WP councillor to boycott meeting citing chair’s conflict of interest

Cllr. Éilis Ryan

Cllr. Éilis Ryan

Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party, North Inner City Dublin) has stated she will not be engaging with the recently-appointed chairperson of the “Taoiseach’s Taskforce” in the North Inner City.

The Taskforce was established to oversee regeneration in the north inner city in the wake of a number of shootings in the area. The Taoiseach’s office recently announced that Michael Stone, President of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), would chair the Taskforce’s Implementation Board.

Cllr. Ryan said:
“I have attempted to engage constructively in the government’s efforts to prevent an escalation of violence in the Northeast Inner City, despite clear flaws in those efforts.

“But the idea that the implementation of the Taskforce can be chaired independently by somebody who is, in essence, a lobbyist for the development sector, is ludicrous.”

Cllr. Ryan said the construction industry has been no friend to the Northeast Inner City, and the interests of its members are opposed to what is now needed in the area, saying:
“The construction industry in Ireland has lobbied for lower standards, against decent working conditions, and for measures which benefit private developers over the public good, for decades now.

“This is exactly the agenda that has left the northeast inner city with a jobs and housing crisis. Appointing the President of the CIF as chair of a regeneration committee in the area is effectively saying that this Taskforce will be implementing more and the same.”

Stone is set to meet with politicians for the North Inner City tomorrow (Friday), but Ryan has stated she will not be attending the meeting, saying:

“What this area of the city needs is a clear change of direction, involving direct state development of NAMA lands for public housing, accompanied by a well-financed apprenticeship programme and largescale investment in jobs creation. This runs directly counter to the perspectives of Stone and the CIF, and I expect there to be nothing independent about his chairmanship.

“I do not believe any politician should legitimise this ludicrous appointment by engaging with Mr. Stone in any way.”