Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | June 17, 2012

The Continuing Poor State of the Irish Planning System

Elaine Byrne’s opening paragraphs from her article in today’s Sunday Independent says it all about the continuing poor state of the Irish planning system. Clearly, investigating oneself for wrongdoing is not conducive to achieving justice. Former Minister, John Gormley’s efforts to finally deal with poor planning in this country (albeit with a limited number of councils) has once again foundered on the business as usual political culture of the government parties, Fine Gael and Labour, who were voted into government on a mandate of cleaning up “stroke politics”.

“Nemo iudex in causa sua. This Latin phrase, which translates as “no man should be a judge in his own cause”, is a fundamental principle of natural justice. Except in Ireland. Housing and Planning Minister Jan O’Sullivan published the long-awaited Planning Review Report last week. The Labour Party has successfully positioned itself as the ethical watchdog of Fine Gael, or has it? The report examined allegations of malpractice within seven local councils in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Meath, Galway and Donegal. Civil servants at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government conducted this internal review into their local authority colleagues. They investigated themselves.”

Elaine Byrne’s article can be accessed in full here.

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