Independent Planning Regulator only option.


Speaking on the Planning and Development Bill which was meant to make law the recommendations of the Mahon tribunal, Sinn Féin Deputy Dessie Ellis outlined that one of its key recommendations the establishment of an independent office of a planning regulator is not being fully address in this Bill.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“The Mahon Tribunal found out that big business and those who held high political office conspired to corrupt the planning process; that these individuals used their positions of influence within some political parties to line their own pockets with corrupt payments by corrupt developers at the expense of the very communities and citizens they were elected to represent.  The effect is that some estates are living in floodplains as a result of land rezoning decisions made by local councillors at the behest of landowners or property speculators.

“While sizeable populations in this city have to get into their cars to travel to a shopping centre because the one that was planned nearer wasn’t built or those nearer to established communities weren’t facilitated, against planning advice. There was over zoning of lands, a lot of it in the wrong place and absolutely no consideration to any long-term strategy or supported by the required services. There are people dealing with these decisions every day of their lives to this day.

“Minister Simon Coveney can overrule the regulator; what’s the point of it so? It doesn’t go far enough. If the proposed office of planning regulator does not have teeth or real powers, it will not be effective. And we are potentially back to those days where the corrupt and the financially astute decided how we lived in our country.”

Budget is another missed opportunity to move towards a fair society.


Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis has said that this Budget goes beyond money when it comes to the Health service, that each person on those waiting lists is in pain and putting their life on hold waiting for important surgery, and that the Government is indifferent to that pain and hurt.

Speaking during the Budget debate, Deputy Dessie Ellis said:

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have forged this budget between them and it represents the failed politics of a failed class and a failed system.

“This wasn’t a Budget to address our staffing crisis in our hospitals. By the end of September, there were 258 people waiting in Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital for a year or more on the Inpatient/Day case surgery on Orthopaedics. It is a scandal that four out of the six theatres in Cappagh were out of action due to lack of staff, consultants and equipment such as artificial limbs and other necessary parts over the last few months. How can waiting lists be reduced if this is the case?

“Under this Budget, when the funding required to cover pay restoration is taken into account, the real Budget increase for health is €147 million. This is simply not enough. This is in comparison to Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget which proposed an additional €462.8 million to fund the health service. However, this goes beyond money as each person on those waiting lists is in pain and putting their life on hold waiting for this important surgery. There is nothing in this Budget that is going to increase resources and staffing levels to cut the waiting lists.”