Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Gormley intervention undemocratic

23 July, 2007

Sinn Féin County Councillor for South Monaghan Matt Carthy has stated that Minister John Gormley's intervention into the County Monaghan Development Plan was undemocratic and will undermine the local authority system throughout the state.

Cllr. Carthy said: "It is disappointing that Minister Gormley failed to consult with the elected members of Monaghan County Council before rejecting the development plan which was agreed following numerous meetings of the local authority and a comprehensive public consultation process. Instead his first port of call was the national media indicating that the Green Party are more concerned about headlines than the future development of County Monaghan.

"Minister Gormley has no mandate for this action. The Green Party candidate in the recent General Election stood on the basis of rejection of the democratic decisions of Monaghan County Council. He received just 3% of the vote clearly showing that his views are not supported by Monaghan people. Rather than intervening where he has no mandate Minister Gormley and the Green Party would be better off carrying out the wishes of their electorate on issues such as: -

  • Rerouting the M3 motorway from the historic Tara Valley; -
  • Reversing the controversial Hospital Co-location plan, -
  • Ending the use of Shannon Airport by US troops, -
  • Bringing rail transport and other vital infrastructural projects to Cavan and Monaghan.

"During the development plan process we in Sinn Féin voted against many of the re-zoning decisions; in some cases we were successful. In cases where we were not we accepted, reluctantly, the democratic decision of the council.

"We would have preferred if Minister Gormley would have done the same. This decision is a smack in the face to local democracy and more importantly to those communities in County Monaghan who went to the effort of fully engaging in the consultation process.

"There were a number of areas in County Monaghan where local communities who fully engaged in the consultation process requested that land should be removed from the zoned area. In these cases the majority of Monaghan Councillors supported local residents as opposed to developers, council officials and the Green Party member. Where do these communities now stand? The Minister's decision has totally undermined their democratic input.

"A subtext of the Sinn Féin councillors approach to the Development Plan process was the approval of development opportunities greater than the current projected demand thereby aiding the objective of bringing down the price of houses or at least holding them to current levels for some time into the future. This was an agreed measure on our part design to assist those who aspire to homeownership but are currently priced out of the market. We are also committed to ensuring the maximum job opportunities possible in construction in our county. The Green Party Councillor and his greener party leader have neither vision nor wit as their actions will ensure that housing in County Monaghan will remain overpriced and many of our local construction workers will be forced to find work elsewhere in Ireland or be forced onto the Dole queue in the coming years. "Minister Gormley and his local Green Party representative should be ashamed of themselves". ENDS

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