The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Longford architect Liam Madden objects to multimillion-euro shopping centre development

Traffic Study and ownership of lands are reasons for objection

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Longford architect Liam Madden  objects to multimillion-euro shopping centre development

The Good: Liam Madden in a white cowboy hat "because the good cowboys wear white hats". The Bad: Liam Eastwood, the gunslinger. The Ugly: The Longford Town Centre Building in the Northern Quarter.

"Buenos dias mis amigos"... the Planning Office wouldn't have to read any further to know who exactly this objection was from. Local architect Liam Madden is at it again: and this time he's going after the multi-million euro Longford shopping centre development in the Northern Quarter of the town.

Mr Madden's letter of objection, labelling the development a "remake of that Disaster Movie, promoted by one of Bernard MacNamara's companies", was written and submitted on behalf of Vincent Casey, who owns property and land at Little Water Street in Longford Town.

Mr Casey's lands, according to Madden have been the subject of "multiple slanders and trespasses", all of which have been recorded on public planning applications.

"Vincent Casey has fought - and won - each and every battle," according to Liam Madden's submission, before describing some of the battles that Mr Casey has fought over the years, including the tarmacking of his private carpark.

"...the Council invaded these self-same lands and proceeded to commence tarmacking his private carpark. Vincent stood up against this Panzer brigade and drove them from his land. The Council mounted a fresh assault and erected a parking ticket vending machine on his private lands," Mr Madden wrote.

The Council, he continued, then erected a steel pole with a parking sign atop inviting members of the public to park on Mr Casey's lands.

"This was removed by Vincent and deposited into the 'Eagle's Nest' on the Market Square. Following on that, the Council dispatched a member of the Gardaí with a demand that Vincent vacate his own private property.

"Herr Ubergruppenfuhrer was sent packing, never to return. Adding to this farce, the Council, having earlier purchased one of Vincent's sheds, then served a Derelict Sites Notice... on itself. (You wouldn't get this in a Marx Bros. film)."

In his objection, Madden pointed out that Mr Casey's ownership of the nearby land has not been taken into account in Mr MacNamara's planning application, and that the application "was the drawn intent to use Vincent's land as a road from the proposed Shopping Centre".

This prompted Mr Madden to pen "one of his many wonderful poems" entitled 'MacNamara's Banned'.

"He's Bernard MacNamara,

He's the man who has the plan

To build his Shopping Centre road

On Vincent Casey's land.

Oh! Legacy tenancy is at the root

And champerty's something grand

A Credit Note to Longford Town

or... MacNamara's banned."

The objection also alleges that a mandatory traffic study for the development of the shopping centre has not been completed and that the proposed planning application has not taken Mr Casey's ownership of the nearby land into account.

"Planning Applications are required to be accompanied by Traffic Studies. Even a house extension must be accompanied by a Traffic Projection Study. It says so on the form and in the Planning and Development Regulations. 'Mandatory' is the operative word on the form," said Madden.

"However, the law doesn't seem to apply to this applicant. And the Planning Authority, Longford County Council, has deemed this application valid even though its own mandatory provisions have not been complied with.

"Probably a minor oversight... unless, of course, the Council has a vested interest," he alleged.

A traffic study, he continued, would show the vehicular entrant from the junction of Bridge Street and Church Street in front of the old army barracks - "the worst and most dangerous junction in the entire country" - with the exit across Vincent Casey's private land.

Madden concludes his submission with a number of film titles will be "coming soon to a cinema near you", including 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', 'A Fistful of Dollars for a Few Dollars More', and a Christmas week screening of 'Permission Impossible'.

Mr Madden then signs his submission 'Senor Guillermo di Maddiino': "Adios amigos y vamos muchachos."