Independent councillors removed from progressive alliance

By Brendan Grehan

A NUMBER of Independent County Councillors have been removed from the Progressive Alliance which comprised of Sinn Féin, Labour and the Green Party on South Dublin County Council in the aftermath of the vote on the Clonburris SDZ a week ago.

Today the Sinn Féin group leader on SDCC, Cathal King told The Echo that the Progressive Alliance will no longer include a number of independent councillors who have "breached the trust of their Progressive Alliance colleagues and moved away from our agreed agenda".

council chamber sdcc 

The decision was made following attempts by Independent Councillors Paul Gogarty, Liona O’Toole and Guss O’Connell to limit the delivery of social and affordable housing on the Clonburris Strategic Development zone site.

Cllr King told The Echo: “In June 2014 the Sinn Féin Group on South Dublin County Council (SDCC) formed an Alliance with Labour and a number of Independents and one Green Party member.

"Central to this formal Alliance was a structured agreement on policy priorities to progress during the 5 year term of the Council.”

He added: “During the recent past, and specifically during the Clonburris SDZ, process it became abundantly clear that a number of the Independent Cllrs in this Alliance (Paul Gogarty, Guss O’Connell, Deirdre O’Donovan and Liona O’Toole) were not only working against the delivery of social and affordable housing, but were colluding with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to block progress on the delivery of social and affordable housing.”

Cllr King said: “Sinn Féin’s objective through the SDZ process was to ensure that the diverse needs of the Communities in Lucan and Clondalkin would be met. This means providing an adequate supply of social and affordable housing, improving transport and public transport infrastructure, ensuring adequate supply of green space and community facilities and working with other agencies to deliver jobs and quality public services.

“Unfortunately Cllrs Gogarty, O’Connell, O’Toole and O’Donovan set their face against this balanced approach and used the process to limit the delivery of much needed social and affordable housing. They have breached the trust of their Progressive Alliance colleagues and moved away from our agreed agenda.

“With this in mind and in agreement with the Labour group and others in the Alliance we have come to the decision that the four aforementioned councilliors will no longer form part of the SDCC Progressive Alliance as of today (Monday, February 12).

"We will seek to continue the progressive work of the Alliance in delivering positive change for the citizens of South Dublin from all social and economic backgrounds and seek to work with other like-minded Cllrs on the left within the council chamber in providing essential services for our communities.”

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