Hogan moves to fill four top vacancies


Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has moved to fill four vacancies on the board of An Bord Pleanála, which has been operating with just four members since last December.

However, his appointments leave the appeals board with a just one architect and no member with professional qualifications in conservation or urban design. The new appointees are environmental engineer Gabriel Dennison, former Bord Pleanála inspector Paddy Keogh, Clare-based architect Michael Leahy and archaeologist and town planner Nicholas Mulcahy.

Each was nominated from among the panels representing professional bodies involved in planning, commerce and disability – set up to ensure an “arm’s length” process of choosing board members.

The current members of An Bord Pleanála are chairwoman Mary Kelly, an industrial chemist who had headed the Environmental Protection Agency; two civil engineers, Conall Boland and Fionna O’Regan; and former planning consultant Mary McMahon.