Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
County Council

Comhairle Contae
Dhún Laoghaire-Ráth an Dúin
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Tom Murphy, FF
Structure
Seats 40
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council Composition.png
Political groups

Council Control (22)

Council Opposition (18)

Elections
Last election
23 May 2014
Meeting place
Dun Laoghaire Town Hall.jpg
County Hall, Dún Laoghaire
Website
www.dlrcoco.ie
The area governed by the council

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council (Irish: Comhairle Contae Dhún Laoghaire-Ráth an Dúin) is the authority responsible for local government in the county of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland. It is one of three local authorities that comprised the former Dublin County Council before its abolition and one of four councils in the Dublin Region. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 40 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Cathaoirleach (Chairperson). The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Philomena Poole. The county town is Dún Laoghaire. It serves a population of approximately 206,260.

History

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council traces its history back to local government structures that have existed in the area since 1834. The Council was established under the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 by the merger of the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire and that part of Dublin County Council that corresponded to the former Rathdown No 1 Rural District. The two sides of the County have distinct histories in terms of local government structures.

On the Dún Laoghaire side of the County, the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire had been established by the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1930 as a successor body to Kingstown Town commissioners. Those Commissioners were established in 1834 and were subsequently renamed Kingstown Urban District Council and then Dún Laoghaire Urban District Council.

On the Rathdown side of the County, Dublin County Council and Rathdown No. 1 Rural District Council were established under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. Rathdown No. 1 Rural District Council was abolished by the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1930.

Councillors

For the purpose of elections the county is divided into 6 local electoral areas (LEA).

Area Seats
Blackrock 6
Dundrum 7
Dún Laoghaire 8
Glencullen-Sandyford 7
Killiney-Shankill 6
Stillorgan 6

2014 seats summary

Party Seats
Fine Gael 11
Fianna Fáil 8
Labour Party 7
People Before Profit 3
Sinn Féin 3
Green Party 2
Independent 6

Councillors by electoral area

This list reflects the order in which councillors were elected on 23 May 2014.[1]

Council members from 2014 election
Local electoral area Name Party
Blackrock Marie Baker Fine Gael
Mary Hanafin Fianna Fáil
Barry Ward Fine Gael
Kate Feeney Fianna Fáil
Victor Boyhan Independent
Deirdre Kingston Labour Party
Dundrum Shay Brennan Fianna Fáil
Brian Murphy Fine Gael
Grace Tallon Labour Party
Seamus O'Neill Independent
Catherine Martin Green Party
Sorcha Nic Cormaic Sinn Féin
Pat Hand Fine Gael
Dún Laoghaire John Bailey Fine Gael
Cormac Devlin Fianna Fáil
Melisa Halpin People Before Profit
Karl Gill People Before Profit
Ossian Smyth Green Party
Patricia Stewart Fine Gael
Michael Merrigan Independent
Mary Fayne Fine Gael
Glencullen-Sandyford Lettie McCarthy Labour Party
Kevin Daly Fine Gael
Tom Murphy Fianna Fáil
Chris Curran Sinn Féin
Kevin Daly Independent
Peter O'Brien Labour Party
Lynsey McGovern Independent
Killiney-Shankill Hugh Lewis People Before Profit
Maria Bailey Fine Gael
Jennifer Cuffe Fianna Fáil
Carrie Smyth Labour Party
Shane O'Brien Sinn Féin
Denis O'Callaghan Labour Party
Stillorgan Barry Saul Fine Gael
Josepha Madigan Fine Gael
Deirdre Donnelly Independent
Alex White Labour Party
Donal Smith Fianna Fáil
Liam Dockery Fianna Fáil

Controversies

M50 and compensation to Jackson Way Properties

An agreement was reached for Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council to compensate Jackson Way Properties by €12,860,700 for the compulsory purchase in October 1998 of its freehold interest in the lands, adjoining the M50 motorway.[2] The Council agreed to pay costs and expenses properly incurred by Jackson Way Properties in relation to preparation and submission of its claim.

The 2003 award total is broken down as follows:

  • Land taken – €9,691,000
  • Injurious affection – €2,296,700 and
  • Disturbance – €873,000.

