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Cllr Francis Timmons – Independent Voice

I strongly condemn the Mindless vandalism to St Josephs Graveyard at the weekend sadly my motion last December was ignored when i asked that Kelland Homes be made put a higher wall around this historical site. Mount Saint Joseph’s  Cemetery is now a Protected Structure under the County Development Plan 2016-2022 and i don’t feel SDCC is doing enough to protect it.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

”In regards to Mount St. Joseph Cemetery, this area committee asks that SDCC contact Kelland Homes and request that Kelland Homes

1) Investigate the heightening of wall of Graveyard – this would protect inner structure and

2) Ask Kelland Homes to put a new layer of stones in Graveyard – prior to SDCC taking the Ruins in charge.

Also to ask that SDCC Heriatge officer meet with Clondalkin Tidy Towns to advise and discuss restoration of Mount St.Joseph Cemetery”


The condition of the walls at Mount St Joseph’s Cemetery were discussed with Kelland Homes at a recent site meeting. The Developer has been requested to make good the tops of the walls and to ensure that they are suitably capped so that the structural integrity of the walls remains intact. Given that the cemetery is surrounded by an existing fence, there are no proposals to raise the height of the walls.

The Developer has recently carried out works to restrict access to the two underground copses and erected gates at both openings. Further works that have been requested include the removal of vegetation from the grounds inside the walls of the cemetery, however, the application of a new layer of stone is not something that the developer has been requested to provide. This matter can be assessed if required after the open space and cemetery have been taken in charge.

The Heritage Officer will contact the Clondalkin Tidy Towns Group to assist where possible and advises that as Mount Saint Joseph’s  Cemetery is now a Protected Structure under the County Development Plan 2016-2022, the Group will also need to liaise with the Council’s Architectural Conservation Officer with regards to any proposed works or projects they wish to undertake on the site.

New Library in North Clondalkin

Posted by Francis on May 11, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 

The New Library in North Clondalkin


Qu (2) Submitted By: Councillor F. Timmons Item ID: 53674
Date Submitted: 24/04/2017 Owners: Bernadette Fennell
“To ask for a full update report on the Library in North Clondalkin and to ask that updated drawing are included in the report and timescales and costs involved?”

The New Library in North Clondalkin will offer multi-functional services and events to adults, young adults and children and will bring a much needed community, recreational and educational resource to the area.

The library will issue to tender in summer 2017 with a view to commencing work on site by the end of 2017

The Library is expected to be completed on target and will be opened in early 2019.

It is envisaged that this library will open for 54.5 hours per week over six days with four late openings and open all day Friday and Saturday.

There will be 3 Individual rooms – an I.T. training room, conference room and a smaller meeting room.

The main library hall will include a children’s library (dedicated area) and an adult area. There will be a specific digital area for IT, free internet access PCs, printing facilities, multi-media stock and self-service stations. There will also be an exhibition space, study area with laptop connection points and an adult reading area.

The New Library in North Clondalkin Site Layout


Cyberbullying and children

Posted by Francis on May 8, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 


Monday, May 08, 2017


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

”In regards to Cyberbullying and children , we ask SDCC

1) That SDCC look at what can be done in Libraries in all of SDCC to combat this growing and worrying issue. To ask that a campaign be looked at to deal with this issue that poses a serious threat to many children within our area. This should include all types of Social Media.

2) That SDCC write to the Minister for Children , Minister for Justice and Minister for Education and ask that they work together to combat this serious matter with both Legislation and an Education programme in our schools and Education campaign for Parents”


1) Libraries are aware of the dangers of Cyber bullying and have safeguards in place with regard to our public internet usage and Wifi in all our libraries. Advice for parents is available on the library website http://www.southdublinlibraries.ie/our-services/childrens-zone

However, parents need to be vigilant and need to monitor the Apps and websites that their children are accessing.

To help parents the library service will organise workshops next autumn. These workshops, facilitated by Barnardos, will last one hour plus time for questions. Parents will be offered an opportunity to consider how they can increase their child’s online safety and what to do if they suspect their child is experiencing cyber-bullying.

Parents will be provided with take home information that offers the most up to date information in relation to the apps their child may be using and associated safety considerations.

2) If the Motion is passed a letter will issue to the appropriate Ministers, and when a reply is received it will be issued to the Members.

