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    • #707097
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Brasilia-style capital proposed
      Liam Reid

      A key adviser to the Government on science and technology has suggested that the current decentralisation proposals should be abandoned in favour of creating a new Brasilia-style administrative capital city for the country.

      Dr Edward Walsh, the former president of the University of Limerick, has suggested Athlone or the Shannon region as a suitable location for the new capital, which would also house a new DÑil building and Government headquarters.

      He said that such a bold move offers the greatest potential to correct the current bias towards Dublin.

      Dr Walsh believes the current Government decentralisation plan has been “hurriedly prepared without access or consultation”.

      In a speech on decentralisation, to be delivered to senior civil servants tomorrow, Dr Walsh suggests that the Government’s programme is a pre-election gimmick similar to the abolition of rates in 1977.

      Dr Walsh is also chairman of the Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, which advises the Government on science and technology policy issues.

      While welcoming in principle the decentralisation initiative as “a splendid national opportunity to correct the Dublin imbalance”, he said this had not been availed of.

      The current proposals could “serious endanger the future effectiveness of central government and Ireland’s wellbeing”, he said, and aspects needed to be re-examined.

      He believes the current proposals to move civil servants to 53 locations would fragment central government, slow decision-making and undermine the national spatial strategy.

      Dr Walsh has suggested using a regional city or group of cities as a focal point for decentralisation, “forming a strong cluster that would stimulate the emergence of a counterpole to Dublin”. Another is to move the administrative capital in its entirety to a new location.

      He cites examples from around the world, including Canberra, Washington DC and Brasilia.

      Athlone, “because of its central location”, is one suggested location, but would need to be transformed into a city of “significantly greater scale”, he added.

      He also suggests the 600-acre Dromoland site as a site for a new parliament and government building complex, with Galway, Limerick, Shannon and Ennis providing the core infrastructure.

    • #742820
      FIN
      Participant

      at last someone talking some sense!!!!!

    • #742821
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Is it true that there is a bomb shelter for Government Officials in Athlone?

    • #742822
      FIN
      Participant

      ha,ha,ha,ha…didn’t hear that before…. don’t know why cos if it was me that would be the first place i would do…ha,ha..that’s hilarious…

    • #742823
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I know it sounds really funny, but it is one of those things that I have heard over and over again. I really don’t know if it is true or not though. The Swiss build bomb shelters under quite alot of their buildings. I stayed in one once for a while. Mad…mad… mad experience!

    • #742824
      bigjoe
      Participant

      Athlone!!!!!!!!!!!!! good enough for the fuckers. πŸ˜€

    • #742825
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Building a new city and making it the capital rather than Dublin? I dunno…its worked for other countries I guess, but I dunno…

      I’d have to think about it before I’d jump on board.

    • #742826
      kefu
      Participant

      It’s not a bomb shelter but it was an area for emergency sittings of the Cabinet.
      I think it was put in place at the height of the Cold War and equipped with gas masks, iodine etc.
      It’s underneath one of the large buildings in the army barracks but is decommissioned now.
      Was in it one time – was like stepping on to the set of Dr Strangelove.
      It had large maps of Ireland on the walls, rotary phones, weather equipment and paperwork for noting radiation levels etc.
      Fascinating but presumably utterly useless had anyway tried to actually bomb it.

    • #742827
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thank you for that Kefu. It clears things up slightly. Were the doors sealed?

    • #742828
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by kefu
      It’s not a bomb shelter but it was an area for emergency sittings of the Cabinet.

      Almost as good as the 1940 plan to put neon signs up over the city of DUBLIN to deter the germans from confusing Ireland with Liverpool.

      A well conceived article but it would only be worth one Dail seat and it wouldn’t favour messers O’Donaghue or Parlon 😑

    • #742829
      kefu
      Participant

      I think the doors were sealed and I vaguely recall the basement of having lead in the lining of walls, roof etc. Could be wrong.

    • #742830
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I am suprised that there is not more discussion about the plan to build a new administrative capital instead of Dublin.

