Call for inquiry into 1916 site

 

Dublin City Council should be the first to investigate allegations of wrongdoing between the council and developers of the historic 1916 site in Moore Street, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has told the Dáil.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald called for Government action following allegations of what she called "backstairs deals" between officials in the council and a developer, to the advantage of that builder.

The allegations were made last night in a TG4 documentary, Iniúchadh Oidhreacht na Cásca, about the proposed development of the Moore Street area, where the leaders of the 1916 Rising met for the last time and signed the surrender.

Calling for Government action, Ms McDonald described the allegations in the programme as "one of the biggest planning scandals" in the State.

The "vandalism" of the site through the development of a shopping centre could not go ahead without the say so of Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan, and she said the matter had been on his desk for months.

But Mr Quinn said the place to start an inquiry was at council level, where the elected members should hold the officials to account.

"The idea that we would rush in on the basis of a TV programme and step over the elected members of Dublin City Council is a denigration of support for local government that I thought your party supported," he told the Dublin Central Sinn Féin TD.

The allegation of wrongdoing was a serious claim made in the programme, he added.
"The first responsibility is that the local level authority who have direct responsibility for the city manager" should take action, Mr Quinn said.

Mr Deenihan would make his decision in due course, he told Ms McDonald, adding  "you will be more than happy with that decision".

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