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Sinn Féin calls on Minister Cullen to free up €85 million for St. Michaels Estate plan

21 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor for the South West Inner City, Andrew O'Connell, called on Dublin City Council management, to draw down €85 million of 350 million sitting unclaimed in the Dept of the Environment for use towards the original agreed plan for the rejuvenation of St. Michaels Estate, Inchicore. He described the fact that the money has sat unclaimed by city managers as a "disgrace".

Cllr O'Connell said, "Following a special meeting of city council tonight it was highlighted by councillors who spoke to the Minister at a conference in Listowel last Friday that the minister was unhappy at the lack of interest from City and county mangers to the fund.

"Some months ago Council management withdrew their support for the original plan for St Michael's estate due to the downturn in the Celtic Tiger. To date they have not been prepared to explore other funding alternatives, instead trying to force through a Public Private Partnership plan. The original plan, which has taken over 3 years to develop, has already seen 101 units of housing constructed for the community to date. Local residents were central to making this plan workable. Residents do not want a PPP/Council generated plan foisted upon them without any honest and meaningful consultation.

"Last week the City Manager, Brendan Kenny who has responsibility for housing blamed councillors for delaying the redevelopment. It now appears that City Management have had their heads in the clouds given that the Minister has yet to hear from the manager regarding what amount of money they require for projects outstanding in the city councils administrative area.

"I am calling on council management to move immediately to draw down money towards the completion of a people centred plan for St. Michaels Estate." ENDS

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