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Ryder Cup ticket shame

5 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Dublin Mid West representative Joanne Spain has reacted angrily to recent reports that local councillors accepted tickets for this year's much coveted Ryder Cup from a prominent land developer.

The situation was brought to her attention by Clondalkin councillor and party colleague Shane O'Connor, who revealed to the public the offer Menolly Homes had made.

Cllr O' Connor said: " A number of councillors across South Dublin had accepted tickets for Thursday 21 September, worth over €500 each and even had the audacity to ask for extra tickets for their partners.

"You have to ask why a large developer would be inviting councillors to the Ryder Cup and offering them corporate hospitality - what does he want in return? To me, it's absolutely disgraceful.

"I am fully aware of those who accepted the invitation. There was more than one Fianna Fáil councillor who gladly took the invitation. I am calling on those councillors to own up in order to ensure the integrity of the council in voting on future planning matters."

Ms Spain said: "It smacks of stupidity that in the era of the tribunal, any politician in this country could think that it is still alright to be courted by big business groups.

"Councillors are elected and paid to serve the people and bring about progress in their communities. They are not given that important responsibility so they can indulge in lavish days out with land speculators. How do the councillors, who took or were about to take these tickets, think their constituents in the more neglected areas of South Dublin County Council feel about them putting their feet up in a corporate tent, enjoying champagne at the Ryder Cup? The acceptance of such gifts represents a clear conflict of interest." ENDS

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