Marian Buckley

Sinn Féin candidate for Swords

How would you help get more housing built in Fingal?

If elected to Fingal County Council I would work with my colleagues from across the political spectrum and council management to maximise the use of public land for social and affordable housing.
We must have strong local councils who understand the needs of the local area in terms of housing and can feed that into, what I hope, will be a Sinn Fein government after the next general election.

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

Prioritising infrastructure and amenities is crucial from the outset of planning. Our objective should be to create communities where access to essential services like shops, childcare, medical facilities, and recreational areas, as well as a reliable road network, is readily available. It's unacceptable that new housing developments in areas like Swords, Malahide, and potentially others, are lacking basic pedestrian access pathways.

Furthermore, in larger developments, amenities should be introduced in stages. This approach ensures that as residents begin to occupy their homes, they won't have to endure lengthy delays before these facilities become accessible.

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

My perspective on Dublin Airport's operations and its planned expansion highlights the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) as a significant catalyst for job creation and economic advancement in Fingal, with around 17,000 individuals employed directly and indirectly by the airport. I recognize the importance of the airport's expansion and its role as a semi-state entity obligated to comply with planning regulations and conditions, just like any other entity.

However, the daa has not fully adhered to established planning conditions, particularly concerning passenger number limits. Presently, there's an ongoing case with An Bord Pleanála regarding night-time flights, and changes in flight paths have resulted in more homes requiring sound insulation.

Legal actions have emerged, including judicial reviews initiated by the daa in response to enforcement notices from Fingal County Council, and further litigation by Friends of the Environment alongside residents' groups.

The daa’s approach towards neighbouring residents, particularly concerning noise and environmental impacts, shows a lack of proper engagement and consideration. Effective communication and engagement are crucial for the airport to address its operational needs while ensuring the health and welfare of surrounding communities are safeguarded.

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

As the Metro project proceeds to another round of public consultations, potentially leading to more expenditure and delays, there's an urgent need to establish an interconnected sustainable transport system. This should include park-and-ride options for communities currently underserved by public transportation.

Swords, for instance, has neighbourhoods developed 15-20 years ago that still lack public transport access, with recent housing areas also facing delays in bus service implementation.

Rural bus routes often leave significant gaps between stops. A comprehensive review of Fingal's transport services is necessary, aiming for a cohesive network that enhances access to key destinations like hospitals, schools, and colleges, facilitating easier travel within Fingal and beyond. Given that 70% of Fingal's workforce commutes outside the county, largely due to insufficient transport options that meet their needs, this issue is pressing.

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

To make Swords safer and more enjoyable for walking and biking, in line with Sinn Féin's focus on sustainable and accessible transportation, consider these key steps:

Expand Bike Lanes: Build more protected bike lanes to connect key areas, encouraging cycling as a safe, everyday transport option.

Upgrade pathways: Ensure pathways are wide, clear, and well-maintained, with safe, visible crosswalks across busy intersections.

Promote Safe School Routes: Support programs for safer walking and biking paths to schools, encouraging group travel with adult supervision.

Engage the Community: Involve locals in planning through consultations to pinpoint needs and preferences for walking and biking infrastructure.

Link to Public Transport: Enhance access to public transit with ample bike parking and accessible pathways to stations.

Green the City: Integrate more green spaces and street trees to beautify routes and improve air quality.

Ensure Accessibility: Make all new and upgraded paths accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.

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

Streamlining the revision of speed limits to quickly address safety hotspots is key. This includes greater collaboration with local residents who understand their neighbourhood's specific risks and needs for improved traffic management, such as speed bumps and warning signs. Sinn Féin champions community-led initiatives to ensure roads in Swords and beyond are safe and accommodating for all.

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

New developments must prioritise the integration of green areas and biodiversity efforts, including community gardens and shared green spaces. Initiating these practices in educational settings encourages young people to engage with their environment actively. Preserving and expanding green areas ensures all residents have access to natural spaces, crucial for environmental sustainability and community well-being.

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

Addressing the recreational needs of Fingal's growing population involves not only adding more parks and sports facilities in green zones but also conducting thorough needs assessments with local sports and recreational clubs. This approach ensures that new amenities meet the community's actual demands.

It's important to offer a wide range of activities beyond traditional sports, acknowledging diverse interests and the importance of quiet, inclusive spaces. Specifically, in Swords, the development of swimming facilities responds to the lack of local beach access, illustrating Sinn Féin's commitment to investing in facilities that reflect and support the community's evolving needs.