independent

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Planning matter referred to gardai

Sinn Féin deputy says alleged issues need to be examined

Deputy John Brady presenting sworn affidavits to Minister Eoghan Murphy
Deputy John Brady presenting sworn affidavits to Minister Eoghan Murphy

Brendan Keane

Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the news that the gardaí are looking into allegations of planning irregularities within Wicklow County Council.

He said the gardai involvement in the issue comes in the wake of him presenting sworn affidavits on the matter to Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.

Deputy Brady had called on the minister to immediately begin an investigation into the matter and said he had raised it with him on a number of occasions.

'I have been calling for [an investigation] for many years now,' he said.

He added that with sworn affidavits being presented to Minister Murphy action needed to be taken.

'In December last year the minister announced that the Office of the Planning Regulator (ORP) was to be established and that Mr Niall Cussens was to be appointed as an independent planning regulator,' said Deputy Brady.

'This was on foot of a recommendation of the Mahon Tribunal,' he added.

'The minister must act and immediately and ensure that these serious allegations are investigated by Office of the Planning Regulator.'

Sinn Fein councillor, Nicola Lawless, also commented on the matter and said it's important for the public to have 'total confidence in the local authority and the planning process'.

When contacted about the matter by this newspaper the gardai in Bray confirmed that documents have been received by them.

'We have received documents and they are being reviewed,' said a senior ranking member.

A spokesperson for Wicklow County Council said: 'As this matter is the subject of a garda investigation, the council will not be making any comment other than to say that the council will be co-operating fully with the garda investigation.'

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