Dundrum is often viewed as Dun Laoghaire’s “poor cousin” when it comes to tourism funding, said Councillor Chris Curran (SF).
Cllr Curran told the Dundrum Area Committee meeting yesterday that Dun Laoghaire was often prioritised over Dundrum when it came to funding for tourism. He said that although Dundrum has a number of historical buildings, the county council has a tendency to focus their proposed heritage projects on Dun Laoghaire town.
“Dundrum goes above and beyond for historical monuments and buildings, and yet we tend to be ignored when it comes to these types of tourism strategies,” he said.
Cllr Curran’s claim was in response to Cllr Pat Hand’s (FG) motion to add a tourism office to Dundrum village. Cllr Hand stated that Dundrum has a huge opportunity to attract visitors and that a tourism office would work “quiet well.”
“I believe that Dundrum itself has transformed over recent years. We now have a wonderful opportunity to increase the number of people who visit this area, and we need to take advantage of that,” he told the council.
Cllr Barry Saul (FG) commended Cllr Hand’s motion and said that he would give it his full support. He agreed that Dundrum deserved more funding, and also stated that the area should have a stronger “physical presence” in the county council.
“Without making this a ‘Dundrum vs Dun Laoghaire’ issue, we need more council presence in Dundrum. The mindset right now is – Dun Laoghaire. This side is totally forgotten,” he said.
Cllr Hand proposed his motion to representatives from Destination Dublin, a tourism strategy aiming to significantly increase tourism in Dublin by 2022. They told the council to delay their proposal until a concrete marketing plan had been established for the strategy.
In other business, the council heard a major planning application from rental landlord I-RES for 14 stories of residential housing in the Sandyford area. The buildings would contain 492 housing units, a crèche, three communal courtyards, and a retail unit on the ground floor.
Cllr Deirdre Donnelly (Independent) expressed her concern for the young families already living in the area. She said that the height of the proposed units would allow its residents to “look into their gardens.”
Cllr Curran questioned whether the ventilation systems in the units would be adequate. He said that there had been problems ventilating modular units before, and that he did not want the council to keep making the same mistakes.
Cllr Curran continued to criticise the planning application after the council meeting ended. He stated that there was an unfinished building right beside the proposed area that would be just as suitable for housing.
“We want them to finish the bloody thing. It’s been there nine years, and here’s I-RES coming along and wanting to build something from the floor. And they’re both right beside each other,” he said.
The planning application is due to be finalised by November 17.