My Response

One in five Irish children has been bullied online, according to research. Recent research Of the children who experienced cyberbullying, one third also reported feelings of depression related to the abuse. Its also very concerning the rising trends of children self harming.

The research shows gross inconsistencies between parents’ reporting of child cyberbullying, as only one in ten adults said their son or daughter had been a victim of cyberbullying.

According to the research, 51% of the online bullying happens to children on Facebook; some 14% said they had been bullied on Instagram.Approximately 29% of girls said they had been bullied on Snapchat, while 16% of boys reported being harassed on this platform.

These reports are despite all three social media platforms claiming to have robust reporting procedures in place to deal with this type of behaviour.

The bullying of women is more prevalent, with one in four reporting having been body-shamed online.

The online bullying related to numerous behaviours, with one third of people saying that someone had spread lies or rumours about them on the internet.

Some 18% of respondents said an embarrassing photograph of them had been posted online and 35% reported receiving threatening text messages or emails.

Almost two thirds of Irish teenagers described cyberbullying as being worse than face-to-face bullying while just over half said it was a bigger problem than drug abuse for young people.

People were also asked how they dealt with the harassment — “unfollowing” or “unfriending” was the main action taken that victims had taken.

One article quotes a childcare worker as saying “There are a number of factors that contribute to this, ranging from short-circuited early play stages to an immersion in a virtual and online world where nothing feels real.”  “What this means is that I see a photo you post of yourself online and I comment that you look like a troll. Then I log off and go about my life and I do not pause to consider that when you log on and read what I wrote that you will have an emotional response that I am, at least in part, responsible for.”

“As a result of decreasing empathy and reflective functioning we are seeing higher incidences of online bullying and lower self-esteem in this demographic than ever before.”

I have seen some messages that parents have been able to get screen shots of including ”Go Home and Kill yourself” and ”Drink a bottle of Bleach” all very harmful messages,

I am very happy with the response and urge SDCC to play a big part in an anti-cyberbullying campaign, I have a similar motion down at the last area meeting to urge this throughout SDCC and I ask that we write to ministers for education to roll out training in the schools and the Minister for Justice for a change in laws.

Emergency Motion 2/5/17

“That SDCC calls on The Department of Health not to give ‘sole’ ownership of the new €300 million State-funded National Maternity Hospital to The Sisters of Charity as they were one of 18 residential institutions that is highlighted by the Ryan report 2009 to have been responsible for child abuse and They still owe €3 million to the redress scheme for its survivors. The Sisters of Charity, along with three other religious congregations, were responsible for the management of Magdalene Laundries. In 2013 they stated they would not be making ANY contributions to the State redress scheme to the women who had been subject abuse in the Magdalene Laundries. The Department of Health now want to give ‘sole’ ownership of the new €300 million State-funded National Maternity Hospital and we as a council strongly object to this”

My Response:

I read and here with dismay that ‘’The Sisters of Charity’’ are to be given ‘sole ownership’ of the new National Maternity Hospital – the same order that ran the dreadful institution i lived in (Madonna House in Blackrock) and the same nuns that managed Magdalene laundries across Ireland, Have we learned nothing it’s disgusting and disgraceful and another huge slap in the face for Survivors.

Can someone please separate the church and state in Ireland ? There needs to be an immediate separation of church and state there is no place for Church involvement in our healthcare , education etc. If people still want to practice Catholicism than they are free to do so but the state and its elected officials are there to look after everyone in the state. Never again should we allow the church to have such control.

Someone Please tell me this is just a nightmare and I and have woken up in 2017 in modern republic Ireland where the grip of the church is a thing of the past?

medicinal cannabis

Posted by Francis on May 2, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 


Tuesday 2nd May , 2017


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

That SDCC calls on the Minister for Health to legalise medicinal cannabis for Vera Twomey cause and all the people out there with chronic pain, MS and cancers by Medical Prescription.


If the Motion is passed a letter will issue to the appropriate Minister, and when a reply is received it will be issued to the Members.

My Response:

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) report advised that, if a policy decision is taken to permit cannabis under an access programme, it should be for the treatment of patients with:

  • Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis resistant to all standard therapies and interventions whilst under expert medical supervision.
  • Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, despite the use of standard anti-emetic regimes whilst under expert medical supervision.
  • Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy that has failed to respond to standard anticonvulsant medications whilst under expert medical supervision.

