Carey Calls For Planning Laws Change

Photo © Pat Flynn

A Clare Fine Gael TD has called for planning laws and regulations to be amended after his name was signed to a letter in which he supposedly backed a planned motorway services station near Ennis.

It comes as one planning consultant says it was he who submitted the letters in question to the County Council, but denies any role in orchestrating a campaign of support.


Clarecastle Fine Gael TD Joe Carey is one of over 20 people who have now formally withdrawn their submissions in respect of Pat McDonagh’s planned development just off the M18 motorway.

In a statement this lunchtime, he said the first he learned of his supposed support for the project while on holiday, and he “cannot understand how or why” his name ended up on one of the letters.

He says he’s “concerned” this has happened and that he will bring his view that planning laws or regulations need to be amended to the Minister.

It comes as a man has come forward to say it was he who submitted the letters in question to Clare County Council.

In a statment to Clare FM, Howard Williams, an environmental consultant, says he had no part in generating the letters, and that his role was simply to deliver them to the Council before the August 14th deadline.

Mr Williams has told Clare FM that the collection and signing of the letters had nothing to do with him personally or professionally and that he simply submitted them in good faith to the planning authority.

Mr Williams also stressed that he was not hired by Supermacs or Pat McDonagh to orchestrate a campaign of support, and he has apologised to the businessman for any upset caused.

He says certain members of the Clarecastle community were wholly responsible for gathering all of the support letters.