      I wonder what its actual impact would be?

      The last time Dublins Capital City satus was removed the City went into decline!

      Are people not commenting because they simply do not see it as a realistic possibility, or are people just thinking about it alot?

      It might just speed up the inevitable connection of Dublin with Athlone and eventually Galway!!!!!:) πŸ˜€

    • #742831
      kefu
      Participant

      I think people aren’t discussing it because it’s so implausible.
      There’s not one good reason for this apart perhaps from an infrastructure deficit, which could be easily addressed by the money it would cost to build a new capital.
      I think Dublin would go into serious decline with an abundance of historical building stock probably allowed go to rack and ruin.

    • #742832
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I just see it as completely implausible – up there with Dublin having an English premiership club….

    • #742833
      notjim
      Participant

      i like the idea of putting up big DUBLIN neon signs, it sounds really cool. hey, why didn’t liverpool put up big DUBLIN neon signs during the war?

    • #742834
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by Paul Clerkin
      I just see it as completely implausible – up there with Dublin having an English premiership club….

      Are 53 seperate locations any better?

      There are certain back office functions that can be transfered piecemeil but moving the main departments will make efficient administration impossible and will magnify the unsustainable nature of settlement patterns in Celtic Tigre Ireland. Every civil servant will be car dependent as the public transport network is incapable of getting CC’s from Department to department under the current plan.

      It is as the author suggests the greatest Divvy up in political history and he is right to compare it to the abolition of rates in 1977 which left a 17 year legacy of financial hardship.

      All so that this inept government can retian control of the local government they bankraupted in 1977, the tribunals should be scrapped as the protagenists have nothing onto this scam.

    • #742835
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I’m not in favour of decentralisation either….

    • #742836
      notjim
      Participant

      a) its a barking idea, we should be struggling to provide dublin with the infrastructure its needs rather than coping out and trying to make dublin a lesser city and hence a better fit for its current crappy infrastructure. if we move the capital to athlone we’ll have a completely crap capital and a kind of crap main city, we need to make dublin a great world city.

      b) ed walsh has a huge influence on government thinking on third level education and science policy and this is the sort of radical and innovatative but not actually clever idea that typifies government thinking in this area. just because change is needed doesn’t mean any change is good.

    • #742837
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The big question that I had as I originally read a newspaper article was this:

      Why is an expert in science and technology stating this? Surely he should be sticking to his own area of expertise! If someone related to planning or architecture made a suggestion relating to science or something else I am sure that they would soon be dismissed on a grand scale!?

    • #742838
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by phil
      Why is an expert in science and technology stating this? Surely he should be sticking to his own area of expertise!

      There is little question that of all the Universities in Ireland UL has progressed most over the past 15 years, from being a regional National Institute of Higher Education it has become a highly respected University in a relatively short period of time.

      It has done this not by becoming better in one field but by combining a diverse offering of relevant courses in one location, unlike DIT it has emulated the NUIs and TCD by doing it on one campus.

      UL has like the other Universities built real connections with local industies which has led to tangiable agglomeration economies. The Shannon region has a disproportionate share of Foreign Direct Investment built upon its educational and infrastructural base.

      His theory that one site should be selected as an administrative second capital is based upon his experience of planning and executing what many would have said was impossible in his own field.

      I agree with his site selection, as it is closer to Shannon airport than the Dail is to Dublin airport and is closer to the Ennis rail line than the Dail is to Heuston.

      It is therefore sufficiently connected to capitilise on the potential for agglomeration economies, which after all is what spatial planning is all about.

      Given that the planning profession has already expressed serious reservations about decentralistion in its current format he is not suggesting anything really new, but more an opinion that a suitable site exists.

      I agree Castletroy was an ambitious location for a University, well done!!!!! πŸ™‚

    • #742839
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Therefore it would not solely be an administrative capital he is proposing, would it?

    • #742840
      notjim
      Participant

      sorry, i should have been clear, ed walsh did wonders with ul, it is a great achievement and there is a useful role in third level education and in the science and technology community for ul and other universities build on that model. i often think nui maynooth should study ul and dcu.

      he is an astute manager and very clever at branding ul and guiding into its current position. when it comes to policy however . . .

