The withdrawal of Capel Developments from the proposed development of the lands at Clontarf Golf Club serves as a lesson for arrogant developers. The manner in which this developer has conducted himself from the beginning of this process has displayed an arrogant disregard for the democratic process. Claims that each member of the club would receive €100,000 from the sale of the land were at best misguided and at worst deliberately misleading.
The sale of Clontarf Golf Club was totally dependent on the support of Dublin City Councillors for the disposal of the lands at the club. The level of green space within the City Boundaries is fastly diminishing and the protection of open green land in the city is a priority. The suggestion that members of the club were in line for a massive payout was an attempt, in my view, to pre-empt the process and to present the sale as a fait accompli. The largest group on the City Council, the Labour Party, were against the disponsal of these lands from the outset under these circumstances.
The process of land disposal is quite clear. The lands of the city is placed in the guardianship of the councillors by the people of the city, a responsibility that the vast majority of councillors take extremely seriously. No land may be sold without the expressed agreement, by means of a vote, by the local representatives. Any attempt to disregard that process was extremely arrogant and the falling through of that plan should serve as a warning to any future developers as to their conduct in relation to these lands.