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Monaghan MD supports appeal of 'no confidence' in An Bord Pleanála

Oct 18, 2022 14:10 By News Northern Sound
Monaghan MD supports appeal of 'no confidence' in An Bord Pleanála Monaghan MD supports appeal of 'no confidence' in An Bord Pleanála
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The motion was proposed by Sinn Fein Councillor and Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council Sean Conlon.

Following on from a deferral at a recent County Council meeting, a motion in support of the Glaslough Development Association’s campaign against the erection of a mobile phone mast in the village was moved at the October Monaghan Municipal District meeting.

The motion, proposed by Sinn Fein Councillor and Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council Sean Conlon, seconded by Cllr. Paudge Connolly and agreed unanimously, read as follows,

‘That Monaghan County Council supports the appeal from Glaslough Development Association, that the members pass a motion of no confidence in An Bord Pleanála regarding the multiple failures with internal procedures, improper decision making and non-declared conflict of interest issues at this Government agency.

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And, that this Council write to Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Dara O'Brien TD and the Office of the Planning Regulator requesting that An Bord Pleanála overturn their decision to grant permission to a 19.5 telecommunications mast in Glaslough Village due to the Deputy Chair of An Bord Pleanála Paul Hyde's intervention that overruled both Monaghan County Council and his Boards recommendations that sought a refusal to the mast.

And, that we request that the circumstances relating to this planning debacle are included within the scope of the three separate inquiries currently investigating repeated governance violations within An Bord Pleanála.

In a statement to The Northern Sound, Councillor Conlon said,

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From its inception, the proposal to erect a mobile phone mast in the village of Glaslough, designated as an Architectural Conservation Area, has been met with widespread community opposition. The planning application was justifiably refused by Monaghan County Council, however, that decision was challenged by the mast applicant and permission subsequently granted due to An Bord Pleanálas ruling. The integrity and justification of this ruling, forensically assessed by the Glaslough Development Association’s sub-committee and legal representatives, is now in tatters following revelations of inaccuracies and misinformation provided in the final assessment and decision making process.

This has led to the support of Monaghan County Councillors adopting a motion of no confidence in An Bord Pleanála due to the irregularities surrounding the Glaslough ruling, as well as a growing list of flawed decisions made in the last two years, specifically involving mast applications.

The multiple failures of governance and transparency has led to three separate investigations being undertaken of the decision-making practices at An Bord Pleanála, including of senior official Mr Paul Hyde being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions. If these inquiries are truly independent, I believe the case of the proposed 19.5 metre mast,  located in the middle of one of Irelands most idyllic villages, will be reversed and an overdue root and breach reform of this planning authority initiated.

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In conclusion, I commend the determination of the Glaslough Development Association and their legal representatives in their ongoing efforts, and steadfast commitment into the future, in seeking this State authority being held to account. There can be no decisions made by our State Agencies that ignores accountability, good governance, and the rule of law.

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