Article from East Wall newsletter April 2010


DDDA – No school re-location, but money to throw away

The former Maxol site on Ravensdale Road remains amongst the most controversial development sites in East Wall, with residents still concerned about it’s future use. Such uncertainty could have been removed, and the site used to provide a benefit for the community, but the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) wasted this opportunity.
In 1997, this site was suggested as suitable for the re-location of ST.Josephs school from the busy main road. As well as providing a more suitable setting for the school, the proposal made very sound economic and planning sense, as such a move would help maximise the potential of the East Wall Road site. In 2001, with the Maxol site on the market, the local community lobbied the DDDA to purchase it, and facilitate the re-location. They refused, stating that the land was too contaminated to be usable. This was later to be proven to be untrue by the Residents Association. At this time, the site could have been purchased for just over 3 million Euros. (It would eventually be sold for 19.5 Million euro’s ).

It has recently emerged that for over 10 years the DDDA was paying €150,000 per year to a security company linked to a criminal gang based in Sheriff Street. In what most people would consider a “protection racket”, over a million Euros were paid out, the details of which were uncovered by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
In 2006 The DDDA purchased the Ready-mix site opposite Fairview Park for 23 million euros, which was a staggering 7 million euros above the guide price. There was no stated purpose for buying this site, but was just another example of the reckless land grabbing the Authority was engaged in.

Between the money paid to a criminal gang, and the over the odds paid for a now useless, derelict site, the East Wall school proposal could very easily have been financed . The acting chief executive of the organisation is Gerry Kelly, who had a variety of roles in DDDA history . Mr. Kelly is only one of a number of people who have very serious questions to face, and the Dockland communitys deserve a lot of honest answers.
The much talked about Dockland reports are only the tip of the iceberg. A full scale investigation, including examining the political links, must take place. Those in the community that have long highlighted the problems with the DDDA must be involved, as their contribution is necessary if the full story is to be told.