Further to my post below, Dick asks:
So does he think An Taisce shouldn’t be there at all? Are national monuments, archaeological sites and wildlife habitats not to be protected, even if it only results in a fraction of a percentage of planning applications being turned down?
The first thing I’d like to say is that the point of my post was a bit more general which was less to do with this specific issue and more to do with how we should think of injustice. If one person suffers an injustice, it isn’t any less unjust because she is the only person suffering. It may be the case that this one injustice is insignificant to the rest of us but it remains unjust regardless of the numbers. My specific quibble with Dick’s post might have been averted if he had argued that this is an issue which affects a small number of people so we shouldn’t be too bothered about it. Of course that sounds high-handed but it is more accurate than claiming a tyranny doesn’t exist because it affects a (relatively small) number of people.
I was trying to avoid getting drawn into a discussion about An Taisce and planning because, although I have plenty of thoughts about this issue and a very definite opinion, I didn’t really feel in the mood to set it all down. My opinion of this organisation is that it comprises mostly of bossy, high-handed control freaks with a natural affinity for the Green party, but this isn’t my principal objection. What I object to is the fact that they have been granted a statutory quasi-governmental role. My argument is not that they shouldn’t exist, just that they shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Dick may be unaware that the task of protecting all of those things he wants protected is actually carried out not by An Taisce at all but by a government body called Duchas. An Taisce is a private organisation of people originally interested in conservation which, through persistent lobbying, somehow acquired official quasi-governmental status. It’s principal function is promoting various environmental/heritage causes including urban-derived ideals about rural development.