[Sinn Fein]

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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