The report stated that patients accessing cannabis through the programme should be under the care of a medical consultant and medical information and utilisation data should be kept on a central register.

Vera Twomey did a 260km walk from her home to the Dáil as a protest against decisions to restrict her daughter Ava, who has rare form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome, from accessing the drug.

Ava, suffers dozens of seizures on a daily basis, and Vera is asking for access to CBD oil costing around €300 a month.


End Direct Provision

Posted by Francis on April 19, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

“That this Committee once again condemns the system known as Direct Provision and the Centre known as the Towers in Clondalkin. We recognise the dignity and rights of every human being to a home and safe place to live and work.  We call  for the end of the ‘Direct Provision’ system and the introduction of a humane reception system in line with international best practice. We commit again to write to the Minister for Justice.”


If the motion is passed, the matter will be referred to  Minister Fitzgerald for her attention, and when a reply is received, the Committee will be notified accordingly.

My Response:

A Direct Provision center in the Clondalkin area, houses more than 200 people. This is my 9th Motion on the issue.

I think in 20 years’ time, this is going to be a huge source of regret, this is going to be a scandal like the Magdalene Laundries – where we kept people against their own will. We need to learn from the past. This is taking place on our doorstep.

We have had children going to school very upset because they have witnessed scenes of violence as these deportations occur. These children are already traumatized and stigmatized because of where they live. They are marginalized.

In DP centres families usually share a single bedroom, leaving privacy virtually impossible. It must be a “nightmare” for parents to raise children in the centres.

a young mother who lives in a DP centre, explains that it is very difficult to provide for her daughter.

“She always sees me crying and she says ‘Mummy, what’s wrong? Don’t worry, you’re going to get those papers one day.’

“She is different from other kids because she lives in the hostel. She can never bring her friends home. I can never afford to buy her anything she wants. … she wants to go swimming, I cannot afford it.

Like any other kid she wants to do activities … all of these things that make her a normal kid, I cannot afford them. It affects her when she comes home and says ‘Mummy, oh my God, can we go to McDonald’s?’ but we can’t. Little things, sometimes it could be  new shoes … I can’t provide for my daughter.

she is studying through an NGO, but often can’t afford to eat at college.

“I’m always alone in the library because I can’t afford to mingle in the canteen. I don’t eat anything, I don’t have the money.”

There are set meal times in DP facilities and if a person misses one of these, they often do not eat.

Sometimes by the time I come back the kitchen has closed, I just go to bed hungry because what’s the point? The food is already gone. I just live like that. You can cry, but there is nobody to cry to. You just suck it in and wait for tomorrow. That’s the life, nobody really cares. I’ve just got used to [not eating].

The people who live in Direct Provision in Ireland, want an end to the system of institutionalised accommodation for asylum seekers, known as Direct Provision

More than 400 people who have been granted asylum are still living in direct provision centres because they have been unable to find suitable or affordable accommodation.

The total number in direct provision to the end of March to 4,463

The direct provision system was established in April 2000 and sees asylum seekers accommodated in privately-operated centres . Meals are provided and asylum seekers are entitled to €19.10 per adult per week, with a lower rate for children. Eight contractors operating the network of direct provision centres were paid a total of €43.5 million last year.

Under our Constitution all citizens are equal. I also believe that Direct Provision contravenes Article 8 of the UN Declaration of Human rights which states a Right to respect for private and family life and Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states Everyone has the right to work, 6 key areas of focus are Education; Poverty; the Right to Family Life; Health; Home and an End Institutionalised Living.

We have had the horrific cases of Abuse, the dreadful Magdalene Laundries, The Mother and Baby homes, the Children sold to other countries etc. I believe the scandal that is Direct Provision will be a Major source of regret in 20 Years if we don’t take action. We need to learn from the past. This is taking place on our doorstep.

Update on Passport Services

Posted by Francis on March 31, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 

Update on Passport Services

Some Key points re the new online passport application system:
• The service is available to adult citizens over 18 years of age who already have a passport.
• Applicants need a digital photograph, an email address and a credit/debit card to apply online.
• The target turnaround time for online passport renewals is ten (10) working days (i.e. two weeks) plus postage (the postage time will depend on the location of the applicant).
• Applicants will have the choice of capturing photos for their applications either:
a) via their personal computers, tablets or mobile phones; or
b) by using a “Photo-Me” booth available throughout the country (please visit www.passportphoto.ie for a list of Photo-Me photo booth locations); or
c) uploading a digital photo provided by going to a photo provider (e.g. a photographer or pharmacy) who can provide a digital photo on a CD, USB or by e-mail.

