Gormley under pressure overdocklands report

GREEN Party leader John Gormley will come under further pressure this week when the Opposition make demands in the Dáil for the immediate publication of a potentially damning report on the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

Fine Gael and Labour have seized upon claims by former Green Party senator Déirdre de Búrca that party leader and Environment Minister Mr Gormley isdelaying publication of the report because its findings will cause “significant discomfort” for his Fianna Fáil Government partners.

Mr Gormley has rejected these allegations, insisting that “what she is saying now bears no relation to the truth”.

Mr Gormley said he commissioned two reports on governance and planning issues at the authority, which recorded a €213 million deficit last year, because he wants “details of what happened out in the open”.

He said the reports, by Professor Niamh Brennan, will be published as soon as the Attorney General finishes examining them.

Ms de Búrca claims to be aware of the contents which, she said, include “evidence of serious malpractice”.

In her first public interview since resigning 10 days ago, she told RTÉ: “I think the publication of the report will probably cause a good deal of discomfort to our Government partners and I’m not convinced that there is the willingness there to go ahead and publish it and to act on its findings. My own sense is that there will be an attempt to sit on it or to delay its publication.”

But Green Party Senator Dan Boyle said on his Twitter page: “She hasn’t seen the report. She does not know its contents. Does not know its recommendations.”

A spokesperson for the Green Party in Government said Ms de Búrca “never once” raised the issue of the DDDA or its operations with the minister.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said claims that Mr Gormley is sitting on the reports or that they find malpractice “may or may not be the case” but “there is only one way to clear this up, and that is for the minister to publish the documents immediately”.

Fine Gael Environment spokesperson Phil Hogan said the minister should “stop protecting the political reputation of Fianna Fáil” and publish the report following a meeting of the cabinet tomorrow.


The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

More From The Irish Examiner