Malahide viaduct collapse. Report & Confusion

The August 21st 2009 accident was a very narrow escape from a major rail disaster and potential loss of lives in North County Dublin.The central finding of the independent report commissioned by Irish Rail into the viaduct collapse is very troubling because it is critical of a practice that should not be and is not common practice in engineering. The finding says that the staff at Irish Rail did not pass on knowledge of the structure which is one of the oldest viaducts of railways worldwide. This recommendation that staff should pass on this knowledge flies in the face of engineering logic. The perceived wisdom in engineering would be that a bridge book and drawings persist to convey technical information about the structure and not human resources.

The report states that it is difficult to determine the foundations under water, but it is highly unlikely that piers made of stones of this age were piled.

Land development and climate change is cited as potential cause of water flow change. Any development across this water way could have altered the water flow to the weir. Scapegoating retired or departed staff for not passing on information will not prevent this happening again. Adherence to science, records and engineering best practice would be a better focus for future prevention of incidents of this magnitude.

Posted via email from web lab

clever dishes run away with the spoon

sky auto standbyNot often do I have something nice to say about $ky. But this time the $avings are yours and the environment! The digibox will now go on auto standby night & day if not used for a period, cutting 14-18volts of power to the LNB on the arm of your dish, Sky expect to reduce their (your collective) carbon footprint by 90,000 tonnes (a year?).

Telly addicts fear not you can turn off auto standby. Sky explain “if you regularly watch TV in the early hours of the morning it is possible to permanently switch off Auto Standby by using an option in the Settings menu of the Sky Guide. Go to Services, 5 – Sky+ Setup, Auto-Standby: set to off”

Developer halted at Edros site Howth

Back in January Socialist Party local representative in Malahide-Howth Brian Greene battled to save the zoning of the old Edros site in Howth as the County Manager and the local councillors tried to push through a material contravention and allow for the building of 60+ apartments on amenity lands. The developer & council succeeded and granted planning permission despite the objections of locals & the socialist party councillors on the council. The despicable material contravention was supported by all the main parties including the 3 local councillors David Healy (GP) Joan Maher (FG) Michael J Cosgrave
(FG).

Brian Greene Socialist Party
Brian Greene Socialist Party

Nine months later (29/09) An Bord Pleanala REFUSED the permission that was granted by Fingal County Council. The Board agreed with their inspectors report, and numerous local objections and the Socialist Party position re material contravention.

The report from the board and local objections mention the run down state of the disused site and queries why the council has FAILED to act using its power under the Derelict Sites Act 1990 to force the owner to clean the site. Neither the community of Howth nor the Board are fooled by planned dereliction. The report also disagrees with the material contravention, ruling that the Open Space zoning that the site enjoys must not be built on along the lines of the planning application it refused. The inspector says in the report “In my opinion a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) would receive strong support, given that use for recreation / open space / amenity purposes is in accordance with the zoning objectives in the adopted Development Plan”. This material contravention and wholesale destruction of a community amenity in Howth has been led by the current & out going county managers and local councillors. Questions will be asked to the Manager in the coming weeks about this.

Residents of Howth must seize this opportunity to reclaim this site which was gifted to them, only to be sold to a developer by the council after the sports centre ran into difficulties. 100’s of Howth
residents had paid into the scheme over the years and all the benefits were returning to a local property developer. I will be calling on Fingal to CPO this land back from the developer at current zoning values and putting in place some of the excellent community facilities at the site that were suggested in a previous survey the community undertook.

Older Edros articles by brian greene / local press [article 1] [article 2] [article 3]

 

march 2003 protest at the Edros site
march 2003 protest at the Edros site

Brickfield plans halted (for now)

Socialist Party Update Brickfield plans halted (for now)

Following the successful public meeting of Save Our Park in mid July the following has transpired.

* Fingal County Council is (for now) not proceeding with plans to build 170 units on Brickfield.

* Na Dubh Ghall GAA have been given the permission they were seeking to site Dressing Room Containers on the site of the abandoned council depot beside the school.

* Following the recent flooding of the East Coast the Minister for the Environment has promised to bring forward legislation to prevent development on flood plains. Fingal County Council acknowledge that Seagrange Park including Brickfield is on a flood plain.

This is an excellent gain for the community. Its a win win situation for Baldoyle & Bayside. Na Dubh Ghall GAA get a permanent siting for changing rooms and the disused depot will get a community use that
will assist its security needs within the park. Its great to see one of Dublin’s fastest growing clubs finally get facilities so close to where the club holds its training sessions.

The Socialist Party welcome this move by Fingal County Council and also the news that the Malahide Howth Area Committee is not pursuing the proposed rezoning / housing development at the Brickfield site which is zoned open space. (Northside People 23rd July)

Community and sporting use of amenity lands must take precedence over infill development where according to CSO figures 46,000 houses remain unoccupied in the Dublin area.

