Reply To: Positive changes at An Taisce

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Eanna Ní Lamhna was on the radio yesterday for a good 35min debate, along with the chairman of the Irish Rural Dwellers Association and someone from the RIAI, and an expert on Irish planning. It started off promising but it decended into the usual bickering towards the end – indeed the putrid hatred of AT on the part of the chair of the IRDA was really extraordinary, quite funny really – you could hear the rage in his voice & the tension between him and Ní Lamhna could be cut with a knife, but she came over the better of the two.
Still it was the best debate on the one-off issue thus far – a few good concise points were made on the part of AT, Ní Lamhna got a decent plug in about the organisation’s other work for once, but again there was no time to get any of AT’s policies across, neither did the IRDA. The reps of the RIAI and planning did however broadly come across in favour of AT, describing them as a symptom of the one-off issue rather than the cause, and the necessity for a body indepedent of Govt and local authorites.

The contentious issue of what is a one-off dwelling and what is a dwelling that is part of a traditional scattered community also arose, and calls were made for such types of development to be defined in dev plans, and sustainable models and examples specified.
Ní Lamhna did slip up though on the question of does AT support the principal of the one-off house, to which too general an answer was given, resulting her being asked 5 or 6 times, much to the delight of the Mr IRDA. Also the public listing of members’ names occupied a lot of time, the IRDA calling for it to happen considering they have a statutory role – regardless that they are a private organisation.

On any future media outings for AT, they should definitely make a short list of main points beforehand that they wish to get across
about their policies, rather than getting bogged down in contentious issues deliberately stirred up by opponents. Overall, Ní Lamhna proved her worth to the organisation. It was a pity though, considering the presence of the RIAI that the architectural aspect of rural development wasn’t mentioned at all.
It’s well worth a download from the RTE website.

Just on the issue of Section 140s, what is their purpose – what’s the idea behind them?

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