Michael Bailey.A pillar of corrupt practices, yet given succour and support by the party to which he is bonded,body and soul,-Fianna Fail.
Nothing more exemplifies everything that the Fianna Fail party really represent and stand for, than the recent indictment of their two "pillars of the community" in Meath, by one of the numerous innocuous quangos/regulators created by Fianna Fail of course.!("The Director of Corporate Enforcement".. such rich and fear-provoking titles.).
The somewhat notorious 'Bailey Brothers",who both canvass for their betrothed (Fianna Fail) at election time, and come to their aid frequently with generous dollops of ill-gotten funding ,-will go to their graves with assets in excess of 500 million (When all their land banks are re-zoned by the Soldiers of Destiny's local councillors)
500 million euros worth of assets and wealth, much of it (besides the land banks) no doubt lodged safely out of reach of a government which does not bother to tax multi-millionaires anyway (the poor can always be squeze for a few bob more,V.A.T. stealth taxes etc)
That's an awful lot of money to leave behind,when they are both wheeled out in a wooden box, and sprinkled with holy water by the local bishops and church dignitaries.
Haughey and Desmond and Smurfit,and the whole gang of cronies may have to start all over again whenever they arrive-wherever they're going. How boring.
Meanwhile the holy biddies re elect the Soldiers of Destiny.Those they have bought with hard cash re-elect them.it seems the more cash they trouser in unsolicited donations -the higher they climb on opinion polls !. Monsters like "Bovale" were created by, and are an integral part of a corrupt political system. They are the wealthy Frankensteins of Fianna Fail.
In any country where even token homage is paid to the rule of law -including the home of freebooter capitalism, the United States itself, I venture to say both of the Bailey Brothers,directors of "Bovale Ltd" would be serving long jail sentences by now. So would many members of the Fianna Fail Brotherhood.
Like the Sicilian Mafia their greatest weapon is the denial that they exist.Now and then a Burke or a Lawlor are unearthed from beneath a stone,but this is described as an aberration.Not truly representative of the party and everything they represent!.
THE multi-millionaire brothers who run one of the country's biggest building and development companies face "grave" allegations of wrongdoing in a landmark case in the High Court. Big deal. Another rap on the knuckles from one of Bertie's "regulators". Deputy Daw. The Director of Corporate Enforcement. His title is heavier than his powers!
How many years in prison can he mandate for the hundreds-nay thousands -of miscreants who are unearthed yearly by his highly paid bureaucracy. None!.
The Director of Corporate Enforcement is seeking to have Mick and Tom Bailey banned from being a director in their own company Bovale - or any other company.
The enforcement director, Peter Appleby, claims both brothers are "guilty of serious misconduct and fraud in relation to their own company and their dealings with the Revenue Commissioners".
A four-year investigation into Bovale, where the brothers are the only directors and shareholders, turned up a grave list of charges:
* That the brothers had received 3m - which was 17 times more than they had recorded in the companys books.
* That their PAYE/PRSI liabilities of 4m were more than 19 times the recorded liabilities in 1997/1998.
* That both brothers diverted substantial company funds for their personal use and made undisclosed and "secretly derived" personal profit from their position as directors.
* That their 22m settlement with the Revenue made clear that their misconduct was of a very serious character and extended over a prolonged period.
In an affidavit presented to the High Court yesterday, Peter Lacy, who examined the company's books and records for the enforcement director, said he had never seen such a failure to keep proper books of account in his 35-year career in public accounting.
In the proceedings, brought under Section 160 of the Companies Act, Mr Appleby wants orders restraining Thomas Bailey, Coolcommon, Batterstown, Co Meath, and Michael Bailey, Killamonan House, The Ward, Co Meath, from acting as an officer of any company for such a length of time as considered fit by the court.
The enforcement director noted in court documents that a settlement of 22m involving Bovale and the Bailey brothers was made with the Revenue in June 2006 in relation to understated income tax, corporation tax, VAT and PAYE/PRSI over a number of years.
Both brothers are also accused of being directly responsible for breaches of law and duty in the conduct of Bovale, according to the director.
The director expressed the opinion that the brothers, as officers of Bovale, have been guilty of fraud in relation to the company and the Revenue and their conduct made them unfit to be involved in the management of any company.
Both Mick and Tom Bailey are expected to robustly deny the charges.
Ms Justice Mary Finlay-Geoghegan adjourned the proceedings for eight weeks to December 4 to allow the brothers' lawyers prepare their response.
