Cronyism in the Dublin Docklands
Fianna Fail cronyism in the Dublin
Docklands will cost the state billions,
Malachy Steenson reports
A report into the cronyism that blighted the work of the Dublin Dockland Development Authority is being withheld from the public by Green leader John Gormley in an attempt to cover up for widespread Fianna Fail aided corruption.
The report carried out by current DDDA boss Niamh Brennan is believed to partially reveal the links between the Board of the DDDA, Anglo Irish Bank and a number of Fianna Fail connected developers in failed property speculation projects which are likely to cost the state billions of euros and leave much of the Dublin docks a half build wasteland.
The report has been in the possession of Minister for the Environment Gormley for some time. He has so far refused to publish it, he and other government ministers are now claiming that they await the attorney Generals advice before publication, this means that if and when it is published it will have so many blanked out passages that it is likely to be unintelligible.
Brennan, the wife of former PD leader, Michael McDowell, was instructed to carry out an “independent report”. However, some local residents have complained that there was no attempt to ascertain information from them or measure the adverse social impact of the failed schemes. It is also questionable whether the report’s remit even allowed for a proper analysis of government members role in the DDDA debacle.
DDDA now has a deficit of at least €230m which will be made up by the taxpayer. This arises in part from the purchase of the Glass Bottle site, which the DDDA claims is now worth €50m.
However, looking at figures coming before the Commercial Court in other matters it would seem that if the DDDA was to offload this site they would have to pay someone to take it as the costs of clean up due to methane gas contamination would be enormous.
In order to acquire this site the DDDA borrowing power was extended by Brian Cowen as Minister for Finance. He also authorized the DDDA to guarantee the interest payments on loans of several hundred million from Anglo Irish Bank this was while two directors of this bank sat on the DDDA board.
Many other DDDA projects are similarly expected to come under the remit of NAMA, with the state covering billions in losses The area which was controlled by the DDDA was extended from the Docklands up to the North Strand Road for the sole purpose of the DDDA buying the Readymix site for an inflated value.
The result of this on the ground is that almost all the commercial property on one side of North Road is now derelict. Of course another of the favoured few was able to complete developments on the Ossory Road, now within the DDDA area. There was no consultation with residents in relation to this extension. It is imperative that Brennan’s report is published in full.