Docklands culprits must be brought to account

Taxpayers robbed of untold millions by a well-connected clique

Speaking after RTE revealed the contents of the Docklands investigations, Malachy Steenson, Workers’ Party representative in Dublin Central stated: “These reports highlight corruption and reckless disregard for the public good. These people have robbed the taxpayers of untold hundreds of millions of Euros. Those responsible for this theft from the public purse must be brought to justice”.


“There are mothers and children from the docklands regularly dragged before the Courts and jailed for being unable to pay their television licence fee of €160 or for petty crime while board members of the DDDA still live the highlife”.


“The leaked Docklands reports reveal a scandal of huge proportions with no shred of mitigating evidence. The scandal appears at all levels, corporate governance, financial management, planning, and risk management”, said Mr. Steenson.


“The documents which have now entered the public domain highlight in the starkest fashion the failures of Celtic Tiger economics and the workings of the Golden Circle”.


“In the case of the Irish Glass site the golden circle, in the personage of Bernard McNamara and the Davy private client list, used money which the did not have, to buy a site which they did not need, at terms and conditions available to nobody else in the state, and all guaranteed by the misfortunate taxpayers of this country. The so-called entrepreneurs and risk-takers were wrapped in cotton wool and, had the deal proceeded as they expected, they would have pocketed millions. There were no PPPs in the Docklands. There were only sweetheart deals, and we can be sure that the ethos that pervaded the Docklands also pervaded other areas of Irish life where huge amounts of money were sloshing about”.


Mr Steenson continued “The Workers’ Party have consistently raised the issue of the role of the Docklands Council during this whole debacle. This body, largely populated by city councillors of all hues, was supposed to be the public watchdog, the public’s guarantor in the affairs of the Docklands’ Authority. They failed miserably. The question must be asked, were they deliberately kept in the dark by a management clique, or were they happy to be kept in the dark once the wine kept flowing?”


“Finally” said Mr Steenson “we must ask by what process did the DDDA become the DDPC, the Dublin Docklands Property Company? Why, and by whose authorisation, did the DDDA expand from its specific geographic location to extend to the North Strand almost a mile and a half from the docklands. By what stretch of the imagination could the Fire Station and cement factory on the North Strand or the Glass Bottle site at Ringsend be seen as docklands? Who authorised the purchase of the Readymix site for over €25m and for whose benefit was that decision made? For many years when community projects in the North Strand Area sought funding they were told that they did not qualify as they were outside the Docklands area. The last boats to sail up the Tolka in anger were the Viking long-ships, and that’s almost 1,000 years ago.”


“The DDDA report truly buries the Celtic Tiger. It also buries the reputation of the Fianna Fáil / PD government of that era, and then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in particular. This was Bertie’s baby. Now, after all the DDDA billions are spent, the children of the North East Inner City are relegated to live as second class citizens yet again, receiving inadequate education in schools which should have been replaced 20 years ago and consigned in many cases now to a life of misery and drug addiction. This is the legacy of the man who would be President”, said Malachy Steenson.


Issued 25th March 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics