Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Michael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
My mother, the late Julie Healy-Rae, always said that if An Taisce in its present format existed in the 1940s and 1950s, we would have no rural electrification because it would have objected to the poles going up to run the wires into people's homes in the countryside. That is a fact and she was right. There would be no light in rural Ireland if the people who are around today were around then.
An Bord Pleanála is an out of control monster in the decisions it is making. An Taisce was formed in 1948 as a national trust and association for the preservation of places of interest and beauty in Ireland. That was a good reason to form An Taisce but it is also now an out of control monster. The people in these organisations need to be reined in. How could anybody classify it as normal behaviour for one individual to have 20 or 30 objections lodged with any local authority at the same time, objecting to young people who want to build family homes in the countryside? It is not normal, natural behaviour for any person to be sitting at home with a dirty, poisoned pen, writing horrible letters about young people.
I cite one place in south Kerry with the permission of the families involved. I will not name the families but I will name the townland and anybody who knows anything about planning in Kerry will know exactly the cases I am talking about. The area to which I refer is Tomies, just outside Killarney. There was torture, mental anguish and disruption to family lives. The Members here might not know the people but they know what I am talking about. Each Member has a version of Tomies in their backyard. They have had cases wherein fine, respectful people wanted to build a family home and were denied the right to do so. There are also politicians who object to planning permission in their constituencies at a time when we are looking for more homes.