This letter , published 3rd of January 2011, is regarding a lack of balance in policy initiatives by the current Irish government, who have not in my opinion balanced their environmental ‘policies’ with an ethos of conservation. I thought to publish it here and will migrate it onto a conservation page when I have that set up. I have added in a related link regarding the destruction of the Gabhra Valley (at Tara) at the base of this post.
Buying land for roads hit by cutbacks
Madam, – I find myself unsurprised by Frank McDonald’s report (Home News, December 27th) regarding the National Roads Authority’s buying of farmland. (The article states that an environmental group claims the National Roads Authority is continuing to buy up farmland for road schemes that no longer have Government approval due to cutbacks in the capital spending programme).
The NRA appears to be about the only statutory agency in Ireland that has had any power in construction terms.
Between 2001 and 2010 the Fianna Fáil government set about abolishing those agencies charged with protecting our natural and built environment, Dúchas was abolished in 2003 by Martin Cullen TD, the OPW was split and even the Heritage portfolio was “dropped” temporarily in a Bertie Ahern cabinet reshuffle.
If the Fianna Fáil government of 13 years had dedicated itself as wholeheartedly to conservation, excellence and adherence to EU directive laws as it has done to fast-track planning and critical infrastructure, Ireland would indeed be a nice place to live in.
As it is, there has been no legislation directed toward conservation, and a war of attrition has been carried out against heritage through planning, abolition and under-funding. The ideal of “stewardship” has been cheapened toward profiteering and short-termism.
I believe that the whole ideology of Fianna Fáil planning is encapsulated in the National Monuments Act 2004, which is a shaming indictment of a Government which indeed lost the run of itself years ago. Our agencies, such as the NRA have left us little to boast in our concept of cultural preservation. – Yours, etc,
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