Monday, September 11, 2006

Dartmouth Square and Dublin Propertymania

Dublin is in the grip of propertymania and last week 5 residents of a South Dublin cul-de-sac agreed to sell their houses to a property developer for €30 million.

Some existing property millionaires in an older Dublin suburb had to contend with another fallout from the property madness.

On Monday, the owner of the park in Dartmouth Square near Ranelagh, South Dublin, said that he wants to build a gym, a creche and an underground car park on the land.

Noel O'Gara was speaking after the High Court adjourned the case taken against him by Dublin City Council.

O'Gara told the court today that, although he owns Dartmouth Square, it seems he can do nothing with it.

He said the planning legislation preventing him from using the land as a public car park was a bad law, repugnant to the Constitution.

The judge said if he himself wanted to build a pizza parlour in his back garden, he too would have to go through the proper planning channels.

O'Gara agreed not to park more than two cars on the land and the judge adjourned the case for a week, urging O'Gara to talk to Dublin City Council about the possible use of the land.

Afterwards, he said this land was his private property and he should be entitled to whatever he likes with it.

The Dublin City Council thought that it owned the land.

On its website, its says that "this 0.8 hectare park in Ranelagh was in private ownership up until 1987 when it was acquired and developed as a public park by the Corporation. Houses around the Square date from the 1880's and the design of the park reflects a formal Victorian layout with a central pergola and loggia.

Formal pathways flanked by clipped laurel plantings and flower beds also provide an ideal setting for surrounding houses."

O'Gara says: "We own it now. It's 100 per cent legal. The Council's lease expired in 1997 and they never renewed it."

"I own it now and in any case, it was never really a public park. They are crying about the children and old people but all their kids are over-privileged with big gardens. I bought this from Mr Patrick Darley, who got it from his father, who got it from his father before him," Mr O'Gara said. "I can't go into their gardens, so why should they go into mine? They just want to take their dogs into my land. That's why they are annoyed, they've nowhere to bring their dogs for a crap," O'Gara told The Sunday Independent.

The new leader of the Progressive Democrats Michael McDowell is a resident of Ranelagh and his Party President Tom Parlon said in 2003 that any tampering with existing property rights that enable farmers with land near towns to make up to €500,000 an acre, would be a move to the left of Stalin !

When Parlon was head of the Irish Farmers' Association, the organisation even claimed that the State had no right to make compulsory purchases of farmland for roadbuilding.

Let he who has not sinned, cast the first stone!!