Luke Daly

Social Democrats candidate for Castleknock

How would you help get more housing built in Fingal?

In terms of housing, the big solution is building public affordable houses on public land. Finding out where we can built is the key in that and ensuring that the housing budget is spent down to the last cent. There are Local Authorities across the country not spending their housing budgets in a housing crisis we've not seen the likes of before. We cannot be re-active in terms of housing. We must be proactive to acknowledge the needs of our growing population. Our developments need to be smarter, realistic and more achievable. They also need to be built and offered at cost price. A recent Blanchardstown development was seeing a 4-bedroom home being sold off at approximately €400,000. In no realistic terms is this affordable to families. Being proactive in our approach to housing is the correct measure. A failure in housing policy spanning decades is the result of reactive policy.

In terms of providing more homes in Fingal aside from new builds. There are 5,000 vacant homes across Dublin, while we are in the middle of a housing crisis. This extends also to derelict and hyper commercial airbnb-esque style housing. These need to be heavily cracked down, regulated and be let into the market, same with vacant land with dormant planning permission. This needs to be taken away when it is left idle. There are also 120,000 students across Dublin. Many of these students are competing against families for private accommodation. Fingal County Council needs to push for student built purpose accommodation in the area. Students simply do not have the incomes to compete against families in the private market. This competition is being capitalised on by landlords which is putting pressure on our supply of rental properties driving up the cost of rentals. Finally, there is a huge, unchecked market in 'Diggs' accommodation. Where the agreement is defined under 'License Agreements' as opposed to 'Rental Agreements'. There are virtually no rights afforded to those living in owner-occupied accommodation. Aligning their rights with rental rights will create a security net for those renting, often single-parent families, elderly, students and people with disabilities. They need to be protected. Communities instead are being double and triple taxed in terms of management fees, which needs to stop. These points also illustrate the need to be in constant consultation with local communities to highlight their needs that need to be met.

Creating the points above will relieve a huge pressure on our housing market, ultimately lowering the demand and competition for housing, this will ultimately lower the cost of rents, and put money back into the pockets of our communities. Home is where the heart is, not where the head hurts.Vacant taxation currently sits at 0.3%, which doesn't go far enough to encourage development, Instead it is creating a huge allowance to drive up rental pressure points ultimately leaving our communities paying the difference. Hitting the pockets of those who hoard land is what needs to happen, and if necessary, serving CPO's on ideal public housing lands. 

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

Local communities should be the primary informant of what needs to happen in terms of amenities and services in their local areas. Communities understand what they need and it is the responsibility of councillors to follow those plans through. I believe that we should be ambitious in our approach to providing more amenities and support services in local areas. In terms of our public parks for example, they are a place of social gatherings, celebrations and community outreach. Our current parks are not up to standard as this cannot be achieved in the middle of a dark and dangerous empty field.

We need to look to the likes of installs in public toilets, safe drinking water facilities, animal friendly zones, playgrounds, sports recreational facilities, increased bins to reduce on litter build up, gazebos, reaching out to our incredibly talented artistic community to develop public art installs, increased seating, increased exercise machines to get our communities out and active, increased lighting and drainage, increase patrols in the area and installs of cameras to deter vandalism. By creating spaces our communities can be proud of and take ownership, communities protect these places, take pride in them and use them as social spaces.

In terms of community centres, there are many within development across Fingal, and it is imperative that we push for these to be developed, and for the ones in existence promoting further development and expansion. Many community centres offer creche support for families in the community. This service should be continuously expanded upon to support all families navigating the balancing act between caring for a family and being a working professional. I will also be pushing for an increase in resourcing for local community centres to engage the community more through consultation events so that everyone has equal access in having a say in their resourcing, this will increase traffic in our community centres which means creating jobs, putting more governance structures in place to ensuring more opportunities for the people in our community to further themselves as well as take part in their centres. This will in turn provide more resourcing for the community centres to provide essential services such as elderly residents outreach and inclusion programmes, support services for people with disabilities and act as activity hubs for our young people.

With regards to libraries, I work my day job with young people. I would like to conduct a feasibility into extending library hours where possible after consultations with Union and staff representatives and aligning within budgetary guidelines so to provide an additional layer of support for students, particularly those in part-time/evening education and second-level students, particularly those in exam years who need the extra time and space to study. This has a run on effects for families in the home where not everyone has a quiet space in their house, something we learned very quickly over the pandemic.