She had read the documents and accepted there were potentially complex issues to be dealt with. Complex Indeed.
Complexity and technicalities.What enriches lawyers, and denies Justice.
Ann O'Loughlin and Sam Smyth (Irish Independent)
The Mafia press the flesh.
RONALD QUINLAN (Irish Independent)
HE FIRST hit the headlines last September, at the height of the payments controversy surrounding Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Paddy Reilly - or 'Paddy the Plasterer' as Mr Ahern affectionately called him - emerged briefly from the depths of Drumcondra as one of the so-called 12 Apostles who contributed to the Taoiseach's now-infamous €50,000 'dig-out' in 1993.
And then he disappeared again, until December 21.
This time, it was Mr Ahern who did Paddy a favour, securing him a much-sought-after ticket for the magicalwinter solstice at the 5,200-year-old Newgrange passage tomb in Co Meath.
Mr Reilly and his wife joined 23 other lucky dignitaries in the trek down the 62-foot passageway to witness the one time in the year when the sun's light reaches the chamber at its centre.
Mr Reilly - a plasterer turned property investor - attended the event as an official guest of the Taoiseach, according to a spokesman for the OPW.
Putting Mr Reilly on the Newgrange A-list was certainly a generous gesture on Mr Ahern's part, when one considers that 20,000 members of the public put their names into a hat each year in the hope of gaining access to the chamber over the four days surrounding the December 21 event.
And the gift is even more impressive when one considers the names of the great and good who watched the sunrise with him.
Mr Reilly and his wife literally rubbed shoulders with newly appointed ambassadors from the US and Britain - Thomas C Foley and David Reddaway, and their wives.
Such was the fuss surrounding the diplomats' presence, Garda sniffer dogs searched the Neolithic passage for bombs.
Also basking in the dawn sunlight at Newgrange were Tom Parlon, Junior Minister in charge of the OPW, and his fellow Progressive Democrat TD Liz O'Donnell.
It isn't known if the TDs from the junior coalition partner seized the opportunity to ask Paddy about his role in the Taoiseach's 1993 dig-out, which is arguably more of a mystery than anything surrounding the magical history of Newgrange.
Also joining Paddy and the political elite for the big event were the OPW's Director of Heritage Services, Dermot Burke, Finian Matthews from the Department of the Environment, and archaeology professor George Eogan.
ONE of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's closest friends and advisers has profited from a site which was developed at a cost of 22m to the taxpayer.
Tim Collins - a trustee of Mr Ahern's St Luke's constituency office, and a key member of the so-called Drumcondra Set - last night emerged as a central figure in a labyrinthine arrangement which saw the site of the former Lyric Cinema, on James's Street and Grand Canal Place in Dublin 8, change hands several times in one day.
The site ultimately came into the hands of the Oaklee Housing Trust, a respected charity with headquarters in Britain, which developed 92 taxpayer-funded social housing apartments on it.
But not before Mr Collins and several fellow property speculators, including his long-time business partner, Swords-based solicitor Liam Moran, earned a profit of up to 2m from "flipping" the site, in a manner more usually found in the stock market.
According to the Registry of Deeds, the James's Street site was "sold" three times in the one day.
Conveyancing documents faxed to the Registry on May 3, 2002, from the offices of high-profile solicitor Noel Smyth, show that the site's original owners, George J Crampton and Dunseith and Mark Ltd, sold it to Tim Collins, Liam Moran, their company Carrigfern Ltd, and the directors of Walsh Maguire O'Shea - Charles Ellis and Vincent Maguire - on March 8, 2002.
The same documents also show that the site was then sold, on the same day, to Slane-based developers, Shamrock Homes Ltd, who in turn sold it to the Oaklee Housing Trust.
While the initial deal, in which the property came into the possession of Mr Collins and his partners, is recorded as having been conducted on the 2002 date, the Sunday Independent has learned that a bargain price was agreed two years earlier.
Informed sources said that a "gentleman's agreement" had already been reached on the sale price in 2000, between Mr Collins's consortium and the site's original owners, Derek and Ronald Crampton. It is understood that when the sale went through, the original price, in Irish pounds, negotiated in 2000, stood.
This despite the fact that the value of the land had, in the interim, risen by upwards of 50 per cent, as a result of buoyant property market conditions and the securing of planning permission.
Mr Collins and his partners are understood to have netted up to 2m between them, after they sold the site for an estimated 5m, on the same day they completed the purchase from the Crampton brothers.
