The Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Daniel Whooley, launched the second part of The Weather Stations for Schools project yesterday at the Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School when he presented Third Class with the first of the automatic weather stations that are being rolled out to primary schools across Fingal.Primary Schools in Fingal had the opportunity to apply for an automatic weather station which produce real time information about rainfall, temperature, wind speed and wind direction. There were 42 applications from which 16 were chosen. Cllr Whooley said: “It was fantastic to officially launch the second phase of the Weather Stations for Schools project and present the class with the automatic weather station today. This initiative is being supported by the Chief Executive’s Innovation Fund, set up January this year by the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly. Ms Farrelly said: “This is the first of four projects to be launched from the Innovation Fund this year. The Innovation fund was launched to facilitate staff submitting original ideas that can bring greater value to the Council. The Weather Stations for Schools project is a great initiative that will not only provide valuable information, but it will also help to promote an appreciation of the water cycle and climate change challenges faced by the community.” Sarah Gallagher, Head of Observations at Met Éireann, said: “Met Éireann are very supportive of the Weather Stations for Schools project. Schools can easily enter rainfall measurement and other weather information collected from their weather stations onto Met Éireann’s Weather Observations Website, WOW-IE.” The Champion Schools in our catchment are:Balbriggan Local Electoral Are- St Patrick’s SNS, Skerries and St Oliver Plunkett’s, Balrothery, Rush-Lusk Local Electoral Area - Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School and Naul National School,Howth-Malahide Local Electoral Area - Oliver Plunkett’s Primary School, Malahide, and in Swords Local Electoral Area - St Colmcille’s BNS, Swords,Holy Family SNS, River Valley, and Thornleigh Educate Together National School, Applewood.

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As part of Fingal County Council’s Commemorations programme 2018-2023 Fingal County Council’s Arts Office in association with The Irish Writers Centre recently presented – A Burning Tide – A New Commissioned Writing & Film Commission as part of Culture Night 2021, held on 17th of September 2021 at Loughshinny Boathouse. The Film is based on the writers interpretation of this historical fact. At the stroke of midnight on 18th June 1921, six Coast Guard stations on the North Dublin coast were silently approached by groups of IRA Men ready to undertake a simultaneous attack. The reason for these attacks was to secure a landing place for a shipment of arms which were being smuggled from the U.S. aboard the freighter East Side. It had been meticulously planned – the raiding parties lay in wait having cut the telephone wires to ensure no one could raise the alarm. When zero hour arrived, they rushed into stations up and down the coast, taking the Coast Guards by surprise. The Guards and their families, who lived onsite, were told to leave immediately and the stations were set alight. As dawn broke the following morning, flames were still licking what was left of the stations at Skerries, Loughshinny, Rush, Rogerstown, Portrane and Robswall. The film weaves the narratives from each new piece of writing into a series of vignettes where we see the stories unfold to create visible characters who bring us back to the events leading to the night and its aftermath in Ireland. Rory O’Byrne County Arts Officer, said “There is something about the visible qualities of the largely unchanged Fingal Coastline, where the events of the night of the 18th of June 1921, took place. The eyewitness reports prompt the imagination to fill in the gaps of the story, a small boat containing guns rowing into Loughshinny, the visual of two men saving a piano from the fire and the agreements made to start it so that nobody was harmed could only be satisfied by a writer’s mind.”.

The event programme and online registration have launched for Dublin’s first Climate Action Week (DCAW21), taking place from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th September 2021. A range of online and in-person climate action events are now open for registration at www.dublinclimateactionweek.ie. The broad range of events address the theme areas of Energy & Buildings, Transport, Flood Resilience, Nature Based Solutions, Resource Management and Citizen Engagement.The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2021 Report, categorically underlines the need for urgent action on climate change by all sectors of society. One of the highlights of the DCAW21 Programme includes a Climate Action Panel Discussion with the Chief Executives of the four Dublin local authorities, taking place online on Tuesday 14th September 2021 at 10am. A number of online film screenings are planned, and outdoor climate film screenings will take place at venues across Dublin. There are also a range of family events, including workshops for children and guided walks in public parks. The Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Mayors of South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin City Council, have jointly stated in the online Programme Promotional Video: ‘The Dublin Region is acting on climate change causes and impacts, and we are making positive changes. We’ve organised Dublin’s first ever Climate Action Week, to showcase our climate action progress to the people of Dublin and elsewhere. We’ve launched an exciting programme of events across a range of themes. There is something for everyone. You can register for these events on our Dublin Climate Action Week website www.dublinclimateactionweek.ie.(Nb: Not accessible through this medium). We invite you to join us. Discover more about acting on climate change so we are all Taking Action, Together’.

In our digital world it can be difficult for a person with low vision or blindness to use social media. ‘Jaws’ is a screen reader used by many including Guide Dog owner Tom O’Neill from Balbriggan, Co Dublin. In their video, Guide Dogs Australia highlight 3 important tips we should be familiar with.

