Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Green Party takes back the reins as Whistleblowing or a Review Starts Tomorrow in Kilkenny

It is suggested that Kilkenny's new inner city motorway bridge and central access scheme is being pushed through solely to develop the old cattle mart, an empty site on the outskirts of town. There are plenty of roads going to it already. There are other questions about what will be done with the other sites and buildings affected and the council will not disclose who owns what and who signed what, regarding the plans. What about freedom of information, accountability and transparency? What about the use of public money, buying a 3-page advert for the scheme, in the local newspaper last week? 

People are getting closer and closer to blowing the whistle on the real reasons and beneficiaries for the continued building of this bridge, in the face of 10,000 signatures asking for it to be stopped. Also the recent elections were won on the strength of councillors being against the scheme. Since then, however, one councillor Breda Gardener was threatened with a month's suspension for raising questions about the scheme-a convenient way to make sure there was one less councillor to vote for a review. Another councillor was privately asked to take the Scheme off the agenda for this Monday, even though the meeting has been specifically promised to residents, protesters and those within the council who are openly opposed to the scheme. 

It is the possibility of a review that is to be discussed tomorrow. There are planning permission precedents in Ireland's own history where even a building already partially built has had its planning permission retracted. Furthermore there were stipulations for the site to be returned to its original state. So stopping the scheme is not impossible, a review is not impossible as the council keep saying. It should be done. With Ireland's new whistle blowing bill passed this week, the truth sayers are now protected. Those Kilkenny Councillors, County Manager (John Mulholland) and gardai who have hidden in the shadows of serving their own agenda or other compromised stances would want to be getting clear asap about the need for a review and saying so on Monday, before the inevitable exposure of corruption that will follow.

In the past, The Green Party lost some ground as they were seen to have folded to Fianna Fail. Kilkenny's Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan, though, has never caved. He has been fighting the Central Access Scheme for 10 years. While he was Mayor and in every other capacity he has led. This is interesting as the Whistle Blowing bill states that a person must have fair and square tried to raise and address the problems before blowing the whistle. Cllr Noonan has certainly met that rule. He has also been in the Council a very long time. The question is, would he be prepared to share what he has witnessed in that time to expose the council? Another part of the Whistle Blowing bill is that someone might be compensated 5 years' salary! But in Kilkenny, we need his integrity, wisdom and know-how in politics. I wonder if maybe this time it can be the old-school councillor culprits  who are made to resign by the ombudsman and Cllr Noonan take the helm, while a new election takes place.

No comments:

Post a Comment