Monday, November 26, 2012

Landscape Conference Dublin Tuesday 27th November


Landscape conference to highlight importance of Green Infrastructure


The world-renowned landscape architect and urban designer Dr. Kongjian Yu will be the keynote speaker at the Irish Landscape Institute’s (ILI) National Conference and Design Awards on Tuesday 27th November. The conference takes place at Bewley’s Hotel’s Thomas Prior Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 and this year’s theme is Green Infrastructure.


Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Naoise ÓMuirí, will open the conference. “It is very exciting to have the well-respected expert Dr. Kongjian Yu in attendance at the ILI’s 2012 Conference.  Dr. Yu has a record in applying cutting-edge design to enhancing our environment.   This is very relevant to Green infrastructure which is the conference’s theme this year.   Greening the City is one of the main aims of the current Development Plan for Dublin. Dublin City Council is actively developing strategic green networks in terms of better transportation access, flood reduction, recreational and biodiversity  improvements.” says the Lord Mayor.


Green Infrastructure is a network of natural areas and open spaces—such as woodlands, wetlands, trails and parks—that conserves ecosystems, helps sustain clean air and water and provides many other benefits to people and wildlife.


President of the Irish Landscape Institute, Maryann Harris, adds that “The Irish Landscape Institute celebrates the twentieth anniversary this year. The multidisciplinary nature of Green Infrastructure is reflected in this conference’s programme. The global importance of Green Infrastructure is reflected in our speakers from Asia, North America and Europe. We are also launching the first national award in Ireland for Green Infrastructure as part of the National Landscape Awards 2012. This conference will provide a major event for pioneering new approaches in Ireland to environmental planning and design.”


Key sponsorship for this event is provided by Dublin City Council and by the Green Infrastructure Network (GreenInfranet), co-funded by the EU programme INTERREG IVC and its project partner, Fingal County Council.



For further information contact:


Kevin Fitzpatrick, Hon. Secretary, Irish Landscape Institute

KFLA tel.:             (01) 444-0724


Maryann Harris, President, Irish Landscape Institute

Tel.:                       087-656-1676





The Irish Landscape Institute (ILI)

ILI is the professional body representing Landscape Architects in Ireland, governed by a Constitution and a Code of Professional Conduct. The Institute has a membership of about 200, made up of fellows and full members, graduate members, student members, honorary members and affiliates. ILI is a registered member of both EFLA (European Foundation for Landscape Architecture) and IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) and is a member of the Urban Forum

Dr. Kongjian Yu

The keynote speaker is Dr. Kongjian Yu, Doctor of Design and Visiting Professor at Harvard University, author of 17 books, and Professor and Dean at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University, China.  Dr. Yu is President and Principal Designer of Turenscape, a multi award-winning firm employing 600 design professionals. Turenscape is a multi disciplinary design practice providing design services in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, across many scales and environments.

The vast scale of China and its apparently boundless growth have enabled Yu to test many ideas that are still largely theories in the Western world. His work, increasingly valued and appreciated in Europe and North America, has attained an extremely high and elegant level in both conception and execution. Kongjian Yu is known for his ecological stance, often against the status quo. His guiding design principles are the appreciation of the ordinary and a deep embracing of nature, even in its potentially destructive aspects, such as floods. Among his most acclaimed projects are Houtan Park for Shanghai Expo, the Red Ribbon Park in Qinhuangdao, and Shipyard Park in Zhongshan.


 Other speakers will include:


  • James Mituzas, Senior Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, New York City Parks and Recreation
  • Michael Phillips FIEI, President, Engineers Ireland and City Engineer of Dublin
  • Nicole Collomb CMLI, Built Environment Expert at Design Council, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE), in London and Chartered Landscape Architect
  • Dr. Shane Colgan, ERC Co-ordinator, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Franca Davenport MA MSc, science writer for Science for Environment Policy, a European Commission service, and lecturer at University of the West of England in Bristol
  • Dr. Gerry Clabby, ecologist and Heritage Officer, Fingal County Council and project partner of EU Green Infranet Project
  • Alison Harvey, Planning and Development Officer, Heritage Council and author of 'Community-led Village Design Statement (VDS) Toolkit' (2012)


The Green Infrastructure Network (GreenInfraNet) is a partnership of 12 regions from across Europe working together to promote the development and implementation of green infrastructure in EU regions. The three-year project was launched in April 2012 and is co-funded by the EU programme INTERREG IVC.  Website: for further details.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Changes at Temple Bar Cultural Trust

Mr Ray Yeates, Dublin City Arts Officer appointed CEO, managing director of Temple Bar Cultural Trust




Dublin City Council Public Statement



Re: Temple Bar Cultural Trust


The Board of Temple Bar Cultural Trust have confirmed the City Manager’s appointment of the City Arts Officer to the role of Interim CEO of TBCT.


