Taoiseach’s planning interference for Trump highly inappropriate and alarming

March 15, 2018

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has expressed surprise and concern over reports today that the Taoiseach had made representations on behalf of Trump to Clare County Council in relation to a planning issue.

Deputy Murphy said:

“The Taoiseach told an apparently folksy tale to journalists in Washington today about how he had rang Clare County Council after he was contacted by Trump over his concerns that a proposed wind farm nearby would harm his Doonbeg golf club business.

“In no way is it appropriate for Mr Varadkar, as Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism at the time, to have intervened in this planning matter relating to the private interests of a wealthy businessman. Regardless of whether the Taoiseach’s call to the council had any impact or not, his intervention shows a serious lack of judgment.

“This is a very alarming issue – and it is all the more relevant given the murky history in Ireland of political interference in planning and development. The Taoiseach needs to explain exactly what his role was in relation to the planning application for a wind farm which was ultimately unsuccessful.”

ENDS

14 March 2018