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The GIVE US BACK OUR HARBOUR Committee Meeting Room | The Beach House | The Harbour | Greystones | Co Wicklow Email: gubohn@gmail.com Web: facebook.com/groups/greystones

Press  release    

 

 

 

 

 

26  May  2011  

 

Greystones  group  unites  with  local  representatives  in  ‘take   down  the  hoardings’  campaign     THE  GREYSTONES    ‘Give  Us  Back  Our  Harbour’  group  has  made  substantial   progress  towards  its  objectives  after  it  stepped  up  its  campaign  two  weeks  ago.         The  GUBOH  group  has  held  several  meetings  with  town  and  county  councillors   from  all  parties  and  has  published  the  proposals  it  put  to  them  to  allow  almost  a   kilometre  of  hoardings  at  the  harbour  development  to  come  down  and  have  the   amenity  returned  to  the  public  for  the  summer  season.     “There  has  been  great  progress,”  said  GUBOH  spokesman  Basil  Miller.  “We’ve   met  the  Fianna  Fail  town  councillors,  including  Greystones  mayor  Ciarán   Hayden,  Fine  Gael’s  town  and  county  councillors,  and  the  Labour  group  which   includes  the  Cathaoirleach  of  Wicklow  County  Council,  Tom  Fortune.     “All  are  agreed  that  something  must  be  done  to  get  the  harbour  amenity  back  to   the  people.  All  are  agreed  that  it  must  be  done  soon.  All  are  agreed  that  delegates   from  GUBOH  must  be  included  in  any  discussions  with  the  developers  on  steps  to   make  the  harbour  site  safe,  landscape  it,  and  return  the  amenity  to  the  people  of   Greystones.”     Miller  went  on  to  say  that  there  are  disagreements  on  timing  and  on  specific   steps,  but  the  overall  level  of  agreement  was  “most  encouraging”.       “We  are  now  quite  optimistic,  where  ten  days  back  we  would  have  been   ‘cautiously  optimistic’,”  he  said.    “Our  proposals  have,  in  their  broad  outline,  been   accepted  by  all  parties.  Issues  have  been  raised,  such  as  safety  and  insurance,   which  we  acknowledge  are  important.     “But  we  believe  that  this  kind  of  issue  can  be  dealt  with  in  meetings  with  the   developers  and  WCC  which  will  include  GUBOH  delegates,  and  we  have  told   councillors  this.  Not  every  issue  or  objection  need  be  resolved  ahead  of  such   discussions  —  we  would  expect  suggestions  for  solutions  to  come  from  any  party   at  the  table,  including  Sispar  or  WCC.”     He  said  that  GUBOH  has  a  pool  of  expertise  both  among  its  committee  members   and  general  membership  which  can  help  in  such  discussions.    


“We  can  also  call  on  external  expert  help.  Several  persons  eminent  in  fields   ranging  from  contract  law  to  engineering  to  insurance  and  more  have  called  us  to   volunteer  their  services.  We  can  actually  augment  the  expertise  already  available   to  WCC  and  Sispar  with  contributions  from  our  own  people,  and  we  are  happy  to   do  so  pro  bono.”     The  local  councillors  have  agreed  that  a  GUBOH  delegation  should  join  in   meetings  with  Sispar  and  WCC  on  the  issues  involved.     GUBOH  has  also  begun  a  round  of  discussions  with  four  local  clubs  in  relation  to   the  community  facilities  at  the  harbour  which  have  also  been  delayed.  The   rowing  club,  angling  club,  sailing  club  and  Sea  Scouts  will  all  move  into  new   clubhouses  and  compounds  at  the  south-­‐east  corner  of  the  harbour,  but  nobody   is  able  to  say  when  these  will  be  built  or  what  the  sequence  for  construction  will   be.     And  in  the  run-­‐up  to  the  Greystones  Town  Council  meeting  on  Tuesday  31  May,   at  which  Sispar  will  make  a  presentation  on  the  harbour,  GUBOH  will  also  meet   local  TDs  to  seek  their  further  support.       “It’s  not  over  till  the  fat  lady  sings,  but  we  hope  to  see  a  united  front  of  the   community,  the  local  councillors  and  the  local  TDs  putting  the  point  strongly  that   it  is  not  acceptable  for  a  ghost  harbour  and  an  empty  building  site  to  be  left  as  it   now  is  in  the  absence  of  any  further  building  work,”  said  Miller.     “To  that  end,  we  are  ramping  up  our  campaign  another  notch.  Collectors  will  be   on  the  streets  in  the  area  this  weekend  asking  even  more  people  to  sign  our   petition.  More  premises  will  be  displaying  our  banner.       “And  more  of  our  members  and  supporters  will  be  attending  the  Town  Council   meeting,  not  in  the  form  of  a  demonstration  or  protest,  but  simply  to  show  Sispar   and  WCC  that  they  stand  behind  us  and  behind  our  local  representatives  when   they  seek  action  to  get  the  harbour  back  into  public  use.”     Ten  days  ago,  the  group  placed  large  banners  on  the  walls  of  several  business   premises  in  Greystones  as  part  of  its  campaign  to  have  the  harbour  hoardings   removed  in  time  for  the  summer.     The  banners  bear  the  slogan  “Give  Us  Back  Our  Harbour  —  Take  Down  the   Hoardings”.       ENDS     For  more  information  contact     Basil  Miller   Spokesperson   086  8182082  /  01  4433494   The GIVE US BACK OUR HARBOUR Committee Meeting Room | The Beach House | The Harbour | Greystones | Co Wicklow Email: gubohn@gmail.com Web: facebook.com/groups/greystones


