{meta} Agenda for Protocol Committee on Thursday 21st September, 2023, 8.00 am

Agenda and minutes

Venue: BY REMOTE VIDEO CONFERENCE. View directions

No. Item


Election of the Chair of the Protocol Committee


Cllr. Deirdre Heney was nominated by Cllr. Mannix Flynn and seconded by Cllr. Fiona Connelly.


Order: Cllr. Deirdre Heney was unanimously elected as Chair of the Protocol Committee.


Election of the Vice Chair of the Protocol Committee


Cllr. Dermot Lacey was nominated by Cllr. Deirdre Heney and seconded by Cllr. Mannix Flynn.


Order: Cllr. Dermot Lacey was unanimously elected as Vice Chair of the Protocol Committee.



Minutes of the meeting held on 29th June 2023 and matters arising pdf icon PDF 214 KB


Order: Minutes Agreed.


Lord Mayors Receptions and Engagements of the Deputy Lord Mayor pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:


Order: Receptions Noted.


Request for retrospective approval for Councillor attendance at the Conference "Retrofitting Ireland: Building Resilience in Irish Homes" held on 28th July 2023 in Limerick.


Order: Conference Approved.


Conference Reports:


Councillor Declan Flanagan and Councillor Joe Costello: AILG Module 4 on 22nd July 2023 in County Sligo. pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Additional documents:


Order: Conference Report Noted.


Councillor Dermot Lacey: MacGill Summer School on 16th August 2023 in Glenties, County Donegal. pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Order: Conference Report Noted.


Councillor Darcy Lonergan: Retrofitting Ireland: Building Resilience in Irish Homes" held on 28th July 2023 in County Limerick. pdf icon PDF 90 KB


Order: Conference Report Noted.


Attendance at Local Community Development Committee meetings


The Manager reported that attendance at the LCDC meetings was proving challenging and asked the Members their views on including the LCDC as a meeting that counted towards Councillor expenses.


The Members were not in favour of including the LCDC as part of their meeting expenses. They suggested that attendance could be best addressed through discussion with Group Leaders and the LCDC members. This could assist in identifying factors affecting attendance such as the time of meeting.     


Order: The Manager agreed to circulate the correspondence from the Minister with regards to the position of Chair of the LCDC. The Members also requested the Manager write to Senator Mark Daly on the matter of the LCDC Chair position.


Request from the Collections Registrar with the Office Of Public Works for aloan of three items from the Dublin Civic Regalia Collection to use in a 2024 exhibition at Dublin Castle entitled 'Dublin Gold and Silver Boxes, 1662-1830'.

·         Thomas Bolton, The Williamson cup, silver, c.1696.

·         Thomas Bolton, The Foynes cup, silver, c.1700

·         Unknown artist, Portrait of Daniel Bellingham.


Order: The Members agreed the loan request.


Policy regarding Maximum / Minimum Temperatures in City Hall pdf icon PDF 272 KB


The Members thanked the Manager for the report and were satisfied that steps had been taken to address the temperature fluctuations in City Hall and that the situation would be monitored going forward.


Order: Report Noted.


Hybrid Meeting Facilities in the Richard O'Carroll Room


Cllr. Janet Horner had expressed concerns with the Hybrid facilities in the Richard O’Carroll Room following a meeting of the Walking & Cycling Sub-Committee, where the meeting could not continue due to issues with the microphones not being charged.


The Manager reported that the audio visual and conferencing facilities in City Hall would be upgrade in the next few months and this would include the Richard O’Carroll Room. In the meantime an additional microphone had been installed and calibration of the system in the Richard O’Carroll Room has been carried out. The Manager would also request Ray Glynn to ensure the microphones were charged and ready for use when needed.


Order: Noted.   


Social Enterprises Guide for Councillors - Briefing form Cllr. Cat O'Driscoll


Cllr. Cat O’Driscoll informed Members that she had been working on Guidelines for Councillors with the aim of raising awareness of the various social enterprises operating in the City and to encourage Councillors to employ these cooperatives when organising events. The project falls under the remit of the Economic Development and Enterprise SPC but it would be beneficial to have feedback from the Committee Members on the draft guidelines.


Order: Report noted and Cllr. Cat O’Driscoll to circulate guidelines to the Members for feedback.     


