Lobbying up the edge and beyond…?

Awkward Questions for Ian Paisley Junior on Spotlight. (here and here)It could be hiccup as he says, and indeed if he’s right, there will be a financial paper trail to confirm his story that he bought his house from Seymour Sweeney, despite the fact that transfer of ownership has not been registered at the Land Registry Office in Belfast. Second and third parts. The full programme should be on the Spotlight site shortly. The real problem is like to be that Mr Paisley is the claims for Mr Sweeney’s plans (viz a viz UNESCO ) don’t stack up.

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  • Peter Brown

    Re house paper trial see 40 on the previous thread….Stamp Duty paperwork is a precuror to Land Registry – has it been done?

  • me

    (here and here) link doesn’t work. Is it the rest of it?

  • Wee slabber

    Sounds like Ian óg will find a ready place in Fianna Fail when they come north!

  • Nevin

    As I understand it, the Ballyallaght site may have been purchased in two parts: one in the name of Seymour Sweeney and the other in the name of his wife, Carol Sweeney.

    This could explain why #1 Ballyallaght Farm Cottages, the address used by Ian Paisley jnr, is registered to Carol Sweeney.

    Both are directors of Seaport (NI) Limited, known prior to the beginning of August as Seaport Investments Limited.

  • steve48

    One of the biggest issues in North Antrim over the past few years has been the buying up of property by people as second homes. The outside investor has frequently been able to outbid locals especially young people staring out on the ownership ladder meaning they have to move to the larger towns or out of the area altogether.This has lead to virtual ghost town status in winter and a break down in community structure.
    How many of these developments has Ian jr lobbied for and what has been the impact on the local community.

  • Sounds like Ian óg will find a ready place in Fianna Fail when they come north!

    Posted by Wee slabber on Oct 24, 2007 @ 01:35 PM

    Well said sir :0)

    Sweetheart deals with property barons-truly we are building an all island economy ……

  • Nevin

    Dodds: “I have not pulled the rug from under anything. …. I will not be committing any money from the public exchequer or the taxpayer until I know for certain that that money is not going to be wasted expenditure … working up proposals if a private application … gets the go ahead”

    Well, it seems to me that he pulled the rug from under DETI’s planning application for a new visitor centre – on the basis of a decision that Foster was only minded to make.

    Looks a bit like Catch 22. Foster says there’s only one application on the table and Dodds stops a second application being added – and both ignore the Ministeral Code that obliges them to take the matter to the Executive.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    In light of the fuss over the supposed Ministerial code could someone explain the difference between Dodds pulling the DETI bid and Ritchie pulling the CTI funding? (apart from the fact that one involved a deal between the NIO and the UDA and the other was something the NIO couldn’t care less about.)

  • Sean

    is it just my monitor or does it look like sweeney has a really bad rug on

  • harry

    is it just me, or did the line that ian og came out with and then seymore sweeney that it was “administrative hiccup” sound like rehearsed and agreed between the two of them

  • joeCanuck

    Naw Harry.
    More likely that one has never had an original thought or can’t think for himself.

    Oops, did I just play a man, and if I did, which one?

  • Nevin

    Hogan, Dodds’ and Foster’s ‘collusion’ seems to me to be a clear breach of the Ministerial Code ie Section 2.4 (i). It will be interesting to see if any of the other parties take action, especially SF. I don’t imagine that Robinson will intervene …

  • joeCanuck

    Although the Spotlight site opens for me, the program won’t run (doesn’t even open Real Player).
    Anyone have any idea why?

  • Alex Swan

    who can’t remember the price of a house bought only a few years ago?

  • Alex Swan

    If the holiday home is his constituency address where does he claim his MLA’s mileage from?

  • noel adams

    With regard to the westminster standards issue, one clause in the code of conduct might be relivant. A member will not misrepresent a minister or a STATURY AGENCY. If UNESCO is deemed as such there would seem to be a case to answer.

  • Sam Hanna

    try this

  • Sounds like Ian óg will find a ready place in Fianna Fail when they come north!

    Posted by Wee slabber on Oct 24, 2007 @ 01:35 PM


    Well from the looks of the above picture it seems Senior is already well on the way. (Thanks to Mr Parsley for his keen photographic skills)

  • joeCanuck

    Thank you very much Sam.

  • Nevin

    Nolan: “… and you support him” [6m 30s]

    Paisley jnr: “I, I know of him. Yes”

    Paisley jnr: “If I was asked that question again today, I’d give exactly the same answer” [6m 40s]

    Perhaps he should speak the truth – as he may have done later on Spotlight:

    Magee: “How many projects would you have supported of Mr Sweeney’s over the years?” [11m 10s]

    Paisley: “Gosh. Ummm. I wouldn’t be surprised in the last ten years there was a dozen, a dozen projects”

    Now what projects would have been on this list? The transfer of the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Railway Company? The drift net fishing licence that inter alia Paisley snr lobbied for? #111 Whitepark Road? The potential ‘village’ a short distance SE of Castlecatt? The development on the Salmon Fishery site in Portballintrae that was rejected by the PACNI? The development of an Arts and Crafts Centre (adjacent to the proposed Visitor’s Centre) that was also rejected by the PACNI?

    Paisley: “I’ve been is his [Sweeney’s] house with Government officials to discuss a policy issues (sic)” [11m 40s]

    Now, what policy issues would these be?

  • joeCanuck

    I have finally managed to see the Spotlight programme via youtube.
    There should be no place in public life for such a lying scoundrel. He should do the honourable thing and resign, as he would have been forced to do long ago if this had happened to a Minister in Westminster.
    And surely he must realize that, because of the collateral harm he has done to Foster and Dodds, there will be no place for him at any significant level in the DUP once Papa has moved on.
    And if Papa had sight of, or knew the contents of that lying abusive letter stating UNESCO approval, his position must be a bit tenuous too.
    Glad to see that the SDLP are pursuing this.

