29 Jul 2008

On July 10th  last, Tom O’Donoghue, of Nenagh, County Tipperary, (did the right thing and) lodged an objection with an Bord Pleanala against approval of the Private Hospital Co Location project in Dooradoyle. An Bord acknowledged receipt of his objection that same day. A couple of days later the cheque he was obliged to include with his submission was drawn from his account: proof, you would think, that An Bord were satisfied they were dealing with a valid appeal.

About a week later, word began to spread around the medical community that Tom’s appeal had been ruled invalid. How people had gotten word of this news was anybody’s guess, but when the gossip finally reached Tom ear he called the Bord for clarification at which point he was informed that, indeed, the rumours were in fact true: although he himself had received no communication of any kind from An Bord to the effect (nor has he yet received anything in writing), his appeal had been considered invalid. The reason given was as follows:

When submitting a planning appeal, the appellant is obliged to include proof that s/he made a valid observation during the five week period directly after the planning application was originally lodged with the Planning Authority. To comply with this requirement, Tom submitted a copy of the receipt he had received from Limerick City Council acknowledging the submission of his observation and the payment of the requisite fees. However, the people Tom spoke to at An Bord explained that this ‘receipt’ did not constitute sufficient proof. They needed more. And on this, the whole thing turned.

How extremely convenient: on absolutely the flimsiest of technicalities, a very well put together objection raising pertinent and probing questions on such an incredibly important issue is considered invalid, leaving the Government miraculously free to press on with their (in my own view, ludicrous and hair-brained) health service provision ideas. I’m sure some of the more paranoid amongst you are thinking to yourselves right now that something untoward must certainly have happened. All I can possibly say is: how very extremely suspiciously unbelievably incredulously dubiously and spectacularly convenient it all is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:04:46 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
gary thank you for highlighting this. i was one of the people involved in this appeal. we are devastated but not defeated on this. we will have to go the legal route on this if we have to . this will be expensive unfortunatley but what price can we put on our public health services ( which will be changed forever if this co location goes ahead) we will fined the money im sure when people realise that this is the last stand for the irish public health service as we know it and the government policy will turn irish citizens into punt making vehicles for private operators. pádriag pearse must be turning in his grave.
cllr. séamie morris
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:24:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Seamie, the various people I've spoken to in the health care service - GPs, nurses and the like - are four square against the co location system. Is there a chance that one of their representative bodies could support you in a judicial review?

And does any one have any idea how the Bord's invalidation spread so quickly amongst the medical profession?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:17:46 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
That is shocking, it really is. That's cabal politics. Surely a Judicial Review has to succeed in these circumstances. I wonder are there any prior cases taken against An Bord regarding their accepting/rejecting an Appeal??
Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:28:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'm sorry....maybe I'm thick...but what could he submit as proof other than the receipt and the acknowledgement?

And you're right about something fishy going on....when you're the appealant you can't any info from the Bord, how were rumours circulating earlier?
Friday, August 01, 2008 8:58:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Brian, I'm getting new information about the invalidated appeal. I'm going to post it as soon as I get a free minute.
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