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FRONT COVER LAN 37 No 1 20/04/2018 13:37 Page 1

LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

• Rapid Delivery Housing • Minister Ross Announces €417 417 Million for Regional and Local Roads • Water/Wastewater one of our most Sustainable Valuable Resources • Landscape, Parks, Street and Play Ground Supplement 2018


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CONTENTS Vol 37. No 1.

FEATURES RAPID DELIVERY HOUSING

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IRISH CITY OF THE FUTURE USES BLUESKY AERIAL PHOTOMAPS TO INFORM DEVELOPMENT PLANS 6 Published by:

MINISTER ROSS ANNOUNCES €417 MILLION FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL ROADS 9

GILTRON LTD RIVERVIEW LODGE, DUBLIN ROAD, NAVAN, CO. MEATH.

FIREBIRD LAUNCH NEW ENVIROAIR HYBRID HEAT PUMP 13 ESRI & DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL GETTING TO GRIPS WITH GRITTING

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WATER/WASTEWATER ONE OF OUR MOST SUSTAINABLE VALUABLE RESOURCES

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GRUNDFOS PUMPS WASTE NO TIME TO HELP THEIR CUSTOMERS

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Tel: 00353 46 9072841 Email: info@localauthoritynews.ie Website: www.localauthoritynews.ie

Designed & produced by Donnelly Design & Print Ltd. Tel: 046 - 9091891

ISSN NO. 1393-0394

LAN is available FREE OF CHARGE to all Local and Central Government Bodies throughout Ireland. Published bi-monthly it is disseminated to Local Authority Managers, Assistant Managers, County Secretaries, Finance Officers, Principal Officers, Department Heads, County Engineers, City Engineers, Chief Quantity Surveyors, Senior Architects, Plant Superintendents, Senior Executive Engineers, Town Clerks, Purchasing Officers, Administrative Officers, Inspectors, Park Superintendents, County Librarians, etc. in all Government Departments, County Councils, Corporations, Office of Public Works, Urban District Councils, State-Sponsored and Development Bodies and Agencies.

THE VAULTED HOUSE, DUBLIN WINS THE OVERALL AWARD AT THE IRISH CONCRETE SOCIETY’S 36TH ANNUAL AWARDS

LANDSCAPE, PARKS, STREET AND PLAY GROUND SUPPLEMENT 2018

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REGULARS IRISH WATER UPDATES

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DEPARTMENT BREIFS

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PRODUCT INFO

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CLASSIFIEDS

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Vision Built Light Gauge Steel Frame Irelands ONLY Certified system Vision Built design manufacture and construct highly accurate and superior quality factory assembled light gauge steel wall and floor panels for rapid site assembly. As the only certified light gauge steel system in Ireland Vision Built can comply with the most stringent thermal, fire and acoustic requirement of each project.

Unit 1, Deerpark Ind. Estate, Oranmore, Co. Galway, H91V6PF Tel: +353 (0)91-795505 • Email: info@vision-built.com

www.vision-built.com LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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RAPID DELIVERY HOUSING ABM Design and Build Ltd have recently completed Rapid Build Housing projects for Dublin City Council using off-site construction techniques for social housing at sites in Finglas and Drimnagh. Established for close to twenty five years, ABM is one of the most experienced firms delivering design and build construction projects for both the private and public sector. Having first experienced the design and build delivery model with the construction of a 300,000 sq ft logistics warehouse for Geodis in Mulhuddart in 2004, ABM has since built a substantial track record with the design and build of over twenty five schools as part of the Department of Education and Skills’ Rapid Schools programme.

With a typical rapid build school that is due to open in September, it is common for the site commencement at the start of that year, and in extreme situations a construction period as short as 32 weeks has been sought. To ensure the design and construction can be delivered within such short periods ABM has optimised fast-track solutions based on off-site prefabricated materials including precast concrete and light gauge steel (LGS) panels. ABM works closely with a design team that it has partnered with for many years to ensure a customised design solution in each case is aligned with ABM’s supply chain to meet the programme requirements. ABM’s site teams and subcontractors who have worked together on many similar projects understand the construction approach, associated interfaces and co-ordination of the critical path to ensure the deadline opening of the school is achieved.

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Birr, Co. Offaly, 057 91 23100 ireland.sales@ejco.com ejco.com

Warning: Invalid Certification markings on Manhole Covers & Drainage Gratings. Over the past number of years in Ireland there have been numerous examples of manhole covers and drainage gratings installed that are not compliant with the full requirements of the product standard EN124. Many have failed under road traffic and have posed safety risks to the public. Invalid 3rd party certification markings and licence numbers have also been observed which can cause additional hassle for Local Authorities if product failures lead to costly court cases. Some of the more common product deficiencies include un-retained locking bolts and gratings rocking in their frames which are a risk to vehicles and to public safety. EJ have compiled a checklist to help you select compliant product for your projects. Look for four key markings:

When purchasing, you need to...

1

Identification of manufacturer and production site.

2

Reference to the standard EN124

Buy from a reputable company certified to ISO 9001 and preferably ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

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Mark of the third-party certification body

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Load class e.g. D400 or E600

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Arrows to indicate direction of traffic – for Gratings only

Request a copy of certification licence from supplier that was issued by third-party certifier to EN124 (e.g. BSI, NSAI, AFNOR etc.) for proposed products. Obtain a sample for inspection and check for rocking of grates and covers in their frames. Contact the 3rd party certifier to validate the licence number if in doubt.

In the procurement process the selection of manhole covers and drainage gratings is hugely significant. It is important to remember that for safety critical products such as manhole covers and gully gratings there is a responsibility to ensure a product is fit for purpose and to minimise the risk to public safety.


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When Dublin City Council announced their intention to procure the delivery of rapid build housing a number of years ago, it was clear to ABM that this opportunity was an ideal fit to their already well established expertise in fast-track design and construction. ABM partnered with an Irish Agrement certified LGS manufacturer based in Galway and together with a specialist design team, established a design solution to meet the specific needs of Dublin City Council including the provision of an A3 Building Energy Rating to meet short programme durations. The house comprises conventionally designed strip footings and masonry rising walls which support an LGS panelised frame to form the entire building structure including external and internal walls, trussed floors and an A-shaped trussed roof. The external wall panels are pre-fitted with insulation and an abbey-slot channel to support wall ties to the external leaf comprising brick/ block with plaster finish. The panels are precisely manufactured which allows the triple glazed external windows and doors to be ordered in advance without measuring for as-built openings. This eliminates lead-in delays and facilitates the early weatherproofing of the building immediately after erection of the LGS frame and commencement of first fix of the mechanical/ electrical services. To meet the A3 BER requirement, the house is designed to achieve very high airtightness and includes the use of extensive insulation, thermal modelling of the exposed building fabric and photo-voltaic solar panels as part of the renewable energy requirement. ABM was successful in winning 2 of 4 lots that were tendered by Dublin City Council in 2016 for a total number of 68 residential units built at sites at St. Helena’s Road, Finglas and Mourne Road, Drimnagh incorporating a mix of 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom terraced houses. As part of the approval process a full size compliance sample was built at ABM premises to demonstrate the build-up of the building fabric and finishes at all key elements and junctions of the house including the floors, walls and roof and to clearly illustrate fire protection, noise/ thermal insulation, air tightness and radon protection. Both projects were completed in 2017 to the satisfaction of Dublin City Council whom subsequently procured a further 70 rapid build housing units at the end of 2017. ABM was successful in this tender and the project is currently under construction on 3 separate sites at Cherry Orchard and Finglas. As part of the continued development and refinement of the design solution, ABM has incorporated Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques and produced fully co-ordinated and federated models to carry out clash detection of services with the structure and optimise the co-ordination of subcontractors and eliminate wastage on site. The works are due for completion later this year.

