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What is a Residents Association, and why do we need one?
A Residents Association (RA) is a representative group of volunteers with a mandate to deal, on behalf of a particular area, with public and private organizations and bodies.

During the past couple of years, a number of local issues have arisen traffic congestion, excessive motor speeds on the roads in and around the estates, problems with refuse collections, rubbish, access to the estate and park, local congestion, and lack of public amenities, to name a few. Over the next few years, other issues will no doubt also come to the fore - the Adamstown development, new estates, lack of infrastructural support, adequate and suitable educational facilities, etc. A Residents Association will act as a lobby group, and will petition and interact on your behalf with South Dublin County Council, and other organisations.

In dealing with public bodies, such as a local authority, a Residents Association is in most instances a much more effective mechanism for getting desired results than are individuals. Individuals asking for specific services may not generate much of a response. An organised group, representing a few hundred households, asking for amenities or services is much more likely to be heeded. Furthermore, it is likely that committee members of the RA will build working relationships with officers in the local authority, routing requests and demands to the most appropriate places. Finally, elected representatives - TDs and Councillors - have shown that they are much more likely to deal with Residents Associations. If it is felt that speed ramps are necessary, or better lighting, and so on, the RA will be tasked with fighting for it.

Do I have to do anything?
In short - no, unless you want to. Responsibility for canvassing the various organisations will fall to the Committee or to ordinary members who volunteer their time and expertise. The duty of ordinary members will be to pay an annual fee, and to inform the Committee of any issues they may want the Association to consider and/or address.

Who runs the Residents Association?
A Committee, voted for each year by members of the RA, will direct the Association. It will get its authority from ordinary members, who may ask that they consider certain issues, and request that the Committee undertake action to address those issues.

Why, and how much do I have to pay?
There will be an annual charge payable by all members of the Residents Association to cover costs of insurance, and general administrative costs, such as postage and telephones. The annual charge will be set by the Committee. An annual account will be prepared and distributed to all members.

What is the difference between a Residents Association and the Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch deals only with home and personal security and reports to the Gardai. The Residents Association will deal with other issues falling outside the responsibility of the Neighbourhood Watch.

Is the Residents Association affiliated to ACRA?
The decision to affiliate with ACRA (the umbrella organisation for Residents Associations in Ireland) or any other body will be a matter for the RA committee.