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Local planning is undemocratic

MS Kathleen Ryan (Letters, January 13) highlighted the disastrous planning in Tallaght. As a resident of Tallaght for 45 years, I endorse everything she said.

The institutional vandalising of Tallaght village and surrounding area is aptly described by Kevin Myers as “villages raped by mass surburbanisation”. This country is led by autocratic planners who have their own agendas. Consultation with community is nothing more than an exercise in ticking boxes. Democracy does not exist.

Your leading article on January 10 got it right, commenting on “the outright contempt that disregards every principle of democracy”. We know all about it in Tallaght. The Government has abdicated responsibility to unelected officials.

The biggest question facing us is, “what type of society do we want?”. Our greatest need is a sense of belonging, otherwise we have nothing.



Decision to pull festival wrong

IN the past week it has been announced that two cornerstone social events in the Irish calendar, the Meteor Music Awards and Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, have been culled. I am aware that in these economic times we need to be frugal with public funds but cutting events like these gives the two fingers to performing arts.

In the case of The Dun Laoghaire festival, we are told that the event has grown too big, with last year's event over budget. I worked in a local shop last year and the money we took in over that weekend was huge. Last year we had our lowest number of tourists since 1998: so what message is this sending out, cutting events like these? And there will be an aftershock from ditching the Meteor awards. Young musicians will be following the rest of our talented people out of this country disenchanted with their chances of success.



Emperor’snew clothes suit Cowen

WHILST it has been vastly amusing, but equally disturbing, to watch the hapless Biffo shooting his reputation to shreds, the collateral damage he is inflicting on Fianna Fail is such that there may well be neither man nor woman left standing to put themselves forward for election.

The situation more and more resembles Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale ‘The Emperor's New Clothes’. Someone should tell Brian to stop shooting crooked and start talking straight. It would make a welcome change.