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Minister Ross announces €417 million for regional and local roads Allocation will allow approx. 2300kms of road to be maintained (surface dressed) and 2100kms to be strengthened. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, announced details of a €417 million investment programme for 2018 for regional and local roads. Minister Ross said: “I am very happy to be able to announce a significant and much needed increase in grant allocations for regional and local roads this year. Overall 2018 will see a funding increase of about 29%. While the funding in 2018 will largely continue to support the maintenance of our current regional road network, expenditure on road improvements projects is expected to increase to about €50 million. A significant number of these projects have a safety focus, including the L2119 Bawnmore realignment in County Galway, the upgrade of R420 at Kilmullen in Laois, Fintra Bridge in Donegal, Robeen Cross junction improvement, County Mayo and R755 Calary Road realignment in County Wicklow.” Emphasising that his main priority remains the maintenance and safety of the network, the Minister added that investment in maintenance and renewal will see an increase of about 18% in 2018, saying, “roads that are wellmaintained lead to less costs for vehicle repair, a reduction in journey times and, crucially, they are safer for us all to travel on.” While there will be a cut in current funding for local authorities, increases in capital spending will result in a funding package which should allow approximately 2300kms of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2100kms to be strengthened this year. “I am especially pleased that the 2018 grant allocations include important initiatives in the area of Community Involvement Schemes and Drainage. While local authorities were able to use general grants for such schemes in recent years, this year ring-fenced funding is being provided. These are two areas where I have very much wanted to take action and I am very glad to be able to do so this year. There needs to be an increased focus on measures to improve the resilience of the road network in the face of climate change.” The Government gave a specific commitment after the devastating flooding in Donegal last year to assist Donegal County Council with road repairs and funding is being provided in 2018 to meet that commitment. The Minister noted that the 2018 investment programme also allows for a number of Capital Plan projects to progress, including projects added after extra funding was secured in the Capital Plan Review. These include: · Bettystown to Laytown Link Road in County Meath · Dingle Relief Road (Phase 4) in County Kerry · Sallins by-Pass/Osberstown Interchange in County Kildare · Shannon Crossing/Killaloe Bypass/R494 Upgrade, County Clare · Athy Southern Distributor Road in County Kildare · Portlaoise Southern Relief Road in County Laois · Eastern Garavogue Bridge in Sligo · Grange Castle Business Park Approach Roads in County Dublin · Coonagh/Knockalisheen Distributor Road in Limerick · Sligo Western Distributor Road · R498 Latteragh Road Upgrade in County Tipperary · Tralee Northern Relief Road in County Kerry

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Other improvement projects that have received an allocation in 2018 include: · Road improvement schemes in County Longford · Culvert Remedial work in Thomastown, County Kilkenny · Cong Road, County Mayo · Killala Road upgrade, County Mayo · Project to address flooding at Junction of R665 with R671 in Waterford The rehabilitation of a number of critically deficient bridges on regional roads around the country including: · Latoon Creek Bridge in County Clare · Daly Bridge in Cork City · Tirconnell and Cockhill Bridges in County Donegal · Ardfinnan Bridge in County Tipperary

“There is also provision for 216 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 227 safety improvement projects to be carried out. The main focus of the safety improvements scheme is to improve safety at locations where collisions have taken place.”

The main features of the investment programme include: · €195m for road pavement strengthening works; · €48m for surface dressing; · €70.6m for maintenance and strengthening works for which Local Authorities have discretion in the selection of roads; · · · · · ·

€50.3m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects; €9.7m for Bridge rehabilitation works; €7.1m for Safety Improvement Works; €10m for Drainage works; €10m for Community Involvement Schemes €16m approx. of miscellaneous grants including, training, speed limit funding, severe weather repairs, salt purchase, road condition survey.

“Funding of about 1m will be allocated to local authorities to further progress the implementation of 30km/h speed limits in housing estates across Ireland. This programme is now well advanced.” “I would also like to emphasise again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to local authorities under grant headings to decide their work programme. I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”

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FIREBIRD LAUNCH NEW ENVIROAIR HYBRID HEAT PUMP F

irebird Heating Solutions has always been a name you can trust and is now a market leader in hybrid heating, with the launch of their new range of Enviroair heat pump/boiler hybrid systems. Combining the Enviroair heat pump with a Firebird Enviromax boiler, quite literally take heating to another level. The hybrid range not only boasts ultra-quiet operation, but the excellent COP (Coefficient Performance) can produce an incredible 4kW of energy for every kW of energy used to power the heat pump. These high levels of efficiency will reduce fuel bills for the homeowner when compared to other heat pump systems. Available in single phase outputs from 7.5kW to 16kW, the Enviroair hybrid range provides a compact and space saving solution as a single Monobloc unit that is installed outside the property. However, combined with the highly successful Enviromax boiler range, the hybrid system will ensure that 100% comfort heating is provided throughout the year, regardless of the weather conditions. Environmentally friendly, the Enviroair hybrid system provides the perfect heating solution for the modern new build, combining market leading technologies with over 35 years of experience. The system is easy to install and offers total flexibility, providing Part L Compliance and high BER ratings. The hybrid range has particular functions, including screed drying when integrated into an underfloor heating system. To complete the hybrid, Firebird also offer cylinders specifically designed for heat pump operation. These are pre-plumbed and make installation easy. There are 5 cylinders which range from 180 litres to 400 litres.

The outstanding energy efficiency of the Enviroair hybrid range is achieved by utilising cutting-edge DC Inverter Technology that saves on energy consumption and money all year round. This technology keeps temperature fluctuations to a minimum and ensures heat output matches the heating load of the property. Room temperatures are controlled effortlessly and efficiently with an intuitive, top of the range, intelligent heating control. The system controller automatically runs the entire heating system and balances demand between the heat pump and boiler in colder climates and also has a built in weather compensation control facility.

Hybrid Group Heat Pump

Firebird Heating Solutions specialise in providing a total heating package solution. The comprehensive product range includes oil fired boilers, solar thermal systems, stoves, range cookers and biomass boilers. For further information on the Enviroair hybrid range or other products in the range please visit

www.firebird.ie or contact Firebird Heating Solutions

Tel: 026 45253

Email: info@firebird.ie LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Getting to grips with gritting

How Donegal County Council has improved the communication and planning of gritting routes using an online survey app and a little ingenuity. Driving conditions in Ireland have been particularly challenging over recent months with sub-zero temperatures, widespread ice and heavy snowfall. To help improve public safety on the roads, Donegal County Council has developed an innovative new system for sharing up-to-date maps of gritting routes with members of the public, so that they can make the best decisions about whether to travel, and if so, on which roads. The new application is built on a geographic information system (GIS) from Esri, ArcGIS Online. Engineers in the council’s gritting team use Esri’s Survey123 App, to enter details about which routes are going to be gritted and at what time. Then the information from the form automatically updates an interactive map of the gritting routes, on the council’s website, and highlights the routes that will be gritted in purple. At the same time, the form automatically generates a Tweet (in English and as Gaeilge) containing an image of the gritting routes and the times that gritting will occur.

“This has revolutionised the way we communicate. Not only are we providing better information to citizens more quickly; we are also operating more efficiently and gathering better data to help us improve our gritting services in the future.” Daragh McDonough, Information Systems Project Leader, Donegal County Council

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Through the use of this new approach, Donegal County Council has significantly improved the timeliness and value of its communications about gritting services. Members of the public, who subscribe to the council Twitter account, receive instant notifications about each day’s gritting schedule and can use the embedded map image to see, at a glance, if the roads they plan to use will be salted. They don’t need to know their winter route number, click on links or download data; all the information that they need to make the right decision about when and where to drive is instantly visible to them on their smartphones. Equally, members of the public can view the gritting routes map on the council’s website and have confidence that it is completely upto-date with that night’s gritting schedule.

The use of Survey123 also helps Donegal County Council to plan its gritting services more effectively and improve the allocation of resources to reduce costs. Managers can use the app to look back in time, analyse the actual gritting schedule over a specific period and identify which roads require gritting most frequently. The council can then adjust the locations of salt and grit deposits to make sure they are closest to the actual point of need and ensure that time and money are not wasted on unnecessary journeys. Finally, the new communication system for gritting is helping to improve the efficiency of council teams, as employees have a single, straight-forward workflow to use. Engineers no longer need to compose and check the text for Tweets, as the Tweets are generated automatically using the information from Survey123. Nor do they have to ensure that the gritting map on the council’s website is correct, as this too is updated for them automatically. “This has revolutionised the way we communicate,” says Daragh McDonough, Information Systems Project Leader at Donegal County Council. “Not only are we providing better information to citizens more quickly; we are also operating more efficiently and gathering better data to help us improve our gritting services in the future.”

For more information contact Esri Ireland at mapsmakesense@esri-ireland.ie LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Landscape, Parks, Street and Play Ground Supplement 2018

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CONTENTS Landscape Supplement Vol 37. No 1.

