Before I start, does anyone else think that politics.ie just isn't complete as an Irish political resource without a dedicated Corruption forum?
Anyway, after years of bleating, denials, tut-tutting, Moscow car crashes, illnesses, death of the boss, and Fianna Fail rule, I thought it apt that the Irish Times brought the true scandal of planning corruption back into the public domain today with the following articles:
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/irelan ... 22529.html
On the green fields opposite Liffey Valley's retail parks, two O'Callaghan Properties signs are erected by the road.
"Future Bus Terminal", reads one. "Site For Offices, Civic Buildings and Medical Centre", announces another. Almost a decade after they were erected, they are faded and even a little battered. The site remains vacant...
People like the Liffey Valley shopping centre, Forte says, though she adds that most of the shops are out of the price range of most Neilstown residents. "No, it's for people in their big cars on the M50," she says.
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/irelan ... 22521.html
In May 1991, Dublin County Council voted by a large majority (29-13) to relocate the "town centre" zoning from Balgaddy to Quarryvale, even though the latter is located at the northeastern extremity of the "new town" it was meant to serve - a move described by council planners as "seriously detrimental" to the 1972 county plan.
Corruption is a great unit shifter for the national media. It made for a great soap opera in the early days of the election. Some great books are written about it, and we all love to chinwag about the galway tent, the golden circle, and the shady dealings in Ireland. Great stories so they are!
However, planning corruption from the likes of Lawlor and Burke et al (possibly we're told, our Taoiseach, and most certainly a former "patriot") has left a malignant tumour on the face of suburban Dublin. It has, unlike the Radio license scandal, impacted hugely on people's everyday lives. It has destroyed a generation in Neilstown, and will continue to destroy generations of the new commuter belt; the ghettoes of the future.
These articles are a harsh reminder to those of us who like to look beyond the Sunday papers, and see how these so called "public servants" have caused ongoing misery in their pursuit of prosperity at the expense of the common good.
Have lessons been learned? Absolutely not. Councillors, no longer corrupt we're told, are still rezoning vast tracts of land against professional advice. For no good obvious reason. The embedded FF-Developer axis still persists and is driving the creation of the Neilstowns and Jobstowns of the 21st Century.
This aspect of administration in this country has come into sharper focus even more in the last few days, as the Greens go about propping up another malignant FF government. I vote Green and I urge all their members to read these articles and think about them on Sunday.
The people of Neilstown have had enough, but as the article states, they don't even vote. The question is have Gormley, Ryan, Cuffe et al had enough? Are they willing to be an accomplice to the ongoing environmental and social destruction wrought by FF in the last 10 years?
I sincerely hope not.