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Councillor succeeds in getting his own land rezoned


mmrebel

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Jan 24, 2009
Messages
758
A major row has erupted after a county councilor in Clifden, Galway, sought to have the council rezone his land for development, despite severe objections from the county manager.

With only weeks to go before he seeks re-election, Fianna Fail councillor Josie Conneely, who is a developer, has been criticised for attempting to have 12 acres of land around the Rock Glen Hotel in Clifden, which he owns, rezoned.

One of the main objectors to Mr Conneely's plan is the county coroner Ciaran McLoughlin, in what is being seen locally as a major clash between two of the area's leading figures.

The main issue is that Mr Conneely's hotel is on a very narrow minor road and any additional development along there would be "ridiculous and unworkable", according to an objectors' spokesman.

"The plan is totally unsuitable for the area. The road is so narrow cars can't pass each other and every time there is a burial at the nearby cemetery there is chaos. This can't work," the spokesman said.

read more
Councillor succeeds in getting his own land rezoned - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

He is a FF councillor and developer so he is definatly going to hell, but apart from that how the hell does one get their land rezoned if the county manager objects to it strongly ?
 

Verhofstadt

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Jun 7, 2007
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You really couldn't make it up.

Please let the electorate punish him...

FF Coucillor / Developer.. how many of these are scattered around the country?
 

alonso

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Sep 17, 2006
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the couinty manager merely recommends in a report what should be rezoned. The decision is made by the County Councillors. So every tom dick and gombeen parish pump donkey in Clifden gets a say often in contravention of the professional advice.

that's how most land is rezoned in this country
 

mmrebel

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Jan 24, 2009
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758
the couinty manager merely recommends in a report what should be rezoned. The decision is made by the County Councillors. So every tom dick and gombeen parish pump donkey in Clifden gets a say often in contravention of the professional advice.

that's how most land is rezoned in this country
Can they go over the heads of an bord pleanala ?
 

alonso

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Sep 17, 2006
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The county manager Martina Moloney recently informed councillors that the proposed Local Area Plan (LAP) already provides for 100 acres of new residential land, which will provide for around 3,000 new Clifden residents. However, any additional developments are severely restricted under the national guidelines for planning.

Mr Conneely also attacked Dr McLoughlin and described him and the other objectors as "mere blow-ins". He also accused them of objecting in order to protect their own "cosy" interests.

He said residents had ensured his 2006 plans to build a leisure centre and 24 holiday homes failed, and that failure had cost him a lot of money.
People like Conneelly should be punished severely by the electorate. There's actually no need for theManager to look to national guidelines in this case. It seems obvious, under any planning principle, that this is a nonsense,
 

alonso

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Can they go over the heads of an bord pleanala ?
The Bord have no role in zoning whatsoever. It is a reserved function of the elected members - in itself not a bad thing. I just wish people like Conneelly never got elected.
 

stanley

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Joined
Jun 20, 2007
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9,339
This Conneely guy should get hammered at the polls, he must not think he is going to be returned so he pushes the planning through, it should be reversed.
Presume the Stroke Fahey will be advising him in return for the fencing contract and clearing the stones from the 12 acres.
Get these FF gombeen fuppers out for good.
 

The OD

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Oct 10, 2005
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11,432
Its beyond a farce now with the FF party, usually I check out posts like the above, try to get a bit of independant verification, but why bother anymore?

FF party member involved in land/tax issue with a bit of a dodgy bent to it?

At this stage, who would believe any different?
 

mmrebel

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Jan 24, 2009
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At this stage, who would believe any different?
You made a salient point indeed how have FF got to to the stage where people see FF and they see corruption.
The puzzling thing is that there is a big chunk of the population out there that would vote for Hiter if he was running for FF
 

code twinkle

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Jul 30, 2006
Messages
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You made a salient point indeed how have FF got to to the stage where people see FF and they see corruption.
The puzzling thing is that there is a big chunk of the population out there that would vote for Hiter if he was running for FF
Agree - and I just don't understand it, at this stage it's akin to brain-washing. I was speaking to four very educated, politically-aware people the other night and only one of them was certain they wouldn't be voting FF. When I asked the others why their replies were, in my view, so stupid that it was kind of surreal. Reasons were:

1) The other parties might do more damage - when asked what could possibly become worse for the country, there was no answer.

2) Maybe stability is necessary right now for the international markets - when pointed out that an international credit rating agency had said, beyond its remit, that a change of govt was necessary to restore international confidence, again there was no answer.