Protection of the flood plain is paramount. The fact that building on flood plains has been common practice despite warnings shows that the planning laws serve the developers not the community. Vigilance is still required as this is not the first time we have had to deal with this issue nor may this be the last.

issued by: Brian Greene, Socialist Party Dublin North East

Battery take back scheme begins September 26th

From 26 September 2008 onwards all battery retailers will be required to take back, free of charge, waste batteries including rechargeable batteries including those incorporated into electrical and electronic equipment and/or battery packs. Any person depositing waste batteries at the premises of any battery retailer will not be obligated to purchase any product or products from the retailer concerned. more.

a years supply
a years supply

Brian Greene asks
why no wind up remote controls? no wind up! a shake of the trolls and there is enough power to beam a tiny IR signal 12feet!
will shops take back mobile phone batteries? no. but phone shops should.
what batteries are safe to dispose of for land fill? none
why not operate a money back scheme? like the soft drinks glass in the 1970’s
will new ipods have removable batteries according to this directive?

Want to help decommission the world’s best known nuke plant?

Sellafield needs a Site Programme Manager

The Engineer Jobs – Site Programme Manager – Sellafield, Cumbria

Taking charge of governance, assurance, communication and stakeholder management, you’ll oversee contractors’ work, being the interface between the NDA, our various partners working at Sellafield and several government and other statutory bodies.

You’ll handle a team which includes a contract manager, a project controls manager and an operations manager, collectively responsible under your guidance for developing strategies an assisting in procurements, as well as leading NDA’s business including regulatory relationship, site communications and strategy, engagement with site stakeholders and technology issues.

The Engineer Jobs – Site Programme Manager – Sellafield, Cumbria – [electronics engineer, electronic engineer, automotive engineer, electrical engineer, graduate engineering jobs, mechanical engineers, engineering cv, engineer cv, control engineer, design engineer].

let’s see it decommissioned & shut! and made safe. learn the lessons & move on to better cleaner power even if it is safe clean & atomic.

RTE 567khz to be axed

RTE press release on MW cut off dated today http://url.ie/8ag UK Irish / Maritime community Note: LW252 carries considerably further than MW
RTÉ plans to axe Radio 1’s medium wave 567Khz service on 24 March 2008. expect a big backlash. 1278khz 2FM had none.

no mention of DRM and the trials that RTE did on DRM. This looks like they increased the licence fee but after 82 years think that the fuel bill is too high. DRM has a fuel saving of over 75% on AM alone.

March 25th 2008 new AM pirate radio service to start broadcasting on 567Khz. you heARD it here first

according to my calcs rte with 50% listenership and 85% national daily radio listenership of all radio in Ireland and 10% of radio 1 listeners not on FM (RTE figure) and Ireland population = ~4M it will only affect 170,000 radio sets.

edros site amenity zoning gone

yesterday local councillors Cllr Healy Maher & Cosgrave supported the material contravention that gave way to development on the Edros site.


photo taken in march 2003 at a previous rezoning attempt at the site.

in November in the Irish Times cllr Healy having objected to the planning application said the following

Watch this Space

Opposition to apartments on amenity-zoned site in Howth

A proposal to grant planning permission for apartments on Howth’s largest amenity-zoned site would be a massive blow to the community, says Green Party Cllr David Healy.

Pierse Contracting is looking to build 64 apartments and a café in five blocks on the Edros site beside the Martello Tower in Howth, which was a community sports amenity until eight years ago.

Healy says the development would have a major visual impact on historical and amenity routes and locations in Howth, including views from Abbey Street, St Mary’s Abbey, Tower Hill, Balscadden Road, Ted Hayden’s field and East Pier, and would be out of keeping with the historic character of this important heritage area. Fingal County Council is proposing to use a material contravention procedure to allow a breach of the development plan which would require a three-quarters majority of the councillors to support it.

“There have been suggestions that the developer give money towards the development of amenities elsewhere in Howth. However, in the absence of concrete plans for such facilities, such as planning permission and capital funding arrangements, money itself carries no guarantee of results,” says Healy.

has planning permission and capital funding arrangements been granted? NO.

Howth needs a community centre. The new proposed site is 0.8 miles from the village, welcome as it is to the community it has not got the access that the open space site at edros had. I wish the groups that are working hard to site a new community centre in Howth every success in the future. It is a great pity the best amenity site in Howth will not be part of their plans. Edros site was gifted to the people of Howth but yesterday it was gifted to the developer to make tens of millions more now that the dev plan has been materially contravened and the site (he owns) is no longer to be used for open space / amenity.