In respect of all of these options, our software will confirm if the photo meets the required standards.  Applicants are advised to consult the guidelines in advance on www.dfa.ie/passportonline

• A standard passport book online costs €80.
• A large passport book online costs €110.
• A passport card costs €35.
• It is less expensive to apply for a passport book and card at the same time (€10 reduction in cost).
• Full details: www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/passport-fees

Other channels for passport applications:

It is essential that applicants use the correct channel when applying for a passport.

Best Practice

Application numbers are particularly high this year and applicants are reminded to check the validity of their passport before booking travel.

As a matter of best practice we recommend that applicants allow six weeks for a passport application to be processed (this allows for issues that arise from time to time to be addressed without impeding travel arrangements.  For example difficulties can arise where applications are incomplete or where photos are of insufficient quality).

Passport Express

The Passport Express channel for renewing passports through the post office network on the island of Ireland will continue to operate as normal.  The turnaround time for properly completed renewal applications is current 16 working days (one day over the advised guideline).  We are working to restore the turnaround time to 15 working days.

First time applications take longer due to additional anti-fraud measures.  Please note that at present first time applications are not eligible for online applications.

Since March 2016, adult first time applicants are required to have a Public Services Card (PSC).  First-time adult passport applicants who currently do not currently have a PSC can obtain one through a secure process of in-person registration via their local Department of Social Protection office. Details of relevant documents needed to complete the PSC registration process and an online appointment booking service are available via www.MyWelfare.ie.

The current turnaround time for first time applications through Passport Express is 25 working days.  We are working to reduce the turnaround time to 20 working days and we expect the introduction of the new online renewal service to be of benefit in this regard.

Urgent Travel

Applicants can also request to have an application expedited in the case of very urgent travel within three days.

There are a limited number of these rapid renewal appointments available in the Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork through the online system (www.passport.ie ) and they are posted at 12.30pm the day before.

Applicants are required to show proof of travel as evidence of the need to expedite the application.

A fee of €70, which is additional to the applicable fee for the issue of a passport, must be paid by the applicant.

An expedited service is not provided in first-time adult applicant cases and cannot be guaranteed where an applicant cannot produce his/her previous passport due to loss or theft.

Cases where a passport is required for travel necessitated by an emergency such as the death or illness of a family member receive the highest priority.

In line with child protection legislation, special conditions apply in respect of children’s passport applications.  For the Rapid Renewal of child applications, both parents/all legal guardians of the child must attend the appointment to submit the application at the Passport Office. Guardians must have valid photo ID.

Emergency cases

This service is applicable where urgent travel is required due to the death or serious illness of an immediate family member (parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, spouse/partner) abroad, or where immediate travel is required for emergency medical treatment abroad. An appointment is not required in this case. The person(s) travelling should present themselves as early as possible at the Passport Office with fully completed and witnessed application and photos, plus any other supporting documentation required.

In the case of bereavement or serious illness of a family member abroad, supporting documentation will be required to allow for the passport to issue. This can be a letter from the hospital, doctor or funeral director dealing with the bereavement abroad.

In the case of emergency medical treatment abroad, a letter from the attending doctor, surgeon or hospital will be required. The emergency fee is normally waived under these circumstances.

How to Track an Application

The current status of an application can be checked online, using the 11 digit application number. www.dfa.ie/passporttracking.

The applicant accessing the online tracking service will be given an estimated issue date.  Please note that while this date is as accurate as possible, it is not a service delivery guarantee.

Further changes announced today – revised fees:

The fees charged are the same as for Passport Express with a reduction of €10 for applicants who apply for a passport book and card at the same time online.

There is no change to the standard Passport Express and full statutory fees since 2013.

All children’s passports will now be valid for five years at a cost of €30 via Passport Express and may be applied for using Passport Express. The three-year passport for infants is no longer available.

The extension of the five year passport to all children who are seventeen years of age or younger is another notable development aimed at improving customer service, in this case to the parents of young children.