FEATURES

Published by:

GILTRON LTD RIVERVIEW LODGE, DUBLIN ROAD, NAVAN, CO. MEATH. Tel: 00353 46 9072841 Email: info@localauthoritynews.ie Website: www.localauthoritynews.ie

Designed & produced by Donnelly Design & Print Ltd. Tel: 046 - 9091891

JAPANSES KNOTWEED DENTRO SCOTT

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STOP THE SPREAD BE PLANT WISE

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CREATING A BUZZ ON COUNCIL LAND – HOW LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE HELPING POLLINATORS 11 DECOMARK® - CREATIVE, DECORATIVE AND COLORFUL MARKINGS

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ALLPLAY

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ISSN NO. 1393-0394

LAN is available FREE OF CHARGE to all Local and Central Government Bodies throughout Ireland. Published bi-monthly it is disseminated to Local Authority Managers, Assistant Managers, County Secretaries, Finance Officers, Principal Officers, Department Heads, County Engineers, City Engineers, Chief Quantity Surveyors, Senior Architects, Plant Superintendents, Senior Executive Engineers, Town Clerks, Purchasing Officers, Administrative Officers, Inspectors, Park Superintendents, County Librarians, etc. in all Government Departments, County Councils, Corporations, Office of Public Works, Urban District Councils, State-Sponsored and Development Bodies and Agencies.

(ROSPA) KEEPING PLAYGROUNDS SAFE 15

THE DODDER GATHERING 2017

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Gneevbawn, Tyrrellspass, Westmeath Phone: 044 93 10 818 Email: info@greenfingerslandscaping.ie Website: www.greenfingerslandscaping.ie

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Stop the Spread - Be Plant Wise The Be Plant Wise campaign is aimed at reducing the risk of introducing and spreading invasive species. Invasive species are animals or plants that would not be naturally found in Ireland but when here they can thrive and spread in the wild and causing problems for our wildlife, habitats, economy and even human health. While very few of the non-native species that arrive into Ireland might become invasive, even a small number of species can cause a lot of harm. Understanding how and why non-native species arrive to Ireland and become invasive is important to help prevent further introductions and spread. In Ireland, most of our invasive species are plants that were brought in for our gardens or ponds and from there they spread. Prevention is better than cure – Be Plant Wise Ponds can create a wonderful feature to be enjoyed all year round and are often a haven for wildlife. However, if they are not cared for properly some pond plants can take over your pond. They can also become established in the wild, where they can smother our native plants, clog our waterways, exacerbate flooding and remove oxygen from the water, which can harm fish. Pond owners, gardeners, aquarists, anglers and other water users can unknowingly assist the spread of aquatic plants into our countryside. These plants can rapidly become major environmental problems with expensive associated costs. Be Plant Wise and follow these 3 steps: Stop the Spread – Do not move pond plants around. Even tiny plant fragments can lead to massive problems, so be careful when maintaining your pond any waste water should be emptied away from streams, rivers, ponds, lakes or drains that flow into them. Know what you grow – Choose native plant species where possible. If itʼs an invasive plant, take action to prevent its spread. Compost with care - dispose of aquatic plants by composting them or using your green waste disposal system. Before disposal, leave them for a few hours beside the water, so that pond life can return to the water. If you have one of the below regulated invasive aquatic plants on your site, take action to prevent its spread and if possible to remove it completely. Examples of regulated invasive pond plants that may be in your area Parrotʼs feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) It has bright green leaves (sometimes with a blue-grey sheen) that have a characteristic feathery appearance. It is normally found growing as a marginal plant in still or slowflowing, nutrient-rich water. It can grow into a thick raft which can compete with native plants and reduce oxygen in the water. Curly Waterweed (Lagarosiphon major) Identified by the strongly recurved (curly) appearance of its leaves which are arranged in whorls long itʼs stem. Capable of forming very dense infestations in suitable habitats and occupying waters up to 6m deep with significant impacts on native plants, insects, fish, boating and angling.

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Woodstock Trees and Shrubs Ltd is one of Irelandʼs largest wholesale plant suppliers. We offer the widest range of plant material available in the Irish market today making us an excellent one stop shop for all your landscaping and garden centre needs. In addition to the hundreds of crops grown on our Kildare nursery, we have developed an extensive sourcing network throughout Ireland and Europe and can quickly source those more unusual and rare plants that can make a garden unique.

Call today to see how our plants can help your business grow. Woodstock Trees & Shrubs Ltd., Dreenane, Derrinturn, Carbury,, Co. Kildare Phone: +353 4695 53198 • Fax: + 353 4695 53517 • Email: woodtrees@eircom.net Website: woodstocktreesandshrubs.ie

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Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) Identified by its shiny, kidney-shaped leaves with crinkled edges. Where it is has escaped into the wild it is usually found floating on the surface of still or slow-moving freshwater. It can grow up to 20cm a day, blocking out light and reducing the oxygen available to native species. By forming thick mats, which can look like dry land, it poses a danger to people and livestock.

Every one of us can play a vital role in tackling the threat of invasive species. Review your activities and adopt practices that reduce the risk of introducing or spreading invasive species. If one of the listed plants are in a park then it is possible it could escape to the wild so action to prevent this happening should be taken. If you suspect that you have seen one of these or other invasive species please report it to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Providing a photograph will help in having its identity confirmed.

For more information visit: http://invasives.biodiversityireland.ie LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Creating a buzz on Council land – how Local Authorities are helping pollinators www.pollinators.ie Most people appreciate the beauty wildflowers bring to our landscape, they want the option to grow their own fruits and vegetables, and they want to buy affordable Irish apples or strawberries in our shops. This can only happen in a landscape that supports pollinators and provides them with nesting areas and a diverse diet from spring to autumn. If we choose to manage all public land in a very manicured way, it is at the expense of bees and other pollinators who cannot survive there. In 2017 we released online guidelines with a range of 30 evidence-based actions that Councils could take on their land to help. Since then, many Local Authorities have been leading the way in driving a better and more sustainable balance on public land. It is not about letting things go wild, but about bringing more flower-rich pockets back into our landscape.

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DecoMark® - creative, decorative and colorful markings If your playground needs a new look, the colourful DecoMark® markings offer an easy, quality solution. The decorative games invite the children to be active whilst having fun. For instance, DecoMark® playground

games can be a fun and alternative way of learning how to spell or count. The options are endless – so give free rein to your imagination.

No matter what theme you may choose, you do not have to worry about safety issues. Our high friction materials minimise the risk of slippery surfaces and make it a safe place for the children to play.

Benefits of DecoMark® • • • •

Active and safe learning Fast application Environmentally friendly Flexible and durable

Grant Funding Available: • Early Years Capital Grants • Minor Works Grant LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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One third of our 99 bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. To protect bees and the important service they provide, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was published in September 2015. It is supported by more than 80 governmental and nongovernmental organisations who have committed to delivering 81 actions to make Ireland more pollinator friendly.

To date, the role played by Local Authorities in taking action to address the problem and in helping to normalise a slightly different way of managing our landscape has been enormous. Within the Plan, we have been actively engaging with many Local Authorities to offer training on pollinator-friendly actions and have held two annual spring conferences to explain how the sector can help. Actions to help pollinators on Council land are not costly. It is simple things like having some areas of grass that arenĘźt cut quite so often, reducing pesticide use, choosing pollinator-friendly perennials in new planting schemes, and considering pollinators in annual bedding schemes and bulb planting.

You can see a video on the range of actions that Waterford County Council have taken to help pollinators. This was funded through the Creative Ireland Programme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rebs6g3X-lc You can also view a short animation on the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBIKqFywxTY&feature=youtu.be

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Keeping Playgrounds Safe S

o what are we talking about when it comes to the playground industry?

When a council, community group or commercial entity decide to install a playground, their foremost concern is safety. Is the play equipment robust? It must stand up to rigorous play for many years without disintegrating or collapsing. Does it comply with the current European standards - mainly EN1176? Is it from a recognised manufacturer in the industry, with years of experience? Will the surfacing reduce any serious injuries? Will our new playground pass the Post Installation Inspection and subsequent Annual Inspections? For the most part, these boxes will all be ticked by the operator of the play area. Routine weekly inspections will be carried out by competent staff and any major repairs arising from these inspections will be addressed. The play industry is generally very well regulated - less accidents happen in playgrounds than outside them. Yet, safety and the fear of litigation, is still the biggest concern with playground operators. The courts have regular visits from plaintiffs claiming to be victims of a play area incident. Could it be that a playground is an easy target for claims, or as with other insurance claims in Ireland, the payouts are far higher and easier garnered than our European counterparts? Pre 1999, Councils were removing play areas, and not investing in new ones, to the same degree as in recent years because of claims, especially serious injuries like concussion, head trauma and long bone fractures. The advent of safer surfacing, especially synthetic surfacing, helped to reverse this trend. But also, pro-active education on the long term benefits of playgrounds by people like Richard Webb of RoSPA (Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents), along with the major manufacturers, opened the minds of operators to the fact that if we donʼt have play areas that are managed, regulated and risk assessed, then children and particularly young boys, will find challenges elsewhere; which could be tall trees, high walls or other un-assessed items. We need to be careful not to scare playground operators back to the last century. Our legal profession and insurance companies need to take responsibility in this regard as well. They should appreciate the full value of a play area. Play areas are not just for fun, but play a vital role in childrenʼs Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Emotional development. ʻPlay is the SPICE of lifeʼ A broken arm or finger may be the most valuable experience gained heading into adulthood. In light of studies that Ireland will be the fattest nation in Europe by 2030, we should all push to ensure that every one of our next generation has access to a play area. If insurance pay outs spiral, then play areas may be curtailed somewhat, or less challenging items may be installed as token gestures. We all have a responsibility to provide safe play areas for our children. Let common sense, and childrenʼs welfare, prevail.

