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The Sunday Times 28.02.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of The Sunday Times newspaper.


As the newgovernment is formed, history may not be kind to Alan Kelly and his tenure as minister for the environment. Many will argue he has presided over a department that has made housing and development more difficult, not less, and that he has put the interests of lobby groups before consumers. Most recently, he has annexed local government by giving his department the power to set planning policy by diktat with no reference to local politicians or the public. It’s easy to forget that there has been an actual minister for housing, Paudie Coffey, who went under the radar as Kelly repeatedly pulled pins from political hand grenades and then insisted on walking on them.