20 July 2010

Frances Fitzgerald leads the way on protecting Liffey Valley

Last week local Fine Gael Senator Frances Fitzgerald brought together members of the Liffey Valley Park Alliance and the Lucan Planning Council to meet with Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny and discuss the need for the Liffey Valley area to be protected and enhanced. This week she has again led the way in enhancing the protection of the local amenity.

Senator Fitzgerald has led the way on this issue by raising it on numerous occasions in the Senate and commissioning a report on the Valley. Local Councillors Derek Keating and William Lavelle, who were also in attendance at the meeting, will be raising the issue in the Council.

“I was delighted that Enda Kenny was able to meet with members of the Alliance and the Planning Council here in Lucan. Since then I have called on the Council to seek an extension of the Special Amenity Order for the Liffey Valley,” said Senator Frances Fitzgerald.

“As a public representative for this area I was delighted to invite Enda Kenny out to meet with the Liffey Valley Park Alliance and look at maps and drawings of this fantastic amenity that’s right here on our own doorstep,” continued Fraces Fitzgerald.

The Liffey Valley Alliance want to achieve permanent protection of the land and tap into the tourism potential it offers in order to create jobs, spin off trade for local businesses and to offer the opportunity to a much wider audience to visit this fantastic landscape.

Senator Fitzgerald, in the Senate has raised awareness of the need for the protection and the need to market and develop the areas. At her request Minister Sean Haughey recently came into the Senate to debate the Liffey Valley and he stated that the Department is soon to announce that it will further protect these lands. The Minister failed, however, to address the crucial point regarding the need for co-ordinated management of the lands.

“The lands impact on four local Councils – South Dublin, Dublin City, Fingal and Kildare County Council. A co-ordinated approach is therefore needed to enhance and protect the Liffey Valley. I believe that the OPW should lead the way in co-ordinating the management of the Liffey Valley,” explained Senator Fitzgerald.

“There was a similar situation in Belfast where the Lagan Valley impacted a number of Council areas. It has been granted status as the Lagan Valley Regional Park and been developed to attract tourism, create employment and showcase the natural landscape. Today, it is a popular and successful tourist attraction,” continued Frances Fitzgerald.

“The Liffey Valley showcases our famous Irish scenery and we need to ensure this landscapes protection and develop it into a real tourist attraction. Its proximity to Dublin makes it very accessible to tourists visiting the Capital,” concluded Frances Fitzgerald.