Monday April 18th 2016
On Monday the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael dominated Council voted through a resolution that effectively removed any public ownership of viable development sites within a key brownfield site (the brewery site). The resolution as adopted will hand over our interest in development ‘blocks’ to a joint management structure with the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) for commercial gain and commercial return. The potential impact on the town centre of Kilkenny is incomprehensible, but equally important is the damage to the integrity of public participation in decision making and trust in the Council to take cognisence of such processes.
This was followed later in the day by a packed public meeting in the Home Rule Club, organised by Save Kilkenny, where we heard of the disappointment and anger at the decision.
We also heard of documents obtained under FOI such as this one from Joe Crockett which makes clear their (commercial) objectives for the site :
From: Joe Crockett <Joe.Crockett@ntma.ie> Sent: 09 October 2015 09:31 To: Kieran Culhane Cc: ‘email@example.com’; Frank Dowling; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Subject: FW: CSO – further info Attachments: ISIF_KK_Prop_Dev Statistical Query Form ver2.0.docx
Re my email of 7 Oct, I wish to confirm that the project in Kilkenny is fully commercial in its objectives and that it will seek to establish a business, enterprise, education and research campus at the site of the former Smithwicks Brewery and seek build out some 7 site blocks for this purpose over a number of years.
The project does not seek to provide a public service campus, but a commercial business campus. To that extent, as stated previously, the concept incorporates business risk for the parties participating, however these risks will be mitigated with good business practice I hope this is helpful
Best wishes Joe
Yet this public meeting offers some hope for the future. By the size of the attendence, there are indeed many, many people who are gravely concerned about what is happening to Kilkenny. There are many issues still to be addressed, and high among these is the push to have all council meetings streamed live.
Sign the petition ! Click Here !
We will continue to post more information and videos on these meetings as soon as possible, and will update on the Brewery development as things happen, so stay tuned!