The Labour Party’s Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan is understood to favour Donegal as the first of several inquiries.
We understand she believes there is a ‘large body of evidence’ pointing to major mistakes by Donegal County Council, particularly in the past ten years.
The council here is one of half a dozen which were at the centre of an internal Government probe started by ex-Minister John Gormley.
We are told Ms O’Sullivan, the minister with special responsibility for housing and planning, has vowed to “get to the truth about Donegal.”
An announcement is expected in the next few weeks.
O’Sullivan, a Limerick-based TD, will order the inquiry following a report from An Taisce just yesterday found that the council re-zoned enough land in County Donegal to accommodate an extra 180,000 people – when there are only 160,000 people living here now.
The result of those decisions are now well-known.
How it happened will form the central part of the investigation.
As An Taisce said when it gave Donegal a F- score yesterday, it has had serious repercussions for the lives of people living here.
An Taisce’s Charles Stanley-Smith said yesterday: “Bad planning is not victim free. The analysis shows that there is a very strong correlation between councils that have scored poorly and a range of negative socio-economic and environmental outcomes.
“For example, councils which scored poorly generally had the highest rate of residential vacancy, the highest rate of population decline and out-migration, the highest levels of unfinished ‘Ghost Estates’, lower residential property prices and significant instances of ground and surface water pollution.”
Yesterday’s article is here: