Re: 2 more articles


This story seems to keep trundling on. Gordon ‘Sindy'(cate) Deegan seems to have really fixed himself on this as an ace in the hole for the summer 😉

The Irish Times: Chairman of An Taisce in Clare offers to resign

The chairman of the Clare association of An Taisce yesterday offered to resign in response to the abuse heaped on the organisation in the recent past.

Oliver Moylan said if there was anyone in Co Clare who would like his position, he would gladly step aside. Mr Moylan’s offer follows the Clare association being forced to withdraw its objection to a plan by journalist Fintan O’Toole to extend his second home near Ballyvaughan after the organisation labelled the plan “criminal” and likened it to an infection on the Clare coast.

In the Seanad, An Taisce came under sustained attack, with Senator Brendan Daly (FF) claiming the organisation had harassed and made life miserable for the ordinary people of north Clare for years. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú (FF) said the preposterous language used in the objection showed a darker side to the organisation.

The withdrawal of the objection followed Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) claiming at a Clare County Council meeting that An Taisce was Ireland’s only secret society that receives State recognition.

Yesterday, Mr Moylan said all An Taisce received for trying to protect Clare’s landscape “is unadulterated abuse”.

“I would like to emphasise to the people of Clare how difficult it is becoming to try and protect many of our beautiful areas. Some are gone beyond redemption and places like Kilkee, Lahinch and Fanore are cases in point. Protecting Lough Derg all along the east Clare side from unbridled development is becoming an impossible task.”

A Fianna Fáil member of Clare County Council had equated An Taisce to al-Qaeda and the CIA, he said. “Was it right or fair to put me and my colleagues in that category? Are we not due an apology from Bertie Ahern, leader of Fianna Fáil? I would like to say to the people of Clare that An Taisce’s concern is to pass on to the next generation our heritage and environment, as near possible as we inherited it. The first act the present Government did when it came to power was to remove An Taisce’s annual subvention of €170,000 per annum.”
Gordon Deegan

© The Irish Times

The Phoenix: Fintan O’Toole’s country ‘cottage’

THE TWEEDIES in An Taisce were in a right state last week when it emerged that a submission on Fintan O’Toole’s plans to extend his country retreat contained the world “criminal”. However, the bad news for Fintan is that Frank Corcoran, Ian Lumley and the rest of the heritage posse still have a submission safely lodged. On top of this, the Irish Times columnist has to deal with sniping from his own colleagues in the IT.
When O’Toole lodged his plan to increase the area of his Ballyvaughan property from 39sq m to 180 sq m with a split level extension, it came to the attention of the Clare branch of An Taisce as would normally be the case. In that part of the country, Anny Wise, based in Shannon Town, is the long-term co-ordinator of the local committee and she lodged a routine submission objecting to the scale of the plan.
So far, so good. However Wise was then contacted by local (unnamed) residents who gave the offensive quote containing the references to an “infection” and describing the proposal as “criminal”. Bizarrely the words were then inserted into a second An Taisce submission. Head office in Dublin was unaware of the nature of the submission as only appeals are coordinated through Tailors’ Hall. There was consternation when the story appeared in the national papers, given the ongoing battle by An Taisce to fend off its growing numbers of critics – notably within Fianna Fáil – who saw to it that the conservation organisation was completely excluded from the new Heritage Trust.
The incendiary submission was immediately withdrawn by head office and an apology issued. Not surprisingly, a complete review of procedures is now taking place with vetting procedures to be put in place for submissions. But the first An Taisce submission remains in situ and O’Toole faces a long hard fight, especially given the concerns already expressed by Clare County Council.
Back in The Irish Times Fintan has other critics to deal with, notably fellow columnist John Waters, who penned a scathing piece this week clearly talking about Fintan and referring to “pseudodiscussion” driven by “metropolitanism, snobbery, spurious aesthetics, dinner party politics and a fundamental lack of perspective on what life is about”. He even refers to “one lofty Dublin-based commentator”, quoting from a previous article penned by O’Toole defending An Taisce, before going on to “express solidarity with Fintan O’Toole with an address in Ballyvaughan who has recently attracted the attention of the busybodies in An Taisce because he seeks to extend his modest Co Clare property by some 462 per cent”.
© The Phoenix

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