South Dublin FG and FF councillors slammed for ‘petty politics’

by Mark O'Brien
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Cllr Chris Curran has accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fail councillors of "petty politics"

Sinn Fein councillor from Sandyford Glencullen, Chris Curran has said he is dismayed at the actions of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, as they again blocked any discussion at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on his motion relating to the potential for 400 social and affordable housing units in Carrickmines.

Speaking after a recent council meeting Cllr Curran said: “We wanted the council to send an official letter from the council to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Board of Directors of Horse Racing Ireland, to seek a mechanism under which an unused land bank, owned by Leopardstown Racecourse, could be transferred to the council for the development of social and affordable homes.

“Last month, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail refused point-blank to discuss the matter and wouldn’t even give us a reason. Informally, a week after that meeting, the excuse was given that a map was not provided with the motion.

“This month, I resubmitted the motion, including a variety of maps outlining land zoning, water and foul drainage, transport link and council plans.

“Last night however, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail again blocked any discussion on our motion using an extremely petty technicality as their excuse.”

Cllr Curran wants the Housing Minister to intervene.

“This sends a terrible message out to people living in hostels, hotels and emergency accommodation.

“I am now calling on Minister Eoghan Murphy to step in, overrule the petty politics of the Fine Gael group on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, look at Sinn Fein’s report on the site and open communications on the matter between his Department, the council, Horse Racing Ireland and the Department of Agriculture.”

Cllr Curran previously told Dublin Gazette the land is ideal for housing and fears the land could be lost to a private developer if the state does not step in.

He said: “It is already zoned residential, it is water and drainage serviced, has its own LUAS stop and is within a few hundred meters from the M50.

“It’s not as if an initiative like this is unique. In Cherry Orchard, the HSE handed over land to Dublin City Council and other sites in state ownership are being identified across the state for much-needed housing.”

The Sinn Fein councillor also told Dublin Gazette previously that the area has one of the worst housing lists.

“Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is not only the smallest county in the state, it has one of the worst housing waiting lists too with extremely limited land resources.

“Having researched the land in question and after communications with senior council officials, we estimate the sites to be around 6.5 hectares that could yield up to 450 housing units.”

Cllr Curran said he met with the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy about the issue back in February and said: “He seemed genuinely interested in our racecourse proposal. He outlined that he had a team looking into potential new sites for beyond 2021.

He said: “Whilst I welcome this, we cannot wait until after 2021. He needs to start acting on this site now, otherwise it could take 5 or 6 years before any new homes would start construction.”

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