Irish rural communities have been opposing wind farms, and pylons before that, for the better part of a decade. This has involved community groups gathering funds through church collections, cake sales, and the like. There are numerous tales of hardship where communities have had to beg, borrow and steal every penny they can get in order to fund a judicial review application. And yet, in November 2016, an elected “representative” in our Dail (the Irish parliament) can ask a question like this:

“I thank Dr. Kelly for her presentation and her staff for coming before the committee. There are a few things I wish to ask. I notice that An Bord Pleanála generally tries to make a decision on an application in 15 or 16 weeks. The one thing that stood out was the number of wind farm applications that were receiving refusals. I know that may be down to the court case and the court judgement, but there certainly seems to be many of them judging by the presentation Dr. Kelly made.

Increasingly, members have residents coming to us and asking about the judicial review process. We all tell them that it is a very costly affair and that they cannot afford to deal with it. That is a big problem. Do we have a rough idea of what a judicial review costs? I know it probably depends and varies, but I would like to get a rough idea. We have had some cases in which people have been requesting it.”

What is even richer is that he asks his equally clueless colleagues rather than getting off his arse and researching the matter himself. Did he even think of leaving his constituency office and approaching the community group?

God help us. ‘Cute hoors’ indeed. Is it any wonder that the voters have lost faith with the system and elect a Trump?

About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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9 Responses to Clueless!

  1. Ronan Browne says:

    Ah now c’m’on now lookit, yer ony aul’ citizens. Sure & begorrah and ye don’t havta be worryin’ yerselves with big tings like dat. Lave it upty us polititions. Sure, we haz yer best intentions a’heart, sure. Don’t be confusin’ your little brainz with big tawk like dah!
    Now, whare’z dah brown envelope now…

  2. Francis Clauson says:

    Lets look at the official record so we can see who said this

    Deputy Dessie Ellis ……… – search the above page for the whole context of the speech

    He also said
    I am interested in the use of environmental impact assessments on large developments and the EU rules attached to them. Does An Bord Pleanála find them very time-consuming in their consultation? They seem to drag on for a long time. They require consultation and it probably sucks up many resources in terms of time.

    • Neil van Dokkum says:

      It’s nice to know he’s “interested”. I was trying to keep his name out of it, but I suppose it is public record …

  3. Pingback: Clueless! | ajmarciniak

  4. Pat Swords says:

    Not only are they stupid, but they leave us with poor legislation, which doesn’t provide us our rights. This mess didn’t happen by accident, plus yet again it had the fingerprints of the Green Party all over it. Note: “Who did not want to see the Courts being clogged by Judicial Review proceedings”. Let’s face it, if the State complies with the legal framework, citizens won’t be given leave in the first place for a Judicial Review proceeding.

  5. Francis Clauson says:

    if you read the speech you will see they want to introduce fast track planning for which there is NO APPEAL other than taking a JR

    this seems to further suppress the public ability to challenge

  6. Willem Els says:

    For most politicians it’s about the ride. Not many of them actually know where they are going or even care !

  7. Neil van Dokkum says:

    Ja boet, dit is seker so.

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