Mansfield of Arabia hits a speed bump on the road to Citywest Institute

He3

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More cultural misunderstandings between East and West.

The MidEast news agency MENA quotes the Examiner and Indo on 'one of Ireland's most unorthodox property tycoon' Mansfield's claim to have a contract with the Kingdom's education ministry under which 750 Saudi students would attend its new Citywest Institute.

Dublin school claims accommodating 750 Saudi students

Something must have been lost in translation between Tallaght and Riyadh.

...but in a statement on the ministry of higher education’s website, ministry deputy for scholarship affairs Dr Abdullah Al Mosa said the Citywest institute was “not recommended by the ministry and never was contracted”.

Dr Al Mosa said: “The claim that 750 students are going to study English at Mansfield Group’s Citywest institute is far from real.”
Saudis deny contract for students in Citywest - The Irish Times - Sat, Feb 27, 2010

Mindful of the hazards of being misquoted in two languages perhaps, no comment was made by the Group when MENA and the Irish Times asked for a view on the Saudi statement.
 
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fiannafailure

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A scrap metal dealer might not be able to differentiate between a religious minister and a political minister, but he is good at making money
 

cyberianpan

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This proposal for new jobs... conveniently dove tailed with:
The Mansfield group is seeking planning permission which would see the centre converted into a 66-classroom college.

It has applied to South Dublin County Council for permission for change of use. A decision on the application is due on March 25th.
cYp
 

Interista

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The Saudi English language daily "Arab News" had a piece about this a few days ago:

Dublin school claims accommodating 750 Saudi students - Arab News

Rather an odd state of affairs. It's hard to imagine that Mansfied would just invent the story out of thin air. Equally though, it's hard to see why the Saudi ministry would deny any involvement - if indeed they were involved.

My guess is that some kind of negotiations were underway but that Citywest was only one of many bidders - as far as I can tell, the Saudis dont' deny negotiating with Mansfield. The deal probably fell through at some point - perhaps due to a failure to bribe the appropriate prince? - but for some reason, Mansfield seems to have been unaware of it and embarrassed all concerned with that bizarre public announcement last week. Always thought it sounded a bit odd though - they claimed a few hundred students were due to arrive in April, barely a month away, and yet they don't appear to have hired any staff or transformed the empty shopping centre into a college!
 

CookieMonster

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Off with his head!
 
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I think the Saudis would be very concerned about the massive drugs problem in Dublin. It's chronic in certain parts. It's such a shame that more can't be done to stop the utter scumbags enriching themselves through this deadly trade. It leads to situations like this where honest businessmen like Jim Mansfield have trouble persuading people abroad that their youngsters would be safe in our country.
 

CookieMonster

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I think the Saudis would be very concerned about the massive drugs problem in Dublin. It's chronic in certain parts. It's such a shame that more can't be done to stop the utter scumbags enriching themselves through this deadly trade. It leads to situations like this where honest businessmen like Jim Mansfield have trouble persuading people abroad that their youngsters would be safe in our country.
You're talking about Nutmeg?
 

Interista

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I think the Saudis would be very concerned about the massive drugs problem in Dublin
Saudi students have been studying in the US in large numbers for decades, so I don't think Dublin would be too shocking for them. My guess is that the deal (if there even was one) fell through for more mercenary reasons - perhaps Mansfield's failure to 'sweeten the deal' enough, so to speak. It will be interesting to see if a similar college for Saudi students opens up in, say the UK some time in the near future. The Brits have a long and not so noble history of doing business with the Saudis, and know how to make such deals profitable for all concerned!
 

He3

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I think the Saudis would be very concerned about the massive drugs problem in Dublin. It's chronic in certain parts. It's such a shame that more can't be done to stop the utter scumbags enriching themselves through this deadly trade. It leads to situations like this where honest businessmen like Jim Mansfield have trouble persuading people abroad that their youngsters would be safe in our country.

Shame indeed.
 