    • #742841
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I entirely agree notjim Dublin should strive to be an important World City in terms of influence within the chosen fields

      Where Dublin is doing well appears to be in attracting small projects at the higher end of the employment scale. The number of projects employing more than 500 people attracted to Dublin in the last 3 years can be counted on one hand.

      Without doubt Dublin is the most important IT city in Europe and out performs in Pharma. It is building a viable Financial services sector but is still a long way behind London and Luxembourg.

      With average salaries in these sectors exceeding 50k for experienced professionals it is clear that other employees are finding it difficult to maintain a decent standard of living.

      Particularly affected are Civil Servants who generally got paid less than the private sector rate for an equal job (not saying all of them worked equally hard) But the reality is that if standards slip in the Civil Service the platform for industry is damaged.

      Decentralisation is a good policy in theory as it relieves some of the pressure on Dublin by freeing up some existing capicity for the private sector in areas such as housing, schools and roads.

      Where I think Dr Walsh is right is that you cannot govern a country from 53 seperate locations, there is too much interconnectivity, and as for e-commerce solutions, they form only part of a wider strategy.

      One or two locations at most are viable, but if a second location is to be chosen it must be capable of providing a counter weight to Dublin without overheating any of the other major settlements such as Cork or Galway.

      What should really be done is that the existing 53 location plan should be scrapped so that proper research can be conducted into the effects of decentralisation on the civil service.

    • #742842
      notjim
      Participant

      ok good, we agree. i would support a decentralization programme that restricts relocation to a small number of centres, paying attention to the national spatial plan and local specialities and does not ignore the existing large cities.

      by the way, i would have to argue with the claim that we are the most important it city in europe, we are doing well, but in r and d we are miles behind cambridge.

    • #742843
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by notjim
      , i would have to argue with the claim that we are the most important it city in europe, we are doing well, but in r and d we are miles behind cambridge.

      You are probably right, but we are number one at blowing our own trumpet and convincing ourselves with delusions of grandness πŸ˜€

      This 53 centre capital really sums it all up, there is something for Everybody in the audience :p

    • #742844
      dc3
      Participant

      Deep in darkest Ireland, a large site is perhaps being consolidated , doubtless with enough “planning envelopes” used.

      It will soon be ready, ready for the day when the scheme to decentralise, i.e. to bring government closer to the current Minister’s constituents, so they can flog off an auld site, begins to fall apart. That will be when there is a reshuffle of Ministers or change of Government, as the current “scheme” is tailor made for the existing configuration and for absolutely nothing else.

      Then, and only then, will Ireland return to its true and ancient capital, Cork, to be ruled free of planning blight, by the cutest for the cutest.

      PS – The City of the BVM planned for out here in the west, seems to be on the back (insense) burner now does it not not?

    • #742845
      notjim
      Participant

      isn’t kilkenny the true and ancient capital?

      hey, i have a better idea, lets make belfast the capital. i always belived that foreign affairs should be decentralized there, why not the whole lot, they could share stormont with the assembly.

    • #742846
      FIN
      Participant

      tara is the true capital. that city planned for mayo was the greatest load of shite.
      the idea is a good one. and planned properly would have a great impact on the island as a whole. it could not however be just government administration. it would have to be planned carefully to allow for industry and such. thinking it will diminish dublin is not looking at all the facts. brasillia and canberra didn’t detract from their respective countries main cities.

    • #742847
      shadow
      Participant

      The alternative model to the current version could have been 53 multimodal representations of the state with a one-stop shop for every department, tax, revenue etc. That would have been meaningful. The model, which we have adopted, is a decentralised centrality with various departments or fiefdoms operating out of various new centres. There was/is an opportunity to rethink the whole idea of democratic relationships. Instead of more obscure centres of bureaucracy this cold have been the equivalent of town square council representation of government in action.

