Showing our children the correct way to dispose of different types of waste, including dog shit. I think the children get the correct guidance. Now, dumping: recently I was driving around my area and I spotted three bags that was not there three hours ago so I stopped to investigate, thinking maybe I would find an address in one of the bags. I went over to the bags ready for a search, when I discovered one bag, the middle bag was not a bag but a homeless person fast asleep, on let me say a very cold night. I put the person's bags into the car and I said we will go into town and get you a hostel bed. Wt 11.55pm I found a bed for that person. Fines for litter, dumping, and dog shit. I had a dog Sandy and with the dog you must have a shit-lifter and a bag. But the bag must be taken home and not left in the park.
In developments which I have designed there are always open spaces provided and in some sites a small playground. The Australian model should be adopted here in this country. When you build houses, a large amount or a small amount, you must provide a green space with grass, trees, shrubs, and a small or large playground for children. The larger the development then more green spaces provided so that children are no more than a determined distance from a park with a playground.
Well I am always in favour of protection of public spaces and to protect them from privatisation and make them nicer places. Now I don't just talk the talk, I can talk, but I take action as well. I was part of the restoration of Kilmainham Goal. This was done by men and women who had great insight into the future. We worked on that building for circa 20 years, and no one got a penny in pay for their work, which was blood, sweat, and at times tears. But it was all done by total volunteers people with a vision. Look at what thoses men and women left for future generations. If you have not been to Kilmainham Goal go and visit this fantastic public building and as you are walking around think of the people who restored it to its present glory. Just to say a different group of people including myself have managed to convince the Dublin City Council to purchase the Kilmainham Mill and that project is under way as we write, due to the enormous efforts of the Save Kilmainham Mill group. This mill building and site is now saved from privatisation and I am very happy to say this building will be there also for future generations to enjoy and learn about our industrial heritage. Both of the places I mentioned above are or will be nicer places due to the voluntary efforts of local committed people.