Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Ceisteanna (253, 254, 255, 256)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

253. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government further to the ongoing investigation into complaints regarding irregularities in the administration of planning in County Donegal, the reason he will not permit the senior counsel undertaking the exercise to investigate the matter relating to An Bord Pleanála and Donegal County Council which has been documented to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25910/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

254. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government further to the ongoing investigation into complaints regarding irregularities in the administration of planning in County Donegal, the reason he will not permit the senior counsel undertaking the exercise to investigate the matters relating to the CEO of Donegal County Council which have been documented to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25911/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

255. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government further to the ongoing investigation into complaints regarding irregularities in the administration of planning in County Donegal, the reason he will not permit the senior counsel undertaking the exercise to investigate the matters relating to the civil servants that advised on the discredited report put before Dáil Éireann regarding these matters in 2012 and which has been documented to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25912/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

256. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government further to the ongoing investigation into complaints regarding irregularities in the administration of planning in County Donegal, the reason he will not permit the senior counsel undertaking the exercise to investigate the matters relating to the acting director of planning and senior planner in Donegal County Council which has been documented to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25913/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 253 to 256, inclusive, together.

My Department appointed a Senior Counsel on a non-statutory basis to prepare a report in relation to planning matters in Donegal in 2015.  The terms of reference for this scoping review relate to allegations furnished by a complainant to a previous Minister in respect of planning matters in Donegal.

The complainant sought to have additional matters added to the terms of reference in 2015. However, as the original terms of reference already involve a very large volume of allegations by the complainant, it was decided that it was not appropriate to add in these later issues, having regard to the scope of the original terms of reference which were focused on planning matters in Donegal. The complainant has had direct communication with my office on the remaining four matters and is fully aware of the position on those.  

I am eager now to see that this review is brought to a speedy conclusion to enable consideration of what further steps, if any, may be appropriate.  I understand that Senior Counsel's independent review is at an advanced stage and I will await the findings of this report, which is to be submitted to me by mid-June.