August 1, 2009

DDDA Governance and ARUP. More Docklands Developers Autocracy Rot?

What will N.Brennan do about Arup's cross-directorship with the Developers Autocracy?

A cosmetic resignation from DDDA or Ulster Bank does not suffice to disable the perception of an old-boy network nor the damage to international perceptions.

  • N. O’Sullivan is a director of Arup.
  • N. O’Sullivan is a director of the DDDA.
  • Arup claims DDDA's glass bottle site is fit for humans.
How will N.Brennan educate the taxpayers about perceptions of DDDA credibiity or of Arup's "independence" now Arup is paid to pronounce on pollution at speculators' sites in Poolbeg?

Paid-for Arup Spin on €450 Million Ringsend Glass Bottle Site
Outstanding spin from Arup seems to claim the Ringsend Glass Bottle site lands are in “a satisfactory state” and that space created under(!) car-parking spaces and other services would “create a wide and ventilated physical barrier between polluted lands and the future habitable spaces of the new development“.

Unpaid Expert Opinion
Former EPA expert Malcolm Doak warned that 30 per cent methane gas levels exist on the lands and that “a significant gas risk still remains on-site”.

Paid-for Arup Spin on €350 Million Poolbeg Incinerator
Arup said the environmental impact statement found the Poolbeg waste-to-toxins incinerator would not significantly impact the environment and "no residual negative impacts are anticipated" from the construction or operation of the plant.

Unpaid Expert Opinion
Prof Staines, a medical doctor and academic, said it was "at best careless, and more realistically reckless, to proceed with a major development without considering methods of minimising harm and maximising benefits to the local community" and said the execution of a Health Impact Statement on such projects was common practice internationally.

In relation to the environmental impact statement, undertaken by Arup Consulting Engineers on behalf of the council, Prof Staines claimed that "in no case is there any serious consideration of the actual impacts of the estimated emissions on people in the local community or on human health".

DDDDA has been a poster boy for rampant multi-dimensional conflicts-of-interest. Ex: Seanie and Lar at the Glass Bottle site.

DDA's newest chairman, N.Brennan, is spun as a governance expert by advertising dependent newspapers. N.Brennan was appointed by Mr J Gormley in a closed-door recruitment process. N.Brennan was a director for Ulster bank when it financed Zoe Developments large Fabrizia site on Sandymount Strand (Zoe now has a negative net value of -€900,000,000, plus or minus an acre of occupied public footpath).

How can Arup not anticipate any negative impacts given operator Covanta's curious record?

The Seanie & Lar culture at DDDA-Anglo was the catalyst for the €490,000,000,000 banker bailout and the proving ground for NAMA's €90,000,000,000 developer bailout. Is there any pattern which shows the rampant multi-dimensional conflicts of interest at the €450,000,000 Glass Bottle site will not be repeated at NAMA?

  • Both NAMA and DDDA combine closed-door autocratic control over planning permits.
  • Both NAMA and DDDA have the same executive sponsors - the Galway Tent cartel.
  • NAMA adds closed-door political distortion of property markets for the next 30 years (in violation of core EU Competition Principles).

See also:


The Galway Tent said...

Thursday February 12 2009

By Michael Brennan Political Correspondent, Irish Independent

THE Dublin Docklands Development Authority paid almost €1m to companies linked to its board of directors in the past three years, it has emerged.

The news comes amid calls for the board of the state agency to be sacked due to its involvement in the controversial purchase of the €411m former Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin.

According to the DDDA's latest annual report, it paid €964,648 to companies which had direct links with three of its directors, including:

* €372,555 in consultancy fees to Arup Consulting Engineers in 2006 and €310,000 in 2007. One of Arup's directors, Niamh O'Sullivan, is also a director on the DDDA board.

* €149,655 to PricewaterhouseCoopers for internal audit and consultancy services in 2007. The firm's partner, Donal O'Connor, was chairman of the DDDA board until he resigned last December and took over as chairman of Anglo Irish Bank.

* €132,438 to the O'Donnell Tuomey firm in 2007. Sheila O'Donnell, who stepped down as a DDDA director last month, has a controlling interest in this company with her family.


It emerged yesterday that another former DDDA director, former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick, helped to approve its decision to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site in 2006 -- which was funded a month later with a loan from his own bank.

Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan has called on Environment Minister John Gormley to sack the entire DDDA board due to the Irish Glass Bottle controversy, saying they were in "no position to sort this mess out".

But a spokesman for Mr Gormley said the current board members had almost all been appointed after the decision to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site had been made. He also pointed out that the two former Anglo Irish Bank executives had left the board.


Last night, the DDDA said that it had no comment to make on Mr Hogan's call for all its directors to resign. But it said that all of its directors were governed by a code of conduct, which required them to disclose their interests. It also said that it was "entirely satisfied" with its role as a partner in the consortium buying the former Irish Glass Bottle site.

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick was appointed to the DDDA board in 1998 by then Environment Minister Noel Dempsey.

Mr Gormley is due to appoint a new chairperson to the DDDA, as well as a new director to replace Sheila O'Donnell. Former DDDA chairman Donal O'Connor resigned last December after he was made chairman of Anglo Irish Bank.

- Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

By Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

Thursday February 12 2009

Anonymous said...

Methane gas from a former landfill site in north Belfast is to provide electricity to thousands of homes.

It is thought the 10 million tonnes of rubbish buried at the Dargan Road site could produce enough methane gas to power up to 6,000 homes. The dump is covered over with clay but the rotting waste underneath still gives off the greenhouse gas.

Five huge generating plants have been set up on the site to turn the gas into electricity for the national grid. The electricity is effectively free and should last for about 20 years before literally running out of gas. Engineer Andrew Leach said: "It's generating power 24 hours a day, seven days a week - it's consistent, reliable power." It was the first major project to be undertaken at the site now known as Giant's Park. There are plans for a 220-acre public park and a 110-acre 'Environmental Resource Recovery Park'.

Published: 2009/10/01 12:43:58 GMT