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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Could O’Callaghan’s B Specials make Ireland safe for Ordinary Decent Developers?

Owen O’Callaghan is a man who’s made a considerable fortune from shaping the type of society we live in. It’s likely you’ve bought something in a development he owns. Owen has of course been at the centre of the planning tribunal and employed former FF General Secretary Frank Dunlop to do his biding on Dublin County Council. Frank Dunlop is now nearing the end of his sentence in relation to this business and while Mr O’Callaghan says he doesn’t know how it happened but some of his money found its way into FF & FG councillor’s pockets. Owen has already cost the state more than a few bob already, having stretched out the tribunals for years. By the time it reports it’ll have entered its 3rd decade investigation the murky world of politicians and development. Surely there’s an enormous contradiction in a developer complaining about anti social behaviour given what we now know developers were up to for a very long time!

Anyhow back to the future. Owen doesn’t hang around with his notions of a brave new world. His latest plan sees the army acting as a cross between the LAPD and the Guardia Civil. Their role is to rid the streets of crime. However the type of criminal Owen has is mind is not the banker, developer, dodgy politician who effectively defrauds the future generation. No, Owen wants to turn the screws on vandals who he reckons need more than a bit of tough love to get them to see things his way. It’s clear that the softly softly approach that Joan Burton got doesn’t now bear the sort of fruit that solicitors letters once achieved. No it’s a short sharp shock, hard landing for the drunks who deface his new development in the heart of Cork. Could I be forgiven that in Ireland we now have the strange position that property is now the sacred cow to be protected not people. Earlier this week Minister Ahern endorsed a plan to allow home owners who kill an intruder to avoid prosecution. I'm not saying that I oppose the law however the reality is that the value on human life in ur society has depreciated while that of property has accelerated. Human lives takes a back seat while budgets, property values, bottom lines in business and NAMA take up acres of newsprint and air time. The FF & Green Government will oversee a transition in Ireland, making a fit place for an ordinary decent developer to cut a dash at Lepoardstown or the Curragh. The plan is simple cut public sector pay. Use this to drive down private sector pay, next cut the minimum wage and finally cut social welfare.

Recast Ireland economically and include harsh justice, super prisons and inequity, that great driver of greed. The logical follow on is a militia. Whether the top brass in the army see themselves as a professional army with disciplined soldiers or a heavy gang is another matter. I suspect ordinary soldiers would think long and hard about policing as opposed to soldiering.
Last year Sean Fitzpatrick was pointing out the sacred cows of women and children and those on social welfare for cuts and hey presto this year FF & the greens followed. It’s rich a developer chiding society for its ills having caused many if them himself. Owen’s plan is clearly off the wall, but interestingly FF & the greens gave the army money to go off and buy about €300K’s worth of riot equipment. Could it be that once more he has the ear of the government and that they may take him up? However I suspect that Owen may well end on his own on this one!

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