No immediate plans to publish corruption report finished 4 years ago

While a report on alleged planning corruption was completed 4 years ago now, the Department of Housing has said they have “no timeline” for when the report may be published.

The report – named the Mulcahy Report – was initiated after Senior Counsel Rory Mulcahy was tasked in 2015 with investigating allegations made by whistleblower Gerard Convie, who claimed that there were serious irregularities in the Donegal local council’s planning department in the early 2000s.

Allegations from the whistleblower, who worked inside the council, include that a colleague forged signatures, submitted applications on behalf of personal friends and family, and even destroyed recommendations made by other planners.

While the report was originally due to be submitted at the end of 2015, the Department of the Environment blamed “unforeseen delays” for holding the inquiry off for over a year and a half.

While Mulcahy completed his report in June of 2017 – four years ago now – it has not been published to date, and according to the Irish Examiner, a Department of Housing spokesperson said there is “no timeline” on when this may happen.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, when asked about this in the Dáil, said he was “considering the matter” and would bring it before the government “in due course.”

TDs both from the government and from the opposition parties have been highly critical of the delay, and called for the report to be published immediately.

“The allegations are really serious and I see no reason why this report wouldn’t be published,” said Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin.

“If there was nothing of significance, this would have been published a long time ago. It needs to be published as a matter of urgency.

“The problem is we don’t know why it has taken so long, but the delay increases speculation that the findings are serious or named individuals are found to have acted wrongly.”

Additionally, Green Party TD Patrick Costello dubbed the delay “ludicrous.”

“The fact that the report has been waiting for four years is ludicrous. There are really serious matters,” he said.

“This is borne out of huge concerns with planning. What has been going on in other counties where there haven’t been whistleblowers. If the findings are that serious then they need to be investigated. The attempts to investigate have run into establishment challenges.

“We need to address this. We need to address planning and corruption in Ireland,” Costello concluded.

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