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Oh at least Harney will have a new sun room to contemplate mess of the HSE

BIGGER is better for Health Minister Mary Harney, who is set to build an extension to her three-bedroom home.

And the former PD leader appears to be confident of a good summer as she is demolishing her existing sunroom for an improved version.

Ms Harney has been granted permission to increase the size of the Clonskeagh home by a third.

She plans to demolish part of the existing house in the upmarket Wynnsward Park before extending the house at the front, side and rear.

She bought the luxurious property for €1.1m in 2003, some 18 months after her marriage to former FAS boss Brian Geoghegan.

An application for planning permission was lodged with Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council in Mr Geoghegan's name on March 30.

None of their neighbours objected to the extension renovations works and planners have now given the go-ahead for the works.

The plan is to knock down an entrance porch to the front of the house, as well as a sunroom at the rear of the property.

The application notes that the couple wants to alter and extend the existing house "to front, side and rear at ground level". Builders will also extend the first-floor level to the rear.

The application further adds that Ms Harney is to get new windows at the front and side of the house, along with new roof lights to the existing and proposed roofs.

The existing property already includes three bedrooms and a fourth bedroom which doubles as an office.

Plans submitted with the application also show the property has a large living room, dining room, lounge and kitchen.

A number of straight-forward conditions have been specified by the council who granted permission.

These include that "all external finishes harmonise in colour and texture with the existing premises". This is "in the interest of visual amenity".

They add that the development must "be carried out in its entirety in accordance with the plans ... "

Ms Harney moved into the millionaires' row in 2003 when she was serving as Tanaiste and leader of the Progressive Democrats.

She will be 59 when the current Government term ends and it is widely believed that the Dublin Mid-West TD will not stand in the next election.

However, she recently said that she is still enjoying her role in the Department of Health, despite consistent criticism of the health service and her ability to fix the system.