    • #742848
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by dc3
      Deep in darkest Ireland, a large site is perhaps being consolidated , doubtless with enough “planning envelopes” used.

      It will soon be ready, ready for the day when the scheme to decentralise,

      The problem is that possibly as many as 53 sites have been assembled for potential sale. A very interesting rezoning motion is before Kilarney UDC no doubt with the dept of Tourism lined up as prime tenant.

      The scheme is here and definitely not along the lines that shadow suggests, if one site were selected then one transaction would be involved making one person or syndicate quids in, 53 transactions would be entirely more complex to assess. :confused:

    • #742849
      schumann786
      Participant

      Lets build a big capital ship which can sail from port to port, allowing the regions to gain the benifits of a local capital city.
      Imagine it! The government in Blacksod Bay.
      And then of course, we can sink it with all hands if the government make any more stupid suggestions like decentralisation.

    • #742850
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by schumann786
      Lets build a big capital ship which can sail from port to port, allowing the regions to gain the benifits of a local capital city.
      Imagine it! The government in Blacksod Bay.

      And build a canal to Virginia to boot

    • #742851
      notjim
      Participant

      isn’t this where we start discussing the monorail?

    • #742852
      FIN
      Participant

      i sense some resistance to the idea.

      funny that.

    • #742853
      schumann786
      Participant

      monorail!

    • #742854
      schumann786
      Participant

      MONORAIL!!

    • #742855
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Lets all march on City Hall and demand a meeting with Royston!
      That’s scary – it even looks like Spingfield’s Town Hall!

    • #742856
      Anonymous
      Participant

      We could also decentralise City Hall to Royston and in the interests of sustainability provide public transport in the form of a monorail and call the link the Royston Monorail.

      I believe our Royston is named after a housing estate adjacent to Stanaway Park Dublin 12. That was ‘a waste of (public) space’ not to mention a loss of amenity

    • #742857
      GrahamH
      Participant

      πŸ˜€

      He was electioneering outside Pearse Station the other day with the troops in his P Flynn inspired pin-stripe – needless to say the last thing one needs to see at 8.30 in the morning.

    • #742858
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Just on the theme of religious iconography – there’s a house across the road from Stanaway Park with the boxroom window converted into a Marian shrine, with what appears to be an MDF room created around her, with flowers, candles – the lot, and lit from above with a 1000w floodlight – quite scary really.
      There’s probably a button on the gatepost you can press to light her up on payment of 20c.

    • #742859
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally published by http://www.onbusiness.ie (RTE Interactive)
      Dublin decentralisation damage warning

      June 03, 2004 13:00
      An executive member of Dublin’s Chamber of Commerce has said the Government’s decentralisation plans will have the same impact as closing down the Irish Financial Services Centre.

      Tony Boyle, chief executive of Sigma Wireless, said the Dublin Chamber was writing to the Taoiseach to ask him to take ‘urgent action’ to address the consequences of losing 10,000 civil servants.

      He was speaking at the National College of Ireland in Dublin this morning.

      Mr Boyle also said Irish manufacturers would not be able to compete globally unless they became more involved in designing new products and services for world markets.

      How can something that the planners, the workers and the chambers object to actually be steamrolled through?

      Maybe all this country really has become Parlon Country :confused:

    • #742860
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I particularly like the story where 200 head office Bus Eireann employees were promised for Midleton Co. Cork… but there are only 80….

    • #742861
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Originally posted by Paul Clerkin
      I particularly like the story where 200 head office Bus Eireann employees were promised for Midleton Co. Cork… but there are only 80….

      They overlooked the fact that the remaining 120 were there to maintain the Dublin based buses.
      But sure, can’t they decentralise the buses too. After all, with all the civil servants being sent to the sticks, there wont be as big a need for rural buses from Dublin. πŸ˜€

    • #742862
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      in future midleton will be the hub for all bus routes and cavan the central rail depot

    • #742863
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      in future midleton will be the hub for all bus routes and cavan the central rail depot

    • #742864
      FIN
      Participant

      r u serious???

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