This short piece was inspired mostly, by Killarney Town Council who,in 2004,re-zoned lands in an amenity area alongside the national park,for housing develepment.
The re-zoning contravened the Department of the Environments guidelines for sensitive sites,as it will open the floodgates to more one-off-housing in an area which commands the highest real estate prices in Kerry.
There was already a generous supply of land nearby zoned for holiday homes,etc and the development was piecemeal in terms of Fianna Fails so called National Spatial Strategy.
The land was owned by descendents of the philanthropic McShane family who had donated much of their property to the state.So it was payback time-although the americans were not members of that busy rezoning circle in Kerry,"friends of Fianna Fail"!
Fianna Fail hurt the old,the sick ,the handicapped-and the very environment itself.!
Earthquake scare –in Ireland.!
(It was only the ‘Soldiers’, beavering away at what they do best.)
Thousands of foreign tourists sleeping in their hotel beds awoke,in coastal regions of the country, to find that much of the environment had been devastated.
Scenic coastal counties such as Kerry,Wicklow and the autonomous/self governing Republic of Donegal,-where Bertie’s writ barely runs-are worst affected,but the damage is widespread throughout the State.
Planning officials declared this morning that they had been warning the government (Fianna Fail) for many years that disaster was imminent.
All of the tourists are safe, and will be airlifted out of the country.
“We will never come back here again”declared one distraught couple as they boarded a plane in Shannon yesterday,to return to the U.S. Hank from Boston remarked;
“At times we have a catastrophe in America- like President Bush being re-elected ’he added “but I have never encountered anything like this,it was a dreadful experience.”
He continued,“We had heard foreboding sounds; unusual banging, and rumbling noises,all day ,every day, since our arrival. It was like the sound of heavy machinery moving around ,from early morning until late at night.Sometimes there was loud explosions, and the ground shook beneath us,but the hotel manager assured us it was just some illegal quarrying going on nearby,and there was nothing to worry about as it was commonplace,nowadays.
The rubbish which we observed strewn alongside the golf course was removed soon after our arrival. It seems there was illegal dumping going on all over the country. ‘Fianna Fail have made the rubbish business- big business.!,the manager continued,"Everyone has gotten in on the act,rumour has it that toxic waste has been dumped around the country for the past 20 years,and what you see now is only the tip of the iceberg.!"
It was very misty on the golf course and we could not see beyond the perimiter fence,but on the third morning of our stay the soft Atlantic haze finally cleared, and then we saw the full extent of the widespread damage,from our bedroom window.
It was ghastly.”
“The hillsides and mountains,as far as the eye could see,from Kenmare to the Magillacuddy Reeks, were littered with construction debris.There were ugly, garish mansions and vulgarly ostentatious bungalows in different stages of completion,on every hillock. Timber,and blocks etc. were scattered everywhere.”
“They told us in the hotel that the Irish ‘Taoiseach’ Bertie Ahern had declared that every Irish citizen should own a second holiday home in the country,and refrain from dispersing his holiday money in foreign lands"
He told us, "There followed his edict,a building boom,the likes of which was never seen before and all the decentralized civil servants were also looking to buy or build new residences,as well.
Apparently the farmers had,up to now, all been buying property in Poland and Spain,and the Jackeens preferred the more exotic, sunny Canary Islands.
This new‘Bungalow Blitz Campaign’was spearheaded by patriotic Fianna Fail councillors and estate agents countrywide,to stem the flight of capital, abroad.
It was also to benefit poorer farmers,who were selling sites almost everywhere,and particularly big speculators, who were buying up all the land they could get their hands on.
"Bertie had fast tracked the planning process by abolishing planning departments, and there was a new office in Dublin, where you got the e-mail application rubber stamped in 24 hours,they told us"said Hank.
“We were shocked,I need not tell you.I had to sit down and ask for a glass of water.
Then the waiter told us they had just run out of bottled water, and the water from the hotel tap ,like that in most towns and villages, was undrinkable;due to the proliferation of ‘McMansions’, unserviced septic tanks, and rivers polluted with cattle slurry.!”
