The reported comments of former Councillor Chris Andrews in the
Southside People ( 9th February) in which he blames the PDs for the legislation allowing the rection of Phone masts on Publiuc Buildings surely qualifies him once again to be considered a worthy contestant for Brass Neck of the Year Award, according to former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Dermot Lacey.
During his relatvely short time in representative politics. Mr Andrews has undoubtedly acquired some of its worst attributes – an ability to ignore facts, distort the truth and attempt to mislead the public.
Of course the placing of these masts so close to schools is wrong and should not be allowed. Of course the health and safety of children should be paramount in all aspects of State Policy. Locating a Phone Mast at Ardee House, Rathmines, so close to St. Mary’s College is wrong and should not be tolerated.
However the attempt by Mr Andrews to shift blame away from his own Party Fianna Fail is disingenous at least and in some ways contemptible.Responsibility for Planning controls rests with the Minister and Department of the Environment. Dick Roche the current Minister is a member of Fianna Fail, Martin Cullen and Noel Dempsey the previous two Ministers are members of Fianna Fail. The Government is led by a Fianna Fail Taoiseach.
Over the last seven years the rights of communities to have a real say on Planning matters has rapidly reduced. At no stage during his tenure on Dublin City Council did I hear Mr Andrews criticise this fact. Indeed he was one of the regular cheerleaders for the failed policies of the Minister and Department of the Environment.
I am quite prepared to allocate blame to the PD’s when it is deserved. On this issue however blames rests squarely on the shoulders of Fianna Fail along with Minister of State Parlon. Cheap attempts to “pass the buck” may be part of Mr Andrews attempt to win a Dail seat but it does nothing to fight the dangers of inapproprately located Phones masts or the unfairness and inequities of the Planning system.