(RoSPA) Playsafety Ltd, Unit 78 Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Watchfield, Swindon, SN6 8TY Tel: 0044 1793 317470 • Web: www.rospa.com/playsafety LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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T HE D ODDER G ATHERING 2017

DCCʼs Parks and Landscape Services and Water Framework Directive Office along with Waters and Communities Office and Dodder Action hosted the Inaugural Dodder Gathering at the Hive in Herbert Park. This 3-day event brought over 400 people together to enjoy activities on the river and to learn about and exchange information on its current and future management. The total area of the Dodder catchment is 121.3km² and it has a population of approximately 254,976 people. On Friday morning, pupils from 4 local primary schools participated in a range of scientific learning activities focusing on the River Dodder. The children then went for a guided wildlife walk with OWLS Childrenʼs Nature Charity and concluded their activities by planting a Strawberry Tree.

In the afternoon, secondary school pupils participated in a “Bioblitz challenge” competing against each other identifying varieties of wildlife. They also took a water sample from the river Dodder which was tested by the Central Laboratory. On Saturday morning, a networking summit was held for local community groups from source to sea on the Dodder. This summit consisted of presentations from Dublin City Council on topics ranging from the water quality, flood defences, landscape management of Herbert Park and litter prevention. South Dublin County Council demonstrated the high nature value areas of the Dodder Linear Park and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council spoke on how polluting household water can be misconnected to the river. The value of angling to the river was encouraged by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Environmental Protection Agency spoke on Citizen Science and The National Parks and Wildlife Serviceʼs clarified their role, responsibilities and wildlife legislation. The Waters and Communities Office gave a talk on the value of community. Participants then discussed the river, what it means to them, what concerns they had and what actions needed to be carried out to promote and protect the river. In the afternoon, there were interactive displays on wildlife, the wonders of water and the river stories. There were displays from the Herpetological Society of Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, INVAS Biosecurity, An Taisce, Clean Coast, Coastwatch Ireland, The Irish Wildlife Trust and DCCʼs Biodiversity / Biosphere roadshow.

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The family fun day on the Sunday, was a great success with activities such as pond dipping, face painting, wildlife displays, river insect identification, fly casting demonstrations and angling lessons. The historic and wildlife walk topics ranged from fishy stories, native Irish tree trail walk and the industrial heritage of the river. There was also an opportunity for people to submit their views on the draft River Basin Management Plan.

This inaugural Dodder Gathering is the start of a collective and collaborative approach between communities and agencies in the management of the river Dodder. The Dodder is in the lower reaches of the Dublin Bay Biosphere whose purpose is to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature together. Primary school students from Rathfarnham Educate Together National School, Scoil Naomh Pádraig, Ballyroan, St Patrick’s Boys National School, Ringsend, St Killian’s Deutsche Schule were presented with their Dodder Defender Certificates by Councillor Patrick Costello, on behalf of the Lord Mayor in September 2017 for having taken part in this event earlier in the year and having demonstrated that they will defend the river for future generations using their love of science, culture and environmental action. The organisers would like to thank everybody who helped to make the Dodder Gathering an overwhelming success. Thanks also to everyone who attended and participate in the event.

For more information on the River Dodder Catchment Area and Biodiversity in Dublin city see Links www.catchments.ie • www.dublinbaybiosphere.ie/ LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Water/wastewater one of our most sustainable valuable Resources Patrick Moran MIEI Executive Area Engineer Tipperary County Council

T

he EU is to take action against Ireland as areas of the country have non compliances in relation to the quality of sewer/wastewater discharges to water bodies, waterways.

To quote Richard Buckminster Fuller American inventor, designer and Author Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant to their value. On one of the themes of 2017 world water is highlighting the symbiosis between water and wastewater to the environment and wastewater as a valuable resource to the economy. This subject which I am about to cover is a very broad area so in the interest of brevity here is a taster/sneak preview of some of the potential in this area. Public service workers the professional providers leading a Sustainable Future I work with extraordinary people driven by a deeply held belief, desire to make a difference to people’s lives. These fine pragmatic dignified people work tirelessly year after year of their lives to deliver the top class water services they continue to provide These are the people continuing to pioneer, develop, innovate to serve the public providing the efficient essential services they need. In public service our creativity, achievements continue to touch each community’s lives in a meaningful way. Water & Climate change ‘ Water the prime essence of all life……..it’s too valuable to be wasted, used just once’’ Water is nature’s gift to us but unfortunately civilisations pollution has lead to water needing considerable treatment to make it potable. Like the air we breathe water is essential for human life so we need to protect it. One of the biggest problems facing us today are pollution and climate change. The way we use resources, produce and use our energy lies at the heart of the effort to tackle climate change. Water and wastewater infrastructure is a significant consumer of energy and reductions in usage could be a major contributor in meeting the public sector 2020 vision of improving energy efficiency by 33%. Reducing water demand fundamentally results in savings in water treatment, water pumping, wastewater pumping wastewater treatment, and environmental savings due to reduced assimilative demand in watercourses, water bodies. With renewable energy sources (RES) using home grown energy from renewables, we can cut our dependence on imported fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. As part of Tipperary County Council our achievements to date include reducing energy consumption and dependency on grid electricity, generating renewable energy, reducing our costs and environmental footprint (greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and recycling our water services sludge as a natural fertiliser. There is also the potential for using bio methane from sludge digestion as a transport fuel to further reduce C02 emissions Our innovations with sludge management also reduces costs to the taxpayer, improves water quality, reduces the volume of sludge being removed off our sites reducing truck movements thus reducing transport CO2 climate changing emissions. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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By thinking globally acting locally we are also helping reduce the vulnerability of the world population to climate change. The term wastewater: Wastewater (used water) : A combination of one or more of, domestic effluent consisting of blackwater (excreta, urine and faecal sludge)and grey water (kitchen and bathing wastewater), water from commercial establishments and institutions, including hospitals: industrial effluent, storm water and other urban run-off:agricultural, horticultural, aquaculture, either dissolved or as suspended matter. The basic aim of this treatment is produce an effluent (and sludge) with appropriate quality to be released to the environment or re-used. More than 99.5% by mass of used water consists of water, representing an enormous pool of recoverable resources. With the treatment processes available today, used water can be treated to the extent for any given reuse purpose, including recycling as drinking water as done in other countries.

Only around 4% of treated water is used for drinking or cooking the rest goes down the toilet or drain. Through the natural water cycle the earth has recycled and re-used water for millions of years, but in order to aid and accelerate this process to meet our needs we have to work with nature using technology. It is estimated at present that 40% of average household demand could be met using grey water. Used water, New water: The term wastewater incorrectly gives the impression that water is considered waste, when in fact it is used water I propose wastewater should be viewed through a new paradigm-as ‘water that is wasted’ Treated water from recovery facilities should then be called new water.

