Group of councillors look to re-start consultation on Dublin City Centre Transport Plan

— Special council meeting with binding vote to be held on Monday.

A group of councillors has put forward a Section 140 Motion to re-run the public consultation for the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan because they claim that Disabled Persons Organisations have not been consulted sufficiently.

The motion — which is to be debated at a special council meeting this Monday at 6.16pm — is signed by Cllr Damian O’Farrell, Cllr Nial Ring, Cllr Christy Burke, Cllr John Lyons, Cllr Mannix Flynn, Cllr Noeleen Reilly, Cllr Patricia Roe, and Cllr Cieran Perry. All of them are independent councillors except Cllr Roe, who is in the Social Democrats.

The Transport Plan centres on giving more priority to public space, walking, cycling, and public transport. The publication has

The plan is a Pathfinder project aimed at accelerating climate action in terms of cutting transport emissions. The move to delay the project comes as a new report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s climate agency, Copernicusm, warns that Europe is heating faster than other parts of the world “with devastating health impacts”.

Provisional figures for the number of people entering Dublin City Centre at peak times in 2023 show that buses carried nearly 2,000 more people than pre-COVID, and Dublin Bus said that it is supporting the plan to allow buses to move more freely through the city centre.

ALSO READ: Let’s be honest: People can disagree with Dublin’s traffic plan, but anybody who didn’t hear about it was living under a rock.

Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) are groups led by people with disabilities, as opposed to some disability groups that are service providers. Under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), DPOs should be given special consideration in policy and other changes.

The new motion proposes using Section 140 powers, which enables councillors to instruct council officials to carry out certain actions. The decision is compulsory for council officials to follow, unlike the non-binding normal motions such as the one proposed at a recent council meeting.

At Dublin City Council’s April monthly council meeting, councillors agreed to ongoing consultation with disability groups as a compromise to a motion tabled by Cllr O’Farrell, which had also aimed to defer the plan.

Cllr O’Farrell interrupted a senior council official and would not stop speaking when over his allocated time several times or when he interrupted and was asked to stop.

His repeated interruptions, which became heated at times, led Lord Mayor Cllr Daithi De Roiste to remind him that there were 62 other councillors also waiting to speak, that he had been given extra time when he had no right to speak longer than other councillors, and that he would not shout down the chairperson.

His motion followed representations from the Voice of Vision Impairment, which is a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO). The Voice of Vision Impairment has a record of objecting to public realm and sustainable transport projects, including the pedestrianisation of New Street in Malahide.

At the April meeting, Cllr Declan Meenagh (Labour), who is visually impaired, said that he and most others use public transport or taxis in the city centre. As an alternative to Cllr O’Farrell’s motion, Cllr Meenagh suggested that the council agree that officials would meet with Disabled Persons Organisations within a month. Both councillors and a senior official agreed to this.

The motion to be voted on at Monday’s meeting states that the “Council requests the CE [chief executive] to set about preparing for a new public consultation which is UNCRPD compliant. This will ensure the continued forward momentum of the draft Dublin City Transport Plan in line with legal and moral imperatives.”

The long and often legalist motion adds: “This Council, having full regard to UNCRPD Article.29 (b) ii, (GC7. Paras 94(I),94(j) supports the view that Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) should not be treated as add-ons or catch ups, but are, in fact, as recognised by the UNCRPD, indispensable for disability proofing our city. The benefits that close engagement with DPOs bring to our City far outweigh any short pause in the implementation of the transport plan and is also financially prudent in the long term. This view supports the letter and spirit of UNCRPD, and ensures compliance with the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended).”

At the April monthly council meeting, the council’s law agent said that the UNCRPD is not prescriptive in how engagement is carried out and that consultation with DPOs is ongoing. Councillors agreed that this ongoing consultation would include a meeting within a month.


  1. Why didn’t they just respond to the consultation? I don’t understand why they’d deserve extra time on that, when it was already open for so long and so widely advertised.

  2. International law is always open to derogation. EU sets limits and then national governments engage in negotiations to get various derogations. In Ireland if national govt and leaders in the civil service administration aren’t strong on an issue then opponents of measures will leverage EU legislation so that it’s applied extremely rigidly, thereby preventing / blocking measures. You see it all the time in forestry in Ireland, where extremely rigid rules are applied, versus agriculture where we have derogations aplenty. Of course roads and transport infrastructure need to be safe for people with disabilities, they’re the top of the vulnerability hierarchy – but we’re talking about a complex intersection here between public health, access to public transport and global climate. I wish taxis would stop being landed together with buses – they are not public transport and I think – correct me if I’m wrong – we are an outlier in allowing them use bus lanes?

    • Anecdotally I find them to be half the traffic that the bus gets stuck behind in town nowadays as well, with not quite as many private cars as before.

      • Spot on. I counted ten taxis the other day between buses around college green. Without the taxis, two buses would have made it through lights. Instead they had to wait for the lights to cycle through another round.


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