Labour Councillors on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council have criticised plans by the Council Executive to defy a vote of the elected Council and bring in the newly established Land Development Agency (LDA), describing the move as anti-democratic. The Council voted on Monday night to oppose the proposal to enter into discussions with the LDA in respect of the lands at Shanganagh Castle in Shankill.
The group said that the Council discussed the issues extensively at last Monday night’s Council meeting and ultimately voted against the idea of entering into discussions with the LDA with a view to them taking over the site at Shanganagh Castle. Yet an email received from the Council’s Director of Housing on Thursday night confirmed that the LDA had been booked to come in for a briefing.
Speaking, Cllr Denis O’Callaghan said, “The pressing and most worrying issue here is about the absolute lack of regard for the democratic will of the Council chamber. Why do we vote on something if Council officials are going to turn around and do the complete opposite? It makes a mockery of local government and shows complete disrespect to elected representatives.
Cllr. Carrie Smyth said, “What we are concerned about here is housing people. And we believe the best way to do that is keep the Shanganagh Castle site in Council ownership and in Council control. We have argued for months that the Council should be directly providing the houses on this site, and the Labour Group got the support of the chamber for that proposal too.
Cllr. Deirdre Kingston added, “We have had numerous votes in the Council chamber on Shanganagh. The will of the Council is that Shanganagh should remain wholly in public ownership, and that means the entire lands. We have to fight to protect that principle. To see the Council blatantly ignoring the wishes of the local Councillors just shows utter disdain for the process.