Reply To: National Spatial Plan

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You’re right about Drogheda, Paul.

The national spatial strategy was never any such thing. It couldn’t be when Dublin was so bloated, hoovering in any investment going. The only game in town was how to encourage foreigner investors (and their key managers) to relocate anywhere else, other than the greater Dublin region. It’s not just tax rates (common to all locations in the republic), telecoms, schools, arts and social facilities, clubs, restaurants and so on that are critical to such investment decisions, but international airport connections. Poxy and all as they are from Dublin, they are hopeless from anywhere else.

Does anyone remotely believe that any little town or so-called city anywhere else in Ireland can, on its own, become a counter-attraction (to outsiders) to Dublin’s destructive ‘magnet’?

If the aim is – and it is, at least aspirationally – to spread investment (which is not in the government’s giving, but rather depends on the decisions of foreign multi-nationals) around, the best we could ever hope for is the choice between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. If Dublin is the former, the latter can only be a Cork-Limerick development corridor, later extended as far as Galway.

Anything else is selling the pass. The local constituents can be placated, but nothing will stop the sclerotic growth of the capital.

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