an taisce-and rumours of them going bust

Postby ro_G » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:37 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora
I believe it is called bottom up policy development.

Isn't bottoms up policy development about meeting developers in the pub, the passing of envelopes, and a cheery 'bottoms up' before consuming a large port ;)

"Saving the Irish from the Irish" - hmm. It's all very subjective.
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:54 pm

Thanks ro_G,

I had almost forgotten Devin's claim that the Nation is in its infancy.

82 Years this year and economically it has defied every pundit and nay-sayer.

In terms of Architecture there are better buildings being errected now than at any time before.

The saving the Irish landscape from the Irish remark is not fair to 99% of the population of this country.

The 1% I direct it at are those that harp on about the struggle for the land, and the claims that we spent 800 years trying to get the english out.

That is a great history lesson and if I had time I would read all of Tim Pat Coogan's books because he is a witty man.

But that argument is a merely a smokescreen for a pure lassiaz faire attitude towards the development of particular parts of Ireland.
We have won the war so we can divide the spoils as we see fit.

The Department of the Environment has developed very clear and coherent policies on all aspects of development policy.
An Bord Pleannala has established itself as a respected authority on all planning matters.

It is to those bodies that the organisation looks to save Ireland from poorly thought out individual planning applications.
PVC King

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:36 pm

Bottoms up to An Taisces healthy future. It has never been needed more. Nowhere is the environment being thrashed like Ireland and an taisce do a thankless job. Bullyboy Cullen doesnt like us cos we get in the way of vested interests, so he cut our funding, but its just a matter of highlighting the situation to the media, the Taoiseach, the other political parties and the environment DG.

(still nursing wounds from earlier exchanges, I see Fin..........and you're a prominent member of the gang of four or five James was talking about)
Old Master
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby FIN » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:44 pm

what wounds devin? and i hope so. i would be the first to say an taisce should be abolished if the organisation is full of idiots that say no to anything. however diaspora has managed to convince me that you all aren't stupid morons.

i can only say that when you piss off a lot of people, politicians get worried, espically environment ministers because these are the people who put them there and can take it back off them just as easily.
Senior Member
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:47 pm


It surfaced on the O'Connell St thread about Dublin being bad in comparison to Continental Cities and Front Ranked US Cities such as New York or Boston.

But in comparison to countries such as India as mentioned on the other Thread or the El Alto shanty outside LaPaz Bolivia, where the environment is being thrashed on a nightmare scale. It is a question of improvement and not rampant levels of criminality.

Cullen is not a bullyboy and Dempsey was a good minister for the environment.

They could do more if people such as yourself stopped cutting and pasting the opinions from Frank McDonalds 'The Destruction of Dublin' everytime someone disagrees with you.

An Taisce was not the only organisation to suffer budget cutbacks this year. I find McCreevy a little cautious as a finance minister but caution is better than bankrauptcy.

I would say however An Taisce deserves the money it got over the three years. It delivers good value for money to the taxpayer.

When the PR improves and this should coincide with a better economic climate,
An Taisce merits restoration of funding.

But as long as individual members keep spouting on about 'vested interests' the funding will be given to those who behave better.
PVC King

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:56 pm

Old Master
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby FIN » Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:04 pm

my advice is to get out of an taisce as quick as u can before it collapses. you attempts to affect change or at least support change seem to be in vain in an organisation that seems hell bent on ignoring it's past foolishness and ignorance in the face of reason.
time to grow up and smell the roses. i suggest some time off to think of what actually you want in regards to an taisce and see if your small minded thinking is what the organisation, that could be good, needs.
Senior Member
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:16 pm

I know how it must look,

But it is a very small minority within the organisation that have such dated opinions.

In my first week I got an invitation to their annual conference, which was in Kilkenny. Anyway a woman stood up and starting rabbiting on about corruption and governments, the Chair intevened. That was as much on that topic as I have heard about 'corruption in general' until Devin started on about it again.

But you are right as long as that type of opinion is around it doesn't look at all well on the resume.

But I am getting a little concerned at this stage with the PR spin of Devin, would you leave the National Trust function with such a Dublin Focussed Zealot? That is precisely whathe wants you to think, he will never have any influence worth talking about in this organisation. Because even though he has particular qualities in relation to modern urban design, he is a liability mostly to himself

Forgive me for mentioning this again, but there are four programmes all playing their own angles, without the President Frank Corcoran who has held it together at at a difficult time for them I would have left.
PVC King

think you can change An Taisce from within?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:02 pm

Sure they don't want your membership if you do not subscribe to its objectives

"Oughterard-based auctioneer Mr Frank Conroy was one of those whose membership was rejected. "My motives in joining were purely so that I might have an opportunity from within to influence An Taisce into adopting a more sensible attitude towards rural planning," he said.

