Ellen Murphy

Social Democrats candidate for Ongar

How would you help get more housing built in Fingal?

I think we need a county-wide land audit across Fingal to identify areas where we can build public housing on public land. I also think our planning regulations have to take into account future growth not just the current population. We have to be planning for housing demand 10-20 years in advance. In an ideal world, with the support of the government, I would like to see a national public construction company which was tasked with building local property for public use.

What would you do to help make sure adequate amenities and services would be added along with any new housing built?

Consultation with communities as part of planning will be important to make sure we put in place what is needed from community centres to green space to playgrounds. We also have to make sure all our development is accessible to the entire population which is why they have to be accessibility proofing our plans before going out to tender.

What are your views are on Dublin Airport’s current operations and its proposed expansion?

Currently, we need huge investment in transport links at the airport. Express buses from the airport to key locations are needed. The delivery of Metro North would also be welcome but in the meantime, I think dedicated, reliable and free buses from the airport direct to Dublin City, Dublin County - such as places like my home area of Dublin 15 - Kildare, Meath and Louth would be a good start. 

Having these in place could massively reduce the number of cars on the roads surrounding the airport. I personally would not be in favour of any more expansion of Dublin Airport. At the end of the day, our climate challenges are such that we need to see a reduction in the amount of commercial flights, not an increase. While I appreciate there is a lot of money to be made for airlines if we were to expand, it is not to the overall benefit of our county or our climate to do so. Local communities are also already telling us that they are struggling with noise and congestion from the airport as is and I believe the council should take that seriously.

What needs to be done to improve public transport in Fingal?

Quite simply, buses. Buses are quick to order and deliver, their routes can be changed as needed and they are the best means of reducing overall road traffic in our area. There should be no longer than a 15-minute wait for a bus in Fingal, and there should be routes around the county, not just heading in and out of the city. You should be able to get a bus from Littlepace to Hunstown to Malahide if you want, and not have to wait longer than 15 minutes for your bus to arrive.

What should be done to make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike?

An accessibility audit of all our public spaces such as footpaths, pedestrian crossings and public transport would help. Future planning for the city and towns in Fingal should have to meet accessibility requirements for everyone with mobility issues. Delineated cycle lanes with feeder lanes for bikes on busy roads would also be useful.

What should be done to make the roads safer for all road users?

In highly residential areas I think reduced speed limits would be helpful. In roads adjacent to residential areas I think 30km per hour is a reasonable limit. In Fingal, we also have a lot of narrow roads which could be widened, road signage which is in need of cleaning, and I also think extending the time allowed for green lights at pedestrian crossings should be implemented.

How would you help create more natural green spaces and promote biodiversity in Fingal?

This can not happen without planning and budgeting. There are key biodiversity areas all over Fingal from our coasts to our canal ways. Expert staff should be hired and trained to make a 50-year plan for enriching the biodiversity we have already and for how what is already in place could be enriched. One simple measure such as only planting native trees and shrubs across the county should be adopted by the council.

How would you help get more parks and sports facilities built in Fingal?

I would propose local legislation requiring a park and sports facility to be available within 5km of every housing estate. This would be part of the planning regulations if adopted by the council.