Independent Media Centre Ireland

"Most dangerous" planning Bill

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Friday June 16, 2006 21:24author by Boadicea

"This is the most dangerous legislation that has ever come before the House because ..."

"This is the most dangerous legislation that has ever come before the House because it seeks to deprive people of the power to make observations and objections in regard to planning matters." (Deputy Michael Ring T.D.)

"If local people cannot have an input into the planning process, they will see their local councillors as being irrelevant." (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan T.D.)

How, if at all, does the proposed new legislation fit in with Article 28A.1 of "Bunreacht na hEireann" (the "BASIC LAW" of Ireland), which reads as follows:

"The State recognises the role of local government in providing a forum for the democratic representation of local communities, in exercising and performing at local level powers and functions conferred by law and in promoting by its initiatives the interests of such communities."

Information on arrangements for challenging "Unconstitutional Legislation and Decisions" can be found at the following Government address:

Part of the information at the above address reads as follows:

"The Irish President also has the power to start judicial review proceedings. Under the Constitution, if he or she considers that a new Bill might raise constitutional problems, he or she may refer the Bill to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will then examine the Bill and hear arguments on both sides to decide whether or not the Bill is constitutional and can be passed as legislation."

What will President Mary McAleese (the Guardian of our Constitution) do in this case I wonder? Will she refer the whole matter to the Supreme Court to make certain sure that everything is in order: before she signs her name to the papers which will allow this "most dangerous" Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Bill to become law?

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