We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
An Bord Pleanála

Deputy Chair of An Bord Pleanála resigns amid investigation into alleged conflicts of interest

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing confirmed that Paul Hyde had resigned.

LAST UPDATE | 9 Jul 2022

THE DEPUTY CHAIR of An Bord Pleanála (ABP), Paul Hyde, has resigned.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing confirmed that Hyde had tendered his resignation to the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien yesterday.

Hyde has resigned amid an ongoing probe, lead by senior counsel Remy Farrell, into multiple planning decisions following allegations that conflicts of interest were not declared.

The report itself was due to be finished at the end of June, but has since been pushed back for another month.

When the investigation began, Hyde stepped back from his role as deputy chair of the planning authority

Hyde, who took up the role in 2019, had denied all allegations made against him of potential conflicts of interest.

Under the terms of reference of the investigation, Farrell will provide his opinion on three planning decisions, including a decision made by ABP in relation to a housing development in Blackpool, Co Cork.

Following Hyde’s resignation, Labour Senator and Housing Spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called for O’Brien to “fast-track” the publication of Farrell’s investigation.

“Following the sudden resignation of the deputy chair of An Bord Pleanála it is absolutely crucial that the Minister now fast-tracks the publication of the report in full,” said Moynihan.

“It is essential that people have full confidence in the planning process so if the report reveals more systemic and seismic issues in An Bord Pleanála then they must be addressed.

“Transparency and fairness are the bedrock to any democracy and trust in the planning system is completely vital.”

Meanwhile Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on housing, claims the “problems at An Bord Pleanála are deeper than one individual”.

While Deputy Ó Broin said Mr Hyde’s resignation “is not surprising”, he added that it “stands in sharp contrast to his earlier claim of having done nothing wrong”.

The Sinn Féin TD also claimed “there are implications for the entire Strategic Housing Development sub panel of the Bord, the Bord chair David Walsh, and the organisations executive”.

He’s called on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, to “set out what actions he intends to take to address the systemic problems at An Bord Pleanála”.