The above should be audited through accessibility also, where each member of our community can feel like they all belong in these spaces. Finally, a community notice board overhaul from the Fingal County Council website should be overhauled to become more accessible and user friendly. Where communities should be empowered to take ownership of their local groups and get involved, be it residents'associations, tidy towns committees or otherwise. It is imperative that it is accessible, easy to find information.

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

In terms of Dublin Airport's current operation, we should be extremely grateful to the workers in the airport who provide a quality service ensuring that our Céad Míle Fáilte, that Ireland is so famous for is the first and last thing you see when coming or going anywhere. In terms of Development for the Airport. We are simply behind the times. We have the only Capital Airport in EUROPE without a rail line and that is simply unacceptable. It is the main airport in the country and not having a rail-line is mind-boggling. 

We also need to take to task the idea that resident's opinions do not matter. People who live in the area need to be consulted on any new developments that are planned and the DAA need to abide by the same rules as anyone else when it comes to planning permission. Housing is difficult enough to achieve in this country, many families are losing sleep over the current state of our housing situation. The last thing they need to lose sleep over is travel paths of planes. No development can happen without taking into consideration, and serious consideration of what the residents are saying. 

In terms of sustainability, we also need to operate in a much cleaner, greener solution to our travel and operations within our airspace and air-travel. It must accommodate our green initiatives and sustainability targets. There are much more important issues to fix than further expanding our main airport. Creating transport infrastructure to effectively get to and from the airport is much more important than expanding currently. The only way to get to the airport effectively in the likes of my area in Castleknock, is getting a taxi or getting a lift, when there are multiple rain stations within walking distance. 

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

As mentioned previously with regards to cycling and footpath infrastructure. We also need to look at why our traffic congestion is so poor. We have a huge cohort of our commuters who believe the car is the handiest option, and in most cases with our current infrastructure, they're correct, but that puts a huge cost in their pockets due to unreliability and infrequency of public transport as well as the sheer lack of amenities accessing our transport. 

I'm very passionate about accessibility so one of the things I want to focus on is pushing for an accessibility audit of our local train stations. Sometimes I cannot use the stairs when using the train, or sometimes I walk with a cane due to an ongoing back injury I have. Not having a lift-system in days I can't manage the stairs means I have to walk through the park, onto the road, up onto a narrow path which pushes either myself or other pedestrians into oncoming traffic and down to the other side if I need to access the other side of the platform. Lift access is the essential link between waiting 5 minutes or upwards of an hour for another train at times. Also, where lifts are in operation, they are often locked behind a service point. Accessibility requirements are not always visible and in 2024 it's about time we break those barriers down. This also affects parents with young children/babies/prams and our elderly also. 

Other than that we need to push for the Dart West line to occur and occur quickly. Blanchardstown alone has a population of 100,000 people roughly in the area and not having adequate rail services simply is not good enough. We need to push for these developments. Similar with rumblings of potentially expanding the Luas. If we take TU Dublin for example, the Luas extends to 2/3 primary sites in the county's first TU. When I was local campus President for Blanchardstown, the transportation links to the college were so unmanageable the college had to engage in private hires to fix the gap. 

Otherwise we need to look at bus frequency and reliability as well as shelters, cameras and real time information at every one of our bus stops. It's bad enough waiting for busses that never show up, it's worse again waiting in the middle of winter when there's fierce winds and rain making the wait more miserable again. We need to look to European cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris for the likes of how they can manage their public transport so well and learn from them. Increase in routes need to happen also, to provide inter-connectivity within our community. 

Finally, while the welcoming of fare reductions were of paramount, we need to continuously push to make transport affordable for people. It cannot be cheaper to drive to Limerick or Cork from Dublin when the alternatives are much more expensive and considerably longer. 

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

In other parts of my responses to these questions I've covered footpaths, cycling and transport infrastructure. These will help create safer routes. Particularly the segregated bike and footpaths from the roads. 

In terms of traffic, we are seeing an alarming number of deaths on our roads. National average speeds on open roads like done in areas of France will help reduce congestion, but also looking at the likes of country road developments where in more rural areas of Fingal, there are dangerous roads where the speed limit is 80 which is simply too dangerous. In terms of highly residential and school zones, our speeds need to be curbed to 30Kmph along with the install of smart traffic light management as opposed to pre-programmed ones causing congestion. 