Mr Yeates will retain his position as City Arts Officer.


The serving CEO of TBCT Mr Dermot Mc Laughlin was recently seconded by the Trust to the Derry City of Culture.


The Trust has been the subject of a report in 2011 (The Latitude Report) that suggested that the Company be absorbed into City Council and that Dublin City Council should make itself ready for such an eventuality.


After debate the City Manager as the sole Shareholder of the Trust directed the Board to study the Latitude Report findings and make recommendations to him as to its future.


Simultaneously the City Manager requested the Mr Yeates as City Arts Officer begin to draw up a new Cultural Strategy for the City Council that would include a strategic role for Temple Bar.


The Board of TBCT has been evaluating the Latitude Report for the past year and will continue to do so into 2013 and will bring its recommendation to the City Manager in due course while mindful of the need to draw this period of evaluation to a close in a timely manner for all concerned.



Brendan Kenny


Assistant City Manager


21st November 2012



Friday, November 9, 2012

Share the power, vote Yes

 Constitutionally incapable of protecting the welfare of our children


It is children who have struggled and suffered in order that this amendment be made to our constitution.  It is long overdue.  No adult can claim this victory as it rightly belongs to generations of children of this State that were horrendously abused, disregarded as surplus property for adults to do what they will with including moulding them into images of failed parents and a failing State. 

The interference of the Church and the family as enshrined in the present constitution have ensured for generations that children would remain in a perpetual bondage irrespective of what abuses they suffered.  The supremacy of the family’s rights over those of the child, backed up by the church and upheld by our courts because of its position in the constitution, was a tool of enslavement to misery and abuse - children as property.  It is true to say that while the citizen is the benefactor of the constitution and its rights, the individual rights of children are nowhere to be seen in the document.  

It is fair to say that certainly in my brief history on planet earth, 53 years, children were seen as a kind of wild animal that needed to be tamed.  Look back, not too long ago, and see the treatments that were meted out to children not just in so-called correctional institutions, but also in family homes, hospitals and society in general.  The lives of some children were, in the main, miserable and in many places around the world they remain a misery.  However, in the next 24 hours the Irish people can change the lives of the nation's children by the stroke of a pen.  All of the issues of the abuse of children and child protection etc will still be on the table on Sunday morning. Let’s face facts that these are constants.  We can only strive to protect the Nation's children and all children against evil doings and the many dangers that face them. No better way to do this then to enshrine their rights as children in the Irish constitution.  Their rights in the constitution and the upholding of those rights in the Irish constitution will be the business of the Irish people and their eternal vigilance over those rights.

This is a historic moment of momentous importance.  Children always had rights we just didn't give them to them, we denied them.  And now as a result of the unending relentless revelations and truths of child abuse this referendum has opened up a new chapter, a new beginning for children as individuals whose rights will be enshrined, as individuals, in the Irish constitution. So from the moment a child is born, they will have their own constitutional rights and it will be up to every individual adult and person to ensure that those sacred rights are not violated or impinged in any way.  It is time to include children as equals in the constitution.  It is time to be good parents and citizens, time to do the right thing for children.  

In a failing State, in a failing society that has failed its children, because it was constitutionally incapable of being honest about what was happening in plain sight to its most vulnerable and precious, the least we can do is make sure that their rights are now enshrined and active forever more.  Forget your monument and your memorial for victims of child abuse in your garden of remembrance.  A vote Yes to children's rights amendments to the constitution is the proper way and proper monumental change that is now warranted.  Memorials and monuments are stuck in a past, the constitution of a country and its citizens is ever present, is the beating heart of democracy and freedom and gives us our reasons to strive for better things.

There are still issues of accountability around what happened to children in this State, indeed this very Irish State has yet to be investigated for its role in this appalling neglect and care of duty. The church and religious congregations and the many institutions of this State have cases to answer and must be held accountable and consequences must be delivered.  We must stand ready to ensure that this business is completed.  We also must stand ready to defend our rights and the rights of our children against enemies outside of our State, within our State, and indeed the State itself.  

The constitution is the document of the people for all the people. I do believe that children will be better off as a result of their inclusion in the constitution of the Republic of Ireland than they will be outside of it.


This is my personal opinion and I'm committed to a Yes vote and I'd ask that you consider with favour the children and their rights tomorrow.   Children are not property, they are human beings, they have their rights and we have a duty to ensure that. Let’s do it.

You have the power, share it with the children of the Nation by including them in the Constitution.