James O’Sullivan, a Fine Gael member of Greystones Town Council, has reacted to the publication of The Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters and Payments (The Mahon Tribunal Report). Speaking today, Councillor O’Sullivan said lessons must be learnt from the ‘marathon’ of a tribunal and the implications of the report.
The Tribunal was setup to examine allegations of planning corruption and payments to politicians. Allegations focused on the bribing of Councillors for the re-zoning of land around Dublin. Land was re-zoned from low value Greenfield sites to lucrative commercial or residential sites.
Speaking after the publication of the report, Councillor O’Sullivan said, “I’m glad that today this report has finally been published after so many years. The report is a deep condemnation of the conduct of many involved in the planning process during the period. Activities such as those outlined in the report have tainted the vocation of politics, and is not representative of all public representatives. They are the actions of a minority. Such serious malpractices and the ‘cute-hoor’ politics should be now long gone. Politics should be about serving the people of Ireland effectively, and leaving personal interests and affiliations aside. ”
“Real political reform, on both a local and national level, to combat bad practice must continue to be a priority for this Government. We must ensure the circumstances that led to this Tribunal investigation never happen again.”
Councillor O’Sullivan continued, “The Tribunal was vested in carrying out investigations of serious issues pertaining to the culture that existed amongst certain sections of political life. However, the findings in this report will have eventually cost the taxpayer nearly €300 million once all legal bills have been settled. This is completely unacceptable and totally unjustifiable.”
“I welcome the publication of this report and hope swift action is taken to refer it to An Garda Siochana and the Director of Public Prosecutions so their opinion can be sought if any breaches of the law occurred. We must ensure the relevant parties are brought to justice”, concluded Councillor O’Sullivan.
Download a copy of the Mahon Tribunal Report here.