Mayor O’Connell congratulates the winning have Your Say project representatives

THE much-loved Silver Bridge in Palmerstown could get a new lease of life, thanks to a feasability study for its restoration that’s just been approved.
The historic span emerged as one of the winning projects in the inaugural Have Your Say campaign, which saw the public picking projects that they want the council to fund.
Along with the bridge, other winning entries were a playground in Waterstown Park, Palmerstown; Christmas lights for Lucan village; the planting of native apple trees in the Lucan electoral area; access to the church and graveyard at Mill Lane, Palmerstown; free library book banks in the Lucan electoral area; a multi-games wall in Lucan and the restoration of King John’s Bridge in Griffeen Park.
Mayor Cllr Guss O’Connell (Ind) announced the winners at a results ceremony in the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley on June 1, saying: “This is a truly historic moment.
“For the very first time in Ireland, the people have decided on how a local authority spends its budget. It has been a wonderful exercise in community building.
“Everyone wins, the items that were not successful this time are banked for future consideration,” he said.
The pilot scheme offered a total fund of €300,000 for projects to improve the Palmerstown and Lucan areas, with 160 submissions received during the consultation process, and 17 projects shortlisted for the public vote.
Voting took place between May 22-26, with more than 2,500 digital and paper ballot votes cast.
Cllr Paul Gogarty (Ind) also hailed the project as a success but said that there were lessons to be learned for future projects.
He added that an objection period should have been included to allow residents to double-check proposals and that more clarity should be given on certain projects, and cited the example of the Men’s Shed in Lucan as one project that needed further clarity.
He said: “I give the example of the Men’s Shed proposal, which specified Esker Cemetery in the list we saw. I initially assumed this was in the new cemetery near the car park, but it turns out to be in the caretaker’s house in the old cemetery.
“Now, this is a small cemetery located at a junction, and the house backs onto a resident’s garden. A men’s shed on its own might be ok if guarantees were put in place.
“However, the blurb attached to the proposal suggested a much wider use of the building, which has alarmed local residents.”
Cllr O’Connell acknowledged that there were issues with the project, saying: “Participative budgeting has been a learning curve for all of us involved in the process.”