Editorial: The Old Rock 09.10.09

The ire of Irish builders O’Hare and McGovern is understandable. Once the anointed firm to construct a new high school at the Knab, it must now compete against rivals for the privilege of building one at the lower Staney Hill.

Technically, of course, O’Hare and McGovern was appointed on an early contractor involvement basis, which the council insists gave both sides the latitude to walk away at any stage with financial impunity.

That point is now being contested by the firm, and it is easy to see why. O’Hare and McGovern was assured it would be building a school at the Knab long before the political process had exhausted itself. Remember, officials were so sure work would be going ahead that they arranged to buy the house next door.

The vote which led to the infamous Laidler review came as a surprise to everyone; but is that an excuse for the project getting ahead of itself? Ought not there to be automatic blocks in place to prevent any work being done and purchases made until councillors have made their final decision on every project, large and small?

The 20-year saga of the new Anderson High School would have been deeply upsetting for a go-getter like its namesake. Perhaps we are getting to the stage where lines can be drawn and progress made; perhaps.

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For those who adamantly oppose the windfarm, the news that Viking Energy is to produce an addendum to its environmental impact assessment will make no difference. Yet it shows the prospective developer is willing to listen to constructive criticisms and feedback. If that comes at the cost of further delays, so be it. The judgment needs to be make on the best possible evidence.


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