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Saudi students have been studying in the US in large numbers for decades, so I don't think Dublin would be too shocking for them. My guess is that the deal (if there even was one) fell through for more mercenary reasons - perhaps Mansfield's failure to 'sweeten the deal' enough, so to speak. It will be interesting to see if a similar college for Saudi students opens up in, say the UK some time in the near future. The Brits have a long and not so noble history of doing business with the Saudis, and know how to make such deals profitable for all concerned!
No, I'm sure it's down to the scumbags who import drugs into this country, the sort who aren't prepared to slog the hard way in order to make their money like Mr. Mansfield, who rather prefer the quick criminal riches that come from dealing death and misery to the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the country. The kind of vermin who seem to be protected species for one reason or another. I'm sure that's what the Saudis were thinking of when they were considering Mr. Mansfield's proposals...
 

CookieMonster

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No, I'm sure it's down to the scumbags who import drugs into this country, the sort who aren't prepared to slog the hard way in order to make their money like Mr. Mansfield, who rather prefer the quick criminal riches that come from dealing death and misery to the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the country. The kind of vermin who seem to be protected species for one reason or another. I'm sure that's what the Saudis were thinking of when they were considering Mr. Mansfield's proposals...
One wonders if there are any of that type of person close to Mr. Mansfield's properties? Hmmm...
 

He3

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The words Good Planning and Citywest struggle to stay in the same sentence sometimes.
 

He3

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Out standing in his own field

There is a feature by Gráinne Faller on this desert drama in the IT today which ends with this pen picture -

WHO IS Jim Mansfield?

MANSFIELD, NOW aged 70, has always been an ambitious and somewhat unorthodox figure on the Dublin property scene. Worth an estimated €193 million according to the Sunday Times rich list, he made his fortune through canny land investments and property developments.

He bought Citywest for an estimated £1 million in 1994 and famously began building an enormous conference centre which was refused planning permission in 2004. A legal battle continued for a number of years before Mansfield was eventually granted retention by An Bord Pleanála four years later.

A similar dispute surrounded his Weston aerodrome which he began to modernise without getting full planning permission. Again he applied for retention in 2005.

Mansfield again hit the headlines in 2006 when police in Belgium found €7 million worth of heroin about to be loaded onto a plane that was bound for Weston. Mansfield had no idea that his plane and aerodrome was being used for smuggling drugs.
The strange case of Citywest, 750 Saudi students and the disputed contract - The Irish Times - Tue, Mar 02, 2010
 
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Saudi students have been studying in the US in large numbers for decades, so I don't think Dublin would be too shocking for them. My guess is that the deal (if there even was one) fell through for more mercenary reasons - perhaps Mansfield's failure to 'sweeten the deal' enough, so to speak. It will be interesting to see if a similar college for Saudi students opens up in, say the UK some time in the near future. The Brits have a long and not so noble history of doing business with the Saudis, and know how to make such deals profitable for all concerned!
"Cough" Mark Thatcher "Cough" Al Yameneh deal.

Hope the hell it doesn't happen as do we really want couple of hundred people from the cradle of Islamic militancy hanging around Dublin with all the additional US / NATO spooks coming on top of it. Lets see 9/11 the majority came from which country.

As for drugs well Saudis don't need to come to Ireland for them as amply well served at home.
 

kerrynorth

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I hear the English language school at Citywest was to be named 'Mirage College'! :)
 

Interista

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He3

Interesting article - thanks for posting.

I still think that the most likely solution of this 'mystery' is that Mansfield was in negotiation with the Saudis, but the deal came to a sticking point for some reason or other. Mansfield perhaps hoped that in publicising the 'deal', he would push them to come to some sort of conclusion, ridiculous though that was. Especially bearing in mind that the planning permission to change the purpose of the Citywest buildings isn't even due to come through until the end of March!
 

stanley

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Is that the same man whose aerodrome was used in drug smuggling? Obviously he was not involved but the Saudi's might view this as an obstacle.

A lot of them Saudi guys have a great affinity for the Irish coming fron CJH's passport for cash/investment scheme + buy one of my horses.

These students are probably their kids and already have Irish passports given multiple marriages of their fathers.

Mansfield has taken a very strong stand on the use of his aerodrome for smuggling purposes, more power to him, close it down.
 


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