I was looking through the RTÉ online archives the other day and found the clip below from May 2006. I thought it may interest some of our readers, given that we’re nearing the end of 2009.

Decentralisation, another light-bulb political idea that has cost the exchequer dearly. When big decisions are being made for political rather than practical reasons, without being fully thought through, something is going to go wrong.

There are now millions of euro worth of empty sites dotted around the country which were bought – some at the height of the property market – to accommodate departmental sections due to arrive in the area under the decentralisation program. Some of these sites were bought as recently as 2006.

The program has been squandering money since its Charlie McCreevy inspired inception in 2003. A 2005 report by the Public Accounts Committee detailed 600% overspending on some projects. In his Budget announced in November 2008 Brian Cowen shelved the plans until 2011. It is widely accepted decentralisation will now be conveniently forgotten.

What becomes of the lands is anyone’s guess, their values are going through the floor.