Clare TD fails to secure planning permission for home after he disclosed he owns another house in the area

Bord Pleanála refused permission to Cathal Crowe after finding his need to live in the local area ‘can be met by property and land in his ownership’

Planning permission was refused to Cathal Crowe after An Bord Pleanála found his need to live in the local area 'can be met by property and land in his ownership'

A Clare Fianna Fáil TD has failed in his bid to secure planning permission for a family home after he disclosed to An Bord Pleanála that he owns another house in the area. An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission to Cathal Crowe after finding his need to live in the local area “can be met by property and land in his ownership”.

Mr Crowe lodged the planning application in his Irish name, C. MacConcradha, for the development at Cnoc na Fhraoigh, An Chreatalach, in July 2022 after previously withdrawing house plans for the area after encountering opposition. The application discloses the site was given to him by his late uncle, Tom Crowe, who died last September.

Deputy Crowe had obtained planning permission from Clare Council Council in September 2022 without disclosing his ownership of the other home in the area. In the Crowe planning application form a planning agent for Mr Crowe declared that the TD’s only other property was at Clonard, Westbury, Co Clare.

The appeals board planning file shows the inspector in the case had initially recommended planning permission to Deputy Crowe. However, with the adoption of the new Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029, which included new rules on the control of one-off houses in the countryside, the appeals board directed the inspector to seek new submissions on Mr Crowe meeting the criteria to build a one-off home.


A 32-page addendum to the board inspector’s report reveals that in January of this year Mr Crowe disclosed the ownership of a second home at Woodcock Hill, Meelick.

The Crowe submission stated his personal circumstances have changed since the planning application was lodged initially. The submission states that in July 2022 when the application was lodged with the council, Deputy Crowe did have a home in the local rural area. However, it states he did not have use of this house at the time of lodging the application nor did he have use at the time the council granted permission on September 5th, 2022, or at the time he responded to the third-party appeal lodged in October 2022.

The submission states that there are personal reasons for this circumstance.

A letter from Mry Crowe’s solicitor, Michael O’Connor, details how Mr Crowe’s uncle, Tom Crowe, transferred ownership of his dwelling house to Mr Crowe together with his farm land in 2018. The deed of transfer, dated 14/11/18, reserved the right to exclusive residence of the dwelling house to Tom Crowe for the duration of his life.

The submission states Mr Crowe, while the registered owner, was not entitled to possession of the property nor was he entitled to rent, renovate or extend it.

The submission states Tom Crowe died on September 25th, 2023, and upon his passing Mr Crowe obtained formal possession of the property. The submission states Mr Crowe did not have recourse to inform the board of these changed circumstances under the Planning Acts.

Based on the new information and new development plan rules, the appeals board inspector, Adrian Ormsby recommended a refusal on May 31st.

The matter only came before the appeals board following a third-party appeal by Matthew Broggy as part of a more than a four decade long intergenerational land dispute between the Crowes and the Broggys.

Matthew Broggy’s intervention in Mr Crowe’s planning bid comes 43 years after Mr Broggy’s father, Noel, objected to plans by Mr Crowe’s parents, Michael and Irene Crowe, to build their own dwelling home.

Noel Broggy opposed the Crowes’ 1979 planning application over a disputed right of way concerning a strip of land adjacent to the Crowe home at Meelick in southeast Clare.

Asked to comment on the decision, Deputy Crowe said on Wednesday: “Disappointed but assessing the situation. There is a lot of paperwork to read.” Asked if he regretted not declaring the ownership of the second property in the application, he said that he was reviewing the file.