Let the contest begin as candidates slug it out on the campaign trail in Dublin Mid West

By Maurice Garvey

TRANSPORT, housing and crime are key issues candidates are facing on the doorsteps, as the campaign trail for the Dublin Mid West by-election heads into its final week.

Up to 13 candidates have been knocking on doors across the constituency of Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Rathcoole and Saggart, in the hope of securing a vote.

Round Tower Village Ben Ryan compressor

Thirteen candidates­ battle it out for the by-election on Friday, November 29 to replace Frances Fitzgerald, MEP

Mid West has grown significantly in recent years, and a current population of approximately 110,000 is set to increase rapidly in the years ahead.

This presents major concerns for residents regarding the integrated approach to planning and public transport.

Traffic gridlock is already a massive problem on local and national roads – particularly the N4 which is a major artery to the city for people travelling in from further afield.

Early morning buses are often unable to pick anyone up due to being at full capacity – a picture this week doing the rounds on social media showed a hundred people waiting at the 25 bus-stop in Dodsboro, Lucan at 7am.

Meanwhile, residents are skeptical that BusConnects – the redesign of the bus network – will improve commutes.

Lucan Murder Scene compressor

Emergency services at the shooting in Lucan last week

“They say they have modified and added some improvements after the public consultations, but some of it doesn’t meet requirements,” said Cllr Liona O’Toole.

“The bus routes 25A/B will be pulled back to Adamstown, but Adamstown was supposed to have these services anyway.”

Housing is another key issue. Like other areas of the city, there just isn’t enough houses being built to meet demand.

Cllr O’Toole believes new approaches as to how people can buy homes, would provide people with the opportunity to rent from the council, and pay off an affordable mortgage in that property.

Save Rathcoole woodlandsDSC 1771 compressor

Planning issues in Rathcoole

The area has experienced a stark increase in the number of high-profile murders in recent years – including the discovery of a man’s body in a quiet Lucan estate on Monday.

Earlier this year, The Echo reported that there was just one patrol car for Clondalkin, and at a recent policing meeting for Lucan and North Clondalkin, the majority of residents felt anti-social behaviour had got worse in the last 12 months.

“The increase of anti-social crime is a concern and appears to be happening more,” acknowledged Cllr O’Toole.

Candidates running in the Dublin Mid-West by-election on Friday, November 29 - David Gardiner (WP), Cllr Peter Kavanagh (GP), Cllr Paul Gogarty (Ind), Charlie Keddy (Ind), Peter Madden (Ind), Cllr Emer Higgins (FG), Anne-Marie McNally (SocDems), Cllr Shane Moynihan (FF), Cllr Ruth Nolan (Ind4Change), Kellie Sweeney (PBP), Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind), Cllr Mark Ward (SF), Joanna Tuffy (Lab). 

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