Local Area Meeting Dissappointing

Part 8 Development Local Area Committee

Unfortunately, due to being unable to secure the vote of local Fianna Fáil Cllr. Brian Dennehy, we could not have secured a majority on this issue at the Local Area Committee, though without them we could have forced a tie and potentially a win through the Cathaoirleach. However, unknown to us, Sinn Féin Councillor Malachy Quinn changed his position and so the hope of even a split vote slipped out of view, on the day.

We were also, quite disappointed with Balbriggan Councillor David O’Connor who refused to engage with us through our email correspondence and refused to meet with the committee in the run up to the meeting. At least in the case of Labour councillors, we knew where we stood.

The Balrothery Four

The Balrothery Four

All the above said, we want to hugely thank Councillors Tony Murphy, J.P. Browne, Grainne Maguire and Barry Martin in the Balbriggan Ward and Councillor Eugene Coppinger in the Swords Ward for their support, the strong arguments made on the day and most importantly for representing our views. They will have our support at the next election regardless of the way this item turns out because they were the only councillors that actually listened to our concerns regarding this development. They are certainly the Four Heros of Balrothery and we look forward to working with them on future issues.

The next full Council fot on this matter is on the 12th of January 2015 and while we are less than optimistic about our chances, we will continue to lobby councillors on the full council have have yet to confirm their position as well as challenging some of the misinformed views presented on the night.

Summary of Councillor Contributions

Below is a very quick run down of responses but we would recommend you read the transcrtipt of the councillors contributions on the night available at the end of this article. Some of the contributions, such as those from Cllr Anne Devitt, were quite offensive.

Balbriggan Ward

(Against):

Cllr. Tony Murphy (Independent): lead the charge as he has since this devlopment was proposed and opened with a strong case to be made for this as the last green space in the village and spoke about green space being transferred to Balbriggan from new developments.

Cllr. J.P. Browne (Independent): again hammered home the lack of the facilities and expressed that while the council talks up many possibilities, these should be devered before and not after such devlopments.

Cllr. Barry Martin (People Before Profit): spoke to the heart of the matter, that being that this is not about social housing but the sustainabe communities we should be building.

Cllr. Grainne Maguire (Independent): tried to tell councillors that this was not about the 9 houses, that it was about the bigger picture and that just becasuse land is zoned as residential, it doesn’t mean that can be it’s only purpose.

(For):

Cllr. Malachy Quinn (Sinn Féin): made no contribution but voted for the development, having previously said he would support us and vote against it. It was the 2nd U-turn that Councillor Quinn performed during this engagement.

Cllr. Brian Dennehy (Fianna Fáil): made misrepresneting comments on a key item, that being the school saying it was expanding by 1000 square foot when this explansion only replaces the prefabs. Fianna Fáil was a key vote and we were very dissappointed to have lost their support.

Cllr. David O’Connor (Independent): refused to engage through not responding to our emails or requests for a meeting. His main point for voting for the development was that what ever issues locals have, they are not worth prioritising over 9 social houses.

Cllr. Ken Farrell (Labour Party): was against this development from the early stages but his attitude to local sentiment and how councillors need to ride rough shot over such sentiment as well as his the indignation he showed other councillors, will not win him much support in Balrothery.

Swords Ward

(Against):

Cllr. Eugene Coppinger (Anti Austerity Alliance): spoke strongly about the lack of facilities in the village and the situation with school being oversubscribed as well as questions around proceedure and due process.

(For):

Cllr. Philip Lynam (Sinn Féin): says he doesn’t want a concrete jungle but voted for the developement regardless.

Cllr. Justin Sinnott (Independent): believes that the issues we have raised could probably be applied to any  proposed development within Fingal and is supporting the Development.

Cllr. Duncan Smith (Labour): also, said these issues could be raised by any part of the county including South County Dublin or any parish in the county. He berated his fellow councillors for speaking against the development and and representing the views of their local constituants.

Cllr. Joe Newman (Independent): thinks the proposed development looks quite well, fits well in the area and thinks it will benefit the estates on both sides. he said it was a main road and so would not a good space for putting a playground in.

Cllr. Paul Mulville (Independent): while voting for the proposed development, at least did raise several points around how misleading the councils report was.

Cllr. Adrian Henchy (Fianna Fáil):
: didn’t believe that there could be any argument against a poorly planned development when there exists a housing crisis and referenced comments that an entitlement to housing be placed into the consitution.

Cllr. Anne Devitt (Independent): who refused to engage with us, at any time during the public constulation, made outlandish claims about us being confused and felt that Balrothery had perfectly adequte shops and pubs etc. Her treatment of our submission and other councillors contributions based on it was offencive.

- READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE: http://www.roseparkresidentsassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Local-Area-Meeting-Councillor-Transcripts.pdf

Note* there were some further comments from council management and back and forth with councillors. If you wish, you can watch the full proceedings at this link: http://www.fingalcoco.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/154728

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