Report on Public Meeting in Clontarf

27 Apr 2011

Last night's meeting was arranged by the Labour party. Public representatives attending included Aodhan O'Riordain, TD and Cllr Jane Horgan-Jones. Also there from the Labour Party was Bronwen Maher, a well known local activist with a particular interest in environmental matters.

As well as ourselves, local environmental group, Dublin Bay Watch were also there in numbers along with interested residents, many of whom have been involved in our previous battles with DPC.

The meeting lasted just over an hour and there were many valuable contributions from the floor. Below is just a flavour of some of the points that were made:

  • Anger was expressed that the Masterplan was launched by a serving member of the cabinet (Leo Varadkar, TD) despite the fact that the stated policy positions of both government parties pre-election was that no further infill of Dublin Bay would be supported.
  • Connected to this was the disappointment that stated party policies in relation to this important matter had not been fed back to the DPC in advance of this process being started.
  • There was frustration at the apparent lack of democracy both in terms of the above and also in relation to the fact that a similar application had been turned down by An Bord Pleanala (ABP) just last year.
  • It was also pointed out that DPC had been engaged in private pre-planning meetings with ABP just months after their last plan was rejected.
  • It was also mentioned that the considerable (ultimately government-owned) resources of the DPC continue to be used in support of this plan while residents' and environmental groups must seek funding from their membership bases.
  • The various battles over the years were also referred to and the fact that another was looming meant that as a group we needed to reinvigorate ourselves for what could be another lengthy process. One speaker aptly mentioned the legacy of Sean 'Dublin Bay' Loftus who tirelessly fought this issue for many years and suggested that the memory of Sean holding the last rejection letter from ABP before his untimely passing last year should provide inspiration for the battle ahead.

We would like to thank the local Labour party team for organising the meeting. We also expect to arrange our own public meeting as soon as the specifics of the DPC plan become apparent.

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