Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan and his junior minister Jan O’Sullivan recently refused to meet three Wicklow councilors in regards to serious allegations of administrative irregularities in Wicklow County Council.

After being stonewalled by the government Councilors Tommy Cullen, Jimmy O’Shaughessy and Barry Nevin have lodged a 12-page complaint with the Standards in Public Office, SIPO outlining 21 issues of concern. These include deliberate shredding of documents, illegal dumping and compulsory purchase orders paying over the odds for land.

I am shocked that the government would refuse to engage with elected representatives from Wicklow or anywhere around the country. In this instance, the department of Environment, Community and Local Government is showing a lack of respect for elected representatives, which I believe, is endemic in this government.

While I don’t know the ins and outs of the alleged “bad administration” in Wicklow County Council, I do know that the government’s attitude to engaging with elected councilors and their request to discuss serious allegations reveals remarkable levels of disregard. More on this story can be read here.