Monday, November 22, 2010

Here is the news:

I live in Limerick.

Here is a year-old article about something going on in Limerick that was in the Village magazine. I haven't seen it covered anywhere else and I think it's of interest. It's followed by something more recent I read in the Phoenix, both articles illustrate the way things seem to work around here:

Village Magazine - Issue 8, December 2009 - January 2010:

Nepotism in Limerick

Closer to home, Villager was amused to see John Fitzgerald, former City Manager in Dublin getting himself and the Limerick Regeneration Agency, headed by former Dublin City Housing Manager, Brendan Kenny, in hot water for indulging nepotism to the serious displeasure of Limerick City Manager, Tom Mackey.

Kenny employed his daughter on a large salary without bothering with anything as tedious as an inter- view process.

Claire Feeney, girlfriend of Southside Director, Brendan Hayden, was recruited on a salary of 90,000 without competitive interview. she had no third- level or other relevant qualification.

And Brian McElligott, son of Regeneration Agency Director, Liam McGelligott was recruited in Autumn 2007 without competitive interview. He had no third-level or other relevant qualification, thought the agency is now paying his way through a University of Limerick project-management course.

Fitzgerald noted that the Limerick Regeneration Agency didn't have to comply with normal public-sector norms.

Funny then that this is the same John Fitzgerald who so rigorously - including with the benefit of a fat legal opinion -hounded residents' representatives on the Grangegorman Development Agency (which he also chairs) to comply with normal company law. They were not to report back to the communities that chose them but to observe the niceties of company law - i.e. silence.

Fitzgerald reckons the Limerick agencies' boards are "not boards of governance". ..."
Mad isn't it? Even madder that nobody said squat about it apart from the Village, but at least Tom Mackey is here to point out corruption... But wait a minute, just while we're still in Limerick and having a look at what people get away with, check this out,(from Phoenix magazine, Nov 5 2010 p.16 beyond the pale by 'Goldhawk'):

" Rosemary's Limerick Garden.

The Limerick post got on to an intriguing story recently about leafy Hillcrest Drive,off the Ennis Rd where residents complained that a house built in the back garden of a residence there had not complied with planning permission. But this simple planning story had more than one twist in it.

Angry residents complained that while none of them could get planning permission for minor alterations down the years, the owner of 24 Hillcrest Drive had built a new house in the back garden in a substantial alteration of the planning permission recieved. The residents also complained that their entreaties to local councillors had not resulted in any serious attention. However following complaints to Limerick City Council, the planning control office sent a warning letter to the owners of the property and this prompted an application for retention of the alterations. Which is where it got really interesting.
At a meeting of the council last March, Labour councillor Tom Shortt drew attention to the fact that the applicant was an employee of the council. Shortt also complained that the retention application was not listed on the council meeting agenda he had recieved and that the relevant documentation was missing. The Post described how the relevant pages were also missing from the agenda it supplied to its journalist covering the council meeting.

Then it emerged, as the local Post sleuths discovered, that the application had been made by Mary Fitzgerald, an employee in the rates department and before that the planning department.

More recently the Post returned to the story and reported that despite the dramatic new precedent set for the estate by the back garden edifice, An Bord Pleanala had upheld what the newspaper described as a contentious application. The board stated that the building would not seriously injure the local amentities and was not contrary to popular planning and sustainable development in the area.

This was despite the recommendation of the board's inspector, Conor McGrath, who had stated the opposite, namely that the proposed development would be out of character with the surrounding pattern of development, would result in over-development and was detrimental to the residential amenities of future residents.

Enraged residents complained to such authorities as Environmental Minister John Gormley, who replied that the issue was outside his remit, while there are plans for further protests.

Howeverwhile poor Rosemary was forced to respond to the Post's enquiries - she said that "the proper channels" had been used - the newspaper did not name the other resident of the property. Goldhawk can reveal that this is Pat Dowling, one of the council's three directors of services and deputy to the City manager, Tom Mackey. Dowling is married to Rosemary and lives with her at Hillcrest Drive. However, Ms Fitzgerald/Dowling was the sole applicant. Dowling just lives there with his spouse, Rosemary."

I don't normally do that much politics, ( because A: I know I'm not as well informed as I should be, and B: It depresses the hell outa me) but here are two instances that are clearly intelligible instances of pretty sharp practice, so even I have to ask once in a while: What's going on? and how come they get away with it? Answers on a postcard please...

No comments:

Post a Comment