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Thornton Hall - a farm not a prison site!

category dublin | environment | press release author Thursday August 11, 2005 14:31author by Resident - Rolestown St. Margarets Action Groupauthor email info at residentssayno dot com Report this post to the editors

Rural North Dublin Community fights to save their community and environment from unsustainable development.

On January 26th, the Government signed a land deal worth €29.9 million for the proposed relocation of Mountjoy prison to the rural locality of Thornton in Kilsallaghan, North County Dublin.

Plans to build a 'super-prison' on this 150-acre greenland site have been met with strong criticism and concern from many, not least us local residents who had not been consulted in any regard about the proposal or its potential impact.

In the wake of this announcement, a public protest meeting was held in the Coolquay Lodge on January 27th, 2005. At this meeting, residents and many other supporters, political and otherwise, vowed to fight against the Government's proposal.

This meeting led in turn to the establishment of this action group - the Rolestown St. Margaret's Action Group.

The aim of our group is simple and justified:

'Our aim is to develop and protect our community and its environment.'

And that's exactly what we intend to do.

This development is exempt from the normal planning procedures under Section 9 of the planning act. It is not even required to have an EIS carried out.

The Minister for Justice has refused to meet with local residents. The site was submitted and a decision made to purchase it all at one meeting. The information presented at the meeting was flawed and inaccurate. We have serious concerns about the real motives of those involved in this deal.

This site is a working farm - surrounded by other working farms. Fingal County Council have zoned it for agriculture and not suitable for development!

visit our website www.residentssayno.com

the deal to purchase this site is due to conclude on 1st October - there is still time for the government to pull out.

Related Link: http://www.residentssayno.com
author by resident - RSMAGpublication date Thu Aug 11, 2005 14:37author email info at residentssayno dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Independent inquiry should be established into selection of proposed site for Mountjoy Prison relocation
As EU Commission officially registers Green Party complaint

The Green Party is calling for an independent inquiry into the selection process which chose Thornton Hall in North County Dublin as the preferred site for the relocation of Mountjoy Prison and the Central Mental Hospital.

This follows confirmation from the EU Commission that the Green Party complaint, regarding the exemption of the proposed prison site from the normal planning process, has now been registered. This exemption means that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is currently not required under Irish law as the siting of a prison is in the interest of national security.

The Green Party queried this exemption in its letter of complaint, signed by local Green Party representatives, Cllr. Robert Kelly, Vice Chair of Fingal County Council, Cllr. Joe Corr and Cllr. David Healy as well as Party Leader and Dublin

North TD Trevor Sargent.

Cllr. Robert Kelly said today that, “The Thornton site is in an archeologically sensitive area of Fingal and this should not be ignored by the Minister when considering the construction of a massive detention facility such as the one proposed. We believe that the normal planning process should apply in this case and that therefore an Environmental Impact Assessment should be carried out.”

Cllr. Joe Corr said that, “There are other aspects of the selection process that should be considered too, such as;

§ the fact that Thornton was not in the top thirty of preferred sites

§ it only came to prominence when another landowner pulled out

§ the speed with which the site was selected and the deal was done

§ the inflated cost of the agricultural land per acre for the site. The price normally would not exceed €20,000 per acre - instead the figure of €200,000 per acre was agreed. This has tied the taxpayer into a contract in excess of €29 million whether the facility is established on the site or not

Cllr David Healy added that, “If the Government is interested in openness and transparency, it will establish an inquiry at the earliest opportunity to investigate all aspects of the process that arose at each stage of the selection.”

 
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