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Call for inquiry into claims of Donegal planning improprieties

Following a meeting with whistleblower Gerard Convier, one Sinn Féin TD said he believes there are substantial grounds for an inquiry.
Jul 9th 2014, 7:38 PM 9,204 17

THERE HAS BEEN a call today for the government to establish an inquiry into claims by a whistleblower of planning improprieties in Donegal.

Former senior county council planner Gerard Convier, has said he has a dossier of 20 sample cases which show these alleged improprieties. The Irish Examiner reported that this included a petrol station built without permission and numerous houses built in scenic locations that were in breach of regulations protecting areas of natural beauty.

Today, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley met with the whistleblower and said that he read through the case studies he presented in support of his claims.

“I believe that there are substantial grounds for a full independent inquiry to establish whether there were any improprieties that would be subject to legal investigation,” he said.

Convie has previously gone to the High Court to challenge the findings of a report which found there were no irregularities. The High Court quashed the report’s section on Donegal and in light of that, Minister for State Jan O’Sullivan asked the Attorney General to examine the claims.

This week he called for a senior barrister to be appointed to look into any evidence of impropriety.

Stanley has said he has now asked O’Sullivan if she will make the Attorney General’s report available. The Sinn Féin TD also called for the appointment of an independent planning regulator, as was recommended in the Mahon Report.

Read: “Unbalanced, ambiguous and biased” – Donegal Council hits back at An Taisce>

Read: The 9 worst councils in Ireland’s planning system>

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Michelle Hennessy

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