[Sinn Fein]

22 March 2001

Minister Dempsey incinerates democracy - Ó Caoláin

Sinn Fein Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó  Caoláin has described the Bill published by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Noel Dempsey as an attack on democracy. Commenting on the Waste Management (Amendment) Bill 2000 published today (Thursday) Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``In his drive to impose waste incinerators on communities Minister Dempsey has decided to attack democracy. He found that local authorities were not willing to rubber-stamp his plans for incinerators and so now he has taken the power and responsibility for waste management away from democratically elected councillors and placed them in the hand of county and city managers. This is a disgraceful decision.

``This is the Minister who promised root and branch reform of local democracy.  In May 1999 he promised to ëput local government back at the centre of local democracy and put councillors in a pivotal role in the new systemí. He also promised a comprehensive waste management strategy. After nearly four years in office he has failed to deliver that strategy and has instead presided over a growing waste crisis. Now he has decided to incinerate democracy. I and Sinn Fein will vehemently oppose this Bill.''

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