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Used water a vast potential resource: Used water contains potentially marketable products such as proteins, volatile fatty acids, biodegradable polymers/ plastics, cellulose, construction materials, metals including precious metals such as silver, adhesives, enzymes, Bio-fuels from algae or cooking oils etc. Let’s focus on recovery and valorisation of what is currently considered waste, by (using biological resources for the production of value added products , such as bio-energy, fuels, chemicals, bio-based products fertilisers and much more. Directive’s Environmental Legislation programme governing this area: The drivers are to address the water framework and nitrates Directives, sludge directive 2008/98 EC (WFD 75/442/EC), 91/676/EEC, (86/278/EEC) and EPA water research programme 2014-2020 respectively. Used water management/treatment the Benefits: Managing used water is linked to the entire water cycle. Studies have shown that in terms of discharges from waste water treatment plants they can account for a high proportion of the receiving water in winter and a higher proportion of receiving water in summer in terms of its load of solids organic matter and nutrients. Used water management treatment should be a productive process in which a desirable output (treated water) is obtained together with a series of undesirable outputs (suspended solids, heavy metals, nutrients etc using inputs(labour, energy, etc.). Used water treatment facilities are critical infrastructure for urban societies and provide essential protection for both the aquatic environment, human health and ecological benefits. Used water management can be grouped into two general categories market and non market benefits. Consideration from this production process perspective also makes it possible to estimate the shadow prices of the undesirable outputs/ pollutants, etc. A shadow price for these undesirable outputs is the equivalent of the environmental damage avoided if these pollutants are removed or recovered i.e. an estimating of the environmental benefits gained from the treatment or recovery process. Environmental effects can include eutrophication, ecosystems, degradation etc. Inadequate used water treatment can potentially lead to pollution of water bodies that are sources for drinking water. The cost of no action/ doing nothing is the shadow prices of pollutants and potential negative health effects. Therefore the discharge of used water, with inadequate treatment involves generating significant costs, including environmental and social ones as well as potential benefits and revenue lost. Personal care products which contain Micro plastics, Diclofenac, Tonalide, Galaxolide, Sulfamethoxazole, Ethinyl Eatradiol have significant effects on the environment and in some countries the shadow prices compared with the environmental cost of removal is being look at. Costs currently associated with treatment and options: Sludge (bio solids) management is the most important cost factor in used water management and can account for up to 40% of the plants operating and maintenance costs including sludge removal off site. Treatment Facilities total operating and maintenance costs include (energy, staff, reagents, waste management and maintenance. Energy and maintenance costs are a high proportion of O & M costs followed by substantial reagent costs associated with chemical dosing nutrient removal. In addition to the cost of chemical dosing the sludge quantities produced can be increased by up to 25% thus increasing sludge removal cost also. Less energy intensive, lower lifecycle costs are available using biological treatment systems to recover nutrients in constructed wetlands, red beds etc. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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In addition to the cost of chemical dosing the sludge quantities produced can be increased by up to 25% thus increasing sludge removal cost also. Less energy intensive, lower lifecycle costs are available using biological treatment systems to recover nutrients in constructed wetlands, red beds etc. In addition external social costs non-monetary green house gases(e.g. C02, CH4) environmental nuisance such as noise , odours etc, should be factored in as added benefit of resource recovery. To subsist overall treatment plants running cost there may also be future options to sell treated water /new water to agriculture or industry among other uses. Current unsustainable issues facing us which present great opportunity: Biological nitrogen nutrient removal in used water treatment plants is a significant resource recovery anthropogenic source of nitrous oxide emissions with global warming potential some 300 times that of C02 Nutrients discharged have the environmental effects of eutrophication, ecosystems, degradation reduced biodiversity due to growth of algae, etc. Nutrient recovery can be divided into three sections accumulation, release and extraction in which nutrient products are recovered in the last step. Phosphorus is vital for plants and crops it is limited and diminishing and there is currently no substitute for it. Phosphorus production is anticipated to enter a long slow decline once the peak has been reached, which is estimated to occur by year 2033. Phosphorus is mined from non-renewable elemental deposits and 90% of the world’s phosphate reserves can be found in just five countries. Mining of phosphorus rock increases the amount of cadmium to the biosphere which also results in severe local environmental effects. Phosphorus can be recovered from used water, urine, ash and sewage sludge. Phosphate recovery can achieve full cost recovery through savings in maintenance costs avoiding unplanned p crystallisation in pipes and valves while p crystals can become a valuable resource for the fertiliser industry. The main focus on nutrient recovery to date has been on chemical phosphorus products, which are proving very expensive, increasing sludge removal costs with no financial gain from the phosphate resource. Recapturing of used water derived phosphorus and selling it to industry seems to be a clear solution for closing the phosphorus cycle thus protecting the environment. Crystallization has been proven to be the established technology with the highest percentage of recovery resource for phosphorus, with a recovery rate exceeding 90% and appears to be the most effective process is obtaining struvite in which nitrogen is recovered in addition to phosphorus. The recovery of struvite also greatly reduces blockages in plants thus reducing running costs. Some options recovery and Opportunities: The cost of inorganic fertiliser continues to rise. New innovation for nitrogen recovery is via ion exchange membranes. In terms of the agricultural, economic value of the organic phosphorus and nitrogen contained in the dry sludge collected from wastewater plants this is significant, excluding the economic value of centrates, digestate's. Supernatant (digestate from digestion and centrates could also be made available as a slow release fertilizer, and provide a potential source of revenue. Current factors such as transportation and land application are additional costs that also need to be case studied to direct recovery options, in addition to bord bia agricultural restrictions on land spreading. Recovery of Metals: It is predicted that the supply of nickel and zinc will be exhausted within 50 years. Also reducing these and copper loadings significantly will improve recreational fishing in the discharge river, boosting tourism. In Ireland the driving force for metals recovery could be the epa stipulation such as the levels of cadmium and nickel in soil must be less than 1mg/kg and 30mg/kg respectively for use of sludge to be applied to land. Common methods of removing metals involve physical adsorption, electro dialysis and through biological and membrane processes the latter becoming more widely employed. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Further potential resource recovery & facilities: Wastewater typically contains many times more energy than is needed for treatment High energy from combustion of the organics in typical domestic wastewater is 6000mj/1000m3 The majority of recovered energy from used water treatment plants can be used on site in the form of electricity and heat (thermal energy) for processes. Start co-digestion using feedstock, from council sites etc as an energy crop, to feed our existing anaerobic digesters, to increase production of both electricity and heat. Use of inlet screenings as a resource, fuel rather than disposing as a waste. Public Water services sites also have potential for the installation of renewable energy technologies including micro turbines, DifGens on pipe networks, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal etc, to subsist power demand on site and export power to the grid when surplus to site demand. In the future Instead of consuming energy wastewater treatment could also use MFC’s (microbial fuel cells and other technologies to turn treatment plants into power plants.

Photo showing one of our fundamental forms of resource recovery in that the two main products from treatment process will be sludge solids and liquid

Due to agricultural restrictions in relation to the use of wastewater sludge in the production of fruit and vegetables crops for human consumption, it is prudent to look to other alternatives outlets such as: Bioremediation: Applying used water sludge on biomass energy crops, willow & miscantus, forestry, cereals for animal feeds etc Budget 2017 allows relief from carbon tax for solid fuels that include biomass to incentivise increased usage of greener fuels. Biomass is currently the most cost effective way to produce renewable liquid fuels. Biodiesel is one such fuel which works well in diesel engines and does not produce as much air pollution as burning petroleum fuels. Used cooking oil often thrown into sewers can also be converted to biodiesel. Residual Products: Once optimum energy and optimum resource recovery have been achieved from used water there remains marketable products. In the case of alum sludge from potable water treatment plants one such re-use option being used abroad is in the cement industry, which will also lead to reduced co2 emissions.

Learning, Future, Credits: Our track record of accomplishments speaks for itself. We are venturesome and are keenly trying new ideas using entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial spirit. The course of continued innovation will involve commitment as did our previous innovations. We are best placed in providing this service as we continue on this wonderful journey. I would like to thank our senior management for their assistance and support, in all that we have achieved so far

Finally I would like to thank all those who gave their time in contributing. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Grundfos pumps waste no time to help their customers Wessex Water is a regional water and sewage treatment business that serves a 10,000-square kilometre area in the south west of England. They supply services to cities and towns as well as many rural communities. Each year they treat and supply drinking water to 1.2 million people and provide sewerage services to 2.5million. Any issues with their pump stock has the potential to create major problems. So, when they experienced a multi pump failure at their inlet works in Dorset, this situation - in particular - had the potential to have very serious consequences; as the site in question is a completely pumped system. With a requirement to treat a daily average of 15,000 cubic meters (175 l/s) of incoming wastewater , without all of the pumps being available at all times there is a risk not being able to pass forward full flow to treatment. This would mean releasing wastewater into the environment, something which would have an enormous knock-on effect to the wider area. As the problem lay with a non-standard waste pump, there was no chance of getting it replaced quickly and this level of disruption to the plant’s operation had other major consequences including the prohibitive costs associated with over-pumping and compliance risks while waiting on a new pump to be delivered. With the average delivery time for replacement equipment quoted, it looked like Wessex were facing about 8 weeks’ disruption. Help was at hand however when they contacted Grundfos who understood the urgency of getting a solution there quickly and were able to help as they hold stock of over 2000 wastewater pumps, just for the UK and Irish markets. This meant that they could deliver a pump replacement in just 4 days. With everyone collaborating closely the works were back up and running in just a fraction of the expected time. In addition, they benefitted from Grundfos’ expertise and their simplified installation solutions they can offer for existing applications, this meant that the plant was quickly running smoothly again. As well as reliable products and the exemplary service, the plant savings in over-pumping financed the replacement pumps, resulting in financial savings and a significant compliance risk reduction. A Wessex Water spokesperson explained ”Grundfos are keen to make sure that our service level agreements are met, and keen that we get the service we really need plus by getting the pumps quickly.” He continued “This meant that costs were saved as in this instance the only option would have been to over-pump the inlet and the cost equivalent would have been equal to the cost of replacing two super-head pumps.” For more information on how Grundfos can help you to deliver the best results visit: www.grundfos.ie

