As of late on Tuesday night, 20 organisations had filed returns to say that they lobbied Dublin city officials or councillors in the last months of 2015.
Thanks to the lobbying legislation that came in last year, we get more of a window into who’s been asking government officials for what, including at the council level.
Under the act, people who lobby have to register and submit a return within 21 days of the end of the first period in which they begin lobbying.
For those who have lobbied between 1 September and 31 December, that deadline is 21 January. Soon, then.
Who’s on the List?
The organisations that have filed so far range from Education Equality to Kevin’s Hurling & Camogie Club, from the British Irish Chamber of Commerce to the Irish Planning Institute.
Issues raised with officials range from specific land-rezoning requests, to support for a trade union fair-work charter, to increasing awareness of the role that approved housing bodies could play.
As for those listed as having been lobbied, Assistant Chief Executive Brendan Kenny seems to get his share of approaches. The Irish Hotels Federation says it asked him not to bring in a “bed tax” and former Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport Noel Dempsey asked him to give more funding for Tradfest 2016.
Kenny was also one of several city and national officials lobbied by Na Píobairí Uilleann, which wants “funding to establish an International Uilleann Piping Visitor Centre and Theatre” at 16 Henrietta Street.
The consortium behind the Metro Dublin project — which those involved say is a faster, cheaper option than Metro North, but which the National Transport Authority has pooh-poohed — has also been plugging away at building support. It has approached Labour councillor Andrew Montague, the Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe, Executive Manager John Flanagan, a couple of Fingal councillors and Senator David Norris, its filing says.
How Accurate Is the Info?
In some places, the information filed is skimpy.
In one filing, Conor Kelly of Clancourt Management says he lobbied for “modification to development plan”. But it doesn’t say what, exactly, the modification he asked for was.
The filing from the Metro Dublin consortium also fails to list some councillors who they, arguably, also lobbied when they appeared before the Planning and International Relations Strategic Policy Committee back in November last year.
Given all the activity that goes on at city council — honestly! — the number also seems to some to be on the light side. But there is still more time before deadline.
If you’re curious, you can explore the lobbying register yourself, here.