The standardisation of children’s passports will result in less confusion among parents about expiry dates on children’s passports and more efficiencies for the passport service.

Our passport fees continue to offer very good value for money, particularly in comparison to charges in other comparable countries.

Full details about revised Passport fees can be found be visiting www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/passport-fees

Other innovations to highlight:

Passport Card

The award winning Passport Card is a credit sized card which can be applied for by any adult with a valid Irish passport book (which must have more than 3 months left to run).  It can then be used as a passport by citizens travelling to 31 countries in Europe.

The Passport Card is accepted as a Passport by the following European countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
For more details see: https://www.dfa.ie/passportcard/
Travel Advice and Registration

Before booking a trip, prospective travellers should consult the Travel Advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  This is available on our website (https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/) and via a free App TravelWise

Citizens are also reminded to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before travelling, especially if travelling to high risk destinations.  This allows our consular services to contact citizens in case or emergency.  Details are only retained for the duration of the trip abroad.    See:  https://citizensregistration.dfa.ie/

Free Passport renewal reminder service

The Passport Service offers a free email reminder service to passport holders whose passports are due for renewal and I urge colleagues to promote use of this facility where possible.  See: https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/when-should-i-apply-for-a-new-passport/

Please complete ALL of the following applicant detail fields

➢ Surname:
➢ First forename:
➢ Date of birth:
➢ Passport tracking number:
11 digit application number. Available on pages 1, 3 & 4 of the application form.
Also Available on the removable application code label on page 4 of the application form. If unavailable, please provide the following:
Place of birth:
Birth surname of mother:
Date application lodged:

➢ Method of Passport application: i.e. Passport Express, Public counter etc.
➢ Date of travel:
➢ Was proof of travel submitted with the application?
➢ Please provide the reason why the passport is required before estimated issue date:
➢ Further details if relevant:
➢ Name of the requesting member of the Oireachtas:
➢ Date:
●   I am submitting this request on behalf of the applicant, or the applicant’s legal guardian.

Passport Service Contact Details

The Passport Office Dublin is located at Knockmaun House, 42-47 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, DO2 TN83.

Customer Service Queries

Phone: (01) 6711633 Dublin or (021) 4944700 Cork
Twitter: @PassportIRL
Web-chat is available through our website www.dfa.ie/passport

The Passport Service Dublin
Passport Office
Knockmaun House,
42-47, Lower Mount St,
Dublin 2,
DO2 TN83

Out of hours Duty Officer can be contacted in emergency situations only (i.e. medical emergency/bereavement) at the following:
Phone: (01) 4082000

This is the main contact number for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Please request the Passport Duty Officer.

Tuam Revelations

Posted by Francis on March 18, 2017
Posted in National & International Issues 

I like all the country found the recent revelations about a mass grave at Tuam very upsetting , It made me both sad and angry. It hit me with the stark reality that I was in the care of Nuns (The Sisters of Charity) I could of been one of those children that died of Malnutrition etc. and buried without dignity and respect. The Horror of Tuam is sadly only the start.

Mothers and their Children where not listened to now they need time and space to tell their story and for Ireland to Listen to their Truth.

There is 188 institutions and some will have similar graves on the grounds. The Terms of Reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters must be widened to include all institutions. We need answers . we need to know why children died of Malnutrition ? why where they buried in this manner? who is responsible for this awful situation ? remember the last Magdalene Laundry only shut in 1996.

Where is the Church on this ? why have they not come on National television and explained their actions? The Catholic Church needs to explain itself and its actions.

Please remember the Mammy’s that wanted their children and the children that wanted there Mammy’s

I welcome talk of Transitional Justice by Minister Zappone and will look forward to engaging in this process. Now is the time for Truth and Justice.

decriminalise drug use next!

Posted by Francis on December 6, 2016
Posted in National & International Issues 

I support the Medicinal cannabis bill and I Believe that there should now be a bill to decriminalise drug use. Addiction should be treated through a medical route and not through the courts.

My thoughts and solidarity lie this week with a young lady who suffered a Horrible Rape Involving 3 people. Rape is an Horrendous crime and those responsible must face the Justice system as soon as possible.

I am appealing to anyone with information please come forward – Gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the assault to contact them at Ronanastown Garda Station on 01 666 7700.