Dublin City Councillor for the South West Inner City (most of the Dublin 8 Area)
I’m Darragh Moriarty and I have been representing the people of the South West Inner City since May 2020. I was co-opted to take over on Dublin City Council following Rebecca Moynihan’s election to Seanad Éireann. I’m from Dublin 8 and have lived on Dolphins Barn Street all my life.
Outside of politics, I have worked in communications and policy research for an NGO think tank focused on international and European affairs since 2016. I studied in UCD and before that, I went to Synge Street.
Give me a shout if you have any queries at all.
We have an affordable housing crisis in this country and local authorities, especially Dublin City Council, have a huge responsibility for the delivery of public homes on public land. Local government must work with, and pull along, national government that for too long has relied on the private market to solve our housing crisis.
While people of all ages are impacted by the housing crisis, younger people are particularly affected with many are falling between the cracks of earning too much to qualify for social housing but too little to be able to afford in our distorted private market. We need genuinely affordable housing solutions and cost-rental models that don’t perpetuate our dysfunctional housing market.
Stopping overconcentration of hotels and student accommodation
A major part of ensuring that people have a decent place to live means that we stop allowing finite city centre land to be handed over for the development of student accommodation and hotel developments.
Since becoming a Councillor, I have worked to shine a light on Dublin’s overconcentration of hotel developments in certain parts of the city which is crowding out nightlife and cultural spaces and taking up land that could be used for residential development to breathe life and vibrancy back into our city-centre. Hotels on Capel Street and Francis Street were refused planning permission on the basis of overconcentration and I’m working to ensure that this provision is stitched into Dublin’s 2022-2026 City Development Plan.
Similarly, when it comes to student accommodation, we have seen too many developments granted permission to convert into ‘temporary’ tourist/visitor accommodation. I’m hugely concerned that these uses may see student accommodation become permanent additional tourist accommodation in our city or even become co-living through the backdoor.
We need to get people out of cars and onto bikes and public transport. To do this, we need to strategically invest in our cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and to improve our public transport links. Nationally, we are doing this through the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) BusConnects project. However, this is a medium-to-long term project and we have seen over the pandemic that more and more people are enjoying their local surroundings, their parks and greenspaces. In the shorter term, there are improvements that Dublin City Council as a local authority can make now that will complement the NTA proposals, particularly in places like Dolphins Barn, along the Grand Canal and Inchicore/Kilmainham.
Further, the South West Inner City is completely lacking when it comes to the Dublin Bikes Scheme. I have consistently pushed and asked that these be provided.
Greenspaces and Sports Facilities
The South West Inner City is severely lacking when it comes to parks, greenspaces and sports facilities. As a member of Dublin City Council’s Arts, Culture, Leisure and Recreation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), I have consistently highlighted and advocated for the provision of greater community greenspaces and playing facilities. There are posh schools in other parts of Dublin that have better sports amenities than the South West Inner City and this is completely unacceptable.