Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

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This Limerick Life – Dan Sullivan of An Taisce (Limerick Leader)

Published Date: 18 September 2008 By Nick Rabbitts

Going on a guided trail near UL fostered Dan’s interest in heritage matters and now he finds himself in charge of the city’s branch of An Taisce

Getting involved with An Taisce was accidental really. I went to a ‘walk and talk’ around the Drumroe Village. After that, there was an An Taisce meeting, which also happened to be their AGM.

I suppose I was sufficiently vocal that they thought of me when it came to picking a chairperson. I imagined from other organisations I have been a part of, that the chairperson was more of a figurehead. I could easily find the time to do it. It was only subsequently I found out that they don’t really organise their own PR, and I had to do it.

I think what is really important about An Taisce is the function of it. Members of the public can make submissions with some degree of not being exposed – because lets face it, some of these developments involve an awful lot of money, and there could be for some people who are nervous, the opportunity for intimidation from large developers.

I always find it really hilarious when people, usually in Fianna Fail, but not exclusively, go on about An Taisce being a secret society. I do not remember the last time Fianna Fail published their membership list in the paper! When we have our meetings, all our members are told about them. It’s not a secret society, and the thing that people take most issue with is the power that has been given to An Taisce from the government. If they are so annoyed about it, why do they not take the power away?

If you have your own house and you don’t clean your windows, nobody else is going to do it for you. If An Taisce don’t do it, then who will? That might sound a little bit blase, or a little presumptuous. But there are certain things we need to have done. Depending on someone else to do it for you is somewhat dangerous. There was a lot of talk in the media about the People’s Park, particularly in the lead up to the last general election, and about the various lands the city had bought and used for developments. A number of public representatives, Tim O’Malley in particular, were making a big issue about how decisions had been made. However, they were talking after the projects had been done – after things had been built! I thought ‘why did you not at any point ring the planning board? Did you presume someone else would? You’re a paid representative, and you could not bring yourself do to it!’

It could have been a mid-life crisis , but I reached a point in my 30s, when I decided to run for the local elections in Dublin. This was in 2004. I ran for Fine Gael, but someone else got the co-option for the first choice seat. So I was running as a second candidate in a way. The man who won the first co-option, Terence Flanagan, ended up being elected to the Dail in the Dublin North East constituency.

It was a chastening experience
but one of the greatest things about it was discovering that 99 per cent of the people’s doors you knocked on were fantastically polite. In a sense, it was less so that people rejected you, but rather they went in different directions. The other rather funny thing about was I can’t remember how many votes I got, but I know from the percentages 50 per cent of them had to be females, and a good percentage of them had to be single. So that was kind of reassuring!

As a child, one of my abiding memories is, in winter, watching the Six Nations and having bacon sandwiches. It became synonomous with my youth. But, I am probably more a soccer fan than anything else. My relatives are big into rugby though.

Limerick is the only city in the country that can go out 360 degrees. Cork can’t go South, Dublin can’t go east. One of the things that is regrettable on the whole boundary issue is that there is not just one body in charge. I’m a big fan of the idea of the metropolitan system. I think compared to Cork and Galway, we have a much more cohesive city centre. It is much easier to identify with as an area, which gives us both an opportunity and a challenge to making the best of it. We have a really good basis for building a well managed city.

Hey Dan, just saw this only today. Most of us prefer the “anonymity” behind our sometimes often obscure poster names. Well you most certainly don’t and your political activities would explain that.

But jaysus Dan, Fine Gael . . . . . I mean Fianna Fail or the PD’s are bad enough . . . . . but Fine Gael! I thought I had you sussed, like maybe the Green Party or the Labour Party or the Communist Party or even an Independent but Fine Gael. 😉

At least Dan I would agree with you on the People’s Park and that the city would be bettered managed if it would be allowed to expand out in a 360° manner.

However Dan, Interesting to see that the former “Buckley paper” still has leanings to its old party roots. However it galls me to read in the same paper at the weekend, where one of your party colleagues speaks up for one of his constituents for receiving “third-world” cancer treatment in a mid-western hospital, he himself opted for his life saving surgery in the private renowned Blackrock Clinic last year. Not that I blame him mind! But it still Galls me.

You can tell him that they are too many “pissed-off city slickers!” fed up living in a city mis-managed by three local authorities. Our Health Board is administrated in Galway by people who seem to have enough problems with the supply of safe clean drinking water in their own city than God forbid with the additional responsibility of delivering a high standard of health care for the Mid-West. 😡

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