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THE VAULTED HOUSE, DUBLIN WINS THE OVERALL AWARD AT THE IRISH CONCRETE SOCIETY’S 36TH ANNUAL AWARDS Excellence in the design and construction in concrete was clearly evident again at this year’s Irish Concrete Society’s Awards Evening, which took place on the 24th of March in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. This was the prestigious 36th Annual Awards Evening and the event is always one of the highlights in the construction industry’s calendar with some 340 of industry’s finest in attendance. The Awards recognise excellence in both design and construction in concrete and are adjudicated by a distinguished, independent jury of industry professionals. The main awards jury reviewed a total of twenty-seven projects nominated in three categories of main awards Element, Infrastructure and Building. There were also eight projects nominated for the 6th International Award, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. The winner of the annual Séan deCourcy Student Award and biennial Sculpture Award were also announced. The Main Awards The main awards jury consisted of Michael Browne of Collen Construction, Séan Harrington of Séan Harrington Architects and Brian Kavanagh of Garland Consulting Engineers.

Element Category and Overall Winner: The Vaulted House, Dublin Chosen from a total of 10 category entries and 27 entries for overall award. Jury Quote: “The terrazzo flooring in the existing building may have been the spark that set the client, designers and contractors down a road that delivered an exceptional building that has concrete features throughout. The client was brave and gave a complete vote of confidence to the design team and the contractor.

Project team members for The Vaulted House, Dublin accepting their award from Jim Mansfield Chairman of the Society (L-R) Declan Darcy (Darcy Bros) Thomas Burke (Roadstone), Jim Mansfield, Grace Keeley (GKMP Architects), Paul Durcan (GKMP Architects), Michael Pike (GKMP Architects)

There are many architectural exposed concrete elements that could have been submitted, fair faced walls, columns, soffits, and beams; the dramatic board marked beams internally and externally; the extensive use on terrazzo on the floors and stairs. The concrete theme continued into the garden with a board marked concrete shed, planter boxes, barbeque and even an insitu concrete table. Even a concrete worktop and sink. The vaulted concrete ceiling could well have been overpowering and cold. However, the attention to detail in the design and the craftwork and passion from the contractor have resulted in an exceptional feature in a very beautiful modern home.” Project Client: Private Project Engineer: David Maher & Associates Project Architect: GKMP Architects Project Contractor: Darcy Bros Major Suppliers: Gerry & Martin Brennan / PJ Ryan Terrazzo / Roadstone

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Infrastructure Category Winner: Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Chosen from a total of 7 projects entered.

Project team members for “Páirc Uí Chaoimh” accepting their award from Jim Mansfield Chairman of the Society (L-R) Ger Campion (Roadstone), Eamon Stack (Banagher Precast Concrete), Peter Deegan (Banagher Precast Concrete), Dave Cotter (John Sisk and Son), Bryan Roe (Scott Tallon Walker), Tony O'Dowd (P J Edwards), Jim Mansfield, Fiona Clancy (Roadstone), Sean Breen (Malachy Walsh and Partners), Seamus Kelly (Malachy Walsh and Partners), Eoghan Cremin (John Sisk and Son), Michael Barry (Roadstone)

Jury Quote: “This is a project of scale and impact and it dominates the local area. The vertical concrete elements and the excellent precast cladding panels captured the jury’s attention. There is also the row after row of precast concrete seating and terraces all completed to a high standard. This concrete tiered infrastructure surrounding is a worthy winner” Project Client: Cork County GAA Project Architect: Scott Tallon Walker Project Engineer: Malachy Walsh and Partners Project Contractor: John Sisk and Son Major Supplier: Banagher Precast Concrete / P J Edwards & Co Ltd / Roadstone

Building Category winner: Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin

Project team members for “Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin” accepting their award from Jim Mansfield, Chairman of the Society (L-R) David McKeown (Kilsaran), Paul Devine (OCSC), Paul Healy (OCSC), Maria Mulcahy (Henry J Lyons), Eddie Lyons (OCSC), Jim Mansfield, Colm Murray (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), Sara Madigan (Henry J Lyons), Robert Salmon (Henry J Lyons), Michael Drury (Henry J Lyons)

Chosen from a total of 10 entries Jury Quote: “The project team have combined to deliver a spectacular building that is alive with learning. The concrete challenges demanded a collaborative approach which must have pushed the parties to their elastic limit at times. From the raking columns, the jumbo corbel transfers, the dramatic board marked free standing concrete walls, the challenges in the basement civil works, this project challenged practitioners in concrete on several fronts. The building that results is a vibrant living centre of Education which highlights the concrete frame of

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the building in a very positive light. This a landmark living building and excellent concrete work is at the heart of the project.” Project Client: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Project Architect: Henry J Lyons Project Engineer: OCSC Project Contractor: Bennett Construction Major Suppliers: Kilsaran / SMG Formwork

Winner of the 6th International Award : Banagher Precast Concrete (L-R) Peter Deegan (Banagher Precast Concrete), Jim Mansfield, Donal Byrne (Enterprise Ireland) Caroline Cavanagh (Banagher Precast Concrete)

Winner of the 6th International Award Banagher Precast Concrete for “The Royal Mint, London” An award that recognises Irish companies who export product or service off the island of Ireland. The Award reflects the growing emphasis on export for all in Irish construction and is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. The Jury included Ed Hanlon, Engineer, Brian O’Rourke, Architect and Donal Byrne from Enterprise Ireland. Chosen from a total of 8 entries. Jury Quote: “The ambition demonstrated by this Irish company to complete the encapsulation of an existing busy rail line and free up the valuable airspace overhead for much needed inner city residential accommodation was impressive.

The entrant provided a full comprehensive design as well as the logistical expertise to manufacture and deliver multiple precast concrete units to this busy inner city site. The structural design life of 120 years, the capacity to withstand a train impact and the innovative design approach undertaken together with the collaborative research into the seismic capability of invisible connections was also impressive.” Project Client: The Royal Mint, London Irish Supplier: Banagher Precast Concrete Sculpture Award Held every two years this Award scheme enables the Society to acknowledge the work of sculptors who use concrete as a medium of expression.

Sculpture Award - Shards of Memory by Yvonne Casburn (L-R) Yvonne Casburn (Sculptor), Jim Mansfield (Chairman of the Society)

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The Jury consisted of Bob Quinn, Sculptor and James Martin, Architect Winning Piece: Shards of Memory by Yvonne Casburn Chosen from a total of 4 entries. Jury Quote:

“Shards of memory is, through the medium of concrete, a demonstration of the process of architectural decay, and the layers of complexity associated with this deterioration. What impressed us was the unique and innovative way that we were now able to appreciate this medium. Though the process of crushing the concrete is random there is a beautiful symmetry and consistency when seen as a whole. That which should have the weight of an industrial product is now a delicate gossamer curtain.” Sculptor name: Yvonne Casburn Sculpture title: Shards of Memory

Séan deCourcy Student Award This is an annual award given to the best final year project on a concrete related topic from the engineering faculties of 3rd level colleges. The award is named after the late Professor Séan deCourcy, an inspirational professor for many years at UCD, a former chairman of the Irish Concrete Society, an author and historian of note. Winner: Steven Conroy, National University of Ireland, Galway Project title: Smart materials – structural testing and analysis of ‘smart’ precast concrete slabs

Séan deCourcy Student Award - Stephen Conroy for his thesis “Smart materials – structural testing and analysis of ‘smart’ precast concrete slabs.” (L-R) Stephen Conroy, (National University of Ireland, Galway), Jim Mansfield (Chairman of the Society), Mrs Sheila DeCourcy (widow of Sean DeCourcy.

About the Irish Concrete Society The Irish Concrete Society is a learned society founded in 1973 to support and encourage technical excellence in concrete. It is a cross-sectorial, independent, impartial, science based organisation. With membership open to all who have an interest in concrete. The Society acts as a focal point for industry debate, research, education, standards development in the field of concrete technology, design and construction. The Society is a not for profit organisation funded by membership subscriptions and the services it offers.