It had been the view of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) that €4.2 million of this award represents the present value of corrupt enrichment by the property owners although this view is based on hearsay evidence given by Mr Frank Dunlop. A company called Paisley Park Investments Ltd were registered as full owners in 1992 and the land was transferred to Jackson Way Properties in 1993, the beneficial owners of which are believed by CAB to be arcade owner James Kennedy and solicitor John Coldwell. However, in January 2014 the freezing order was lifted owing to the collapse of the associated political corruption trial involving Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Cathaoirleach Tony Fox [3]; damages were subsequently sought against CAB by Jackson Way [4].

In early 2016[5], the Office of the Information Commissioner found against the council for refusing to comply with a Freedom of Information request relating to the case, stating as follows, "I find it very difficult to accept that the Council holds no records coming within the scope of the request that cannot be released to the applicant under the FOI Act. It seems to me that the Council adopted a blanket approach to the request by claiming that the exemptions applied to all records coming within the scope of the request and did not conduct a record by record examination."

Criminal Assets Bureau investigation

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) successfully obtained a High Court order on 26 July 2006 freezing land assets of 107 acres (0.43 km2) at Carrickmines, County Dublin, owned by Jackson Way Properties Ltd and preventing their sale.[6] CAB contended that these lands had been rezoned on 16 December 1997 by Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council from agricultural to industrial use after Frank Dunlop bribed and made corrupt payments to councillors to secure their support in the rezoning vote. That vote increased the value of just 17 acres (69,000 m2) of the property from €8 million to €61 million. CAB has interviewed and taken statements from Frank Dunlop and will use him as a witness against a number of property developers; Frank Dunlop served a jail sentence for corruption in Arbour Hill from May 2009 to July 2010[7].

The lands in question have been the subject of investigation by The Mahon Tribunal in 2003 and 2004.

The case CAB -v- Jacksonway properties was due for hearing in the High Court Dublin in October 2010, which was vigorously defended with Jackson Way denying any wrongdoing and Mr Kennedy a tax exile currently living in Gibraltar returning to give evidence in the case. Jackson Way gave the court notice that they intend to subpoena councillors to give evidence. No Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown representative to date[when?] has been charged with any form of wrongdoing in relation to rezoning, likely because in January 2014 the freezing order was lifted owing to the collapse of a political corruption trial involving Frank Dunlop and Jacksonway's subsequent legal proceedings against CAB.

Revenue Generation

Excessive commercial rates and parking charges, coupled with a zealous attitude to enforcement of parking fines by the council, are frequently cited by the town's business owners as an impediment to trade and the primary cause of the empty shop fronts seen on George's Street[8]. Despite the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown local authority area being the second most lucrative to the State after Dublin City[9], the relentless pursuit of revenue by the council continues unabated [10][11]. The chief executive of DLRCoCo was paid €142,966 before expenses in 2014 [12] while the new library building, comprising a surfeit of meeting rooms but largely shorn of actual reading material[13], cost some €65 million to complete[8].

References

  1. ^ "2014 Local elections: Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council". Local Government. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Co Statement on Jackson Way compensation, November 18 2003
  3. ^ Dunlop collapses trial for corruption, Irish Independent, July 25, 2013
  4. ^ Jim Kennedy firm claims damages from CAB over Carrickmines, Irish Times, July 12, 2016
  5. ^ XYZ Limited and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (FOI Act 2014)Case Number: 160082
  6. ^ CAB blocks sale of €60m parcel at Carrickmines, Irish Independent, July 27 2006
  7. ^ Dunlop released from Arbour Hill Prison after serving almost 14 months, Irish Times, July 12, 2010
  8. ^ a b A Tale of Two Towns, Irish Times, February 8, 2014
  9. ^ Local Property Tax Statistics (2016), Revenue Commissioners, Revised Edition, April 2017
  10. ^ Why Dún Laoghaire Retailers may have to get Out of Dodge, Irish Times, November 7, 2016
  11. ^ Our Towns are Dying while Councils Bleed Motorists Dry for Revenue Irish Times, January 31, 2014
  12. ^ Local Authority Staff Earn Over €100000 Irish Times, July 11, 2014
  13. ^ [Personal communication, August 2017]

External links

  • Official website
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