Tip 1: Good Punctuation. Use a full stop at the end of a sentence or phrase to indicate to ascreen reader the end of the text. Example: Irish Guide Dogs. When using a symbol such as @ in an email address, each separate word should be capitalised. Example: GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com otherwise the screen reader sees a jumble of letters guidedogsbalbriggan@gmail.com.

Tip 2: High Contrast. Some eye conditions distort a person’s view of things, so colours used are important. A yellow line on a white background can be very difficult to see but a yellow line on a black background is easier to see. Use geometric shapes on advertisements.Example: A large black arrow on a white background could be used to point out important information. In Australia they use large black and white arrows to indicate where the door on a tram is. We could do something similar in Ireland on buses, Luas, DART and trains.

Tip 3: Be open and flexible. If approached by someone with low vision or blindness for help, listen to them and work out a solution to the problem together. Be open to new ideas. For any further information Contact us by phone/text: 085 7663107. Email :: GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com or. Facebook uus on ouur facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Balbriggan.Branch.of.Guide.Dogs.

Europe Direct Blanchardstown has published a series of video interviews on the topic of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.The aim of the interview series is to inform the public as to the purpose of the certificate and how it can be used to facilitate travel within the European Union. The interviews were organised by Europe Direct Manager Siobhan Walshe and recorded by Assistant Coordinator Barry O’Carroll.There were three interviewees in total:Barbara Nolan– Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland.Barbara discussed the Digital Covid Certificate from an EU perspective including the purpose of the certificate and how it will facilitate travel within the EU. Ossian Smyth - Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Minister Smyth spoke about the practical aspects of the certificate: how to obtain one; who is entitled to one and the format of the certificate.Siobhan O’Donnell- Head of External Communications, Dublin Airport Siobhan discussed how the Digital Covid Certificate would work in practice at Dublin Airport as well as practical advice for those intending to travel by air in the coming weeks and months.The full series of interviews is available to watch on the Fingal Libraries YouTube Channel https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhLZ_o7ug6_9PXKZ-VxDG9S6lXiUTw0IO. Betty Boardman, County Librarian said: “We are very grateful to Minister Ossian Smyth, Barbara Nolan and Siobhan O’Donnell for taking part in this series of interviews.Now that travel abroad has opened again, it is very important that those travelling are aware that the Digital COVID Certificate will help them to travel safely and more easily within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews organised by staff at the Europe Direct Centre at Blanchardstown Library contain trustworthy, up to date information from reliable sources”

Projected changes to the Irish climate will have implications for archaeology and built heritage. Rising sea levels, flooding and coastal erosion along with wetter winters and drier summers can be expected to give rise to structural damage to monuments and historic properties. This will mean the loss of ground adjacent to structures, exposure and erosion of archaeological sites, and collapse of unstable masonry elements. Other slow-onset risks identified include the loss of historic landscape features and decay of building fabric.The aim of this project was to apply the assessment model developed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to the Irish context, using Fingal as the pilot study area. This is the first assessment of its kind in Ireland.This GIS based project was led by a multidisciplinary steering group which provided input from the Geological Survey of Ireland, CHERISH, Dublin Metropolitan Climate Action Regional Office, Climate Ireland along with Fingal’s Heritage, Conservation and IT officers. Landuse Consultants were commissioned to assess the risk to Fingal’s cultural heritage based by analysing the likelihood and severity of risk from six categories of natural hazards: fluvial flooding, pluvial flooding, groundwater flooding, coastal flooding, coastal erosion and land instability on Fingal’s heritage assets.Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána O’Rodaigh said: ‘Climate Change poses risk to all sectors of society and Local Authorities can be at the front line of responding to these impacts. This report is an important first step in protecting heritage and archaeology for existing and future generations’.While all heritage assets are subject to some level of risk, the study has shown that over 280 sites in Fingal are at risk from multiple hazards’ said Fingal Heritage Officer Christine Baker ‘These assets include towers, bridges, houses, field systems, wells and geological sites and this project provides a baseline for us to monitor the effects of climate on our archaeological and built heritage sites’.Our pictures feature the Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh, Christine Baker Fingal Heritage Officer and David Dodd Coordinator of the Dublin Metropolitan Climate Action Regional Office (CARO). Our Images were taken at the Martello Tower Balbriggan and also an image of coastal erosion at Balbriggan Beach.

Fingal County Council is delighted to welcome €115k funding under the #OurRuralFuture Connected Hubs Scheme which will help to facilitate remote working. Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced over €8.8 million in funding under the Connected Hubs Scheme – a key deliverable of Our Rural Future. The funding will enable existing hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland. Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges.The funding will enable existing hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland. Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges. Fingal’s remote working hubs look forward to participating in the new national connectedhubs.ie platform, where remote workers can book space and services in remote working hubs across the country. The grant of €75,000 secured by Base Enterprise Centre will compliment investment already being made in the centre to upgrade its facilities and make the space within the centre more accessible and suitable to remote workers, start-up businesses and established business in the Fingal area.The funding provided will enhance remote working infrastructure at the existing Broadband Connection Points in the Liam Rogers, Applewood, Tyrellstown and Luttrelstown Fingal Community Centres. These centres will provide a space for local businessmen and women, students and entrepreneurs to work remotely within their locality in a safe friendly welcoming environment. The funding will allow for the installation of workstations, screens and technology upgrades to enhance these facilities.