The windfall was generated for the consortium without them having to pay any money to the site's original owners in the two years between their agreement to buy the land, and the completion of the purchase on March 8, 2002.
Tim Collins's business partner Liam Moran is understood to have played a pivotal role in striking the initial deal to buy the land from the Cramptons.
Mr Moran is also understood to have continued to play a crucial part, along with Walsh Maguire O'Shea director Vincent Maguire, in moving the land on to its next buyer, Slane-based Shamrock Homes Ltd.
Mr Maguire's friendship with Shamrock Homes director Richard Heaney also helped move things along.
The money from Shamrock Homes enabled Mr Collins and his partners to pay the Crampton brothers, while holding on to the estimated 2m profit accruing from the increase in the site's value between 2000 and 2002.
According to the documents held at the Registry of Deeds, Shamrock Homes was noted as the "sub-purchaser" of the site, before the property was moved on to the Oaklee Housing Trust Ltd.
As the "ultimate purchaser", Oaklee developed 92 social and affordable apartments on the site, availing of more than 22m in State funding, through Dublin City Council's Capital Assistance and Capital Loan and Subsidy scheme. The non-repayable loans were provided in two tranches of 19,138,884 and 2,540,800, for 76 ordinary apartments and 16 special-needs apartments by the Department of the Environment.
Approval for funding was given by the then Environment Minister, Martin Cullen, in May 2002, following a submission from Dublin City Council on January 24 that year. Oaklee - a highly respected British voluntary housing association - had been granted charitable status in Ireland in February 2001, and was seeking development opportunities.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council told the Sunday Independent that the Oaklee Housing Trust learned of the James's Street development opportunity after being approached by Shamrock Homes, or somebody "acting on their behalf".
Asked to identify the party who approached them, Oaklee's chief Executive Officer in Ireland, Ian Elliott, refused to divulge this information.
In a brief statement, he said: "I would confirm that Oaklee Housing Trust procured the site and scheme at James's Street in Dublin in accordance with the 'Green Book' Memorandum."
A series of questions and numerous phone calls to Tim Collins, Liam Moran and Vincent Maguire failed to elicit a response. But the revelations of Mr Collins's involvement in the site, the development of which was ultimately paid for by Irish taxpayers, is not unprecedented.
A close friend of the Taoiseach for over 30 years, Mr Collins's name previously hit the headlines in sensational fashion over his controversial role in the State's 9.4m purchase of the Battle of the Boyne site.
The Fyffes-owning McCann family bought the historic site for 0.4m in 1997, before selling it back to the State for 9.4m just two years later. It then emerged that Mr Collins had earned up to 600,000 in "finder's fees" for his part in the deal.
His business partner, Liam Moran, also emerged as a key player in the transaction. Investigations by the Flood tribunal revealed that Mr Moran negotiated the purchase of the Boyne site by the McCann's Deepriver consortium - and the land's subsequent sale to the OPW in 1999.
Mr Collins's close ties to the Taoiseach were also put into sharp focus in 1998, when he was appointed to the board of Enterprise Ireland at Mr Ahern's behest. He resigned six months later, on January 24, 1999, citing ill health.
Three days after he stepped down, the Taoiseach identified him as the third man present when he had met Luton-based property developer Tom Gilmartin in 1988, in relation to the development of Quarryvale in west Dublin.
Both Mr Ahern and Mr Collins could soon be called to answer questions on that meeting, at the Mahon tribunal, when the potentially explosive Quarryvale module gets under way at Dublin Castle, at the end of April.
Mr Collins is already due to make an appearance at the tribunal on June 6, in relation to his role in introducing disgraced lobbyist Frank Dunlop to three businessmen who had sought the rezoning of lands at Cloghran, north of Dublin Airport.
Ronald Quinlan (Sunday Independent)
A WASTE disposal company and its directors,both staunch Fianna Failers-one a neighbour of Bertie Ahern- are to be sentenced next January for illegal dumping in Wicklow.
At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Vincent Shannon, a solicitor acting for Swalcliff Ltd, East Wall Industrial Complex, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company that, between August 3, 2001 and October 22, 2001, at lands owned by Clifford Fenton at Coolmadra, Donard, Co Wicklow, they disposed of waste in a manner causing or likely to cause environmental pollution.
Directors of the company, Louis Moriarty of Griffith Avenue, Drumcondra, and Adrian Munnelly of Main Street, Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath, pleaded guilty to similar charges.
