On the fourth Anniversary of delivery of the Mulchay Report examining allegations of planning corruption in Donegal, Green Party TD for Dublin South-Central, Deputy Patrick Costello, says he has called on the Department of Housing and Minister Darragh O’Brien to publish the Review by Mr. Rory Mulcahy S.C. ‘without further delay.’
The report was first presented to the Department on June 12th 2017.
Commenting on the matter, he said: “It is now four years since the report first landed on the desk of former Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, and it has done nothing but sit in the Department gathering dust ever since. The issues go back much further, as it is actually almost a decade since the review into planning corruption in Donegal was first initiated.
“Given that the report has now been across the desk of several different Ministers and Political Parties, the question must be raised as to who is actually blocking its publication and who are they trying to protect. The delay in publishing it merely builds speculation that there is a reason for the non-release. In the interest of transparency and accountability I would urge the Department and the Minister to publish the review to ensure the public of accountability in the planning system.
“Former Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, called for the Independent Review of Planning Matters in 2010 following concerns raised by Mr. Gerard Convie, formerly a senior planner in Donegal County Council. It is a disgrace that the report has been allowed to lie idle ever since. I have made numerous requests for the publication of the report via PQs and letters to the Department, but to date have merely been told it will be considered in due course.
“The issues raised in relation to planning in Donegal have been before the Courts and have been deemed to be of significant public interest. This report would therefore help ensure to transparency, promote awareness of issues affecting the environment in Donegal and would allow the public the opportunity to express their concerns. There is also significant public interest in releasing any parts of the report concerning systemic failure, procedural weakness or ways of addressing any wrongdoing.
“If the report cannot be released as it contains allegations of wrongdoing against named persons, then surely the report should be given to Gardaí for thorough criminal investigation. The report cannot simply be ignored or hidden away any longer,” concluded Deputy Costello.