· The Lord Mayor opened the meeting by asking Council for agreement on rescheduling the January Council meeting to the 11th January 2021. The request was approved.
· The Lord Mayor paid tribute to two staff members who will be retiring this December and who have given a life of public service to the people of Dublin.
Dr. Mary Clark, Dublin City Archivist who has been a constant help to Lord Mayors, Councillors and staff of Dublin City Council with her knowledge of the city of Dublin, history of the City Council, of the Office of the Lord Mayor and the Mansion House. She started with Dublin Corporation on 5th November 1979 and was the first city archivist since Sir John Gilbert in 1898. She, and the Archives, have been located in City Hall, Civic Museum and most recently in Pearse Street Library & Archive. Thanks to her work the City Council has a very good history of Dublin including new collections being donated to the Archive.
Eileen Gleeson, Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive who retires on Christmas Eve. She has dedicated the last number of years working in Dublin City Council to those who are homeless on the streets of Dublin. She has shown great professionalism and humanity in working in this challenging position and has made a real difference through her work to those in need in our city.
Representatives from all the political groups on the Council joined the Lord Mayor in expressing their gratitude to Ms. Gleeson and Dr. Clark for their years of service and wished them well in their retirement.
· The Lord Mayor informed Members that 6th December marked the 100th anniversary of the City Council moving its meetings to the Mansion House. On 6th December 1920 the British Army entered the Council Chamber in City Hall and arrested two Aldermen and four Councillors. Later City Hall and Municipal Buildings were requisitioned by the British Army and Dublin City Council moved to the Mansion House for its meetings where it remained for the following four years.
· The Lord Mayor reported that following 13 meetings, the Lord Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness will present its report to Minister O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. For the past number of months the Task Force has heard from Service Users and Service Providers which will culminate in the submission of a “Top Five Requests” to the Minister on Friday next. The Lord Mayor thanked Brendan Kenny, Eileen Gleeson and all the Elected Members who worked on the Task Force.
· The Lord Mayor briefed Members on the Christmas events at the Mansion House:
IFA Live Animal Crib will open tomorrow at 11am and will be on the forecourt of the Mansion House from 11am to 5pm every day until Christmas Eve when it will close at 2pm. It has changed slightly to allow for Covid compliance but I’m delighted to be able to continue the Mansion House tradition.
Rewind 2020 – An Interfaith gathering will take place daily in the Lord Mayor’s Garden and will celebrate religious festivals missed during 2020 with each day dedicated to a different faith. It will be broadcast via the Dublin Interfaith Forum You Tube and Facebook channels.
12 Days of a Christmas Carol is an online event featuring a number of well-known faces reading a different chapter of Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ every evening at 7pm starting 13th December and continuing up to Christmas Eve.
Christmas Dinners for the Homeless – The Lord Mayor is working with the Knights of St. Columbanus to assist them this year with Christmas Dinners for the Homeless. This year the dinners will be made in the RDS and brought to Homeless Hostels and Hubs but they will also dispense some dinners from the forecourt of the Mansion House on Christmas morning.
· The Lord Mayor’s Award for November (Transportation Staff category) was presented to Rory Colman who works for Dublin Bus. The December Award is for staff in the Hospital Services Sector and nominations close on Wednesday 16th December.
· The Lord Mayor informed Members that the Emergency Motions submitted by Cllr. Anthony Flynn and Cllr. Máire Divine had been ruled out of order as they both called for a course of action that was beyond the legislative remit of the City Council. However, she assured Members that she would raise the issues highlighted in Cllr. Flynn’s motions with Minister Stephen Donnelly during her scheduled meeting with him. She also gave a commitment to write to Minister Simon Harris in relation to Health Care Assistants and Student nurses and invited Group Leaders to co-sign the letter.