Disappointment as local politicians fail to show for Tallaght planning meeting

By Brendan Grehan

ONLY ONE local politician turned up to a discussion group meeting on planning this week in Tallaght.

Councillor Mick Murphy from the Anti-Austerity Alliance attended Tuesday’s meeting in the Priory. The local councillors, TDs and Ministers Katherine Zappone and Simon Coveney had been invited by organiser Aidan Thomas.

Houses aerial

Mr Thomas told The Echo that he was disappointed with the low turnout from the political classes. He said: “It wasn’t just me that was disappointed. It came from the general meeting too. Minister Zappone sent her apologies.

"The amount of apologies from councillors was absolutely massive, but the members of the public who attended were disappointed.

"A lot of people felt that the politicians had no problem talking to people and attending events in the run-up to the election but now they are thin on the ground.

"This absence caused much anger from the attendance in that they were all over us in the recent election, but now couldn’t be bothered attending such an important issue affecting the lives of the Tallaght community.“

Mr Thomas gave a paper entitled “Tallaght never got a fair deal in planning” and Gerry Stockil gave a slideshow presentation.

During the meeting there was much criticism, and anger of both present and past governments and SDCC in their treatment of Tallaght. It did not rate in the big picture of the establishment.

Different standards were applied. Two comments from senior citizens who gave many years of voluntary service represented the mood – “they ground us into the ground, and our local representatives never went as far as they should”, and the other “everything is okay once they do it.”

The development and destruction of Tallaght village was a big issue, and the treatment of the communities over many years in having no say in developments and the lack of listening by the establishment. It would not be tolerated anywhere else, but as was said “this is Tallaght, anything will do”.

It was proposed at the meeting that a separate local authority should be established for Tallaght and that a Planning Authority be established (similar to the Police Authority) to oversee Local Authorities and An Bord Pleanála.

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