Poll: Should the IDA be given more power to acquire private land?

The state agency was blocked from the compulsory purchase of a Kildare farmer’s property.

By Conor McMahon Reporter, Fora

THE GOVERNMENT IS hoping to give extra buying power to the IDA so it can more easily snap up land on behalf of client companies.

The Sunday Business Post reported that the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is looking to introduce legislation that would give the foreign direct investment agency more compulsory purchase powers.

This would prevent a repeat of the Supreme Court case involving Thomas Reid, the Kildare farmer who successfully stopped the state agency from buying his family farm near Intel’s Leixlip facility.

The IDA spent nearly €1.4 million fighting Reid in court. In the Supreme Court, a five-judge panel ruled that the agency’s powers of compulsory purchase did not allow it to buy land it had no immediate use for, such as the site in Blakestown, north Kildare.

In a briefing note prepared for incoming jobs minister Frances Fitzgerald and seen by the newspaper, the jobs department has come up with changes to the current law that would “ensure that IDA Ireland has the necessary powers to deliver its strategic property functions”.

According to the newspaper, a bill is currently being drafted.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Should the IDA be given more power to acquire private land?