Wednesday, January 11, 2006
For those of you not aware, the Government is planning on selling Mountjoy jail and building a new prison for 1,000 inmates in Kilsallaghan - despite objections from residents in the north of Dublin.
As RTE tells us...
"The Minister of State at the Dept of Finance, Tom Parlon, has said the 20-acre site at Mountjoy Prison could be worth up to €2 billion to the State.
"Mr Parlon was speaking at the announcement of the Government's intention to seek tenders for the services contract to re-develop the site.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice says it is unlikely that part of the site at Mountjoy to be sold off for development will be donated to the Mater Hospital.
The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, says the Government is determined to maximise the value of the site in Dublin.
He is considering securing planning permission as well as designing the development before selling the site and he says it is therefore unlikely that any land will be donated to the Mater Hospital.
Further to all of that, on Monday night Fingal County Council passed a motion opposing the project. Councillors insist they will not assist the development while the Rolestown St Margaret’s Action Group (RSMAG) claim they have proved the 150 acre site at Thornton Hall, Killasaghan is the wrong site.
"We are delighted with this action by Fingal Co Council. Yet again the minister is being told that Thornton Hall is not a suitable site for this development," said RSMAG spokeswoman Nessa Shevlin.
"We have been left with no democratic rights in this process. This community and its environment face decimation if this unsustainable development goes ahead.
"Paying €30m for a site does not make it suitable, throwing more and more money at it will still not make it suitable. Thornton Hall is the wrong site."
The motion, put forward by Fine Gael councillor Leo Varadkar, called on Fingal Co Council to oppose the prison plan.
A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service insisted this would not affect any plans for the prison insisted moves were well underway to have a masterplan for the prison ready by the summer and for building work to begin in 2007.
Mountjoy being sold by people who belong there
It is unclear however whether the council are legally entitled to refuse to co-operate.
It is understood Fingal Council is obliged to provide all developments with clean water and adequate sewerage but it has also been suggested that authorities could refuse to co-operate on the building of new roads.
A High Court challenge to the procedure adopted by the minister in selecting the Thornton site and claiming it is a national monument is to begin on February 14.
What a shambles! This government are an awful shower altogether. This fiasco explains why I am highly unlikely to give my vote to these clowns.
Why do we need to sell Mountjoy? It's been doing fine for decades.
A shower of gangsters!
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