Our Recent Posts


No tags yet.


Technology has become more and more important these days and that’s true for politicians too. Local T.D. Emer Higgins has been hosting her public meetings and clinics online, during the lockdown.

“Like so many others I’m working from home most of the time now. There’s a large planning application in Palmerstown been lodged and I knew it was likely to be controversial, so I wanted to make sure that people were aware of it so that they had the opportunity to make a submission. I joined forces with Cllr. Alan Hayes to hold an online public meeting on the issue and was really surprised by how many people logged on. It showed an appetite for information, so I decided, once the five phased plan to re-open Ireland was announced, to host a live questions and answers session on it,” explained Higgins, the Lucan T.D.

“Before I was elected to the Dáil, I worked for a multinational corporation so virtual meetings aren’t new to me, but hosting a questions and answers clinic live on air definitely was. I was amazed, though, at how many people logged in live and how many others watched the recording I posted later that day. It proved a great way of being able to engage with constituents, who are online, and answer their questions in relation to the lifting of restrictions. I’ll definitely be doing more and more online engagements while social distancing continues, but I have to say I am looking forward to getting back in front of people in real life,” concluded Higgins.

Parenting in Covid-19 is tough out. That’s according to local T.D. Emer Higgins who has paid tribute to parents who are double-jobbing and triple-jobbing through the pandemic.

Speaking in the Dáil Chamber Deputy Higgins said, “Parents have had to become technologically able to access the school work online, and intellectually able to teach it. If they’ve teenagers they’re trying to coax them away from their friends on the green, their smart phones or their online games; and encourage them instead in to do their school-work and to exercise. If they’ve kids preparing for the leaving cert, then they’ve had to become their guidance counsellor, leading them through a traditionally stressful time during a unique period of uncertainty. If they’ve toddlers they’ve had to become pre-school teachers, experts at arts and crafts and ways of developing their child’s creativity and imagination in an entertaining way. If they’ve a child with special needs they’re doing their utmost to create a new routine amid chaos. All of this is before they cook, and clean, and in many cases, as is the new trend, bake.”

“And it’ particular challenging for working parents, parents who are struggling to balance all of these new demands with working from home or, if they’re an essential worker, on top of their day job during it’s busiest time. Those parents aren’t double-jobbing; they’re triple-jobbing! If you’re one of those parents, worried you’re not doing as well as other parents seem to be, please, know, you are doing enough. Your best is all you can give and it’s all anyone can expect of you,” said Deputy Emer Higgins.

I asked for an update from Irish Water on the progress of works at Rathcoole Park, including recent spraying. We all look forward to new playing pitches in 2021!

Dear Deputy Higgins,

Thank you for your recent communications in relation to spraying of large areas of Rathcoole park.

I have received an update advising that Irish Water is in the process of completing a €35m investment in the trunk water infrastructure in South Dublin with the construction of the new 1200mm diameter strategic watermain linking the two largest water supplies in the Dublin Region namely Leixlip and Ballymore Eustace . This project is one of many to increase drinking water network connectivity and security of supply for the Greater Dublin Area. The reinstatement works on the project are well underway with reconstruction works on the pitches in Rathcoole Park as agreed with South Dublin County Council having commenced in February 2020.

The works will involve installation of under pitch drainage, regrading of the ground to optimise the pitch surface and gradients, construction of 2 pitches, maximising the playing space available and appropriate runoff areas. In March 2020, in preparation for the pitch reinstatement, the area involved was cordoned off completely to separate the construction site from the remainder of the South Dublin County Council managed park. The fenced off site is part of the curtilage of the Irish Water project site and are the responsibility of the Irish Water's Contractor until such time as the pitches have been fully restored and seeding established.

It is expected the 2 pitches will be available for playing on in Summer 2021. Irish Water’s Main Contractor for the project, Ward and Burke Construction Ltd., engaged Eddie Connaughton, B. Sc. Agronomist to design the pitch recipe for construction, sequencing of the process from existing pitch stripping and harvesting to final pitch reconstruction. In consultation with South Dublin County Council Parks Department, it was agreed to prepare the pitch for soil stripping and reinstatement by use of a translocated broadleaf herbicide.

Risk Assessments and Method Statements were carried out to facilitate the pitch reconstruction which included for application of the herbicide on a calm day, by trained experienced staff from a Landscape Contractor, in this case Avondale Landscapes and in conjunction with SDCC Parks Dept. The reconstruction of the pitches at Rathcoole Park called for the existing grass sward to be sprayed with a non-residual total herbicide like Round-up to eradicate the existing sward. This practice is essential to the harvesting of the existing topsoil for re-use in the reconstruction works.

Spraying existing grass swards with this herbicide is standard practice in our industry, and is both safe for the environment and the public when used at label recommended rates. This activity took place on the Monday 23rd March at 4.30pm. No issues or complaints by members of the public were received on the day. The Project Agronomist does not agree that the brown /dead grass is "catastrophic environmental damage" but rather it is dead and decaying grass due to herbicide application. Once the grass has died the topsoil can be harvested (removed) and stored to allow the base formation for the new sports pitches.

Once the bases are formed the topsoil is replaced without the old grass present so that the new sports pitches can be drained and sown with new sports pitch grasses. This will return the area to a new grass sward that will be capable of sustaining intensive sports usage in the future.

Following application of the herbicide, the next stage of the process is to strip and harvest the topsoil to preserve for final reuse on the reinstated, regraded pitches, however due to the current site shutdown arising from the COVID-19 pandemic the stripping and harvesting of the topsoil has not been able to progress and the remaining works are postponed until the construction activities are permitted to recommence.

I trust you find the above information useful. Thank you for contacting Irish Water.

Yours sincerely,

John O’Driscoll

Elected Representative Support Desk


Emer Higgins #1

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

©2018 by Emer Higgins 4 TD. Proudly created with Wix.com

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now