Even Fianna FĂˇil can't explain the curious connections between the Taoiseach and Louis Moriarty, who has been convicted for illegal dumping. However, in 2002 Bertie refused assistance to him.
Fianna FĂˇil refuses to say whether Louis Moriarty, the controversial owner of a waste-disposal company, is a contributor to local or national party election funds. And the level of the association between Louis Moriarty and Bertie Ahern also remains unclear.
Bertie Ahern has repeatedly stated he never knew or previously met Louis Moriarty prior to a photo-shoot in Sneem, Co Kerry earlier this month.
Louis Moriarty is facing sentencing in the criminal courts in October having pleaded guilty to the illegal dumping of waste, including material from two Dublin hospitals, in Co Wicklow.
Bertie Ahern has insisted, most recently on Radio Kerry on Tuesday 15 August, that he had never met Moriarty before he arrived on the site of the businessman's ?20m hotel development for the photo opportunity.
He said he was approached by Nicola Duggan, who works at the Wrestler's Inn in Sneem and who is also involved in marketing Moriarty's hotel development. She asked him to visit the site. Duggan told Village that she met Ahern on the street in Sneem, where the Taoiseach was holidaying, and asked him to come to the hotel site â€“ there was no prior arrangement.
"I am doing sales and marketing for the hotel. I saw the Taoiseach on the street and I approached him. That is the way it happened. Mr Ahern visited the site to take part in a photo-shoot," said Nicola Duggan.
But there is evidence of earlier associations between Bertie Ahern and Louis Moriarty.
Ahern has acknowledged his constituency office heard from Moriarty in 2002, following which his constituency organisation wrote to Moriarty saying the issue at stake was a legal matter and he (the Taoiseach) would not be of assistance on that occasion.
Ahern also made representations at the time to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of local residents who were protesting about one of Moriarty's waste-disposal facilities in East Wall.
Ahern's constituency advisor, Cyprian Brady, has said he met with Moriarty on two occasions, at least, in 2002 but cannot remember the details of their discussions. He claims that he recalls the protests in East Wall against the operation, without proper licensing or planning permission, of the Dublin waste facility. He also claims that he would have informed Ahern of his discussions with Moriarty, although the Taoiseach has said he has no recollection of any such indirect contacts with Moriarty. (Tsh! tsh! Taoiseach-with such advanced Alzheimers-how do you manage the affairs of state?)
"He came to the advice centre in St Luke's on a couple of occasions and met with myself," Cyprian Brady told Village. "I don't remember the details but, in the normal course of events, any issue that comes to us is discussed with the Taosieach. He says that he has never heard of him and never met him. There may be a conflict there but we do have quite a throughput in the office. We get hundreds of representations. If the Taoiseach is saying that, then that is what he is saying. But my recollection of it is that I met him, there were complaints over his waste facility and I would have discussed this with the Taoiseach later."
Brady said he did not know whether Moriarty has contributed to the constituency organisation and referred the query to party headquarters. However, the Fianna FĂˇil press office could not confirm whether Moriarty was a donor to Ahern or his constituency before Village went to press on 16 August. Another source in the constituency organisation has told Village he believes Moriarty has contributed to the party or its candidates either nationally and/or locally.
However, other sources close to Bertie Ahern have said that neither Moriarty nor his company Swalcliffe, trading as Dublin Waste, have contributed to the party, locally or nationally.
The sources said substantial contributions were received from another waste-disposal company, AI Waste, which also operated in East Wall and which has been accused by Wicklow County Council of illegal dumping at two sites, Coolamadra and Whitestown in west Wicklow. Des Richardson, a close associate of Ahern over many years, has confirmed to Village that he acted as a consultant for A1 Waste, which is owned by Dublin businessman Tony Dean.
Bertie Ahern has said that letters sent by his office on behalf of Moriarty were signed by him but were prepared by other office staff and were not seen by him.
Louis Moriarty is a native of Sneem in south Kerry, which Ahern visits during his annual summer vacation.
Among other associates of Bertie Ahern in Sneem is one of his key constituency officers, Dominic Dillane, whose family owns a food outlet in the town. Dillane, who lectures in tourism management in DIT, Bolton Street, handles the accounts and returns for Ahern's Dublin Central constituency organisation. He was recently appointed by the government to the board of FĂˇilte Ireland along with another well-known Kerryman, the former footballer and county manager Paidi Ă“ SĂ©, three years ago. Dominic Dillane was uncontactable prior to going to press.
