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Battle of Clontarf

Dirty tricks in north Dublin: FG candidate hits out at anonymous letter campaign

Dublin Bay North candidate Naoise Ó Muirí has gone to the gardaí over false claims made in letters received by local residents.

A FINE GAEL councillor in Dublin has complained to gardaí after residents in his area received anonymous letters accusing him of supporting controversial plans to build almost 400 homes on fields adjoining St Anne’s Park in Raheny.

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Naoise Ó Muirí, who is running for a seat in the tightly-contested Dublin Bay North constituency, said letters received by locals in Clontarf and Raheny incorrectly stated that he had proposed rezoning the land to allow for development.

Developers Greg Kavanagh and Pat Crean are seeking permission to build 274 apartments and 107 houses on the playing pitches, which were previously owned by Vincentian secondary school St Paul’s College.

The fields were fenced off in recent years but are still used by the local Clontarf GAA club.

There has been widespread opposition to the housing scheme among residents, including most local politicians.

The New Generation Homes development suffered a setback in December when Dublin City Council rejected the planning application over a clerical error by the company.

The council has also since instructed the developers to reduce the number of planned apartment blocks and redesign others.

Claims

Ó Muirí is one of a number of politicians – including Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Haughey – who oppose the development.

However, a letter distributed to residents this week claimed the Fine Gael candidate had proposed a council motion to rezone the land to allow for redevelopment.

“Do you think [he] is the best person to now represent us a TD?” the leaflet asks.

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Ó Muirí told TheJournal.ie that the motion referred to in the letter relates instead to the former St Paul swimming pool lands owned by a different developer.

He said he submitted the motion in opposition to efforts by various stakeholders to rezone these lands from Z15 (for community and institutional use) to Z1 (for residential purposes).

“I have resisted all such rezoning efforts including a proposal from the Dublin city manager in 2013,” he said.

I did this on the basis that Z15 offers a higher standard of protection for lands from wholescale redevelopment including requirements to provide masterplans and the provision of significant amounts of public open space.

Complaint

Ó Muirí told TheJournal.ie that there had been no proposals since 1999 to rezone the playing fields now owned by New Generation Homes.

“My position is a matter of public record,” he said.

I have referred the anonymous letter to An Garda Siochána in Clontarf and they are investigating with a view to determining if an offence has been committed

I Love St Anne’s, a group of locals opposed to the development, has also come out against the letter.

“This flyer, which mentions one of the general election candidates, was not sent out by us and we don’t know anything about it,” they said.

We are not politically aligned in any way.

Read: Locals who objected to housing scheme given cash back after developer screw-up

Read: Plans for a 381-home development beside a Dublin park are not going down well

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