Notes  for  editors   GUBOH  represents  a  large  group  of  residents  and  businesses  in  Greystones   whose  quality  of  life  and  level  of  business  have  been  adversely  affected  by  the   unsightly  hoardings.       The  appearance  of  the  whole  harbour  area  is  ruined,  hospitality  businesses  in  the   area  have  seen  massive  decline  in  their  trade  and  this  fall-­‐off  is  felt  throughout   the  town.       The  approach  to  Greystones  from  the  Bray  Cliff  Walk  now  has  a  prison-­‐like   appearance  and  the  community  has  been  cut  off  from  the  marine  environment   which  has  always  been  central  to  life  in  our  town.       GUBOH  accepts  that  the  hoardings  have  been  necessary  until  now  for  safety   reasons.  However,  they  have  been  in  place  for  three  and  a  half  years,  which  is  a   great  deal  longer  than  the  community  was  originally  led  to  believe.       Completion  of  this  project  is  dependent  on  an  uplift  in  the  housing  market.  Few   informed  commentators  believe  this  will  happen  for  a  number  of  years.  We   sympathise  with  SISPAR’s  financial  difficulties  but  we  do  not  believe  it  is   acceptable  for  a  developer  to  seal  off  a  harbour  and  a  portion  of  the  coastline   from  the  public  for  an  indefinite  period  purely  for  commercial  reasons.     GUBOH  is  not  opposing  the  completion  of  the  Bord  Pleanala-­‐approved   development.    The  harbour  is  now  built  and  the  issue  which  previously  divided   the  town  is  no  longer  relevant.  The  community  is  united  in  one  demand.  We  want   our  harbour  and  seashore  back,  we  want  the  public  amenity  which  we  previously   enjoyed  restored  to  the  community  —  and  we  want  this  done  in  time  for  the   summer  season.     We  are  also  convinced  that  restoring  this  public  amenity  will  bring  some  uplift  to   the  local  economy,  an  uplift  which  is  badly  needed  in  the  current  recession.     The  GIVE  US  BACK  OUR  HARBOUR  group  was  founded  by  several  residents   involved  in  discussions  about  the  harbour  project  on  boards.ie.  It  was  launched   with  a  Facebook  page  on  Thursday  21  April.  As  of  Thursday  26  May,  the  page  has   553  members,  and  the  petition  books  which  are  available  at  several  locations  in   Greystones  have  been  signed  by  over  600  people.     See  http://facebook.com/groups/greystones  

The GIVE US BACK OUR HARBOUR Committee Meeting Room | The Beach House | The Harbour | Greystones | Co Wicklow Email: gubohn@gmail.com Web: facebook.com/groups/greystones


GUBOH Press Release2  

Meeting Room | The Beach House | The Harbour | Greystones | Co Wicklow Email: gubohn@gmail.com Web: facebook.com/groups/greystones

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