In 2002, Wicklow County Council won an order in the High Court against landowner Clifford Fenton, Swalcliffe Ltd and Louis Moriarty over the illegal dumping of thousands of tons of waste, including hypodermics and other bloodstained products from the Mater and Blackrock private clinics, on lands at Coolamadra in west Wicklow. The court also ordered Fenton and Swalcliffe to restore the site at their own cost. Swalcliffe and Moriarty have also pleaded guilty in criminal court proceedings to the illegal disposal of waste, including contaminated hospital waste at Whitestown, also in west Wicklow.
Earlier this year the former owner of the site, John O'Reilly, was fined ?150,000 for his role in the illegal dumping, while a truck-driver, Neville Watson, was jailed for six months. It is expected that Moriarty will be sentenced in the court in October. Wicklow County Council is also pursuing a civil action against Moriarty and his company, as well as others involved in illegal dumping of waste at several locations in west Wicklow, including at the massive Roadstone quarry in Blessington.
On 14 August, the East Wall Resident's Association called for the Criminal Assets Bureau to investigate Moriarty and his company's activities following the announcement of his hotel development in Kerry.
Efforts by Village to contact Louis Moriarty were also unsuccessful.
'I told Bertie about Moriarty's waste-disposal activities 25 years ago'
The Taoiseach was informed of Louis Moriarty's waste-disposal activities by residents of the North Wall more than 25 years ago, Village has learned. In the summer of 1981, Millie Masterson of Mayor Street, Dublin 1, personally escorted the then young politician around a site on Castleforbes Road which Moriarty planned to use as a waste-storage depot. Masterson, now 79, and other neighbours objected to the proposal due to the experiences of nearby residents of Sheriff Steet, who complained about tyre-burning and other polluting activities by Moriarty's company on another site near the quays.
"I escorted Bertie Ahern around the site on Castleforbes Road at the back of what was then the Joy of Home Tea Company. Moriarty had spotted the yard and wanted to move his waste-disposal operations there. I can remember clearly it was the summer of 1981 as I had come home from a visit to Ohio in 1979 and my son was married in March 1981. When we heard of Moriarty's plans we picketed the yard from early morning to late at night," Millie Masterson said. She said that there were a number of confrontations with Moriarty over the protests.
"I contacted all the political parties and Bertie Ahern, who was new into politics, came down. I told him about Moriarty, who was a demon for burning tyres and extracting copper on a site in Sheriff Street which was at the back of what is now the Clarion Hotel. I brought Bertie Ahern to the yard at Castleforbes Road. We gave him the ins and outs of Moriarty's record in the area. Moriarty was not there when he came down but he told us he would look into it.
"Moriarty's company, Dublin Waste, later moved on to another site near the Liffey Trust building on Upper Sheriff Street and there was a legal row over the storage of waste there before he moved on to East Wall," Masterson told Village.
Frank Connolly (Village Magazine)
Seven years after they granted Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council a waste licence (August 2000) the EPA are finally having to take a closer look at what was buried at the Ballyogan Landfill.
Key residents of the Ballyogan Liaison Group were contacted by RPS (Rural Planning Services) the company carrying out the excavation of 90,000 tonnes of waste on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown at Ballyogan Landfill.
Nicola Curry, spokesperson for the Ballyogan Environmental Group said in a statement, "An RPS representative said that waste material had been uncovered that shouldnâ€™t have been there. The company were attempting to analyse the material in a bid to decide what to do about it.
"We residents are angry that our calls for a full risk assessment and chemical analysis of what was going to be disturbed while the company excavated the dump were rejected out of hand.
"We urged RPS to properly assess the site using the model used by the EPA in America because it was impossible to say what was deposited in the ground during the first half of the life of the landfill."
The EPA also considered the planned excavation work. RPS complied with requests from the EPA to meet with key residents to inform them regarding the excavation work. RPS were also required to make an assessment of where possible odours might settle within the surrounding areas if released. RPS opted to start the excavation works and deal with anything "unexpected" as they went along.
Nicola Curry commented, "The EPA did not request any chemical analysis of the waste being removed. They did not feel this was warranted given that the landfill was not hazardous. How do they know the landfill is not hazardous? Dun Laoghaire Rathdown told them!"
Senior engineers from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have insisted for years that they knew exactly what was buried during the thirty years that the landfill accepted waste at the facility and that hospital waste had not been accepted at the facility.
Ms Curry continued, "The EPA granted a licence based on data it received from the council. The EPA did not cross check results or information regarding the landfill in the first decade or so of its operations. We believe this was a negligent approach by the EPA."