Media Contact Information Irish Concrete Society, Platin, Drogheda, Co. Louth (041) 9876466 Executive Officer: Henry Kerr, hkerr@concrete.ie, (086) 0445681 LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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New Oughterard sewerage treatment plant will ensure capacity for population and economic growth Forms part of a €4.2 million investment by Irish Water Irish Water working in partnership with Galway County Council celebrated the official opening of the Oughterard Wastewater Treatment Plant today (Tuesday) with Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development Seán Kyne TD, and Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Councillor Eileen Mannion. Works have been completed on much needed upgrades to the Oughterard Sewerage Scheme, including the construction of a brand new treatment plant on a green field site, as part of a €4.2 million investment by Irish Water. The previous wastewater treatment plant in Oughterard was originally constructed in the early 1970s and catered for a population equivalent of 500. But the new plant has increased capacity to cater for a population equivalent of 2,400 making it a vital piece of infrastructure for future population and economic growth in Oughterard. Works will ensure environmental compliance The works, which have now been completed, will ensure wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, and conditions set out in the EPA’s Wastewater. Discharge Licence. One of the major benefits of this project is that it will improve water quality in the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib, areas of ecological importance as one of the most important freshwater pearl mussel rivers in Ireland. Upgrade will support future population and economic growth Speaking at today’s official opening, Colm Boyd, Wastewater Treatment Programmes Regional Lead, said “This upgrade will bring far reaching benefits to this thriving town located at the gateway to Connemara by ensuring future population and economic growth can be facilitated. The environmental benefits are also hugely important given the sensitivity of the receiving waters of the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib. We are delighted to be officially opening this facility today for the benefit of the local community and many tourists that visit the area.” The contract to carry out the works, which was signed by Irish Water in 2016, was undertaken by Glan Agua Limited, based in Loughrea, and took 12 months to complete. "We have waited decades for this day..." Minister Kyne, who cut the ribbon on the new wastewater treatment plant today, added “We have waited decades for this day and as Minister I’m very pleased to have played a part in its delivery. This is a great day for Oughterard and its future development potential. This investment is positive news for this area in Connemara and residents, businesses and visitors to the town will reap the benefits for many years to come. This plant will make a huge difference to the water quality of Lough Corrib, a prime brown trout fishery in the Irish and European context.” Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Eileen Mannion, added “This 4.2 million investment for Oughterard is very welcome and will allow the wastewater to be discharged in a safe manner. Investments such as this are vital to ensure Co Galway can develop into the future.”

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Essential project will benefit more than 7,000 people in West Cork by providing safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is working to provide a safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply for over 7,000 people in West Cork by upgrading the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS). This project will lead to significant improvements in the water supply for customers in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap, Sherkin Island and surrounding areas. Irish Water has recently submitted an application for a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire lands and wayleaves needed to carry out this essential project. Three treatment plants currently supplying Skibbereen are on EPA’s Remedial Action List. Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme is currently supplied with drinking water from five separate Water Treatment Plants. At present three of these treatment plants, namely Drimoleague, Skeagh (near Schull) and Ballinlough (near Leap), are providing inadequate levels of treatment and, as a result, are included on the EPA’s Remedial Action List. Some areas served by the Schull and Leap supplies are vulnerable to supply outages in the event of a burst on the network or in the event of source or treatment issues at the plants. At present there is no treated water storage on Sherkin Island, so the supply is vulnerable to outages. The existing water treatment plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will be retained and upgraded to become the sole sources of water, replacing the existing treatment plants in Drimoleague, Skeagh and Ballinlough. This will provide a secure, safe and reliable source of drinking water that complies with Drinking Water Regulations.

Increased security of supply to customers The project also involves the construction of approximately 40km of new water mains to service new reservoirs in Schull, Leap, Drimoleague and Sherkin in order to provide increased security of supply to customers. Gerry O’Donnell, Irish Water’s Regional Infrastructure Lead, commented “We are pleased to be progressing this important project, which will lead to a marked improvement in the quality and reliability of the drinking water supply for people in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island. By upgrading the treatment infrastructure across the region, we will be able to provide much greater security of supply, reduce disruption to customers and also facilitate the removal of supplies from the EPA’s Remedial Action List.”

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Ballybofey and Stranorlar Wastewater Treatment Plant to receive major upgrade The work commence on site in May 2018 Irish Water, working in partnership with Donegal County Council, has announced it will invest approximately €9 million as part of the upgrade of Ballybofey and Stranorlar wastewater treatment plant in County Donegal. The upgrade will bring benefits to the town and surrounding areas in terms of development potential, environmental protection, and improved water quality. Commenting on the project, Colm Claffey, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Programme Regional Lead said: “The upgrade works will increase the treatment capacity of the plant to meet the current needs of the town and to allow for growth. The works will also ensure that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, and conditions set out in the Wastewater Discharge Licence (WWDL) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. It will also improve the water quality of the River Finn and the aquatic environment from pollution.” The contract, which was signed by Irish Water and Response Engineering Ltd on Wednesday, March 7, will see the work commence on site in May 2018. Irish Water expects these works to last for approximately 16 months and upon completion the newly upgraded wastewater treatment plant will serve a future population equivalent (PE) of 9,200.

Irish Water turns the sod on €3.5 million investment to upgrade critical wastewater infrastructure in Manorhamilton and Mohill Irish Water, in partnership with Leitrim County Council, today (Friday) turned the sod to mark the start of upgrade works on the Manorhamilton and Mohill Wastewater Treatment Plants, as part of a €3.5 million investment by national utility. The work being carried out will ensure environmental compliance and protection of the receiving waters at both locations. The upgrades will also modernise both plants and improve energy efficiency, while also ensuring adequate spare capacity which will facilitate both future population growth and economic development.

One of a number of investments by Irish Water in Co. Leitrim The €3.5 million investment is one of a number of investments by Irish Water in Co Leitrim. Other works include upgrades to water mains in Carrick-on-Shannon, Dowra, Manorhamilton, Eslin-Mohil and Kilenna, upgrades to the water treatment plant in Carrick-on-Shannon and a network extension to Rossinver and Kiltyclogher, which allowed the removal of the boil water notice in Kiltycloger. Speaking at the event, Colm Boyd, Infrastructure Programme Regional Lead at Irish Water said "This 3.5 million investment in Co Leitrim is being made as part of Irish Water’s national strategy which aims to bring Ireland’s wastewater infrastructure to an acceptable standard, capable of supporting growing populations and economic development. This strategy is addressing issues where wastewater, either untreated or only partially treated, is being discharged into our environment, causing environmental damage and breaching environmental legislation." Also in attendance at the event, Leas Chathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Sean McGowan said "Today marks a significant milestone in Irish Water’s investment in the wastewater infrastructure in Co Leitrim. The investment will ensure that in both Manorhamilton and Mohill, wastewater is collected and treated to the highest environmental standard while at the same time allowing for future growth in local population and economic activity.” The contract for the works was awarded to Coffey Water Limited in late 2017 and works will be completed in early 2019.

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Irish Water progressing the Omeath Sewerage Scheme to protect Carlingford Lough and the surrounding environment Irish Water is progressing a project to upgrade the Omeath Sewerage Scheme to stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough. Once complete, the proposed scheme will improve the water quality in Carlingford Lough, benefiting the people that use the Lough and the wildlife that live on the banks of and in the Lough. The cleaner water will enhance the amenity value and support social and economic development in the area. The proposed new wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations and sewer pipes will support the increase in local population and future development in the area. The project will also ensure that the regulated water quality standards are achieved. The Carlingford Shore is a designated Special Area of Conservation and Carlingford Lough is a proposed National Heritage Area and an important shellfish area. The practice of discharging untreated wastewater to the Lough is no longer acceptable and Irish Water is rectifying this in conjunction with Louth County Council by constructing a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (subject to planning permission), pumping stations (subject to planning permission) and sewer network to ensure that the treated wastewater discharged to Carlingford Lough meets the appropriate standards. The new Wastewater infrastructure will bring benefits to Omeath in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all. Consultations have been ongoing with all landowners identified on the proposed scheme. Irish Water was unable to acquire all of the required wayleaves and lands on a voluntary basis and, given the importance of the project, Irish Water is now endeavouring to acquire the wayleaves and lands by way of CPO. Irish Water will now be submitting the Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála. Subsequent to the land acquisition process, Irish Water will be seeking planning permission for the Omeath Sewage Scheme from Louth County Council. Subject to the Planning and CPO statutory approvals construction work is expected to commence in early 2019 with project completion in 2021. The Omeath Sewerage Scheme involves the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant on a greenfield site north of Omeath Village. The new plant will serve a population equivalent of 1,000 with the capacity for future expansion. The project also includes new foul sewer connections to connect existing wastewater pipes, the construction of a new main pumping station at Shore Road and rising main to transfer wastewater to the new plant. A new outfall pumping station and outfall rising main will bring the treated discharge to the outfall. Work will be carried out to upgrade and extend the existing outfall pipe which will allow the safe discharge of treated wastewater into Carlingford Lough. Paul Fallon, Infrastructure Programme Manager with Irish Water said: “Irish Water is pleased to be progressing the Omeath Sewerage Scheme. The next stage is to submit a Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála to acquire the necessary lands for the project. "Stopping the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough is a priority for Irish Water. The proposed scheme will protect the environment by improving the water quality in the Lough for residents and tourists that visit the area and the wildlife that live in and around the Lough. Irish Water is committed to delivering this project and will keep the community informed at each stage of the project.” Irish Water spent over €525 million on water services in 2017. Capital investment in the region of €700 million per year is needed for a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s Business Plan up to 2021. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021 while achieving efficiencies of €1.6bn.

