Backdoor meddling in planning startling and shocking – Ó Laoghaire
Speaking after the Taoiseach’s press conference with US President Donald Trump, Sinn Féin TD and Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire have said that it is shocking that an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar would seek to improperly intervene in planning applications.
The Cork South-Central TD said:
“I cannot fathom how an Taoiseach would almost brag about a story where he rang a local council as a Government minister to make representations on behalf of an American billionaire businessman.
“The planning application has no mention of the then Minister or his Department lodging a formal complaint, which indicates to me an awareness that this was not an appropriate action by a member of Government. It is entirely unacceptable for a Minister to be engaging in back channel negotiations in the private business interests of Donald Trump or anyone else.
“An Taoiseach needs to immediately make clear what the nature of these representations on behalf of President Trump were and release any correspondence he may have in regards to the matter.
“There is no way that politicians, and particularly Ministers, should intervene in the planning process in this manner.”