However in the early nineties residents picketing the dump on another issue broke lines every day to let the hospital waste in.
As part of the licensing procedures Ballyogan Environment Group and a number of local residents, some of whom have lived in the area longer than the lifetime of landfill, made submissions to the EPA for a full risk assessment to be carried out on the facility.
They pointed out that in the absence of any firm data it was impossible to for the council or the EPA to state with any integrity what was buried or how toxic or otherwise the waste facility was. This was refused.
Nicola Curry said, "Ballyogan Environmental Group calls into question the current licensing process across Ireland, which appears to be effectively allowing applicants to rubber stamp their own facilities without any thorough checking by the protection agency."
The Ballyogan facility has had a chequered history. To date the EPA has written to the council regarding 172 non compliances of its licence. One issue very pertinent to the current issue concerns illegal dumping at the facility.
In 2003 allegations of illegal dumping at night were investigated. Residents had reported seeing lorries working at the facility throughout the night with their lights turned off.
In an interview with The Wicklow Times a lorry driver told how he was instructed to give an official at the facility an envelope containing money.
The directors of a waste company admitted paying the council official ÂŁ25,000 in return for unrestricted access to the dump to the extent that they were given their own key to the landfill. Council officials revealed that CCTV cameras placed at the facility following residents tip offs were of little help as they unfortunately did not contain any film, or were pointed in the wrong direction or had not been turned on etc.
Following Garda investigations A file was sent to the DPP regarding illegal dumping at the facility. Despite having a lot of evidence which included the frank of admission by company directors the DPP was unable to bring a court case and DLRCC still failed to investigate the matter any further.
What the issue did highlight however was how very little senior engineers knew about what was going on at, or into the facility, and how weak their claims to this effect were becoming. Residents argued that this was further evidence that Ballyogan was full of unclassified waste.
It is impossible to have peace of mind that it is safe to be living beside a landfill when no one has scientific proof that there is nothing harmful buried there. Particularly when there is anecdotal and scientific evidence (from outside Ireland) that landfills are dangerous and potentially harmful to health.
Former Environment Ministers Noel Dempsey and Dick Roche were very vocal about such hazards when they were pushing for incineration to go through.
Residents are calling on Minister John Gormley to intervene and have the excavations at the landfill stopped once and for all.
Clearly the time has come for a full scientific independent investigation of the Landfill at Ballyogan in order to secure peace of mind for residents. We are calling for the EPA who are duty bound to protect human health to instigate proceedings for a full and independent risk assessment of the landfill.
If RPS and DLRCC are confident that the waste facilities at Ballyogan pose no risk to human health then surely they should be leading the calls for scientific research in order to resolve the matter once and for all.
We donâ€™t want to be right we just want peace of mind.
Fishing ban in Blackrock
Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance in Dun Laoghaire has condemned as ridiculous the proposal by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council to ban angling on the countyâ€™s beaches.
The proposed ban is contained in a new set of draft by-laws for the countyâ€™s beaches currently being considered by the Council.
The new by-laws propose to ban angling on all the counties beaches and restrict it to Bullock and Colimore harbours only.
Richard Boyd Barrett said:
"This is an absolutely ridiculous proposal. People have been fishing from places like Killiney beach and White Rock for as long as anyone can remember. Beach angling is an important pastime for many people in this area and our beaches also attract anglers from elsewhere in the city and, indeed, abroad. It is one of the great advantages of living on the coast and having the beaches we have that people can engage in this traditional pastime.
Also, how can such a ban be squared with the constant complaints we hear about young people drinking too much when at the same time the council are planning to take away important alterative form of recreation? Surely, we should want to encourage harmless outdoor pastimes like fishing.
To my knowledge there is no history of serious accidents or conflict between swimmers and anglers that would justify a draconian ban like this.
Given the stupidity of this proposal, one might be led to think there is another undeclared motive at work here. Could it be that by restricting beach fishing to designated areas and making it subject to Council control that the Council is preparing the ground to charge people for the right to fish in the not too distant future? With charges being introduced and ratcheted up for just about everything by the Council these days it would not surprise me if this was the case.
In any event, the Council should drop this idiotic plan and concern it self instead with improving our beach and seafront amenities. Restoring facilities like the baths and the Killiney beach tea-rooms and providing public toilets would do far more to encourage greater public use of our seafront and beach amenities that this misconceived ban."
