Minister for Housing and Planning has welcomed the publication of the Final Report of the Mahon Tribunal and has pledged to act on its findings.

“As Minister responsible for planning, I am pleased that today (22 March, 2012) we now finally have the Mahon Tribunal Report. The evidence given during the hearings and the conclusions of the Report have rightly apportioned blame to those who received corrupt payments, frustrated the work of the Tribunal and undermined our planning process.  Planning corruption is not a faceless crime, it affects the welfare of families and communities for decades.  Today we have the Tribunal Report and I am determined to act on its conclusions to ensure that our planning system is designed and operated in the interests of the country and the community. Developer-led planning has been a disaster, and we need to rebuild confidence in the planning system as an evidence-based, open, clear, and democratic process. Some progress has been made in this regard but more needs to be done and I will drive that important agenda, with colleagues in Government.


The Tribunal Report makes important recommendations regarding our planning system. After considering the entire Tribunal Report and its recommendations I will bring forward proposed reforms for discussions with colleagues. I am adamant that no ambiguity can be allowed to exist as regard the roles of the minister or the elected member in the planning system, and tribunal recommendations will inform my thinking in this regard.


How we plan for future communities, commercial development, and infrastructure has a direct bearing on our quality of life, our economic recovery, and our environmental sustainability.  We must get it right.


It is important that action is taken on the findings of the Report. Following Government consideration, it should be forwarded to the DPP, the Garda Commissioner, the Revenue Commissioners, and the Standards in Public Office Commission as appropriate.


I want to thank the members of the Tribunal for their work over the years and for the clarity of the Report published today.


The tribunal has taken 15 years and the eventual costs are a genuine cause of public concern which I share.  We need methods of inquiry that can produce answers to issues of immediate public concern in a timely and cost-effective fashion.  Some of those methods are now available to us, and the cumbersome Tribunal process may well be a thing of the past.

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