Perhaps one of the qualities which endears the Soldiers of Destiny to the hearts of so many camp followers throughout the land,is their buccaneering approach to all enterpreneurial activity,whether it be lawful or no. Bureaucratic procedures, i.e. 'the law of the land' -like the numerous state quangos which the party is forever adding to- are rightly considered to pose an obstacle to progress and profitability.A Justice Ministers duty is traditionally to circumvent and surmount the 'law' by whatever means possible.
Subverted it inevitably is, with the full cooperation of the Ministers of State who are supposedly responsible for its enforcement in the first place. Fianna Fail has produced a proud lineage of 'Justice' ministers who when appointed to this august post ,saw it as their primary task in office to subvert it.Their long term in office could be described as surreal theatre at its finest. Grotesque, unreal, bizarre, and of course -unprecedented.Ray Burke and Sean Doherty can attest to the accuracy of this .Michael McDowell appears to be moving in the same direction.
The Entrepreneurs of the " Soldiers" have a simple strategy. 'Follow the money', your ( taxpayers) money that is.! Currently that money is going to subidise part time farmers, high rise car parks, private hospitals, hotels ,golf courses,asylum seeker accomodation,and- last but not least - new highways! These areas are currently the investment choice of many of the old Fianna Fail soldiers,and friends of C.J.H.,such as the infamous Larry Goodman..! The 'better off 'members of irish society will be dying to get inside our Larry's new convenient co-located hospitals in the coming years.
Take another old "Soldier" like John McQuaid (quarry operator/stroker) Ltd up in border country (Monaghan).
John found little difficulty in obtaining an explosives licence from former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell,to ensure continuity of supply of construction materials to the N.R.A.(National Road Authority quango, for the new 50 million Euro Carrickmacross bypass on the N2.
The by- pass is being constructed by ( to quote T.D. Conor Lenehan,) "a kebab outfit called Gama Construction"old friends of former T.D. Joe Higgins...
The inconvenient requirement in law of planning permission for the aforementioned quarry, was dealth with by the simple expedience of ignoring it. Those troublesome self appointed vigilantes ,in Tailors Hall, in Dublin namely " An Taisce", (a dirty word in Fianna Fail circles) have been pissing against a force ten gale up Monaghan way asking that an "environmental impact statement" (whatever that is?) be prepared by the local authorities.As most of the local councillors in Monaghan or Kerry ,or Donegal, would probably not know the difference between an illegal diesel factory and a cowshed-it is unlikely such a concept is within their grasp.The poor Taisceites have in, desperation, asked the Gardai Siochana to stop the flow of explosives,and also run off to Brussels to "report Bertie to the teacher" there! (thats been done before..a waste of energy- it does not work Fianna Fail just pay the fine-out of your money)
The N.R.A. are continuing on their merry way to use the "illegal" construction materials on the road,saying that its legality or otherwise is not a matter within their brief.Their job is to see the roads are built as quickly as possible to avoid the wrath of the notoriously short fused Martin Cullen and his nasty sidekick Dick Roche
.So get stuffed "An Taisce". Looks like Monaghan will end up with another "unapproved road".after all.!
ILLEGAL quarries and concrete plants across the country are causing major environmental damage and must be closed down, according to the Irish Concrete Federation (ICF). ICF president Declan McCartney said that the Department of Environment and relevant Local Authorities must now act and close the estimated 200 to 250 unlicensed quarries in the country.
He made his comments as he opened the organisation’s AGM in Kildare. (pissing against the wind, i'm afraid)
Mr McCartney said it was extremely disappointing to witness the arrival of unauthorised quarry operators throughout the country. These illegal quarries are also threatening law-abiding quarries, which make their contribution to local authority coffers, he added.
He said the illegal quarries are causing untold damage to the environment and appear to be operating with impunity, while also making no monetary contribution to the running of local authorities.
"It seems that many illegal operators have taken advantage of the Quarry Registration Process to register illegal developments and have gone unchallenged to date by the relevant Local Authorities," he said.
"The mechanisms are there to deal with them under Section 8 of the 2000 Planning Act which clearly sets out the penalties involved including the serving of enforcement notices to cease operations, fines of up to £10,000,000 (€12,000,000) and ultimately the imposition of prison sentences.
Mr McCartney said that it had become obvious that there are serious inconsistencies in the interpretation and implementation of the legislation between and within Local Authority Planning Departments.
"The ICF is concerned that Local Authorities were inadequately prepared to deal with this new legislation and that the spirit of the legislation is not been adopted," said Mr McCartney.
© Irish Examiner