St. Patrick's Festival


Correspondence from the Acting Chairperson of the St. Patrick's Festival pdf icon PDF 247 KB


The Members expressed their disappointment with the content and tone of the correspondence from the Acting Chairperson of the St. Patricks Festival in relation to the Committee’s request for Councillor representation on the Board of St. Patrick’s Festival. Dublin City Council provides a financial contribution of €398,000 per annum as well as significant additional resources for street cleaning, traffic management, etc. Considering the substancial level of public monies involved in the Festival, it was absolutely necessary to have democratic oversight and involvement on the Board.


Order: The Manager to write to the Minister and Acting Chair of St. Patricks Festival to convey the Committee’s views on the matter.       


Decision by the Office of the Information Commissioner in relation to the Governance Report on the Board St. Patrick's Festival pdf icon PDF 290 KB


The Manager informed the Committee that the decision to redact the reports into governance of the Board of St. Patrick’s Festival was taken by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. This decision was challenged and was referred to the Office of the Information Commissioner. The OIC ruled that the Department’s decision to redact the reports was justified.


Order: The Manager to seek legal advice with regards appealing the decision of the Information Commissioner and to report back to the Committee on this issue.


Lighting Requests for City Hall


Request from the Canadian Air Force to illuminate City Hall on 1st April 2024 to commemorate the Royal Canadian Air Force Centennial


Order: The Lighting request was not approved.


Request from Charity Praxis Care to illuminate City Hall on 3rd July 2024 to commemorate the charities 40th Anniversary


Order: The Lighting request was approved.


Additional requests to illuminate City Hall in September, October and November 2023 pdf icon PDF 147 KB


The Members acknowledged that the requests for additional lighting in September, October and November were from worthwhile causes they had an agreed policy in place of allowing only one illumination per month which they would adhere to.


Order: No additional lighting requests were approved for the months September – November 2023.  


Motion in the name of Councillor Mannix Flynn:

That this Protocol Committee notes with concern two recent incidences where members of the press were effectively banned/censored from attending what are normally meetings open to the public and the press.


The first meeting was a meeting of the Protocol Committee with regards the nomination of Greta Thunberg for honorary freedom of the city.  The press were instructed to leave the meeting.  No particular reason was given and no prior warning was given to Councillors instead standing orders were ill-used in this instance bearing in mind that the group leaders who had been informed of nomination for the freedom of the city of Dublin such Duncan Stewart - why were they not informed of Greta Thunberg’s nomination? instead this was done with cloak and dagger and secrecy at the Protocol committee.  This has the potential to damage the integrity of the Protocol committee and its members by undermining its independence, its transparency and its support for Freedom of the press and most importantly of all- access for the public.


The second incident was regarding an emergency meeting of the Joint Policing Committee which was held on 23rd of June.  Again in this instance for some odd reason the Press were locked out.  Nobody was informed of this prior to the meeting and indeed a local community group representing City Quay residents,  was also locked out of the meeting.  In the 14 years i have been in DCC I have never witnessed to such erosion of public and press freedom.  There seems to be a great lack of protocol and procedure as to how the public and press can be removed from what are essentially public meetings.


Therefore this committee noting these concerns, carry out a full review and oversight of such procedures to make sure they are fit for purpose, democratic and fully transparent and are only executed in extraordinary circumstances. 


It’s important to note that in these two incidents it was the media outlet Dublin Live that was excluded and its reporter, Dan Grennan but I am sure if other media outlets turned up or other reporters they would have faced the same exclusion.


Cllr. Mannix Flynn expressed concern that decisions to hold meetings in camera were taken without sufficient justification and without due notification to the Members.


The Chair responded that in the case of the Freedom of the City for Greta Thunberg the request to hold the discussion in camera was submitted by Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy at the meeting due to time constraints and the decision was supported by the Members.


The Members believed that the existing process was satisfactory. The process for holding meetings in camera is laid down in standing orders and is supported in legislation. It is a democratic decision taken by them Members in public and is used infrequently.


Order: The motion was not agreed.







Manager's Report


The Manager reported the Dublin City Council in conjunction with the other three Dublin Local Authorities were launching a publicity campaign for Voter.ie on Monday 25th September. The aim of the campaign was to encourage people to register to vote and update their electoral details. The campaign and supporting literature will be multi-lingual.  


Order: Noted




There was no A.O.B.


Proposed date of next meeting: 26th October 2023 at 8am


Order: Agreed