3) FF aren't that bad, all politicians are corrupt. When pointed out that FF were far more corrupt than most other parties, on the evidence, there was no answer.

It seemed to me these people weren't actually thinking at all. It was freaky because they are all trained and well able to critically think about other topics, it was genuinely like brainwashing.
 

an fear eile

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May 16, 2007
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1
wheres the Enforcement of the councillor code of conduct?

You really couldn't make it up.

Please let the electorate punish him...

FF Coucillor / Developer.. how many of these are scattered around the country?
Screw that!
Why is it tolerated by enforcement that councillors can behave like this"

Code of Conduct for Councillors
http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/LocalGovernment/Administration/FileDownLoad,1956,en.pdf

3. Conflict of personal and public interest

3.1 The Act prohibits a councillor from influencing or seeking to
influence a decision of a local authority in any matter with
which the local authority is concerned in the performance of its
functions and in which, or related to which, the councillor has
actual knowledge that s/he or a connected person has a
pecuniary or other beneficial interest.

3.2 The Act (and previously the 1976 Planning Act) sets out specific
requirements regarding declaration/disclosure of interests by
councillors. All councillors and certain employees must
complete and furnish to the ethics registrar an annual
declaration setting out declarable interests which are
maintained in a public register. Annual declaration forms are
supplied by the ethics registrar. Declarable interests are mainly
of a financial/property/business nature and are set out in the
Act.

3.3 Additionally, under the Act councillors must disclose at a
meeting of the local authority or of its committees any
pecuniary or other beneficial interest, (of which they have
actual knowledge1) they or a connected person2 have in, or
material to, any matter with which the local authority is
concerned in the discharge of its functions, and which comes
before the meeting. The councillor must withdraw from the
meeting after disclosure and must not vote or take part in any
discussion or consideration of the matter.

3.4 The Act also provides that where a councillor has actual
knowledge that a matter is going to arise at a meeting at which
s/he will not be present, but if s/he were, a disclosure would
be necessary, then s/he must in advance of the meeting make
such disclosure in writing to the ethics registrar.

3.5 The foregoing statutory requirements, must be observed at all
times and failure to do so is an offence. Analogous statutory
requirements also apply to staff; and to external members of
committees with the exception of the annual declaration in
their case.

3.6 The law as mentioned above sets out a framework for
disclosure of what are termed ‘pecuniary or other beneficial
interests’. However there may be other private or personal
interests (not necessarily involving financial matters) which
can also pose a real potential for conflict of interest or damage
to public confidence in local government. Such interests could
include family, close friends or business associates, as well as
those arising through a position of responsibility in a club,
society or other organisation. Private or personal interests of
this kind must not be allowed to conflict with public duty or
improperly influence the decision making process. Where such
interests, of which a councillor is aware, arise in relation to a
matter which comes before a meeting for consideration they
should be dealt with in a transparent fashion. This is necessary
so that public trust and confidence in local government is
upheld – disclosure of such an interest is invariably
appropriate except where it is of a remote or insignificant
nature; if in doubt disclosure should be made. The public
perception of the way a councillor is seen to deal with such
matters is important for the maintenance of trust in local
government.

3.7 The test to be applied by a councillor is not just what s/he
might think - but rather whether a member of the public
knowing the facts of the situation would reasonably think that
the interest concerned might influence the person in the
performance of his or her functions. If so, disclosure should
follow and a councillor should consider whether in the
circumstances s/he should withdraw from consideration of the
matter. In this context it is important to ensure that as well as
the avoidance of actual impropriety, occasions for suspicion
and appearance of improper conduct are also avoided in case
of private or personal interests.

3.8 This is all the more so where the nature of a councillor's
occupation, profession or business is such that it interfaces to a
significant degree with local authority functions (e.g. related to
land development or property transactions). There is a special
onus on the person concerned to take extra care in these
circumstances.

3.9 Councillors must not seek to use their official position so as to
benefit improperly themselves, their professional or business
interests, or others with whom they have personal, family or
other ties. Likewise they must not seek to use or pass on for
personal gain or the personal gain of others, off i c i a l
information which is not in the public domain, or information
obtained in confidence as a result of their public position.

3.10 The Act provides that it is the duty of every councillor (and
employee) to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct
and concern for the public interest. Councillors should base
their conduct on a consideration of the public interest and the
common good. They are individually responsible for being
alert to potential conflict of interest, avoiding such conflicts and
for ensuring that their actions, whether covered specifically or
otherwise by this Code, are governed by the ethical and other
considerations implicit in it.