Waste should still be public
04 November 2007
John Burkes excellent article (SBP 28/10/2007) demonstrates beyond any doubt that waste management should never have been designated a profit centre for local authorities. It should have remained - and should be returned to its status as a public service.
According to your article, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin and Dublin City have serious concerns about their combined 50million (2004, Sunday Business Post figure) waste disposal business being placed in jeopardy by the competitive private operators.
Every day in Dublin we can see bin lorries from the County Council and several private operators going up and down our roads where once we saw only one bin lorry once a week. The Dublin area councils now seek solutions - here is one! Demand that the government funds all waste disposal services for all local authorities from central funds and thereby eliminate bin charges. This would have amazing, beneficial effects.
Firstly, private operators will cease operations and pursue other lucrative areas for their enterprise and the councils will control once again this public service which they continue to do with street lighting, sewage and water supplies.
Secondly, the environment will benefit greatly - not least by having less bin lorries on the roads - but also the local authority focus will return to protecting the environment and not on creating additional and creative sources of finance.
Thirdly, every household nationwide will have a standard and equitable system returned to us that we enjoyed before the Department of Environment mandarins conned the majority of the councillors and people with their slogan the polluter must pay.
The ordinary householder is not and seldom has been the polluter. Once bin charges became a source of additional funds for county councils, street bins were removed, fly-tipping began, burning of waste returned and the environment suffered as the focus centred on making money - and not protecting the environment. You only have to look around you. The new, high standard of awareness of recycling, for which the authorities do deserve some credit, makes the above proposal very meaningful.
Any business student could have foretold the present dilemma for councils. For example, the green bin which was free (ie paid by our taxes via central government funds) is now charged at 80 in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown; greenwaste (grass cuttings and twigs) which could be brought free to the waste facility is now charged at 20 per van to the dump.
You see, the private competition love this because with their keen understanding of marketing and business they can give 20 per cent off and still make a profit. In a word the local authorities have made it too attractive.
Dundrum, Dublin 16
Councils battle to keep valuable waste collections
Sunday Business Post., October 28, 2007 -
According to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council chief, councils need reform to keep the private operators at bay, says, writes John Burke.
When Owen Keegan, county manager of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC), briefed local elected representatives on the state of waste collection in the area at a recent meeting, it was like a military commander telling his comrades that the enemy was at the gates.
Keegan set out the situation clearly - that the council needed to look at its own practices and make changes, or else private waste collection companies such as Panda Waste and Greenstar could take its lucrative booty. Keegan said the council was facing the prospect of having to stop council-run waste collection services amid competition from the private waste operators.
The local authority is understood to be facing a revenue loss of more than 3 million this year as thousands of customers have transferred to a household waste collection service run by Panda. Keegans words have significance for the councils neighbours in Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council.
Conservative estimates suggest the councils face multimillion euro losses if the private companies continue their expansion in markets that were previously the sole domain of the councils.
At the meeting, Keegan told the gathered local representatives that the council collection service might not be sustainable in light of private collectors engaging in a serious marketing campaign with the emphasis on service and undercutting council costs.
Panda entered the market in the DLRCC area last November; to date, 15,500 residents have signed up to its service. Among the firms promotional offers was a discount on holiday packages that customers could collect if they signed over from the local authority.
South Dublin County Council is about to share DLRCCs worries, as Panda last week entered that council area with a 10 million investment. It is offering free glass collection, free plastics and packaging collection and a free green bin collection every fortnight.
Panda has a fleet of trucks that have global positioning systems (GPS),which the company says allow for more efficient monitoring of collection.
How Panda, Greenstar and other recent private entrants to the Dublin market can afford to undercut DLRCCs prices has something to do with inefficiencies in the local authoritys service provision.
Keegan warned that the councils response to the private firms required a fundamental change in the organisation of the council service and in the performance of the direct labour workforce... the current [DLRCC] operation is characterised by inefficiencies and service issues.
While DLRCC had put proposals to the unions involved in waste collection in the hope of increasing productivity, the county manager said the response to date had not been encouraging.
If we cannot achieve the changes we require, then the council will have no option but to cease to offer a household waste collection service by direct labour," he said.
The council has made some changes, including introducing a freeze on household waste charges in a bid to stem the loss of customers. However, that will only go some way to addressing the issue and helping the council bring in the revenue.
The Dublin councils netted 49 million in income from household waste in 2004, but spent more than 38 million on the service. In commercial waste collection, the income was 15.4 million and the expenditure was 8.3 million.