In terms of congestion and heavy-flow traffic, it causes people to rush in time to get to work, ultimately causing accidents. We need to look at also promoting car-pooling/ride-sharing, constructing more parking infrastructure near public transport routes to encourage less cars on the road,as mentioned earlier, improving the quality of our public transport. Crack down on parking near heavily congested areas where possible and feasible and again, overhaul our traffic light management system to a smart one. We also need to extend the time to cross the roads in terms of green-lighting, particularly when lights change very quickly, putting our most vulnerable in our community at risk.  

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

In terms of getting around by bike: I want to push for segregated biking lanes. This keeps vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists segregated and safe. This feeds into establishing safe school routes for our young people. I also want to include bike maintenance stops throughout our parks amenities and resourcing overhaul, as well as better biking infrastructure. I believe we should learn from Europe in all of our approaches in terms of best practice, and who better to learn from than the Biking Capital of Europe, the Netherlands in terms of planning, zoning and development as well as the likes of bike parking in developments . One thing I will also be fighting for is a crack-down on illegal parking. Illegal parking disadvantages all in society, often forcing parents with prams, wheelchair users and mobility impaired people onto oncoming traffic. Engaging with our cycling community when being ambitious in our development of the area is also of paramount importance, this among many other priorities for improving the quality of biking transport across Fingal. I believe the asks of the Irish Cycling Campaign are very reasonable and would align with my ambition to push Fingal County Council to be more ambitious in our planning of the local area.

In terms of getting around by foot: We need to, as standard, consult our communities, but furthering that we need to look at the likes of widening paths where needed, improving the quality of our paths and walkways, putting our walkways through accessibility audits that ensures every member of our community can get around without hassle. I would absolutely love to engage with local businesses to provide 'out-time' for our communities in the local area, which would potentially see our work-force enjoy some extra time in our parks over lunch when the weather permits. Similar with resident's associations through community centres organising the likes of 'Walk Wednesdays' where the local community is encouraged to get out and explore their local green-ways. This will also have a huge impact on mental health, particularly our older community. We also need to look at increased lighting, drainage and upkeep of our footpaths to ensure they are properly designed and accessible, but also consistent. The random tarmac blobs in the middle of original cobble-work is not aesthetically appealing, so consistency needs to play a part in this also.

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

As mentioned above in terms of increasing bee friendly flora, one thing I would push for a re-evaluation of the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan by experts in the area with a key mandate of being more ambitious with our programmes, exploring partial reforestation. Looking locally, we should be planning long-term for our greenways as well as incorporating more accessible public bins as well as cracking down on illegal dumping through amnesty points throughout the year that have had similarly been put in place for Halloween, this reduces the natural habitat destruction of our wildlife and local pollution reducing infestations and keeping our waterways cleaner. This will have to extend to polluters also within the business field, where excessive consumption of water, fumes etc, will be pushed to create a more environmentally friendly and ultimately carbon neutral approach to business planning. Another key element is reintroducing and continuous planting of native flora and foliage in our parks across Fingal. Ireland has a rich selection of flora, foliage and wildlife. These should be introduced into our parks across Fingal and be left alone. Rewilding areas of our parks will allow nature alone to heal, something we saw explode over COVID where cities, when less polluted, saw a very quick introduction of more wildlife in the area.

Also equipped Tidy Towns local groups with resourcing to ensure that our rewilding and increase in natural foliage increases and grows. The installation of cameras to monitor and keep track of illegal dumping will increase in surveillance of the area also making it a safer environment.

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

Consultative processes across our Local Authority Area with the likes of the National Sports Campus, Third Level Colleges, Local Sports Clubs and Residents needs to create a needs analysis for what exactly is needed. Putting up sporting infrastructure across our parks will encourage our communities to get out and active. These are low-cost, simple installs with relatively low maintenance that provide huge benefits to physical activity and exercise. This also will provide 'things to do' for young people in the area. In terms of parks, a land audit will assess building opportunities across Fingal, where we as a council can utilise these spaces as opportunities to develop and grow. Every estate across Fingal, should be within walking distance of a local park. Paired with the increase in amenities as mentioned above will provide a place for communities to gather and enjoy their public spaces.

You can find out more about my plans for all of the above and reach out directly to me by going to