4. Planning

4.1 Key decisions on planning matters such as the making of
development plans are vested in the elected council as
representatives of the local community acting in the interests of
the common good and the proper planning and sustainable
development of the area. The planning system is a very open
one allowing for input by all parties. It is all the more
important therefore that consideration of planning matters by
councillors is carried out in a transparent fashion; follows due
process; and is based on what is relevant while ignoring that
which is irrelevant within the requirements of the statutory
planning framework. The same applies as regards input by
individual councillors in relation to planning applications,
decisions on which vest in the executive.

4.2 Extra care must therefore be observed in dealing with planning
matters and in this context the provisions of this Code
particularly as regards conflict of personal and public interest
(see Section 3) are very relevant.
 
Last edited:

An Gilladaker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
4,313
I hope the council puts up a fence for him it costs a lot and with times hard for developers it would improve his chance of selling the land
 

Pauli

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,181
Agree - and I just don't understand it, at this stage it's akin to brain-washing. I was speaking to four very educated, politically-aware people the other night and only one of them was certain they wouldn't be voting FF. When I asked the others why their replies were, in my view, so stupid that it was kind of surreal. Reasons were:

1) The other parties might do more damage - when asked what could possibly become worse for the country, there was no answer.

2) Maybe stability is necessary right now for the international markets - when pointed out that an international credit rating agency had said, beyond its remit, that a change of govt was necessary to restore international confidence, again there was no answer.

3) FF aren't that bad, all politicians are corrupt. When pointed out that FF were far more corrupt than most other parties, on the evidence, there was no answer.

It seemed to me these people weren't actually thinking at all. It was freaky because they are all trained and well able to critically think about other topics, it was genuinely like brainwashing.

I believe it is in the film "Telefon", that the character played by Charles Bronson is a KGB sleeper agent living a normal life in the USA. When he gets a phone call, he reacts to the voice and the command, becomes all catatonic and changes personality. After which he kills with no memory of the act.

So it is with many rational people. They are perfectly normal intelligent individuals until election day, than they become catatonic, vote FF and perhaps go to the pub after for a drink. The following day, they have no recollection of anything. They are genuinely scary because on almost every subject they can rationally hold and defend an opinion. But when it comes to politics, they are complete vegetables. Weird.
 

alonso

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
2,573
That is how one gets around the code of conduct. How can it be proven that he influenced the council's decision?
well that's the thing and why i would be careful not to call this "corruption". He declared his interest publicly and does have a right to propose his land for rezoning in as much as any landowner. And we cannot expect all members who are landowners to not be landowners overnight after election.

All that annoys me about this decision is that it is patently in contravention of proper planning principles and the common good, as expressed by the manager and others, and will damage the local environment. The Councillors have once again failed in their duty to their local area.

That and the fact that the guy sounds like a knacker cowboy with his poxy holiday homes and "blow-ins" comment. I don't know Clifden but a flick through that article and the quotes i put in are all I need to know about the place to form an informed professional opinion on why this is a bad bad decision.
 

thecretinhop

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
23
FF know that the average voter has the attention span of a fly, the only thing that would rock the 20%+ vote is something very damaging around the election a week before would be perfect, but other than that the 20% brigade will go to the polls voting FF...
 

code twinkle

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
156
I believe it is in the film "Telefon", that the character played by Charles Bronson is a KGB sleeper agent living a normal life in the USA. When he gets a phone call, he reacts to the voice and the command, becomes all catatonic and changes personality. After which he kills with no memory of the act.

So it is with many rational people. They are perfectly normal intelligent individuals until election day, than they become catatonic, vote FF and perhaps go to the pub after for a drink. The following day, they have no recollection of anything. They are genuinely scary because on almost every subject they can rationally hold and defend an opinion. But when it comes to politics, they are complete vegetables. Weird.
:) :)

(Telefón?? Really?)
 

InReality

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
48
Wasn't there a case with some county council in kerry where a counciller was convicted or abusing his infulence to rezone land for a hotel he had an interest in ?

Surely that should apply ?
 

alonso

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
2,573
IR, he hasn't done anything illegal. Certainly nothing in the article was illegal. Perhaps an investigation will find something but for now there's nothing anyone can do. The only people who can stop this are those elected to serve the common good for Galway, those trusted as guardians of our environment, the County Councillors. Don't hold your breath.
 
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