Echo Letters: Minister’s reply is ‘two fingers’ to the efforts of decent people

Dear Minister,
(Ref: Rep 1022/SC/16)

I WISH to respond to your most recent non-reply in relation to planning in Tallaght.

The “cut & paste” reply to planning decisions is a typical example of your treatment to our concerns for over fifty years.

There were four paragraphs in your reply, the first an introduction, and the fourth a “signing off”.

Sean Walsh Park 4 of 6

The second and third paragraphs combined comprised six lines, and that was the totality of your dismissive response to the country’s greatest planning disaster.

Minister, may I remind you of your own comments and actions when you revoked the Sallins development of 365 planned houses.

You spoke of the importance of proper planning, and that the excessive rezoning of the past is not repeated. You are also on record supporting integrated development.

Then you speak of Tallaght and say you are unable to intervene followed by a load of waffle reasons.

How do you justify your different standards? We would like to know? You seem to apply the rule book only when it suits.

During the recent Olympics there was a very interesting article by the respected journalist Anton Savage relating to the Michael Conlon disgraceful boxing decision.

The response of the boxer was a very vocal “no holds barred” one. Savage wrote there are times in life when such a response is justified, and needed.

The whole country rightly cried foul.

The referee was sent home, the winning boxer was injured, and unable to participate in the semis, the system did not allow Conlon to be reinstated, the injustice of it was commented on at all levels.

In Tallaght we are shouting for nearly 50 years from the rooftops – foul – in relation to planning, and the injustice of the planning system.

Now Minister, I am not going to pussyfoot with diplomatic language, but intend speaking the truth in relation to planning in Tallaght.

For starters we in Tallaght have moral standards that include fairness, justice, equality, dignity, respect and compassion for those of our society less fortunate or disadvantaged.

We are caring communities, but should not be expected to cope with the levels of social housing and disadvantage imposed, and more is planned.

We believe in a society where all share the needs of our less fortunate.

Government and SDCC are playing politics with our lives.

There are communities in our area suffering vast social deprivation as a result of crazy planning decisions that they now intend to escalate with more.

We destroy Tallaght village, and build apartment blocks that they knocked down in Ballymun as a social disaster. What’s going on?

On top of that, community voices are side-lined.

There is right and wrong in planning and what is happening in Tallaght is blatantly wrong. 

Previous experiences have highlighted the consequences of imbalanced development that in the long term will cost more than if got right at the planning stage.

Decisions one would never tolerate in our private lives suddenly become “right” within the system.

Would the minister or council CEO have built the Tallaght development standards in the communities they live in?

Minister, as far as Tallaght is concerned you are now part of this dirty rotten lousy planning system.

It may not be diplomatic or dictionary language, but it’s the truth. As a colleague recently wrote “our planning system is broken. They can’t even get the basic facts right”.

I am a resident of Tallaght since my marriage over fifty years ago.

During that time I have seen ministers come and go. Just to mention a few names Pee Flynn, Spring, Roche, Hogan. Where are they now? Are they worrying about Tallaght?

You, Minister, may not be even here next year. You may have a new portfolio, or be in opposition.

Yet, we and our families will have to live with your, and former ministers’ decisions that created so much inequality and disadvantage.

You are just passing through. We live here.

Minister, you may regard the tone of this letter robust, but it is nothing compared to the insulting letter received from your secretary, no doubt with your imprimatur.

The reply is the “two fingers” to the efforts of decent people trying to make our area a better place.

Then we have an invisible CEO in the Council, like yourself, passing through.

It is the way the country is run, all passing through, no community involvement, and decisions imposed.

The greatest stumbling block in making our area a better place is government and the South Dublin County Council.

I find it extraordinary that you, government and council are so blind to the obvious. None of you want to know.

Minister, we are not going away despite “cut & paste” replies until we receive answers, justice, respect, equality, and dignity for our area.

You were a Minister in Agriculture on a Thursday and then Minister of Housing on Friday.

What experience/vision have you of community compared to us who have given many years of unpaid service in ours.
How dare you tell us it is not your problem to right the massive planning wrongs in our area.

It is what you are elected and made a Minister for. You could if you wanted to.

I call for a Holy Hour in all our Churches in Tallaght for justice, and equality.

If Jesus Christ were to walk the streets of Tallaght he would be in Tallaght/Michael Conlon’s corner in his response to such blatant injustice.

Politics dominates over justice, equality, right and wrong.

In the establishment eyes Tallaght is in the lowest division, anything will do.

The theme of a Gospel this week was how we use our talents. Minister, what you guys do is bury them in the system. You are all so institutionalised.

Prayer for Tallaght: “ Lord we pray for justice, equality, dignity, respect, and that all communities cater for the less fortunate of our society”.

Aidan Thomas,

Tallaght.

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