Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Planning Process.

Wednesday, 28 November 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 403 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page

  23.  Mr. G. Mitchell  Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell   asked the Minister for the Environment  Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn   the progress which has been made with regard to the investigation being conducted into the planning process in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  I have no function in relation to this investigation.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Will the Minister acknowledge that for over a year and a half a substantial cloud has been hanging over the planning process in Dublin city and county due to various allegations of bribery in relation to the planning process both at local authority and An Bord Pleanála levels? Can he advise the House as to whether the only prosecution that is to take place is the one that was completed in the courts yesterday against a person who was given a suspended sentence? Is any further investigation taking place? Are any further prosecutions envisaged? Will the Minister not agree that in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the planning process and the [414] planning officials of the two local authorities and those of An Bord Pleanála this matter needs to be cleared up once and for all?

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  I am aware of no information other than that which I read in the newspapers, just as the Deputy is not aware of any further details either. This investigation is a matter for the Garda and I am not aware of any details connected with it.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Is the Minister not aware that the entire planning staff in Dublin Corporation and Dublin County Council, and the staff of An Bord Pleanála, have been interviewed by the Garda over the past year and a half? Does he not accept that the integrity of the planning process, and its credibility, should be of direct concern to him and that until this matter is cleared up, and a frank public statement made of the position, a cloud will hang over the entire planning process in Dublin? Will the Minister not accept that he has a responsibility to answer questions in this House as to the position in this regard? Is this investigation at an end or is it to continue?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  These questions cannot go on interminably.

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  I am surprised at the Deputy pursuing this matter in this fashion. He is seeking to elicit details from me about an investigation which I have nothing to do with and details of which I am not aware. There is no point in pursuing this. It is not my responsibility.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  The Minister sought——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please Deputy Shatter, restrain yourself. You may not defy the Chair in this manner.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  This is——

[415]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Shatter, resume your seat.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  The Minister should——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Shatter, I shall not intervene again with you other than to ask you to leave the House.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Minister requested the Garda to investigate this matter in the first instance, is that not so? Accordingly, has he at any stage sought a progress report as to what stage the inquiry was at or when it might be completed? In view of the long delay, has he any intention now of requesting the authorities he invited in in the first instance to terminate their inquiries or produce a report?

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  The Minister does not seek, nor does he require, any reports concerning matters which are the responsibility of the Garda authorities.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Will the Minister explain why he told the House on previous occasions that it was to him the original allegations were made and that he invited the Garda in?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  For which he was commended.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Does he intend to obtain any report, either from his ministerial colleague in the Department of Justice or from the Garda authorities, as to the results of his calling the Garda in to investigate this matter?

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  Let us get this clear; I did not call in the Garda.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  The Minister referred this to the Garda. He is playing with semantics.

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  That was an entirely different matter. Matters were brought to my attention and I felt it my duty and responsibility to refer that matter to my leader. That was what I did and that investigation ensued from that.

[416]Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  He referred it to the Taoiseach as opposed to the Garda?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Labour Party commended the action the Government took at the time as being prompt and correct. In view of the cloud of suspicion that has hung over the planning department for more than a year and a half, can the Minister take whatever appropriate action is available to him to end, complete or finalise this process because of the damage it is doing? Will he indicate to the House what he can do in that regard?

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  As I have no details of the investigation——

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Why does he not ask for them?

Mr. Flynn: Information on Pádraig Flynn  Zoom on Pádraig Flynn  ——or what the Garda are doing in this matter, in due course I presume the matter will be disposed of in the normal way following investigations.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That disposes of questions for today.


Last Updated: 23/05/2011 09:13:51 First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page