25 January 2001
TD supports legal action against incinerator Cavan/Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today addressed a press conference in Drogheda in support of the High Court challenge by his party colleague Louth County Councillor Arthur Morgan to the proposed incinerator to be located in Co. Louth.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``Sinn Fein is committed to ensuring that we have a comprehensive system of Waste Management throughout Ireland. As public representatives we take our responsibility very seriously both regionally and nationally. That was why, last year on behalf of the Sinn Fein Councillors in Counties Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan my office published a comprehensive response to the Draft Waste Management Plan drawn up for this region by consultants MC O'Sullivan. We were the only political party to do so and ours was the most substantial and detailed response to the Plan.
``The Waste Management problem has been handled abominably by the present government. On behalf of the government the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Noel Dempsey placed the responsibility for waste management in the hands of the local authorities on a regional basis. But when Councils make decisions which the government does not like the Minister threatens to take the powers and responsibilities for waste management out of their hands. The message from the government seems to be that you can have democracy but only if you vote the way we want you to.
``The current government has become reliant on the incineration option to solve the waste management crisis. We believe this approach is totally wrong for two main reasons. Firstly it is bad waste management because incinerators rely on the production of a constant stream of waste and thus actually work against the most important form of waste management which is waste reduction - in other words cutting off the production of waste at source to the greatest extent possible. Secondly the health concerns about incinerators have not been allayed and have prompted even the Fine Gael leader John Bruton last week to call for a moratorium on incineration.
``I fully support the initiative of my colleague Councillor Arthur Morgan in taking this legal action, I oppose incineration and call for a real waste management strategy based on the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.''
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