  • Nevin

    Paisley snr and Sweeney – the Movers and Shakers in happier times back in early June, 2004

    Sweeney [The 15:40 from Bushmills ;)]: “What tends to happen is this. We lodge planning applications and applications are going through the system. If we believe that obstacles that otherwise should otherwise not be put in our way are being put in our way through the general progress of his applications through the system we would then revert to our councillors, to our MLAs, to our MPs to explain why that perhaps we are not getting equitable treatment”

    Let’s look briefly at Ballyallaght. Cllr McConaghy was amazed that planners should claim that there would only ever be planning permission for one replacement dwelling and maybe one additional dwelling and yet Sweeney/Seaport should be able to build fourteen. There are now seventeen. IMO that’s rather better than equitable treatment.

    Sometimes more that one application appears to be entered for the same location. For example, the process associated with the old salmon fishery site off Beach Road, Portballintrae, was a bit odd to say the least.

    The developer wanted to demolish the Ice House and then, when EHS stepped in to list the structure, the developer changed his tune and offered to protect it.

    Not one but two applications were made for apartments on the site, apartments that would have partly blocked the beautiful view of Runkerry House and the headlands around the Giant’s Causeway as you turned the harbour corner.

    The local residents association and their supporters opposed the applications and, eventually, when the matter went to appeal, the PACNI reluctantly agreed to consider all the applications together. Following the inquiry, the applications were rejected.

  • Nevin

    Joe, sadly, the SDLP intervention so far appears to me to be very low key.

    David Ford, the Alliance Party leader, appears to be the one leading the charge in the Environment Committee, a committee that is chaired by the SDLP’s Patsy McGlone.

    Surely this is one for Margaret Ritchie. Why doesn’t she raise the, er, possible breach of the Ministerial Code? 😉

  • Rory

    If the holiday home is his constituency address where does he claim his MLA’s mileage from?

    Posted by Alex Swan on Oct 24, 2007 @ 10:53 PM

    When I read this for some unaccountable reason there popped into my mind the title of the autobiography of the famous American brothel-keeper, Polly Adler :

    A House is not a Home

    Why, I wonder did make this Freudian connection in my unconcious mind between the matter of this thread and ahouse of prostitution?

    Aren’t one’s unguarded thought patterns spooky?

  • Nevin

    Dodds reply to Allister:

    “If a public sector project were to proceed under the Territorial Co-operation Programme, it might be eligible for EU support of up to 75% of total project costs. A private sector project could apply to the NITB for up to 50% of total project costs, which might be eligible for 75% EU support under the Territorial Co-operation Programme (in effect, 37% % of total project costs).

    A project could also qualify for EU support under the Competitiveness Programme which attracts a maximum of 50% EU funding. A public sector project progressed under this route might therefore be eligible for EU grant of up to 50% of project costs. A private sector project application to NITB for up to 50% of project costs might be eligible for 50% EU support under the Competitiveness Programme (in effect 25% of total project costs).

    Any EU funding, whether for a public or private project, would need to be found from within the total EU funding allocated to NI….”

    And from Allister: “the best a private project could attract would be 37.5%”.

    Would the developer seek EU funding – and would his DUP (and other political) associates support him?

  • Nevin

    Well, Rory, I can see no prostitutes at #1, just a couple of gulls. Maybe, I lack the imagination …

  • joeCanuck

    Perhaps it faces the rising sun.

  • Nevin

    It does, Joe. The rising son has a fabulous view to the east; it is also a sea view so there could now be a whopping rates bill.

  • joeCanuck

    I take it you mean a physical view Nevin and not a belief in a fabulous future in that other house.

  • Nevin

    He might hold that belief, Joe, but I couldn’t possibly comment …

  • steve48

    in relation to eu funding for the project no submission was made to include a visitors centre as part of the NEP bid for Interreg IV funding.

    Any funding would likely to have been part of an overall bid by NITB which would have been agreed before the Departments proposal was withdrawn. Planning permission would be a condition of grant and due to N+2 stress the earlier a project can be started the better.

    All of this were it to happen would suggest a far greater collaboration between Ministers and developers than suspected by some at the moment.

  • Nevin

    Steve, can you elaborate on this, “All of this were it to happen would suggest a far greater collaboration between Ministers and developers than suspected by some at the moment.”?

  • Nevin

    Magee: “Do you regret signing Councillor David McAllister’s nomination papers?” [13m 40s]

    Sweeney: “…. In answer to your question, I have absolutely no compunction about saying that I was perfectly happy to sign his papers. He was suited to the job …”

    Magee had earlier informed the Spotlight audience that McAllister was convicted of a £17,000+ benefit fraud (found guilty in 2006)

    From the Moyle DC minutes of 26 March 2007 McAllister was still ‘lobbying’ for his DUP associate even though the Planning Service recommended refusal:

    “E/2006/0304/F Mr S Sweeney C/O Studiorogers, The Egg Store, 1 Mountsandel Road, Coleraine, BT52 1JB. Location land adjacent to 82 Castlecat Road, Bushmills. Proposed erection of 2 no. infill semi-detached cottages.

    Ms McMath stated that this application was recommended for refusal due to the proposed development being contrary to CTY1 and PPS 14 – No case for need, CTY11 – Erosion of Rural Character and CTY12 -Ribbon Development.

    After discussion, Councillor McAllister requested that an office meeting be held, in relation to this application under criteria five, this is where the Council considered that all material planning considerations had not been assessed or where the opinion had been made contrary to, or departed from, prevailing planning policy.

    This was agreed.”

    As far as I know, there are now about seven dwellings on that site.