Any drop in income, therefore, could quickly be felt on the bottom line. At the same time, the private waste collectors are becoming increasingly active in the national waste market, which is worth about 1.5 billion, including household, commercial and landfill revenues.
There are more than 420,400 private households in the Dublin area, suggesting that there is a potentially massive market for the private operators. The types of accommodation also suit collectors, with 322,398 single-dwelling households (detached, semi-detached, terrace house), which equates to 77 per cent of the market.
The response of the councils is a proposal to take control of the entire household collection service, under an ongoing review of the capitals waste management strategy.
A joint document published last month by the Dublin councils - called Uncontrolled fracturing of the Dublin household waste collection market - environmental and technical report - set out a sizable element of the local authorities battle plan.
The report was written by RPS Consulting Engineers for Dublin City Council, which coordinates the waste management of the Dublin area on behalf of the Dublin councils. It ignited what may become a bitterly fought battle over who benefits from waste collection in Dublin.
The RPS report sets out the situation unambiguously: The proposed variation may include an objective in the waste plan that the collection of household waste from single-dwelling households (other than those in purpose-built apartment blocks) will be carried out by the Dublin local authorities or, alternatively, that the Dublin local authorities will make arrangements by way of a public tendering process for the collection of such household waste."
The RPS report set out the councils argument that what they described as the uncontrolled fracturing of the household waste collection market was likely to lead to the cherry-picking of certain collection routes by the private sector.
That could adversely affect the high level of collection coverage being achieved in the region, according to the report.
It claimed that customers in Dublin would be the eventual losers from the advance by private companies, citing evidence from other regions that it claimed demonstrated that related problems - such as backyard burning and fly-tipping - were likely to occur.
The report argued that increased competition between multiple private waste collectors would lead to them offering alternative pay-by-use (PBU) schemes to householders, for example fixed annual waste charges.
These types of charging systems are contrary to the Dublin waste management plan and do not financially reward householders who reduce the level of waste disposed - and the environmental benefit of PBU is significantly reduced," according to the report.
The RPS report cites the example of Co Offaly, where private waste collectors offer customers a flat charge for waste collection on a two monthly basis. In Galway city, customers of a private waste collector can avail of a fixed annual fee, regardless of the number of collections of bins.
The report asserted that fixed-waste charging systems with guaranteed collections offered no financial incentive for householders to minimize waste generation and maximise diversion and recycling. The lack of a financial incentive to the waste charging system undermines the environmental and waste management benefit of a PBU scheme.
There is a strong likelihood that, if the government introduces some form of regulator or central regulation for the waste market, this might be dealt with through the issue of waste collection permits. However, this has proved to be problematic and open to legal challenge.
For instance, Waterford County Council was unable to prevent a private waste collector offering a monthly fixed waste collection charge to householders, even though it is an objective of the Waterford regional plan to prohibit this type of charging.
The RPS report could not ignore the fact that, when Nurendale Limited, the company behind Panda, entered the DLRCC household waste market last year, the council was not providing the same quality of service to householders.
Pandas green bin collections and incentives were financially and environmentally attractive to householders.
Greenstar later offered customers a kerbside collection of glass, in addition to the green bin collection service. The latest entrant to the household waste collection market in Dublin is City Bin, a private waste collector which recently announced a household waste collection service in the South Dublin area.
Dublin City Councils reaction to the growing private market has been to set out a proposed variation in the Dublin area waste management strategy.
This review is underway, but the final decision on how the council proceeds will determine the next stage of what could prove to be a protracted legal battle.
Panda has publicly accused Dublin City Council of devising the review of the waste strategy in an attempt to skew the market in favour of supporting the proposed incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin.
The council has already made an agreement with the operators of the incinerator by which a set amount of municipal waste will be diverted to the facility.
The long-running argument over incineration also involves environment minister John Gormley, who recently set down some ground rules for incineration. He rebuked councils that acted contrary to national policy in their support for mass-scale incineration and landfill.
However, Dublin City Councils agreement with the Poolbeg project is likely to fall outside the scope of the ministerÂ´s issuance of a notice under section 60 of the Waste Management Act to instruct county managers nationwide that they will be prevented from entering into agreements to divert set amounts of municipal waste to major landfill and incineration operators.
Amid the conflict between the operators and Dublin City Council is the governments commitment to introduce some form of waste regulation mechanism, which could see councils having a greatly diminished hand in regulating permits.
If Dublins local authorities decide to enact the proposed control over waste collection, private waste companies hold little hope that they will have free rein to provide market-led services