Louth TD Ged Nash has lashed out at the practice of unsolicited donations

Deputy Nash says these only serve to undermine the democratic process in Ireland and also claims to have received an unsolicited cheque in 2004 from a well known developer

Deputy Nash says these only serve to undermine the democratic process in Ireland and also claims to have received an unsolicited cheque in 2004 from a well known developer

“As FF attempts to leave its tarnished past behind, it sees its shortest route back to respectability by attempting to tarnish the entire political and governmental and political system with the filthy brush they made their own for as long as most of the people in this country care to remember.

“As the Mahon Tribunal vividly showed, planning corruption was a cottage industry in the Fianna Fail party and it went all the way to the top. We can trace a line from the genesis of that culture to the collapse in our economy and the difficulties our country now face.

“As you face the future, it suits your purposes to invoke in the public mind the view that all politicians are the same, sure didn’t they all have their snouts in the trough,” Deputy Nash, referring to Fianna Fail.

“As Mahon demonstrates, we in the Labour Party certainly didn’t. Your cynical attempts to spread the muck won’t wash with us and it doesn’t wash with the vast bulk of the general public either.

“I very much welcome the publication of this review and I note the comments from the Green Party on foot of it.”

“I spent almost 12 years as a member of two planning authorities. I spent those years acting as a responsible advocate for good, sensible and sustainable planning.

“I was sometimes a lonely voice, joined by planners, Managers and some Councillors combating an absolute and sustained feeding frenzy of proposed projects from developers, speculators and landowners who stood to make millions at the stroke of a pen.

“I was astonished to open my post one morning in the run up to the 2004 local elections to find a short note wrapped in a cheque for e500.00 from a well-known and active local developer and a landowner one of whose sites was being considered for a zoning from which he stood to make a considerable profit.

“At that stage my local authority was going through the development planning process. On making enquiries I found out that morning that all of my outgoing colleagues on the Council receive the same note and unsolicited contribution designed, we were all assured, to support the democratic process.”

“I very quickly and very publicly handed the cheque back and encouraged others to do the same.”

“It is up to all of us to expose corruption and wrongdoing where and when we see it,” concluded Deputy Nash.