THE GREAT RURAL ‘ ONE OFF HOUSE’ DEBATE.
Most people are unexcited about this topic nevertheless it is one reason to change the present government –providing the next one puts a stop to the speculation and fast buck mentality of landowners and farmers.Here are three letters,the first two published in ‘The Examiner’(first one is mine) and the third,is one of the replies I got from a retired couple living in Co.Cork;-
‘The three most recent entertainment plays produced and directed by Fianna Fail Comedy Studios,on location in Ireland, entitled;"The health shambles","Corruption in the councils"and "the costliest train ever made"(The costliest tracks ever laid?)"never made it to Broadway.They will only be remembered by the many reluctant citizen investor/backers whose pockets will be picked ,and whose rubbish will be taxed,for years to come..to pay for each show.!
Their latest production,-"The one off rural house" is beyond a joke,and must be stopped.The arguments against this act of national vandalism need no repetition.The despoliation of rural Ireland once completed can never be undone.A legacy of blight and financial burden for our children’s children. Rural land prices, which are already tracking the housing market in anticipation of this bonanza for developers, are currently the highest in Europe. Genuine farmers cannot compete ,or invest in land in this situation.This is heralding the death knell for Irish agricultural production in the new Europe where subsidies will continue ,-of necessity- to diminish.
The cost of supplying essential and government subsidized services such as postal deliveries,refuse collection,child school transport,etc will soar. The brunt of extra taxation to pay these bills, will be unfairly borne by the citizens who live in economically efficient groupings such as towns and cities.I will not discuss the implications for tourism,an important industry ,if and when agriculture and industry diminishes as a result of rising prices,(many of which are fuelled by state taxation )and consequent uncompetitiveness.
I would refer interested readers to An Taisce web site for an accurate report of the implications of Fianna Fail's populist vote buying tactics.Are there concerned citizens who will unite to prevent the irrevocable destruction of our countryside by this bunch of jackals in Leinster House’ yours etc.
‘THE letter from John McDermott entitled 'Rural housing policy a blot on the landscape' (Irish Examiner, Jan 14 2004) shocked me.
There is a school of thought that Dublin is Ireland and the rest of the population should live only in towns and provincial cities. It almost seems that they will round up all country people and set them up in reservations to await a fate similar to that of the native Americans.
Who knows? The rural Irish in confinement might even become a tourist attraction.
What Mr McDermott and like thinking people do not realize is that 'one-off housing' constitutes the actual homes of country people. In the farming community it was always the practice to have the farmhouse in the centre of the holding.
Country people live in separate homes that is their culture just as city people live in a community.
The people of rural Ireland and their families are fully entitled to maintain this culture.
For generations country people had to migrate to Dublin where they often had to live in awful flats. But times have changed, and it is now possible for country people to live and work in their own areas.
Our city cousins seem to think that the country should be a national park where they can go to their log cabin villages for a break. Under no circumstances must the natives or their dwellings be seen. Successive governments have done everything to shut down rural Ireland.
They have closed schools, hospitals, Garda stations and post offices. Do not let them hunt the next generation out of rural Ireland with their stringent planning laws.
They have every right to live in homes that are in harmony with their own localities. Country people should let their councilors know before the June local elections that their families won't be pushed out of rural Ireland.’
M MC ,Kinsale,Cork.
Another lady wrote to me directly,as my address was in the newspapers;
I read your letter in the Examiner and I totally support everything you said. There must be more people out there interested in this issue.But rural housing is only one of many issues that needs to be addressed seriously.I honestly believe that some sort of revolution is needed.This government(so called)needs to be stopped.They are selling this beautiful island down the river.I have lived in Ireland for 28 years…longer than I lived in my native country and I feel that eventually I have some sort of entitlement to open my mouth and speak my mind.I could write a book on my experiences on "rural housing".
We have been involved in objections to "rural housing"and have appealed to "an Bord planeala".We won against all the odds.But there was a lot of foul play involved.I eventually got so angry I contacted the solicitor involved in the "Flood Tribunal"and forwarded all documentation to him.We have not had a problem since in my immediate locality.The "one
off" houses however are still being built around our village bigtime,on the skyline,turned the wrong way facing the road,horrible designs,and so on.With our objections we approached,and got help from"An Taisce"We are now on bad terms with our neighbours,and are living with many nasty consequences.And all this because there are the most incompetent,shortsighted,greedy,arrogant useless dinosaurs running this country,And now they have the presidency of the E.U.-what a laugh ."
DEATH THREATS AND DEVELOPERS;
The hidden side of Fianna Fail’s Ireland,manifested itself in other reports…as the nucleus of a new protest group had its first meeting in August of 2004,
‘1. Death threats and intimidation, rampant.
People who objected to planning permission for developments in their neighborhood or wider community were often subject to intimidation, threats of violence and even death threats, a new national organization has claimed.
The Planning Network, which was formally established just last week, has claimed that fear if often the biggest factor preventing people from objecting to controversial developments.
The Planning Network has been established in Co Roscommon following two recent public meetings which attracted people from counties Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford, Dublin, Offally, Cork and Donegal. It aims to provide information and support for people who are involved in the planning process and are experiencing difficulties sourcing information and clear guidelines, according to group spokeswoman, Catherine Ansbro.
But the group has been unprepared for the deluge of information it has received from people who claim they have been victims of intimidation and threats because they have lodged objections.
These range from being sent Mass cards in the post to be driven off the road or being told they would never work again if they continued with their objections, claimed Ms. Ansbro.
‘This is one of the shocking things we are discovering’, she said.
‘In two separate instances, groups of up to six men arrived at the homes of objectors warning them to back down’, she said.
‘The trouble is that in many instances people don’t talk about it or report it.’
The Planning Network aims to set up a website and helpline in the coming weeks.
The group also hopes to link people with experts.’