One councillor walks out as angry Clare politicians let fly at An Taisce over Trump golf links

by Gordon Deegan

One councillor walked out while other councillors lashed out at the role of An Taisce when the organisation’s Built Environment and Heritage Officer, Ian Lumley came to address Clare Co Council today

At the local authority’s May meeting on Monday, even before Mr Lumley began his presentation to the members, long time critic of An Taisce, Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) described An Taisce as ‘perennial objectors to anything that is good in Co Clare” and walked out of the meeting,

Currently, An Taisce is one of the main objectors to plans to construct coastal protection works at the Donald Trump owned golf links course at Doonbeg.

Independent member of the Council, James Breen asked Mr Lumley: “Can I become a member of An Taisce in the morning? Who appoints ye?

Cllr Breen added: “This is a sham. A pure sham. I as a councillor have to go before the people every five years and you have to account for nothing.”

Earlier, Cllr Richard Nagle (FF) said: “For most people in rural Ireland, you have an image problem. An Taisce is seen as being anti-rural. It has been mentioned already with the data centre in Athenry. The coastal protection works in Doonbeg have been seriously delayed.”

Cllr Nagle said that from a tourism perspective, An Taisce is trying to limit the number of people coming to Co Clare.

Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) said that people ask questions over An Taisce's right to object to one-off house applications in Clare.

In response, Mr Lumley said: “I don’t know where this stuff is coming from that An Taisce is holding up planning. I don’t see where An Taisce holding things up comes from.”

Mr Lumley said that An Taisce lodging objections to large scale problems don’t happen unless there are problems with the developments.

On the Trump coastal protection plan, Mr Lumley said: “I would quote from the scientific advice from the National Parks and Wildlife Service in its submission to the council which states that “the proposal is unsupported by scientific data … there is a lack of understanding on well based science based research on dune systems …”

Mr Lumley also pointerd that the Council decision giving the application planning permission is being challenged in the courts.

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