“I said to Martha, ‘lets go home for pete’s sake,this place stinks’,because there was a smell of shite coming in the hotel bedroom window every time we opened it.
The porter told us it was necessary, routine dispersal of bovine effluent.”
‘He said that the farmers had built huge earthen mounds all over the country in a desperate last ditch attempt to try and contain the stuff,and that one had burst it’s banks a few weeks earlier.The whole thing had poured down the hillside, and engulfed the local villagers in slurry.!”
“ I asked him if it was safe to go out for a walk in the countryside,but he warned me that the local farmers were a mean bunch,and told me not to stray off the main road as a hill walker had been shot for trespassing the previous week.He said this was part of a campaign to get a ‘Tourist Subsidy’,from the E.E.C.
I asked him if maybe we could do some fishing,I had heard there was good salmon to be caught in the Irish rivers.
"At least that,s a safe pastime -or is it?",I remarked.
"Sure its safe", he said,"Trouble is there has not been sight of a salmon in this country for years,there are some 900 fisherfolk with huge drift nets,who blocade the mouth of every river,and not a tadpole gets by them.You would be wasting your time.Fianna Failers have a monopoly on catching salmon in Ireland.!"
"For heavens sake what can we do", I said
‘Best to just go back and play some more golf’he replied,sure thats what you came here for,is it not.?"
But we had had enough.We packed our things and left.”
We won’t be back.
PLEASE COME BACK,! for,200 million Euros.
January 2005 saw the Fianna Fail press release, that Bord Failte(Tourism Ireland) a government sponsored entity, set up by the state and manned and managed by wealthy hoteliers,is to spend a whopping 200 million Euros in 2005 advertising the merits of Irelands country golf courses and Dublin,s temple bar pubs where cross channel visitors from John Bull,s country have popularised drunken stag party weekends to the enrichment of both the publicans and -it is claimed-the exchequer..
This 200 million publicity money is part of the booty that is painfully extracted from citizens of Ireland, in the multiplicity of stealth taxes.rubbish bin taxes etc, which are descending upon the population to compensate the state for their new largesse to multinational( and also now Irish)companies, due to the E.E.C. insisting on a single tax structure for all companies operating in the country.
It was stated in the government press release, that "the exchequer will benefit by 650 million Euros this year as a result of tourism"
However if golf course fees and publicans profits on drink actually bring in this bonanza to the government,does it really justify this massive waste of ordinary taxpayers money to enrich fatcat hoteliers.? Why do they not pay their own advertising bills after all such expenses would presumably be tax deductible from their annual profits and tax liability.
The truth -if it be known-is that Bertie gets nothing like this money from taxing hoteliers.If the subsidies they receive for building swimming pools and gymnasiums etc,were taken into account,the reality is that the ordinary citizen is being fleeced here,as in so many other sectors of our fat-cat profiteer orientated economy.
If Bertie Ahern is a socialist,then Mary Harney must be a Marxist-Leninist and I am probably Santa Claus.!
4. Killarney councillors vote for rezoning
Killarney Town Council has voted to rezone 20 acres around the Gleneagle Hotel for town-centre development against the advice of planners.
Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick O'Donoghue, who is also managing director of the Gleneagle Hotel Group, which he owns with his family, confirmed after the meeting to rezone his lands that he had lobbied support for the motion. Cllr O'Donoghue is also a director of Fáilte Ireland. (which spends many millions of taxpayers money advertising the attractions of Patrick ODonoghue,s hotels.!!)
The motion to rezone the lands was supported by a majority of councillors, despite a strong warning from planners that a new town-centre development would seriously detract from the "vitality and viability" of the town centre. They said it would be entirely contrary to the objectives of the Killarney urban master plan.
The lands at the centre of the rezoning at Poulamuck are 1.9km from the centre of Killarney. Currently the lands include two hotels, holiday homes, a large pitch-and-putt course and the national events centre which this year hosted the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis.
Five of the nine councillors had put their names to the motion that the land be rezoned from its current unformulated status to "tourism and associated town-centre facilities".