The Lord Mayor extended her sympathies to the family and friends of Honorary Freeman of the City of Dublin Thomas Kinsella who died on 22nd December, 2021. He received the Freedom of the City on 24th May 2007 from then Lord Mayor Vincent Jackson in City Hall and was the 75th person to receive the honour.
She also extended sympathies in respect of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa who died on 26th December 2021. A Nobel Peace Laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, Archbishop Tutu was welcomed to the Mansion House on 13th February 2009 by then Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne and honoured with a Civic Reception.
Monument to Countess Markievicz and the Women of the Revolutionary Decade:
The Lord Mayor noted that the first meeting of the Working Group on a Monument to Countess Markievicz and Women of the Revolutionary Decade had taken place. The Working Group members are Cllr Vincent Jackson (Chair) Cllr Cat O’Driscoll, Cllr. Mary Callaghan, Cllr Mannix Flynn, Cllr Donna Cooney, Dr Paula Murphy, Ray Yeates, Ruairí Ó Cuív, Margarita Cappock and Brendan Teeling, they will focus on how best to celebrate and acknowledge the contribution of women to the formation and development of the State.
Covid 19 and the impact on Dublin City Council and Dublin Fire Brigade
The Lord Mayor called on Eileen Quinlivan, Assistant Chief Executive, Corporate Services, Transformation and Human Resources and Dennis Keeley Chief Fire Officer for an update on the impact of Covid 19 on services and how this is being managed.
Eileen Quinlivan told the meeting that there had been an increase in cases of staff impacted as a result of Covid 19 (positive case/close contact/isolating) but that there had been no significant disruptions to services. She noted that the numbers this week are declining on last week. Full measures from last year remain in place including remote working for office based staff & pod structures particularly in the operational side. Departments are monitoring the situation daily, keeping measures under review to ensure protection of essential services.
Denis Keeley, Chief Fire Officer informed the Members that 200 frontline Dublin Fire Brigade workers were unavailable for work over the New Year, with a "surge in numbers" of firefighter paramedics affected by COVID-19 between Christmas and New Year. As a result of the absence of staff a number of appliances provided by the fire and ambulance services could not be operated on New Year’s Eve. There has been a steady improvement of the situation in recent days. There are a range of mitigating measures in place to help maintain service delivery including fast-tracking the qualification of new firefighters, the suspension of training courses of operational staff with the aim to ensure there is a fire appliance in every fire station in the city and county to ensure service delivery and continuity. The fire services had a derogation that allowed essential personnel to self-isolate for shorter periods, but he noted that the Fire Brigade had not yet had to bring this provision into force but will continue to monitor the situation.
Annual Councillor Donations statements must be returned to Natalie Leonard or Sandra Walley by 31st January 2022.
The Lord Mayor sought the members support for a new cultural evening on Tuesday 1st February entitled Brigit 2022: Dublin City Celebrating Women which will celebrate and acknowledge women’s history, heritage, culture, experiences and stories. Her vision is that this will be an annual event similar to Culture Night. This year, due to Covid, most events will be online and will be free to view. The programme will include these talks / discussions and also filming screening, walking trails and art projections on the Mansion House, the Hugh Lane Gallery, the sails in Smithfield, the Palace Street building and the Samuel Beckett Bridge. There will also be a concert in the Round Room featuring up and coming female artists with both a live and remote audience via live-streaming. It was agreed that additional monies from the Department would be allocated to this initiative.