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Fingal County Council received more than 1,000 submissions and surveys from members of the public in relation to the proposed route for the Royal Canal Urban Greenway. The most recent six week-long phase of consultation ended on Wednesday, July 7.This non-statutory consultation invited the public to share their views on the proposed route. Submissions were accepted through Fingal County Council’s Consultation Portal website, via survey or written submission, and written submissions were also accepted by post.The Royal Canal Urban Greenway is a proposed pedestrian and cycle route along the Royal Canal tow path. Throughout the course of the consultation Fingal County Council provided the public with access to user friendly images and videos of the proposed Greenway as well as a large number of technical drawings and reports relating to the project. These items remain online, along with recordings of two public information webinars delivered during the consultation period.The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, said: “It is important that citizens engage in the public consultation process and let their views be known. The response to the Royal Canal Urban Greenway consultation shows the level of interest in the project and it is great that so many took the opportunity to participate.”Fingal County Council is now engaged in reviewing, moderating and publishing all submissions on their consultation portal. Moderation involves the redaction of a submitter’s personal details prior to publication. Due to the high level of public engagement this process is expected to take a number of weeks. Fingal County Council staff have already begun this work with 375 submissions now live on the consultation portal.The design team will consider all submissions received and assess how to best address the various issues raised. This process will include discussions with other stakeholders, which may include local residents, landowners, the National Transport Authority, Waterways Ireland and Irish Rail.

Fingal County Council has launched the public consultation stage of the proposed policy on play provision for the young people of Fingal. Titled, “Space for Play – A Play Policy for Fingal”, the policy developed by the Council’s Parks & Green Infrastructure Division aims to provide a framework for the provision of safe, accessible, inclusive, natural and engaging play spaces for all children & adolescents up to the age of 17. The purpose of the consultation process is to provide an opportunity, to all interested parties, to examine the proposed guiding principles of play provision, how play sits within the planning framework and the objectives of the policy and to make comments or suggest changes as appropriate. Providing excellent play facilities for all the children of Fingal and visitors to the County, is a priority for the Council. Fingal County Council currently manages a network of play spaces on Council managed land ranging from playgrounds of various scales in local and regional parks, to Multi Use Games Areas and skate parks. The Play Policy will provide the basis on which the current and future play provision throughout the County will be developed to the highest quality in line with international best practice.The draft Play Policy document has been prepared in the context of the Council’s Open Space Strategy, “Keeping it Green”; the Fingal Development Plan, 2017-2023; the UN Convention on Human Rights; the National Play Policy – Ready Steady Play and the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion, 2007-2016. The council values submissions and feedback on the proposed Policy to ensure the document best reflects the needs of the community it is intended to serve. The draft Policy is available to view and make submissions on through the Council’s Online Consultation Portal from 15th July until the 6th August 2021.

A Fingal Skills Strategy Implementation Group has been set-up to deliver the objectives of the Fingal Skills Strategy, which was published in 2019.The Group is chaired by Siobhan Kinsella, former President of both Chambers Ireland and Fingal Chamber and a director at the Noel Recruitment Group. Ms Kinsella was also Chairperson of the Fingal Skills Strategy Advisory Group which originally produced the Fingal Skills Strategy, the first of its kind in Ireland.The Implementation Group brings together representatives from education and training providers, employers and industry, government agencies and Fingal County Council to ensure that Fingal has the right skills for the future.The Implementation Group is starting to implement the recommendations of the Fingal Skills Strategy, taking a fresh approach in light of the post-Covid-19 environment, and will support and actively promote on-going engagement between enterprise and industry and education and training providers, as well as Fingal County Council.The Group will seek to ensure education and training provision aligns with industry needs and that there is a pathway to skills acquisition so that skills are offered in a complementary manner with minimal duplication. Its mandate includes regularly reviewing emerging and future skills needs within the county.The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, said: “As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to be aware of the skills needed within our Labour force has never been greater and it’s great to see the Implementation Group up and running and actively looking at aligning the provision of courses by educational institutions with the demands of industry.” The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “As the local authority with the youngest population in Ireland, Fingal is looking to embed our Skills Strategy amongst industry and academia because the report showed a skills gap across all sectors which we need to close to ensure Fingal remains a primary location to invest, or grow a business, in.” The group is meeting quarterly and at its second meeting, which was held recently, there were presentations from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Educational Training Board, Fingal Chamber Skillnet and LinkedIn on the services they offer.