Rejecting suggestions that he had links with a named property developer, Mr Conroy said he ran an independent practice. "I could have been a good and active member of An Taisce," Mr Conroy said. "As a supposedly democratic organisation it should have been able to accommodate me."

However, Mr Lumley has made it clear the organisation does not accept as members people who do not subscribe to its objectives. "We are very busy. We cannot allow our work to be obstructed by those with vested interests.""

so if you do not agree 100 percent with them, there is no point in joining....
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
Posts: 5431
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:13 pm

When is that from Paul?
PVC King

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:42 pm

A little research on Mr Conroy reveals that it is not a little change like accomodating farming families that he seeks.

His vision of Oughterard is:

Oughterard has always been popular with people seeking holiday and retirement homes, but in recent times it has become very important as a dormitory town for Galway City, which is only twenty-minute drive.

Rosroe, Cashel
One acre site with excellent sea
views, available subject to planning.
Details on request.
Rosroe P.O.A.

Carraroe, Co Galway
We have a selection of sites in
Carraoe and the surrounding areas
To be sold subject to planning.
Details on request
Carraroe 40,000 - 50,000 Euro

Sensitive areas no matter,

It would have been a different matter entirely if he had applied wishing to assist with the properties portfolio, or develop the education programme.

But given his public disregard for Department of the Environment policy and applying to change to rural policy into what appears to be 'dormitary town' policy is pretty clear cut.

He is welcome to apply if he wishes to give his undoubted property skills towards the management of existing An Taisce properties.

I would be prepared to argue his case once he was prepared not to seek a position on the Galway planning committee.
PVC King

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:51 pm

Ok Paul, point taken.
Old Master
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:13 pm

They don't 'look after everything' and that is the cause of the PR problem for An Taisce.

They sell you the site without the planning permission.

It is then up to purchaser to secure planning permission for the house, hence emotive media images of young couples who 'have been denied planning permission' because of EU and Department of the Environment policy.

Devin please clarify that you are speaking personally because with your style of communication An Taisce could be sued.
PVC King

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:28 pm

To quote James, "Get on with your work, Diaspora"
Old Master
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:35 pm

Which has been unfortunately hampered by Arthur Scargill types such as yourself.

Have you read Trace, Graham Hickey and many others, they want An Taisce to succeed but as what it is A National Trust

not a talk shop from those still living in the 1980's Thatchers Britain.
PVC King

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:01 pm

I forgot to say that Stephanie Bourke and all the other senior officers both paid and voluntary have my full support.

I doubt devin will retain full support if he attacks the chair publicly, without justification.
PVC King

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:20 am

Originally posted by Devin

I appreciate that you are slightly aggrieved about Shirley: so am I. The unanimous feeling within the organisation is that it was a rash blunder on the part of the newly appointed chair.

Sorry, but you are assuming my attitude to An Taisce has changed. If you read James' comments, you will see that I have always been consistant in my attitude. I am not my sister's guardian, of course I am upset that Shirley was fired in this way, but seeing as I was not An Taisce's greatest fan in the first place..........

Diaspora, surely he is still intitled to join the association.

Devin, I assume that with the rules in An Taisce with speaking to the press or the public that your views have been passed by the association and are therefore the views of the association. Indeed I am accepting them as the views of the national committee of An Taisce and I thank the association for their feedback to this discussion, as I'm sure everyone else does. It is great to see the association interact with the man in the street.

As far as I am concerned, if An Taisce wants funding from the state, it should have membership open to all. Everyone! Just because a coterie of Taiscans have a problem with someone, should not mean that they cannot join. Like golf clubs that do not allow women and are refused lottery funding, a so called national organisation should not be allocated government funds if they restrict membership.

Afterall, if the committee or a senior officer have a personal problem with someone, they can stop them joining. Hardly democratic.

How are we supposed to change the organisation from within, as seems to be the catchcry of the Taiscans here?

Who decides who can and cannot join? And for what reasons?

Is there a file on who cannot join and can we access it under the Data Protection Act to ensure that our names are not on it? Indeed it might be worth the while of any journalists reading this to contemplate a query under that act.........
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
Posts: 5431
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Postby PVC King » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:53 am

Paul below is the very grounded reason why Mr Conroy was refused membership

His vision of Oughterard is:

"Oughterard has always been popular with people seeking holiday and retirement homes, but in recent times it has become very important as a dormitory town for Galway City, which is only twenty-minute drive."

The web reference was accessed today.

As I stated in the thread Mr Conroy is welcome to join once he gives reason other than wanting to "to influence An Taisce into adopting a more sensible attitude towards rural planning"

Those are his words and not mine.

I am Acknowledging the benefits of farming families being able to develop houses for family use. This is An Taisce policy Frank Corcoran has been quoted ad infinitum clarrifying this point.

To illustrate my point I will use an example of a person applying to theTemperance society claiming to want to change the policy from total abstinence to the policy being only getting drunk once a week, do you think my application would merit consideration?

