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City council bans media from secret meeting on rezoning

DUBLIN City Council has revealed that it will hold a secret meeting to deliberate the results of a damning judgement handed down against it last month.

In an unprecedented move, the council will exclude the media on May 28, as the fallout from the rezoning of religious land continues.

The council was left reeling after the Commercial Court upheld a challenge by the Sisters of Charity to the imposition of more restrictive conditions on development of their land in the new Dublin City Development Plan.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke ruled that he would quash all of the so called "Z15" zoning aspects of the plan because of the council's failure to give adequate reasons for such "highly restrictive" zoning.



Lawyers

The judgement couldn't have come at a worse time for the council, which is still recovering from some damning evidence revealed about former councillors in the Mahon Tribunal report.

In this meeting, all 52 city councillors will be briefed on what went wrong in the court case, and what their options will be. After consulting their lawyers in secret, the council will then re-open its doors for the media.

There was some trepidation on the part of some councillors with regard to having the meeting in private, but eventually a reworded motion was passed. "Obviously we want to be totally open and transparent," Councillor Edie Flynn said. "But when you are receiving legal advice like this, it can be tricky. I think it's better to have it in camera."

hnews@herald.ie


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