Independent TD Carol Nolan has condemned the lack of prior notice given to families in the Clonminch Lane area regarding the construction of 62 modular homes for Ukrainian refugees as ‘the latest manifestation of Government and ministerial arrogance towards communities.’
Deputy Nolan was speaking after assurances were provided that a perimeter wall is to be built separating the modular units from families living in the area.
This followed significant pushback by local residents who were appalled at the lack of engagement with them about the plans to develop the site in this way, the Laois Offaly TD said.
“When I was first contacted by local residents my office made direct representations to Offaly County Council that reflected their concerns in their entirety. Indeed, I will continue to assist residents in any way that I can,” said Deputy Nolan.
“It is simply unacceptable for both the department, Minister O’Gorman and indeed the OPW to foist this development on residents as a fait accompli. Who do these people think they are that they believe they can just disregard local families in this way?”
“It is the height of political arrogance to take action of this scale without prior consultation, and it is tokenistic nonsense to suggest that they are willing to listen only after the decision has been made.”
“This method of proceeding on an issue of such sensitivity and concern is absurd and it must not be repeated. That being said I do not hold out much hope that this Government will give the slightest thought to the concerns of residents and local communities.”
“The history of their arrogance on this issue makes that abundantly clear, as even Minister O’Gorman’s own Government colleagues have repeatedly noted,” concluded Deputy Nolan.