The GAA is another classic example of an organisation that receives funds and has membership restrictions. Yet it receives money on both sides of the border.

If you applied to join the Pd's and publicly stated you wanted to tell the party how "to adopt a more sensible approach towards corporation tax" i.e. Increase it to the European average of 30%

The web search I did to find this damning evidence listed only "Frank Conroy Oughterard. Where he is listed as being an agent for Matt O'Sullivan Auctioneers.

Ian Lumley was absolutley right to comment on the refusal, but he should have said listed the empty promises this guy is making. i.e.

That 'subject to planning' equates to no more than a mere formality and that sites around Carraroe are open to commuters and holiday home seekers to develop.

No there is no file nor bias against any area or individual, although through observing the process certain patterns emerge. Ireland is also quite a small place so peoples opinions are easy enough to assess when listed on the internet.

An Taisce deserves government money because they deliver services that deliver benifits.

But the grant in question was made by Noel Dempsey for the planning unit. In acknowledgement that development volumes had increased immeasurably and it was to help An Taisce cope with the transition.

Ian Lumley as Heritage officer and his staff delivered real value for money to the government. 63,000 wouldn't touch Tom Phillips bonus before he left Frank L Benson.
I would put them at equal eminence in terms of ability but sadly there is now more than ever a gulf in resources.

If you know of anyone else other than Mr Conroy who has been refused membership please let me know. :)

I am not on the council of An Taisce my own application is currently being examined. But one does not have to hold office to know what is going on.

Merely discussing the issues in what has been the most balanced discussion I have ever seen on any web discussion ever.

Vega City was just to easy. :D
PVC King

Postby FIN » Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:25 pm

it sounds like they don't want to get rid of their elitist tag at all. it may be the case that mr. conroy had alternative reasons for joining because he is more than likely sick of an taisce objecting to everything everybody tries to do out his side of the country. if he has reasonable arguments surely he is worth listening to. i'm not sure what he hoped to change but possibly to start the debate and have someone from the locality there to argue the case. i wonder does he have any political aspirations.
as far as government money. i feel paul is absolutely right here. they shouldn't recieve tax-payers money for a seemingly private boys club, that doesn't let people with different views in. it has to be democratic and open and accountable. the price of living in a democracy i'm afraid.
Senior Member
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:40 pm


As stated if he has interests that don't relate to a potential 'conflict of interest' he is welcome. But this guy claimed to be an independent agent while working for Mr O'Sullivan.

With the planning function transparency and independence are essential. I can imagine the cries if it transpired that members of An Taisce were seen to be influencing policy to serve their own ends.

Just to clarify An Taisce does not discriminate on the basis of

Sexual orientation

It has never had an action brought against it under any area of discriminatory legislation.

I think you are probably correct when you say that he was sick of An Taisce objections to one off houses. Possibly against sites that he had sold 'subject to planning'

Remember if a local farming family submits a planning application it never involves auctioneers they already own the land.

My guess is that he might possibly have applied out of 'If you can't beat them join them' motivation.

Fin I have membership form in my hand, I would be happy to send it to you, if you wanted to complete it. People such as your self are our target market, i.e. those that can see both sides of the argument.
PVC King

Postby FIN » Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:51 pm

i have no doubt it was for his own pocket that he tried to join. and true it would make some of the views expressed here seem timid in the extreme. however, and there always has to be a however, it does seem a bit shocking that a member of the public isn't allowed join. now before i make u go off in a rant i better explain. he may have had a perfectly sound reason for joining and his business stopped him and therefore he was just joe public. would it stop an architect? someone who has to gain aswell. or a property developer?
now, i'm not trying to justify his case as i don't really care but suffice to say he tried his hand and failed but the precedent that it set is worrying.
and ha,ha...thanks for the kind offer but i don't think i would fit in not when there are people that refuse to look at both sides.
Senior Member
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 19, 2004 2:04 pm

You'd be surprised about not fitting in.

Being an architect is considered a major plus as most of the issues relate to the visual.

Being an architect generally means that an individual would have an interest above that of a person who is not so visually aware.

But with four programmes there is some issue for many different types of people.

Regarding developers there aren't any of your household names such as the Treasury guys or Sean Mulryan.

But there would be some within the organisation who would have dabbled, it seemed the whole country was buying something upto a couple of years ago.

I'm not worried about the refusal I think the only precedent it sets is that the integrity of the organisation was protected, against the possibility of a conflict of interest.

A bad precedent would be where a woman couldn't become Chairperson or anything that could be dealt with under equality legislation was to occur.
PVC King

Postby FIN » Mon Jan 19, 2004 2:42 pm

fair point. kinda no win situation there. do we let in a bad egg and spoil the whole tea party or get bad publicity for not letting in someone. as a whole i suppose it was the right decision.
Senior Member
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin


Return to Ireland