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Publication of the 2017 Annual Progress Report on Actions to Address Unfinished Housing Developments “Number of ‘ghost’ estates further reduced by 91% since 2010” inister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English TD, has published the Sixth Annual Progress Report and seventh housing survey on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments.

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This reveals a “91% reduction in the unfinished developments since 2010 from almost 3,000 to 256. 2017 saw the resolution of 165 developments”. Minister English was speaking at the launch of the report that includes the results from the 2017 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010. Among the key findings of this year’s survey are: • 91% decrease in the number of unfinished developments over the last 7 years; • 165 developments resolved in 2017; • 256 unfinished developments remaining; • 74% of local authority areas now contain fewer than 10 occupied unfinished developments; and • Four local authority areas have no occupied unfinished developments. Minister English indicated that his objective is to resolve all remaining unfinished housing developments especially those within high market demand locations and strive for 100% turnaround. The Minister acknowledges the results of the 2017 survey which indicate that the parts of developments that are occupied are, in the vast amount of cases, now well established and finished to a good standard. Minister English added “in the last twelve months we have resolved 165 developments and intend to build on that success with a further push in 2018 to resolve as many as possible of the remaining unfinished developments.”

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Local authorities and on-the-ground teams have excellent local knowledge and have signalled that a number of sites with ‘unfinished’ elements are now coming back in for new planning permission. In a number of cases this was at pre-planning stage and throughout 2018 should move on to the determination of planning applications clearing the way for development subject to developer capacity, funding and demand. Unfinished Housing Development teams established in local authorities to address the ‘unfinished’ issue have gained enormous experience and knowledge in matters of successful resolution from enforcement through to bonds and effective collaboration with receivers and financial institutions. This knowledge and expanded capabilities can also now be applied towards matters of Taking in Charge and Vacant Homes Action Plans with the need for Empty Homes Officers. In conclusion, the Minister signalled that “in the last twelve months we have resolved 165 developments and intend to build on that success with a further push in 2018 to resolve as many as possible of the remaining unfinished developments. I am very pleased with the progress made by my Department and look forward to working with Department officials and local authorities in reducing the number of unfinished developments further throughout 2018.”

Reimagining our Country: Government launches €116bn Project Ireland 2040 • First time in Irish history that Planning & Investment have been linked • Four new funds totalling €4bn for rural & urban growth, climate action & innovation • Major transport focus linking all parts of Ireland & filling gaps in North West • €22bn climate change programme as well as major public transport investment • Preparing Ireland for Brexit by investing in the future & targeting at risk sectors. An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the Government have launched a €116 billion plan to re-imagine Ireland and prepare for the future following a special Cabinet meeting at the Institute of Technology in Sligo. In front of an audience of college students, the Cabinet unveiled Project Ireland 2040 which aims to build their Ireland of tomorrow, and prepare for a future society which will have an extra one million people, and 660,000 more people at work. Project Ireland 2040 takes a radically different approach to future planning by focusing not just on bricks and mortar, but on social, economic and cultural development. It links planning and investment for the first time in Irish history, balances rural and urban investment, and will avoid the mistakes of the past. Three quarters of new growth will be outside Dublin, with 50% of the projected population growth planned for our towns, villages and rural areas and 50% for our cities. Dublin, our capital city, must grow up and not out. And it’s underpinned by a 10 year €116 billion National Development Plan. This is a dramatic increase in public investment for Ireland, and makes Ireland a European leader for investment, leaving behind the lost decade since 2008.

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Above all, Project Ireland 2040 aims to Brexit-proof Ireland by investing in the future with a particular focus on the Border Regions. It includes four new funds designed to stimulate renewal and investment in rural and urban areas, the environment and innovation: · €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund; · €1 billion Rural Development Fund; · €500 million Climate Action Fund; · €500 Disruptive Technologies Fund. There is also a significant focus on the environment with €22 billion allocated to tackling and dealing with climate change across transport, energy and commercial State agencies. An Taoiseach said: “This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion. This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future.” Commenting on the National Development Plan, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe said: ‘This National Development Plan will change how we invest in public infrastructure in Ireland. It moves beyond the approach of the past, which saw public investment spread too thinly and investment decisions which didn’t align with a spatial strategy. These practices contributed to some of the major issues that we, as a country, face today, particularly the predominance of Dublin in terms of economic growth, alongside the challenges facing rural communities’. Speaking about the National Planning Framework, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy said: “Ireland stands on the cusp of great change. In the next 20 years we will grow by an extra one million people. This raises a series of important questions for our consideration, the most basic being where will all these people live and work, what kind of quality of life will we each enjoy, and how will a country of almost six million people impact on our communities and on our built and natural environment? “We have a responsibility to answer these questions; we have a responsibility to plan for the changes that we face – to manage our future growth in a productive and sustainable way. This is a challenge certainly, but it is also a great opportunity for a new generation to imagine, and implement, a shared vision for each community on this island. “Project Ireland 2040 represents an important shift from previous approaches to long-term planning and investment by Government. It is an approach that joins up ambition for improvement across the different areas of our lives, bringing the various government departments, agencies, State owned enterprises and local authorities behind a shared set of strategic objectives for rural, regional and urban development.”

Read the full National Planning Framework visit www.npf.ie LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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CHAINSAW TRAINING TO CALM THE STORM Armed with an established team, FRS Training won the tender to bring Fingal Co. Council up to Emergency Chainsaw skills level in order to competently deal with the aftermath of the recent storm damage that needed clearance from our many public roads and pathways. The designed programme trained and assessed operators to a competent level in dealing with Emergency Tree Works and damaged trees due to recent adverse weather conditions that are occurring more frequently in this country. The training was conducted on fully insured sites in close proximity to the customers locations and with an emphasis throughout on all aspects of Health and Safety while using a chainsaw.

Fingal Co. Council teams at the FRS Training Emergency City and Guilds Chainsaw course.

The course delivered was the highly reputable Emergency City and Guilds Chainsaw course unit 305 which is designed to deal with windblown trees or storm damage trees and also covers site HIRA ( hazard Identify risk assessment ) which is a crucial training component for Co. Council operatives. Ten participants completed the two courses and with extensive practical training on fully insured sites by qualified FRS instructors the Fingal Co. Council team are now equipped and certified to tackle the jobs at hand. FRS Training is a recognised training center for City and Guilds, LANTRA and QQI courses throughout Ireland. With a comprehensive range of Essential Chainsaw Training courses from beginners, intermediate and advanced, FRS Training are providing a continuation of service that you have valued throughout the years and is leading the way forward in the chainsaw training space. FRS have a team of Instructors and Assessors with over 25 years of Chainsaw Training experience and offer advice and training options to help companies comply with their legal obligations in this field.

Fingal Co. Council teams at the FRS Training Emergency City and Guilds Chainsaw course.

FRS Training also offer a wide range of courses delivered with the same expertise and experienced instructors, such as combi courses, which cover Strimmers, Ride on Lawnmowers, Pedestrian Lawnmowers, Leaf Blowers and Hedge Trimmers. A wood chipper course with on site training is also available. These courses are ideal for anyone involved in grass maintenance or timber and can be tailored to suit customer requirements. For further information or to arrange a meeting or a chat contact:

Contact: Eugene Doyle, FRS Training Business Development Manager on (086) 8117986 or Linda Crampton on (0505) 31578 LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS

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Local Authority News Vol. 37 No. 1  

WATER/WASTEWATER ONE OF OUR MOST SUSTAINABLE VALUABLE RESOURCES - €417 MILLION INVESTMENT PROGRAMME FOR 2018 FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL ROADS-...

Local Authority News Vol. 37 No. 1  

WATER/WASTEWATER ONE OF OUR MOST SUSTAINABLE VALUABLE RESOURCES - €417 MILLION INVESTMENT PROGRAMME FOR 2018 FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL ROADS-...

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